Will the political posturing on both sides ever end?:
The White House for the first time has claimed possession of an Iraq withdrawal plan, arguing that a troop pullout blueprint unveiled this past week by a Democratic senator was “remarkably similar” to its own.
[…] The statement late Saturday by White House spokesman Scott McClellan came in response to a commentary published in The Washington Post by Joseph Biden, the top Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he said US forces will begin leaving Iraq next year “in large numbers.”
Translation: We are cutting and running, while calling it a victory and saying that the Democrats were in favor of more drastic cutting and running, while using the same plan they proposed.
McClellan said the White House now saw “a strong consensus” building in Washington in favor of Bush’s strategy in Iraq.
Translation: The new strategy will not include Mission Accomplished banners and Bush wearing a flight suit. And by consensus, we mean we have changed our positions in order to be part of that consensus.
Even if conditions on the ground there improve, “I have to admit that I think the chances are not a lot better than 50-50,” [Biden] said.
“Are we going to have traded a dictator for chaos? Or are we going to have traded a dictator for a stable Iraq? That’s the real question. And that depends on the president’s actions from here out,” said Biden.
Translation: EVERYONE TRADE PLACES! I am the hawk and you are the pussy. I will now hedge my bets in case my idea of leaving Iraq fails, then I can blame you for the plan I endorse.
The Biden plan calls for preparatory work to be done in the first six months of next year, ahead of the envisaged pullout. It includes:
– forging a compromise among Iraqi factions, under which the Sunnis must accept that they no longer rule Iraq and Shiites and Kurds admit them into a power-sharing arrangement;
– building Iraq’s governing capacity;
– transferring authority to Iraqi security forces;
– establishing a contact group of the world’s major powers to become the Iraqi government’s primary international interlocutor.
Translation: And it’s going to work this time, because the Senate voted on it. The vote itself has transformed Iraq into a stable democracy where we can now forget about all the people there who simply want to kill American soldiers.
“The fact is that the Senate amendment reiterates the president’s strategy in Iraq,” the statement said.
Translation: If this fails, it will all be your fault because you voted on it. GOTCHA AGAIN!