Day By Day

Monday, July 14, 2008

Standing Up, Standing Down

From the NYT:

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is considering the withdrawal of additional combat forces from Iraq beginning in September, according to administration and military officials, raising the prospect of a far more ambitious plan than expected only months ago.

Such a withdrawal would be a striking reversal from the nadir of the war in 2006 and 2007.

Read it here.

Of course this is the Times, so they couch the news in the most critical terms possible. They claim that the reason for the withdrawal is that we are losing the fight in Afghanistan and need to shift forces to that theater. It is not until several paragraphs into the article that we encounter the simple statement, "security in Iraq has improved vastly, as has the confidence of Iraq’s government and military and police, raising the prospect of additional reductions that were barely conceivable a year ago."

And that, not the situation in Afghanistan, is the real reason for the proposed troop drawdown. President Bush's position has always been "as they [the Iraqi government] stand up, we will stand down". And recently the Maliki government has been standing up, securing peace with the Sunni insurgents, marginalizing Sadr, and driving al Qaeda from its strongholds. President Bush has overthrown one of the most brutal and dangerous dictatorships in modern history and, despite overwhelming opposition from Democrats and subversive bureaucrats in Washington, is seeing through to a successful conclusion the project of creating a strong and stable democratic regime in its place. This is a marvelous accomplishment and President Bush deserves both our gratitude and acclaim for it.