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Hey, Did Bush Just Cave To The Terrorists?

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I posted earlier about our top general in Iraq saying they could start a major pullout in the spring (just in time for the 2006 elections oddly enough). Mostly, I made fun of the fact that the only condition he was really trying to set was that the insurgency not get any worse. That seems a pretty pathetic standard since the insurgency is stronger than ever.

But lots of threaders pointed out the obvious: Bush had just set a deadline. He certainly can't pretend conditions in Iraq have improved -- more people are dying this year than last year and more people were dying last year than the year before. And Bush insisted it was heresy to set a deadline to pull out -- if you do that, all the insurgents have to do is wait you out. Now they know they can hunker down (or even keep killing our men and women at the record levels they've been achieving) and we'll still be out in the spring of 2006.

How can Bush justify setting a deadline when Iraq is worse off now than it was a year ago? How can Bush justify setting a deadline when he insisted this would help the insurgents? How can Bush justify talk of pulling out when the Iraqis only have about 12,000 troops even minimally trained -- and most of them are only capable of fighting with our help? How can Bush justify going back on his word?

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