The character and standard of the Presidency is "best amongst the best".
It's home: The White House is a place associated not with arms or hostile agreements, but one whose purpose is to serve as the focal point of a peace-loving nation wishing to live its own life in a world fit and safe.
Americans and the international community have come to recognize that within each Administration within the Presidency, there remain strong moral principles, the deepest preserve and safeguard of the Constitution of the United States, and the assurance of justice and fair dealings.
There is also the understanding that America is not good because it is great; it's great because it is good. One can hold as solemn an appreciation of "the blessings of Liberty" and of a government which the balances and values of the Constitution.
America is good because it relies upon the respect and dignities which are due a diversity of people. America is a nation of innovation in the sciences, and a nation leading the world in food production, engineering, communications, manufacturing and innovations. As a nation, Americans have set feet upon the moon, constructed a space laboratory in cooperation with other nations of the world, and established several footholds in our solar system and the galaxies beyond.
[Such is but a small glimpse of the character and standard of best amongst the best.]
By axiom, it debunks the myth of the mediocre: The Surge--When the surge was introduced, it was the month after Congressional elections of 2006. The President dismissed Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and introduced Secretary Gates for a new direction in Iraq. The political processes there had broken down. Growing violence and civil unrest in the marketplaces and upon the numerous oil resources were on the verge of secular civil war.
Yet there was a clear message from the Congressional returns of 2006 that the continuing and unresolved consequences of ousting the Saddam regime needed to be addressed--along with the need to change the "character' of the conflict.
There is no doubt that "surge and destroy" changed the perimeters of the conflict. Specialized forces quelled the insurrections and daily explosions killing thousands of Iraqi. It separated opposing parties with the construct of mazes and walls and checkpoints. Promises of economic stimulus, and principles of social and economic health for that nation were further removed and buried with the fundamental flaws of the Coalition Authority.
Post-election recommendations, such as those by the Hamilton/Baker Commission, were placed aside with the President's announcement of a coming surge as response. The President announced that he was the sole decider of the surge, and the President destined the next President to resolve the complexities of Iraq.
The president knew that the military was a special instrument and what it is meant by a lethal force. "It is not a civilian police force. It is not a political referee, and it is most certainly not designed to build a civilian society" (Dr. Rice , Foreign Affairs, 10/2000). It would begin in the spring and last without a timetable, though inherently the President's term would come to pass.
A few days later, Saddam Hussein was executed. There was a finality in the "coping with rogue regimes" and to the outlined goals: "Some states have been left by the side of the road. Iraq is a prototype. Saddam Hussein's regime is isolated, his conventional military power has been severely weakened, his people live in poverty and terror, and he has no useful place in international politics. He is therefore determined to develop WMD. Nothing will change until Saddam is gone, so the United States must mobilize whatever resources it can, including support from his opposition, to remove him." (Dr. Rice, ibid). It was a theory not in fact.
By spring, the military began its cleansing. There were no displays of democracy, nor any hopes for a reform of political and economic systems. In places like Ramadi, marines called in air strikes to destroy Insurgent homes. Cobra helicopters engaged insurgents on the roads and in time the nation was pacified. Agreements toward restructuring and preparing the Iraqi national government taking on "their responsibilities" were pale in contrast to the force majure of continued military objectives.
The surge left none of the foundations through which withdrawal could be reasonable. Without the foundations of democracy, including the stability of the national government to the social, economic and political health of the nation, the core problems have perpetuated. In the most fundamental consideration, the inclusion of the military, its continued existence is the antithesis to establishing democracy, freedoms, and the aspirations which people strive for--to be free of genocide, starvation, and the ravages of war and disasters.
The result is an imperfect situation for a new President. However, it is not an impossible situation. Yet imperfect as it is, it provides an opportunity to adopt and accord structure and activity which provides definition upon the national government with stability and peace.