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Published:January 13th, 2007 06:59 EST
Why the President's Credibility is at Stake

Why the President's Credibility is at Stake

By Michael Rondon

With dwindling support, even within his own Republican party, the recently unveiled Iraq strategy must be a success in order for President George W. Bush to resurrect any possible backing during the remainder of his term and for the GOP in the 2008 Presidential elections.  Met with certain tepidity, the President’s call for a “surge” of over 20,000 American troops into Iraq was presented as a denouement to the war, a final effort on the part of America, as he ardently stated the necessity for the Iraqi government to intensify their own efforts in halting the ceaseless sectarian violence. 

Though the general message echoed previous tactics of increased troop and reconstructive support, the manner in which the speech was delivered differed tremendously from the inspired declarations we have often heard.  The President appeared to the public, a more poised and patient man, reconciled to his mistakes, readily admitting the err of his ways within the opening minutes of the address.  Whether this indicates a change of heart remains to be seen however, as the plan has yet to be carried out in full.

The fact of the matter is that President Bush’s approval ratings have steadily declined since the soaring patriotism of the initial post-9/11 America and further blows to the already depleted numbers would render the Commander-in-Chief relatively harmless in terms of political influence.  Additionally, with the recent swap of partisan control in the Congress, Bush’s pressure would bear considerably less weight.  These unpleasant, yet unavoidable factors for the President were no doubt considered, and played a role in the formation of a new strategy for Iraq.

Perhaps this is a new George W. Bush, with altered perspective on the war and maybe even on the presidency.  Perhaps he has finally heeded the sagacious council of various appointed committees and analysts.  On the other hand, perhaps the address was merely a façade intended to bolster sinking approval ratings by gaining support from those Americans who are still sitting on that fence, chain-linked and bullet riddled on one side, white-picketed and ivy laden on the other. 

Regardless of the truth, the Congress has opted to offer their support (monetarily at least) to the war in Iraq for fear of the consequences threatening the troops.  Therefore, despite opposition from an overwhelming majority; despite bearing questionable motives; despite spending over $400 billion in taxpayer money; and despite an admission of fault, which led to the deaths of over 3,000 American soldiers and counting, President Bush still, carries the leverage, for the time being, to continue his course of action in Iraq.