Momentous it was not, but symbolically it was huge: A presidential press conference at the White House in the third week of August.
George Bush has spent the last five Augusts at his Texas ranch, but his presidency is so beleaguered and opposition to his Iraq war policy so great that there he was in the White House press room on Monday, not clearing brush in Crawford, to tell the world that the U.S. won't withdraw from Iraq while he's president.
And that's final, okay?
The Decider said that quitting Iraq "[W]ould give the terrorists and extremists an additional tool besides safe haven, and that is revenues from oil sales. Leaving before the job is done would be a disaster."
Let's break down that statement:
* It is a tacit if unintentional acknowledgement that three and a half years after the invasion, Iraq is a safe haven for terrorists and terror groups that did not even exist when Saddam Hussein ruled. And by the way, there is no connection between 9/11 and Saddam.Pathetic, isn't it?
* It is an effort to shift attention to a side issue -- oil. He does not acknowledge that the occupation has been such a corruption-ridden mess that even Iraq's vast its oil drilling and refining infrastructure remains only marginally functional and that gasoline is ridiculously expensive and in short supply in one of the largest oil producing nations in the world.
* It is an attempt to convince people that the U.S. can attain its goals in Iraq, which have changed with the seasons since Day One. Attaining the ambitious goals of three and a half years ago was impossible. Attaining the downsized goals of today also is impossible.