But there is a far, far, better framing of the war issue for the Democrats. One that, in three words, characterizes the incompetence of the Pentagon's civilian leadership; the vast overreach in Rumsfeld's "military transformation"; and Dick Cheney's totally inept reading of the Iraq situation after the fall of Baghdad.
You can challenge Karl Rove's characterizations and that of the other chicken hawks in the conservative media. You can call the catastrophic mismanagement of the Iraq War for what it is:
The framing of the debate should be about incompetent, inept, inconsistent, and incomprehensible decisions made at the Pentagon by CIVILIAN war planners working for Don Rumsfeld that have resulted in TENS OF THOUSANDS of American casualties.
These few examples, and more, should be on the lips of EVERY Democrat talking head in the media, along with the prase "Do or Die".
1. There was absolutely no effort whatsover to secure or destroy the vast stockpiles of ordnance and weapons in Saddam's Iraq once American forces entered Baghdad. Those weapons arm the current insurgency and provide the "E" in IED's.
2. There was no absolutely no effort to enhance the safety and survivability of patrols with more heavily armored personnel carriers and tanks because tanks and APC's don't fit in with Don Rumsfeld's bent toward a "transformed military" comprised of "lighter, faster" vehicles like HUMVEES. We've killed and wounded TENS OF THOUSANDS of American service personnel because we have sent troops out to dangerous territories in highly vulnerable, light armored HUMVEES when they could have survived had they been in armored personnel carriers following M1-A1 Abrams tanks. The reason? Heavy armour insn't in keeping with Rummy's doctrine!
(The real irony here is that during Somalia, the right was -- correctly -- livid that the Clinton Administration held back sending armored personnel carriers. The decision helped cause the death of American servicemen during the infamous "Blackhawk Down" episode, that resulted in their bodies being dragged through the streets.)
3. There was no absolutely no effort to secure vital roadways, largely because there were not sufficient troops "in country". The US could have secured the airport highway in the first weeks after the fall of Baghdad by building two parallel chain link fences on either side of the road, to create a "security ribbon" along both sides. (Two parallel fences on either side of the roadway, or four fences altogether.) Each "ribbon" could have been mined and check points could have been built to control all access into or out of the airport. It wasn't done because we didn't have the manpower or the vision to do it.
4. There was no absolutely no effort to secure captured territory with infantry units. The Pentagon's "shock and awe" adaptation of Rommel's Blitzkrieg ignored the fact that such blitzes can only penetrate about 200 miles and only for a short period. After that, they're vulnerable to attacks on their supply lines, which have to be secured by infantry "boots on the ground" supporting them in armor personnel carriers and HUMVEES. The whole notion of protecting our supply lines totally eluded the Pentagon's civilian planners, wedded as they were to Rumsfeld's idiotic "lighter, faster" force. Iraqi Army elements simply melted away, sitting back while heavily armored elements of the Big Red One scooted by them at 40mph, all the while knowing they could hit their supply lines just a few hours or days later.