The Japanese military contingent finished their objectives in Iraq and withdrew their forces to neighboring Kuwait. The Japanese Prime Minister spoke highly of his troop’s accomplishments.
"We carried out our humanitarian and reconstruction tasks without firing a single shot - in fact, without pointing a gun at anyone. Our mission was very highly rated by the Iraqi people."
Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney played the typical American foil to Japanese organizational acumen by refusing to commit to any timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
The vice president singled out Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a decorated Marine who has pushed for a timetable for withdrawing Americans from Iraq. "That's a bad idea. That proposal is contrary to the national interest," said Cheney, who contended that it will be more difficult to defend the country if such a step is taken. The vice president stressed that troop strength would be dictated by conditions on the ground "and not by artificial deadlines set by politicians in Washington, D.C."
How can the Japanese plan and execute a mission complete with timetables while the United States cannot? It is also surprising to hear the ex-President of a Fortune 500 company saying he cannot make a plan with timetables. What would his Board of Directors said if Dick Cheney hemmed and hawed over completing a business plan, saying timetables are a bad idea? He likely would have been shown the door. Will voters do similarly to Republicans this fall?
P.S. Did you note the Vice President failed to mention the U.S. mission's rating by the Iraqi people?