Dem's Iraq Reality Hitting Home
Worried that the Levin-Kos-Feingold faction could dishonor all our military has accomplished in Iraq, the anti-Bush generals are lashing out at the Levinites and driving home the reality that things are not so simple in the war on terror.
The NYT is giving the generals' criticism prominence, playing it three columns wide above the fold on page one, which underscores the importance the anti-Bush factions are placing on the question of what they'll do with the Iraqi firetruck they've yapped at all these years.
Reports the NYT:
Faced with Levin's plan to start pushing immediately for a rapid withdrawal, another general who opposes Bush's policy also spoke against Levin's strategy:
Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the United States Central Command and one of the retired generals who called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, argued that any substantial reduction of American forces over the next several months would be more likely to accelerate the slide to civil war than stop it.
“The logic of this is you put pressure on Maliki and force him to stand up to this,” General Zinni said in an interview, referring to Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister. “Well, you can’t put pressure on a wounded guy. There is a premise that the Iraqis are not doing enough now, that there is a capability that they have not employed or used. I am not so sure they are capable of stopping sectarian violence.”
Instead of taking troops out, General Zinni said, it would make more sense to consider deploying additional American forces over the next six months to “regain momentum” as part of a broader effort to stabilize Iraq that would create more jobs, foster political reconciliation and develop more effective Iraqi security forces.
These general's criticism of the Bush/Rumsfeld war effort was central to the Dem's midterm attack on the president and the GOP, and received an unobjective amount of press coverage. Levin will not be able to tip-toe through the tulips away from these guys, and the Dems will not be able to not not invite them to testify at any hearings on Levin's bill, given the weight they placed on the generals before Nov. 7.
John Batiste, a retired Army major general who also joined in the call for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation, described the Congressional proposals for troop withdrawals as “terribly naïve.”
“There are lots of things that have to happen to set them up for success,” General Batiste, who commanded a division in Iraq, said in an interview, describing the Iraqi government. “Until they happen, it does not matter what we tell Maliki.”
Welcome to your new majority, Levin & Co. I think we Republicans will enjoy the show.
Related Tags: War on terror, Levin, Zinni, Iraq