I had often wondered during the Democratic Primary when all of the candidates in the debates spoke out against the Iraq War, and everyone had some version of a withdrawal program. It seemed forced that none of them talked about defining a victory, acheiving it, and then pulling the troops out. It was just a discussion about leaving the country. Some wanted it quicker than others, but no real policy exchange. It certainly put the Democrats in the posture of rooting for bad news like that in the New York Times today:
Suicide Bombers Kill 28 in Baghdad, 16 in Kirkuk
This allowed their calls for withdrawal to have more political saliency and seem to be the best approach. It's sad to say, but the candidates seemed to relish reports of troops being killed in Iraq. That might be harsh, but think about all of the troops killed in Afganistan and elsewhere that have gone unmentioned. "They're in a shooting Gallery" - a famous quote by John Edwards. Which was over-the-top rhethoric then and not even close now.
I always wanted and still hope today that Democrats could find a way to express a policy that is optimistic and predicated on success. We can oppose a political War and not need the negative consequences as proof that we are correct.
I would rather lose the election than lose this war.
I don't think that is the options but just in case they are, I'm on record.
Democrats should declare victory:
The U.S. removed Sadaam Husein from Power.
The U.S. has helped the Iraqi people stand up a new government.
The U.S. has sacrificed to give Iraq a fair chance at success.
Those are admirable goals that have been acheived and should be celebrated especially in light of all that we have given in this conflict.
Once Democrats declare victory, then we can credibly applaud any good outcomes and advocate withdrawal in the wake of success. Then bad news would be just bad news that no one welcomed.
We could then root for good news to happen, for political reconciliation to occur, for the Iraqi Army to stand up, and anything else, because as we celebrate it we could renew our call to withdraw.
"Today is more evidence that we have won, and it is time to allow the Iraqis to govern their own country."
This is much better than waiting for bad news and using it as evidence that we need to pullout because the current policy is not working.
Sometimes you have to be responsible and take a positive narrative. It is more difficult but it is the right thing to do.
making the word "liberal" safe again!