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.