Bush Vetoes Withdrawal Timetable

As expected, President Bush has vetoed an Iraq War supplemental that contains a Congressionally-mandated withdrawal timetable.

Four years to the day after standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier and declaring “major combat operations” in Iraq as being over, President Bush on Tuesday vetoed a war-spending bill that calls for the start of a withdrawal of American combat troops from the now-unpopular conflict.

“It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing. All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars. … Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible,” Bush said in a televised address after the veto.

“I recognize that many Democrats saw this bill as an opportunity to make a political statement about their opposition to the war,” Bush said. “They’ve sent their message, and now it is time to put politics behind us and support our troops with the funds they need.”

The coincidence of the timing is rather surreal. Indeed, one would think Rove and company would have delayed this until tomorrow.

Bush had little choice here. We’ll see how it plays out but I suspect Congress will be forced to blink in this one.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Rodney Dill says:

    Rodney’s synopsis of the speech.
    Bush: “I’ve upped the ante, so now up yours.”

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    The timing seems to be more “get it done” than worrying about what happened four years ago. Serious people get that, they do what needs to be done promptly. I hope the President continues to cut the crap and get it done quickly, whatever that may be.

  3. Tlaloc says:

    I hope the President continues to cut the crap and get it done quickly, whatever that may be.

    If he’d gotten it done quickly we wouldn’t be arguing over the stuff he conveniently forgot to put in the regular budget some four years after the invasion.

  4. Barry says:

    And has repeatedly not put into regular budgets for the past four years.

  5. Michael says:

    “It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing. All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars…”

    Here’s my question, what are they going to be marking on their calendar?

    Time to start the attacks? They’re already doing that.

    Time to declare victory and stop killing people? Unlikely but that would be nice.

    Time to stage a large-scale offensive to topple the fledgling government? Great, they’ll make a nice large, well organized group for out Saudi-based forces to bomb to pieces.

    So what are we worried about the terrorists doing when we leave?