Monisha Bansal | Senior Staff Writer | Tuesday, March 18, 2008
But Michael Rubin, a resident fellow at AEI, called Petraeus a "realist," adding that "the progress toward reconciliation will take time."
"President Bush doesn't have a magic wand," he said. "But there is a huge difference between not following an arbitrary congressional timeline and failing."
"The worst possible option would be to withdraw and create a vacuum," Rubin told Cybercast News Service.
"After almost five years of war and nearly 4,000 American lives lost, Gen. Petraeus's admission proves that the president's Iraq policy has failed," Pelosi said in a statement. "President Bush and other Republicans can no longer credibly claim that their status quo Iraq strategy is working.
"Americans demand a new direction in Iraq that includes responsible redeployment so we can strengthen our military's readiness and refocus on the real fight against terrorism," she said. "Democrats in Congress wholly reject a continuation of the President's 10-year, trillion dollar war in Iraq," Pelosi said.
"I used to give Nancy Pelosi benefit of the doubt, but I don't think she'll be happy until we have a Rwanda-like genocide. Pelosi is perhaps the worst example of a liberal racist: She sees Iraqis as nothing more than a template upon which to fight a partisan battle. It really is disgraceful," he added.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) said Monday that, as president, one of her first actions will be to begin withdrawing troops within 60 days.
"The Petraeus statement means that they're not where we want them to be and they need to move faster, and nothing more," countered Thomas Donnelly, a resident fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
"He also says that political progress is coming from the bottom up rather than the top down - that is, from a different direction than anticipated - and that is real," Donnelly said.
"Reconciliation at the national level is a trailing-edge indicator of progress at the local level," Donnelly told Cybercast News Service. "So it means that the U.S. posture in Iraq must continue to help the positive local developments like the Sons of Iraq while sustaining the pressure on national-level politicians.
"It also means that provincial elections are crucial," he said. "And what it all means in the larger context is just that the success of the surge is happening in a different manner than we in Washington anticipated, which shouldn't come as a surprise since we're not on the scene."
"Clearly, there is no measure of success in Iraq that could satisfy her (Pelosi) or others who have invested so much political capital in the narrative of the 'Lost War,'" Donnelly said.
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