Last Night on MSNBC's Hardball, the opinion, quasi-news program hosted by Chris Matthews had representatives for Vets For Freedom and VoteVets.org on to discuss a recent statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki that called for a withdrawal of US Troops from Iraq or at least a hard time-table for a withdrawal. The representative for Vets For Freedom considered this a "victory" for George Bush and John McCain and evidence that the surge worked. VoteVets.org representative John Soltz called it a victory for Obama in that the candidate had been saying that we should be withdrawing troops as soon as the Iraqis told us to do so.
Ok, these guys (VFF and VV.org) are on either side of the political spectrum. One supports McCain and one supports Obama. Neither get the point. Iraq has said it's time to come home. The response from the Bush administration has been "not so fast". They've indicated that they'll come home when "conditions on the ground" warrant it.
Not congratulating the Iraqi's for stepping up and taking ownership of their future and saying we'll get started on the withdrawal plan is a mistake (yet another one) by the Bush Administration. Not only does it give the anti-Bush crowd the ammo to say we are definitely an occupier and not a liberator if we don't leave, it also gives the Obama candidacy a hammer to beat John McCain senseless with for the rest of the campaign. This is a gift for Obama. If he's smart, every day he'll get up and castigate Bush and then McCain for not embracing the Iraqi request and starting work on the "withdrawal" plan.
What is sad, is that this statement from the Iraqi's will be used more for political purpose than take it for what it really is: A call from a sovereign country for an occupying force to get the hell out of their country.
Tell me what you think,