Incoming NYT Op-Ed Editor: ‘It’s Becoming Likely’ That Times Will Call For Troop Withdrawal From Iraq

Incoming Times op-ed ed Andrew Rosenthal answers an interesting question posed by C-SPAN’s Michael Lamb:

Lamb: Do you think you’ll eventually call for us to get out of Iraq?

Andrew Rosenthal: Wow, should I answer that question?

Lamb: Absolutely.

Rosenthal: I think its becoming more likely. I mean I don’t know what George Bush is going to say. We’ve been going through this very odd spectacle this week of all these meetings and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. We actually wrote about it this week. I mean, are we really supposed to believe he just started thinking about it this week? What are these meetings about? Are we supposed to believe the Army just started thinking about it this week? I mean it’s crazy. It has to be true that he’s just going through this for some crazy public relations stunt.

It depends on what he says — if he comes up with a plan that could lead in some reasonable period of time to an orderly withdraw than that’s one thing. If he sticks to these fictions about achieving victory and all the other things that he keeps talking about then we may have to change. It really does depend, I mean, we’re going to withdraw our troops from Iraq and we’re going to do that without initiating a fully functioning government that serves as a beacon of hope for the Middle East. I mean, it’s interesting and very instructive to go back and look at last year’s strategy for success in Iraq strategy included: defeating terrorists, establishing full democracy in Iraq, an independent army, and an Iraq that is part of the international economic system, I don’t know what that means. Are they supposed to join the IMF or the WTO? I don’t know what the heck that means. And this kind of burgeoning democracy throughout the Middle East, well, none of that’s going to happen, I think that’s pretty clear — at least not in George Bush’s timeframe.