"The Differences"

March 9, 2007
Blog
Democrats shift debate to Iraq endgame

Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times - March 9, 2007

Their argument offers the public a choice: Stay indefinitely as Bush urges or shift U.S. soldiers into a secondary role.

The new Democratic proposals for Iraq may eventually be weakened or killed, but in one stroke they have transformed a many-sided debate about the conflict into a sharp-edged argument about the endgame.

Ever since the midterm election signaled deepening public unhappiness with the war, Republicans have urged a push toward victory while Democrats have complained about the administration's course but not gathered around a single alternative.

Now, the Democratic mainstream has made its decision and offered the public a choice: Follow the president's plan to use U.S. combat troops indefinitely, or shift American soldiers to a secondary role and begin withdrawing them.

Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (IL-05) gave a "one-minute" speech echoing this point this morning:

Caucus Chairman Emanuel:

"As Yogi Berra said, 'when you come to a fork in the road, take it.' Madam Speaker, the President wants and is asking for more of the same. Democrats are calling for a new direction in Iraq."

Transcript in the extended entry:

"There has been a lot of news on Iraq and the differing strategies in between Congress and the President.

"Let's be clear about where the differences lie.

"The Administration wants more time after four long years.

"Democrats say it is time for a conclusion to the open-ended commitment.

"The Administration wants 25,000 more troops.

"Democrats are calling for the troops to be fully trained and equipped.

"The Administration wants more money.

"Democrats are demanding Iraqi's be held accountable for Iraq's future.

"The Administration's policy has us policing a civil war.

"Democrats want to focus on Al Qaeda and the growing threat in Afghanistan.

"The Administration has failed veterans on the health care they have earned.

"Democrats are for making sure that the veterans get the care they deserve.

"As Yogi Berra said, 'when you come to a fork in the road, take it.'

"Madam Speaker, the President wants and is asking for more of the same.

"Democrats are calling for a new direction in Iraq."