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Will Halt in Troop Withdrawals Give Dems Flexibility?

By Peter Baker
President Bush had barely spoken yesterday by the time the two Democrats who hope to succeed him lashed out. His decision to suspend troop withdrawals from Iraq this summer indefinitely, they complained, means that he will be leaving the whole mess for one of them to solve, assuming the election goes their way.

"In other words, there is no end in sight under the Bush policy," Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) told a crowd in Gary, Ind. "It is time to bring this war in Iraq to a close." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) said the American people have run out of patience. "It's time for the president to answer the question being asked of him: in the wake of the failed surge, what is the endgame in Iraq?" she said.

But let's turn this around for a minute and look from another angle. What if Bush is actually doing a favor for a future Democratic president? What if, intentionally or not, he is giving a President Obama or a President Clinton more running room come January 20?

No one ever expected Bush to suddenly announce a complete pullout so the only question was whether he might bring home, say, 30,000 or 40,000 more troops this year. That now seems unlikely. The suspension of withdrawals will last at least until September, at which point Army Gen. David Petraeus will begin thinking about whether to draw down the force of 140,000 that will be left. Even if he decided to pull out more brigades, military logistics mean maybe 10,000 or 20,000 could actually be removed before the next president takes over. And so under any likely scenario, it seems Bush will leave his successor a force comparable to the size it has been for most of the past five years.

Terrible for his successor? Maybe. But maybe not. If security continues to improve in Iraq, then arguably there could be more flexibility for the next president to immediately order the withdrawal of 30,000 or 40,000 troops right after taking office, bringing the force down to 100,000 and demonstrating progress to voters who put him or her there without having to worry as much about a backslide on the ground. If Bush had ordered a similar withdrawal before his successor takes office, he would have taken that flexibility away from his successor. The next president would start with fewer troops left in Iraq to pull out and bringing down the force to, say, 60,000 right away could be a riskier proposition.

Another way to look at it, of course, is that it's the presence of so many American troops that is contributing to the continuing war and so pulling down forces more drastically would be an immediate benefit, not a risk. If that's the case, then Bush may still be making a decision that benefits a Democratic president, at least politically -- the fall campaign will be framed in a way party strategists believe benefits Democrats, and a Democratic president would be able to take credit for withdrawing forces after taking office.

How much any of this is motivating Bush's decision making is hard to gauge, of course. Naturally the White House will say that his decisions are based on the advice of his commanders and what he thinks is best in terms of conduct of the war. But when they are not on the record, some Bush advisers acknowledge they are thinking about how to leave a situation that gives a potential Democratic successor enough flexibility not to feel compelled by political imperatives to act in a way that the Bush team would consider too rash. And when they are not on the record, some key Democratic advisers acknowledge they are thinking about how much maneuvering room they would have if they find themselves back in the White House in January.

So the rhetoric from yesterday is one thing. But behind the scenes, there are other layers of calculation at this point.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 11, 2008; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , Morning Cheat Sheet  
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Comments

NO-ONE in Congress Gave Bush permission to invade Iraq!!!
October of 2002 (Public Law 107-243

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq".

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to


(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; AND
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

As stated "AND" means Both 1 AND 2 must be met in order to use Military force.

Had Congress used "OR" then Bush cold use either 1 OR 2 in order to use Military force.

Look at (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

The Security Council refused to call for military action against Iraq; that is a RELEVANT SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION.

"...White House lawyers believe the president can act on his own..."

There we have it; those real trustworthy American Heroes. You know them they also said TORTURE and wire tapping citizens without a Warrant was OK.

Posted by: Donaldd | April 13, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, it's bizarre Peter Baker is willing to make an ass of himself in such a public manner, and the Washington Post is willing to publish it. We live in strange times.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

How many days do we have left of the Bush madness? Let's just pray that our soldiers remain safe and alive until a Democrat can get them out of harm's way.

http://www.cafepress.com/wetnoodle

Posted by: wetnoodle | April 12, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

anyone telling you there is a "war," going on


is insulting your intelligence....any one of these posters talking about war or victory is a walking talking scheiss-struum

IRAQ is OCCUPIED BY AN _ILLEGAL_INVASION_FORCE_ stealing natural resources...

that they will sell to the highest bidder...and bushCO and CRONYs will keep the money ...not share it with the UNITED STATES...I guarantee it...


but let's go forward and talk to a crawford salaami sucker as if he were asking a perfectly legitimate question about THE OCCUPATION :


ROBTAY12003 facetiously asked:
How about a solution to the Iraq "war" ?

A BIGONE REPLIES:

the solution is simple.

since the ECONOMY IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY,

we shut down the war profiteering machines impetus to cloud and disseminate DISinformation...false hoods, lies, monkey schiess as information..

we hand control of BLACKWATER, Carlyle Group, Booze Allen Hamilton, Halliburton, Bechtel, KBR, CACI, Dyncorp, and other AMERICAN war profiteering companies over to the GSA...at least those branches in Afghanistan and IRAQ...

and look at the books of those companies...while we are checking the books...everyone will be working at GS-SCALE.

seperate the embezzlers from the books as a first step.


arrest a few executive branch members and put them on trial as a show to the rest of the world that there had in fact been a

regime change.

lock down the OIL, and start talks with the SHIA majority as well as the SUNNI MINORITY...

Paul Bremer had $12 BILLION DOLLARS in cash delivered to him in IRAQ


to pay out bribes...what did "we the people," get for those bribes? or was it just for the benefit of CHEVRON, EXXON-MOBIL, BP ???? if so, I want that fxxxing money back...you dig ??

BREMER also removed the flow meters from the IRAQI OIL PIPLINES so that oil could be removed without tracking the amount moved....UAE seems to be selling OIL that doesn't test as having come from UAE....what's that about?

We could be buying IRAQI oil from SAUDI, KUWIAT, UAE, EXXON MOBIL

and other companies without Iraqis getting credit for that OIL,


couldn't we.

SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO SOLVE THINGS?


1. seperate the crooks from the money as a first step and

2. start prosecution of the corruption.

