My take on Bush’s speech:
More of the same, punctuated with spurious justifications and disheartening implicit admissions that he was slow to admit what the rest of us saw long ago, and that he pursued a strategy (“clear and hold”) even though he didn’t have the resources to make it work.
His proposed pacification campaign will work because we have more troops and because the Iraqis have promised that this time their troops will do a good job and they won’t let politics interfere.
Some good (if minor and unsurprising) ideas, like revenue-sharing, demobilizing militias and allowing Baathists back into government.
I go into it in greater detail over at Midtopia. But bottom line: This is not a change, and it’s still rife with wishful thinking (or, if you’re a bit more pessimistic, willful denial of reality).
We are in trouble.