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Exsurgat asinus

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday August 22, 2007 01:11 PM

August was supposed to be the month that crystallized Democratic opposition to the Iraq war.... Yet nowhere is the political tentativeness more on display than on the war -- with members of Congress sharing impressions that something is working. "Staking out positions that could complicate efforts to achieve party unity in September, a few Democratic lawmakers have returned expressing support for a continued troop presence," writes Jonathan Weisman of The Washington Post.

The broad argument Democrats are making: The security situation is improving, but it's too late for the Iraqi government to take advantage of it. "The Democrats' reframing of the war debate helps them avoid criticism for naysaying U.S. military achievements while still advocating a speedy pullout from what they say is a civil war the Iraqi government cannot quell," writes the Washington Times' S.A. Miller.

Two leading senators -- Levin, D-Mich., and Warner, R-Va., are out with a new report with nuggets that play off of that (rather muddy) message. "The 'surge' is having 'measurable results' " that should make compromises possible, they write, per ABC's Z. Byron Wolf. But they're calling for new Iraqi leadership because "we are not optimistic about the prospects for those compromises." Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, is going the furthest, in calling for a new prime minister if Nouri al-Maliki can't force quick compromises.

... Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John McCain took their turns yesterday before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City. Clinton... said elements of the new military strategy are "working" (what will Sen. Barack Obama say about that?) but added that it's unlikely to make a difference....

Comments (2)


If they are "working" how can you also say it's "not likely to make a difference"? I guess that is why I am not a Democratic politician?

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