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Is Gates on a Different Page?

Posted on May 6, 2007

While the Bush administration has repeatedly referred to the Democrats’ timetable for withdrawal from Iraq as a recipe for failure, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has praised the measure. He’s also urged an assessment of the troop escalation by this summer—sooner than supporters of the “surge” would like—and indicated support for a withdrawal as outlined by the Iraq Study Group, which he was once a part of.

The administration traditionally values loyalty over competence and other considerations, but it appears as though the defense secretary is flexing his independence.

Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON—President Bush has mobilized his administration, including his top general in Iraq, in a major push to win more time and money for his war strategy. But one crucial voice has been missing from the chorus: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In fact, Gates’ recent comments seem to run counter to the message from the White House. During a recent trip to the Middle East, Gates told the Iraqi government that time was running out and praised Democratic efforts in the U.S. Congress to set a timetable for withdrawal, saying it would help prod the Iraqis. He reiterated that point during a meeting with reporters last week.

A spokesman for Gates insisted there was no distance between the Defense secretary’s thinking on the timetable for Iraq and views held by the White House or Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq.

But his warnings to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki are just the latest indications from Gates that he believes the window of opportunity for the administration to get Iraq right is closing sooner rather than later.

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By Dale Headley, May 7, 2007 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When asked to explain again why he nominated Robert Gates for the job, George Bush said, “OOOPS!”

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By Hammo, May 7, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Gates may be a voice of honesty within the Bush-Cheney administration, he may be breaking from them or he may be playing “good cop-bad cop” with the Iraqis and the American people.

Whatever the reasons for his positions, it seems that Congress must continue to act assertively. Republicans in Congress must find their integrity and honor, and break from the Bush-Cheney bunch.

More on this in:

“Congressional inquiries on Iraq War can enhance honor and strength of America”

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 7, 2007 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Congress needs to quit dancing the Hokey Pokey and support the Kucinich impeachment bill. Congress must be purged of the business as usual crowd, I support a high colonic, lets try to get a governmnet by and for the people for a change. Commander Codpiece needs to go.

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By Verne Arnold, May 7, 2007 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

Crips, somebody in that administration needs to be on a different page…I just hope the page is titled “Reality”!

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By QuyTran, May 6, 2007 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

Bush/Cheney ordered :“Just hang Gates higher than Saddam Hussein”.

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By DennisD, May 6, 2007 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is Gates speaking without the cue cards again. Unacceptable, keep that up and the next thing he’ll be hearing is “Heckuva job Bobby” now get the hell out of here.

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