Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In his column yesterday, Bob Herbert points out how the Republicans (namely Karl Rove) are trying to have it both ways: slam the Democrats for any talk of an Iraq withdrawal, but then to offer up such a plan of their own (see Sunday NY Times story) -- just in time for November elections. Let's see if the public is dumb enough to fall for this....

According to General George Casey's plan, the first set of troops to come home would occur in September. Note the timing: if it were to happen now, that would be too early offering little flow-over effect into November, and obviously they don't want it to occur post-elections, so September is perfect timing campaign-wise.

As Bob Herbert writes, "I wonder whether Americans will ever become fed up with the loathsome politicking, the fear-mongering, the dissembling and the gruesome incompetence of this crowd. From the Bush-Rove perspective, General Casey's plan is not a serious strategic proposal. It's a straw in the political wind."

Agreed, it's all about politics. There's no coincidence here. And make no mistake, despite General Casey stating the withdrawal plan is contingent on the perceived progress in Iraq, the first withdrawal will occur in September, come hell or high water. It will not be postponed even if U.S. soldiers were dying at an escalated rate by then.

As for making a judgment call on the progress in Iraq, who or what will be used to officially grade the level of progress when September rolls around? This administration has consistently criticized the MSM for not showing all the good news in Iraq, so apparently there's a disconnect and not a consensus on how things are going over there.

Again, it won't matter. This withdrawal is needed politically for the GOP and they will get it -- regardless of the fact, as Herbert writes, "there are real lives at stake."

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