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Lindsey Graham Wants To Pull Plug On Maliki

From The Hill:

Graham may seek to pull plug on Maliki

By Roxana Tiron
November 15, 2007

In a move that could give cover to Republicans in an increasingly tough election year, one of the Bush administration’s most steadfast supporters in the Senate is indicating that he may introduce legislation later this year that could alter the administration’s Iraq policy.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who staunchly supported Bush’s Iraq troop surge strategy, said he is not seeking to influence military strategy but rather the way the United States spends money to influence the political process in Iraq.

Graham’s effort is still in the conceptual stages, but it could give an opportunity for Republicans — banking on the success of the surge — to carve out a distinct Iraq plan that differs from the Bush administration without giving in to the Democrats’ withdrawal push.

Graham said he is disappointed with the political reconciliation efforts in Iraq and is considering influencing alternatives to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government if the country does not make strides toward that goal.

“If his government has not delivered meaningful political reconciliation by the end of the year, given the success of the surge and better security, I will consider [Maliki’s] government a failure,” Graham told The Hill. “And then we look for other horses to support.

“It would be foolhardy to continue to throw money at a group of people who have had an opportunity to produce and have not,” he said. He added that he is “not going to sit on the side” if the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions fail to implement reconciliation measures that could bring the country together.

Graham, who is up for reelection in 2008 and will likely face a primary challenge from the right, has been in discussions with the White House about his possible move, said a source familiar with Graham’s plan…

But Stephen Biddle, a senior defense policy fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who has just returned from a trip to Iraq, said that Graham’s plan would have been better suited to the spring rather than now, as circumstances are changing rapidly.

At the moment … we are getting reconciliation from the bottom up without coercive leverage on Maliki,” said Biddle. “The rapid spread of [the] bottom-up [local reconciliation] approach combined with some apparent Iraqi recalculations on how long the U.S. is staying in Iraq has set up a situation in which the Iraqi government is increasingly interested in experimenting with reconciliation to see if it will work.”

If the U.S. withdraws support for Maliki, Biddle said, any “experimentation with reconciliation we have now may be set back by at least six months.” …

What is wrong with this man? (Using the term loosely.)

Why are there so many buffoons so eager to snatch defeat from the jaws of a hard-won victory?

And what part of Mr. Maliki having been “duly elected” does Mr. Graham not understand?

Graham, who is up for reelection in 2008 and will likely face a primary challenge from the right…

Let’s hope so.

Don’t we already have enough defeatist Democrats?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, November 15th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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