Dover Bitch

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Stepping up

From today's White House press briefing:

MR. SNOW: I'm telling you, let's just wait and see what happens over the next couple of months. We have had many debates like this in this country. You may recall when people have gone on vacations before elections, when they haven't passed budgets, when things have been pushed off until the very end of the year. I don't want to be doing equations here, but the fact is the legislative process is something that you have to contend with. This is a democracy.

On the other hand, what have the Iraqis done? They have committed much of their budget surplus this year directly to economic development and to security matters. They have stepped up on the things that we have asked them to do. They're putting their lives on the line. They are working on professionalizing the police forces. They are working on building greater credibility and capability with the military. They're working on economic infrastructure matters. We've got a meeting in Sharm el Sheikh where there is a neighbors' conference. There is going to be another conference in Baghdad.

This is a government that's operational on a whole series of fronts, and again, rather than trying to leap to conclusions and to ignore the vast amount of stuff that that government is doing and the risks that they are undertaking in order to build a secure democracy, what I'd suggest is, wait and see what happens.

Over 5000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the past three months, according to the Iraqi government. In April, 104 U.S. soldiers were killed there, making it the worst month in the war.

Why in the world is it "stepping up" for the Iraqis to commit their budget surplus to security? Why do they have a surplus at all? We don't and we're dumping trillions into that place.

Am I missing something? Seriously. If this is the kind of benchmark that the Bush administration is using to indicate "progress" is happening, then it's no wonder they don't want anything other than a blank check.

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