George Bush has long been opposed to timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. So when prime minister Nouri al-Maliki started pointedly looking at the clock and asking whether American troops didn’t have a plane to catch, obviously Bush couldn’t just set a timetable for withdrawal. However,
President Bush and Iraq’s prime minister have agreed to set a “general time horizon” for bringing more U.S. troops home from the war, a dramatic shift from the administration’s once-ironclad unwillingness to talk about any kind of deadline or timetable.
Of course, the thing about a horizon is that no matter how long you walk toward it, it never gets any closer.