posted on Jun, 29 2006 @ 11:40 AM
On June 25, New York Times reported that Gen.George W.Casey Jr, the top military commander of US troops in Iraq, has outlined a strategy that could
cut the number of combat troops in Iraq by nearly two-thirds by the end of next year. But last week, some democratic senators' three amendments for a
quicker pullout suffered a severe setback in both senate and house of representatives. President Bush also expressed that he couldn't give a specific
timetable for full withdrawal. One can't help asking whether there is a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq or not.
It's not difficult to understand such a contradictory phenomenon if one considers the factor that American midterm election will be held in November.
Now both parties are taking actions under such a condition that it should be in favor of their elections. The Iraq War was approved by the congress
dominated by the republicans and launched by the Bush administration. So no matter what happens, they will continue. Otherwise, it means they have
admitted that the war is a mistake. If so, one is afraid that Bush can hardly get one-third of the support from the public.
Therefore, no matter how right or reasonable the amendments are, it is natural to see that they were not passed by the republican dominated congress.
Of course, the democratic party hasn't reached any consensus on the pullout issue yet. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 presidential candidate was a
bit radical and proposed to withdraw US forces by the end of this year. Last week the Senate voted 93-6 to put it aside. Obviously Kerry has seen a
chance to come back in 2008 when he found the disappointment of the public on Bush. But another two amendments proposed that the withdrawal of troops
will start from the end of this year, and didn't give a deadline for the complete withdrawal. Another senator who also intends to go to White House,
Hillary Clinton, expressed that she didn't support withdrawal now as she used to support the Iraq War and worried that the immediate withdrawal would
leave Iraq into civil war.
Bush administration can neglect the opposition from the Democratic senators as they are minority anyway, but he cannot ignore voters'will. Since last
fall, the mainstream of voters are against the war. Bush's popularity has steadily fallen as the war has dragged on. The recent killing of Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and the formation of an Iraqi unity government has boosted the administration for a short time, but the
consecutive explosions has added the number of death toll of US soldiers in Iraq to surpass 2500 which made the anti-war voice louder and stronger.
Thus, on the one hand, Bush and his republican party orally don't want to withdraw the troops. But considering the November election, Bush has
secretly asked the general in the battlefield to make a withdrawal plan including a reduction of troops by 7000 people by September and reducing the
current 14 divisions to only 5 or 6 divisions by the end of next year. This is obviously a preparation for setting a good image for the 2008 election
and win back the voters.