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Plugging the Dike

Predictably the Bushies went into full spin mode to try to tamp down on claims that Bush is making like the little Dutch boy to stop the trickle of GOPers from his pond. Tony Snowjob said thusly of the non-debate taking place:
“There is no debate right now on withdrawing forces right now from Iraq,” Snow said.

“The president has said many times that as conditions require and merit that there will be in fact withdrawals and also pulling back from areas of Baghdad and so on,” the press secretary said. “But the idea of trying to make a political judgment rather than a military judgment about how to have forces in the field is simply not true.”

This is just another variation on the "Bush listens to the generals" meme we've had shoved down our throats since the surge began. Of course, when those same generals tell him something he doesn't to hear, they get canned. So much for relying on military judgment.

And the claim that there are no political judgments being made right now aren't exactly true either.
President Bush, facing a growing Republican revolt against his Iraq policy, has rejected calls to change course but will launch a campaign emphasizing his intent to draw down U.S. forces next year and move toward a more limited mission if security conditions improve, senior officials said yesterday.

Once again, the Bushies are resorting to the only thing they're good at: PR. Which makes sense considering they certainly don't have any substantive signs of progress to point to.
A progress report on Iraq will conclude that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform, speeding up the Bush administration's reckoning on what to do next, a U.S. official said Monday.

One likely result of the report will be a vastly accelerated debate among President Bush's top aides on withdrawing troops and scaling back the U.S. presence in Iraq.

The "pivot point" for addressing the matter will no longer be Sept. 15, as initially envisioned, when a full report on Bush's so-called "surge" plan is due, but instead will come this week when the interim mid-July assessment is released, the official said.

"The facts are not in question," the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the draft is still under discussion. "The real question is how the White House proceeds with a post-surge strategy in light of the report."

It would appear he's going to just surrounded himself with uniformed soldiers while screeching "I'm the Decider!" Whether there is anyone left who'll listen remains to be seen.

Great posts from Eugene Robinson and McJoan.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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