Wyden moving left on Iraq?

WydenOver at TAPPED (the blog of The American Prospect), Matthew Yglesias wonders if our Senator Ron Wyden is about to join Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and others calling for a sure deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq.

First, an excerpt from the CNN interview. (Transcript)

It's one thing to talk about an immediate troop withdrawal. I've said deadlines can be useful. We set them for the constitution. We set them for the elections. Why not say in an area where we don't seem to be making a lot of progress in terms of training the Iraqis for their own security, let's set a deadline there. You've got to get them trained to get to the question Russ Feingold wants to explore.

Then, some of Yglesias's comments:

On the one hand, Wyden seems to be trying to say he holds a middle-ground position. On the other hand, his middle-ground position of setting a deadline for the training mission sounds a lot like what Russ Feingold and others of us have been saying. Obviously, Democrats are looking for some kind of political sweet spot here. Unfortunately, it's not clear that whatever middle ground Wyden's looking for is really there.

Head on over to TAPPED and CNN to catch the whole story. Since neither has comments, feel free to discuss back here.

  • Jeff Bull (unverified)

    For what it's worth, I count a phased withdrawal as one of two realistic options to untangle Iraq. I discussed the other at (all the) length (for which I had time) on my site. It's long enough and sufficiently detailed that I'm not about to try to parse it here, but it grew out of an article by Andrew Krepinevich in Foreign Affairs, a piece that's well worth the read if for no better reason than the grounded take on where we are in Iraq.

    To sum them up quickly: while I believe a prompt withdrawal to be deeply irresponsible, there's a fair amount to recommend Feingold's - and Wyden's? - recommendation for a phased withdrawal. The alternative involves a fairly thorough re-think, one more oriented to securing Iraqi civil society with American soldiers very deeply involved in policing and mentoring Iraqi troops for up to a decade; there's no need to expand our presence under this scenario, but it would definitely require that we move outside the Baghdad's Green Zone.

    Overall, I'm not saying there are ONLY two options; I'm willing to entertain many, many more. But I've having trouble, personally, framing this as anything but an "either/or": either we get serious about rebuilding Iraq, or we declare "victory" with the election of a permanent governemtn and we get the hell out of the way and let the chips fall where they fall.

    (And, oh crap, only now do I realize that I mistyped Krepinevich's name throughout my original...hopefully, I'll have that repaired before any guests arrive....)

  • colin (unverified)

    I'm not sure if it has been discussed here, but Juan Cole has a great 10 point plan for disengagement from Iraq.

    link here

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    It shows something that it says being opposed to lies lying us to let Bush use America's army to invade Iraq, and demanding the end of the torture and murder war crimes committed there and elsewhere in our names, and starting Nuremberg-echelon war crimes trials for this administration including all Cabinet secretaries charged, is called "moving to the left."

    As I see it, Democrats, like Wyden, are also complicit in lying about the invasion, (and I've written here before of the setting where I told Wyden and Smith to their faces, before the illegal invasion, that there were no WMDs and both turned their backs to me so as not to have their lies challenged and sent National Guard of which many died needlessly); they lied to start the invasion, and elected Democrats do not condemn the torture and murders, and the Democrats do not stand for liberty and justice for all. Democrats like Wyden betray our country with their silence equally the same as neo-cons betray our country exhorting war and committing crimes.

    Being against war criminals (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, more), and those who aid and abet criminals (Wyden, Blumenauer) is NOT a "left" position, it is the position of the very heartstock of America, the civilian, the citizen.

    Wyden is not "moving to the left;" he is moving toward the position of lawful and decent Oregonians who vote.

    Sorry, Ron, we got some gravestones of soldiers here with your vote on them. So no more is our vote on your ballot position. Go away. Shame on you. Shame, eternal shame, on Congress. Shame on you, silent Ron Wyden.

  • Karl (unverified)

    Staying in Iraq cannot improve the situation there. We have no moral authority. Any government we support or army we train will have no support or trust of the populace. For gods' sake, we can't even give the guys we "train" effective weapons because we fear they will be used against us. They only join because we put the whole country out of work and they have no other way to feed their families.

    We need to immediately stop building permanent bases, pull out of the cities, throw the corporate contractors (ie. haliburton-bechtell) and their mercenary armies out and beg the UN to come in and oversee the formation of a legitimate representative government that patriotic Iraqis could support and defend.

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)

    Tenskwatawa, I agree that the general silence that we have heard from most Democrats regarding the immoral and inadvised war in Iraq has been shameful. However, getting more Democratic leaders to speak out is important, so let's be fair to them in our critiques, shall we?

