Dubya Vindicates His Critics

The Financial Times editorial board notes that "only a month ago the Bush administration was furiously opposed to a time-table [for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq], insisting it would reflect an admission of defeat and play into the hands of its enemies.

"Faced with a surge of Iraqi nationalism, however, it has agreed to a plan that looks embarrassingly closer to the position of Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, than to the 2013 withdrawal date supported by John McCain, his Republican rival."

The Boston Globe editorial board writes: "If Bush continues refusing to accept the timetable that Iraqis want, he will make a mockery of his claim to have invaded and occupied Iraq in order to spread democracy there. Iraqis have pretty well crushed Al Qaeda with American help, and they are beginning to sort out their factional power struggles. If they want a sure date for US withdrawal, they should get it. Otherwise, Bush will only vindicate those critics of the war who said he invaded Iraq to establish permanent military bases and gain control of the country's enormous oil reserves."

The USA Today editorial board writes: "Obscured by the Olympics and U.S. presidential politics, the situation in Iraq could be reaching another turning point. The United States needs to disengage in a way that preserves American security interests and hard-won gains. But if the Iraqi people want a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, and the American people want U.S. forces out, it will be increasingly awkward for Bush or his successor to argue that they should stay a day longer than they're welcome."

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