Friday, July 20, 2007

Iraq: Forget About That September Report

The conclusion is already out there. They need more time.

WASHINGTON — The No. 2 U.S. general in Iraq said July 19 that it would be at least November before he could fully assess whether the military strategy in Iraq is working.

The Bush administration has urged Congress to wait until a report in September from Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker before considering a reduction of the 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, Petraeus’ deputy, told reporters at the Pentagon via video link from Baghdad that there had been “significant success in the security arena” in recent weeks but that September might be too soon to say with certainty whether the progress was “just a blip.”

“In order to do a good assessment, I need at least till November to do that,” Odierno said.

That's right. Just keep stalling while more people die.

And then tell everyone in October that you'll let them know in January. And from there, you still won't have had enough time so beg for patience until at least March. And on and on.

The WaPo has more.

"I will not present the Iraqi government as a model of smoothly functioning efficiency," Crocker said. "Because it's not. . . . The stresses and strains and tensions throughout society are reflected in the government." If he had to choose one word to sum up the atmosphere at every level in Iraq, he said, "that word would be 'fear.' " Replacing fear with "trust and confidence [is] what the process is all about."

If I had to choose one word to sum up the US congress' refusal to defund the war and bring their troops home, I'd use exactly the same word: "fear". Except, in that case, they're afraid for their political careers.

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