Thursday, February 28, 2008

Less than 5 years would be good

One hopes that US Defence Secretary Bob Gates is aware of the irony even if George Bush is not --

"I think they got our message," Gates told reporters after his talks with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders, including the president and the minister of defense.

Still, Gates said Turkish officials did not discuss any deadline and he said he did not know if they will end the operation in a week as he's asked.

"I stand by where I've been on this. And that is that they should wrap this thing up as soon as they can," Gates said, noting his meetings with Turkish officials did not change his mind.

President Bush, asked about the situation at a White House news conference Thursday, made a similar point.

"It should not be long-lasting," Bush said. "The Turks need to move, move quickly, achieve their objective and get out."

Because of course in the US political context, a timetable for leaving Iraq is surrender to the terrorists, and "the objective" is so open ended as to facilitate that 100 year presence that John McCain says he wants.

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