Thursday :: Mar 15, 2007

Iraqis Have Already Missed Benchmarks


by Steve

Those benchmarks that Bush expected the Iraqis to meet as a sign of progress, which he told Congress could be reached this month? Forget it.

The Iraqis are months away from meeting them, yet the Bush Administration says that setting hard and fast dates are counterproductive. It is more important to the Administration that signs of progress continue to be made, which of course in the absence of actual benchmarks allows the Administration to keep moving the goalposts.

We are now being told that it will be towards the end of 2007 before the Bush Administration is ready to fully assess how the Iraqis are doing. Yet several of the key goals, such as allowing the Baathists back into the government and military, and constitutional reform to address Sunni concerns have yet to see any real progress. Since both of them are integral to political reconciliation, and since even General Petraeus says that such reconcilitation is essential for his counter-insurgency policy to work, one wonders how much stock we should put into the initial glowing reports about the decline in bombing deaths in Baghdad, even while bombings outside of Baghdad continue unabated and bodies keep showing up in the streets of the capitol.

Hey, at least the Oil Law got hammered out, even if the members of parliament are too scared to come back to Baghdad and vote on it.

Steve :: 9:19 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!