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Of course, what’s mostly of

Of course, what’s mostly of interest to me these days is the war. Lately, pessimism seems to be spreading through the blogosphere. Perennial optimist Andrew Sullivan has been leading the way, most recently wondering whether the Administration is “giving up on the war.” Whoa. That’s a rapid turnabout. InstaPundit has been getting pessimistic too, although more about nuclear war, I guess, than anything else. Reynolds balances that by being optimistic about teen sex. Why the sudden pessimism? I guess because there aren’t any troops on the way to Iraq. But I don’t understand how anyone can seriously think that President Bush has abandoned his oft-stated goal of replacing Saddam; Bush has staked his personal prestige on regime change in Baghdad, and he did it at a time when hardly anyone else was talking about Iraq. There are some indications (like the Washington Post story attributed to “senior Pentagon officials,” which I think was a deliberate leak by the Administration) that Bush may be leaning toward a solution that doesn’t involve hundreds of thousands of American troops, But why is that bad? If the job can be done by other means, so much the better. Or, if an invasion is still planned but the timetable has been moved back, I still see no reason for pessimism. There have been lots of defectors from Iraq, including some who were involved in the nuclear program, and I think the Administration has a good idea what Saddam’s capabilities are. It was Bush who said that time is not on our side, and I really don’t think he would be deferring action on Iraq if time were critical. The bottom line is that Bush continues to be underestimated, even by his friends. There is no way he going to waver in what he sees as the central mission of his life: defeating the terrorists.

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