Video: Petraeus’s first press conference; Update: Pullout could start by July 1, says Pelosi; Update: Bush counsel vows veto; Update: CNN reporter rips Dems’ timetable

posted at 1:41 pm on March 8, 2007 by Allahpundit

I hadn’t seen any footage of him speaking until today and I figured many of you are in the same boat, so here’s the man one of the Freepers is calling “Betraus.” Why? Because he suggested that instead of hunting them to the last man, which would be impossible anyway, we might need to negotiate with some of the Sunni jihadist and Shiite militia groups — but not the Mahdi Army, for which he sees no role. The boss says this is already common knowledge among the troops she spoke with in Baghdad. It’s apparently common knowledge in the White House too because not only is the U.S.-Iran tete a tete still on for this weekend, it might include bilateral talks.

Pelosi unveiled the long-awaited Democratic compromise pullout plan about an hour ago: withdrawal will begin by the end of this year if Maliki can’t meet the security and economic benchmarks set for him, and if he can, then withdrawal will begin next March with everyone out by fall 2008. (In fact, the doviest doves will submit an alternate bill calling for unconditional withdrawal by December 31.) We’ll see what happens to that now that Odierno has said he needs a surge until at least next February, and now that Petraeus himself has formally announced “encouraging signs” from the surge.

Update: Politico puts the Pelosi plan in starker terms: in a worst case scenario, if Maliki can’t meet the first benchmark set for him, withdrawal would have to begin immediately after July 1. Petraeus and Odierno have said repeatedly they won’t know whether the surge is working systemically until the summer.

Update: The House debate should be lively.

Update: White House counsel Dan Bartlett advises Pelosi to reconsider:

[W]hat this is, is a political compromise in the Democratic caucus of the House, aimed at bringing comity to their internal politics, not reflective of the conditions on the ground in Iraq. It would unnecessarily handcuff our generals on the ground, and it’s safe to say it’s a non-starter for the President…

[T]he leader of the Republicans in the House, Boehner, Leader Boehner, has already had a press conference declaring their opposition to this legislation. Obviously, the administration would vehemently oppose and ultimately veto any legislation that looked like what was described today. Again, we don’t have all the details, there’s as lot of definitional purposes, but what we’re seeing here is an artificial, precipitous withdrawal from Iraq based on, unfortunately, politics in Washington, not on conditions on the ground in Baghdad, Iraq.

Update: Even Michael Ware, CNN’s Baghdad correspondent, thinks the Democratic timetable plays into the hands of America’s enemies.


Update: Reid’s plan in the Senate actually calls for withdrawal before Pelosi’s does — “within one hundred twenty days” of the bill’s passage, with all troops out by March 31 of next year. They know it doesn’t stand a chance. It’s pure grandstanding.


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Are the Pelosi benchmarks nuanced or not?

Entelechy on March 8, 2007 at 1:55 PM

Why report on ANYTHING they say? Didn’t the democraps, esp pelosi have a plan for this war, but shortly after Jan 1 they were media whoring about “We will form a committee for this…that…another thing…”

I grantee that before the end of the month, it will be by January ’09.

They backpedal on EVERY statement they make.

Mazztek on March 8, 2007 at 1:57 PM

I am so thoroughly sick of Pelousi and the Defeatocrats’ unrelenting efforts to guarantee that we lose in Iraq. What could be accomplished, if only they were working for our side? We’ll never know.

ReubenJCogburn on March 8, 2007 at 2:02 PM

So Pelosi is going to pass an impotent bill that will either die in the senate or be Vetoed?

Hmmm… well the good news is that she’s keeping busy on issues that she can’t win on rather than things she actually could screw up.

Jones Zemkophill on March 8, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Jones,

I think you may be on to something. As for poor LTG Petraeus – clowns to the left of him, snarling to the right…

major john on March 8, 2007 at 2:09 PM

Remember, too, pelosi wanted to cut $20 Bil from the ’08 military budget…

But then backpeadled on that, too.

