In a stunningly hypocritical move, 12 Democratic members of Congress have signed a letter demanding a troop withdrawal from Iraq. Even those who would not vote for such a measure when given the chance cheerily jumped on the political bandwagon and signed off.
Low, even for a party that has demonstrated an inability to be credible on national defense.
After months of struggling to forge a unified stance on the Iraq war, top congressional Democrats joined voices yesterday to call on President Bush to begin withdrawing U.S. troops by the end of the year and to "transition to a more limited mission" in the war-torn nation.
With the midterm elections three months away, and Democrats seeing public discontent over Iraq as their best chance for retaking the House or Senate, a dozen key lawmakers told Bush in a letter: "In the interests of American national security, our troops and our taxpayers, the open-ended commitment in Iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained. . . . We need to take a new direction."
The 12 Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), include liberals and centrists who have differed over Iraq in the past. The signers included the top Democrats on the House and Senate committees dealing with armed services, foreign relations, intelligence and military spending. Their action puts party leaders on the same page, and it helps clarify the Nov. 7 election as a choice between a party seeking a timeline for withdrawing troops from an unpopular war and a party resisting any such timetable.
For all its passion, the letter has more significance as a political statement than as a policy alternative. Most Democrats previously have embraced the general idea of beginning a troop drawdown this year, and the letter adds no specifics about how many troops should be withdrawn or how rapidly.
Senior Republicans quickly denounced the document as defeatist.
Well, duh. The WaPo goes on to tell everyone that some Republicans are also calling for a pullout. Again, well, duh.
Political stunts like this put real troops in real danger by sending a bad message to the people who would kill our people. This is irresponsible, pure and simple. It is time to stop this kind of cheap political theatrics before troops pay for this grandstanding. Every single one of these people should be censured for what hey have done here.