Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bush general plans to cut and run

Today's NY Times:
WASHINGTON, June 24 — The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in the United States military presence there by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, American officials say.

According to a classified briefing at the Pentagon this week by the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the number of American combat brigades in Iraq is projected to decrease to 5 or 6 from the current level of 14 by December 2007.
What a coincidence -- just before the November mid-term elections, where Republicans are in danger of getting their butts kicked, in no small part because of voter unhappiness over the mess in Iraq.

Watch the same Republican pols who condemned Democrats this week for wanting to withdraw troops from Iraq, calling them cowards who wanted to "cut and run," hurry to switch over and support this new administration plan -- which basically amounts to the plan most Dems supported, and which all but one Republican Senator just voted against.

That was the Levin-Reed amendment, which called to begin reducing US forces by December, in a phased redeployment, at a pace determined by US commanders on the ground, and tied to progress in Iraqis taking more responsibility for their own security. It sounds very much like Casey's idea, but the GOP called it "cut and run."

But let's be clear. What Casey proposes is not really cut and run, any more than that was the Democrat proposal. It's more like slice and run, prolonging the inevitable day when American troops are finally gone.

Let's also be cautious and remember that Richard Nixon used the same technique, with small pre-election troop withdrawals followed by war as usual once the election was past.

If Bush's general really wants to get us out of Iraq, starting in September, let's take him up on it.

Democrats should introduce a new resolution next week and call it the General Casey plan. Maybe it'll pass this time.

UPDATE: It would appear that the Republican National Committee, which went ballistic after Sen. Russ Feingold's "Meet the Press" appearance today, hadn't read the NY Times.

UPDATE 2: Cory Liebmann on One Blog: GOP tries to have it both ways.

FEINGOLD ON MEET THE PRESS: Review, transcript, or video here.


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