Last night, President Bush addressed the country, and the world, with a speech that said American troops in Iraq could be start to be withdrawn gradually: "The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is 'return on success' -- the more successful we are, the more American troops can return home." In other words, there is no, as the NY Sun puts it, "no dramatic change in course."

Bush also asked the country to "come together," in spite of their differing opinions about the war. That seems unlikely, given the Democratic response to the speech by Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who said, "The President failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it."

The NY Times offered an angry editorial, No Exit, No Strategy: "Mr. Bush’s claims last night about how well the war is going are believable only if you use Pentagon numbers so obviously cooked that they call to mind the way Americans were duped into first supporting this war." (Also: "return on success" is an "Orwellian slogan.") The Post's editorial, The Korea Parallel, suggesting, "In retrospect, Iraq may prove to be another Korea - a seemingly stalemated war in a strategically vital region that dominated a bitterly partisan presidential campaign." The Daily News editorial, Challenge to Congress, finds a silver lining in the fact that "5,700 troops will be home for Christmas." And if you read Newsday's editorial from yesterday, it sounds a lot like much of today's coverage, "[In his speech,] Bush will make it clear that, beyond a token troop reduction, he has no intention of deviating from a course of action that has produced minimal results at a heavy cost in lives and treasure - and provides no guarantees of future success."

Here's the is the President's address about the "Way Forward in Iraq" plus a White House fact sheet "Return On Success" Guiding Principle For Troop Levels In Iraq , and here is the Democratic response (transcript and video). Coverage-wise, here's the NY Times on the multiple messages that Bush's speech had, plus a sampling of how the American press viewed the speech from BBC News.