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Tilting at Windmills

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November 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

"A TONAL SHIFT"....This pisses me off:

As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.

....Lately, as the killing in Baghdad and other areas has declined, the Democratic candidates have been dwelling less on the results of the troop escalation than on the lack of new government accords in Iraq — a tonal shift from last summer and fall when American military commanders were preparing to testify before Congress asking for more time to allow the surge to show results.

A "tonal shift"? Is this code for "they're saying the same thing as always but there's not much of a story in that"?

Look, if Patrick Healy has some actual evidence that Democrats weren't talking about political progress earlier this year but they are now, then fine. It's a legitimate story. But if he doesn't have any such evidence — and I suspect he doesn't since there's not even a hint of it in the story itself — then he should knock off the tonal analysis and stick to journalism.

Political progress has always been the justification for the surge. When he announced it last January, President Bush explicitly said that the point of reducing violence in Baghdad was to give the Iraqi government "breathing space" to move ahead with political reconciliation. Political progress wasn't just a fringe benefit, it was the whole purpose of the surge: "If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises," he said, "it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people."

The reduction in violence in Iraq is great news. But it's not a "shift" to say that political reconciliation has always been the real goal of the surge. It has always been the real goal of the surge.

Kevin Drum 1:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (58)

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Comments

Welcome to the TCVPOP (The Club of Very Pissed Off People).

And congratulations for being the target of the most deranged commentator ever, as in the first post.

Posted by: gregor on November 25, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Oops. For the record, I was not referring to my own comment but to a long rant that has been obviously, correctly and mercifully, deleted.

Posted by: gregor on November 25, 2007 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

ooh, i want to see the deranged post.

Posted by: ftp on November 25, 2007 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

Why bother trying to confuse the issue with facts when the people you're arguing with absolutely and positively have nothing but contempt for reality?

We invaded Iraq because it attacked us on 9/11. Or rather because Saddam was in league with al Qaida. Or at least had some ties to al Qaida. Okay, but they did have WMDs. No? Well, it doesn't matter, we went in to bring Democracy to the region. Or at least Iraq. Well, maybe not Democracy so much as political stability. Would you believe we invaded to achieve an acceptable level of sectarian violence and a political solution just shy of outright civil war? See, Mission Accomplished.

Besides, we wouldn't be losing this war if it weren't for the Democrats and all of their defeatist talk - because that's what really drives these people to kill: the talking points of Democratic politicians (not Republicans - never Republicans - they can do no wrong, ever. Oh sure, a Republican might "underwhelm" another Republican, but that's about as bad as it ever gets).

It doesn't matter what Democrats said in the past or are saying today - we get it already: Democrats are always wrong, they're always hurting the war effort.

Are there any sane and something less than thoroughly corrupt, dishonest and despicable Republicans out there who are actually willing to have a rational discussion on the merits about what is best for our nation, our soldiers, and the people of Iraq?

Huckabee seems like a good man but it's hard not to question his sanity (or at least seriousness) after he made political commercials based on Chuck Norris jokes.

Posted by: Augustus on November 25, 2007 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Bush Supprters and the Right Wing echo chamber will champion any dip in violence as a vindication not only of the "Surge" but of the invasion of Iraq itself, and will use it to say "I told you so" and that those who challenged the invasion were "wrong about Iraq."

Unfortunately, the press, including MSM outlets like the Washington Post, CNN etc. will just trumpet this sentiment without looking at the Big Picture and asking questions like:

1. Does the fact that violence is down in Baghdad or Anbar or some other Iraqi province prove that the American invasion will provide Iraq with a real working democracy?

2. Does this justify losing thousands of lives, and the permanent injuries suffered by tens of thousands of young Americans over the past 4.5 years?

3. Does this justify the fact that the Bush Administration lied and trumped up justifications for invading Iraq at a cost that we will be paying for generations?

3. Does a dip in violence in this Iraqi province or that Iraqi city over the past few months make spending a trillion dollars in Iraq over the past 4 years worth it?

4. Does this make it okay that Blackwater murders Iraqis with impunity or that companies like Halliburton are profiteering illegally from the war?

5. Does this mean that America/the Bush Administration can now torture anybody it feels like?

6. Do we now forget that numerous members of the Bush Administration (not to menton their apologists in the media and elsewhere) lied about how much this war would cost in lives and treasure?

7. Does it really matter to folks like me living in Chicago, or Detroit, or Laredo, or anywhere else in America, what happens on a day to day basis in Anbar, Baghdad, Tikrit, or anywhere else in Iraq?

