Well, if the benchmarks were all-important to Democrats in the fall of 2007, they have become meaningless to them in 2008. When is the last time you’ve heard a benchmark reckoning from Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi? The reason for the deafening silence on this matter is simple. The military and political progress in Iraq has proved so monumental that the majority of the benchmarks have now been met.
“The purpose is to infuse a sense of urgency into the political process in Baghdad,” says Andrew Exum, formerly of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“I want to see life starting to come back,” Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) told the New York Times in mid-2007. “I want to see people in markets.” Other lawmakers have pressed for more specific metrics to gauge whether or not the surge is working. “The key question is: What have we won?” asks Exum. “Have we set the Iraqi government on a path toward stabilization or reconciliation? Or have we just won the right to stay in the country for another six months?”
“It makes sense to have benchmarks as a part of our discussion on how to go forward,” Mr. Bush said, even as he threatened to veto the House plan, approved on a 221-to-205 vote Thursday night, which would require him to seek approval in two months for the balance of the war money.
Obvious an ingenious political ploy to cover up the pigeon dung on the bench,
Perform constitutional review. – Unmet
Enact de-Ba’athification reform. – Partial
Form semi-autonomous regions. – Unmet
Hold provincial elections. – Unmet
Address amnesty. – Unmet
Establish support for Baghdad Security Plan. – Met
Ensure minority rights in Iraqi legislature. – Met
Keep Iraqi Security Forces free from partisan interference. – Unmet
Disarm militias. – Unmet
Provide military support in Baghdad. – Partial
Empower Iraqi Security Forces. – Partial
Ensure impartial law enforcement. – Unmet
Establish support for Baghdad Security Plan by Maliki government. – Unmet
Reduce sectarian violence. – Partial
Establish neighborhood security in Baghdad. – Met
Increase independent Iraqi Security Forces. – Unmet
Implement oil legislation. – Unmet
Distribute Iraqi resources equitably. – Partial