"REPORT: Six Months Later, Time’s Up For Escalation Proponents"
Six months ago today, on January 10, 2007, the President announced his policy of escalation in Iraq. He claimed that “if we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.”
A host of administration officials and media pundits quickly embraced Bush’s call, and asked that the American public give it a chance to succeed. Building off the work that has been done by Atrios and others, ThinkProgress has compiled a list of administration officials and media pundits who promised a reassessment after giving the surge a chance. Some examples:
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: So it’s not as if there is a date, at six months we’ll know and then we have to do something dramatic. [Time Magazine, 1/12/07]
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think we ought to give him and the president the benefit of the doubt, give them six months and see if it can be controlled. [Fox News, 1/12/07]
BILL O’REILLY: We can’t force these people to stop killing each other. They’re either going to do it or they’re not, but now they know. Now they know. They’ve got six months and that’s it. [The O’Reilly Factor, 1/24/07]
Six months later, the cycle of violence in Iraq continues. Since Bush announced the escalation, 590 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died. Military assessments suggest that “the U.S. military’s plan to secure Baghdad against a rising insurgency is falling far short of its goal” and “no progress has been made on the political benchmarks the Iraqi government was supposed to have met already.”