Skip to comments.Democrats assail Bush over troop cut plan
Posted on 09/13/2007 5:09:49 AM PDT by Brilliant
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Opposition Democrats assailed President George W. Bush's tentative plan to withdraw up to 30,000 US troops from Iraq by next July even before he announced it Thursday.
Bush will make a 15-minute, televised address on Thursday night saying he could bring force levels back to where they were in December 2006 if the conditions are right.
A senior aide said that the president would closely follow the strategy laid out by the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, which would end the military "surge" ordered in January.
That would leave roughly 130,000 US troops in Iraq about six months before Bush -- who has cited the half-century US presence in South Korea as a possible model for Iraq -- hands the White House keys to his successor.
With the war-weary US public largely in favor of a withdrawal from the strife-torn country, it was unclear whether Bush's announcement would take some pressure off his Republican allies ahead of the November 2008 elections.
Under heavy fire from Democrats who want a swifter end to the conflict, the White House insisted it saw progress in Iraq on the security and political fronts but flatly refused to even hint at when the conflict would be over.
"You don't know when the war's going to end because you don't know when the war's going to end -- you don't have a crystal ball," Bush spokesman Tony Snow told reporters.
Bush's speech is to start at 9:00 pm (Friday 0100 GMT).
A top White House official who asked not to be named said that Bush would say that "all draw-downs will be based on the conditions on the ground" and that the withdrawal, to be completed in July 2008, could start this month.
Democrats were having none of it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the decision not to replace some 30,000 troops when they are rotated out "neither a drawdown nor the change in mission we need."
"It appears the president is dug in," Reid said, calling Bush's plan "more of the same."
"This is unacceptable to me. It is unacceptable to the American people," said Reid, who vowed to craft legislation this month "that changes the mission in Iraq and begins a true redeployment of our troops."
On the campaign trail, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama demanded a withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq by late 2008 -- and used a new war plan as a prism to attack his top rival, fellow Senator Hillary Clinton.
"Unfortunately, conventional thinking in Washington lined up for the war," the senator said in remarks not specifically mentioning Clinton, but targeting the Washington political class of which she is a leading member.
Turning to the Bush administration's strategy, Obama warned "the bar for success is so low that it is almost buried in the sand."
But some Republicans saw a possible breach in the Democrats' drive to bring troops home faster following Petraeus' upbeat report on the surge.
"I think that Democratic colleagues invested their political capital all year in failure in Iraq," said House Republican minority leader John Boehner in a conference call with reporters just after arriving in Iraq.
"Now we are having success in Iraq, and hopefully continue to have success in Iraq, I don't think they have any place to go."
Over the past 10 days, including during a surprise trip to Iraq, Bush has said that the surge he ordered in January has paid off in progress on the political and security fronts, while warning that a withdrawal now would have cataclysmic repercussions.
"It's a success story," the White House spokesman said of the "surge."
White House aides acknowledge that the strategy has not yielded what Bush identified as a central goal: passage by Iraq's parliament of legislation seen as key to fostering national unity and quelling sectarian violence.
Snow said the effort was unlikely to meet the only precise timetable Bush laid out in January, of giving Iraq's fledgling security forces control of their entire strife-torn country by November 1.
"No, it's not going to be ready by November 1st," said the spokesman. "It's moving in the right direction, but a lot of these things do take a long period of time."
But US patience with the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,700 US soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis since the March 2003 US-led invasion while costing hundreds of billions of dollars, is running short.
According to a poll by ABC News and the Washington Post, 55 percent of Americans want to see troops come home by early next year.
Of course, they were in favor of the surge before the were opposed to it, so I leave you to figure out what they really want.
They are opposed to anything that works if Bush gets credit. Only bad news for America is good news for the Defeat and Appeasement buffoons in Congress, of both parties.
Most Demos have become traitors
Weary of LSM one-sided reporting perhaps.
...largely in favor of a withdrawal...
Largely in favor of winning before leaving.
...from the strife-torn country, it was unclear whether Bush's announcement (could be spun as a demonrat victory)
would take some pressure off his Republican allies ahead of the November 2008 elections.
Typical Dems. Don’t do what they want, they attack you for it. Do what they want, they attack you for it. Why would anyone even bother trying to make them happy?
Translation: Democrats create conditions for Iraq defeat so they can blame the president for the defeat in the election of 2008.
Teasonous POSs, are the Dems!
Reid, Murtha, Pelosi, Clinton, and Schumer should be put in stocks outside the capitol building.
“the bar for success is so low that it is almost buried in the sand.” Obama
I guess someone like Obama who will also bring free healthcare to America would set higher standards in Iraq. Just babling about some nonsense, appealing to peoples emotions and offering no real soultions to anything is not what defines leadership. The trash coming out of this guys mouth is comical.
Democrats in September:
"We demand all troops come home, even if the surge is working!
Of course, the MSM will never emphasize this fact. Hypocrisy.