The Republicans' way out
Even if it's no longer believable, this unconvincing chestnut reintroduced by Petraeus at his hearing, is once again useful as political cover for Republicans not to sign onto the resolutions condemning "the surge."
Lugar and Voinovich pulled this new tack yesterday,
Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich said he was more skeptical than ever about Bush's plan but he voted against the resolution because he thought it could be characterized as a "political attack."
The committee's senior Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, said he was not confident Bush's plan would succeed, but also opposed the resolution. "This vote will force nothing on the president, but it will confirm to our friends and allies that we are divided and in disarray," Lugar said.
The strategy is, apparently, to protect the White House by voting against these resolutions on "political grounds," and yet still get in the claim for the next election that they were critical of "the surge." It allows them to have it both ways.
(Plan B seems to be to have loyalists (Boehner, McCain) propose a number of alternate resolutions to fracture support.)
This is really sharp politics by the White House. I just wish it wasn't leading to more dead US soldiers.
(By the way, most of "our enemies in Iraq" are only our enemies because we are there fighting them. They're fighting for their country, and they are "our enemies" because we are getting in their way.)