Bush's press conference (video) today offered his own versions of benchmarks in Iraq:
1. Liberation from Saddam Hussein
2. Return of Sovereignty to Iraqi People
3. Escalation of a Civil War
4. The Surge*
I've noticed that both Bush and Democrats tend to point at Iraqis and say that they aren't doing enough to create security in Iraq. Politicians are rarely willing or able to take ownership of the situation there. I just recently finished reading Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and I have to say: both the Generals and the CPA, as well as the *illustrious* L. Paul Bremer made a lot of mistakes, and that doesn't even include the massive mistake to go into Iraq in the first place.
Bush's report today concludes results in Iraq following the surge are "mixed," but it's hard to see the upside of increased body counts.
Money quote: "As the commander-in-chief of the greatest military ever, I have an obligation -- a sincere and serious obligation -- to hear out my commander on the ground." (emphasis mine)
*Which is absolutely working.
UPDATE: A British coroner says that solders' deaths due to friendly fire are completely "avoidable".