Friday, November 11, 2005

Tom Hayden is Listening

When Tom Hayden speaks, the anti-war movement listens. Recently, Tom Hayden has been rather vocal about John Kerry's call to for a plan to get out of Iraq. More succinctly, Hayden has been supportive of Kerry's plan. Obviously, Tom Hayden is listening.

Hayden spoke up after Kerry's Georgetown speech in late October and he's speaking out again, on the Iraq Bill Kerry offered today on the Senate floor, and dust up between Kerry and McCain today on withdrawing from Iraq.

Here's a few quips from Hayden's latest piece about Kerry's plan - "Kerry and McCain Get Into It":

A glimmer of actual debate over Iraq is emerging in the US senate between two U.S. Vietnam War heroes, John McCain and John Kerry. McCain, in a speech today, unfortunately called for more troops to be sent into the meatgrinder of Iraq, endorsing a new theory among insiders that safe havens, or "oil stains", must first be established before they can spread. The theory, which assumes that millions of Iraqis are just waiting to take cover under the umbrella of foreign occupation, is more likely to leave blood stains -- both American and Iraqi -- than islands of stability.

Politically, the hawkish McCain speech "balances" his sharp attacks on U.S. policies of torture, and puts both the president and the Hillary Clinton-Joe Biden Democrats on the spot.

McCain's speech was critical of Kerry, who two weeks ago proposed a political settlement joined to a 12-15 month withdrawal.

Kerry says McCain "mischaracterizes" his views. Kerry wants the 20,000 troops recently sent for the Dec. 15 elections to be withdrawn immediately afterwards, while McCain wants them to stay and grow in number. Kerry argues that McCain's plan for escalation "only exacerbates the sense of American occupation."

Kerry's position is a modest one, to bring home the troops sent for the Dec. 15 election when the election is over. His stand, however, blunts the ability of Bush to take credit for the December withdrawal, while McCain puts pressure on Bush to choose an unpopular path of troop increases at a time when the armed forces are stretched to the breaking point and public opinion is running strongly against the war.

Let's hope that more will heed the call, because if Tom Hayden is listening to what John Kerry is saying, it's time for the rest of the liberal blogosphere to listen and get on board.

If we want out of Iraq, we need to coalesce around a solid plan -- and that's what Kerry offered today on the Senate floor.


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