Thursday, November 30, 2006

Report: Panel to advise U.S. pullback, no timetable

Wasn't this panel made up of politicians? Yeah, I thought so.
The independent, bipartisan panel studying U.S. policy in Iraq has unanimously agreed to a report that will call for a gradual pullback of American combat troops in Iraq but stops short of setting a firm timetable for withdrawal, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The commission is to release its conclusions on December 6 in a report that could help guide U.S. President George W. Bush's conduct of the war.

Citing people familiar with the panel's deliberations, the Times said the Iraq Study Group will recommend that Bush make it clear that he will start the troop withdrawal "relatively soon," indicating sometime next year.

That recommendation would be a compromise between calls from some Democrats for a timetable to withdraw U.S. forces and Bush's insistence that forces should remain until the mission to stabilize Iraq was completed.

Recommendations of the panel, which is co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker -- a close Bush family friend --and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, will be much harder for Bush to resist than if the group were divided, experts and study group advisers say.

Two things come immediately to mind. Well, 3 actually.

1. Politicians can read the polls and the election results. Just how much influence did the elections have on their consensus? Were they leaning another way before November 7th?

2. I see they agree with me. No timetable should be set by politicians. The military has to get their people and equipment out as safely as possible. Establishing a date certain ties their hands and could result in troop deaths.

3. I've said it before and am saying it again, Bush will probably ignore the Iraq Study Group recommendations if for no other reason than to defy daddy again. If he does follow there advice I'll have to stop making predictions.

(read more)


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