Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Growing Consensus on Iraq Withdrawal

Obama has shifted the Iraq war conversation from if to when and most everyone agrees, a timetable (or "horizon" if you're Bush or McCain) should be set.

U.K. Prime minister Gordon Brown agrees that the Iraq war needs to wind down. Nearly all of Europe's leaders agree. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki agrees.

Why is this concept of setting a withdrawal date so hard to understand?

Obama isn't going to leave the country in a lurch or a dangerous situation. He'll do what's right. If that means waiting longer than 16 months, then that's what will happen. But unless a strategy is set, nothing can be accomplished.

You can't begin to think about withdrawal until you set a vision and a plan for withdrawal. Bush McCain would rather just keep on bumbling on with no strategy whatsoever. 

They used to say setting a withdrawal date would give the "enemy" a clue that the U.S. was leaving, which they said could be dangerous. It was a bunch of phooey.  

Staying in Iraq may be more about saving face for Bush-McCain. They want that symbolism of "winning" -- whatever that means to them. They need to save face and somehow we have to let them for the sake of the troops and the Iraqis.

Obama, now in Israel:``If we responsibly end the war in Iraq, we can strengthen our military, step up our efforts to finish the fight against al- Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and succeed in leaving Iraq to a sovereign government that can take responsibility for its own future,'' Obama said today at a news conference in Amman, Jordan.

The Democratic presidential candidate, on a tour of the Middle East with two other senators before heading to Europe, said he wants a ``steady, deliberate'' pullout from Iraq. The plan would be flexible enough to respond to surges in violence that might occur during the withdrawal, he said.