Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Republicans dig in over the Iraq War

The testimony of Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus for the last two days makes it clear that the Republican Party is utterly committed to continuing the American occupation in Iraq. The only concession offered by the Bush administration is that it might end the surge next summer, when it was scheduled to end anyway due to the lack of troops necessary to continue it.

Republicans are trying to sell this as a major drawdown, a concession to Americans' current mood, but in fact it is more "stay the course."
At the same time, leading Democrats, who were much more aggressive on Tuesday in challenging the general, dismissed his proposal of a reduction of 30,000 troops as little more than window dressing. They said President Bush and Congressional Republicans were embracing an open-ended, long-term commitment of personnel and money to a civil war in Iraq.

After a meeting at the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the effort to present the limited troop withdrawal as a major shift in policy amounted to "an insult to the intelligence of the American people."[1]
Bush's insistence on pursuing this war makes it certain that next year's federal elections will be a referendum on this policy. In the words of Sen. Harry Reid, "This war is the president’s war, and the Republicans have bought this war hook, line and sinker." The Republican Party is gambling everything on turning around the situation in Iraq in the next year and winning back the support of the American people for the war. The problem with this choice by the Republican leadership is that American servicemen and women are now dying in Iraq simply to give the Republican Party a fighting chance in November 2008, not for any realistic chance of success in Iraq.

This strategy involves massive risks for the Republican Party. If things do not improve, or grow worse, then the Republican Party will lose the presidency and will also give up additional seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This would be followed by massive and far ranging investigations that would reveal things about the Republican conduct of the war and corruption that will, I believe, cast the Republican Party out of power for twenty years--with commensurate impacts on key policy, the national agenda, and the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In about fourteen months we will know what the outcome of the Republican Party's great gamble in Iraq is and whether Republicans will be able to live with it.


Mosquito said...

The bad news for the American people is that the Democratic party has decided to play politics rather than represent the people. The Dems are planning on keeping this war going to score political points and votes.

Bottom line is that the Dems were elected with a mandate to get us out of Iraq asap. If they continue to ignore this mandate and play politics they are going to be in for a huge unpleasant surprise come election time......

The Richmond Democrat said...

Hi Mosquito:

The Republicans are the ones playing politics. You must understand that without bipartisan support, the war can't realistically be ended.

This whole "defunding" startegy is a mirage put out there as a trap by the Republicans themselves. That's exactly what they want. If Democrats do not fund the military, Bush will veto all other funding bills and the government will shut down. The Republicans are holding the country hostage.

But if you have a better idea about how to end the war I encourage you to write it up at your blog and we can have a little debate here in the blogosphere.