3. renegotiate with the IRAQI people for OIL if we want it.

4. start focusing on the U.S. of A. ECONOMY as the REAL NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE.


and realize that people like:

robtay12003 wrote:
How about a solution?

DO NOT WANT A SOLUTION, THEY WANT TO SELL YOU THAT WHAT IS GOING ON IS A LEGITMATE OPERATION.

it isn't.


Posted by: hello nameless patrons of muggy busines. | April 11, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Absent a regional diplomatic framework -- and even then -- the percentages say there will be a pretty nasty full-blown civil war in Iraq fueled by its neighbors at some point in its future. That much is a given.

If a future president is able to keep the neighbors in check -- to demonstrate to them that a full-blown civil war inside Iraq is not in the interests of the region -- then maybe that outcome can be avoided. The percentages still say this is an unlikely play. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about 5, 10, or 20 years -- the internal dynamics inside Iraq and within the region are going to remain explosive with or without a U.S. presence.

Either way we can not afford to stay the course as we have done for the past 5 years. There is no military solution that the U.S. can dictate at this stage. The best course as far as U.S. interests are concerned are to find a way to disengage and limit the possibility of a full-blown regional war -- we also need to position ourselves to insulate the nation from possible shocks -- especially in the energy sector -- in the event that a full-blown regional war does take place.

Posted by: JP2 | April 11, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Ziggy 1, you wrote we're either a super power or super nothing. For over a half century, we've been dubbed a super power. So your goal is to make us the latter? Bush himself says democracies don't start wars or drop bombs. But because terrorists don't have an army much less a navy or an air force, your strategy is to piddle ours away and reduce us to their level, so they can have a running chance. That is too cruel - but too much for me to hold you to, Zig. I think you're mistaking foreign policy for a zero-sum video game.

Posted by: jhbyer | April 11, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

liberal is a jewish word for

PATRIOT.

someone not willing to let the United States be run by ZIONISTAS...


FOAD and die libby.

Posted by: hello slime... | April 11, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

According to Kitty Kelley's 2004 book on the Bush family, George W earned this nickname in the '60s for his skill at giving BJ's to his fraternity brothers. And eventually his clan sent him to some Christian brainwashing program to degay him.

George W. 'Lips' Bush : First Gay US President?
by CONSPIRACY PLANET

(PHOTO: Sir George H. W. Bush, Sr., whose Skull and Boner nickname is 'Magog,' Knight of the British Empire, hugs Skull & Boner former mayor-ambassador Victor Ashe in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ashe was George Bush Jr's roommate and fellow cheerleader at all-male Yale University and was fired from the Tennessee legislature by the Tennessee Supreme Court for election fraud and perjury in 1974)

Is George W. Bush the first gay president?

Evidence of Bush's non-heterosexual proclivities keeps surfacing. Kitty Kelley's Bush Family expose' "The Family" (2004) had noted George W. Bush's homosexual relationsip with Victor Ashe, the Mayor of Knoxvillle, Tennessee.

Ashe, like Bush, is a member of the Yale University based Order of Skull and Bones, and was later appointed US Ambassador to Poland by Bush in December, 2003, after probes and inquiries by Congress.

George W. Bush, who was the head cheerlader at all-male Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, as well as cheerleader at all-male Yale University has been quoted as saying, "I want to thank my old college classmate (you used to call him Bulldog, we call him Victor) the Mayor of Knoxville Victor Ashe," at the Van Hilleary for Governor Luncheon, Knoxville, Tennessee, Oct.

Oddly enough the fake reporter/ male prostitute Jeff Gannon was also named "Bulldog" on his gay sex sites like HotMilitaryStud.com, MilitaryEscorts.com and MilitaryEscortsm4m.com.

Pirate News producer John Lee (http://piratenews.org/bushgaygate.html) notes that Bush has other gay nicknames for White House familiars --

* 'Turdblossom' for gay puppeteer Karl Rove.

* 'Pooty Poot' for Vladimir Putin, Russian President and Commie KGB chief.

* 'Mr. Big O' for lispy treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, ex-CEO of ALCOA Corporation in Alcoa, Tennessee.

* 'Sally Sxxk-em-silly' for the late David Lewis

Kiity Kelley writes that "George earned the nickname 'Lips Bush' for his skill at giving B J's to his fraternity buddies."

Lee, in George Bush's GayGate, writes -- "Why is Bush so hostile to the idea of gay marriage? Perhaps because until 1987, George W. Bush was gay.

"According to a group of 29 Yale classmates who comprise Gay Ivy Leaguers for Truth, Bush was 'known to be at least sexually experimental throughout his time in college.'

"One of Bush's alleged former boyfriends, Anthony Berusca (Class of '70), told The Dallas Morning News that Bush was 'deeply conflicted about being gay, even somewhat self-hating.'

"Berusca is convinced that this conflict led to Bush's drinking problems, but describes the President as a 'gentle, caring lover.'

"In 1986, the Bush family arranged for George to join Worthy Creations, a church group in El Paso that focuses on converting homosexuals through faith.

"A year later, Bush claimed to be straight, born again, and engaged to Laura Welch (Kitty Kelly in "The Family" wrote that Bush's twin daughters were not his offspring, but from a donor at a fertility clinic).

And what is Skull and Bones? The Power Elite networks of the Order of Skull and Bones and its influence in politics, government, education and business was researched and analyzed by the late historian Antony C. Sutton in his ground-breaking book "America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones" (TrineDay.com)

Confession and blackmail are part of the rites of initiation for the Order, as new members must divulge their sexual histories to other Bonesmen, so they will always be compliant in the future.

Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and former President George Herbert Walker Bush are also members of the Order of Skull and Bones.

It was noted that Kerry, allegedly running against fellow Bonesman George Bush Jr. in the 2004 election, rolled over and played dead during most of his "campaign."

The admission of fake reporter/ male prostitute Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert) to the White House and his unexplained sleepovers have added more evidence to a Gay White House with wags now claiming that GOP stands for 'Gay Old Party.'

After all, even Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman is gay.

So when will George Bush come out of the closet?

Don't hold your breath...


Posted by: ah, what's this ????? | April 11, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey,

part of "making the cities work," would have to include

work for people living in the cities.


Factories, manufacturing used to supply a direct route out of poverty for anyone willing and wanting to work....and work was everywhere.


You didn't have to be educated or have great social skills to work in a Steel Mill, parts plant or make shoes...you just put your time in and got health benefits, a great hourly wage and retirement...regardless of color or racial heritage.


There is no such vehicle today. There is not an easy way out of poverty. Without that, there will be no safety. The rise in murder rate is reflective of the drop in opportunity and "meaning down," of the American life.


As more AMERICANS are forced to compete with 3rD world laborers for the jobs....working retail, at minimum wage is not


a living.


STOP OUTSOURCING. The economy is a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE.


stop "war" fraud.... there is no war, there certainly is AN OCCUPATION....


but since an occupation is _ILLEGAL_ bushCO and CRONYs are keeping the re_framing active in the publics mind... take it away and there would certainly be some people doing time...

and that is a good thing....thus the aversion to letting the people "see what is going on." Keeping up the propaganda stream which

_e_n_a_b_l_e_s_


payment to bushCO and CRONYs


seperate the embezzlers from "war" profiteering


the media is enabling GRANDE' THEFT with their cowardice...

we could deal for the oil or focus the economy on alternative and restructuring infrastructure...


quit spending $720 MILLION A DAY into things that blow up, and see how AMERICA PROSPERS...


take down the curtain from in front of the embezzling wizards of influence peddling, bribery, graft, bait 'n switch


stand up for AMERICA, tell the truth ....


give it a try .


.

Posted by: hello simple people !!!!! | April 11, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

well, first of all you numskulls...


unless you're getting paid to say it,

there is no "wa_uh," there is only an OCCU_PA_TION...

so ending it is going to end the financial benfit of running it...

is it all about the oil? no, but a good deal of it is.

however, a reasonably good business person could have talked Saddam Hussein into dealing with the United States in a lucrative business deal....easily...

let's face it....SADDAM HUSSEIN was propped up, enabled by Donald Rumsfeld and George H.W. Bush...he would not have been the leader and been in control if not for those two gentlemen....he owed them a good business deal...and was afraid to do anything else...

no we are in IRAQ for several other reasons as well, Military ARMS sales and war profiteering...


$467 $BILLION$ DOLLARS in FUNDING....

that's a lot of money for people with non compete contracts, influence peddling and stolen IRAQI OIL turning up in UAE refineries....EXXON MOBIL holding centers...CHEVRON...costs them next to nothing...no flow meters and no reports about it happening unless you listen to NPR or Pacifica...

no there is a lot of money being made off of the backs of the United States CITIZENS and the CITIZENS OF IRAQ....


not to mention profits from HEROIN PRODUCTION IN AFGHANISTAN...and shipping arms that tax dollars paid for to various drug trafficking and coup causing groups in Central , South America y Mehico...


.so getting credit is also going to require arresting a whole schiess load of people for


TREASON....


cause frankly DOLTS, there is no war to end, unless you talking about the war to retain


AMERICAN STUPIDITY IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE that the invasion of iraq is simply


a colonial action, paying off some Iraqis like paying off some Native American INDIAN chiefs and masaquering the savages anyway...


"the hoagies," the "sand nigers"

or what ever the cute little D.A. euphimism that they are using for "this group of indigenous natives being taken advantage of," is...


credit? how about you credit me a B.J. ?


.for such a stupid title. shill.

.

Posted by: so what is going on... | April 11, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Bver hear of White House Directive 51? The next president won't be elected he will be appointed when bush invades Iran and then declares marshall law, thus cancelling the elections.

Posted by: Hippie | April 11, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable! Baker, you're a numskull. Haven't you been watching over the last five years?

The Republicants have been running this Wag the Dog War for political gain since its inception.

Come September, Bush will announce more troop withdrawals whether or not the situation warrants it or not.

The Republicants will make this Wag the Dog War look like it is actually moving toward something resembling an ill-defined victory, and recent events, the battle for Basra, in-fighting between the Shiites who make up the majority of the population, may actually be the first small steps toward success in Iraq.

Come September, Bush will announce troop withdrawals. There will be parades in small towns across the country. "On the Road to Victory," that will be the narrative those who are running this Wag the Dog War will try to establish.

Then Obama will go from be "Right From Day One" on the war to "Wrong from Day One." He and his supporters will have to argue with pictures of returning troops in late October, asking Americans to doubt their lying eyes that are seeing returning troops marching in ticker-tape parades and instead, listen to Obama's hollow words.

Obama, if he is the Democratic nominee, will be made to look almost traitorous, made to look like he doubted the fighting capabilities of our troops and the resolve of the American people.

The Republicants will leverage the small, but very real progress, that we will have made by September to look like VE Day.

Remember 2004, Baker, and repeat the following: WAG THE DOG!!!!

Posted by: jmcauli1 | April 11, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Baker means well, but his editors should have spared him the embarrassment of such obvious spin.

Posted by: jhbyer | April 11, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Ziggy, I gotta laugh at your rhetoric, wow you watch too much tv. You calculate nothing, ignore costs, imagine enemies, talk in jargon, on and on. Silly really, I wish I had you in front of me, I'd knock you out and... Oh never mind, let's just say you are a loser.

Posted by: Redneck A1 | April 11, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

When liberals finally realize that a military is more than just for parades and ceremonys, than maybe just maybe they will come to their senses. The war in Iraq is a war of principal against islamic militant facism. To pull out of Iraq now, whether the war was right or wrong, will only embolden Ao Quaeda, Iran, and Syria. As a matter of fact I would take it one step further. Hussien Obama wants to meet with the President of Iran. Perhaps he believes that because his middle name is Hussien we can become pals with Iran, Syria, Hamas, and the rest of the maniacs that want to destroy the infidels, mainly us. If I were Bush I would issue a stern warning to Iran.

