According to the Associated Press, CENTCOM Commander General John Abizaid is warning against setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Abizaid delivered his warning to the Senate Armed Services Committee today.
In arguing against a timetable for troop withdrawals, Abizaid told the committee that he and other U.S. commanders need flexibility in managing U.S. forces and determining how and when to pass on responsibility to Iraqi forces.
"Specific timetables limit that flexibility," the general said.
Earlier, Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat ready to take over the Armed Services Committee in January, said the administration must tell Iraq that U.S. troops will begin withdrawing in four to six months.
"We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves. The only way for Iraqi leaders to squarely face that reality is for President Bush to tell them that the United States will begin a phased redeployment of our forces within four to six months," Levin said at the outset of the hearing before Abizaid made his opening statement.
Let's see, it looks like we have a clash of opinions here. Which should we take more seriously? Who has the most credibility here? One is an experienced military officer who has commanded troops in combat, has extensive time on the ground in Iraq and the Middle East, Speaks Arabic, and has extensive first-hand knowledge of the situation in Iraq. The other is a pedantic blowhard politician with a bad combover and glasses that are about to slip off his nose. Tough call, isn't it?