WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) -- A retired U.S. Army general said Saturday President George Bush "seems to have gone AWOL" regarding the war in Iraq.
Retired Lt. Gen. William Odom said he was not speaking for the Democratic Party, but was given the party's Saturday radio address to call for Bush to sign legislation the U.S. Congress approved this week regarding supplemental funding for the war in Iraq.
The measure includes deadlines for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, a clause that Bush said would force him to veto the bill. Critics of the plan to withdraw said such a move would ignite a larger bloodbath in Iraq.
But Odom, a former director of the National Security Agency, said withdrawal "will shock and change attitudes in Iran, Syria and others countries on Iraq's borders" and help restore regional stability.
He said Bush has done little to help the situation in Iraq.
"To put this in a simple Army metaphor, the commander in chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is 'absent without leave,'" Odom said. "He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge."