Rich Lowry

What he saw was a war effort that was stumbling, so he removed his top generals and brought in Gen. Petraeus and his surge plan. His confidence in Petraeus is total: "My job ... is to say to David Petraeus, 'I trust your judgment, I trusted you going in and I trust you now.'" He calls Petraeus "the most credible person in the fight at this moment."

Bush says that one of his most important audiences is not just the American public, but the enemy, who "thinks we're weak." He says "these are sophisticated people and they listen to the debate." They doubt "that we're going to be tough enough. I really believe that the additional forces into Iraq surprised them -- a lot."

In trying to game out the future U.S. policy in Iraq, there is an intense focus on the periphery -- what is Defense Secretary Robert Gates thinking, what's the Lugar-Warner plan? But what's still most important is the center of this storm, where President Bush sits, apparently in no mood whatsoever to budge.

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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