Thursday, April 26, 2007

Too Much Symbolism, Not Enough Statesmanship

The Democrats have passed their Iraq withdrawal bill. Next step: a presidential veto.

Symbolically, the bill achieves the important goal of proving the Democrats are serious about ending our military involvement in Iraq. But symbolism is just a political tool. Real change requires statesmanship and there’s far too little of that quality in either Congress or the White House.

Neither side seems willing to admit the other side has truth to speak. The White House seems incapable of advancing anything other than militaristic solutions and the Democrats seem incapable of recognizing that quick withdrawal is a reckless gambit that would very likely end in horrible Iraqi bloodshed and the need for a future intervention.

Just once I would love to hear a leading Democrat say “Bush is right that Iraq’s stability is essential to our national security. But his solutions are misguided and have served to exacerbate the problems we face. We must demand a change of course.” Someone eloquent like Barack Obama could even point out that we have a moral responsibility to not abandon the Iraqis to the blood-thirst of terrorist outsiders and vengeful sectarians.

Yet the Democrats choose the easy path of “withdrawal, withdrawal, withdrawal.” That may play well amongst the rabid base and vapid press, but it makes for poor statesmanship.

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Anonymous damozel said...

That is an excellent summation. You put your finger on the problem.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I just read some of your old blogs and followed you over here. I like reading what you have to say. However, I do not agree when you say you would like to hear someone like Obama point out that we have a moral responsibility to not abandon the Iraqis to the blood-thirst of terrorist outsiders... It has been over four years, and Iraq is getting worse, not better, with our occupation. Attacks are up, troops have long deployment, returning veterans will not receive proper care, the military is overstretched, the resistance is rising, we have less funds for humanitarian efforts abroad, international terrorist groups have been galvanized,human rights here and abroad are being compromised, our domestic programs are being cut to the bone...and on and on. These people who have a greater sense of wellbeing than they did in 1992...I wonder who they are. They certainly do not include me.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


But do you think leaving Iraq will improve Iraq? The toll on our own nation is certainly worth considering, but what is the consequence to our moral fiber if we allow ourselve to be the kind of country that says we will liberate a people and then turns our back? We have brought chaos to Iraq ... do we not have a responsibility to keep it from worsening. Maybe military efforts are the wrong tactic -- but I don't hear Democrats even talking about how to help Iraqis ... only how to help ourselves.

6:09 PM  

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