Today’s Washington Post has the quote of the summer.
From Leon Panetta (who worked on the Iraq Study Group and worked for President Clinton:
“The president in many ways is trapped in the realities of what’s taking place. The Congress is trapped because, while they want to change strategy, they don’t have the votes. And both sides are trapped by the fear of the consequences of what happens if they do make a change.”
Essentially the analysis is about the gridlock in DC right now.
Still, the clock is ticking for Bush, and it seems to be speeding up. Just two weeks ago, White House aides bemoaned the political missteps that made September a deadline of sorts for demonstrating the success of the president’s troop increase.
I just want to remind the press that I warned back in May that September had become a false deadline. Petraeus suggested that he’d have an idea how things were going by September. Somehow that turned into a “deadline for peace” in Iraq.
If, in September, Petraeus suggests that things are moving, albeit a bit slowly (which is what I suspect will be the case), this President will still expect support of Congress to fund the troops.
So Congress, if you really want out, you’re going to have to take the plunge and cut off funding. If you don’t see a future when you’re willing to do that, then you need to buck up and send the money. A year and a half is not that long to wait.