David Broder: Wrong About Iraq Again

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In a shocking development, David Broder is still incredibly,
obtusely wrong about Iraq. In
an assessment
of the recent New Hampshire presidential debates,
he writes:

They are able to escape the charge of abandoning U.S.
combat troops only because they knew when they voted that their
Republican colleagues in Congress, joined by a few Democrats, would
keep the funds flowing at least for another few months. But if
Clinton or Obama is nominated, that vote is certain to loom large
in the next campaign.

The broader question of Persian Gulf policy in the likely event of
the drawdown of American forces in the coming year is also a blind
spot for the Democrats. Beyond exhortations to the weak al-Maliki
government in Baghdad and a vague hope of convening an
international conference on Iraq, the leading Democrats have little
to suggest that could mitigate a possible foreign policy disaster.

The leading Republicans, for their part, see the risks of failing
militarily in Iraq very clearly but have offered no ideas other
than a continuation of the Bush policies that have lost most of
their domestic support. Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney
all endorse what is in effect the status quo – even when asked to
suggest a possible alternative or fallback. None of them appears to
have heard of the Iraq Study Group suggestions.

It's hard to imagine packing three small paragraphs with as many
logical fallacies as Broder manages to here. Let's ignore begging
the question that voting against the funding bill was "abandoning"
the combat troops. If Broder wants to repeat GOP talking points,
that's his business, I guess. It gets even more absurd when he
suggests that the Democrats don't have a plan to mitigate a
possible foreign policy disaster. What kind of disaster does Broder
envision? A failed war that has destroyed our international
credibility and stretched our military to the point of breaking?
The worst foreign policy failure of a superpower since the Soviets
in Afghanistan? This is a newsflash for Mr. Broder–the Iraq war IS
ALREADY A FOREIGN POLICY DISASTER.

Honest politicians, experienced generals, and journalists
interested in the truth have seen the writing on the wall in Iraq
for years. Broder's disengenuous posturing on behalf of the failed
Bush policy is the worst kind of commentary–lazy and ill-informed
vomiting of insipid talking points. What's more, it's begin to
preview the Republican argument after 2008, that somehow,
Democrats, and not President Bush's neocon advisors will be
responsible for the horrific outcome.

When Iraq does collapse into
a failed state, Iranian puppet regime, or sponsor of international
terrorism, Broder will be there with the same GOP talking point:
that Democrats lost the war. For the "dean of Washington
columnists" to fall for this transparent ploy to shift
responsibility, it's an embarrassment. For an informed electorate,
it's a tragedy.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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