Sunday, December 17, 2006


Let's You And Him Fight

The NBC evening news (and the WaPo) played up their favorite theme, the idea that "the Democrats are in disarray!", yet again today, by highlighting a difference between Harry Reid and several other key Democratic Senators on how best to get our troops home before the end of next year. The people in the GOP/Media Complex were hoping that this scam of "let's you and him fight" would drive a wedge between the netroots and Reid. And to judge by the sounds in the netroots tonight, their scam worked perfectly. To wit: Harry Reid said that he would back anything, including Bush's proposed "temporary surge", IF (and that's a big 'if') it helped get us out of Iraq before the end of 2007. Other prominent Democratic Senators, such as Ted Kennedy and Jack Reed, disagreed with Reid on backing the surge, but agree with him on wanting us out of Iraq. That's really what this is all about, once you drain off all the aggro and shouting and rending of garments by people who were looking for a reason to reflexively diss a Democratic politician. Reid and Kennedy agree that we need to leave Iraq, and soon. They just disagree on how best to do it. If anyone actually listened to all of what Reid was saying, they'd note that he said he favored anything that actually would help get our troops safely out of Iraq by the end of 2007. But too many of them stopped listening after hearing him give (a HEAVILY CONDITIONAL) quasi-support to it. There are too many people who just reflexively jump down Democrats' throats for any percieved deviation from propriety. The thing is that we may very well need an extra 20K troops to ensure a smooth withdrawal, as opposed to a chaotic fighting retreat. Think about it: If simply getting to and from Baghdad's airport is tough, imagine what a chaotic, unplanned troop withdrawal will look like. Not good. UPDATE: Per OneCrankyDom over at DailyKos (emphases mine):

Harry was asked about supporting more troops after this weeks show. He was asked on a C-Span interview and he made it clear that he was not going to support more troops for anything over than cover for those troops pulling out. Short term in a way that really means no way. We need to stop jumping on Reid and Pelosi before we know exactly what they are doing. Harry is playing things a little more cagey then most give him credit for.
UPDATE #2: To prove that neither I nor Senator Reid is making up the "cover for a withdrawal" concept out of whole cloth, here's an example from 1996 of how 5,000 American troops were sent to Bosnia to cover the withdrawal of US  forces there.

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