Ok... Setting a "timetable" for U.S. troop withdrawal as proposed by Democrats this last week is bad.
But, apparently, setting a "timeline" for withdrawal of U.S. troops as proposed by General Casey is good... especially if it comes in September, right before mid-term elections.
See, it is all in the words:
Timetable = bad
Timeline = good
If we withdrawal troops using a timetable, it means cut and run. If we remove troops using a timeline, it means progress and victory.
I am all for staying in Iraq until we have accomplished what we need to accomplish. But this double speak from Republicans is moronic.
Democrats Cite Report On Troop Cuts in Iraq
By Michael Abramowitz and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, June 26, 2006; Page A01
Senate Democrats reacted angrily yesterday to a report that the U.S. commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying to set a timetable for withdrawal.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that the plan attributed to Gen. George W. Casey resembles the thinking of many Democrats who voted for a nonbinding resolution to begin a troop drawdown in December. That resolution was defeated Thursday on a largely party-line vote in the Senate.
"That means the only people who have fought us and fought us against the timetable, the only ones still saying there shouldn't be a timetable really are the Republicans in the United States Senate and in the Congress," Boxer said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Now it turns out we're in sync with General Casey."
Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), one of the two sponsors of the nonbinding resolution, which offered no pace or completion date for a withdrawal, said the report is another sign of what he termed one of the "worst-kept secrets in town" -- that the administration intends to pull out troops before the midterm elections in November.
"It shouldn't be a political decision, but it is going to be with this administration," Levin said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's as clear as your face, which is mighty clear, that before this election, this November, there's going to be troop reductions in Iraq, and the president will then claim some kind of progress or victory."
At issue was a report yesterday in the New York Times that Casey presented a private briefing at the Pentagon last week in which he projected that the number of U.S. combat brigades -- each with about 3,500 troops -- would decrease from 14 to five or six by the end of 2007. About 127,000 U.S. troops are now in Iraq, including many support troops beyond the combat brigades.