President Bush announced the escalation of the war in Iraq on Wednesday and signaled the expansion of violent conflict to Iran and Syria. He invoked the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report but he rejected the report’s main strategic recommendation of a new diplomatic initiative involving all of Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria. Instead, he announced what amounts to a regional strategy of heightened confrontation. As if to underscore his words, U.S. forces attacked the Iranian consulate in Irbil in the Kurdish area of Iraq two hours before the president spoke.

Only a political solution will end the war in Iraq, but the president intends to work instead at conflict promotion—in further service of the failed vision-turned-nightmare that propelled the U.S. to war in Iraq and now threatens to carry us into conflict with Iran and Syria.

The President said, “It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq,