By "pre-conditions" the questioner undoubtedly meant insurmountable ones such as fair and free elections in Syria. These act as barriers to any diplomatic discourse. And, as Obama pointed out later, there would be planning before any meeting.
If these were real debates with time for exchanges between candidates these points would have become clear. But they are not and, in the meantime, Obama must be alert for the appropriate, firm soundbites.
The Pentagon told Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton that her questions about how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq boosts enemy propaganda.
In a stinging rebuke to a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to questions Clinton raised in May in which she urged the Pentagon to start planning now for the withdrawal of American forces. […]
“Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia,” Edelman wrote.
COMMENT: Once again, the administration is issuing spurious arguments against those opposing the Iraq war and its execution. Typically, the Bushies parade before us the chaos that will follow the "precipitous" withdrawals the Democrats demand. Well, nobody has ever demanded a precipitous withdrawal. Furthermore, a quick withdrawal is impossible; the planning and execution would take many months.Similarly, Edelman's statement is nonsense. Withdrawal planning is essential and, in fact, is undoubtedly taking place right now. Timetables and withdrawal plans are not a premature tip off of the enemy, letting them prepare for our exit. There is no way that our various enemies in Iraq will not know as and when our troops are about to start withdrawal.
How could this be? We're fighting them "over there" so that they do not come attack us here.
Some of the News
That may be True
The Department of Homeland Security issued today a new threat level chart:
Low = Green;
Guarded = Blue;
Elevated = Yellow;
Sense of Dread
High = Orange;
Severe = Red
Scared out of Wits
July 10, 2007 - Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist and Bush nemesis, announced that unless Nancy Pelosi files articles of impeachment against George W. Bush, she will run against her for Congress in 2008.
First - Congress isn't going down the impeachment road, Pelosi or no Pelosi. Second - Camping outside of Pelosi's home will be no picnic, and no parking. Third - Let us admire what Sheehan has done; do not become a laughing stock.
REAGAN NSA CHIEF SAY WITHDRAWAL SUPPORTS TROOPS
(from Carpetbagger Report)
"William Odom, a retired Army lieutenant general who was head of Army intelligence, Reagan’s director of the National Security Agency, and a professor at Yale, has taken a leading role in criticizing the president’s Iraq war policy. A few months ago, he wrote a devastating op-ed for the WaPo, debunking several pernicious myths bolstering war supporters’ arguments.
This week, Odom follows up with a piece documenting the stunning strain the Bush administration’s policies have put on U.S. troops.
If the Democrats truly want to succeed in forcing President Bush to begin withdrawing from Iraq, the first step is to redefine “supporting the troops” as withdrawing them, citing the mass of accumulating evidence of the psychological as well as the physical damage that the president is forcing them to endure because he did not raise adequate forces. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress could confirm this evidence and lay the blame for “not supporting the troops” where it really belongs — on the president. And they could rightly claim to the public that they are supporting the troops by cutting off the funds that he uses to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. […]"
Republicans have long said that calling for troop withdrawal hurts their morale. It was failing to "support the troops" It has long been clear to me that getting troops home is a morale booster. Nearly all those in the battle welcome this kind of lack of support.
Some of the News
That may be True
iPHONE DOUBLES AS COFFEE MAKER
iPHONE PICKS UP AND READS OUTER SPACE SIGNALS
iPHONE LOCATES LOST PET DOG
iPHONE CASTS DECIDING VOTE ON IMMIGRANT BILL
iPHONE TO MODERATE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
iPHONE FOILS TERRORIST PLOT
iPHONE BUYS WALL STREET JOURNAL