Wednesday, May 16, 2007

John Edwards and Iraq

When the Democratic Party's former leader John Kerry designated John Edwards as his running mate in 2004, he said to a crowd during a rally at Market Square in North Carolina:"I have chosen a man who understands and defends the values of America." Three years later, John Edwards is now a candidate who seeks the Democratic nomination for president for the election of 2008 in the USA.

In 2002, Senator John B. Breaux, a Democrat from Louisiana, said that Edwards "has all the ingredients you're looking for." Breaux also said:"But what is missing is a great deal of seasoning or experience in the business of government. I don't think it's just 9/11. You're talking about North Korea. You're talking about Afghanistan. You're talking about Iraq."

To straighten things out, John Edwards certainly has a clear idea about how social policies would look like if he was elected. For example, Edwards was the first candidate in the presidential primary who presented a clear strategy about how to provide universal health care. However, just like most of his political buddies, John Kerry's former running mate faces a difficulty to show realism on the war in Iraq.

According to him, "the first step" will consist into withdrawing 40,000 to 50,000 soldiers from Iraq. Edwards averred that the "complete withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq" should be done in about 12 to 18 months. This plan, according to him, will "[allow] Iraqis to assume greater responsibility for rebuilding their own country."

Obviously, John Edwards "understands and defends the values of America" so much. If he was president, expect the American army to be used for good reasons, apparently. For him, restoring the USA's international "legitimacy" means "leading [a fight] on [...] great challenges [...] like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the genocide in Darfur, extreme poverty, and living up to [the USA's] ideals in the fight against terrorism."

As an old Chinese proverb said it:"Gold and jade on the outside. Rot and decay on the inside." This proverb doesn't describe the Democrats' willingness to withdraw American combat troops from Iraq. It rather describes the promise itself. Indeed, it certainly looks beautiful and noble, but it's hardly feasible given what is happening in Iraq.

The Iraqi government is a disappointment, because it can’t achieve national unity. Indeed, just look at the tensions between the Shiites and the Sunnis. These tensions are rooted into Iraq’s History. Nowadays, Iraqi Shiites are taking revenge for the long time of domination from the Sunnis throughout Iraq’s History.

There’s also the visible difficulty for American troops to handle Iraq’s national security. That difficulty is also related to the paucity of Iraqi soldiers and cops. Besides, among the few Iraqi soldiers and cops newly hired, most of them are not professional yet. In short, the American combat troops are left with 1) the bulk of the job in terms of security and 2) a lack of anti-guerilla strategies.

It’s good to see that John Edwards, just like his fellow Democrats, is against the war in Iraq. Democrats exploit it to show the Bush Administration’s clumsiness. We all know that the war in Iraq is illegitimate. Nonetheless, let’s recognize one harmful truth: the USA threw itself into this military adventure and now, it must find a way to get out of this quagmire.

Unfortunately, the withdrawal can’t gradually be done in one year. The situation in Iraq is not likely to change for the next year. The Democrats should know that if American combat troops were withdrawn too quickly, all hell would really break loose in Iraq. Sad though it might sound, the Democrats should know that, if elected, the way they decide to withdraw American combat troops from Iraq can either show their clumsiness or their brightness.

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