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EDITORIAL: Republicans on brink of dropping support for Bush

Republican U.S. Senators continued to support President George Bush this week, refusing to side with Democrats who seek to force gradual troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Republican U.S. Senators continued to support President George Bush this week, refusing to side with Democrats who seek to force gradual troop withdrawal from Iraq.

But the president's strength is waning, even among his allies. More than a dozen Senate Republicans are publicly leery of the Bush troop surge. Even more are learning toward a change in war strategy -- suggesting it should occur following a progress report due in mid September

Bush is already drafting talking points in response to that analysis, which undoubtably will say the surge needs more time to be effective. But political excuses won't make the situation much better, nor satisfy the growing number of war-weary Americans. The president's plan to make Iraq the model for Middle East democracy has failed. Granted, Iraqis held a free election and elected a Parliament, but anarchy rules from border to border. Democracy doesn't represent success when there's no civil order, jobs, safety -- not even functional utilities.

Elsewhere on this page, Superiorite Bernie Hughes has penned an excellent historical analysis of Middle East politics dating back to the Crusades. It references "corporatocracy," the manipulation of our foreign and domestic policies for profit. Most certainly, it played a role in establishing a U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia. That western presence is what turned Osama bin Laden, a former CIA operative, against the United States. Much of the Muslim world wants no part of western religion nor society.

The Bush Iraq strategy has created a twisted web inside a house of mirrors, and there's no simple way out. Keeping troops in Iraq will lead to more U.S. deaths, and no guarantee of victory. Withdrawing troops will open the door even further to al-Qaida, which will use the opportunity to expand its base for terror.

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Removing Saddam Hussein was a moral victory accompanied by moral dilemma. We've established a democracy, but it exists within killing fields that have claimed more innocent Iraqis than their deposed leader. Meanwhile, the lack of a strong Iraqi government has further destabilized the Mideast.

Americans hate defeat, but they're fed up with constant deaths and no sign of victory. Don't be surprised if Republicans soon give in to popular demand and drop their support for Bush. But that won't resolve the terrible mess Bush created. It will linger for decades.

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