Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Not a Good Idea Until it's YOUR Idea.

The Washington Post reports:

Democrats Cite Report On Troop Cuts in Iraq: "Senate Democrats reacted angrily yesterday to a report that the U.S. commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying to set a timetable for withdrawal."
As you may recall, the Republicans (from Karl Rove to Members of the House) have lambasted the idea that we should set a timetable to pull out of Iraq. This little GOP nugget goes something like this: if we have a deadline, then the bad guys will know and wait until we're gone to attack. The problem with this logic is that it assumes we DO have some endgame-withdrawal plan, then we have to keep it a secret. as if we'll magically move 135,000 troops and equipment out overnight and they'll be none-the-wiser. What they're really saying is: We can't have a PLAN or someone will find out and foil it...so lets not formulate a plan.

Think about the President's and Donald Rumsfeld's comments over the last few years. Never being able to give you a specific path to a goal, just listing general goals that read like pleasantries. "A peaceful Iraq." "As they stand up, we'll stand down." Of course, there's no discussion of a step by step process to achieve this standing down i hear so much about. I'm not even talking only about training here. Rumsfeld has offered budgets each year that have been so wildly off that anyone with such a poor 'guess' would have been fired by now. His common thread is that 'we can't give you an exact figure'. That's fine. that's understandible. the problem is when the real number is DOUBLE your best guess, there's a problem. Either you have no real notion of what you're doing with the military you've been given, or you're just lying to us to make the number look lower than it really is. The problem with number two is that we DO know a few months later when we have to pass a supplimental funding bill to keep Iraq afloat (of course it helps to alternate the $$ request with the latest tax cut request...makes it seem less idiotic).

We have to have a plan to leave Iraq and it must have an estimated end date. The military knows this. Some of our politicians know this. The Iraqis are going to have to be able to stand against those from within that would break their country in pieces. having an end date doesn't defeat them. Having not completed proper training with the responsibility of a deadline is what will defeat them. I don't mind tossing a fixed date (whenever that might be) if the president and the GOP had a better plan to move us along. They don't, because 'don't cut and run' isn't a plan. it's the last flailing insult from men who are out of ideas and are afraid all the world knows it.

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