1. Terminate your nuclear ambitions now!
2. Stop funding terrorism
3. Stay out of Iraq
4. Disband Hezbollah

If not, face the consequenses. Thats the best present Bush can leave the incoming President. Of course Iran will ignore the threats. Then Bush should go out like a lion and not a lamb. Confiscate any holdings Iran has in the U.S., and Let Iran get a taste of our Bunker Busters.
We are either a super power or super nothing.

Posted by: ziggy 1 | April 11, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Bush's Favor to Next President?

- Messing up Iraq
- Messing up the economy
- The handling of Kattrina
- Making America unpoular in the world
- etc.

There's huge potensial for improvement, and the next president can not possibly do any worse than Bush.

Posted by: Shotgun Cheney | April 11, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

ronald reagan circa 1981.
got credit for iran hostages being releases one day after being in office.

Posted by: kd | April 11, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm a NH independent, or progressive as they say. I agreed with Ron Paul on most things but vote Democrat. I recently voted Nader, Gore, Kerry, if that describes me. I work 50 hrs a week in construction and I bothered to carefully watch after work via C-Span; Bush's speech, all of Petraus, and the responses, to be properly informed.

What left an impression on me most was not the gall of Bush, the evil of Petraus, or the rightness of the antiwar argument. Instead it was the lack of power of style of the Democrats. I like Ried & Pelosi as people, but they are horrendous spokespeople for my interests. Timid speakers with submissive vocabulary, scared and pusillanimous. I'm dying for a Lyndon Johnson right now, someone who you know will indeed flatten your nose if you insult his intelligence as Bush has ours. Too bad Kennedy is a bloated windbag (he likely hasn't put down a cocktail since he endorsed Obama) at least was once able to deal it out.

Posted by: Bartlett | April 11, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"'The silent majority' has been used to explain a number of Republican victories in areas where no chance was given to conservative politicians by the media."

And this room is nothing if not the media.

I split my political voyeurism between the New York Times by day (and posts hereon) and Fox News at night. (Gotta love that Hannity!) "One if by land and two if by sea" is instead "left wing by day, right wing by night." That's fair and balanced: Two sources; totally opposite ends of the spectrum, each with their own ax to grind.

My unscientific polls register more name-calling with regard to McCain (McSame, McShame, McNasty, McBush) than there is for Clinton and Obama. Mind you, there IS criticism of Clinton and Obama, but far less name-changing, which showcases gross immaturity at best. And no doubt, liberals herein outweigh conservatives by a hefty margin. Since liberals aren't known for their emotional maturity, juvenile behavior is to be expected (though it DOES tarnish the process).

But I hasten to remind you tempests in a teapot that there IS a silent majority made up of voters "out there" who do not have the time, inclination or wherewithal to post comments here. And here's how the silent majority will weigh in on election day.

McCain--62 percent
Obama--38 percent

Remember too that this is only the Democratic primary. When "we the people" come out to vote, John McCain shall be the next President of the United States.

God Bless Our Troops. God Bless the United States of America.

Posted by: Curliquedan | April 11, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse


Give the Dems credit for something?

Excuse me?

I smell a rat in the Baker shop.

Posted by: wardropper | April 11, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

There's been a major misconception for the last eight years, because the man so man
choose to refer to as President George W. bush wasn''t legglly elected in 2000 or
2004. He was appointed president by his very powerful and highly influential
NEOCONS, therefore certifying him as the Irrelevant MURDER and TERRORIST that he continues to be. Also, in case anyone has been deluded into seriously believing that this Charlatan who is referred to as president is anything more than just an impotent, it is not he who is calling the shots, but his henchman Dick Cheney.

The longer we Americans sit on our hands and not prompt our respective representatives to force the issue of reducing our presence in Iraq, the more American Troops and Iraqis will die needlessly. It is the blood-stained hands of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney,their precious Blackwater USA Boy Scouts, who will continue to subjugate the most vulnerable of Iraqis to further enable
the continuing flow of profits into the wrong deep pockets.

Posted by: J-MAN | April 11, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA DIDN'T VOTE !


PRESENT!

Posted by: KC | April 11, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

jencm, are you ready to be heartbroken? Obama won't do a thing. He's never DONE anything in his political career except run for the next office.
He was Handed the civil rights legislation, he ducked all the tough votes, he voted for war funding and against troop withdrawl.
The guy has no balls.

Posted by: snowmelt | April 11, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should send troops back to Vietnam, so that the soldiers who died there will not have died in vain.

We can force them to have a democratic election, and when they pick a leader we don't like, we can depose them and replace them with someone more tractable. Worked so well the last time, eh?

Posted by: Lart from Above | April 11, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

To: Jay, who wrote "Most Americans are stupid and have short memories.
We went into Iraq with overwhelming popular support."
__________________________

That's because we were lied to like suckers! The American People, and a bunch of others, were liked to hundreds of times. If anybody's got a short memory, it's you!

Posted by: Linda Love Jones | April 11, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Gunther:

Interesting figures. I'm on the general team to help combat that. It's time for change of plans.

I was against this war from the start. I understand why. Unfortunate, yes. However, it's time for new minds and new plans to change course while attempting to help support Iraq at the same time.

Posted by: Obama2008 | April 11, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

All human lives are valuable. However, The President of the U.S. ought represent The United States first. Our American people ought be first on the priority list. There's people suffering in various places. Are we going to travel the world and attempt to war to bring balance in every single country where there is a conflict? America is a great nation, but I don't see it as a parent country to the rest. Even this country has issues requiring money (perhaps billions to trillions worth) to fix. It's time to change plans reguarding Iraq, not to leave them hanging but to help them without usage of our force. It's time for them to take over and soon.

I am very proud of our military, and I value their lives, beyond their signed contract, just as much as I value everyone else's no more no less. We need to find ways of helping without putting our own country at such a loss.

