The Selfish Focus of the Richardson Campaign on Iraq

Unlike Chris Bowers, who seems to be unable to think of anything but the 2008 Election, I can not applaud Bill Richardson's nonsensical and selfish release on Iraq:

All the major Democratic candidates say they are eager to end this war, and they all say they don't believe there is a military solution in Iraq. Why, then, do they maintain that we must leave an indefinite number of troops behind for an indeterminate amount of time to work hopelessly towards a military solution everyone says doesn't exist?

It is time to get a straight answer from all the other candidates: how many troops would you leave behind? For how long?

We can help make sure we get the clear answers we deserve. Sign our petition asking Univision, the sponsors of the next Democratic candidates' debate on September 9th, to get an answer from each candidate: how many troops would you leave behind? For how long?

Like Bowers, Richardson has NOTHING to say about getting out of Iraq now. With President Bush seeking more Iraq funding, with the Iraq Report coming due in September, with a real chance now to fight for an end date to the Iraq Debacle, THIS is what Richardson and Bowers think we need to be talking about?

Booooooo! Richardson! Booooooooo, Bowers! They prove what I have been saying, the horserace seems to be what the Netroots can be about. Issues NOW? Iraq Now? Clearly not. This is disheartening, depressing and infuriating. I have long thought poorly of Richardson the candidate and this confirms everything I have been thinking.

Tags: Bill Richardson, Election 2008, WAR IN IRAQ (all tags)



I was scolded by Jerome in my FP piece

on Dodd last week. I disagreed with Jerome's actions and his substance.

I trust that this being a diary I will not have to be scolded about the purpose of the FP.

And I trust that my point is proven that Bill Richardson and Netrootsers like Chris Bowers are making it eminently clear that they cannot find it in themselves to think about ending the Iraq Debacle NOW.

And let me make this perfectly clear, if what I write in this post is considered prohibited for MYDD, then I will immediately leave this site.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: I was scolded by Jerome in my FP piece

why this should be prohibited?

by areyouready 2007-08-30 11:15AM | 0 recs
I don't know

I was scolded for my FP piece last week and I wonder if I will be for this too.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know

Can you provide the link to your FP article? haven't got a chance to read.

by areyouready 2007-08-30 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know


by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 11:24AM | 0 recs
Excellent work, BTD.

Richardson is promoting a difference that is minimal between most of the candidates, with the possible exception of Clinton who may plan to leave a "significant" number (2/07 NY Times interview).    

As for Bowers and Stoller, I can now understand why you did not come by here while they were here.  They are fixated on process, the horse race, as you call it.  

Don't know about your issues with Jerome, but while I do not always agree with you, I find your posts to be well argued and often to have intellectual content.  

by TomP 2007-08-30 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent work, BTD.

See my FP post from the week before when I criticized Ricxhardson for just this and Jerome decided to update my post and attack me in MY OWN post inastead of commenting or responding in his own post.

I thought what Jerome did was out of line, I thought his defense of Richardson was weak and factually challenged.

And I imagine he will not like this diary.

We will see.

Generally speaking, and especially on iraq, I find I agree with Jerome a whole lot.

I think he is thiking about the now.

Bowers and Stoller are about something else altogether imo and always have been.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The Selfish Focus of the Richardson Campaign o

Boooooooo!  At the end of the day, though, we may very well fail to get out of Iraq before 2009, in which case we'll be glad for Richardson pushing the envelope on the residual forces issue.

I agree with your premise as far as priorities, but I'm not sure Richardson isn't a force for good to some extent.

By the way, that guy never did explain why your plan for Iraq is "unethical" and would be "on the sneak."  Pity, that.

by Steve M 2007-08-30 12:15PM | 0 recs

Do you REALLY believe that the force structure in 2009 will have anything to do with what Richardson says now?

Surely you jest. That is rather my point - there is NO policy significance to this nonsense from Richardson.

It is pure unmitigated meaningless BULLSHIT!

What MIGHT had an effect on fprce deployment in 2009 is INTENSE PRESSURe now to get out NOW!

Richardson does not even probably know what the hell he means or what it means.

this is pure meaningless SELFISH politicla panbdering with no acvtual effect on Iraq policy.

I have nothing but contempt for this.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why?

