Jane and Steve Soto connect the dots, so you don’t have to. The guy they’ve just appointed to be war czar, Douglas Lute? He was an early advocate (well, for the military world, which puts him just two years behind the blogosphere) for withdrawal:

The interesting thing about the selection of Lute is that he advocated for a withdrawal from Iraq back in 2005so that the Iraqis would step up and take responsibility for their ownsecurity. In fact, Lute is a proponent of the theory that our forcesneed to be withdrawn so that the Iraqis no longer have the excuse of an occupationto do nothing on the political front. In fact, Lute was a supporter ofGeneral George Casey’s and John Abizaid’s belief that we needed totrain the Iraqis and draw down forces, not surge to an increase, a viewthat was tossed aside by Bush after the Baker/Hamilton report came out.

"We want to undercut that notion of occupying force," hesaid, recognising the argument that a less prominent US role could helpstabilise the country.

Unfortunately, Lute said this almost 2 years ago.

This begs the question: why would Bush offer the job tosomeone who has never advocated an increase in our forces and insteadbelieves that the political solution must be pushed immediately whileour forces are drawn down regardless of the outcome of thosediscussions? Sure, when the president offers you a job, you feel boundto accept, but more senior generals had already blown off Bush. So whywould Lute take a job given his well-documented track record in supportof a drawdown and handing over control to the Iraqis?

I guess it’s not just that Condi and Hadley are incompetent to do their job.

We taxpayers pay a National Security Advisor to make sure that someonemediates the opinions and agendas of the many strong-willed peoplerunning our foreign policy. We pay that person to make sure that ourforeign policy is managed well. But once again, the person in the position is not up to the task.

They needed a designated fall guy–someone hired for the primary purpose of accepting all the blame of withdrawing the troops. So six months and one year and fifty years from now, poor Stephen Hadley and George Bush have someone to blame for losing the Iraq War. 

Republicans–they outsource everything. Even their blame.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.