Atrios has made this point before, I think, and I may have also, but I want to make it again.
Here's the president in his interview with Rush Limbaugh today. Suppress your gag reflex and think about the part I've put in bold:
THE PRESIDENT: ... One of the interesting things about this war that is different from previous wars, is in previous wars you could leave the battlefield and the enemy would stay close to the battlefield. In this war, if you leave the battle, the enemy follows us home to America -- and that's one of the lessons of September the 11th, and that's one of the reasons why we will win in Iraq. I repeat: the only reason we could lose in Iraq is if we leave, and, therefore, we've got kids sacrificing in Iraq, and when they hear politicians say, "Get out before the job is done," that's discouraging to them, and it's discouraging to the Iraqis, and it's encouraging to the enemy. That's why my voice is so loud in saying to our troops: "What you're doing is noble and important and you're going to win and history will look back and thank you for your sacrifices."
"The only reason we could lose in Iraq is if we leave." That's what he thinks: If we're fighting, we're winning -- by definition. He believes that as long as we're fighting, losing is impossible.
Notice that he doesn't say, "In this war, if you leave the battle, the enemy follows us home to America ... that's one of the reasons why we must stay in Iraq." You and I would disagree with that, but at least it would make sense. What he actually says is "In this war, if you leave the battle, the enemy follows us home to America ... that's one of the reasons why we will win in Iraq." He thinks committing to the fight and winning the fight are inseparable.
He says all the time -- in fact, he says it elsewhere in the interview -- that he's "got a long-term strategy to deal with these threats, and part of that strategy is to stay on the offense." But it's hard to escape the conclusion that that's all there is to the strategy, or all he thinks there needs to be.
This is utterly delusional. He thinks failure simply cannot be happening in Iraq as long as we're fighting -- and he's sacrificing our troops' lives and structuring our foreign policy based on this delusion.
UPDATE: In response to Bush's declaration that Cheney and Rummy will stay, Atrios says today:
Bush has reaffirmed the Bush doctrine, which is that leaving is losing....
True, but it's more than that -- it's that not leaving is not losing. By definition.