Monday, July 28, 2008

The Timetable is Half Full

Much of the public discourse over the benefits/dangers of a "timetable" for withdrawal from Iraq try to paint a picture in black and white that is more a matter of perspective: Is a timetable for withdrawal a claim of victory or a concession of defeat? (I.e., is the glass half empty or half full?)

The establishment of a timetable for withdrawal is really nothing but a change of attitude. Under the Bush administration, the attitude has been that we intend to stay in Iraq until we need to leave. A timetable for withdrawal expresses the attitude that we intend to leave unless we need to stay.

And withdrawal is an attitude that American citizens and soldiers have grown to like.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is Bush Naive?

As recently as May 15, John McCain said that that Barack Obama's willingness to talk to Iran demonstrated "naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment."

Now, it's been learned that the Bush administration is sending a representative to talk to Iran about its nuclear program.

So, is McCain going to attack President Bush as "naive" and lacking judgment? Bush is naive and inexperienced (despite seven years in office) and lacks judgment, but that's beside the point. This is an opportunity for McCain to show how "tough" and independent he really is, and it would be a shame to pass that up.

McCain could take his cue from former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who described the planned talks as "further evidence of the administration’s complete intellectual collapse.” And Bolton was considered a neoconservative ally of the Bush administration, having served as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security for four years before President Bush pushed him into position of ambassador to the U.N. through an interim appointment to avoid Democratic opposition in the Senate.