On Iraq, the bait and the switch

Watch as the White House moves the goal posts.

By Tim Grieve
Published September 4, 2007 10:40PM (UTC)
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As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened a hearing this afternoon on the Government Accountability Office's new report on Iraq, Sen. John Kerry warned against letting the Bush administration move the goal posts again.

"This administration hasn't just failed to keep its promises," Kerry said. "It has proven chronically unable even to hold itself to its own goals. Each time we hear, 'This is what we were trying to do all along. This is what really mattered.' Mistake after mistake has been met not with a changed policy, but with changing rationales."

Like this?

U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, Aug. 21, 2007: "The whole premise, of course, of the surge was to ... bring levels of violence down and keep them down so that there would be the time and space for political leadership to get on with the business of national reconciliation."

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Sept. 3, 2007: "It was really for two purposes. One, to get sectarian violence down, which was centered in Baghdad. And secondly, to try and take advantage of what was beginning to happen in Anbar provinces [sic] with local political leaders and tribal sheiks coming together to fight al-Qaida."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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