Rebutting Bush, Edwards: "No Timeline, No Funding, No Excuses"
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This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!
If you didn't listen to Bush's lame plan to keep the war going for a decade, here's the full text. Perhaps someone can name the 36 countries fighting along side us in Iraq. The response from Democrats was... muted and underplayed. We owe John Edwards for buying a couple minutes on MSNBC to give an Outside-the-Beltway response where he said, among other things
No timeline, no funding. No excuses. It is time to end this war.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) gave a perfectly fine Inside the Beltway response on behalf of the very loyal semi-opposition. Personally I preferred Howard Dean's response on behalf of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party:
The President's speech tonight offers a war without end. It is a PR stunt to buy more time for a stay the course strategy in Iraq that simply hasn't worked. There's a reason two-thirds of Americans want a troop decrease in Iraq: our brave troops have done everything that's been asked of them, but they cannot solve Iraq's political problems. Now they are hostage to the failure of our civilian leadership to present a thoughtful plan to bring them home.
It is long past time for the President to acknowledge the realities on the ground in Iraq and for Bush Republicans in Congress to stop standing behind the President and start standing up for the American people instead. Republicans urged the American people all along to wait till September before changing course. Well it's September, and it's time to do just that.
Like many Democrats, Hillary and Obama sent politically-correct statements out to their supporters. Hill:
Regrettably, the President did not seize the opportunity tonight to offer the American people a candid assessment of the challenges that we continue to face in Iraq, or offer a change in course to his failing strategy. Instead, he portrayed an unavoidable reduction in U.S. troops to pre-surge levels as a marker of progress. Redeploying over the next year five of the twenty combat brigades currently deployed in Iraq will merely bring our total number of troops back to the same level that existed before the President announced his escalation in January of this year. As was discussed during General Petraeus's testimony this week, troop levels in Iraq must decrease by this amount regardless, in order to avoid extending Army deployments beyond 15 months and straining our military even further than it already is.
What the President told the American people tonight is that one year from now, there will be the same number of troops in Iraq as there were one year ago. That is simply too little too late, and unacceptable to this Congress and the American people who have made clear their strong desire to bring our brave troops home.
The Commander-in-Chief has the authority to issue the order to greatly accelerate the redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq, and to bring so many more of our troops home so much faster. They have done everything we have asked of them and more, but are now stuck in the middle of a civil war. I continue to implore the President to change course, bring our troops home faster, and end this war responsibly as soon as possible.