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Opening Arguments

Waiting for the moderates

Of all the arguments I've heard for leaving Iraq, this, from Rep. Mark Souder in a FWOb interview, has to be among the strangest:

I  believe we need to draw down because we need to be in the region and I'm afraid that if we don't do some draw down that the left of the Democratic Party is going to go isolationist like after Viet Nam; we're going to abandon the region; we won't be able to handle Iran; we won't be able to handle Pakistan; we won't be able to protect Israel; we won't be able to protect Dubai, UAE, Qatar, Yemen - that whole region of more moderate Arab states.

We have to be there and the President needs to work with the Democrats - with the moderate Democrats - and they need to get away from the Left.

Who are these moderate Democrats? People who don't care about America's national security but will vote for it anyway if they get their way on Iraq? Or people who do care about our security but would throw it away if they don't get their way? I can't identify the demographic being aimed at here.

But I often don't understand people who praise moderation in the political sense. It usually seems to mean something on the order of "somebody who has finally seen the light and come over to my side." In the comments of a post last week, a couple of people praised Sen. Lugar for seeking the moderate path on Iraq. But the Iraq issue, like most that make it to Washington, really has only two sides: either a commitment to keep trying to win the war or a belief that it is unwinnable and must be quit. People who have arrived at the "let's leave" side may try to search for nuances about how we leave and when we leave, but they can't disguise the fact that they have, in fact, switched sides.


Tue, 07/17/2007 - 1:59pm

>>People who have arrived at the

A J Bogle
Tue, 07/17/2007 - 8:06pm

Exactly right Doug - and Lugar has pretty much been on the "dumb idea to got there in the first place side" too bad he hadn't been more forceful about it.

I guess I don't follow what Mr Morris' beef with moderation is? the very issue we are fighting in the middle east is extremism.

Extremists try to paint the world in simplistic black or white terms, when any truly thinking person knows that the world has many shades of grey.

The true art of moderation is finding common ground, compromise and avoiding extremism. Extremes on the political spectrum cause the divisiveness and polariztion that we have today that is completely counterproductive to getting anything done. Lugar did not gain the respect and trust of his colleagues and the voters of Indiana with extreme positions, but moderate and well thought out positions. The last thing we need in congress is more ideologues - but we sure could use a lot more Richard Lugars.

As far as the prsident's Iraq "policy" such that it is, is that there is no longer any military solution - respected foreign policy and military experts have been saying this for some time. No one has ever suggested a "cut and run" to use the pithy catch phrase of the right, but have been suggesting stepping up the diplomacy and forcing the Iraqis to take ressponsibility for their own country, while the US refocuses its efforts on combatting the perpetraitors of 9/11 - the regrouped and strengthening Al Qaeda - remember those guys?

The president stubbornly continues on his stay the course path (even though they don't call it that anymore) despite the best advice of many much wiser and more experienced on these matters than he such as Senator Lugar, Baker and Hamilton.

Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results?