Posted by: Obama2008 | April 11, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It is not just pulling out 140,000 troops after July. One needs tolook at all the Iraq numbers:
Iraq Numbers
Troops in Iraq before the surge: 135,000
Troops in Iraq during the surge: 170,000
Troops to be drawn down to : ~140,000
Non-combat support in Iraq (est'd) 140,000
"Coalition Troops in Iraq, Mar 08: Number of deserters from US forces since 2003: 25,000 (source: NY Times 3-23-08 - War Dodgers..]
Cost so far: ~ $500 billion
Bush estimate in 2002/3: $60 billion, to be paid for with Iraqi oil
Curent drain on teasury: $5000 per second
includes $12.5 billion paid Iraq per month (Kristof, NY Timnes 23 mar 08)
Source of all funds for the war: Treasure Notes sold = debt. The war is run on the cuff.
Dollar value 2001 to 2005 : decrease by almost 100% since 2001 ($0.78 to 1.54 $/Euro)
Duration so far: 5 years - 60 months
WW II Europe: Dec 1941 - May 1945 = 42 months
WW II Pacific: Dec 1941 - August 1945= 45 months
Involved in the war effort: WW II = everybody in the US; we had the draft
Iraq-Afghanistan = only armed forces , reserves, Natinal Guard (many with 3 tours of duty)
Stop-Loss/ back door draft prevents people from leaving the service when their contracts are up.

Posted by: Gunther St | April 11, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

We need a change in direction on Iraq, a start for trying to make the best of a bad thing.

Posted by: nclwtk | April 11, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I admit, I thought the war was a good idea at its inception. Now, not so much. And that's why our president is a fool - he's incapable of admitting a mistake.

Posted by: Tony | April 11, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's fund the war through War Bonds. All money raised goes towards the war in Iraq. No tax dollars go to the war in Iraq. All those in favor of continuing the war, let's open your wallet and start buying!

By the way, the bonds will be repaid by the peaceful, stable, democratic government of Iraq once it is established.

Think Wall Street would go for it?

Posted by: DDS | April 11, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

This article is so wrong it's sad.

"If security continues to improve in Iraq..."

OK, that's just not going to happen. Political reconciliation ain't happening. We've been down this road before, except the first time we called it Vietnam. It's going to drag on until someone with the necessary moral fortitude pulls us out of there. And the person/party who does that will be blamed and reviled for "losing the war." Bush and Co lost the war many years ago, but they're going to kick the can down to the next guy.

"Another way to look at it, of course, is that it's the presence of so many American troops that is contributing to the continuing war..."

Our military is not causing the CIVIL WAR, they're doing an amazing job and just barely managing to keep a lid on it. Pulling them out will make it much worse, but keeping them in only forestalls the inevitable.

Come on man, this is just common sense.

Posted by: Me | April 11, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"they are thinking about how to leave a situation that gives a potential Democratic successor enough flexibility not to feel compelled by political imperatives to act in a way that the Bush team would consider too rash."

In other words, they're trying to manage the later Democratic response, so as -not- to pull out too fast causing everything to collapse. So that is -not- political priority maneuvering, that is practical management to preserve the Iraqi democracy into the future, rather than to have supposed 'rash' action collapse it.

Vietnam was another time, another problem for another administration. There are similarities that you can gloss together saying it's a police action that we have to leave from, but Vietnam wasn't embroiled in jihadist terrorism like Afghanistan, or as much threat to its region as Iraq.

9/11 was a time for the US to defensively assert itself from being attacked. Vietnam was anti-communist strategy that remains with Asia, not the Middle East.

Posted by: RR | April 11, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

There is yet another scenario, that is probably more likely one. Bush being so nasty, and easily getting personal, he is going to leave us with his last fart. He is going to order a large, probably even dangerous level of draw down just before he leaves the office, thus creating the ground for Dems to scramble and any negative consequence will be blamed on Dems. He would say, I told you so. He does not care how the troops would suffer. he has been using the troops for his own political advancement and ego anyway.

Posted by: Skeptic | April 11, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

And then take responsibility immed. after for losing Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

BZ-Bad news. YOU are full of BS.

As the French were being forced out, British(Australian) aid was there. The French were gone in 1954, and after the Resulting Agreements were reached, the US became involved along with Britain in 1955.

@1959 the US entered what became the Vietnam War, when we suffered casualties. President Eisenhower passed the Conflict onto Kennedy, who then began all the Commies must be stopped at all costs rhetoric. The Escalation between the Truce agreements from 1955 to 1959 were resultant from north Vietnamese Aggression against the South, and Groups like the Catholics in the North.

BUT, I can assure you, Eisenhower and the Australians(British until 1986) WERE involved due to Japanese/French conflicts that predated our direct involvement.

You are on the Internet-Look before you spout!

It is not that hard to do! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 11, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

What most people don't understand is that, no matter who is in office, our involvement in Iraq isn't going to end anytime soon. How can it?

If we pull the troops out because we don't want to waste another American life, then we are saying that we place a higher value on American lives than the value of the life of Iraqi lives.

Is that the case? Aren't they human and deserve protection too?

Unfortunately we're there and we're stuck. The only thing we can do is fix it. How to do that, I don't know. But we can't pull out the troops and allow the people we promised to liberate and help, no matter how misguided the original plan was, to die at the hands of terrorists or another despotic leader.

We screwed up. Not just Bush, but the entire leadership of this country. Any Congressman/Senator who voted to support the intial war and the military leaders who approved it are just as complicit.

If you think either Obama, Clinton or McCain is going to pull the plug on Iraq, you're deluding yourself.

It's about the value of all people in the world, and that each life matters. Not just those of the soldiers.

We're there until we fix it.

Posted by: Craig | April 11, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The candidates are right about one thing. Whoever wins the white house will inherit this mess. But I think it is wishful thinking at best, and delusional at worse if anyone thinks the Iraqi problem will be fixed by the next president. Maybe not even by his successor. I have a hunch that it will be with us for a decade or two before the repercussions play themselves out. I hope that Bush won't be too bitter when history lumps him into the category of one the worst leaders the world has known next to Nero.

Posted by: tydicea | April 11, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

It would have been nice to have heard indeed what "finishing the job" means. I wonder, what would be considered "finishing the job?"

