I've been watching the Sunday talk shows about Iraq (I've got to stop doing this, it's both uninformative and frustrating), and I've concluded that the concensus is that Bush will call for a "final surge" of troops, perhaps 20,000 or so, into Baghdad as a last effort to purge the place of violence, after which (after its inevitable failure, that is), he will begin a "gradual withdrawal" of our forces to secure areas in and around Iraq to be available to enfore US interests in the region.
Of course the prediction of our stationing of US troops in strongholds in Iraq has always been a main purpose of the invasion, so that's a no-brainer, as repulsive as it is. But the "surge" of troops? It's being touted not really as a solution, but as political cover for Bush, so that he can say to those who support the McCain militaristic solution that he "did all he could" before quitting.
So--our boys and girls are going to die to provide Bush with political cover? My God, this is the "compassionate conservative"? God help us.