Troop Increases: I Told You So.
NeoProgBlog, Nov. 27, 2005: This Administration, in particular, had no and still has no intention of withdrawing substantial numbers of troops from Iraq [as they are promising]. They are still building 14 permanent bases on Iraq's sandy soil, and a permanent presence in Iraq -- to replace the airmen and other soldiers we pulled out of Saudi Arabia in capitulation to Osama bin Laden's demands and to secure a backup oil source in the event the Saudi royal family is overthrown -- is a key part of the neocon foreign policy and energy strategy. They will, of necessity, rotate exhausted, three-tour units home, but they will not willingly do more. If they do do more, it will be a capitulation to Congressional Republicans worried about their seats, and is not likely to last past next November. (Post: Bush Administration Claims Credit for Troop Reduction Plans.)
VichyDems (my other blog), Mar. 14, 2006: “President Bush vowed for the first time yesterday to turn over most of Iraq to newly trained Iraqi troops by the end of this year, setting a specific benchmark as he kicked off a fresh drive to reassure Americans alarmed by the recent burst of sectarian violence. Bush, who until now has resisted concrete timelines as the Iraq war dragged on longer than he expected, outlined the target in the first of a series of speeches intended to lay out his strategy for victory. While acknowledging grim developments on the ground, Bush declared "real progress" in standing up Iraqi forces capable of defending their nation.” [Quoting from and linking to the Washington Post]
I call bullshit. This is Nixonian politicking of the crassest, cruellest kind. The only troops coming home are those already due to do, some after two or three tours in-country. And after the election, forces “beyond his control” will force Bush to ramp troop levels back up.... [N]o serious, well-informed person actually believes that Iraq is anywhere close to self-sufficiency, or that Bush plans to bring our troops home soon. The only reason Bush is raising our soldiers’ and their families’ hopes is to bolster Republican chances in November. And raising false hope based on self-serving propaganda is a damnable thing to do, even for a Republican politician.... (Post:
Washington Post, December 19, 2006: "President Bush said today that he plans to expand the size of the U.S. military to meet the challenges of a long-term global war against terrorists, a response to warnings that sustained deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the armed forces to near the breaking point. In an interview with The Washington Post, Bush said he has instructed newly sworn-in Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to report back to him with a plan to increase ground forces. The president gave no estimates about how many troops may be added but indicated that he agreed with suggestions in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill that the current military is stretched too thin...."
Frankly, I wish I had been wrong a year ago, and that Bush had kept his promise. And I'm shocked, shocked that the MSM isn't pointing out Bush's "reduce troops by end of 2006" pledge... could it be they're not fair and balanced?
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