At Right Wing News, John Hawkins makes a good point with the following question: “So, if Hillary, Barack, and Edwards now have the same position as Rudy, Fred, Mitt, & McCain, you have to ask, who should America trust more to handle Iraq in 2009? The candidates who took that position early on because they thought it was the right thing to do, even though they knew the Democrats could use it against them at the polls, or the Democrats who've taken that position because they feel it's a political necessity after David Petraeus' testimony?”
In addition to the point Hawkins makes about those allowing war policy to be driven by political considerations, voters should ask another question about the way their potential leaders have approached the issues surrounding the Iraq war. Who should Americans trust more to handle Iraq in 2009? Those who thought we should act on threats, those who believe we should act on threats until the polls change, or those who believe such things should be left to the UN?
Which category of candidate makes the most sense to hold the office of president?
The first group consists of those who made the tough decision that knowing what we knew then, we needed to act against a brutal leader most every intelligence agency in the world believed to possess WMD and a willingness to use it. Those in the first category refused to cut and run when the news was less than good and polls had turned against the war. Instead, they chose to support making adjustments and doing the hard work necessary to find a way to win.
Those in the second group supported the tough decision that knowing what we knew then, we needed to act against the brutal leader most every intelligence agency in the world believed to possess WMD and a willingness to use it, but when public opinion turned against the war they refused to accept the hard work of finding a solution.
Those in the third group decided not to act against a madman leader of a country with an open hatred of the United States believed to possess enough WMD to kill thousands, if not millions, of people. Those in this group decided that in spite of the attacks of September 11, and in spite of information from Russian intelligence that “Saddam’s special forces were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States ‘and beyond its borders on American military and civilian targets.”
The leading GOP candidates for President fit into the first category, while the leading Democrats running for President fall into the second and third.
It can’t be known now whether or not the success seen so far from the surge in Iraq will continue through the 2008 election, or whether things will fall apart and sentiment against the war effort will turn even more negative. What is clear though is which party will benefit politically if additional progress is made in Iraq, and which party will not. That goes a long way toward explaining the recent words and actions of some of the Democrats’ Presidential candidates.