A while back, liberal hawk George Packer got a clue and declared that the Bush administration had screwed up the Iraq war -- but now Packer is back on more comfortable ground, happily bashing what he considers to be his own side. In this week's New Yorker, he attacks dirty filthy hippie Democrats like John Murtha who've called for a full-scale withdrawal of troops, arguing that even withdrawal from individual cities has been a bad idea:
... wherever American troop levels have been reduced --in Falluja and Mosul in 2004, in Tal Afar in 2005, in Baghdad in 2006 -- security has deteriorated. In the absence of adequate and impartial Iraqi forces, Sunni insurgents or Shiite militias have filled the power vacuum with a reign of terror.
Democrats! Why do they want to cut and run?
Er, but elsewhere in The New Yorker we have this, in Seymour Hersh's article:
In August, according to [a] former senior intelligence official, Rumsfeld asked the Joint Chiefs to quietly devise alternative plans for Iraq, to preempt new proposals, whether they come from the new Democratic majority or from the Iraq Study Group. "The option of last resort is to move American forces out of the cities and relocate them along the Syrian and Iranian border," the former official said....
In a subsequent interview, [a] former senior Bush Administration official said that he had also been told that the Pentagon has been at work on a plan in Iraq that called for a military withdrawal from the major urban areas to a series of fortified bases near the borders. The working assumption was that, with the American troops gone from the most heavily populated places, the sectarian violence would "burn out." "The White House is saying it’s going to stabilize," the former senior Administration official said, "but it may stabilize the wrong way."
Yup -- Democrats want to pull troops from Iraq. What cowards! Not like those brave Republicans -- they're just talking about pulling troops from all the dangerous parts of Iraq. Much more steadfast!