Sunday, June 25, 2006


By Creature

Did the Iraq PM blink in the face of Bush administration pressure? First, here is today's news out of Iraq:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered an olive branch to insurgents who join in rebuilding Iraq and said Sunday that lawmakers should set a timeline for the Iraqi military and police to take control of security nationwide.

There was no mention of any timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in Iraq. [emphasis mine]

Now, just yesterday, this is how Newsweek (who obtained a draft of the prime minister's reconciliation plan) reported on the timetable debate:

The plan also calls for a withdrawal timetable for coalition forces from Iraq, but it doesn't specify an actual dateā€”one of the Sunnis' key demands. It calls for "the necessity of agreeing on a timetable under conditions that take into account the formation of Iraqi armed forces so as to guarantee Iraq's security," [emphasis still mine]

So I ask you, did the sovereign government of Iraq fold under United States pressure and remove any direct timetable language from their reconciliation plane? Looks like it to me. And you know what's really sad? A timetable would help to lift some of the pressure off Prime Minister Maliki and his fledging government. A timetable would help Maliki in his dealing with the Sunni insurgents. A timetable would help him convince the country as a whole that there can be a face-saving end to the American occupation. The only group a timetable hurts, however, is the Bush administration and their rabid political base, who, for two weeks, used the concept of a timetable to beat the Democrats into the ground as cut-and-run cowards. Can't call for a timetable now. Why? Partisan politics and hubris.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, a timetable really is a possibility. Says who? The Pentagon.

For more timetable and troop withdrawal talk, please follow these links to folks who are much more knowledgeable than I: Informed Comment, Needlenose, The Left Coaster (who took the words right out of my mouth as I was writing them, except much better), Greg Sargent, and the BooMan.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home