Timed opposition

In today’s Washington Post, Michael O’Hanlon writes:

>However mediocre its prospects, each main element of the president’s plan has some logic behind it. On the military surge itself, critics of the administration’s Iraq policy have consistently argued that the United States never deployed enough soldiers and Marines to Iraq. Now Bush has essentially conceded his critics’ points. To be sure, adding 21,500 American troops (and having them conduct classic counterinsurgency operations) is not a huge change and may be too late.

And he inexplicably concludes from this:

>But it would still be counterintuitive for the president’s critics to prevent him from carrying out the very policy they have collectively recommended.

The president’s critics have offered alternative policies–years ago when such policies had an application. These policy recommendations were time-specific; they were relative to the conditions prior to the previous attempts at “surging” troops. O’Hanlon cannot cite the recommendation abstractly or atemporally as evidence the president’s policy has some logic behind it. People in the past have recommended more troops. But conditions were different. By reacting now, the president has demonstrated his failure to listen to his critics. Not the opposite.