. . .is apparently a virtue among the Democrat electorate. I can't otherwise fathom why both Clinton and Obama would persist in brandishing an irresponsible withdrawal
of forces from Iraq as a selling point for their campaigns. It's pretty clear that Americans are beginning to become more optimistic about the outcome of our current strategy there, and as the months stretch on into November, it seems highly likely that we will experience continued and growing success as more Iraqi troops are able to contribute to the nation's security.
And why else would both candidates continue to perpetuate the outright deception that John McCain plans to occupy Iraq for the next 100 years -- particularly when Obama himself has allowed for the presence of a 60,000 - 80,000-troop "strike force" with no set date for withdrawal? Could it be that they simply have no clue whatsoever when it comes to the use of military force abroad? The longer they continue on the course they've set for themselves, the more inescapable that conclusion becomes.
The point they most heavily rely on in their implacable opposition to our continued presence in Iraq appears to be the "lack of political progress" among the varying factions there. Leaving alone the fact that there has been measurable progress on the political front, it leads one to wonder just how they expected any progress to be achieved in the midst of an insurgency largely composed of foreign entities working hand-in-glove with Muqtada al-Sadr -- a power mad cleric bent on fomenting sectarian discord for the sake of his own political influence.
The very fact that al-Sadr has twice called for an armistice in the latest offensives conducted by largely domestic Iraqi forces should indicate to even the most jaundiced eye that there is a potential for a great deal of political reconciliation, so long as America exercises patience and works with those domestic forces to impose the will of the current government. Until the Maliki government can establish the sense that it is capable of imposing its will, there's no reason for the sources of discord to change its ways. So, why the rush to cut off our support of the current government just as it is making measurable strides toward the ultimate goal of a free, stable, and democratic Iraq?
The answer is as disturbing as it is simple: the most left-wing elements among the Democrats have established themselves as the base, and nothing short of precipitous withdrawal, regardless of the conditions on the ground, will be acceptable. Any talk of reconsideration from any candidate will lead to howls of protest and accusations of betrayal -- something neither candidate can afford with the nomination yet to be decided.
But, now that both candidates have made the withdrawal of troops a centerpiece of their candidacies, and as long as they continue to attack John McCain for his counseling of prudence and resistance to predetermined withdrawal dates, one has to wonder how they plan to sell themselves to a public that, by the time their nomination is decided, will have seen considerable success in a war that they may not like, but one that they are also not too keen on losing.