The Left Coaster proposes a solution to the Democrats problem with the problem of Iraq:
So what's the answer? Elect us in 2006 and we'll be out of Iraq within two years. Given control of either the Senate or the House, we could force Bush's hand by denying him funds to continue the war. It is that simple. This approach offers several advantages:
- it tells the Iraqis America will not want a permanent presence there, something Bush won't say (for obvious reasons)
- it gives Iraq a firm timeline within which they must take responsibility for security in their own country
- gradually removing our troops will remove a source of conflict in Iraq
- it gives us a strategic goal in the war
- it lets us offer a tough love victory scenario to the voters
- it gives voters a chance to get rid of the headache they get every time they watch the nightly news
Well, its not the "Withdraw Now" option which I previously discussed. So let's call it the "Withdraw Then" option. I'll have to think more about the merits of this proposal, but it does have the advantage that it is probably something that the "Get the hell out" crowd could sign on to even though it does delay their desire. It could still freak out the "We must not look like appeasers" crowd. But it will appeal to the (I believe) great mass of people who fit in the "Where's the light at the end of the tunnel?" crowd.
And it would certainly be something for the Democrats to run on.
Of course, the proposal needs to be fleshed out. Simply saying we will leave by 2008 is not enough. We need to also come out with proposals for how that transition can be made with the least amount of grief. But those proposals should be made in the spirit of "regardless how this turns out in the next two years, we are out of here."
The critics will, of course, say that putting out a deadline means that the insurgents will simply wait for that specific day and then attack. But, of course, they are already attacking. The options available to us pretty much all suck. This one at least gives us something to work with.
It's a start.