The administration's mouthpiece on Iraq talks to Congress but can he be believed?
The 30,000 additional troops deployed to Iraq in January could come home by next July, but further American withdrawals would be "premature," the U.S. commander there told a fractious congressional hearing Monday.
"Our experience in Iraq has repeatedly shown that projecting too far into the future is not just difficult, it can be misleading and even hazardous," Gen. David Petraeus said at a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees. "The events of the past six months underscore that point."
The real question is will the Democrats be able to stop this trainwreck? They do not have the 60 votes necessary to force the President to set a timetable for withdrawal and they do not have the 67 votes that would be needed to override a certain veto.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement, "Today, despite overwhelming evidence that neither goal has been achieved, Gen. Petraeus testified that the surge would last at least until next summer. This is simply unacceptable."
She added, "The president's strategy in Iraq has failed. It is time to change the mission of our troops to one that will promote regional stability and combat terrorism, so that the numbers of our brave men and women in uniform in Iraq can be reduced on a much more aggressive timetable than the one outlined today by Gen. Petraeus."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said, "Our enemies around the globe gain great advantage by having the United States mired in an Iraqi civil war."
President Bush and General Petraeus will make a token withdrawal of one or two brigades to show they are moving in a different direction but this will be a lie. Their intention is for a permanent occupation of Iraq. Their actions speak volumes. It is up to the American people to demand an end to this war or it could very well last as long or longer than Vietnam with a similar result.
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