When President George W. Bush wakes in the night, does he wonder how the family of 20-year-old Lance Corporal Clifford Collinsworth, who was killed this week in Iraq, copes with the loss? Does he think about whether the almost 3,000 other U.S. deaths there have been worth it?
At Bush's press conference yesterday, as he twisted his mouth to speak out of one side of it, his very words seemed to pain him. ``I know many Americans are not satisfied,'' he said. ``I'm not either. But we can't allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment.'' Some of the bad news is ``sophisticated propaganda by the enemy,'' he said.
Not once did he utter the phrase ``stay the course,'' which has been removed from the White House talking points the way portraits of discredited leaders were removed from the Kremlin.
What's forcing the banishment is not the looming defeat in Iraq but the one looming at the polls.
Bush told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that ``we've never been stay the course.'' His press secretary, Tony Snow, said the words haven't passed Bush's lips since Aug. 31.
You only have to click on YouTube to see a video of at least 50 times over the last year when the president invoked those words to describe his Iraq policy. Bush now says he was only distinguishing himself from those who would leave abruptly. He's been misunderstood if anyone thought he wasn't a proponent of ``adjusting'' his tactics as the situation demanded.
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