February 1st, 2007

chessboard

Feet to Fire

I've been screaming for Senator Barack Obama to say something specific, something which might justify him getting all the hype and toward that end, he claims to have taken a concrete step on the issue of the day. I still have to reserve judgement on the subject because the text of S.433 isn't yet available via Thomas, nor did he release it to the Washington Post, the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune, so we only have his press release and his floor statement (video, text) on the matter.

Though I'd love to see the actual bill because after all, it is from the fellow who in that Charlie Gibson interview that I've referenced twice, referred to the Maliki government, the Sunnis and the Kurds like they were three separate and warring factions. But so far the actual text is not available, which just leaves us with the bullet points he released and from those: I'm going to say that the big ones, which will probably get the bulk of the headlines is that the number of troops would be capped at January 10th levels, we'd begin the redeployment no later than May 1st and excluding the following major condition, it'd be complete by March 2008.

What may or may not get lost in the shuffle is that the redeployment would be halted, if the Iraqi government were to meet the thirteen benchmarks that he's supposedly defined from the President's public statements. So, based on his own words, his bill would undo the surge and it would hold them accountable to President Bush's benchmarks, or we would leave them to their own demise.

Which, though I've only started considering the issue and I'm not sure that I'm ready to make any blanket statements on the question; But is S.433 really some radical new policy or once we get the words, will we find that it's primarily a series of threats and really just a fine-tuning or repackaging of the things Mr Bush and the Baker-Hamilton Commission have already said?

Better yet; Would that be a good thing or a bad thing, and would it qualify as an original thought, worthy of the hype?

(x-posted from my journal)

(no subject)



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