The Amazing Shrinking Donkey
Arianna Huffington nails it: the Democratic leadership is continuing to make a big mistake on the Iraq issue by refusing to provide the alternative voice that the American public truly wants. Ironically, Republicans like Chuck Hagel are taking the more courageous stance. If 2008 came and it were Hilary with her AIPAC speeches versus a veteran like Hagel asking hard questions about the Iraq misadventure, my guess is that Hagel wins hands down.
After Arianna posted, Senator John Kerry called for a drawdown of 20,000 US troops by the end of this year and bringing all of them out by the end of 2006. But this sort of “troops out ASAP” policy is not realistic. If Kerry wants there to be a December 15, election, then he needs to acknowledge the need for 150,000 or so troops to be in Iraq so as to lock the country down and stop vehicular traffic so that suicide bombers don’t blow up the voters at polling stations. And, you couldn’t get 20,000 out by the end of December if they were still there on December 17. You could physically succeed in getting US troops out by the end of 2006, of course. But 20,000 out this year makes no sense. (Actually there will be a drawdown after the elections anyway; Rumsfeld sent an extra 10,000 for the election season and they’ll come back out). I’m glad Kerry addressed Iraq. Now he has to do so with something more practical than applause lines.