The pre-Petraeus report spin continues and some of the Democratic candidates for president are jockeying to get their positions on Iraq in the forefront…
Bill Richardson made a case for “Why We Should Exit Iraq Now” in an OP/Ed in the Washington Post. Richardson claims in the lead paragraph of his OP/ED that “Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have suggested that there is little difference among us on Iraq. This is not true: I am the only leading Democratic candidate committed to getting all our troops out and doing so quickly.”
Yet, Richardson adds a caveat to his out of Iraq plan noting that “logistically, it would be possible to withdraw in six to eight months.” The truth is saying out of Iraq now, is easier said than done, as Richardson does manage to clarify in his OP/ED.
Clinton and Obama (and let’s not forget Dodd and Biden) are of course, in the position to perhaps do more than Richardson, on pushing bringing an end to the Iraq war on Congress.
Hillary Clinton made it clear on Friday that she’s taking a leadership position on the issue:
As General Petraeus prepares to testify before Congress next week, it is clear that the increase in U.S. troops in Iraq has simply not led to political reconciliation in Iraq. Rather than continuing the escalation, we must begin the immediate redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq, in order to end this war as soon as possible. I continue to support legislative efforts requiring the Administration to begin to withdraw our troops and to complete the redeployment of combat troops in 2008, and I encourage the Congressional leadership to ensure that we will have an opportunity to vote for such legislation.
Realistically Richardson’s plan puts us smack dab in the middle of ’08 and Hillary is saying she continues to “support legislative efforts requiring the Administration to begin to withdraw our troops and to complete the redeployment of combat troops in 2008.” Apples and oranges. Out in ’08. Let’s do it.
Chris Dodd has also chimed in on Iraq with an action alert: Contact your Senators — “We can stop a bad bill”.
Meanwhile… there’s squabbling from the top officials in Bush’s White House Situation Room.