8/10/2005

Americans get mixed signals on future of war in Iraq - Yahoo! News

[Bush is doing what] amounts to a stealth increase of forces in Iraq, done on the cheap, while simultaneously sending a signal to American voters that a reduction in U.S. forces -especially all those National Guard and Reserve troops who have borne a heavy and deadly burden in this war and whose families back home are voters - is just around the corner.

It's enough to make a cynic of Mother Teresa.



WASHINGTON - The dog days of summer are upon us, and the signals for the future in our war in Iraq are deeply mixed, deeply confused and confusing, depending on who you listen to and what you read.

Gen. George Casey, the ground commander in Iraq, says we will begin drawing down American forces in Iraq as soon as the dawn of the New Year 2006.

Surely it is no coincidence that 2006 will bring us midterm elections for a new Congress, while the polls show the American people beginning to turn against
President Bush's war and his management of same. Only 38 percent of those surveyed in an AP-IPSOS poll now say they support the way the president is managing the war.

So we have a president who continues at every opportunity to say that he - and we - will "stay the course" in Iraq, while his political advisers look at the polling numbers and break out in cold sweat. What to do?

Send out the general to suggest the draw-down is imminent, even as the
Pentagon is announcing that between now and the end of the year we will actually increase the number of American troops on the ground in Iraq to secure the ratification of Iraq's new constitution and election of its new parliament.

Some divisions nearing the end of their latest 12 months in Hell will find they are being extended for another month or two or three. Some divisions preparing to rotate back into Iraq for the second or even third time may find their departures moved up correspondingly. The overlap is the buildup.

It amounts to a stealth increase of forces in Iraq, done on the cheap, while simultaneously sending a signal to American voters that a reduction in U.S. forces -especially all those National Guard and Reserve troops who have borne a heavy and deadly burden in this war and whose families back home are voters - is just around the corner.

It's enough to make a cynic of Mother Teresa.


Americans get mixed signals on future of war in Iraq - Yahoo! News

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