At it again

Lawmakers in both parties have begun to talk about the best way to end the Iraq war. But instead of seizing the opening, Bush and his team continue to spout disinformation about victory and, of course, more character assassination. This time, the hit man was Eric Edelman, the under secretary of defence for policy, and the target was Senator Hillary Clinton. In May, Clinton wrote Defence Secretary Robert Gates with a reasonable question: Had the Pentagon done any planning for withdrawal from Iraq? What she got back was a belligerent brush-off. Edelman wrote that “premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the US will abandon its allies in Iraq.” Bush administration has made it a habit of accusing their critics of lending comfort to “the enemy.”

It was particularly galling to hear Bush accuse Congress of denying support to the troops because the initial Pentagon budget bill got snared in the Senate’s debate over Iraq last week and was not passed. It is Bush who has denied the military what it needs, first by short-changing the Pentagon on troops and armour and then by stranding US forces in a civil war. Bush denied Americans a serious debate about starting this war. It’s time f+or a serious and honest debate about how to end it. — International Herald Tribune