Fred takes on one of Bush’s favorite terms. Money Quote:
To say that America’s strategy in Iraq must not be based on an “artificial timetable” means that America must not have a strategy in Iraq. It is to say that we’re just sitting back and watching events there unfold according to some natural timetable, some organic timetable unshaped by art or artifice. America is not acting according to a plan or a strategy but is, rather, a spectator to this serendipitous, windblown timetable. Que sera sera.
Military intervention is, by definition, artificial. It means you are relying on military force to force events to occur that would not simply occur naturally without such an emphatic application of artifice. If you’re not willing to force a particular outcome, then you shouldn’t be sending in forces. If you’re not willing to set “artificial timetables,” then you have no business sending in the Army.