I would like to concur with James’s and Andrew’s optimistic takes on the news that the U.S. is likely to increase the pace of the pullout from Iraq – with an eye, of course, to increasing troop levels in Afghanistan – in the near future, but what does it say about the state of our nation – or, perhaps more likely, my own bitterness and angry cynicism – that the first question into my mind when I saw this was that President Bush is probably just trying to help out John McCain by undermining one of the central planks of Barack Obama’s candidacy? Given the history of the administration in question, it may just show that I am more realistic than some.