Presidents are different from you and me and should be.
They never stand in a line, open a bill or take out the trash. They jet wherever they want and throw big dinners that someone else cleans up after. In America, executive power has approached the royal. Because a president can do anything he wants, he has to be careful not to.
In ordering some 21,000 more men and women to Iraq, President George W. Bush is doing what he wants because he can. He refused to send more troops when it might have done some good, since that might have been an admission of a mistake. In a tragic piece of perverse timing, he now wants to send more when most experts, including his own generals and Joint Chiefs of Staff, say it's too late to do much good.
Not long ago, Bush made a point of ``listening'' to his generals. General John Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15: ``I've met with every divisional commander. General (George) Casey, the corps commander, (Lieutenant) General (Martin) Dempsey -- we all talked together. And I said, `In your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq?' And they all said, `No.'''
Abizaid didn't realize that the party line was about to change. Just as General Eric Shinseki once got the heave-ho for saying we did need more troops, Abizaid would soon be gone for saying we didn't. As soon as a general says something Bush doesn't want to listen to, they disappear.
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