The Democrats On Iraq By Betsy Newmark

Democratic Leaders went on the Sunday shows yesterday and announced their policy on Iraq.

Democratic leaders in the Senate vowed on Sunday to use their new Congressional majority to press for troop reductions in Iraq within a matter of months, stepping up pressure on the administration just as President Bush is to be interviewed by a bipartisan panel examining future strategy for the war.

The Democrats — the incoming majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada; the incoming Armed Services Committee chairman, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan; and the incoming Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware — said a phased redeployment of troops would be their top priority when the new Congress convenes in January, even before an investigation of the conduct of the war.

“We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months,” Mr. Levin said in an appearance on the ABC News program “This Week.” In a telephone interview later, Mr. Levin added, “The point of this is to signal to the Iraqis that the open-ended commitment is over and that they are going to have to solve their own problems.”

Don’t they understand what this will do Iraq? All the terrorists have to do is hold out for a few months and then they know they will have won. Their policy of killing enough people there until the United States will have been validated. And the template will be established for any group that wants to take on the United States in the future. We will have proven that we are indeed the weak horse that Osama Bin Laden termed us.

Iraq will descend into anarchy and become the launching pad for terrorism to undermine our allies throughout the region from Afghanistan to Jordan to Turkey to Israel. And it will be just a hop, skip, and a jump from there to the rest of Asia and Europe. And we know the oceans won’t protect us from such terrorism.

And since when do we run foreign and military policy out of Congress? This was one of the main reasons why we dumped the Articles of Confederation and established an executive branch in the Constitution. Our Founding Fathers recognized the importance of having a single executive to run foreign policy rather than the committees which had run the Revolution. We can’t run wars by committees. Oversight of how the war is run is one thing, but trying to establish the overall strategy of how the war should be fought should not be run out of Congress.

It will be interesting to see how much support the Democratic leaders get for their phased redeployment plan on a fixed schedule. Joe Lieberman for one won’t support it. We’ll see how some of these new supposedly conservative Democrats come down on this idea.

This content was used with the permission of Betsy Newmark.

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