"I realized that the decision to transfer sovereignty to Iraq by July 1, 2004, amounted to a calculated political decision. The Bush administration knew that things were going poorly in Iraq and were sure to get worse. And with the Wolfowitz, Armitage, and Blackwill assessments now confirming that fact, the administration knew something had to be done immediately so that the November 2004 presidential election would not be impacted. Giving Iraq sovereignty by the first of July would create the illusion that significant progress was being made. It would also provide a full four months for voters to be convinced through the media that America's mission in Iraq had been a success. If things got worse in the interim, the administration could simply blame it on the Iraqis and a bit of bumpy transitioning. The politics of a presidential year were beginning to unfold. It was all about winning the presidential election and maintaining power. And as John Abizaid said that summer, "We just don't know how ugly it's going to get."
The question now is what will the Republicans do to hang onto power this fall. We know, from the insiders who have spoken, that the gang in office now will do anything and say anything to hang onto power. Hang onto your hats, folks. As November approaches, if it looks like Obama is going to win and the Democrats will expand their lead in the Senate and capture the House, there will be an October surprise. As Abizaid said five years ago, "We just don't know how ugly it's going to get."