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Groundhog Day Part 5432

Once again we are being treated to tantalizing hints that a troop draw down in Iraq is in the offing. Of course such news isn't all that encouraging since we already know the Bushies are sticking with the Korea model and any troop reductions would likely coincide with a solidifying strategy for keeping large volumes of said troops there well beyond 2009. I wonder how many of those soldiers would give their eyeteeth for a chance to man the DMZ in the real Korea just for the R&R.

Of course the issue of troop levels may be a moot one were we to find ourselves embroiled in a war with Iraq's neighbor Iran. In an ominous rehash of past rhetoric, the Bushies are trying hard to convince us that they really mean it this time when they say they want to settle the issue of WMD through diplomacy.

Deja Vu.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted Friday that Vice President Cheney fully supports a diplomatic course in the dispute with Iran over its nuclear program, denying claims of divisions among President Bush's foreign policy advisers.

"The president of the United States has made very clear what our policy is. That policy is supported by all of the members of his Cabinet -- and by the vice president of the United States," Rice said at a news conference here after talks with Spanish officials. "The president has made clear that we are on a course that is a diplomatic course, but it is a diplomatic course backed up by disincentives for Iran to continue its activities."

As Kevin Drum notes, Rice issued this reassurance after the head of the nuclear watchdog agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, voiced concerns about "the crazies" forcing a repeat of the Iraq debacle. Given how much we know Shooter and his fellow crazies are chomping at the bit for a showdown with Iran, Rice's attempts to allay such concerns don't cut the mustard.

If the VP really wants to see his long shadow, we'll be in for a long winter.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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