Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stop Digging

AP - President Bush traded ideas on Iraq with a bipartisan commission Monday and promised to work with the incoming Democratic majority toward "common objectives." At the same time, he renewed his opposition to any timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. As Bush met with the Iraq Study Group, the Democrat in line to lead the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin of Michigan, said the administration didn't see that "we're getting deeper and deeper into a hole."

(My daddy always told me "when you find yourself in a hole the first thing to remember is to 'stop digging!'")

Levin and other Democrats called for some troops to come home right away, suggesting that would pressure the Iraqi government into assuming more responsibility. Bush in turn had stern words for the Democrats, less than a week after they won control of both chambers of Congress in midterm elections in which the Iraq war figured prominently. Asked about proposals by Levin and others for a phased troop reduction, Bush said, "I believe it is very important for people making suggestions to recognize that the best military options depend upon the conditions on the ground."

(The conditions on the ground in Iraq or in America? How dumb and/or arrogant is GWBush? Did he really not get the message last Tuesday?)

While Democrats agree that troops should leave Iraq sooner rather than later, they remain divided on the specifics. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a contender to become the next majority leader, supports an immediate withdrawal of all troops, while Levin and others favor a slower phased withdrawal and have been reluctant to suggest a firm timetable. Murtha and some others contend violence in Iraq will continue so long as U.S. troops are present, but Levin and others warn that any withdrawal of troops must be done slowly to avoid a collapse in security.

(Murtha is right. WE are the biggest part of the problem and the violence WILL continue as long as US troops are in Iraq. My question for Sen. Levin is: how would a "collapse in security" look different from what is going on in Iraq right now?)