Thursday, August 21, 2008

U.S. announces agreement with Iraq featuring troop withdraws

According to an AP report posted on the St. Petersburg Times Web site, the U.S. and Iraq announced that they have reached a security agreement and U.S. combat troops will move out of Iraqi cities by next June.

The Times of London reported last week that the agreement was imminent, and I commented on the ramifications at that time.

The mainstream media, exemplified by the AP story, continues to portray the agreement as a huge reversal by President Bush.

The negotiations over a withdrawal timetable follow long insistence by President Bush that setting any schedule for U.S. troops to leave would be dangerous. The draft agreement with Iraq would link troop reductions to achievement of certain security milestones, although the details have not been made public.

At the time Bush was insisting that he would not accept a timetable for withdraw, the situation was not stable. Prior to the surge, the Democrats continually called for an immediate troop withdraw and Bush insisted he would not pull troops out until the situation warranted a withdraw.

But as this blog has documented, the security situation has improved drastically over the last six months. The Iraqi army and police have successfully taken over more and more of their own security.

What the AP and other mainstream media fail to understand, or simply refuse to report, is that the situation in Iraq has evolved to the point that a U.S. withdraw is possible and prudent.

The fact that security milestones will also dictate the pace and implementation of the U.S. withdraw makes this agreement vastly different than the "pull out now" proposals by the Democrats that Bush opposed.

This agreement represents a major milestone in the war. It reflects the success of the surge and the overall U.S. strategy in Iraq. It represents a major victory for Bush and more importantly, for the United States.

Condoleezza Rice's comments indicate she understands the true significance of the agreement.

"We're not sitting here talking about an agreement to try to get out of a bad situation," Rice said, asserting that the draft "builds on the success we have had in the last year. This agreement is based on success."

But instead of focusing on U.S. success, the mainstream media insists on sticking to its bash Bush political template. They would rather paint Bush as a loser, forced to back down from his "uncompromising" position than report what this agreement truly represents - a win for the good guys.

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