It’s clear that Bush has very little support from the American public for his planned veto of the Iraq spending bill and in fact the Bush Administration is even scaling back talk of success in Iraq. But, now comes news, not surprising at all, that a retired general, “who served as the Army’s top intelligence officer and headed the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration” is speaking out and advising Bush to sign the bill.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said today that “President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Oct. 1.”
“I hope the president seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill Congress has sent him,” Odom said, delivering the Democrats’ weekly radio address.
Odom, delivered the Democratic Radio Address at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said that he “has never been a Democrat or a Republican.”
The general accused Bush of squandering U.S. lives and helping Iran and al-Qaida when he invaded Iraq.
“The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place,” he said. “The president has let (the Iraq war) proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued. He lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies.”
Odom said he doesn’t favor congressional involvement in the execution of foreign and military policy, but argued that Bush had been derelict in his responsibilities. This week Congress passed an Iraq war spending bill that would require Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq on Oct. 1.
The rosy picture of Iraq that BushCo tries to paint isn’t working. As reported today in the N.Y. Times today, “the Bush Administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.”
Just how bad is it? Here’s the latest Iraq news: Car bomb kills 55 in Iraq’s Kerbala.
The full transcript of General Odom’s Democratic Radio Address and an audio are available here.