A View From The Handbasket

Monday, August 07, 2006
Iraq: Framing the Issue
Posted by Tyrone at 9:13 AM
Swopa over at Needlenose sums up very neatly various attempts to frame the Iraq mess [including a spot-on NYT editorial], concluding that Democrats should appeal to voters as the party of common sense:
. . . the choice really isn't over what to do about Iraq so much as how we will decide. . . . Democrats . . . will try to assess the facts and use common sense to actually solve the problem.

So that's the choice I'd put before the voters. Not which party is tougher, or which one has the awesomest, most brilliantly detailed plan for Iraq.

The question I'd ask is, Which do you think is more likely to send the president a message and bring common sense to our Iraq policy -- another Republican Congress, or a Democratic one? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Question: Other than lefty bloggers, what percentage of the American electorate actually responds to common sense? For another, as the divisions among Democrats re Iraq are very real, what policy proposal could they possibly be expected to come up with, common sensical or otherwise?

Framing aside, however, it might be helpful to look at what's best for both Iraq and America. What's best for Iraq seems simple enough: doubling [tripling? quadrupling?] "coalition" troop strength in a humanitarian effort to prevent any escalation of the current bloodbath. What's best for America in the short term is to bring the troops home so as to prevent further American casualties--after all, we're currently merely running in place to no one's advantage. In the long term, however, so as to prevent a "Shia Crescent," troop strength will have to be significantly increased so as to [ahem] allow for an Iraqi government comprised of Shi'a, Sunni and Kurds. So common sense, as it applies to both Iraqi and long-term American interests, would dictate increasing coalition forces in other than token numbers. Can this be sold to the American public? Are there troops available in sufficient numbers? Is it too late to call the UN? Will common sense enable Democrats to retake the House?

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