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The Non-withdrawal Withdrawal

This past June, when we were being treated to another round of "Dangle the Drawdown", I commented on the prospect of President Bush withdrawing troops from Iraq for political purposes. Here's what I had to say:
Does make you wonder whatever happened to "they'll follow us home" doesn't it? Personally, I have no doubts that Bush would start to bring troops home prior to his departure if it meant salvaging some of this legacy. Perhaps the surge is in fact geared toward that goal. Increase the number of troops by just enough and for long enough that everyone forgets what the old numbers use to look like. It may sound like a cheap trick to pull but what will stand out in the minds of most Americans will be the scenes of soldiers being greeted by their loved ones on tarmacs across the nation. It will be feel good time for the lame duck and any GOPer within spitting distance is bound to get some runoff.

Well now my prediction seems to be panning out, as it is now expected that Bush will announce a reduction in troop levels during a national address tonight. And this time, it seems like the Bushies really mean it. Of course this "reduction" will only bring the levels back down to where they were before Bush initiated the surge. Talk about cynical. It's sorta like taking credit for cutting taxes by not increasing them.

The thing that truly ticks me off about this sly numbers game the Bushies are playing is the fact that we have been told ad infinitum that we mustn't announce our intentions in Iraq because to do so would embolden the enemy, whoever that happened to be that week. Bush himself repeatedly made this assertion to tamp down the pressure to withdraw.

Then again, Bush has also said he would listen to what his commanders have to say. But if reports that the Pentagon wants a far more substantial drawdown than the one Bush is likely to announce are true, I have a feeling that that "listening to the commanders" spiel will also be equally inoperative.

Blog Thanks: Salon's Blog Report for linking to the ASZ of this post.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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