8. If the Bushies are claiming that Al Qaeda in Iraq is no vanquished, how is it than Al Qaeda got into Iraq in the first place?

9. Why is the price of oil up 300-400% since Bush Co, decided to Iraq (after they said that the flow and price of oil was a good reason to invade) and who cares that pro-Bush oil companies have enjoyed obscene profits since the invasion?

If anybody sees or hears about the MSM greeting the recent news of lower violence in Iraq with such questions, please let us know.

Posted by: John Bentley on November 25, 2007 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK


When we hear "reduction in violence" we should react as we would to hearing "new and improved": we should promptly ask, "Compared to what?"

Saddam was an evil dictator who killed a lot of people. But is it certain, or even likely, that more Iraquis would have been killed in the last 56 months if the US had _not_ invaded Iraq? Even assuming that the average Baghdadi enjoys more "freedom" today than before the invasion, does it matter that some Baghdadis are currently enjoying only the freedom of the grave? In the cosmic calculus of suffering, does it matter that there are _fewer_ Iraquis today to enjoy whatever extra freedom there is to go around?

-- TP

Posted by: Tony P. on November 25, 2007 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

My irony meter has been through too much, I had to manually determine which side Augustus' post was on.

Please, people, won't someone think of the irony meters?

Posted by: anonymous on November 25, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

This is really kinda cool - I read the article Kevin linked and another one as soon as the Times posted tomorrows stories to the website. I used the other one as the source for my pissed-off rant, but we both dug up the January 10 presidential address.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted --Mod]

Posted by: The Objective Historian7 on November 25, 2007 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted --Mod]

Posted by: The Objective Historian7 on November 25, 2007 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

And as Blue Girl, Red State writes; the comments are the worse generally for it [Obtuse Histrionic]

Again - I have never said any such thing. I said that I on occasion get a chuckle from your delusional wingnuttery. But I applaud deleting your delusional ranting.

Hell, your choice of handle tells me all I need to know about you - you are a moron - history is anything but objective you jackass, being written by the victors and all.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 4:03 AM | PERMALINK

The Obstructive Hysteria: "Watch, they'll delete this, too ..."

Then why don't you finally take that as a fuckin' hint, bimbo?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 25, 2007 at 4:12 AM | PERMALINK

This indicates disappointment at having not been able to read my comments

Sarcasm meter broken? I think you are a joke, and I was making fun of you. Get it? Jesus you are pathetic.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

Because rolling over you like a freight train intellectually is fun for me.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I don't think you could intellectually roll over the retarded kid with the crossbow from Beyond Thunderdome.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 4:18 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted --Mod]

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 25, 2007 at 4:24 AM | PERMALINK

daveinboca: "I think The Objective Historian is correct ..."

Excuse me, but you must have mistaken all of us here for Democrats who actually give a shit about what right-wing clowns like you actually think. Why don't you try the DLC? They open at 8:30am Monday.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 25, 2007 at 4:40 AM | PERMALINK

[TOH, I have the IP's. --Mod]

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 25, 2007 at 5:10 AM | PERMALINK

[TOH, I have the IP's --Mod]

Posted by: -TP on November 25, 2007 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

[I have the IP's, TOH]

Posted by: Augustus on November 25, 2007 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted --Mod]

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 25, 2007 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted, TOH]

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 25, 2007 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted, TOH]

Posted by: Moderator - Sycophant on November 25, 2007 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted TOH]

Posted by: Obama08 on November 25, 2007 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted, TOH]

Posted by: Sunrise on New Day on November 25, 2007 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think there is any claim that Democrats weren't talking about political progress. More, the claim is that the number of words uttered on the bombings has declined relative to the number of words uttered about political progress.

In other words, often people talk more about the most dramatic and obvious aspects of an issue, even if there is some other dominating ultimate goal.

Posted by: Anon on November 25, 2007 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

The Surge triumphalism will not survive the first month in which US deaths go back to 60-70.

Posted by: bob h on November 25, 2007 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know about any "tonal shift", but the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks Americans are morally sick people, who use violence to feel better temporarily, like after 9-11, and that they economically exploit conquered areas like Iraq. I can’t say that I disagree with him – can you?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 25, 2007 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

[Deleted]

Posted by: Algore on November 25, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Political progress" sounds great, but might actually be horrible, depending on actual facts.

Journalistic mush is a deadly enemy of democracy.

