Go After Their Record
Here are three pillars of failure for the Bush Administration.
First, 2007 becomes the deadliest year in Iraq for our forces, even as the surge is given credit for reducing attacks upon our forces of late. Unfortunately, the Iraqis still show little sign that they value the sacrifice made by our forces by working better together on their own future. Part of that obviously stems from the overt corruption and cronyism by the Bush Administration in failing to manage the Iraq reconstruction program, but it seems that even the Iraqis are now stuck in time waiting for Bush to leave office and a new approach is taken.
Second, violence has now spread to previously peaceful Kabul, with a deadly blast today in Afghanistan’s capital targeted at the country’s lawmakers. While this administration insists on keeping our forces tied down in Iraq to die for Iraqi politicians who have no incentive or desire to save a unified Iraq, we will lose Afghanistan during 2008. This will take us full circle from the days back at Tora Bora in 2001 when Bush let Osama Bin Laden go free and redirected forces from southern Afghanistan to his real obsession in Iraq. Now six years later, we find ourselves back where we were after billions of dollars wasted and thousands of lives lost and maimed.
And third, you can count on the Taliban and even Al Qaeda working double-time to undermine the Karzai regime now that Pervez Musharraf has fully focused his efforts not on fighting the lawless terrorist breeding grounds in Waziristan, but rather at his political enemies and the secular elite. In fact, there is now talk that Musharraf will take all those weapons we have given him over the last six years and forge treaties with the Taliban so that his military can leave Waziristan and move southward to crush dissent and political opposition. And if he does that, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are fully back in business just like the summer of 2001, and every facet of Bush’s policies will have been rendered the largest and most wasteful blunder in the history of our foreign policy.
Yet our Democratic candidates spend their days attacking Hillary on Iraq and Iran, instead of making the unified case that this administration and the batch of GOP losers running to succeed Bush would simply be more of the same failure. There are plenty of opportunities for Democrats to show voters, especially independents and moderate Republicans that the country cannot sustain another four years of failed and costly policies that leave this country less safe than we were in 2000. There are real opportunities for each Democrat to show voters their worldview and how they would pull this country out of the mess and failure George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have bequeathed to our children and us.
But to do that, our candidates would have to stop throwing stones at each other and primarily at Hillary long enough to make the case that Democrats are ready to lead us out of the wilderness and back into a real energy policy, a smart foreign policy, and effective but quiet war against terrorists. If Edwards and Obama would rather shoot at Hillary, then perhaps it is time for Hillary to make that big foreign policy speech herself, and show voters that while everyone else is taking shots at her, she is keeping her eyes on the real issue: what needs to be done in 2009 to put this country back on the right track from eight years of tragic GOP blunders and negligence at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.