Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bush "Cuts and Runs": U.S., Iraq Set Timetable

So Bush, using wingnuttia's own screed, is about to "cut and run":

U.S. and Iraqi negotiators reached agreement on a security deal that calls for American military forces to leave Iraq's cities by next summer as a prelude to a full withdrawal from the country, according to senior American officials.

The draft agreement sets 2011 as the date by which all remaining U.S. troops will leave Iraq...

Teams of American and Iraqi negotiators spent months haggling over the deal, which represents a remarkable turnaround from just a few months ago, when talk of timetables and deadlines was routinely dismissed by the Bush administration and other Republicans in Washington...

President George W. Bush is almost certain to accept the agreement, according to U.S. officials. The administration believes that the deal doesn't require congressional approval and won't present it to U.S. lawmakers.
Take note that all these timetable negotiations were going on in spite of a serious problem threatening to get out of hand:

American officials have credited the militias, known as the Sons of Iraq or Awakening councils, with undercutting support for the group al Qaida in Iraq and bringing peace to large swaths of the country, including Anbar province and parts of Baghdad. Under the program, the United States pays each militia member a stipend of about $300 a month and promised that they'd get jobs with the Iraqi government.

But the Iraqi government, which is led by Shiite Muslims, has brought only a relative handful of the more than 100,000 militia members into the security forces. Now officials are making it clear that they don't intend to include most of the rest...

Some militia members say that such a move would force them into open warfare with the government again...

American military officials here have always said that the creation of the Sunni militias was at least as important to the precipitous drop in violence as the presence of 30,000 more U.S. troops, and that incorporating them into the security forces would go a long way toward bringing about the sort of reconciliation needed for long-term stability.
Gasp, how can Bush negotiate a timetable during a time like this? Shouldn't McCain question Bush's patriotism, now that Bush "doesn't think it matters whether America wins or loses"?

Of course it's foolish to believe anything the Bush Administration says; even if the agreement is finalized and signed, who'll stop Bush -- or McCain if he wins -- from reneging and weaseling out of the deal later on? Yet it doesn't mean they won't milk it.

For all we know, it's a Rovian headfake designed to accomplish two things: shut up the annoying Iraqis who keep demanding a timetable while allowing Bush/McSame to declare victory in time for the November elections, even though General Petraeus himself said, "[t]here is a measure of hope in Iraq that was not present 18 months ago... just a measure of hope. It's not a celebration."

If that is the case, doesn't that mean that it is Bush/McCain who'd rather lose a war than lose an election?

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posted at 10:00:00 AM by Wonky Muse

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