President George W. Bush’s only backup plan for his continued failures in Iraq is to stay and fight and allow more Americans to die.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed this strategy — if indeed it can be called one — when she declared “we’re not pulling the plug on Iraq.”
Pentagon military planners admit privately that there is no “Plan B” if Bush’s latest troop surge plan — the fifth such surge in five years — does not work (and few expect it to work).
Instead, the fallback plan is to continue to stay in Iraq and fight, even though a confidential military assessment says American casualties could double to more than 6,000 in 2007 and top 10,000 in 2008.
“Our contingency plan is basic warfare: Kill and be killed,” grumbles one Pentagon planner who, for obvious reasons, asked not to be identified.
Rice admits Americans’ skeptical view of the Iraq war won’t change until they see progress there.
“We’re going to get an opportunity to see whether or not this is working, whether or not the Iraqis are living up to their obligations,” Rice said Friday.
She decried what she called “the notion … that, ‘Are you just going to pull the plug?'”
“We’re not pulling the plug on Iraq,” she said.
Most Americans now say they do not support the war or approve of Bush’s handling of it.
“What will convince the American people that there’s going to be a good outcome here is changes on the ground,” Rice said. “No poll is going to change until there is something to show.”