Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded US forces in Iraq from 2003-2004, came out in support of Democratic congressional proposals for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. “The improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country,” he told a radio audience. “There is no evidence,” he added, “that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability for force that result.” He supported the House bill calling for a timetable on withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
General Sanchez made mistakes while leading American forces in Iraq which undoubtedly allows his critics to come down hard on these recent statements. But, General Sanchez, is also an example of someone who has learned from past failures and is willing to venture along new roads. Essentially, he is suggesting the necessity of a tough policy toward Iraq political leaders by challenging them to take action or face the prospect that American forces will leave. There is a great deal of sense in this perspective since the Bush placating of incompetent narrow minded Iraqi political leaders has not demonstrated evidence that change will occur.