Mazztek on March 8, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Dhimmicrats. Always lookin’ for a way to lose, to quit, to punk out. The sad part is that HALF the country agrees with these losers! Bin Laden said America has no stomach for a long fight, let’s not make him correct, shall we? Their plan is to kill enough Shi’ites to make us wanna pull out … and it’s working on the spineless left. Unfrigginbelievable!

Tony737 on March 8, 2007 at 2:37 PM

Mr. Bush would veto Pelosi plan, if it ever came to pass…in this life/version.

Entelechy on March 8, 2007 at 2:43 PM

“Betraus”.

Nice. Give this man a almost superhuman task and then hurl this sort of invective his way. The notion that he might have just a teeny, tiny better handle on the situation–nah, just keep riding that self-righteous horse. It feels gooooood….

Some people just need to be slapped silly.

honora on March 8, 2007 at 2:45 PM

All of the dates are designed to keep the anti-war left from either selecting an anti-war candidate in the primaries or from bolting for a third party anti-war candidate later.

July 1 – out by end of 2007: Troops out just before Iowa and NH primaries. No push from the far left for an anti-war candidate. Primary candidates do not have to take a position on the war.

Oct 1 – out by March 2008: Troops out just as Dem nominee determined. No push for an anti-war candidate in the months before the primaries, and no candidate would have to take a position on the war during the primaries.

Mar 1 – out by Aug 2008: Troops out just as Dem convention meets. The Dem nominee at no time has to explain his or her plans for Iraq if elected. During the general election campaign, there would be no impetus for a third party anti-war candidate.

The third option allows for the possibility that an anti-war candidate may succeed in the primaries, but I can’t imagine that the Dem worldview expects things to improve in Iraq to meet the first two deadlines. The front loaded primaries give the netroots an advantage, requiring a burst of effort over a few weeks rather than sustained effort over a few months to nominate an anti-war candidate. I suspect that when it comes to the war, pragmatism may not trump ideological purity. The plan works to defuse the anti-war tendencies of the netroots and bring them into the party mainstream, as much as that is possible, before they can affect the party nomination process in the short window where the nominee is selected.

rw on March 8, 2007 at 2:49 PM

honora on March 8, 2007 at 2:45 PM

Funny. AP throws out a straw man and you fall for it. Why not go take a look at the post before you comment?

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 2:52 PM

honora on March 8, 2007 at 2:45 PM

Funny. AP throws out a straw man and you fall for it. Why not go take a look at the post before you comment?

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 2:52 PM

I did read it, I was commenting on the Free Republic comments. Back on the porch.

honora on March 8, 2007 at 2:54 PM

And there you have it folks ……

“Plan Nine from Outer Space”

fogw on March 8, 2007 at 3:34 PM

did read it, I was commenting on the Free Republic comments

There are no FR comments. That’s my point. It’s a hollow straw man.

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 3:35 PM

I saw Michael Ware on CNN speaking about this. (Note that Ware authored a persuasive Frontline piece stating that the war in Iraq was counter-productive, i.e. fueling jihadism.)

But, of the Dems’ plan, he said, “It might as well have been from Pluto, as far as the impact it will have on the [civil] war in Iraq.” Then, more tellingly …

“Such a withdrawal plan will only strengthen America’s enemies. It will give them leverage.”

You might see if CNN posts a transcript later.

I am always interested when a thoughtful, intelligent observer says something contrary to what he might have been expected to say. Maybe Ware thinks we should get out (since the war is counter-productive), but without telegraphing our intentions.

commissar on March 8, 2007 at 3:56 PM

what we’re seeing here is an artificial, precipitous withdrawal from Iraq based on, unfortunately, politics in Washington, not on conditions on the ground in Baghdad, Iraq.

Maybe after what happened to Scooter Libby, President Bush is starting to grow “a pair”, will start using his veto, and stop trying to “work with” the Demhis.

PinkyBigglesworth on March 8, 2007 at 4:35 PM

There are no FR comments. That’s my point. It’s a hollow straw man.

