A couplne of weeks ago President Bush was speaking about troop reductions in Iraq. Bush was siting numbers, numbers based on actual performance on the ground.
Yesterday, August 21, 2008, Condoleeza Rice stated from Ira that the United States and Iraq are in the process of establishing a [flexible] “time table,” for removing US troops from Iraq. The Administration plan which is based on success on the ground, essentially, a victory!
Sadaam Hussein was removed, an Iraqi constitution was established, and a democratic Iraqi [partially functioning] government is in place. Should events on the ground, including civilian security and a fully, or nearly fully functioning Iraqi Administration be in place within the Obama sixteen-months time table, his time table may prove realistic. But, by his own admission, it may have to be moved either forward and backward, depending on events on the ground.
Obama main theme when he became a Presidential candidate is a time table for removing US troops out of Iraq. That message may have lost its meaning if troop removal becomes a reality because of success in the grounf, a success that in large part may be due to “the surge,” a military move that McCain supported and that Barak Obama objected to.
Assuming that the time table Secretary Rice is discussing becomes a reality, especially if it is accompanied by a clear definition of what conditions are expected (a definition of “victory,” if you will) to allow for a time table that Iraq-table will be turned in favor of John McCain, and Obama will lose one of his major speaking points.
An Iraq time table if accopmanied with the return to more “normal” oil production should also be one item that will help ease the pressure of gas prices on the economy. In spite of the fact that Bush will continue to receive bad grade, probably as bad as Jimmy Carter (the two worse Presidents in US history,) more oil production from Iraq, reduced gas prices, and troop returning, much due to the “surge,” could do nothing less than give Senator Mccain a big boost in what appears to be a tight US Presidential election.