WASHINGTON — The Iraqi government is achieving only spotty military and political progress, the Bush administration conceded Thursday in an assessment that war critics quickly seized on as confirmation of their dire warnings. Within hours, the House voted to withdraw U.S. troops by spring.
As many as 80 suicide bombers per month cross into the country from Syria, said the interim assessment, which is to be followed by a fuller accounting in September from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in the region. “I believe we can succeed in Iraq, and I know we must,” Bush said at a White House news conference at which he stressed the interim nature of the report.
Democrats saw it differently. A few hours after Bush’s remarks, Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Lord Knows How This Will Fare In The Senate, Or If It Could Withstand A Veto, But Worst Case Scenario This Is Only The Beginning, The Conversation Is Running In Only One Direction These Days — End This Cruel And Pointless War