Bush is saying now that U.S. troops will stay in Iraq "for years," and that it's up to the next president to decide when it's the right time for withdrawal.
Bush has adamantly refused to set a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Asked if there would come a day when there would be no more U.S. forces in Iraq, Bush said, "That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."Wow. How convenient. Not only will the next president inherit an ever-growing deficit, but now he/she will also inherit a poorly planned, poorly executed, and poorly run war in the Middle East.
Pressed on whether that meant a complete withdrawal would not happen during his presidency, Bush said, "I can only tell you that I will make decisions on force levels based upon what the commanders on the ground say."
White House officials worried Bush's remarks would be read as saying there would not be significant troop reductions during his presidency. They pointed to comments Sunday by Gen. George W. Casey, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, who said he expected a substantial troop reduction "certainly over the course of 2006 and into 2007."
Again, it looks like Bush will emerge from this disaster of a presidency unscathed. Pity.
(Photo credit: AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)