A Time To Lead

It is time for decision on the Iraq debacle. The White House is demanding more money to keep the troops in Iraq. The Bush folks have shown their public relations mastery by rolling out a disingenuous campaign to claim “progress” on the ground in Iraq. General David Petraeus, the political general with a notorious record of trumpeting mythical success in Iraq, will seek to retain as many troops in action as he thinks the Army can sustain without disintegrating.

For the moment, Republicans appear to have made the political calculation that they have no choice but to stand with the purblind president and his general. Their leading presidential candidates have toed the line. Their vulnerable senators are keeping their heads down. Their zealots have been effusive about the supposed progress wrought by the “surge” in Iraq.

Democrats in the Congress are signaling pre-emptive retreat. There’s talk about a bipartisan resolution that requires the president to start taking some troops out early next year, but imposes no exit date. This is a recipe for continued occupation, which will squander more lives and resources while bolstering al Qaeda’s recruitment across the world.


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