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May 23, 2006

RhetoricWatch: "Turning Point"
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

So President Bush has duly introduced the frame that will allow his Administration to draw down 30,000 or more troops "by the end of the year."

BUSH: The new Iraqi government does not change America's objectives or our commitment, but it will change how we achieve those objectives and how we honor our commitment.

And as the new Iraqi government grows in confidence and capability, America will play an increasingly supporting role.

To take advantage of this moment of opportunity, the United States and our coalition partners will work with the new Iraqi government to adjust our methods and strengthen our mutual efforts to achieve victory over our common enemies.

...we have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror.

It's interesting that the authors of this and similar Administration statements don't seem to feel that any link is needed between troop drawdowns and actual reductions in violence.  The senior US official who briefed on the speech even noted honestly, according to the Washington Post, that in the near-term violence is likely to go up, not down.

I do wonder what polling is telling them that.  Perhaps you also noticed a senior Republican's assessment the other day that one-third of Americans want the troops to come home, one-third want them to stay, and one third are "persuadable."  Or the comment that the Administration wants to stage as many welcome-home ceremonies as possible -- in lieu of "coffin coverage."


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