Tuesday, November 15, 2005

How To Deny Withdrawing and Withdraw

This latest Bush administration claim that black is white is a wonder to observe. An article in this morning’s NYT by Carl Hulse, “Senate Republicans Pushing for a Plan on Ending the War in Iraq”, shows the GOP wants to withdraw from Iraq because the war has become a political liability. Of course this means setting a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. And a timetable is the same thing as setting a target date. And a target date is the same thing as a plan to get the hell out. But the White House has vehemently claimed it would never set a target date or a timetable or a plan for phased-out withdrawal or anything remotely approaching getting the hell out. So how does the White House keep vowing: We will never abandon Iraq, we will never back down, we won’t leave until victory has been won, we are in this for the long haul, we will defend Iraq until the angel Gabriel blows his horn, we are Iraq’s saviors, and at the same time pull our troops out and leave the Iraqis high and dry? For the White House, that’s easy. The White House will simply withdraw and say it is not withdrawing. What could be simpler? Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senator John W. Warner (R-VA), chairman of the Armed Services Committee have come up with a plan that is the carbon copy of a Democratic proposal, except that the GOP plan doesn’t establish dates for withdrawal. Which is a marvelous trick. You can’t withdraw without withdrawing. Unless of course you are devising a plan for the Bush administration. As the NYT article says, “The primary differences between the party approaches regards fixing dates for a withdrawal. The Democratic plan called for the administration to provide ‘estimated dates’ for redeployment of American troops once a series of conditions was met, with the caveat that unexpected contingencies may arise.’ “But Republicans said that provision was cutting too close to setting a schedule for withdrawal. ‘We are not going to have any timetable,’ Mr. Warner said.” We’re going to pull out the troops but there will be no timetable, no target date, and no phased-out withdrawal. The White House will think of something, count on it. It may say that the Iraqis are kicking us out. It may spin a new slogan called: “Phase Two Mission Accomplished”. Or the GOP may say the Democrats have a gun to their heads. But the fact is, the war in Iraq has become political poison. Ergo, the Bush administration is going to cut and run. And lie, lie, lie.

1 comment:


I am reminded of a story I read years ago about Vietnam. This was in the very early years of that war.It seems that a French journalist was interviewing a senior North Vietnamese official. The official asked the journalist, "How many years of the war do the Americans want? They can have as many as they want."

As in Vietnam, I think the goal in Iraq will be to have a "decent interval" between withdrawl and the the situation going all to hell. Hopefully until after the 2006 or even 2008 elections.