There’s a new contender for the title “dumbest argument against President Bush’s Iraq policy.” Until yesterday, the front-runners were “Bush has no plan” and “we need to involve the allies/U.N” (both submitted by John Kerry). But yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, through a spokesman, stated that we need to employ “political as well as military tools” in Iraq (Madeleine Albright said the same thing yesterday).
Now, one can debate the mertis President Bush’s Iraqi policy. But it’s hard to imagine how that policy could be more “political.” The strategy relies heavily on free elections and the development of a constitution. Indeed, Bush bets nearly everything on the power of democratization to win over the country. Does Senator Reed believe that democracy is not a political tool?
Ironically, Reid made his comment by way of disagreeing with Senator Kennedy’s suggestion that we immediately pull 12,000 troops out of Iraq and effectuate a complete withdrawal by the end of next year. But it’s on these sorts of occasions that the Democrats tend to lapse into incoherence. Abandoning Iraq is terrible idea, but it’s a coherent one. The notion that we can turn things around in Iraq by doing some simple thing that the Bush administration allegedly has overlooked (developing a plan, using political tools, getting the U.N. to help) is absurd.
UPDATE: Reader Emidio Moglia has this today about Ted Kennedy’s remarks that prompted Reid’s inane response:
Ted Kennedy wants to assure the Iraqi people that, in no way, do we want to colonize Iraq. He wants to do this through the immediate withdrawal of 12,000 U.S. troops. Obviously, this elder statesman of the Democrat party has not yet made it to the top of the twelve steps. The problem is not the Iraqi people. The problem is the lunatic fringe of the Sunni Arab minority.
Kennedy made his position known at a high profile event sponsored by the graduate school at Johns Hopkins. For him, two days before the Iraqi elections was perfect timing. For the poor soul standing in line to vote in the first ever free election in Iraq, the timing could not have been worse.
The Sunni rebels are well supported by the twenty some Arab states who cannot conceive of holding free elections within their borders. To have a senator, who wears the Camelot colors of his brother, say that we are losing and should bug out is almost as good as a year’s supply of roadside bombs.