Kristol: “The Administration Looks Weak Right Now”

In recent days, the Bush administration has tried to have it both ways on Iraq. On the one hand, the White House has said those who advocate a drawdown of troops are calling for “surrender to the terrorists.” On the other hand, the adminstration — in the face of polls showing the American people favor a drawdown — has repeatedly sent signals that it too wants to pull out troops. Yesterday, Secretary Rice became the latest member of the administration to send mixed signals.

On Fox News this morning, conservative editor of the Weekly Standard Bill Kristol called out the administration for this game they’re playing:


What message does this send here at home? Here in Washington, policymakers, congressional staff, opinion leaders pick up the two Washington papers this morning and there in the Washington Times, ‘General Calls Iraqi Pullout Destabilizing.’ So you think, well, that’s good, that’s the administration’s line. You can’t pull out too fast. Then you pick up the Washington Post. ‘Three Brigades May Be Cut In Iraq Early In 2006’ based on a Pentagon briefing by a different general. It looks confusing, it looks weak in my opinion. Dick Cheney just gave a major speech warning against this kind of talk. Everyone knows that we want to pull out troops when we can, but to sort of go out on a P.R. offensive, I think, on the part of the administration looks weak right now.