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I have a certain pragmatic sympathy for the views of some Democrats reluctant to turn up the volume on the Iraq Debacle, to the decibel of calling for withdrawal. However, I strongly disagree with that view. But I have no sympathy for the view that Bush should not be criticized on Iraq. The Washington Post runs a story tomorrow that simply is false in important particulars. Most importantly on this:

The wariness, congressional aides and outside strategists said in interviews last week, reflects a belief among some in the opposition that proposals to force troop drawdowns or otherwise limit Bush's options would be perceived by many voters as defeatist. Some operatives fear such moves would exacerbate the party's traditional vulnerability on national security issues.

Although critical of Bush, the party's establishment figures -- including Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) -- all reject the Feingold approach, reasoning that success in Iraq at this point is too important for the country.

I am sorry, but if what Clinton and Biden, and even Reid, are saying with regard to Iraq is considered criticism of Bush, I would hate to see their praise.

Here's Biden a few days ago:

"Why doesn't the president just tell the truth?" said Biden, adding that Rumsfeld should have been fired a year ago for incompetence -- whether it be sending too few U.S. troops or failing to equip them adequately -- that approaches "criminal." "The president's got to get rid of Rumsfeld," he said.

Yep, he ripped Rumsfeld a new one. But how about Bush? Or Cheney?

Compare Biden to Republican Chuck Hagel:

"Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska on Thursday said the United States is 'getting more and more bogged down' in Iraq and stood by his comments that the White House is disconnected from reality and losing the war "The longer U.S. forces remain in Iraq, he said, the more it begins to resemble the Vietnam war."

"Hagel mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion in June that the insurgency in Iraq was in its 'last throes,' saying the U.S. death toll has risen amid insurgent attacks." . . . [I]t was the vice president who said a couple of months ago that the insurgency was in its last throes. I didn't say that; the vice president said that. . . "Maybe the vice president can explain the increase in casualties we're taking and all the other issues that I just addressed."If that's winning, then he's got a different definition of winning than I do."

I'm sorry Biden, but your "critiques" don't cut it. You want some slack? Stop cutting it for Bush.

And Hillary? In a speech "slamming Bush", this is what she said on Iraq:

She said the United States should remain in Iraq until peace can be maintained by the Iraqi people, saying the mission was part of the "long struggle against terrorism" by the U.S. "The threat of terrorism is as close as our daily commute," said Clinton, adding that people around the world admired the "famous resilience" of the British in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks.

Excuse me?? Part of the long struggle against terrorism? Shit, you know who else talks like that? Cheney:

Casting the war in Iraq as a battle in the same great tradition as the Revolutionary War -- and as a natural response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- Cheney likened any retreat from the administration's current policies to "turn[ing] over the future of mankind to tiny groups of fanatics committing indiscriminate murder, enslaving whole populations, oppressing women, imposing an ideology of hatred on an entire region, and arming to create death and destruction on an unbelievable scale."

So Hillary agrees with Cheney while the Republican Hagel is at war with Cheney. And we Democrats are supposed to smile for that? Not this Democrat. Finally, if you believe success in Iraq is "too important" how in God's name can you keep quiet while this unbelievable group of lying idiots bumbles their way to utter disaster?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 09:29 PM PDT.

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