    Ron Wyden voted against invading Iraq, along with Russ Feingold and a (slim) majority of Democratic Senators. A large majority of Democratic Representatives voted against the war. Democrats are percieved to have supported the war because the war supporters (John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Leiberman, Joe Biden, John Edwards, etc) have recieved more attention from the press. We should encourage Democrats who voted against the war, like Wyden, to speak out - now that the war is so obviously a failure and now that a majority of Americans want a plan to pull out of Iraq soon.

  • (Show?)

    The fact is that our "progressive" Oregon delegation has been as timid and quiet as those across the country. When Chuck Hagel is the leading voice questioning the policies of the idiots in charge, it gets really tough to keep the socialists and Greens on the reservation. They join with our enemies in assuming that Biden, Clinton, Lieberman, and Kerry, DLC quislings all, speak for the Democrats. Not surprising since the rest of the Dem "leaders" (excepting Howard Dean) say nothing at all.

    I hope to hell that someone stands up.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    "... let's be fair to them in our critiques, shall we?"

    Fair?! Okay, so Wyden says there are WMDs and we have to invade Iraq. Stood right in front of me and 200 others and said this. While it was KNOWN and he had the info and KNEW there are no WMDs. No parts of WMDs. No way to MAKE a WMD being under square-foot Surveillance.!

    He calculates 250,000 (at least) dead Iraqis are worth it as long as Wyden gets rich and re-elected. See, that's NOT fair.

    Same goes for Gordon Smith. It is not even about Dem's and Rep's anymore. The Dem's and this website believe that if censoring can hide the Dem's immoral shameful silence, and only circulate info bashing Rep's, and in general by eliminating all opponents, then Dem's are the only ones left and HAVE TO BE elected. Process of elimination.

    As opposed to a process of merit.

    You know what? It ain't happenin'. Wyden's a Dem. I'm a Dem. Wyden does NOT GET MY VOTE. Wyden kills with silence and pretending not to see and pretending to be powerless to do anything. I do NOT vote for a KNOWN KILLER. If O.J. is all who is on the ballot, I don't vote.

    I'm not going to vote for or support Wyden "just to be fair." He is disgraced. He is as bad as 'the other party.'

    When an elected federal Congressperson is powerless in the Capitol to stand against and must go along with the killing fascism of Republicans, how come one lone Gold Star mother can stand in a ditch and start the opposition that looks to stop the invasions and lead the war criminals into court and into prison. No question mark, there's not a question: She is honest and moral and just, and cannot be paid off, that's why she can stop Bush single-handedly and that's why Wyden can't.

    -- snip --

    ...sick of official lies and stonewalling, finally start snarling Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper abandoned the old persona to throttle Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in a live interview.

    Cooper suspended the traditional TV rules of decorum and, approaching tears of fury, said:

    Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.

    And when they hear politicians slap—you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up.

    Do you get the anger that is out here? …

    I mean, I know you say there's a time and a place for, kind of, you know, looking back, but this seems to be the time and the place. I mean, there are people who want answers, and there are people who want someone to stand up and say, "You know what? We should have done more. Are all the assets being brought to bear?"

    Landrieu kept her cool, probably because she's in Baton Rouge, while the stink of corpses caused Cooper to tremble in rage ...

    -- snip --

    Wyden gets paid money, like the rest of Bush's Congress, for killing people, making people die. By directing the building of bombers and the invasion of people's countries, and by directing NOT building anything else, neglect, silence, hiding. The voice opposing factual criticism of Wyden, that voice sounds, too, like the money it spends is wages for getting innocent people dead.

    So two weeks ago, or so, Rumsfeld's Red Army announced it shredded the international agreement banning land mine factories, and is paying hundreds of millions of dollars -- OUR TAX MONEY -- buying a new supply of land mines, the contracts are signed, the checks are cut.

    They make land mines in Albany, Oregon, right? Teledyne - Wah Chang, right? I'm sure there are kids in Albany eating hearty around their picnic table this weekend, with the wages their working parent is paid to go along with killing people.

    Same with Wyden. Every bite of food he buys with his blood money. Same friggin' same. If I can compose words on this page to shout Wyden's disgraceful silence and shame and tighten his throat with his own guilt, then let him find it hard to swallow his food and easy to choke on it.

    And if I can compose words on this page to shout Wyden's disgraceful silence, then mostly this website erases those words to cover-up its own guilt involved with Wyden.

    The preposterous idea that Wyden is 'moving to the left' reads like words to cover-up the graves Bush and Congress and he are walking on.

  • LT (unverified)

    Send the author an email--there is a 2 page Washington Post Sunday Outlook commentary on their website from someone at the Hoover Institution "Why we must stay in Iraq".


    <h2>There is an author email at the bottom of the 2nd page, and he deserves to get lots of emails from those who feel strongly like those posted here.</h2>

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