It’s not like the republicans don’t have it coming. Democratic candidates for president and the those in the house and senate are barking about pulling out our troops from Iraq. They’re saying that they speak for the people of the United States when they ask the president to set a timetable for withdrawal. They probably are, but it’s really all politics. Republicans have been playing politics for a while now too, painting democrats yellow with a cut & run brush that’s not holding as much paint as it used to, but the fact is, like insurgents in Iraq, the administration really only needs to play a waiting game before the decision is out of its hands.
As the Bush administration enters the home stretch it becomes increasingly unlikely that the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will be withdrawn any time during its tenure. But while Mr. Bush hesitates to explain exactly what the victory actually looks like while he avoids defeat, I’ve said before that pulling out right now could have dangerous consequences. Forget civil war, we could be facing Sunni, Shiite proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia centered in Iraq.
For the most part, only candidate McCain has been willing to admit that just pulling out the troops is a disingenuous proposition. McCain proposed benchmarks instead of timetables for deciding when we should remove American forces. I really don’t need to repeat my previous post, except to point out that we’ve come very little further in the debate than over four months ago when I wrote it. What disappoints me today is that democrats continue to play the end-war-now card even though they know it’s not that simple.
U. S. citizens are fed up with the war. They have every right to be and democrats think they can use this to their political advantage. Unfortunately, this advantage will be pretty short lived if they were actually in power and had to do anything about the war! Today they can blame the president. Who knows what will happen in the future.
If I were running, I’d take the benchmark page out of McCain’s book (it’s OK, I wrote about it pretty early on). Yes we have to get out of Iraq! And as soon as possible. But the only way to do this sensibly, and with the safety of the United States and its people in mind, is to leave a government that at least is approximately in power of the nation and to leave a system in place that can reasonably be expected to elect another one of the people don’t like the current one, but within the boundaries of the system. It might be a banana republic, but it should at least appear legitimate.
When the Iraqis actually have a country that governs itself, they might be able to resist the impending proxy war and begin, even violently on occasion, rebuilding their country. A U. S. presidential candidate who admits this reality, however, sounds like he or she supports an ongoing war without end. Fact is, the candidate would just be being honest for once.