Bush says "benchmarks," whatever that means

Philip Barron: George Bush suddenly discovers the need to apply goals and measurements to the endless war in Iraq.
Fresh from his come-to-Jesus meeting with fellow Republicans over Iraq, George Bush is now mouthing the b-word: benchmarks. What a difference a few days make. Why, it was just a couple of weeks ago that the White House was saying no way:
Rice: Bush Would Oppose Iraq Benchmarks
President Bush will not sign any war spending bill that penalizes Iraq's government for failing to make progress, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday, a fresh warning to Congress about challenging him. [...]
"To begin now to tie our own hands and to say 'We must do this if they don't do that' doesn't allow us the flexibility and creativity that we need to move this forward," Rice said.
But after moderate Republicans screwed up the nerve to tell the president that the greatest prize of all was at stake - not American blood and treasure or stability in the MIddle East, but the political fortunes of the GOP - the Decider has decided, er, otherwise:
Philip Barron is a St. Louis writer and author of the blog Waveflux.
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