Democrats & Liberals Archives

Cracking Under Pressure

For months we’ve been hearing Bush taunting Kerry (falsely) for not having the strength to stand up to political pressure — to do the right thing, even when it’s unpopular. This has been not just part of the Bush campaign, it’s been the Bush campaign. And now, with the critical elections in Iraq only four months off, and large parts of the country under control of a fractious political minority that will be severly under-represented if things remain as they are, we’re treated to the following headline: Major Assaults on Hold Until After U.S. Vote.

This is how Bush stands up to political pressure?

I recommend you read the whole thing, but here's some choice extracts:

The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.

Although American commanders in Iraq have been buoyed by recent successes in insurgent-held towns such as Samarra and Tall Afar, administration and Pentagon officials say they will not try to retake cities such as Fallouja and Ramadi where the insurgents' grip is strongest and U.S. military casualties could be the highest until after Americans vote in what is likely to be an extremely close election.


Any delay in pacifying Iraq's most troublesome cities, however, could alter the dynamics of a different election the one in January, when Iraqis are to elect members of a national assembly.

With less than four months remaining, U.S. commanders are scrambling to enable voting in as many Iraqi cities as possible to shore up the poll's legitimacy. ...

For 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq trying to break the will of a deadly insurgency, that means understanding and sometimes bending to the needs of U.S. politics and the demands of their Iraqi hosts.

Posted by William Cohen at October 11, 2004 12:29 PM