Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This One's Easy To Answer

From McClatchy:

WASHINGTON — They sat behind burgundy-covered witness tables for more than 16 hours of testimony and answered hundreds of questions about the Iraq war, some of them pointed, some of them softballs.

But there was one question that Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, couldn't, or wouldn't, answer.

It was the question that Petraeus himself posed rhetorically back in 2003 when he led the Army's 101st Airborne Division into Iraq: "Tell me how this ends."

Much to the frustration of the senators — mostly Democrats, but including a few Republicans — who grilled them Tuesday, neither the general nor the diplomat outlined a strategy for putting Iraq back together or a timetable for bringing U.S. troops home.

Here's how this ends - with Bush and his Repub allies in the Congress and the Senate, including the supposed war critics like John Warner, Richard Lugar and Susan Collins, pushing the date of withdrawal back as far as possible until we get squarely into the '08 campaign when Bush and Company will say "Oh, we can't do anything on the Iraq issue now because we're in the middle of the election season."

And then the mess will be left up to the next president and the next Congress to deal with.

Behind all this is Bush's inability to clean up after himself (a typical trait of selfishness in an unreconstructed alcoholic) and the GOP's hopes that their own failed war can be pinned on a future Democratic Congress and a future Democratic president.

The GOP's playing chess here and they're a couple of moves ahead - they're looking at the 2010 midterm elections and the 2012 presidential election.

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