I remember reading news, knowing our military works day in and day out, that Iraqis whom were supposed to be trained by our military were taking some extensive breaks on our time. If that's the case, then that tells me that we've done enough. Somehow, it appears to me we have gotten sidetracked on missions.

I hate that Saddam went out the way he did, granted how people were treated over there. It's past time they start taking over the process in speedily fashion. It's been years. I feel less safe losing - 4000+ members of our defense. I don't feel safe knowing that our defense is weakening by the numbers when our high officials know that this decision was a major error. At some point, it's time to make some corrections. There is a fierce urgency of the Now that our troops need to come home. Family members have lost crucial members. I'll feel safer to know that our numbers of people are being used wisely, unlike this here war. We're spending crucial amounts of our military like money and for loose decisions. That does NOT make me feel safe. Bush could've said "No." I'll feel safe in knowing that the number of our service members are being preserved and ready for a time they are called and Truly needed. In addition, I would feel safe in knowing that we had a commander in chief whom would commit to using them wisely. I'd feel a LOT safer.

We have a wonderful military. I admire their works and their abilities. Because of the things they can accomplish, the more we need to make sure we have as many as possible, and that we are using them Wisely, and not "spending" them for illegit reasons. No, they need to come home. We need to support that. That is the right thing to do, while supporting Iraq in ways that will let them take over as we pull our troops out. That is the miraculous plan that McCain ought to FIND a way to make, better than "100 years" or whatever else he's currently proposing.

Posted by: Obama2008 | April 11, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I see the situation from the opposite viewpoint, in light of (right wing) Republican history of blaming the Democrats for everything. If the next president is a Dem and pulls out of Iraq, should a greater level of violence and chaos ensue, it will all be the Dems fault. I would lay a bet that the Republicans are already thinking about the Congressional elections of '08 in this light. The same in regard to a future terrorist attack: if the U.S. withdraws, it will be, "See there, we told you". The argument, already, is that terrorists would see any withdrawal in less than forty years as a sign of weakness. (Does anyone else remember, from personal knowledge or the study of our history, how the public was told again and again that leaving Vietnam would convince the Soviets that America lacked "resolve"? How many people died trying to prove resolve?)

Bush and company have played a perfect trick on the next president. They've gotten us in so deep that we have to be very careful what we do and how we do it. Cheney predicted there would be dancing in the streets when the U.S. invaded and got ride of Saddam. Now, we stay to prevent...dancing in the streets when we leave.

Are the two remaining Democratic candidates really being honest when they talk of getting us out, fast? Whatever we do, we have a responsibility to be careful and not leave like a teenager who just pushed over a flower pot on Halloween. How would we respond if Iran used our withdrawal to invade Iraq? We are going to have our fingers in this pie for a long time to come. Iraq is far more important to the future of the U.S., directly and otherwise, than Vietnam ever was.

Posted by: Doug Terry at terryreport.com | April 11, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"There was no credible available information presented to send us to war."

If that is true, why did nearly three quarters of Congress vote to go to war? Why did 80% of the population of the USA approve of the war. Why did we capture weapons experts and facilities? How about all the plans we found for starting thew weapons programs after sanctions were removed?

Not a credible statement. But it makes a nice argument. Simple people will be impressed.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | April 11, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"and those rules say that the US will not be allowed a sphere of influence in Iraq."

Well that is e best reason to quit that I have seen. But I wonder, are they on the Internet. Something like:

1. You can not win.
2. You can not tie.
3. Do not pass go, go to jail.
4. You owe taxes.
5. You owe an apology. "I am sorry that I tried to win."
6. If the President wants to do something, it has got to be bad.
7. If the President does not want to do something, it has got to be good.

8. The USA was a great nation, but not now.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | April 11, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

There was no credible available information presented to send us to war. And they most certainly did lie to us, um remember Scotter Libby???
It was not only rhetoric driven by Dick Cheney, Rummy and Bush, but Congress too. They bit right into the BS being delivered to them. I was never for this war and always thought it to be a diversion. BUT, what does shock me is that SO many people bought it. Guess, you're right, the American people are stupid, after all American Idol gets better ratings than any election debate ever will get....sad, very sad!!!

Posted by: Juno | April 11, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The process of removing troops is easy. The catch is that the new President will be judged by what happens. Can you be totally sure that what you expect to happen is real and will happen? Quite a risk, if you ask me. Quite a gamble.

People should admit to mistakes only when they have made mistakes. The war has not been proven to be a mistake. Not yet. Perhaps never. Difficult jobs should be attempted on occasions. It is crude to demand an apology when none is called for.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | April 11, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Most Americans are stupid and have short memories.

We went into Iraq with overwhelming popular support. Decisions were based on available information at the time and were right based on that information. Saddam & Sons is gone along with the rape rooms and desert trenches; the current atrocities are less frequent but more known and reported. Bush and Co didn't lie or deceive us, nor did they violate the constitution or deprive citizens of their rights. They did fail in their planning, understanding and execution. The surge though is working and bearing fruit.

We are all indebted to the brave, wonderful men and women serving our interests in the armed forces. Our country and families are all safer due to their tireless efforts. North Korea is in fact evil but the Bush strategy appears to be working there; it's only too bad that Carter & Albright handed nuclear weapons to them during Clinton's reign. Iran is also in fact evil. If we can delay them long enough, the growing dissatisfied youth of Iran may yet throw out the mullahs and bring the country back to civilized friendship with the wider world.

Obama talks of yesterdays failures and mistakes continually, frequently ignoring successes, but fails to offer any solutions. Clinton sees the current state of affairs as abject failure but is driven by personal desire and has no hope or contagious vision to share. McCain is experienced, reasoned and the best of the three candidates for the job - but his lack of charisma and past screwing of his own party leaves him with tepid support when empassioned support is needed.

Our troops need to stay in Iraq and finish the job. We need to support them and give them the freedom to do it. The only real questions are: who will the next president be? and, will he or she have the balls to continue doing what is right despite the constant withering attack of the left wing media and a fickle, easily propagandized and manipulated electorate.