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Gee, what a surprise. She is nailed again. It is getting to easy.

right2bright on March 8, 2007 at 4:49 PM

The Democrats seem to be trying to be everything to everyone, and running in this “general election” mode. I read this as a positive sign b/c they can’t put forward their most extreme agenda, like the pull out.

Maybe after what happened to Scooter Libby, President Bush is starting to grow “a pair”, will start using his veto, and stop trying to “work with” the Demhis.

PinkyBigglesworth on March 8, 2007 at 4:35 PM

Where was that veto power when the Republicans were spending like drunken sailors?

budorob on March 8, 2007 at 4:58 PM

There are no FR comments. That’s my point. It’s a hollow straw man.

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Click the line “Betraus” above. It takes you to the Free Republic site wherein there are comments trashing Petraeus. Hence AP’s comment

so here’s the man one of the Freepers is calling “Betraus.”

Can you hear me now??? Lord.

honora on March 8, 2007 at 5:08 PM

Where was that veto power when the Republicans were spending like drunken sailors?

That is an insult to drunken sailors…

Babs on March 8, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Michael Ware better start updating his resume.

Oh heck, I’m sure he’s got a job lined up at Fox any time he wants.

Enrique on March 8, 2007 at 5:22 PM

a CNN reporter says the Dems’ time table helps america’s enemies

timetable to Michael Ware’s firing anyone?

Defector01 on March 8, 2007 at 5:30 PM

One again the democrats show their willingness to abandon an ally, Iraq, and pull our troops out when they are needed the most thus allowing the country to fall into civil war and chaos. The democrats are following the Loose the War Playbook page by page just like they did in Vietnam in the mid 70′s. Let’s hope that their plans fail and the American people wake up and smell what the democrats are shoveling.

RedinBlueCounty on March 8, 2007 at 5:38 PM

I thought Michael Ware was talking pretty straight until he said “so-called” enemies.

In the words of AP, heart-ache.

flipflop on March 8, 2007 at 6:21 PM

Click the line “Betraus” above. It takes you to the Free Republic site wherein there are comments trashing Petraeus. Hence AP’s comment

Ya, read the comments – they are asking the original poster if it’s a typo. It’s a hollow straw man setup by AP and you fell for it!

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Reid’s plan in the Senate actually calls for withdrawal before Pelosi’s does — “within one hundred twenty days” of the bill’s passage, with all troops out by March 31 of next year. They know it doesn’t stand a chance. It’s pure (cadavre) grandstanding.

I am fully accountable and responsible for the insertion of the word “cadavre”.

Entelechy on March 8, 2007 at 6:24 PM

“Laying it on the line…”

The talking head must be referring to Ware’s employment at CNN.

omnipotent on March 8, 2007 at 6:24 PM

That was….startling to say the least. I think Mr. Studio Guy was a bit taken aback too. Just seeing that makes me think that better days may be coming.

major john on March 8, 2007 at 7:27 PM

Ya, read the comments – they are asking the original poster if it’s a typo. It’s a hollow straw man setup by AP and you fell for it!

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 6:23 PM

When you say AP, you mean Allah, right? You may want to change that for those of us who skim posts, it’s confusing.

Not sure that Allah set it up as a “hollow” straw man, that seems a little too clever for him.

(I kidd, I kidd!)

Max Power on March 8, 2007 at 8:17 PM

Pelosi unveiled the long-awaited Democratic compromise pullout plan about an hour ago: withdrawal will begin by the end of this year if Maliki can’t meet the security and economic benchmarks set for him, and if he can, then withdrawal will begin next March with everyone out by fall 2008.

If I understand correctly, Pelosi would have the Americans leave if Maliki needs them, but stay if he doesn’t. She’s given me the new thought that, in the struggle to reach the very heights of national politics, most wholly sane women are eliminated. Margaret Thatcher got there, true, but so have Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, the last of whom seems frankly deranged.

Kralizec on March 8, 2007 at 8:43 PM

I thought Michael Ware was talking pretty straight until he said “so-called” enemies.

