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Posted by on Aug 24, 2007 in At TMV | 4 comments

(Updated) Today’s Iraq War Cold Shower Is Brought To You By . . .

01almaliki_syria.jpg

. . . the U.S. intelligence community and Senator John Warner.

As noted in previous posts here, the spooks have vetted a declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, only a small portion of which was released earlier in the month.

The report concludes that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki may not have the ability or capacity to “push forward” legislative reforms and states that improvements in the security situation, political system and economy are not likely unless there is a fundamental shift in governance.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not holding my breath.

I was gonna write about how this plays into President Bush’s current lip lock with the Vietnam War, but Kevin Drum beat me to the punch at Political Animal:

“So we can’t stay and we can’t leave. Terrific. What’s worse, we now have a president who’s officially decided to take history lessons from Rambo. Turns out we were this close to winning in Vietnam when the Defeatocrats decided to pull the plug. And with that, yet another longtime conservative fantasy makes its way out of the fever swamps and into the public discourse, where we’ll all be expected to stroke our chins and pretend to take it seriously for the next week or so.”

Click here to read a PDF version of the NIE.

Meanwhile, Warner is calling on the president to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq in time for Christmas.

The influential Virginia Republican’s declaration following a recent four-day trip to the Middle East further roils the political environment ahead of a much-anticipated progress report to be delivered on September 11 (!!!) by General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Although Warner had already broken with Bush’s strategy, this was the first time he endorsed pulling troops out by a specific date:

“I can think of no clearer form of that than if the president were to announce on the 15th that, in consultation with our senior military commanders, he’s decided to initiate the first step in a withdrawal of armed forces. I say to the president respectfully, ‘Pick whatever number you wish.’ . . . Say, 5,000 could begin to redeploy and be home to their families and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year. That’s the first step.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not holding my breath.

More here.

Meanwhile, in other sucky news for the Bush administration, the Los Angeles Times reports that General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is expected to advise the president to reduce U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, putting him on a collision course with the White House and Petraeus.

The reason for the recommendation: Keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military.

More here.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • hanginjohnny

    The fact that they chose 9-11 is no coincidence, and it burns me up to think that this administration wants to further rub our faces in his own fecal matter by using this date. This smacks of “Remember the Maine ” wag the dogism over and over and over. Our government , collectively, needs a reboot. A complete wipe and reinstall.

    but that will never happen, so we are well and truly f**ked.

  • stevesturm

    hanginjohnny: it would be nice if you had your facts in line before you started venting and foaming. Congress (which, if you didn’t know, is controlled by the Democrats) set 9/11 as the day, not Bush.

    here’s the link

    but what are facts when they get in the way of a good old fashioned temper tantrum, right?

  • casualobserver

    I don’t see the “news value” of the Pace quote………..

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    ‘Surge’ to recede in April

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. military plans to end the troop surge in Iraq by the spring of 2008.
    Officials said U.S. military commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus has been drafting a plan that envisions the end of the troop surge in Iraq around April 2008. They said the end of the operation would reduce the U.S. military presence from the current 162,000 to about 130,000.

    “The surge we know, as it is today, goes through April of ’08,” Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, said. “We believe at sometime around that time, we will begin to reduce our forces down to pre-surge levels, and we are building our plans accordingly.”

    For that matter, Entropy went through the brigade math here several days ago as well and came to the same conclusion.

  • hanginjohnny

    “Congress (which, if you didn’t know, is controlled by the Democrats) set 9/11 as the day, not Bush.”

    Well I stand corrected. Boo me for taking the bait, boo congress for setting it ( the date).

    Since it’s a personal issue, being an eyewitness survivor -I defend my right to vent and foam.

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