Will Bush Leave If There Isn't An Oil Law?
The story hit the AP wires late Monday night, but it doesn't sound too surprising to those of us who have had a cynical view of what this war was all about from Day One.
The Iraq Study Group report didn’t cause Bush to change course and agree to a drawdown, instead he is just now supporting what he could have had back in January.
Weeks of futile and politically damaging Democratic funding challenges didn’t cause Bush to change course.
A failed surge and hundreds of new American casualties haven’t caused him to change course.
No, it appears tonight that the only thing that makes Bush reconsider his convictions would be no Oil Law for his Big Oil buddies.
Iraq's military is drawing up plans to cope with any quick U.S. military pullout, the defense minister said Monday, as a senior American official warned that the Bush administration may reconsider its support if Iraqi leaders don't make major reforms by fall.
On Monday, Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi told reporters Iraq's military was drawing up plans in case U.S.-led forces left the country quickly.
"The army plans on the basis of a worst case scenario so as not to allow any security vacuum," al-Obeidi said. "There are meetings with political leaders on how we can deal with a sudden pullout."
And just what reforms matter enough to Bush to make him pull out?
A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said President Bush expressed confidence in al-Maliki during a telephone call Monday to the Iraqi leader.
He said the two talked about political progress in Iraq, and al-Maliki gave Bush updates on two key U.S. demands — legislation to share Iraq's oil wealth among its regions and ethnic groups and a reform of the constitution.
But two senior Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that Bush warned al-Maliki that Washington expected to see "tangible results quickly" on the oil bill and other legislation as the price for continued support.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't supposed to release the information.
Senior Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman confirmed that U.S. pressure was mounting, especially on the oil bill, which was endorsed by the Iraqi Cabinet three months ago but has yet to come to the floor of parliament.
"The Americans are pressuring us to accept the oil law. Their pressure is very strong. They want to show Congress that they have done something so they want the law to be adopted this month. This interference is negative and will have consequences," Othman told AP.
Are we to believe that despite all the rhetoric about staying until terrorism and Al Qaeda are defeated in Iraq, that Bush will acquiesce to intraparty pressure and get up and leave this fall if he can’t get his hands on the oil?
Note this: Bush and Cheney have resorted to threatening the al-Maliki government with a withdrawal of American forces if they don't pass the Oil Law. And the effect on the Iraqis is . . . "OK, go ahead and leave. We'll start planning for that contingency now." This means that Cheney and Bush just shot their wad, and lost.