Posted by: ferd on November 25, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

A decline in killing is rarely a bad thing, though. Get the killing stopped, then wheel and deal your butt off.

Posted by: ferd on November 25, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

He coodinated his story with Chuck Kraumthauer's attempted capping of Pelosi-- putrid, tired and weak Neocon drum beat propaganda

Posted by: lars on November 25, 2007 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

The turnaround meme will now be pushed to put the Democrats on the defensive for the election. The Republicans, as usual, will suggest the debate and the press, as usual, will host the Republican platform. It doesn’t matter if the dip in violence, a dubious metric probably based in distortions, is unrelated to real progress, or strategic pacification, or to political reconciliation. It doesn’t matter if it is due to foreign troop withdrawal or tenuous regional deals, or anything substantive at all. All quiet on the western front did not mean Hitler would win the war.

The problem with the war in Iraq is that there is no long term goal besides the installation of a weak and compliant puppet regime. The Iraqis will have none of it. Everyone else in the world has realized the futility of the occupation except the ambitious and deluded ideologues in the White House. They will be gone soon enough.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 25, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Erm. When did this new moderation policy go into effect?

What was wrong with the old one?

Posted by: Model 62 on November 25, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats lost this debate back in September when they allowed Petraeus to become the focus of the hearings (i.e., the military side) and not Crocker (i.e., the political side). They lost it from January through September when they allowed the focus to be on the military and not the political side. They could have hammered the lack of political movement in Iraq every day for months, but they didn't do it.

I hate blaming Democrats for our problems in Iraq, because it was always clear that no matter what Bush was going to keep over 100,000 soldiers in Iraq, but in this case they just simply clearly totally blew it.

Now it's too late to whine about the lack of political reconciliation in Iraq. It sounds too much like moving the goalposts. So the only thing Democrats can do now is keep their mouths shut and wait for 2009. Sucks, but that's the way it is. Next time, folks, try to be smarter.

Posted by: santamonicamr on November 25, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Nice post, santamonicamr. I admire your realism.

The other thing some could do is simply apologize. Harry Reid could apologize for announcing that the surge had failed before it even began. MoveOn could withdraw their claim that Gen. Petraeus was betraying the country. Hillary could apologize for implying that Petraeus was a liar, as could Daily Kos. The New York Times could apologize for holding back on the military turnaround, then underplaying its magnitude.

None of us is always correct. An admission of error would show more grace than an unconvincing excuse.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 25, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

The NYT also reports that the surge has worked so well that the Bush regime has scaled back its goals in Iraq, to things that are already happening anyway. U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity

Posted by: AJ on November 25, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

The important story is not shifting tones among democrats but changing goals among republicans.....

U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity
By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Published: November 25, 2007
WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 — With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.....


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/washington/25policy.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1196007459-2J32umovOANySqBnk0BN1Q

Posted by: JerseyMissouri on November 25, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

None of us is always correct. An admission of error would show more grace than an unconvincing excuse.

I really think the side of "with us or against us" should start this ball rolling.

Posted by: craigie on November 25, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

None of us is always correct. An admission of error would show more grace than an unconvincing excuse.

Lead the way, you warmongering chickenhawk.

Harry Reid could apologize for announcing that the surge had failed before it even began.

It was a doomed strategy from the get-go. And Sadr's militia stood down and rested up while the unsustainable increase in troops ran it's course.

MoveOn could withdraw their claim that Gen. Petraeus was betraying the country.

MoveOn echoed what the troops in his command said first. You might be "star struck" but a whole lot of people aren't, and Petraeus is an ass-kissing little chickenshit. That is according to his boss. 3

Hillary could apologize for implying that Petraeus was a liar, as could Daily Kos.

Why? He peddled a line that is not grounded in reality.

The New York Times could apologize for holding back on the military turnaround, then underplaying its magnitude.

The NYT should apologize, but not for that. They should apologize for giving Judith Iscariot Miller a platform to get the war started in the first place.

You should apologize for being a bloodthirsty chickenhawk who supports an illegal war. You should apologize for being a pissing coward and a lousy American who has no problem with trashing the Constitution that you might have an illusion of increased safety in your suburban enclave.

You should apologize for being a tool and backing this illegal war in the first place.

If I had three wishes, one would be that you and aWol and Cheney wake up in that hell you have created tomorrow morning. Or burst into flames spontaneously. Whatever it takes to wake your ass up to your wrong-headed warmongering ways.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 25, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with the war in Iraq is that there is no long term goal besides the installation of a weak and compliant puppet regime.

