IRAQ NEWS….Oh hell, let’s give some props to the Bush administration. God knows they don’t deserve it, but here are three related pieces of encouraging news:
Our new ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, is encouraging Iraqis to adopt a more liberal constitution that protects both minority rights and women’s rights. “A society cannot achieve all its potential if it does things that prevents ? weakens prospects of ? half of its population to make the fullest contribution that it can,” he said on Tuesday.
Donald Rumsfeld is in Iraq encouraging the Iraqis to get a move on and adopt a constitution and conduct elections on time. “They’re simply going to have to make the compromises necessary and get on with it,” he said. “That’s what politics is about.”
General George Casey, the top commander on the ground in Iraq, appeared alongside Rumsfeld and provided the closest thing yet to a timetable for withdrawal. If the political process goes well, he said, “I do believe we will still be able to make fairly substantial reductions after these elections ? in the spring and summer of next year.”
Sure, a lot of this is politically motivated, and I have little doubt that the planned spring withdrawal is being timed to coincide with next year’s midterm elections ? and probably being timed to avoid a manpower meltdown as well. But politics is part of life. A timetable for withdrawal that’s linked to the political process and combined with pressure to protect minority and gender rights, is the best course of action regardless of the motivation. If the Bushies keep it up, kudos to them.