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September 27, 2007
Democratic Bluster on Iraq Shown to be Empty Rhetoric
For all the bluster from Democrats about getting out of Iraq, when pressed about withdrawing our combat forces, it appears that the party's presidential candidates are more realistic about the mission than their rhetoric would have you believe:
The enormity of the military conflict in Iraq was spelled out in the simplest of all admissions tonight:Only Bill Richardson came out and promised to bring all the troops home.
Among all of the leading Democratic candidates for president, none was willing to commit to a promise in a campaign debate that all of the U.S. combat forces deployed in Iraq will be gone by 2013, the end of the next president’s term in office.
“It's hard to project four years from now," said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, at the start of a debate of the Democratic candidates in Hanover, N.H. “
"It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who has vowed that if President Bush has not ended the war in Iraq by the time the next president takes office, “I will.’’
Even John Edwards said that he "can't make a committment" to removing all combat troops from Iraq by 2013.
What this shows is that the Democrats are no dummies. Despite their defeatist rhetoric, they are fully aware of the consequences of withdrawing our forces too quickly. But in order to satisfy their base, they must make all the right noises about bringing our troops home as fast as possible.
Events in Iraq will probably prevent any Democratic president from acting too hastily in that regard. According to the tentative schedule set by General Petraeus, we will still have a substantial number of troops in Iraq through 2009 and a strong residual force for the foreseeable future.