The SOFA deal reveals just how empty the Bush administration's and McCain campaign's claims were that a fixed deadline for withdrawal meant failure. It was all Rovian politics: it was never serious. Obama was right all along - and Bush has now conceded that fact. Their explanation:
Bush administration officials acknowledged yesterday that the timetable laid out in the final agreement is not what the president wanted originally but said that they could go along with it because of a decline in violence in Iraq in the past year. "The security considerations on the ground have improved so much and the Iraqi security forces have improved so much that you can now set a date and be comfortable with it," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
Pure hooey. If anything, signs of violence have ticked up in the past couple of weeks. And there is no assurance that the Sunnis and Shiites have come to any real deal that will prevent a civil war from happening the minute a new security vacuum emerges.