Sunday, July 22, 2007

Democrats, Compromise and Move Forward

OK, the Democrats with their all night session have paid their political dues to the far left. They've tried to force a rapid withdrawal from Iraq on the far left's terms. Now it is time to cut the political crap and work with Republicans to move us forward.

On the talk shows today it was suggested that the Democrats were more interested in making Republicans pay than trying to figure out ways, with Republican help, to start getting us out of Iraq. I don't want to hear that some Democrats are afraid any compromise will give Republicans political cover. Americans are dieing in Iraq for a failed policy and as far as I'm concerned nobody has political cover until we have a plan and we don't have a hundred bodies coming home every month. Republicans lost power because they put partisan politics ahead of the national interest. You would have thought the Democrats would understand they will be held to the same standard.

We should have some goals we can agree on.

  • The national interest of the United States should guide all solutions.
  • We need to change course so American casualties are significantly reduced, ASARP.
  • We should try to move as many troops as possible either out of Iraq or to the sidelines in a reasonable time frame.
  • We should maximize our ability to take out al Quida.
  • We should do what we reasonably can to help Iraq move politically to a situation that minimizes the violence when we leave.
If sixty or more Senators can agree on the Baker/Hamilton plan, I believe that is Senator Salazar's plan, let's have a vote. If we can't get that to pass, try the Warner/Lugar proposal. It is clear that President Bush will not change course until he has no options. With Republican support, Democrats can keep passing bills. Each time President Bush refuses to listen to bi-partisan suggestions it will make it easier to pass a tougher bill until the Senate has the backbone to pass a bill the President cannot ignore.

I heard an estimate this morning that as many as 250,000 Iraqis might be killed in the turmoil after we leave. We should do what we can to minimize that number. Maybe it is time to STRONGLY suggest our own political solution. For example, we could suggest that Iraq be divided, as Senator Joe Biden and others have suggested. We would draw the lines, since the Iraqis could never do it, and then give people whatever protection we can for three months to relocate before we withdraw. That idea may be ridiculous, but is it any worse than the current plan which seems to be surge until next April when either we have an Iraq that can take care of itself or our military breaks? As far as I can tell the track we are on now ends at the edge of a cliff next April and no one has a plan to stop the train or switch to another track.

It is now time for the Democrats to lead. No more partisan politics. The discussions should no longer include references to Democrats or Republicans. Senators and Representative need to work together as patriots to develop a plan that replaces the current failing policies in Iraq.

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