Yeah, that remark may have saved his career at CNN.

CliffHanger on March 8, 2007 at 9:34 PM

If the surge does work, these Dems are so hung out to dry. Talk about having no exit strategy.

smellthecoffee on March 8, 2007 at 10:35 PM

Mr. Kralizec, your new thought is entirely plausible.

Entelechy on March 8, 2007 at 11:27 PM

Where was that veto power when the Republicans were spending like drunken sailors?

budorob on March 8, 2007 at 4:58 PM

As I said, maybe he finally grew a “pair”.

Not only was the spending out of control (appease the Democrats), but why won’t he secure the borders?

PinkyBigglesworth on March 9, 2007 at 12:13 AM

If the surge does work, these Dems are so hung out to dry. Talk about having no exit strategy.

smellthecoffee on March 8, 2007 at 10:35 PM

smellthecoffee, the surge is working, didn’t your read/hear/see about it?

Have you seen this in the “popular media”? No, I didn’t think so……….

If the Democrats caused the Sun to explode, they still wouldn’t report it, except to leave CD’s behind, after we are all dead, blaming it on Conservative Republicans….

PinkyBigglesworth on March 9, 2007 at 12:20 AM

On the far left side, Reps Woolsey, Schakowsky, and Lee are DEMANDING all troops out of Iraq by the end of 2007 or they won’t vote for troop funding at all.

They are called “progressives” by the News Hours. I call them rank traitors.

georgej on March 9, 2007 at 12:26 AM

Watch the Demos implode on this “issue”. They’ve got more dates for pulling out and ‘redeploying’ than anyone can follow–and it makes them look as dishonest and disorganized as they really are.

Even Bug-eyes Pelosi sounded spooked; I think she knows they’re going to Eat Dirt on this one, but she has to placate the looney-bats

…notice how honora stopped posting at 5pm, right on Drinking Schedule?

Janos Hunyadi on March 9, 2007 at 2:03 AM

…notice how honora stopped posting at 5pm, right on Drinking Schedule?

Janos Hunyadi on March 9, 2007 at 2:03 AM

Of course, duh. 2AM, that’s more the time for Twinkies and whatever take-out hasn’t yet gone bad in the fridge, right?

honora on March 9, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Ya, read the comments – they are asking the original poster if it’s a typo. It’s a hollow straw man setup by AP and you fell for it!

TheBigOldDog on March 8, 2007 at 6:23 PM

See below from those comments. RIF.

Looks like Petraus should be in the State Department instead of the military. He is pushing for negotiations with those car-bombers, kidnappers, assassins, and terrorists foreign to Iraq. Shouldn’t he concentrate on the military mission instead of parroting the negotiation mantra? In El Salvador in 1989 – 1992 I was made ill by the US Embassy constantly pushing for negotiations with the terrorists which gave away much of the military successes. Looks like history is repeating itself.

honora on March 9, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Always like to see the CNN International feed…you can’t get that in America (if I’m wrong, if someone could educate me), and I’ve always been intrigued watching it when I’ve been on vacation in Mexico and the Caribbean.

asc85 on March 9, 2007 at 12:14 PM

asc85, I was on a ship in the Caribbean when the 2nd Iraq war started. Only CNN int’l was available and you’d have thought the Americans were losing big time in the first days – had to get to the Internet to find our what was really going on.

That feed is entirely for the anti-American crowd consumption. Christiane Amanpour is one of the biggest mouths on it.

Entelechy on March 9, 2007 at 12:40 PM

“Killing all the bad guys” simply is not the plan.

In Petraus & Mattis COIN manual, the #1 item in the list of “Hallmarks of a poor COIN,” is ‘focusing on killing the insurgents.’

Anyone can still be a war supporter, with views I might call ‘denialist,’ but … such folks (like the Freeper noted) should *at least* get with the program, and get over the “lets just kill all the jihadis” mentality.

commissar on March 9, 2007 at 1:55 PM