Well, I have no idea.  He might be the Vice-President in 2009, after all.  He might be in the Cabinet.

I do think the parameters of the debate are being set to some extent right now, for what it's worth.  I think a lot of Democrats, afraid of being accused of favoring "precipitous withdrawal," are advocating a residual force for purely political reasons, even though it doesn't seem to be the right solution.

And so the debate threatens to end up as "stay the course" versus "leave a residual force," with the best option of all not even on the table.  Richardson is helping to keep it on the table.  If it gets traction, maybe one of the other Democrats will adopt his position in order to neutralize it.  That seems to be how politics works.

Now, don't hurt me.  I'm just thinking out loud here.

by Steve M 2007-08-30 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Why?

I would be unhappy with him in any administration. I have come to have little respect for his acumen.

In short, I have been lying when I say Richardson is a fine candidate. He is not.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 12:36PM | 0 recs
No, You're are Completely Wrong

If Hillary, Obama and Edwards were as clear on Iraq as Richardson we would see a sea change within Congressional Dems on Iraq.  Richardson has shown leadership on Iraq from the beginning of the campaign.  He has a crystal clear plan for Iraq - a complete, prompt withdrawal of all US forces.  For months he has stated Congress should de-authorize the war now and stop funding the occupation.

Here is a statement he issued earlier in the week on reports that George Bush will request an additional funds for the war:

"The only appropriation Congress should pass for this war is funding for a safe and quick withdrawal. This Congress was elected to end the war in Iraq. They need to stand up to President Bush and do the job. This is an issue where leadership means no compromises. It took us too many years and far too many lives to end the war in Vietnam, and we cannot repeat that mistake.

"Congress should use every power at its disposal to end this war, including de-authorization and refusing to fund the war beyond what is necessary for the safe redeployment of our troops.

"George Bush should show less concern about his legacy and pay more attention to the lives of our men and women in harm's way. The best way to support our troops is to get them all out of Iraq as soon as it can safely be accomplished.

"This administration miscalculated the intelligence before the war, mismanaged the war itself, bungled the surge, and now has the audacity to ask Congress for more funding to continue this tragic misadventure. The answer should be a resounding no."

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-08-30 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: No, You're are Completely Wrong


Richardson is "clear" (actually he is clearly full of shit) about 2009, not 2007.

Richardson is saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing about Iraq NOW.

I have nothing but contempt for what he is doing here.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: No, You're are Completely Wrong

If you can't figure out Richardson's call to de-authorize the war and stop approving funding bills for it is a call for action by Congress now, I am not going to waste my time speaking to you further.  All you have done is written a misleading and worthless diary.

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-08-30 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: No, You're are Completely Wrong

Interesting that THAT is not the question that he is demanding answer for NOW.

NOW! When the debater NOW is about that.

As for deauthorization, that is just a silly distraction. This debate is about funding and Bill Richardson said NOTHING. NOTYHING NOTHING about Bush's proposal.

His focus is clear, his selfish silly nonexistent residual force BULLSHIT.

He does Not care about the debate NOW.

HE is trying to make hay and people like Bowers who are all about horseraces, suck it up.

I think this stains both of them.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 01:12PM | 0 recs
Richardson is the new Vilsack.

Remember when Tom Vilsack launched his campaign?  He came out with an aggressive "get the troops out now" anti-war pitch and got hosannas in the blogosphere.  This is all despite his previous support, DLC leadership, etc.

Richardson is doing the same thing...taking a silly position that sounds pretty...that he has no previous record of supporting.

Not to mention, this is completely lame.  I agree...Democratic candidates should talk about what steps we can take to stop the war TODAY (even if they ultimately fail)...not what's going to happen in 2009.  Who the heck knows what the situation will be like...and if it's anything like now?

by rashomon 2007-08-30 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Richardson is the new Vilsack.

Wait up. vilsack talked about what CONGRESS should do NOW.

Richardspon is all about 2009.

Completely different.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-08-30 01:13PM | 0 recs
Lets be honest

We can draw down only so many troops each month in safe manner.  Een experts friendly to the Democratic wish to witdrawl say to do it responsibly it would take 1 1/2 years minimum.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-30 07:27PM | 0 recs


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