The Executive, the Magistrate, and the Maverick
5. Going “All In”: Pushing the Surge in Iraq
5 Going “All In”: Pushing the Surge in Iraq
As the Bush administration prepared for military action against Iraq, confidence firmly took hold amongst the many inveterate supporters of the war. For many of these advocates, the U.S. military intervention in Iraq was not only necessary, but it was also seen as justified (see Gerecht, 2002; Krauthammer, 2002; Kagan and Kristol, 2002; The Guardian, 2003). The anticipated benefits accruing to the U.S. and to the U.S.-led international order, in their belief, far outweighed any adverse potential risks. In fact, in a Washington Post op-ed prior to the outbreak of the war, the former-Pentagon official, Ken Adelman (2002), loftily claimed that “demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.” This hubris was bolstered by the seemingly expeditious U.S. military defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime. A mere three weeks elapsed between President Bush’s announcement of the commencement of military operations in Iraq (March 19, 2003) and the moment that American troops arrived unimpeded in Baghdad to the fanfare of rejoicing crowds (April 9, 2003). The following day, Adelman (2003) again took pen to paper and boastfully excoriated the naysayers: “Administration critics should feel shock over their bellyaching about the wayward war plan.”
This euphoric sentiment of triumph was confirmed when, on May 1, aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, President Bush declared that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” adding that “in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed...
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