November 14, 2005
John Edwards: Too little, too many
John Edwards admits he made a mistake by voting for the Iraq War resolution. This is mighty big of him, of course, now that he's no longer in public office! Our guess is that if he was still a senator, he'd never have written this op-ed. But hey, let's not quibble. What caught our eye was this Edwards contradiction:
George Bush won't accept responsibility for his mistakes. Along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, he has made horrible mistakes at almost every step: failed diplomacy; not going in with enough troops; not giving our forces the equipment they need; not having a plan for peace. . . .
We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals.
James Taranto, from whom we learned of this story, says that "Someone should introduce this Edwards guy to John Kerry, who, as we noted last month, also thinks the number of troops in Iraq is simultaneously too large and too small."
Posted by Felix at November 14, 2005 05:57 PM
What you point out is not a contradiction. He says that we should have gone in with more troops at the onset, but now at this stage, increasing the number of troops is useless... and we need to focus on reducing our presence and handing the charge over to the Iraqis. In other words: having more troops as we went in would've helped; but adding more troops right now is not going to change anything. Timing is everything in war... and as situations change, so do the requirements for success.
As for not being in office... he clearly is going to run in 08... so, he might not be in office but he clearly wants to run for it again. And, those two situations put a politician in the same position. My bet is that he would have written this op-ed even earlier this year if he was still in office.
Nevertheless, your false assertion is petty-minded... if you want to disagree with Edwards, do it on facts. Edwards' position on the troops is pretty clear. Pick something noteworthy to challenge him on, if you so have to.
I think that whether you agree with Edwards on going into Iraq or not, you have to acknowledge that this war has been handled very incompetently and it wouldn't hurt anyone if people pay more attention to the solutions Edwards offers and demand that our government outline its plan for success. Every logical person, republican and democrat alike, should be able to assess the situation right now and wonder what exactly is our strategy and if it is to train the Iraqis, then why have we not trained more than only 1 Iraqi unit. One unit in two years? At this rate, we'll be there for hundreds of years!
Tod Lindberg has an excellent disection of the Breck girls "oops" WaPo article, today in the Wash. Times. What an insincere vote it was to start with !
I see your point, Thomas; but if more troops are -- and have been -- needed to do the job right (since many agree that it was bungled at the onset), shouldn't that be a top priority over a troop reduction? What's more important overall -- perception, or reality?
I agree troop reduction is eventually necessary, but your claim that but adding more troops right now is not going to change anything is merely your -- and Edwards', in this case -- opinion, and is quite debatable.
Here's the link to the op-ed Fred mentioned.