Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz, elected as an anti-war veteran, said nothing in the general's report made him change his position on a troop withdrawal, which he said will happen inevitably with a military so over-extended.
"Our forces, quite frankly, are stretched to the breaking point," Walz said. "The general can say all he wants, but he knows, we know and any single person that looks at the classified documents or knows military readiness knows that we can't maintain this."
Minnesota Republican John Kline stuck to his position that it would be a mistake to withdraw prematurely.By failing to act on their rhetoric, Democrats have effectively surrendered the draw down debate to the Republicans. Democrats, having failed to act, having failed to pass legislation to end the war, now have failed to recognize that they have walked right into a situation where they freely admit that what Petraeus says doesn't really matter and where Republicans can now point to data presented by the leading commander in Iraq that says we will begin to withdrawal our troops in the near future.
But Kline said it is a testament to the success of the troop surge that Petraeus was able to forecast a drawdown of as many as 30,000 troops. "It's very good news that he's able to say that," Kline said.
Moving forward, what do you think the legislative payoff will be after Petraeus has come and gone? Being a cynic, I think the Administration's only goal here is to push the inevitable withdrawal vote directly into the middle of the 2008 presidential race.
Why wait? Why wait? Why wait? Why wait?