When George W. Bush announced the escalation of his war in January, he said:
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences...In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time...Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
And from today's Washington Post:
A department of the Iraqi prime minister's office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias, according to U.S. military officials in Baghdad.
Yet another failure by the Maliki government to live up to the promises George Bush made on their behalf, but this time it is a failure that will cost both American and Iraqi lives.
Yesterday, Condoleezza Rice, while defending George Bush's upcoming veto of the supplemental spending bill that would require the Iraqi government to meet the benchmarks set out by Bush, said:
The problem is that if you try and make consequences about these benchmarks, you're tying the hands of General Petreaus and the hands of Ambassador Crocker.
So, there will be no consequences for the failures of the Iraq government. Again. But who is paying the price?
Four U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq over the weekend, the military said on Monday, raising the number of American troops killed this month to over 100 and making April one of the deadliest of the war for U.S. forces.
One-hundred and three killed, to be precise. Since the official start of Bush's escalation, 222 U.S. soldiers have been killed. And while we know that thousands of Iraqis have been killed during that same time, the exact number will never be known since the Iraqi government now refuses to release those numbers. Those are consequences.
This what the Republican Party will be endorsing this week when they stand behind George Bush's veto.