Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democrats? - Simon Tisdall - Guardian

David Seaton's News Links
Who are the Democrats today? What do they stand for? During the First World War a French general was accused of "taking his soldiers to the Rubicon, handing out fishing poles and inviting them to fish". This great opportunity could turn into a tragic farce. DS

Abstract: Suggestions that Democrats have the answers on Iraq appear sadly misplaced. In the first place, they lack decisive power. Mr Bush remains arbiter-in-chief of America's foreign and security policy. More to the point, they have no coherent, collective view - and are scared of being accused of betraying frontline troops. Hillary Clinton, the 2008 presidential hopeful, opposes an Iraq withdrawal timetable. John Kerry, beaten by Mr Bush in 2004, wants a firm deadline. John Murtha, who will control the House committee that appropriates cash for the Iraq war, has demanded an immediate pullout. Joe Biden, the senior Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, is advocating a tripartite division of Iraq. And there are many other points of view. All that unifies them is criticism of Mr Bush's performance.(...) in a recent commentary, the Carnegie Endowment's Robert Kagan offered a more disconcerting post-election view, arguing that when it came to foreign policy "the preferred European scenario - 'Bush hobbled'- is less likely than the alternative - 'Bush unbound'." "President Bush doesn't have to worry about getting anyone elected in 2008 and appears to be thinking only about his place in history," Mr Kagan said. "That can lead him to act in ways that please Europeans - for instance, vigorous multilateral diplomacy on Iran and North Korea. But it could also take him in directions they will find worrisome if that diplomacy fails."Many around the world will thrill at the defeat of Republicans. They should enjoy the moment while they can. When the smoke clears, they will find themselves dealing with much the same America, with all its virtues and all its flaws." READ ALL

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