Withdrawing too many troops too fast could "jeopardize the progress of the past year," he says. Oh, please. What progress are we talking about here? Have American troops stopped dying? Have Iraqi civilians stopped dying? Have any of the over 2 million Iraqi refugees driven out of their country by Bush's war returned? Is the entire region less volatile? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I want some of what you're smoking.
The fact is, Petraeus--a man who has been celebrated from one end of the country to the other as some sort of towering titan of strategy, for what exact reason I cannot discern--is just a ribbon-bedecked shill for administration policy, which is to prolong this colossal catastrophe indefinitely and call it progress. Petraeus's strategic genius was to greatly reduce the number of missions where U.S. troops were likely to be harmed. Guess what? Casualties decrease. (Duh.) Progress!
Alas, in the wake of the violence of the last two months, this whole strategy--which, it will be recalled, was initiated to buy time for the puppet and corrupt Iraq government to make political progress (ha, ha!)--has come unraveled. Hence today's news.
But not to worry, Petraeus says they will reevaluate resuming the withdrawal in 45 days. But after cutting through all this atrocious Pentagon speak, it doesn't sound to me like there's any great rush to get our guys out of Iraq.
At the end of that period, we will commence a process of assessment to examine the conditions on the ground and, over time, determine when we can make recommendations for further reductions.