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  A Judgment on Iraq
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Last EditedRP  Aug 10, 2006 05:28pm
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CategoryOp-Ed by Candidate
News DateThursday, August 10, 2006 11:00:00 PM UTC0:0
Description For the Democrats, the election is a snapshot of a revolt in the making, but not yet done. The truth is that Democrats are as patriotic as Republicans, want a strong and secure America, and like every other American, want to trust the president and his team on national security issues. And perhaps, being in Washington, associating with the administration and lawmakers of the other party, it’s been more difficult for elected Democrats to sense the mounting rage in much of the electorate over the failures of President Bush’s policies, and especially the seemingly never-ending war in Iraq, and his blatant partisanship.

It’s been easy for some of the media to talk disparagingly about “bloggers,” but it’s also misleading. For the anti-Lieberman vote in Connecticut wasn’t just bloggers. The public doesn’t have to live with the reminders of old sentiments, jingoistic pronouncements, or votes in the House or Senate. Instead, the public is free to observe, listen and judge. And that judgment has been passed, especially on Iraq: The war was a mistake. Flawed intelligence, overly optimistic planning (or in some cases, none at all) and grandiose geostrategic designs, hyperinflated rhetoric about democracy, and perhaps raw political advantage. Whatever. The public hasn’t quite sorted it out—but they know a failure when they see one. And Iraq, as well as the larger Middle East policy, is such a failure.

The Republicans will suggest that Democrats aren’t up to it. They’ll play the terrorist-threat card, hope for a few more messages of bin Laden, and ask whether an antiwar party can be trusted to keep America safe. But this is just the spin. The truth is the Democratic Party—elected leaders, party regulars and the big-time donors—pretty much agree on the failures of the administration, and even on the policies that need to be adopted, like stronger diplomacy and more reliance on allies and international organizations, coupled with a willingness to fully fund, rearm, strengthen and use America’s armed forces. The Connecticut primary will ensure that the Democrats push their positions—and their differences with the administration—even more forcefully.
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