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Iraqis Call for US Troop Withdrawal, Mimicking Language Bush Used in January

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Paging the spin team! Paging the Iraq War spin team!

On Monday, Iraqi political leaders called on the US to set a timetable for withdrawal from the country.

What a quandary. When the Democrats ask for a timetable, conservatives know what to do: offer the empty spin that no one supports a “cut and run” policy. It doesn’t really matter if the Democrat is Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) asking for a quick withdrawal now, or Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who last year called for a gradual withdrawal — predicated on increased international responsibility and increased training of Iraqi security. The Bush Administration and their conservative friends know to call it “cut and run,” as if spin will somehow help the troops, end the insurgency, or bring Iraqi self-sufficiency.

But the Iraqis are not the Democrats. So what should the Bush Administration or its conservative friends do after Iraqi leaders — Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis — called for a timetable for the withdrawal of US-led forces in the country, mimicking language used by President Bush in an interview earlier this year with the New York Times.

That’s a lot harder to spin.

***

In January, Bush told the Times that if asked by the new Iraqi leadership, US forces would leave the country. To be fair, Bush told the correspondents — including Bush partisan Elisabeth Bumiller — that he expected Iraq’s first democratically elected leaders would want the troops to remain.

“(I)t seems like most of the leadership there understands that there will be a need for coalition troops at least until Iraqis are able to fight,” he said.

Now, the Iraqi leaders, including interim Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, are calling for a withdrawal timetable predicated on a trained Iraqi security force able to defend the country’s borders and end terror attacks. Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr suggested US-led forces should be able to leave Iraq by the end of next year.

When the Democrats called for withdrawal predicated on Iraqi self-sufficiency, conservatives labeled it “cut and run.” Now the Iraqis are making the same suggestion.

What will the spinmeisters do?

So far, it’s hard to find anyone in the Bush Administration commenting on the Iraqi statement. But one friend of the administration was quick to comment. Ahmed Chalabi, Iraq’s deputy prime minister and key source of flawed pre-war “intelligence,” said the Iraqi withdrawal request “does not reflect the wishes of the Iraqi people.”

Of course, the same has been said of Chalabi.

***

This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • ROBO

    I hope we can bring home the women and men in uniform home sooner than later. I could give a shit about Iraq or it’s people. I wish America could start taking care of the DOMESTIC problems we face and be less involved overseas.

  • Dan

    Bush’s plan all along has been: When the Iraqi’s stand up, we stand down. Sounds like the Iraqi’s are intent on standing up. It’s called success.

    Of course, the Sunni’s don’t like the erosion of their monopoly of power but they, like the Democrats here at home, will have to get used to it.

    “The statement recognized that goal,” (Bush’s goal) “but did not lay down a specific time – reflecting instead the government’s stance that Iraqi security forces must be built up first.”

    There won’t be a cowardly “immediate withdrawal” of U.S. troops from Iraq as Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., called for, but a more sane, stabilizing pull back. Just as it’s been planned for by the Bush administration.

  • Bliffle

    The neocons have no intention of Iraqi self-rule. The ‘standup standdown’ argument is just this months dodge to retain a stranglehold on Iraq, and, incidentally, the US (notice that every neocon solution to ‘terrorism’ is a diminuation of US civil rights; in fact their solution to everything, even Katrina, is an infringement of civil rights).

    The neocons are simply those menaces of every family: Control Freaks. They used to masquerade as democrats when they imagined the One World Dreams of the UN promoters or the Communists would serve their purposes, but as those institutions failed they switched to the hungry republicans, who seemed willing to accept anyone who would mouth a few homilies about welfare and Nationalism. Of course, they are still a menace, if for no other reason than continuing to think that they know What Is Best For Everyone. Don’t they remind you of that snoopy domineering aunt who wanted to know what was going on in everyones bedroom and knew exactly what everyone should do?

    Remember: They hate our freedom.

  • td

    The real issue here is the difference between what the Bush Administration and the interim Iraqi government consider a “force able to defend the country’s borders and end terror attacks”.

    Bush will only draw out troops if he feels the current administration is secure enough that it does not have to bend to the demands of the fundamentalists. Unfortunately, at current training rates this could take years.

    On the other hand the interim government would most likely be happy to appease the fundamentalists and exclude US envolvment if it allows them to retain political power over the long term.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com david r. mark

    I go back to the basic point of spin. When the Democrats called for a gradual withdrawal, based on Iraqi self-sufficiency, it was labeled “cut and run.” Some people actually made their presidential selection based on that kind of empty conservative spin.

    After the election, Bush says we should have gradual withdrawal as Iraqis are self-sufficient. Now the Iraqis are saying it. How ironic …

  • Nancy

    The BushCo spin, as mouthed by Condi Rice (Dubya’s other wife?) is that gee, they were just about to tell everyone that in their estimation the Iraqis were doing SO well, we can afford to maybe start reducing troops by 50,000 or so by next year, etc. etc. yadda yadda ad nauseam. Not exactly what they were saying last Friday, what?