Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Edwards campaign says "Senator Hillary Clinton's view that the President's Iraq policy is 'working' is another instance of a Washington politician trying to have it both ways." Responding to Edwards' campaign chairman, former Michigan Representative David Bonior, Clinton aides, according to The New York Times, "said her 'remarks' that military tactics in Iraq are working referred specifically to reports of increased cooperation from Sunnis leading to greater success against insurgents in Al Anbar province."

So what did Clinton actually say? According to WashingtonPost.com, "we have begun to change tactics in Iraq and in some areas, particularly (emphasis mine) in Al Anbar province, it's working."

I have not read the full transcript of the Senator's remarks, which appears not yet to be available, but Mrs. Clinton now has given cover to the President's misguided policies. She could have argued that the "surge" is working in Al Anbar province but further jeopardizing the war effort elsewhere in Iraq. (This would be similar to the strategy of municipal police forces in the U.S., which often target a drug-infested corner/neighborhood, only to move the criminal activity elsewhere in town.) Instead, she contended the tactics are working "in some areas, particularly" in Al Anbar. And given that her speech otherwise was critical of the Administration's policy, she characteristically was "trying to have it both ways."
Which, sadly, still makes her remarks superior to those of the two Republicans, John McCain and Anything For A Buck Fred (Thompson), who were invited to address the assemblage. "As long as there is a prospect for not losing this war," the Arizona Senator pleaded, "then we must not choose to lose it."

But it gets worse, with lobbyist-turned Senator-turned actor Thompson claiming leaders "took a holiday" from the fight on terrorism in the 1990s. Apparently, he forgot about the memo of January 25, 2001, largely ignored, from counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke to National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice, urgently requesting a "principals meeting" on the threat from Al Qaeda. And President Bush's failure to respond to the famous August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing "bin Ladin Determined To Strike in U.S."

Hilary Clinton may be providing cover to George W. Bush. But these and other remarks of the GOP candidates only underscore the greater danger posed by the party they want to represent next November.

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