Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Fourth And Long
Funny how closely the Petraeus Reports seem to follow the President's schedule for requesting supplemental funding for the Iraq War. According to an article two weeks ago in the WaPo, President Bush is confident he'll be able to get the $50 billion he needs this time around:
The request is being prepared now in the belief that Congress will be unlikely to balk so soon after hearing the two officials argue that there are promising developments in Iraq but that they need more time to solidify the progress they have made, a congressional aide said.
And the reassessment Petraeus referred to for March 2008? That's just about when the administration will be rolling out its spring supplemental request.
That's really the only way to understand the Petraeus testimony, which is nothing short of masterful. A little drawdown to satisfy the Democrats. A little progress to satisfy the GOP. And a strategically scheduled reassessment to forestall any firm decision.
Of course, the drawdown is a false drawdown, mandated by logistical strains on the American military. And the progress is false progress, belied by the numbers as well as the political impasse in Iraq. And the reassessment is a false reassessment, determined by the political calendar in Washington.
Punting might move the ball further into the opponent's end. But it shouldn't be confused with offense.