The United States is a big country at the apogee of its power. But there are historical forces that even very big countries cannot stop. At best, they can be contained - and it is to containment that President George W. Bush must now look. He should have the courage to admit his mistakes, but also to resist calls for complete withdrawal driven more by electoral calculus than concern for Iraqis.
The last military build-up will not be repeated. Americans have no stomach for a further "surge" and the U.S. armed forces have no capacity for one. Republicans, facing an unpopular war, are going to walk off the reservation unless the president changes course in the fall.
He isn't leaving...he isn't withdrawing...he isn't reducing...he isn't admitting failure. None of this is happening without Congress slapping him down, and the Democrats majority is to thin to do that. People didn't have the stomach for the last surge...and it happened anyway.