Friday, January 12, 2007

"Moderate" Dem abandons Bush, calls for withdrawal

Where's the loyalty, huh? A guy gives one wretched, scary, poorly-delivered speech, and suddenly nobody wants to be his friend anymore.

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) says we need to redeploy our troops out of Iraq.

We should still make political and diplomatic efforts to help the Iraqi government survive. It's a democratically elected government. There are 25 million people there, many of whom have been savaged by their countrymen or are innocent civilian casualties. Iraq is also a staging ground for al Qaeda, which is training foreign fighters as well as Sunni insurgents. That was not true before we went in but it is now.

We have a moral obligation to make Iraq a safer place - we created a failed state when we removed Saddam - but we will not achieve that by the use of our military. In fact, I believe that by continuing to occupy Iraq (and that's the perception even though it has a democratically elected government) we make it harder for Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country, and for the forces of transparency and moderation to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.
Jane Harman has not exactly distinguished herself as the most caustic Bush critic on the Hill. As this post by Glenn Greenwald illustrates, Harman previously chugged massive amounts of Bush Kool-Aid, particularly, and in contrast to the quote above, with regard to al Qaeda's pre-war presence in Iraq.

Now that it is politically safe to criticize Bush's management of the war, Harman is attacking the escalation plan. That she has swung all the way from Kool-Aid Drinker to Surrender Monkey is evidence of how badly Bush's political position has degraded. He is becoming truly isolated, retaining little support beyond that of Mitch McConnell and Rush Limbaugh.

But whatever the reason for Harman to finally have seen the light, the results are the same. Even Fox "News" will have a hard time spinning anti-escalation, or even withdrawal, as an extreme viewpoint (not that they won't try). The fact is that the occupation of Iraq has passed the tipping point. Bush has lost the American public, and is in the process of losing the congress.

Let's just hope he possesses enough self-awareness to realize that if he initiates a shooting war with Iran and/or Syria in this climate, his presidency might not survive. The loss of his "legacy" is about the only thing that is likely to restrain him at this point.