Doolittle: I'm an America-hating peacenik!
The rallying cry for John Doolittle these days appears to be: "What do we want? Some vague and undefined drawdown of US troops from Iraq at some point in the not-as-yet-determined future. When do we want it? Now!"
Rep. John Doolittle, a conservative California congressman, today joined others in his party rapidly deserting the president on the Iraq war.
At a town hall meeting in Rocklin and then in a meeting with the editorial board of the Sacramento Bee he questioned whether the conflict was worth the loss of more American lives. He said U.S. troops should be pulled back from the front lines "as soon as possible" and the fighting turned over to Iraqi forces.
A longtime supporter of the war, Doolittle called the situation in Iraq a "quagmire" on Thursday. "We've got to get off the front lines as soon as possible," Doolittle said at Rocklin City Hall, the Bee reported. "And in my mind that means something like the end of the year. We just can't continue to tolerate these kinds of losses.
"I don't want to keep having our people dying on the front lines. I am increasingly convinced that we never are going to succeed in actually ending people dying (in Iraq). I think it's going to be a constant conflict ... and if that is going to happen ... it needs to be the Iraqis dying and not the Americans."
First of all, the Iraqis are dying, in enormous numbers. Second, it's wholly unsurprising that the Republicans coming out of the woodwork now to condemn the occupation of Iraq happen to be the same ones worried about their re-election prospects. Third, Doolittle doesn't say that he would endorse or vote for any Democratic plan to actually end our involvement in Iraq or draw down American troops, so this talk is about as useful as an old guy in a bar in Roseville jabbering about Iraq.
What Doolittle will probably end up signing onto is this horrible bill calling for the implementation of the results of the Iraq Study Group, which sets up so many conditions and unreachable goals before any withdrawal can be ordered that it has the effect of keeping troops in Iraq forever. Plus, it's a nonbinding "sense of the Congress" resolution. If Doolittle is serious about ending the occupation, there are plenty of bills he can co-sponsor. It's not about talk, but action.
Howie Klein at Down With Tyranny has more.