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March 20, 2007

"This is the last chance for the Iraqis"

That was Sen. Mitch McConnell, not generally considered a RINO. The reality of this is, as I've written, that Bush has 4-6 months to show significant progress in Iraq. Thusfar, Petraeus and of course his troops are making a solid showing. America won't walk away from a war they're winning, and will give troops more time, if needed; but first they have to be convinced we're winning, and the war can be won.

Still, I suppose this is the reason the media is generally hostile to reporting on the progress that is being made -- e.g., the New York Times spinning a decline in American deaths as bad news. Victory for them -- which is defeat for America -- is so close at hand they can taste it, and they won't let our troops win in the public imagining if they have anything to say about it. Which they do, unfortunately.

Four years into the Iraq war, all sides in the bitter debate agree that President Bush’s “troop surge” plan represents the final drop of American patience for the war. If Iraqis fail to control the violence, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, “The American taxpayer has a reasonable expectation that we will bring our people home.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has steadfastly supported the mission, said Republicans’ patience is nearly exhausted, too.

“This is the last chance for the Iraqis,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with The Examiner. “The last chance for them to step up and demonstrate that they can do their part to save their country.”

It’s a rare point of agreement between the Democrats who long ago turned adamantly against the war and the Republicans who say they remain opposed to withdrawing troops before the job is done.

Failed efforts by Congress in recent weeks to condemn Bush’s proposal to send reinforcements to Iraq have been a political diversion, McConnell said. The “real bill,” he said, is the one the House takes up this week to continue funding the war. If it passes the House, the Senate will begin debating it as early as next week.

Republicans oppose provisions in that $124 billion spending bill that set timetables for withdrawing U.S. forces, even if benchmarks for success are met. Timetables, Republicans say, signal to the enemy how much longer to continue their mayhem before seizing victory.

Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott said he has “no confidence in Congress to set time limits and start mandating that a certain number of troops be withdrawn based on conditions we determine.”

That said, the Mississippi Republican added that Republican patience — and thus Congress’ patience — for Bush’s troop increase will last “months, not years.”

“At some point, you got to say to them, ‘Congratulations, Saddam is dead,’ ” Lott said. “We brought Baghdad under control. You folks got to decide whether you just want to kill each other forever or have a real government and peace and freedom and democracy.”

In theory, it may be better policy to fight until we win. But even the GOP is determined that this war be more or less over for the 2008 elections, whether we've won it or whether we've "redeployed" in defeat.

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posted by Ace at 01:17 PM

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