There are still many pundits and politicians, who think the political storm will be over soon. Bush will recover some of his popularity. In the interest of political self-preservation, the Bush Administration will start withdrawing troops from Iraq, and the American public will be placated. The economy is still strong. Move along folks; the show's over; nothing to see here.
Digby challenges the idea that Bush will ever withdraw from Iraq:
Hullabaloo: ". . . Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsefeld and George W. Bush . . . honestly believe that we have been perceived as weak by the rest of the world. They've always thought this. This isn't a political calculation, they really believe it. They went into iraq with the idea that they had to show those hinky arabs that we are not going to be pushed around. When they say that everyone from Nixon on down behaved like cowards, they really mean it. This is their world view. "
"It is a deep article of faith that the reason we were hit on 9/11 is because we failed to respond to the terrorists and others . Therefore, we must make them respect and fear us by being violent and dominating.
"I am of the opinion that alienating our allies, exposing ourselves as having an intelligence community that can't find water [when] they fall out of a boat and then screwing up Iraq in spectacular fashion, we have destroyed our mystique and have made this country less safe. We were much better off speaking softly and carrying the big stick than flailing around like a wounded, impotent Giant.
"I see no reason to believe that these people see that. They believe that to "cut and run" is the equivalent of emasculating this country and that is what puts us at risk. George W. Bush is not bugging out."
Here's the thing about Iraq. Doing it at all was a mistake. Doing it with too few troops was a mistake. Following up the invasion with a corrupt and incompetent reconstruction was a mistake. And, all of these mistakes were made with deliberate determination by the same people, who will continue to be in charge for the next three years.
And . . . and, these morons will never see that they have made a mistake. That is, ultimately, the source of all political storms. Political storms are dramatic events, which function to teach the nation what it refuses to learn by the processes of consideration and deliberation. Political storms are ill-conceived worldviews colliding with reality, with consequences. In America's Iraq War, a swaggering, arrogant, ignorant attitude toward the rest-of-the-world has become manifest as foreign policy and war, and it is a disaster. And, it will continue (for America) until our body politic learns something from it.
[Of course, the Iraqi Civil War is a political storm for Iraqis, too; for them, it is much, much darker, exposing a level of corruption, frustration, ignorance, violence and hatred, which is appalling. Whatever the Iraqis learn, whatever they salvage, it will not redeem America.]