is from the transcript of a discussion with href="http://snowe.senate.gov/public/" rel="tag">Olympia
Snowe on href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/22/ftn/main3086832.shtml"
rel="tag">Face the Nation, earlier today:
Already we’re beginning to hear
American senior officers in Iraq say, `Well, we may not be able to tell
by September if all this is working.’ Will the Senate buy
Sen. SNOWE: I don’t believe so, and, in particular, because
what is pivotal and central to the success of Iraq is the political
accomplishment by the Iraqi government. And there’s nothing
to demonstrate at this time that would warrant our confidence that
they’re going to implement the political benchmarks that they
themselves established almost a year ago. And all the deadlines have
come and gone and nothing has happened. And as, you know, General
Petraeus said, 80 percent of the counterinsurgency plan is political.
In other words, that, in the final analysis,
there’s no military plan, no military solution that can
substitute for the political will that’s absolutely essential
to uniting that country, and it’s really up to their
political leaders. And so to keep moving the bar for our military
commitment, our military sacrifice and our military participation
without elevating the bar for the Iraqi government to make those
political decisions is unacceptable.
SCHIEFFER: All right. Senator, thank you very much for your insights
We’ll be back with a final word on Barry Bonds in just a
Finally today, Americans love sports, and we love our sports stars. We
also love to keep score–who got the most hits, ran the fastest mile
and, on occasion, who ate the most hot dogs…
Yeah, that is what it is all about: Who can eat the most hot dogs?
First we heard that the General needed until September to assess the
effectiveness of The Surge. Then we heard that Iraq had
already made satisfactory progress on 8 of the 18 benchmarks.
Then we heard their government was taking the month of August
off. Then we heard that it will probably take until November
to assess The Surge.
After their August break, the Iraqi parliment will only have two weeks
to make the remaining 10 of 18 benchmarks. Presumably, the 8
easiest have been done, and the 10 remaining are the most difficult
And now, to top it all off, we hear the Rand study saying the US
military needs to change its “brand” image in Iraq.
Obviously, they can’t change their brand image by mid-September.
A project of that
magnitude will take at
least until November.