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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why am I not surprised?
Posted by Jill | 6:41 AM
The generals to whom George Bush actually listens have decided that U.S. presence is going to be needed in Iraq until the summer of 2009 -- six months after the man who lied us into a pointless, needless war goes back to clear brush full-time in Crawford, with his taxpayer-paid Secret Service detail by his side.

While Washington is mired in political debate over the future of Iraq, the American command here has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years.

The classified plan, which represents the coordinated strategy of the top American commander and the American ambassador, calls for restoring security in local areas, including Baghdad, by the summer of 2008. “Sustainable security” is to be established on a nationwide basis by the summer of 2009, according to American officials familiar with the document.

The detailed document, known as the Joint Campaign Plan, is an elaboration of the new strategy President Bush signaled in January when he decided to send five additional American combat brigades and other units to Iraq. That signaled a shift from the previous strategy, which emphasized transferring to Iraqis the responsibility for safeguarding their security.

That new approach put a premium on protecting the Iraqi population in Baghdad, on the theory that improved security would provide Iraqi political leaders with the breathing space they needed to try political reconciliation.

The latest plan, which covers a two-year period, does not explicitly address troop levels or withdrawal schedules. It anticipates a decline in American forces as the “surge” in troops runs its course later this year or in early 2008. But it nonetheless assumes continued American involvement to train soldiers, act as partners with Iraqi forces and fight terrorist groups in Iraq, American officials said.

In other words, a continued combat role as Americans try to police rival religious groups that have hated each other for centuries. And so the generals in Iraq move the goalposts yet again; long enough for Bush to get outta Dodge.

The only up side to all this is that because it is consistent with George Bush's lifetime pattern of screwing up everything he touches and then leaving the mess for someone else to clean up, it possibly reduces the likelihood of retention of power despite, or in place of, the 2008 elections. Of course Dick Cheney may have other ideas.

I would almost b


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