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Security politics

 

The Washington Post says "the uproar over [Bush's] decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq has eclipsed potential consensus on domestic policy…  Aides said Bush will not directly engage in a debate over congressional efforts to block the troop increase.  But in private briefings for administration allies yesterday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove said Bush will challenge Congress to put up its own plan if it does not like his 'new way forward.'" 

The Wall Street Journal reports on Warner's new resolution that he allowed his GOP colleague Chuck Hagel, a possible presidential contender and co-sponsor of the other resolution opposing a troop increase, "to preview the language on Friday."  "'The bottom line is this is a pretty significant piece of legislation,' Mr. Hagel said.  'In no way is this good news for the administration.'"

The New York Times agrees: "While details of the competing Iraq plans varied, one point could not be mistaken: a growing number of senators in both parties find the president's strategy flawed." 

GOP Sen. John McCain is blaming Vice President Cheney for the "'witch's brew' of a 'terribly mishandled' war in which U.S. forces are on the verge of defeat," per McCain's interview with The Politico, which debuts today.  "McCain also for the first time opened the door to the possibility of a U.S. troop pullback to the borders of Iraq should the president's planned troop surge fail."  He "said that even the planned insertion of 21,500 new U.S. troops into Iraq, which he supports, may not succeed.  'I don't know if this is enough troops or not,' McCain said.  'I can't guarantee success by doing this.'" 

And in what has to be a first, Cheney's daughter Liz criticizes Sen. Hillary Clinton's position on the Iraq war in a Washington Post op-ed, keying off Clinton's line that she's "in to win."  "It's time for everyone -- Republicans and Democrats -- to stop trying to find ways for America to quit.  Victory is the only option… We must be in it to win." 

NBC's Courtney Kube notes that despite an extremely violent and deadly weekend in Iraq, the Pentagon is keeping a very low profile right now so as not to get out ahead of anything Bush might say in his speech.