July 18, 2008

What the hell is the difference?

So the White House issued a press release today discussing Bushie's recent talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. Apparently, everything is moving along nicely over there, but Bush reiterated his opposition to any time lines for troop withdrawals.

You can't win a war if you have an artificial timetable for withdrawal.... Artificial timetable for withdrawal send the wrong message to the Iraqis, they're seeing it's not worth it. There's a lot of Iraqis over there determined -- trying to make up their mind whether they want to be a part of democracy, or whether or not they're going to take to the hills and see what happens. Artificial timetable for withdrawal, an early withdrawal before this finishes sends the message to the enemy, we were right about America. That's what they said. Al Qaeda has said it's just a matter of time before America withdraws. They're weak, they're corrupt, they can't stand it, and they'll withdraw. And all that would do is confirm what the enemy thinks.
Oh wait, that was from 2006. Apparently, Bush has been doing some McCain-style flip-flopping. Time lines equal surrender and failure and scary things. But "horizons" for troop reductions are just awesome, simply the natural course of the super-successful surge.
In the area of security cooperation, the President and the Prime Minister agreed that improving conditions should allow for the agreements now under negotiation to include a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals -- such as the resumption of Iraqi security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.
Ok, so I have a question. I'm pretty sure that when Democrats (and other sentient beings) have called for a time line for troop withdrawals from Iraq, they we asking for something like "Down by 50% in 2 years, down to no more than 20,000 in 4 years, contingent on conditions permitting." I don't remember anyone credible demanding a time line which called for every single US service member to be outside of the Iraqi borders by June 10th, 2009 at 8 am, no exceptions. And my question is, what the hell is the difference between setting a time line, which according to Bush is tantamount to recasting the Statue of Liberty in Osama Bin Laden's image, and setting a horizon? They mean the same damn thing! They are both a tentative plan under which our leadership attempts to reduce the number of American forces in Iraq. From Obama's website:
The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.
Nothing about that plan even implies a "date-certain" deadline. Seems to be another example of the Bush/McCain strategy suddenly mirroring what Obama and other Democrats have been advocating for years.

Obviously the difference is the source. When Dems call for...well...anything, it is treason and betrayal, but if the Bush Cabal makes the same determination, its part of their carefully planned and patriotic vision for Victory.


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