Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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"... 6,000 miles away..."

In recent days the US Congress has put into law a requirement that US troops be withdrawn from Iraq not later than September 2008. The US President has decried this, and threatens to veto this law.

"It makes no sense for politicians in Washington, D.C. to be dictating arbitrary time lines for our military commanders in a war zone 6,000 miles away." (full text: "President Bush Discusses Economy, War on Terror During Remarks to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association", 28 March 2007)

Where IS this place "6,000 miles away"?

Credit where due. It turns out that George W. Bush is nearly correct. According to the Great Circle Distances Between Cities calculator, the distance between Washington DC and Baghdad, Iraq, is 6193.941517338829 miles.

More credit. Here is General David H. Petraeus'
"on-joining" message.

Discredit where less due.
Does anyone recall the "marching orders" for the new, current commander in Iraq? They present a time-frame of "the objectives we believe are achievable in the next 12-18 months." Is that not "politicians in Washington...", etc?

Here (see page 8), from the White House web site, is what is said.

"The objectives in this new phase are:

1.Defeat al-Qaida and its supporters and ensure that no terrorist safe haven exists in Iraq.

2.Support Iraqi efforts to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad andregain control over the capital.

3.Ensure the territorial integrity of Iraq and counter/limit destructive Iranian and Syrian activity in Iraq.

4.Help safeguard democracy in Iraq by encouraging strong democratic institutions impartially serving all Iraqis and preventing the return of the forces of tyranny.

5.Foster the conditions for Iraqi national reconciliation but withthe Iraqi Government clearly in the lead.

6.Continue to strengthen Iraqi Security Forces and accelerate the transition of security responsibility to the Iraqi Government.

7.Encourage an expanding Iraqi economy including by helping Iraq maintain and expand its export of oil to support Iraqi development.

8.Promote support for Iraq from its neighbors, the region, and the international community."

Oh, really?

Oddly enough, 12 months from January 2007 (when Petraeus was confirmed by Congress) is February 2008; 18 months is September 2008, when Congress has now said US forces should be out of Iraq.

That sounds like a plan!

There is a saying, "Game on!"

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