December 26, 2006: Bush’s Iraq plan gets big build-up (AP)

  • The ostensible goal of that plan will be to get Iraq on a path to govern itself and help the United States fight terrorism. Bush is also out to win back some of the American people, who want to know the war has an end in sight.
  • “I think the American people understand this war perhaps better than anybody gives them credit for,” said Leon Panetta, who was President Clinton’s chief of staff and a member of the Iraq Study Group. “If they believe that the president has approached this with what he calls ‘fresh eyes’ — if he takes a comprehensive approach — then they’re going to give him some room.”
  • The president also braced America to think long-term. His goals aren’t changing. He talks of the war on terror as the calling of a generation, one that “is going to require a sustained commitment from the American people. “