By now, it’s not news to any of you that John Edwards, one of the top Democratic contenders for the Presidency, announced that, if he’s elected, he’ll withdraw all troops from Iraq within ten months:
John Edwards says that if elected president he would withdraw the American troops who are training the Iraqi army and police as part of a broader plan to remove virtually all American forces within 10 months.
In connection with this inane pronouncement, Max Boot offers my favorite analysis of both Edwards’ and the media’s time warp mentality:
Of course it’s unlikely that Edwards will ever occupy the White House. But he is one of the top three Democratic presidential candidates, so what he says is worth considering. And what he is saying is essentially what Democrats have been saying for the last couple of years. To wit: “I have never believed that there was a military solution in Iraq, don’t believe it today. I think the issue is how do you maximize the chances of achieving a political reconciliation between Sunni and Shia because I think that political reconciliation is the foundation for any long-term stability in Iraq.” (For more of Edwards’s pensées, see here.)
This is exactly the argument Democrats were making against the surge. Now the surge is succeeding, but they haven’t yet figured out a new argument, so they keep replaying the same old DVD.
By the way, if you want further evidence of how the surge is working, check out the latest casualty figures, which show that 23 American soldiers died in December, the second-smallest figure on record since the invasion began. (The runner-up was the month of February 2004 when 20 died.) Of course that news may be a little hard to find since it’s buried in news articles like this one, headlined “2007 Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq.” The headline is accurate but misleading, since casualties have been falling precipitously over the past six months—ever since the surge started to take effect.
Something else that’s buried in the interview, that would have raised antennae in 1992, but that went completely unnoticed in the blogosphere, is Elizabeth Edward’s role in the campaign. Please note in the following paragraphs both how she is described and what she does:
In one of his most detailed discussions to date about how he would handle Iraq as president, Mr. Edwards staked out a position that would lead to a more rapid and complete troop withdrawal than his principal rivals, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who have indicated they are open to keeping American trainers and counterterrorism units in Iraq.
Elizabeth Edwards, his wife and political partner, who listened in on the interview from a seat across the aisle, intervened at the end of the session to underscore that Mr. Edwards did not intend to stop all training and was prepared to train Iraqi forces outside of the country. Mr. Edwards continued the theme while acknowledging that the benefits of such training would be limited.
His political partner? What’s that? Is this a redux of Hillary’s and Bill’s famous 1992 promise that, with them, you’d get two for the price of one? I’ve certainly noticed over the past several months that John sends his wife out to say the nasty things that he’s afraid to say (presumably because her status as a cancer victim will give her a pass for being nasty or stupid). See here, for example. It’s sort of like have a chihuahua serve as the guard dog for a toy poodle, isn’t it? Of course, poor Edwards is hampered by the fact that, when he gets mad, he just looks silly.