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Ear to the Ground

Petraeus Suggests Withdrawals

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Posted on May 23, 2008
Petraeus Speaks
boston.com

Gen. David Petraeus announced on Thursday the prospect of additional U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq beginning in the fall, a move that contradicts his recommendation last month to halt withdrawals due to security concerns. The turnaround suggests political motivations, as conditions in Iraq remain chaotic and the U.S. presidential race looms in the distance.


The Guardian:

The US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, yesterday [Thursday] held out the surprise prospect of further American troop withdrawals in the autumn, only one month after he recommended that President George Bush halt pull-outs after the summer.

Congressional members welcomed the U-turn, disclosed at a hearing of the Senate armed services committee. The committee’s chairman, the Democratic senator Carl Levin, called the general’s announcement “good news to most of us”. Petraeus told the committee: “My sense is I will be able to make a recommendation at that time for further reductions.” He added he did not want to imply that that would mean pulling out a particular brigade or unit.

There are about 154,000 US soldiers in Iraq. An extra 30,000 sent last year to help quell violence in Baghdad and central and northern Iraq are due to leave by the end of July.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 25, 2008 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

To make wars or not to make wars!
To withdraw or not to withdraw!
These are two perpetual questions that will always be with us as long as lackeys are allowed to hold important public offices!

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, May 24, 2008 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Funny how these announcements don’t jibe with reality.  Everything about this war seems so manufactured, one big coverup after another.  Was killing Saddam Hussein worth this—all these lives, our economy, a country’s physical and cultural structures—it seems like one big sinkhole that is sucking us and the mideast down in it.  I for one want to see the debate on this war; I want it to be vigorous, deep, and wide-reaching.  Like most Americans, I want the truth to come out once and for all.

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By A Khokar, May 24, 2008 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

Withdrawal or no withdrawal; that sun may not shine in the court yard of Iraqis that may give the light and hope for the peace in their forsaken land.

*The oppressors, my killers, they don’t change.Only they change, their faces and flags.
*What a journey of mine?  All the spans and miles stones that I traverse also travel with me.

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By cyrena, May 23, 2008 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

You’re right P.T. We did know this was coming. Not a surprise at all, (not that it would happen anyway..withdrawal that is). I knew as soon as I saw the blub on the reader yesterday, exactly what this was about.

Actually, I’m more curious about all of the detox ads on this page. There’s like 4 detox ads for heroine/opiates on this page, along with one for the Patreus Report. I’ve never seen anything like that here. Wonder what it means?

I mean, I’m not naive or anything, but is heroine addition that much of a problem for truthdig readers? Or, is it indicative of some positive change in the political winds, that after 8 years, folks can actually consider giving it up? (the dope that is)

Just wondering.

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By Pacrat, May 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Petraeus is a Bush flunky - what else could he do but “promise” a troop withdrawal and then renege on his pledge. He is a general. Generals lead armies. Armies fight. He lives to fight wars - period! What else? However, he should stop playing politics.

Until he retires or is dismissed like many of his predecessors he has to follow his “commander in chief.”

Thank goodness that American civilians don’t have a commander in chief - just a president. Bush has abused the meaning of his military responsibility with his civilian responsiblities and Petraeus and others like him are responsible for the blurring of the roles.

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By Thomas Billis, May 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

I propose Gen Petraeus for The William Westmoreland award for bullshit sold as policy.He has replaced Tony Blair as Bush’s poodle.These so called military leaders who are only concerned about kissing the wallets of their superiors instead of the men serving under them will be villified in “Dereliction Of Duty Part 2”.What a shame we will have to wait 20 years to villify these lackeys but it is the American way.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 23, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

And why we have to believe this highly-decorated general, with such childish colorful insignias, when his boss, the so-called Commander-in-Chief, has been lying to the nation for eight long years?!

One possible difference might be that while his boss lied in white and black, Petraeus lies are in colors to resemble his childish insignias!

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By P. T., May 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

We’ve been through this before.  Remember, in 1972, it was Henry Kissinger with “peace is at hand.”

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