James Baker is talking departure from "stay the course."
Meanwhile, the president has continued his Desperation Comeback Tour, crisscrossing the country to campaign for Republicans, stating at every stop that a vote for Democrats aids the enemy and appeases terrorists. His lyrics are the same and he is not harmonizing with the opinion of the public. In fact, George is off key and tone deaf.
Baker has just said, "...it's not appeasement to talk to your enemies," something George Bush has stubbornly refused to do during his performance as occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. James Baker has already talked with leaders of Syria and Iran about the future of Iraq.
The task to clean up after Bush is tremendous. Baker is a Bush family loyalist with years of experience. In other words, he is your typical politico, reluctant to rock any boats before the vote. If he were a statesman, he'd say "troops out now." He knows that polls taken in Iraq show that most Iraqis want us out of their country and believe that violence will abate once the occupiers have left. Baker is also aware that al-Qaeda leaders regard U.S. presence in Iraq as their greatest recruitment tool. Further, Baker certainly has examined the National Intelligence Estimate report that terrorism has increased because of the invasion of Iraq. But most importantly, he sees the mounting casualties in Iraq. During the first nine days of October, the U.S. lost 33 troops. Two other coalition soldiers were killed. Hundreds of Iraqis have died this month. And there is this staggering truth: for every soldier killed, eight are wounded.
Is Baker losing sleep, asking himself as he tosses and turns, "What to do, what to do?" After all, if we continue to lose two or three young men and women a day while he protects Republicans who are on the ballot, a lot of doorbells will be ringing, followed by the military messengers' words, "We regret to inform you."
This has to be a dilemma for Baker. Allegiance to Bush who could be forced to exit the building if Democrats take back Congress in November or the huge weight on his conscience if, perhaps, 60 to 100 more troops die in Iraq? And if 800 more are wounded?
I know what I would do. But I'm just an ordinary citizen, not a member of the political elite.