At the president’s press conference yesterday, he was asked:
Q: You’ve continually cited the elections, the new government, its progress in Iraq, and yet the violence has gotten worse in certain areas. You’ve had to go to Baghdad again. Is it not time for a new strategy? And if not, why not?
THE PRESIDENT: The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and their dreams, which is a democratic society. That’s the strategy. The tactics — now, either you say, yes, its important we stay there and get it done, or we leave. We’re not leaving, so long as I’m the President.
That is an unequivical pronouncement by the president that the United States will be in Iraq for at least two and a half more years. Not a single member of the press thought to ask a follow-up to that startling, and heretofore unexpressed, feature of our foreign policy.
Q: But are you frustrated, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Frustrated? Sometimes I’m frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I’m happy. This is — but war is not a time of joy. These aren’t joyous times. These are challenging times, and they’re difficult times, and they’re straining the psyche of our country.
Well, it’s comforting to know that he is happy sometimes, while the rest of us are having our psyches strained.