Bush will be speaking on Iraq tonight to pump up his sagging approval ratings. Think Progress notes that, when Clinton had troops in Kosovo in 1999, Bush stressed the importance of an exit strategy and a timetable for withdrawl:
"Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
"I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn."
The changes in Bush's principles as soon as he became Commander-in-Chief are so pronounced that his vaunted "steady leadership in times of change" looks rather like a flip-flop. Bush said on Friday that, with regards to our troops in Iraq:
There's not going to be any timetables. [...] It doesn't make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable, you're -- you're conceding too much to the enemy.
After Bush refuses to lay out either an exit strategy or a timetable during his speech, what will he talk about to fill the rest of his free airtime? Will he discuss the Downing Street Memo? Will he take a few suggestions from John Kerry? Maybe he'll contrast Rumsfeld's rose-colored pre-invasion rhetoric:
"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." (7 Feb 2003)
with Rumsfeld's recent assessment on Fox News Sunday:
"That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years. Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency." (26 June 2005)
It should be an interesting speech.