Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
December 18, 2006
The leadership of the Democratic Party is nowhere—nowhere on the Iraq War.
Look no further than Sunday’s “This Week” program, where Harry Reid was asked about the latest crazy idea from Bush and company: the surge —throwing 20,000 or more additional U.S. troops into Baghdad.
Reid, who came to power as Majority Leader in the Senate on the gusts of anti-war sentiment, amazingly is on board with Bush now.
“If the commanders on the ground said this is just for a short period of time, we’ll go along with that,” Reid said.
Come on, Harry, get with it.
Sending more troops to Baghdad is only going to result in more U.S. soldiers dying.
It’s only prolonging the inevitable, which is that we’ve got to pull our troops out of there, not keep sending more in.
Reid is supposed to represent the opposition, but on Iraq, he’s providing no real opposition to the Bush course. Oh, he can say, as he did on Sunday, that "the American people will not allow this war to go on as it has." But he won't do anything to prevent it from going on as it has. His only proposal, to date, has been to send an envoy to Iraq, as if that would solve anything.
He’s to the right of Colin Powell on the Iraq War at this point.
Powell, who was on “Face the Nation” Sunday, said, “The American Army isn’t large enough to secure Baghdad.”
So Bush’s former Secretary of State has the wisdom and the guts to say this, but the leader of the Democrats in the Senate somehow has neither.
The American people want out.
Harry Reid wants in, at least for the short term.
I don’t call that being a majority leader.