Pulling Out

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I think it’s a bad move. Sure, the military has certain conditions for pulling troops out, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been pressured by politicians to do it sooner rather than later.

In short, this smacks of politics:

WASHINGTON � Even as debate over the Iraq war continues to rage, signs are emerging of a convergence of opinion on how the Bush administration might begin to exit the conflict.

In a departure from previous statements, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week that the training of Iraqi soldiers had advanced so far that the current number of U.S. troops in the country probably would not be needed much longer.

President Bush will give a major speech Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in which aides say he is expected to herald the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for pulling out U.S. forces.

The administration’s pivot on the issue comes as the White House is seeking to relieve enormous pressure by war opponents. The camp includes liberals, moderates and old-line conservatives who are uneasy with the costly and uncertain nation-building effort.

It also follows agreement this week among Iraqi politicians that the U.S. troop presence ought to decrease. Meeting in Cairo, representatives of the three major ethnic and religious groups called for a U.S. withdrawal and recognized Iraqis’ “legitimate right of resistance” to foreign occupation. In private conversations, Iraqi officials discussed a possible two-year withdrawal period, analysts said.

The developments seemed to lay the groundwork for potentially large withdrawals in 2006 and 2007, consistent with scenarios outlined by Pentagon planners. The approach also tracks the thinking of some centrist Democrats, such as Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the senior representative of his party on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

John Cole from Balloon Juice has these thoughts

There is no chance in hell that the Iraqi army, who just got their first tank, and is undertrained and understaffed and underequipped, is prepared to take over operations. If they are, fine. But I have my doubts.

These are pretty much sentiments too. The Roveian way of doing things is to double the PR budget and forget about what’s right or wrong, because history is written by the winners.

My grave fear, though, is while we may seem like the winners to some right now, the Iraqis will end up losing so much.

Jeezus I hope our leaders are doing the right thing…