In a sane world, it would be like shooting ducks in a barrel. The Democrats' demand for an arbitrary withdrawal timetable is utterly indefensible. Apart from the reasons we attacked Iraq initially, which we can continue the charade of debating if we must, no one within shouting distance of sanity believes Saddam's ouster was a bad result.
Once we deposed Saddam we did not abandon Iraq to allow the government void to be filled by terrorist and "insurgent" thugs opposed to Iraqi democracy and self-rule. We have been thwarting the terrorist uprising while helping the Iraqis to establish their own constitution, which they have risked their lives to do.
How can Democrats, as self-proclaimed champions of democracy, in good faith decry these developments? How can they deny that a democratized, autonomous Iraq is more conducive to a healthier, more peaceful Middle East and a safer United States?
As for withdrawing our troops, Democratic leaders are talking to hear their heads rattle (and to score political points). The Bush Administration has long been on record as being committed to turning over the defense of Iraq to Iraqi forces. Notwithstanding the carping from the other side, it is doing everything it can to expedite this transition. It is feverishly engaged in implementing this exit strategy as we speak.
But until the military commanders on the ground in Iraq, as opposed to the political opportunists and armchair generals in the United States, are satisfied that Iraqi troops are ready to assume the primary defense duties throughout Iraq, we cannot leave.
To prematurely establish an arbitrary timetable for our troop withdrawal would jeopardize the stability of the newly constituted Iraqi government, for which, in part, more than 2,000 of our soldiers have died. It would give the terrorists a victory they could never attain on the battlefield. It would reinvigorate their cause by confirming their suspicion that the American infidels lack the resolve to persevere.
Republicans must open fire with both barrels on this issue and force Democrats (and some Republicans) to explain how their insistence on a timetable is anything but suicidal to Iraq and immeasurably detrimental to the national security of the United States.
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