Saturday, October 21, 2006

Timetable To Hell

Them wuz the days, eh? CNN (06.24.05):
"President Bush struck back Friday against growing calls to schedule a U.S. pullout from Iraq, vowing there would be no timetable to withdraw troops." Bush rejects timetable to pull out of Iraq
Just this Summer. AP (07.18.06):
"Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday rejected a call from some Democrats for a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, arguing that it would run counter to American interests." Cheney Argues Against Iraq Timetable
Fast forward. NYTimes (10.22.06):
"The Bush administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to address sectarian divisions and assume a larger role in securing the country, senior American officials said." U.S. to Hand Iraq a New Timetable on Security Role
Although our brand new plan "would not threaten Mr. Maliki with a withdrawal of American troops", it "moves the administration closer to an idea advocated by many Democrats, who have called for setting a date for beginning phased withdrawals of American troops from Iraq as a way to compel Iraq’s government to resolve its internal divisions and take on more responsibility." Well by golly. Can you beat that? Not so fast, sez the White House. Washington Post (10.22.06):
"White House officials denied a New York Times report, posted yesterday afternoon on the newspaper's Web site, that said the administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to take on that greater role in securing the country." At White House Meeting, No Big Changes on Iraq
"The story is not accurate," said Frederick L. Jones II, a spokesman for the National Security Council." There's no timetable, just a series of benchmarks, which "have been part of the U.S. policy in Iraq for months, said Dan Bartlett, a top aide to Bush." "'Implicit in that is that if they are not achieving the benchmarks, we are going to have to make changes accordingly,' Bartlett said, adding that troop withdrawals or other dramatic changes in U.S. policy are not being contemplated." But of course.


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