The President addresses the nation tonight. What does it all mean?

The Bad News:

1. Our army is in terrible shape. There is reasonable doubt as to whether our armed forces can even mount a sustained surge in Iraq.

2. The President's credibility is in terrible shape, and it is his own fault. The President is responsible for the state of the military. He is responsible for squandering the greatest surge of patriotism since Pearl Harbor and frittering away public support for the war. He is responsible for squandering three years, more than 3,000 American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve very little.

3. A majority of of the people of the United States and the United States Congress are no longer unified in support of the war (this too is the President's fault; see above).

4. The United States cannot win a war that the people and their elected representatives do not support.

5. For of all the reasons enumerated above, the President is now forced to throw a "Hail Mary" pass (low percentage option) to save our mission in Iraq. The temptation is to skimp on force level, which will leave no room for error. The surge probably cannot survive the first catastrophe.

6. A humiliating retreat out of Iraq is the beginning of the end of the American hegemony. The next world order may be far less to our liking.

The dim light in the darkness that must pass today as Good News:

1. The President has one more chance to make his case before the American people and sway statesmen in Congress.

2. The American military wants to win, and they are so talented and determined that they have the capability of overcoming the odds.

3. Necessity is the mother of invention; dire necessity (survival) is the most powerful motivation within the human psyche.

May God bless the United States of America.