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Iraqi Suggests U.S. Troops Will Leave in 2008

Reported by Judy - June 15, 2006

Why is it that an Iraqi official can say U.S. troops should be out of Iraq by the end of 2008, but if anyone in the U.S. says it, it amounts to treason? Alert viewers of Fox News' "Dayside" on Thursday (June 15, 2006) might wonder about that -- if Fox News hadn't skipped over the statement by the Iraqi national security adviser.

Andrew Stack reported from Baghdad about the "treasure-trove" of information supposedly garnered after the death of Al Zarqawi, including a "battle plan" for Al Qaeda in Iraq. He added that Iraq's national security adviser, whom he didn't bother to name, said having the document "spells the end for Al Qaeda in Iraq." Then Stack quoted the still-unamed adviser as saying he expects U.S. troops to pull out in 2008.

Then "Dayside" co-hosts Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy went to a segment on congressional debate over a non-binding Republican resolution rejecting setting an "arbitrary date" for withdrawing from Iraq. The segment featured an interview with Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who claimed that a withdrawal deadline would "give a signal to terrorists that all they have to do is wait it out" and that "cutting and running at this tme would send a terrible message."

Jerrick, on his toes for once, asked whether cutting and running was the same thing as setting a timetable for withdrawal. And a member of the studio audience said that, "We do need an itinerary, a plan, that a time-line goes along with."

Jerrick, however, might have asked McCaul about the Iraqi national security adviser's comments regarding withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2008. Is he asking the U.S. to cut and run? Is he undermining U.S. troops' morale? Is he showing an unwillingness to finish the job? Is he sending a signal that all the insurgents have to do is wait it out?

Why is it OK for the Iraqi to say the U.S. troops should leave in 2008, but treason for someone in the U.S. to suggest the same or a different date? And might Jerrick have asked Stack why the anonymous security adviser picked 2008 and not 2007? Might it be that U.S. troop presence is so unpopular in Iraq that the government there must look like it, too, wants the Americans out in order to maintain the tiny bit of control and legitimacy that it has?

The same national security adviser also suggested that the Iraqi government might be willing to pardon some insurgents as part of a national reconciliation program. Stack didn't mention that in his upbeat report. Apparently, this democratic government that 2,500 Americans died to establish is now willing to negotiate with terrorists and actually pardon some of them.

The Iraqis can say it, but nobody in our "democracy" can.

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