Driving home today, I heard Earl Blumenauer interviewed by Tom Parker on Portland’s KPAM. Congressman Blumenauer described his plan to phase U.S. forces out of Iraq. I don’t see how any rational person could disagree with it (but naturally Parker, a conservative, did).
Blumenauer’s bill has the unfortunate title of “First Step to Redeployment Act of 2006.” I wish Democrats would learn the value of pithy evocative phrases, which Rove and company use so well.
Anyway, the title is the most awkward aspect of Blumenauer’s plan, the basics of which he described simply and clearly:
The Iraqi people don’t want us in their country.
The American people don’t want us in Iraq.
Our presence there is exacerbating ethnic and secular tensions.
It’s time to redeploy American troops, beginning with the National Guard.
Bush and the Pentagon keep telling us that Iraqi forces are ready to start defending their country.
Let’s see what they can do.
Until we begin to stand down, the Iraqis won’t make a serious commitment to stand up.
Tough love is needed.
To his credit, Parker engaged in a civil discussion with Blumenauer. He kept saying, “But we can’t abandon the Iraqi people.” And Blumenauer kept replying with an unarguable response: “The Iraqi people don’t want us there. Shouldn’t they be able to make their own decisions now that a Parliament has been elected?”
Kudos to Blumenauer for helping to stimulate intelligent national debate on our Iraq policy. If all Democrats could start making as much sense, it will be a sweet election this November.