Tuesday, September 11, 2007


You realize, of course, that President Bush's planned withdrawal of some troops next summer is going to be all over your TV screen, in an attempt to influence the '08 election.

Troops rotate into and out of Iraq all the time, but I'm guessing that the Bushies are going to try to make these trips home into big, visually exciting spectacles, preferably featuring him and/or Laura and/or various GOP luminaries, that will be carried live and then rerun endlessly. The White House is going to try to create images that will have the same impact as the pictures of returning Vietnam POWs and the "split-screen" release of the Iranian hostages just as Ronald Reagan was being sworn in as president.

And I wonder if he'll time any of the withdrawals for just before the Democratic convention. (Surely you remember the capture of the jihadist "high-value target" Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani just before the '04 Democratic convention, which took place after The New Republic noted that Pakistan was under pressure to catch some bad guys in the convention run-up.) Oh yeah, this will be milked for all it's worth -- even though we'll still be at pre-surge troop levels.

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