Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Timelines and cut and run?

The WaPo reports:

"More than 100 U.S. service members have signed a rare appeal urging Congress to support the 'prompt withdrawal' of all American troops and bases from Iraq, organizers said yesterday."

The "Appeal for Redress" reads simply: "As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."

Boy, you know when soldiers in uniform begin risking their careers, or arrest, by publicly petitioning Congress to get them the hell out of Iraq, you know there's a tipping point a' comin' round the bend.

And all you brave souls who who signed that petition, W. wants you to know he feels your pain. He said at a press conference today that, "I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq. I'm not satisfied either. And that is why we're taking new steps to help secure Baghdad and constantly adjusting our tactics across the country to meet the changing threat." [WaPo]

Of course, the guestion is why, up until now, has he been fine with the whole thing. I mean, they've been at this securing-Baghdad-thing since June and he's just now goeeting around to noticing it isn't woking? And if we really are "winning" like he says we are, shouldn't the insurgents be the ones forced to adjust to our tactics, not the other way around? Especially, after three and a half years and 2,800 dead soldiers?

Call me crazy, but despite the happy talk coming from W. and Rove about who they're going to sweep into power again in November, something tells me the upcoming elections, and the looing possibility of a major defeat for the GOP, has finally forced W. & Co. to stop using their "stay the course" rhetoric and start talking about "timelines and benchmarks" again. Isn't talk of timelines the 'cut and run' stuff the GOP accuses the Dems of wanting to do? (Seems to me I've heard all this before, back when L. Paul Bremer was running the show over there.

Ambassador Khalizad is talking about Timelines and Benchmarks, too. He said yesterday that. "Iraqi leaders have agreed to a timeline for making the hard decisions needed to resolve these issues. . . The United States and its coalition partners will support Prime Minister Maliki and other leaders in their effort to meet these benchmarks."

That's great and it sounds like the administration is finally getting tough with the the dithering Iraqis, which I guess is what the voters want, but the BBC reports that al-Maliki has "denied that the Iraqi government had accepted a US time-frame for curbing the violence. 'I affirm that this government represents the will of the people and no-one has the right to impose a timetable on it,' Mr Maliki said. The BBC's Andrew North in Baghdad said the Iraqi prime minister appeared to be directly contradicting US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who said on Monday that the Iraqi government had agreed to develop a timeline for progress by the end of the year."

Sound like a probelm, stay tuned.


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