OK, if you watch PBS or listen to NPR like I do then you heard New York Times columnist David Brooks praise George W. Bush's decision to surge the troops in Iraq as one of the boldest presidential decision he has seen in his lifetime. This is not the first time Bush apologists have said this. In fact during the campaign last year, the complaint was that Obama refused to acknowledge that the surge was a success. If you are Obama who had been against the war from the start, you can understand why.
Truth is that after more than 4,000 US soldiers killed in Iraq and almost $1 trillion dollars later, Iraq is finally safe enough for US troops to start returning home as President Obama announced earlier today. Did the surge help? Sure. But in a way that is just like praising a man who pushes another man into a river then jumps into the water and saves him. One can accept that Bush's decision to surge the troops was perhaps his best presidential decision, but it would also be fair to note that the decision to go to war with Iraq in the first place, instead of finishing the war in Afghanistan, was one of the worst presidential decisions in contemporary times.
Week In Politics Examined - NPR, February 27, 2009
PBS Newshour: Shields and Brooks Weigh Obama's Troop, Budget Plans