The goal is indeed a weak and compliant puppet regime, but not in Iraq.

The Iraq escapade is, take your pick, either the world's most expensive campaign commercial, or a second American civil-war-by-proxy.

It is a war about what this country is, and means, and does.

Eliminating effective, organized domestic opposition in this country to the Glorious Revolution -- not oil per se, not democracy, not WMD's, not human rights, not even revenge for 9/11 -- was the goal of the operation.

The opportunity to write the tax code, craft the regulatory environment, determine fiscal and monetary policy, and appoint the judges in this country deep into the new century would be worth nearly any expenditure of blood and treasure. The ability to deploy the vastly increased police powers of the unitary executive against opponents could make such a victory permanent.

A smart criminal buys out a security firm, or suborns the accountants.

A really smart criminal doesn't rob banks, he simply writes larceny out of the statute books, or repeals the statute of fraud.

Cheney and company sought an opportunity to to do a Mulroney on the Democratic party, and they needed a war to do it.. A war was necessary -- this particular war was convenient.

It might still work. The Democrats don't seem to be interested in stopping the process.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 25, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

"Harry Reid could apologize for announcing that the surge had failed before it even began."

Why? He was right. Measured by the criteria for success of the surge provided by the Bush Administration, it has been a failure.

"MoveOn could withdraw their claim that Gen. Petraeus was betraying the country."

Why, They were right. By prolonging the US military occupation of Iraq, Petraeus was betraying US national interests.

"The New York Times could apologize for holding back on the military turnaround, then underplaying its magnitude."

Why? There is no evidence for a "miliatry turnarond" in Iraq. There is only a lull in the civil war, which will resume in earnest as the inevitable and necessary US troop drawdown commences.

It is you, "ex-liberal," who should apologize: for such a trite and easily fisked post. Smarter trolls, please.

Posted by: Joel on November 25, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Now it's too late to whine about the lack of political reconciliation in Iraq. It sounds too much like moving the goalposts.

Um, no, political reconciliation *was* the goalpost. That was the entire point of the Surge -- and of Kevin's post. It's really not that complicated.

Posted by: junebug on November 25, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick Healey is just another corporate media tool, smugly above it all. He is notoriously content free in the manner of Dowd, Collins, Seeley, Matthews, Russert, Williams and the other media Heathers. It is a shame that American political discourse is conducted at these hacks who tout the horse race and spin is everything and policy nothing simply because their own ability to comprehend is so limited.

….None of us is always correct….ex-lax at 11:09 AM

You could start by recognizing the situation in Iraq and apologizing for the crap from Michael Yon that you pimp.

Posted by: Mike on November 25, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush has defined victory as "an Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country."

Posted by: croatoan on November 25, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

While people are saying the surge worked, so far with over 800 Americans dead this year, it is the deadliest year of the war and there are still five weeks to go.

Posted by: Mazurka on November 25, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: Patrick Healey is just another corporate media tool...

Amen to that!

Healey should have read his own newspaper to realize the stated purpose of the surge and whether those goals were being met or have been met rather pen his partisan-laced, innuendo-driven drivel.

And just who has shifted the goalposts according to Healey's own employer?

The troop increase was meant to create conditions that could lead from improved security in Baghdad to national reconciliation to a strong central government to American military withdrawal. In recent weeks, President Bush and his commanders have shifted their emphasis to new alliances with tribal leaders that have improved security in Diyala Province, the Sunni Triangle and other Sunni areas, most notably Anbar Province.
That area, not Baghdad, was the one Mr. Bush conspicuously chose to visit this week.
But when he announced on Jan. 10 his plan to add 20,000 to 30,000 troops to Iraq, Mr. Bush emphasized that Baghdad was the linchpin for creating a stable Iraq. With less fear of death in the capital, “Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas,” he said.
That has not happened. More than 160,000 American troops are now in Iraq to help secure 25 million people. Across Baghdad — which undoubtedly remains a crucial barometer — American and Iraqi forces have moved closer to the population, out of giant bases and into 29 joint security stations. But even as some neighborhoods have improved, others have worsened as fighters moved to areas with fewer American troops.
Lt. Col. Steven M. Miska, deputy commander of a brigade of the First Infantry Division that is charged with controlling northwest Baghdad, said, “We’ve done everything we can militarily.”
He added, “I think we have essentially stalled the sectarian conflict without addressing the underlying grievances.”
Sunnis and Shiites still fear each other. At the top levels of the government and in the sweltering neighborhoods of Baghdad, hatreds are festering, not healing.
The political standoff identified by this week’s Government Accountability Office report can be found not just in the halls of Parliament. The distrust and obstinacy start in the streets.
Dealing with intermittent electricity, few jobs, widespread corruption and fresh memories of unspeakable horrors, Iraqis of all sects are scrambling for power, for control.
Plenty more at the link.

