Thursday, November 16, 2006

General Abizaid says "Cut and Run" philosophy is bad

Timetables are bad, m-kay?

Democrats had been hammering Bush for ignoring the advice of his commanders on the generals on the ground in Iraq, so let's see if the Democrats decide to ignore the advice of the generals on the ground.

WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. commander in the Middle East warned Congress Wednesday against setting a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, rejecting the arguments of resurgent Democrats who are pressing President Bush to start pulling out.

Gen. John Abizaid instead urged quick action to strengthen Iraq's government, predicting that the vicious sectarian violence in Baghdad would surge out of control within four to six months unless immediate steps were taken.

"Our troop posture needs to stay where it is," and the use of military adviser teams embedded with Iraqi army and police forces needs to be expanded, Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee. It was the first hearing on Iraq policy since last week's elections gave Democrats control of both houses of Congress starting in January.

I've got money that they push "cut and run" anyway, despite the general's advice that leaving now will simply turn Iraq into a terrorist cesspool.

What most articles that discussed Abizaid's comments left out was his entire exchange with Hillary Clinton. Hugh played it on the radio last night and the SF Gate came the closest to transcribing the exchange.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said benchmarks for progress only continue to recede.

"Hope is not a strategy," said Clinton, another likely presidential contender. "Hortatory talk about what the Iraqi government must do is getting old. I mean, I have heard over and over again that the government must do this, the Iraqi army must do that. Nobody disagrees with that. The brutal fact is, it is not happening."

[...] Abizaid also countered the pessimistic views of the senators by saying that despair is not a strategy.

"And when I come to Washington, I feel despair. When I'm in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to our soldiers, when I talk to the Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing. They believe that they can move the country toward stability with our help. And I believe that."

The commanders, our troops, and the Iraqis have hope still.

Too bad the hand-wringers in Washington don't...

UPDATE @ 2:46pm: Maybe not cut and run... Dems pick Hoyer over Murtha.

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