Reid: Hey, maybe we don't need a withdrawal deadline after all

I’m surprised. The hopeful reports about the surge over the past month or so must have him spooked him into thinking the Blue Dogs are going to cross the aisle if (or rather, when) Petraeus gives an upbeat assessment. That’s weird given the pushback of late from that NYT op-ed by the seven soldiers and the withering GAO report that was just leaked, not to mention the consensus that the Iraqi government is in total disarray. How total?

At one point, as [Reps.] Moran, Tauscher and Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.) were heading to lunch in the fortified Green Zone, an American urgently tried to get their attention, apparently to voice concerns about the war effort, the participants said. Security whisked the man away before he could make his point…

But even such tight control could not always filter out the bizarre world inside the barricades. At one point, the three were trying to discuss the state of Iraqi security forces with Iraq’s national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, but the large, flat-panel television set facing the official proved to be a distraction. Rubaie was watching children’s cartoons.

When Moran asked him to turn it off, Rubaie protested with a laugh and said, “But this is my favorite television show,” Moran recalled.

Honest to god, my first thought when I read that was “pull out now.” He’s the same rat, you may remember, who spent the evening of Saddam’s execution calling in to U.S. cable TV networks to blow smoke up America’s ass about what a polished and professional operation it was. Then when the cell phone video came out proving it was basically a gangland hanging, he turned on a dime. The truth is, he’d only benefit from a pullout because his Shiite goons would fill the power vacuum and go on a rampage. Or rather, a bigger rampage than they’re already on.