Declare Victory And Come Home
I have argued now for weeks that Democrats should shift tactics and admit that our military have achieved sufficient gains in Iraq so that we can come home. A new Pew poll reported in the Post shows that more Americans feel that things are better militarily in Iraq as a result of the surge. But unfortunately for the GOP, this has not translated into a willingness to stay any longer. Americans have adopted a “the surge has worked – now let’s come home” attitude.
And yet Bush and al-Maliki agree to negotiate a permanent bilateral agreement giving us a permanent presence and bases in that country. The problem for al-Maliki is that any such agreement on a permanent US presence and bases needs to be approved by the Iraqi parliament, and that is not likely. The problem for Bush is that his chief cheerleader for the surge has now backtracked on his previous support for a permanent presence, by saying on “Charlie Rose,” that the Iraqis would never allow it. In fact, Lieberman and McCain now want to declare military victory in Iraq.
Good. Democrats should adopt the public’s apparent attitude of “let’s declare victory and come home,” and make the GOP candidates and members of Congress tell voters why we have to stay and pay for a permanent presence if the military has done its job and the Iraqis and the Bush Administration aren’t doing theirs.