Yesterday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that “by September, when General Petraeus is to make a report, I think most of the people in Congress believe, unless something extraordinary occurs, that we should be on a move to draw those surge numbers down.” Similarly, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said recently, “The handwriting is on the wall,” adding, “We are headed in a different direction, in the fall, in Iraq. And the president is going to be the one to lead the way.”
As more and more conservatives begin to break away, the fiercest proponents of the current course in Iraq will desperately try to sway public opinion by claiming that the September deadline is too soon and that great progress is being made. Fox News’ pundits are already leading the charge.
This weekend, Brit Hume said the September deadline was “not helpful” and “probably unrealistic.” Fox military commentator Bob Maginnis said “after September, there’s a lot to be done. … It’s going to take a while.” And Fred Barnes claimed Petraeus will report “great progress and say [Baghdad] is heavily pacified. And I think that will increase some of the public support.” Watch it:
While it appears most members of Congress are beginning to coalesce around the need to begin a redeployment in the fall, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he is leading an effort to discourage his colleagues “from saying that September is some kind of seminal moment.” And he’ll have no shortage of help from right-wing media outlets who will spin the deteriorating situation in Iraq.
Transcript: Read more