Bush Unfolds Iraq Strategy
President Bush, finally, gave a detailed accounting of the situation in Iraq and what the U.S. is attempting to accomplish, but like much that he has done with Iraq his presentation comes off flat.
While most of the details were obvious and already public, like training Iraqi security forces, the strategy paper reads like a laundry list. Instead of leading off with what has been accomplished in Iraq, the paper goes on for 12 pages discussing the overall situation. Finally, on page 13 there are several links to government reports that note major accomplishments.
It is terribly obvious that the paper was written by a committee using the most bland language imaginable. Couldn't Tom Clancy be hired on a freelance basis to punch up they story line?
Bush's staff knew that this was not a normal run of the mill report for meant only for internal government consumption. Instead, the president is using this strategy sheet to explain to the world what he is doing and to hopefully take down his naysayers in the process. The document should have shouted the Coalition's accomplishments. It should have made a boisterous point-by-point rebuttal against the arguments that the Iraq situation is a failure.
Instead it reads like an ingredient list on a box of cereal. "Look! Extra riboflavin."
My fear is the president's staff expected that Bush himself could sell the argument during his speeches over the next few days. If this is their intention then it was a major blunder.
President Bush is many things, but a good public speaker he is not.
Somebody in the White House has to say that the emperor has no clothes and explain to the president that he comes across just as his tormentors describe, as a not so bright individual who is in way over his head. This goes beyond simple mispronounciations, which anyone can make. He seemingly cannot speak off the top of his head, nor ad lib answers.
The document had to do the selling and it falls short.