Healey is such a tool.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

croatoan@12:56

Shouldn't we practice up by doing that at home first, before we try to export an untested product? Just look at the liability issues we have to face now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Healy is the nattering knucklehead that tried to figure out the frequency of the Clinton's *ahem* marital relations by analyzing their travel schedules.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

If the surge is such a fucking success, then why did Gen. Petraeus say that the U.S. will need to occupy Iraq for the next 10 years?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah! What A-13 said!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole...

We were attacked by bin Laden and have failed to exact retribution. Conclusion: failure.

Drain the swamp neocon strategy: failure. Iraq is not a shining city on the hill. Military campaign bogged down in Iraq before the neocons could invade Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Multi-trillion dollar fiasco that hardened Moslem antipathy against the US worldwide.

Bush attempt to limit the debate to the surge: somewhat successful.

Posted by: Luther on November 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

If Healey were a journalist and not a tool, he could have found that the premise of his assertion is false.

Here's one example and I am confident I can find more with a bit more Googling...

July 19, 2007, Press Release

BIDEN to CROCKER: 'Given Lack of Political Progress in Iraq Since Surge Began - What Gives You Confidence We Will See Progress by September?'

Washington, DC – At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today on Iraq, Chairman Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) pressed the United States Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker on the lack of political progress in Iraq....

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Blue Girl.

Isn't that ALSO the question the Democrats should be asking?!

Isn't that ALSO the question that our worthless press corpse should be asking?

Why the hell is it necessary to occupy Iraq for the next 10 years?

Can someone answer that question?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. This has been another edition of SATSQ...h/t atrios...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 25, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Here's your tonal shift:

"With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

"Instead, administration officials say they are focusing their immediate efforts on several more limited but achievable goals in the hope of convincing Iraqis, foreign governments and Americans that progress is being made toward the political breakthroughs that the military campaign of the past 10 months was supposed to promote.

"The short-term American targets include passage of a $48 billion Iraqi budget, something the Iraqis say they are on their way to doing anyway; renewing the United Nations mandate that authorizes an American presence in the country, which the Iraqis have done repeatedly before; and passing legislation to allow thousands of Baath Party members from Saddam Hussein’s era to rejoin the government. A senior Bush administration official described that goal as largely symbolic since rehirings have been quietly taking place already."

Less rock, more talk. That's my president. Of course, it's not at all clear that these reporters can be trusted, as they haven't gone out of their way to blame a single Democrat for any of this.

Posted by: junebug on November 25, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Jeso Pete! Healey ought to read his own newspaper from today?

U.S. Scales Back Political Goals in Iraq
By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Published: November 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 — With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections....
...The White House has been elated by the drop in violence since the increase in American forces, now 162,000 troops. Public comments by President Bush and his aides, though, have been muted, reflecting frustration at the lack of political progress, a continuation of a pattern in which intense American efforts to promote broader reconciliation have proved largely fruitless.
There have been signs that American influence over Iraqi politics is dwindling after the recent improvements in security — which remain incomplete, as shown by a deadly bombing Friday in Baghdad. While Bush officials once said they aimed to secure “reconciliation” among Iraq’s deeply divided religious, ethnic and sectarian groups, some officials now refer to their goal as “accommodation.”
Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert!

From ThinkProgress
Posted by Judd January 3, 2007 10:02 am

WILLIAMS: First, NBC News pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski has learned that President Bush is prepared to announce a strategy of surge and accelerate in Iraq, which would involve some 20,000 additional American troops being sent to Iraq. Jim is with us from the Pentagon with more on this tonight. Jim. Good evening.
MIKLASZEWSKI: Good evening, Brian. Administration officials told us today that President Bush has now all but decided to surge those additional troops into Baghdad to try to control over the violence there and only then could they accelerate the turnover of territory to Iraqi security forces. Fact is they’re not up to the task yet. The plan would also throw more U.S. money at Iraq for reconstruction and a jobs program. Interestingly enough, one administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq. While this plan will clearly draw some stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, the president is expected to announce it a week from today.
Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

[Handle hijack by TOH deleted]

Posted by: Obama08 on November 25, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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