Posted by: JAY | April 11, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I love the fact that there are some former Vietnam Vets responding here,
because it great to finally hear from those who've experienced what hell is all about. Too bad George and Dick know anything about what our US Troops in Iraq are having to endure, because it becomes more apparent daily how detached both of
these Warmongering MURDERERS are to the reality of what Hell is all about in both
Iraq and Afghnistan. A vote for Senator John McCain is a further validation of
what the word "Blood Stained Hands" are all about.

Posted by: J-MAN | April 11, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

To M Stratus:
I believe Mr. Bush has proven that he is not an honorable man. An honorable man would have admitted that he made a mistake listening to Dick Cheney and should have never backed him to go to war. This is Cheney's war that W was suckered into.
Cheney just rides under the radar......

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Barak Obama was NOT in the Senate to make a vote on the war! So quit bragging that he is the only one that did not vote for the war - you are not comparing apples to apples but an apple to a banana!

Posted by: Kathy5 | April 11, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

No matter what or when we leave Iraq, there will be a bloodbath. So, why not sooner, rather than later?

The only possible chance of any success is to have our troops prevent any additional arms from entering the country, either from Syria, Iran, or elsewhere. Essentially seal the borders. Then let the factions of Iraq kill each other. When they run out of ammunition, if those that remain want our help to establish democracy and rebuild their country, we can do that. But, it gets paid for with their oil money, not from our budget.

Posted by: Steve | April 11, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

When Obama becomes the Democrats' nominee, but probably not before this, Iraqi leaders will recognize that they face the prospect of a programmed, timetabled and staged withdrawal of American troops -- and not merely some token redeployment beginning 60 days after the new President takes office. This recognition is apt to prompt them, or some sub-set of them, at long last to get serious about constructing a functioning state to serve their peoples.

Posted by: FirstMouse | April 11, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

This is for presidency of the United States, not presidency for the world. America ought be #1 on the priority list, and therefore our people. It is known nationwide that this war is illegit, and we've gone - 4000+ of our military defense. We should be 4000+. Every individual counts. We don't need to lose those precious members for non-legit reasons. I see absolutely no kind of "common sense" or ethics in that idea. So, I am in on miraculous plans to help support Iraq, but with the idea of withdrawing our troops at the same time.

Bush will be remembered for his ignorance in this area.

Posted by: Obama2008 | April 11, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm more concerned about America falling on its face than I am about Iraq. The second largest oil field on this planet, which lay in Iraq, are yeilding a single penny to pay for the War, and Americans are being gouged with high-priced fuel. This Administration has drained every single penny from America to fund this war and quite frankly I'm more concerned about my own well being than I am about the Iraqis. Whenever we leave, the Iraqis will be left with a very wealthy country, and America will be left broke.

Posted by: Linda Love Jones | April 11, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Stay or leave the Iraqi people will eventually decide what they want. And it most likely will not be what we want.

Posted by: Maddogg | April 11, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

OR, will the next President be remembered as the one who caused genocide by precipitously withdrawing the troops from Iraq. Thus causing the Middle East oil spiggot to be turned off for generations and maybe causing WWIII.

Which will it be......

Posted by: donbl | April 11, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there troops!!! We're fighting for ya.

Posted by: Obama2008 | April 11, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Bush is the mommy's boy who skipped combat duty in Vietnam. Let's face it: Bush is a coward. He started the Iraq War, he should end it by bringing the troops home. IF Bush is an honorable man, he will do the right thing. However, we know now that Bush is not a grown adult, he is trapped in the mind of a boy who fantasized about wars and combat, considering fighting as "romantic". Bush is an idiot and he will always be. A leader liek FDR might have pulled off an Iraq War sucessfully; but, a man like Bush, is doomed to fail.

Posted by: M. Stratas | April 11, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

How much any of this is motivating Bush's decision making is hard to gauge, of course.

Considering this speculation all involves looking ahead to the future, I would say none of it.

Posted by: Inside Bush's Brain | April 11, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The moment our presently Irrelevant and Illegally Elected President George W.
Bush announced his candidacy for President
of the United States it was clear that he so desperately wanted attention. Now that
he and so many of his Ignorant followers
have allowed this MURDERER and TERRORIST
to pretend to lead our nation, all that
we've heard over the last unbearable eight
years is WAR, WAR and more WAR. It' will
be refreshing to hopefully have a legally and democratically elected president in
November. God Willing it won't be Senator
John McCain.

Posted by: J-MAN | April 11, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

We need to bring our people home. It's time. They signed the contract, but we don't have to stand idle and watch our government order them around with illegit reasoning. We ought to unite and serve as a solid force to help bring them home.

We can use those billions elsewhere more beneficial, and without lives being lost. We can halt the growing losses of our military. One less individual of our military, we are one individual weaker in military strength. If our people whom are serving our country are to be called to harm's way, we need to make sure that The Calling for them to do so is nothing short of Legit.

I see actions being taken in this effort shortly after November. I look forward to it.

To our troops: Be prepared to pack up your equipment. You are coming Home.

Posted by: Obama2008 | April 11, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Dwight is an idiot, or at least a drama queen. Who is going to invade us? Who could even try? The only people invading us are the Mexicans, and that was runaway under a Republican president and Congress. Stop being such a coward who's afraid of your own shadow and start thinking strategically about the WOT.

Posted by: Busho | April 11, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

.

JOHN MCCAIN VOTED FOR THE WAR

.

Posted by: kc | April 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The thing about comparing Iraq to Vietnam is that the withdraw from the latter lead to a humanitarian nightmare that was as bad, if not worse, than the war itself.

So if this is history repeating itself then this is no favor to Clinton or Obama.

Posted by: tkc | April 11, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

.

HILLARY CLINTON VOTED FOR THE WAR

.

