Hillary Clinton: Time to Withdraw
Hillary Clinton told ABC News that, in her opinion, the American people and Congress don’t believe that “this mission [Iraq] can work.” She added:
“And in the absence of a commitment that is backed up by actions from the Iraqi government, why should we believe it?”
“I’m skeptical that the Iraqi government will do what they have promised to do, and that I think is the concern of all of us who have heard this before. All the promises, and intentions in the world don’t substitute for action and we haven’t seen a lot of action.”
She described the situation as heartbreaking and she said that the U.S. should start withdrawing troops:
“That would really demonstrate to the Iraqis that we don’t have an open-ended commitment. We are not going to be here providing protection for their leaders, which we do. We are not going to be here standing by and trying to be called in from time to time as they see fit. That is not in the cards.”
I’m sure that quite some people will welcome this, new, view. If she wants to set herself up for 08, she has to do this. If she would not – and if she would not start criticizing Bush’s Iraq policies more outspokenly – she would hurt her own chances tremendously.
I’m quite sure that a lot of people will criticize her focus on the Iraqi government, instead of on Bush, to a degree, I agree with that. One could argue that Hillary makes it sound as if the Iraqi government is to blame for the current mess and that the U.S. has nothing to do with it. Although this is not true (see my own criticism regarding Bush’s policies in the past), what is true, is that the Iraqi government has – indeed – made a lot of errors.
Not unlike quite some people, I sometimes even wonder in how far al-Maliki wants to succeed. Or, perhaps better said, in how far al-Maliki’s kind of success is similar to that of, say, the U.S.