Opinion (Kevin Ryan): The 'withdrawal' that isn't
In January, President George W. Bush announced the start of a "surge" that wasn't really a surge. Now the House and Senate have responded with a "withdrawal" that isn't really a withdrawal.
Last week, the House passed a bill that many believe would set hard deadlines for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. This week, the Senate followed suit. The House bill would require that troop withdrawals start immediately if the president cannot certify that Iraq or the United States are meeting benchmarks in the war. The withdrawal would have to be completed within 180 days. Even if the United States and Iraq are successful in reducing violence, the bill requires the United States to start a withdrawal by March 2008 and complete it by that August.
The Senate bill requires a withdrawal to be complete by March 2008. Supporters of both bills claim they are forcing a withdrawal from Iraq, but a look at the fine print reveals otherwise.
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