Dover Bitch

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A managed withdrawal

A quick post about an example of flawed logic on behalf of Bush supporters that DB feels like highlighting (one of a zillion.)

Last night on PBS’s NewsHour, New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that Congress acted “reasonably responsibly” in removing timelines from the Iraq supplemental.

Brooks incoherently argued, “The country wants to get out of Iraq, but they don’t want to get out precipitously. They want a managed withdrawal. The majority just isn’t there. So the majority in the Congress had to accede to those two realities.”

It’s unclear what point Brooks is trying to make. He either doesn’t understand what the American public wants or he doesn’t understand the timetable legislation.

Brooks’ own paper conducted a poll recently that found “sixty-three percent say the United States should set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq sometime in 2008.” The bill that the Senate and House passed with bipartisan majorities — and Bush vetoed on the fourth anniversary of Mission Accomplished — set a goal for the phased withdrawal to be completed by April 2008.

In addition to the problems Think Progress noted above, there are two that bother DB, one a logical contradiction, the second a propaganda issue:

First, there will be and can be no "managed withdrawal" in a sense that is exclusive of a precipitous or quick exit from Iraq. Philip Carter wrote an excellent piece about the logistics last week for Slate. In short, if we get out before Iraq becomes completely stable (don't hold your breath), then the egress will have to be executed very quickly. Otherwise, it will be disastrous. The idea that there can be a prolonged exit is lacking any basis in reality. Quite frankly, the idea that this administration can "manage" anything is lacking a significant basis in reality, which is one of the reasons I've been afraid that it may be less costly to wait for another administration to do it.

Second, Bush and his supporters have been screeching about "micromanagement" ever since the Democrats took control of Congress. Now they are, in effect, embracing it.

"We can't have 535 members of Congress micromanaging the war," said Senator John Cornyn.

But millions of Americans dictating the speed of the operation is better? America saying simply "get us out of Iraq" is being rejected by Bush. America's reservations about the logistics of the exit are being touted as reasons for staying. Which sounds more like micromanagement to you?

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