Just in case you thought Bush would withdraw from Iraq...
WASHINGTON, May 25 — The Bush administration is developing what are described as concepts for reducing American combat forces in Iraq by as much as half next year, according to senior administration officials in the midst of the internal debate.Well, apparently that was just some wishful leaker talking, or some bogus trial balloon floating, or some pure bullshit, because Bush is furious about the report. Here's Think Progress:
It is the first indication that growing political pressure is forcing the White House to turn its attention to what happens after the current troop increase runs its course.
If there was ever any lingering doubt about whether the White House might finally be considering a redeployment, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol put those hopes to bed this morning on Fox News. He revealed that Bush is “furious” over the NYT report and that the White House is aggressively pushing back on the story over the Memorial Day weekend. Kristol said:
The president apparently was furious about the New York Times article Saturday. One senior White House official went out of his way to call me Saturday and left me a voicemail saying that. So, since they don’t normally do that on Saturdays, I think maybe it’s even true.
This is not the first time this sort of phantom withdrawal idea has been floated out there. War supporters have been claiming that we'll be able to begin withdrawal "soon" since before the war even began. Greenwald has a great post on the subject, cataloging these phony promises. Atrios sums it up: "As I keep saying, Bush is never leaving."