A few points to cover.
First, though the administration seems like itâs in disarray over Iraq, I believe the internal disarray and in-fighting is much more pronounced than is now apparent. Much more.
Second, in various conversations yesterday I was struck by how similarly many Democrats and many neocons in (and in the orbit of) the administration are viewing the situation in Iraq. Or, at least one key aspect of it, one key fear.
At the American Progress conference yesterday
I sat in on a press roundtable Q&A with John Podesta and Sandy Berger. Berger said his greatest fear was that we would withdraw from Iraq prematurely.
I heard this anxiety expressed by a lot of people at the conference. The concern is that the politicals at the White House will dictate a hasty and potentially disastrous withdrawal from Iraq --- one engineered not to create a long-term good outcome in the country, but to create a very specific short-term benefit, to eliminate or reduce the presidentâs political vulnerability on the issue in the fall of 2004.
The neocons seem to share that anxiety in spades.
One other thing to keep an eye on. Hereâs a graf from an article
in the Times
In a second day of high-level meetings at the Pentagon to refine American plans, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met on Tuesday with Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top commander of American forces in Iraq; and L. Paul Bremer III, the top American civilian administrator in Iraq.
What did Bremer tell Rumsfeld?