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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Premature Withdrawl

"The head of the panel drawing up Iraq's new constitution announced on Monday that a draft would be ready by a mid-August deadline, as U.S. officials had hoped, easing fears divisions could set back the political process.
'We can get it completed by August 15,' Humam Hammoudi, head of the 71-member drafting committee, told parliament.
He said there were still five or six points of difference among drafters but was hopeful they would be resolved on time.
Faced with explosive issues such as federalism and the role of religion in the state, the team drafting the constitution had considered taking up to six more months to write it.
But the panel came under intense U.S. pressure to submit a draft on time. The Iraqi government and their American backers see the constitution as a key part of any democratic process and hope it can help defuse the two-year-old insurgency.
That would in turn allow U.S. troops to withdraw sooner."
-Reuters, August 1, 2005

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld flew to Baghdad on Wednesday to deliver a blunt message to the Iraqi constitutional committee. 'We don't want any delays,' Rumsfeld said, urging Iraqis to meet the Aug. 15 deadline for approval of a draft charter. 'Now is the time to get on with it.'"
-Washington Post, August 2, 2005

"As Iraqi leaders reaffirmed their decision to finish writing the country's constitution by the middle of the month, the new American ambassador here spoke in specific terms about the pending withdrawal of American troops from the country.
In his first press conference, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said that American forces would hand over control of specific areas to Iraqi forces and 'withdraw its own units from these areas.' He declined to say which Iraqis cities American soldiers would leave first, but said he had formed a committee with Iraqi leaders to draw up a detailed withdrawal plan."
-New York Times, August 1, 2005

"Withdrawal of our troops? Inconceivable! Someone had better tell the president. I know he's against setting timetables, and I know that if he was aware that we are shoehorning a new Constitution down the throats of the newly free Iraqi people just to make political points back home he'd ask for more time. I mean, remember what he said about a month ago?"

"'The enemy's goal is to drive us out of Iraq' before a permanent Iraqi government is established, Bush said. 'They will not succeed.'
For his part, al-Jaafari thanked the United States and the American people for 'their courage against terrorism.'
'This is not the time to fall back,' he said, as Bush and his administration, as well as U.S. defense officials, face mounting criticism for the way operations are going in Iraq, with some Democrats calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawl.
Bush reiterated his stance Friday that a timetable is out of the question.
'We don't have any timetables ... we are there to complete a mission' in the interest of America and peace around the world, he said. 'It doesn't make any sense to give a timetable. If you give a timetable, you're conceding too much to the enemy.'"
-Fox News, June 25, 2005

“In a major speech last month, the US president said he would withdraw forces as soon as Iraqis were prepared to take over security responsibility, but added that it would be dangerous to announce a timetable.
US senators subsequently demanded a set of benchmarks for assessing progress, calling for updates every 90 days.
Today's developments on troops come after a Pentagon report, declassified earlier this month, revealed that Iraqi government forces were nowhere near ready for battle.
The report said only a small number were capable of fighting the insurgency on their own.”
-Guardian UK, July 27, 2005

“Huh.. What could have changed his mind about timetables, especially if the Iraqi troops aren’t prepared to handle things when we leave?”

“’Karl's got my complete confidence. He's a valuable member of my team.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 1, 2005

"We've got to get those troops out of Iraq before the midterm elections! This war isn't polling well anymore."


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