Warner's Turd

So, yesterday, Republican Senator John Warner threw himself a press conference. Having spent four whole days in and around Iraq, he was ready to make some "recommendations" to the president. And, wow, it was quite spectacular:

It seems to me the time has come to put some meaningful teeth into those comments, to back them up with some clear, decisive action to show that we mean business when those statements and others like it have been made.

And so, therefore, I make a recommendation to the president. … I say to the president, respectfully, pick what ever number you wish. You do not want to lose the momentum, but certainly in 160,000- plus, say, 5,000 could begin to redeploy and be home to their families and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year.

…He need not lay out a totality of a timetable. I would advise against it.

…That simple announcement of a single redeployment of some several thousand individuals under the military tradition — first-come, first-served in Iraq, first to depart — you’ve got to be careful how those selections — they can pick them from various units; put together a group and send them back. Then evaluate, re-evaluate how successful it has been. Then perhaps, at the president’s discretion, select a second date and time for a contingent to be redeployed.
Damn, bitch gone crazy!! Five thousand whole troops by Christmas—without a timetable, making it a totally pointless, symbolic gesture?! Slow down there, Warner—you could give yourself a heart attack with such radical recommendations!

Petulant has video of this ridiculous stunt, and some great commentary in a full-blown rant of Petulant proportions: "If this is showing teeth, someone get my dentures off the nightstand. … This entire press conference is nothing more than a floorshow for Warner to gum the president and don his motorcycle jacket and proclaim, I am a Rebel with a Cause."

Steve Benen notes the recommendation for a 3% troop reduction is "pretty weak tea. …[U]nless Warner is planning to challenge Bush directly, and bring some of his Senate friends with him, all of this comes across as 'Pretty please, Mr. President, we’d really love it if you adopted a sensible policy. But don’t worry, we won’t force you'." Yeah.

Meanwhile, Digby (also confirming the patent bullshittery and utter toothlessness of Warner's "respectful recommendation") highlights the media's dutiful determination to lap up Warner's pile of poop and declare it haute cuisine: "The press is portraying this as a 'tectonic shift,' which is what they've been saying about Warner's every utterance for the last three years. It's ridiculous. I don't know if the Great God Petraeus will say that the surge is working so well that we can redeploy 5,000 troops, but I wouldn't be surprised, would you? (Particularly since it's highly likely that 5,000 troops are scheduled to be redeployed anyway.)"

This is just sad. All of this ridiculous posturing, contingent on the ludicrous idea that "the surge is working," while, back in reality:

The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves.

Despite some evidence that the troop buildup has improved security in certain areas, sectarian violence continues and American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of thousands of additional troops arrived, the studies show.

…“There is no way we would go back,” said [Aswaidi, 26, a Sunni Arab who was driven out of her Baghdad neighborhood by Shiite snipers]. “It is a city of ghosts. The only people left there are terrorists.”

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