Not Appeasers After All?
|I am posting today from “The Funky Door,” a small coffee house about three blocks from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, listening to Joss Stone's first album. For the uninitiated of you out there, Reed has a reputation of being one of the most liberal colleges in America. So since I am here in the middle of this liberal bastion, I felt it would be appropriate to post a little left of center opinion. |
One of the things the Bush administration has been pretty consistent in saying is that any public discussion of war policy different from their official stance hurts American interests, sends a mixed message, and is used by the enemy to harm American Soldiers in Iraq. We have frequently heard that those that offer public dissent from the Bush Administration’s view of the war and how it should be conducted are guilty of appeasement and treason.
This language has been used in campaigns, speeches in congress, and before numerous groups as the Republican Party has looked for donations of money for their candidates. It has become what is known as a “red meat” issue. A sound bite line that is always sure to whip up a frenzy amongst the conservative faithful.
Allow me to offer into the record a piece of perspective from AP Writer Lolita Baldor that was published today in the Houston Chronicle. I have highlighted the most salient parts of the article.
AMMAN, Jordan — The push by Democrats to set a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq has been helpful in showing the Iraqis that American patience is limited, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.
At the same time, Gates renewed his opposition to Congress actually approving any such timetable. Both the House and Senate have passed bills calling for an end to the war, and President Bush has said he will veto either version if it is given final approval.
"I've been pretty clear that I think the enactment of specific deadlines would be a bad mistake," Gates said.
"But I think the debate itself, and I think the strong feelings expressed in the Congress about the timetable ... probably has had a positive impact — at least I hope it has in terms of communicating to the Iraqis that this is not an open-ended commitment," he said.
How about that? No hyperbole, no accusations, just an open honest analysis that perhaps the discussion of a troop pullout, initiated by the Democrats, (Defeatocrats to some in the Republican Party) has indeed been helpful.
Now before the right-wingers get all up in a fuss, I can read that he does not believe this is the way to go, and I am not claiming he does. I am just saying that it is refreshing to hear a top level Bush Administration official say that you can share an idea that is contrary to the official line and not be labeled a crazed, left leaning, appeasing, fascist, treasonous idiot.
Thank you Secretary Gates. A voice of reason.