In today's testimony, Illinois Senator Barack Obama nailed it:
The question I think that everybody is asking is "how long will this take" and "at what point do we say enough".
Ambassador Crocker you said that the Iraqi people understand that the patience of the American people is not limitless, but that appears to be exactly what you're asking for in this testimony.
I don't see at any point where you say if this fails, or if that does not work, or we are not seeing these benchmarks met. Or...any conditions in which we would make a decision now to start drawing down our troops.
And you suggest somehow that our drawing down troops will not trigger a different set of behavior among the Iraqis, but I don't see what will. And if we're there the same place a year from now can you please describe for me any circumstances under which you make a different recommendation and suggest it is time to now start withdrawing our troops?
Any scenario. Any set of benchmarks. That have not been met.
Pow! Right in the kisser! Obama totally nailed the essence of Bush's policy on Iraq. There are no scenarios, no failed benchmarks, no unmet goals and no conditions under which he will consider pulling out of Iraq. Bush's goal is to keep US forces in Iraq forever; he isn't interested in pulling out under any circumstances.
Essentially, there is nothing that the Iraqis could fail to do that would trigger the beginning of the end of our involvement. We had a set of benchmarks 6 months ago, and the Iraqis failed nearly every one of them, but still there are no consequences or changes in our policy because of that failure.
So, in other words, Bush has written a blank check to the Iraqi government in the blood of our heroes and in billions of our dollars that they get to spend however they want for an indefinite period of time.
Republicans should have the courage to put that into their party platform in 2008 and run on it.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!