Posted by: kc | April 11, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

We need to reach out to our peers, parents
and grandparents to remind them of the
practices of the Clinton family:

1992 The Clintons promised to fight for
healthcare for all of the USA citizens.

1996 The Clintons begged us to allow
them to finish the job on the healthcare
front.

1997 Hillary took hush money from the
very healthcare industry that we entrusted
her to fight!

1998 Bill Clinton crippled Medicare.

Hillary is married to America's #1
lobbyist of exporting American jobs.

MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: Ask your friends and family, 'What has our voting
done to the American Dream?' and 'How have the Clintons hurt the chances of an American Dream?'

We need to be honest with ourselves and with each other...

Obama is our only chance for a shift in the corruption.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dwight,

America has been invaded by out enemies. Remember? He's the one Bush let go to pursue his murderous, torturous Iraq agenda.

A coward is someone who's afraid of the bogeyman, ie a Republican.

When will you hold Bush and Cheney responsible for the unquestionable blood on their (and your) hands.

Blessed are the peace makers.

Posted by: Tim from Silver Spring | April 11, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A must see is PBS "Bush's War". Complete and absolute incompetence from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld with their thoughts, words and actions. This will continue to be Bush's War even after he leaves office, and no matter what the next president does, Bush's War may outlive as all. One result will be eternal, tens of thousands of brave Americans killed or wounded without victory, this will be Bush's legacy, along with sitting on Cheney's kn ee nodding along like a baffled child.

Posted by: rich nj | April 11, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

these cowards, obama and clinton don't deserve to be President. there will be blood on their hands, hold them accountable for their actions. Either America wins or America will no longer be a superpower and can look forward to being invaded by our enemies, all with the blessing of the dems...

Posted by: Dwight | April 11, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey RAT - the US did not "inherit" Vietnam from the French and Australians.
1. the French were defeated and left. The US got itself involved later in an attempt to curb "Commie expansion". Domino theory and all that. The Australians were never involved in it.

2. The Australians DID become involved during the 60's when it was a full-on war. They did a good job too. Any vet from their region will tell you that.

Posted by: bz | April 11, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

As a vet from the 70's, leaving Iraq will be considered a failure by many, just like it was during the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, for the many soldiers who have been injured or killed, the loss has already occured. Until people see war differently, our society will continue to view war as a win-loss game. Most soldiers see war as a loss, perhaps a necessary duty, but still a loss.

Posted by: Richard | April 11, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

As a vet from the 60's, it will be no different leaving Iraq then it was Vietnam, maybe we will have a better runway for the copters

Posted by: ben | April 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

captbilly-If you know anything about the Reality of Vietnam, you would know just how close your comparison is.

The Vietnamese were fully supported and aided by the Chinese. As long as we continued to limit ourselves to "Conflict" Status as we inherited the mess from the French and Australians, and NOT take it to a "War" Status and engage the Chinese, we were caught up in a Conflict of "Attrition".

Iraq, and Afghanistan are BOTH more of the same. Policing a Conflicted Area without a declaration of War, caught up in actions of Attrition again! Only this time, it is Cyberspace and Religious Fascism, we are battling against, not Jungles!

Personally, I would have preferred the Jungles! :-(

One look at the Comments that land here at night, and it becomes very obvious Iran, and it's more Nut-Job Students, abuse the World Wide Web!

WE, need to take it to the Revolutionary Guard, and Khameini's Theocracy. Most People in Iran are NOT the Enemy.

But, the Catch-22, attack their Country, and they will be!

Posted by: RAT-The | April 11, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"If security continues to improve in Iraq,"

Something about this statement very much reminds me of... Oh... The endless Iraq War "Ifs" of 2003/2004/2005/2006/2007.

Might I add "the next 6 months" will be critical?

Posted by: Miguel Pakalns | April 11, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Obama and Clinton are not going to win. I'm glad newspapers are so obviously biased.

Posted by: Rob | April 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Peter Baker, it looks like you don't understand what happened in the surge, the US government paid the Sunis to fight Alqaeda, Muktada Alsadr was committed to truce, now that the Sunis are not paid anymore they start bulding their militia, and Alsadr's aide was killed thursday, so we know what to excpect... my question to you, how long are we going to expect this madness to continue, while we are paying 12 billion a month ? and 112 dollar barrel ? how long can our economy sustain it ?

Posted by: tqmek | April 11, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Bush doesn't like unknowns. He would rather continue an expensive occupation then take the risk of being wrong. The best way to ensure he isn't wrong is to pass it along, and then tell you he told you so later should Iraq fall on it's face.

I guess you could say that this is another example of how he displays neither the talent nor the disposition necessary for the leadership of our nation.

Posted by: Jeff | April 11, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Iraq war is a stinking mess that will eventually have to be cleaned up or thrown out. As an ex USAF pilot and officer I can't see any realistic scenario where we leave Iraq with anything that a normal person would call a victory. Al Qaeda is winning every day that we stay in Iraq. They are under spending us 10,000 to 1, causing us to ignore more serious threats all over the world, cuasing us to lose our credibility all over the world, and more.

There are too many outside and internal forces in Iraq that will never rest so long as the US has a presence there. Iran and Syria will never stop killing Americans and Iraqis until they feel that they have a situation in Iraq that they can live with. Eventually we will have to leave, and unless we leave the area with an Iraq that it's neighbors are happy with, those neighbors will attempt to destabilize the country. Essentially we are putting off the inevitable, just like we did in Vietnam. Nixon said many of the same things that Bush is now saying; there will be a blood bath, all the sacrifice up till now will be for nothing, but in the end the end was a humiliation. I would have thought that the lessons of Vietnam and Afghanistan would have taught Bush something but I don't think he was paying any attention.

It's a bit like trying to keep a sinking ship afloat with pumps. At some point you will have to shut down the pumps and the ship will sink because the nature of water to continue to pour in. We can't change the underlying rules of politics, and those rules say that the US will not be allowed a sphere of influence in Iraq.

Posted by: captbilly | April 11, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

With my breath held I anxiously await President Obama's bringing as ethical of an end to this mess as can be... He is the only one with the nerve to admit this was a colossal mistake in the first place, but the integrity to admit we can't just abandom them without a strategic retreat.

Posted by: jencm | April 11, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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