What’d I Say?

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Bush Administration, Iraq War

Paul Richter and Tyler Marshall report in the Los Angeles Times that President Bush will start laying the groundwork for significant troops pullouts from Iraq.

I guess the boy reads polls after all.

Richter and Marshall write,

Even as debate over the Iraq war continues to rage, signs are emerging of a convergence of opinion on how the Bush administration might begin to exit the conflict.

In a departure from previous statements, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week that the training of Iraqi soldiers had advanced so far that the current number of U.S. troops in the country probably would not be needed much longer.

President Bush will give a major speech Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in which aides say he is expected to herald the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for pulling out U.S. forces.

The administration’s pivot on the issue comes as the White House is seeking to relieve enormous pressure by war opponents. The camp includes liberals, moderates and old-line conservatives who are uneasy with the costly and uncertain nation-building effort.

It also follows agreement this week among Iraqi politicians that the U.S. troop presence ought to decrease. Meeting in Cairo, representatives of the three major ethnic and religious groups called for a U.S. withdrawal and recognized Iraqis’ “legitimate right of resistance” to foreign occupation. In private conversations, Iraqi officials discussed a possible two-year withdrawal period, analysts said.

In other words, he’s going to declare victory so the troops can go home. Which is, of course, ENTIRELY DIFFERENT (snark) from “cutting and running.” And I’m predicting now that the “two-year withdrawal period” will be considerably shorter than two years.

Update: Josh Marshall writes,

I’m going to way out on a limb and take James Fallows’ word over the president’s and assume that there’s been no radical turnaround in the training and functioning of the Iraqi Army over the last couple months.

And if that’s true, it clarifies this essential point: there is no debate about withdrawing American troops from Iraq. That’s over. What we have is posturing and positioning over the political consequences of withdrawal. The White House and the president’s partisans will lay down a wall of covering fire, calling anybody who considers withdrawal an appeaser, to allow the president to go about the business of drawing down the American presence in Iraq in time to game the 2006 elections.

Exactly. And the Dems will be outmaneuvered once again.

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8 Comments

  1. emel  •  Nov 26, 2005 @8:37 am

    I guess they decided he would not change public opinion by giving speeches to the AEI and the 82nd airborne- after all giving speeches means talking to someone and who would he go before?

  2. E.R.M.  •  Nov 26, 2005 @10:50 am

    No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that all of our presidents have tried to be useful, that it is necessary for them to investigate before committing the nation to action. But the line between investigation and action is a very fine one, and the current Bush administration has stepped over it repeatedly. Their primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between internal and the external threats of terrorism.

    Now, as a chorus of voices begin to question the policies of this administration, we must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.

    Furthermore, we must remember, and all future presidents should be reminded, that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon irrefutable evidence. As a nation, we must not coil and strike out in fear. We must not be driven into an age of unreason.

    If we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, we can see that we are not descended from fearful men, men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. So this is no time for men who oppose the methods of the Bush administration to keep silent — or even for those who approve.

    We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

    The actions of President George W. Bush and his administration have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

    E.R.M.

  3. No Blood for Hubris  •  Nov 26, 2005 @11:09 am

    Time to call a spade a spade, and to call Preznit Toad-Exploder’s troop drawn-downs Bush’s political cut and run strategery.

  4. jerri  •  Nov 26, 2005 @11:50 am

    significant troop withdrawal from Iraq….the question now is where to these troop go…HOME or Afgan. or some other US base in the middle east. Why should anyone believe anything bush claims he is going to do.

  5. Swami  •  Nov 26, 2005 @12:18 pm

    He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it

    I disagree with this comment..however difficult it is to find the point of separation between creation and exploitation, Bush and company were full throttle in the creation of fear..Mushroom clouds were a creation.

    I like the concept of declaring victory.. it works fine except when you try to measure it against reality

  6. Rick  •  Nov 26, 2005 @3:37 pm

    I think any “redeplyment” will be on the surface only. Don’t for get that some fo these people REALLY want a permanent presence over there…

  7. alyosha  •  Nov 26, 2005 @3:56 pm

    Agree with Rick, how much of this is real and how much of it Kabuki?

    The real test will be whether BushCo gives up the permanent bases it’s building in Iraq, which is a demand put forth by the group in Cairo.

    I’m reminded of a bumpersticker most of us have seen, “I’ll give up my gun (or our claim to the oil in Iraq) when they pry my dead fingers off of it”.

  8. Jack  •  Nov 26, 2005 @7:53 pm

    Republican members of Congress do not want to be running for re-election with soldiers and marines dying in Iraq. Bush needs the votes of these members of Congress, so he has to do something for them. Democracy works, sloooooowly.

    Good night and good luck to E.R.M.

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