Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) wants to make the date of withdrawal from Iraq secret so as not to tip off the enemy. That means keeping it secret from the American people, too.
In one of the more unusual proposals to emerge in the Senate debate on Iraq withdrawal, Sen. Mark Pryor wants to keep any plans for bringing troops home a secret.
The Arkansas Democrat is a key holdout on his party’s proposal to approve $122 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while setting a goal of March 31, 2008, for winding up military operations in Iraq. Unlike the plan’s Republican opponents, Pryor wants a withdrawal deadline of some kind. He just doesn’t want anyone outside the White House, Congress and the Iraqi government to know what it is.
“My strong preference would be to have a classified plan and a classified timetable that should be shared with Congress,” Pryor said yesterday. A public deadline would tip off the enemy, “who might just bide their time and wait for us to leave,” he said. “Then you’d have chaos and mayhem and instability.”
Pryor said a classified plan would be provided by the president, shepherded by Senate committees and ultimately shared with Congress and Iraqi leaders. He is confident that the plan would remain secret, because Congress is entrusted with secrets “all the time.”
What if the president’s withdrawal plan didn’t include a deadline? Or what if it leaked, through leaders in Iraq, to insurgents?
All worth considering, Pryor said. But in the meantime, “at least you’d have a plan.”
Pryor and Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) broke with fellow Democrats earlier this month to oppose a nonbinding Senate resolution to withdraw from Iraq. Nelson has since fallen in line on the war funding bill, after nonbinding benchmarks for the Iraqi government were added.
Senator Pryor is still missing the point. We should not pull out of Iraq until events on the ground dictate that it’s wise to do so. An arbitrary date, although secret, is still arbitrary.
Update: Bryan at Hot Air received an email from a soldier in Iraq who explains why the surge is working. (hat tip: Heralder)
My thoughts are many and varied on the current state of things in Baghdad, but let me tell you that the BSP is working.
Deaths are down from EJKs, the people who are trying to emplace EFPs are being killed, we are receiving tips from locals which has led to us finding one EFP recently, the people are friendlier to us now that they see us out walking around on the streets (absolute key is to get people out of their trucks and meeting people on the ground) and the Ministry of Health is cooperating with CF. Why? Because we are making the effort. Insha’allah, there will be joint missions between the IA, the MOH, and CF in the next few weeks. What a break through! And yet we want timelines? We are just getting started after three years of stalling!
Bryan also outlined the military speak: BSP=the surge and the shift in tactics to more foot patrols. EJKs=extra-judicial killings, or the actions of Iraqi sectarian death squads. IA=Iraqi army. CF=coalition force.
As I said in the above post, the Democrats can’t be happy about this news. The surge is working, which spells big political trouble for them since they completely invested themselves in our defeat. Their only option is to squash this war, an effort that will surely fail. President Bush will veto any emergency supplemental bill that comes to his desk with an artificial time line.