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Petraeus To Delay July US Troop Withdrawals

From an outraged Reuters:

Petraeus halts troop withdrawals from Iraq

By Kristin Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. commander in Iraq told Congress on Tuesday he plans to stop U.S. troop withdrawals in July due to fragile security gains in a progress report with repercussions on the U.S. presidential campaign…

Gen. David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the year-long troop increase has led to an improvement in security in parts of Iraq but that these gains are “fragile and reversible.”

He said an Iraqi operation earlier this month to tackle Shi’ite militias in the southern city of Basra — which President George W. Bush had called a “defining moment” for Iraq, was a disappointment, not adequately planned or prepared.

To avoid jeopardizing the gains of the past year, Petraeus said he had recommended a 45-day halt in July to a series of troop withdrawals and after that pause would assess conditions on the ground to determine whether security is sufficient to bring more home…

New York Sen. Clinton, who is battling for the Democratic Party presidential nomination with Sen. Barack Obama, told Petraeus the United States should begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq to focus on problems elsewhere.

“I think it’s time to begin an orderly process of withdrawing our troops, start rebuilding our military, and focusing on the challenges posed by Afghanistan, the global terrorist groups and other problems that confront Americans,” she said

Petraeus’ plan to stop troop withdrawals drew a rebuke from the committee chairman, Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin. He called it “an open-ended pause” that would represent “the next page in a war plan with no exit strategy.”

Levin demanded to know how many U.S. troops would be in Iraq at the end of 2008.

“Sir, I can’t give you an estimate,” said Petraeus, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, at his side…

Protesters several times interrupted the proceedings, providing an edgy atmosphere inside a Capitol Hill hearing room packed with news media and onlookers.

“Bring them home!” shouted one demonstrator to scattered applause who was hustled out as Petraeus tried to speak…

There is no real news here. Removing still more troops this summer was always a best case scenario.

But once again the media pretends otherwise.

Just like they continue to pretend that the paid professional anti-America protestors of Code Pink are just anonymous protestors expressing the sentiment of the grassroots.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 8th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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