WAR AND POLITICS….Isn’t this lovely? The Los Angeles Times reports that President Bush is perhaps not quite as interested as winning the war in Iraq as he’d have you believe:
The Bush administration will delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.
….”When this election’s over, you’ll see us move very vigorously,” said one senior administration official involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity.
….Any delay in pacifying Iraq’s most troublesome cities, however, could alter the dynamics of a different election — the one in January, when Iraqis are to elect members of a national assembly.
With only four months remaining, U.S. commanders are scrambling to enable voting in as many Iraqi cities as possible to shore up the poll’s legitimacy.
U.S. officials point out that there have been no direct orders to commanders in the field to pause operations in the weeks before the Nov. 2 election. Top administration officials in Washington are simply reluctant to sign off on a major offensive in Iraq at the height of the political season.
What was it Bush said during last Friday’s debate? Oh yeah: “I don’t see how you can lead this country in a time of war, in a time of uncertainty, if you change your mind because of politics.”