The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a Bush loyalist offered his darkest assessment of Iraq yet on Thursday, suggesting the war there was "drifting sideways" without a firm commitment from its government to disarm militias and rebuild the country.Is "three months" the new "next six months" -- the now-discredited, Friedman-trademarked deadline?
Returning from a recent trip to the region, Sen. John Warner said the military had done what it could, and if after three months the Iraqis have made no progress to calm ethnic violence and hasten reconstruction, then Congress will have to make some "bold decisions."
During Vietnam, a reliable characteristic of policymakers in Washington was their desire to kick the can down the road endlessly, hoping that someone else would have to make the decision to escalate, withdraw, or negotiate. That war spanned four different U.S. presidents, and that can got badly dented.
If we're going to avoid that in Iraq, it's essential that the keepers of the perpetual calendar get called out as their deadlines pass. Will anyone in the media remember to ask Sen. Warner "well, what now?" on January 5, 2007?