But he has always been sincere in maintaining Iraq is a central part of the war on terror and that a "self-governing, self-sustaining, self-defending" and stable Iraq is essential to a victory in the war on terror. Despite setbacks and incessant criticisms of his policies and attacks on his character, he has remained unbowed in pursuit of victory. Meanwhile, the Democrats continue doing what they do best: castigating President Bush and obstructing his policies, without offering a single constructive alternative. Their very choice of a speaker to respond to the president's address: Sen. Dick Durbin -- notorious for comparing Gitmo to Nazi and Communist prison camps -- is emblematic of their attitude toward the war and the enemy.
The Democrats' response, true to form, was directed more at President Bush personally even than attacking his policies. Instead of applauding him for publicly acknowledging mistakes on Iraq, they seized on his admission as another opportunity to condemn his mistakes. Always in negative campaign mode, their urgent business of ruining President Bush must take precedence over winning the war.
The Democrats' lack of seriousness about the war can be seen in the randomness of their musical-chairs criticisms. As soon as the president does what they have demanded, such as in sending more troops or issuing ultimatums to al-Maliki, they pretend they never advocated such things and move on to the next convenient criticism.
That's because their complaints are mostly designed to mask their real goal of abandoning the military option (read: cutting and running) and negotiating with terrorist tyrants.
The Democratic leadership is like a bunch of dogs nipping at the pant legs of President Bush while he's trying to keep his legs in motion to score a touchdown. But if they earnestly try to deny funding for these troops, as threatened, and begin endless, destructive investigations, they'll become defensive linebackers committed outright to thwarting our victory and ensuring that our fallen soldiers have died in vain.
President Bush's plan is not guaranteed to succeed, but it might be our last best hope to turn things around and move toward victory.