Edwards, Clinton, and Obama all run their campaigns based, in part, on the idea that the Iraq war is so unsuccessful that it must end right away. They took a semi-hiatus from that stance on Sept 26th, 2007.
When asked by Tim Russert if there would be troops in Iraq at the end of their potential first terms in office, none of the candidates would promise complete withdraw:
Obama: “I think it’s hard to project four years from now, and I think it would be irresponsible. We don’t know what contingency will be out there… believe that we should have all our troops out by 2013, but I don’t want to make promises, not knowing what the situation’s going to be three or four years out.”
Clinton: “I agree with Barack; it is very difficult to know what we are going to be inheriting.”
Edwards: “I cannot make that commitment. But I — well, I can tell you what i would do as president. When I’m sworn into office, come January of 2009, if there are, in fact, as General Petraeus suggests, 100,000 American troops on the ground in Iraq, I will immediately draw down 40,000 to 50,000 troops; and over the course of the next several months, continue to bring our combat out of Iraq until all of our combat are, in fact, out of Iraq.”
At least Edwards admits to an immediate draw down, but still leaves troops in Iraq.
After last night’s debate in Nevada, the candidates flopped back to their original anti-war platforms as Jonathan Last at the Weekly Standard points out:
“The debate featured only a single serious question concerning foreign policy, during which the three Democrats tried to out-do one another in their commitment to speedily withdrawing from Iraq. Clinton said that she’ll start within 60 days of taking office; Obama said he would have complete withdrawal by 2009; Edwards said that he’d leave no combat troops whatsoever, would conduct no more combat missions, and that ‘the occupation must end.'”
Nothing like hanging an ally out to dry. The last time the U.S. backed out on a Middle Eastern ally was when Jimmy Carter refused to support the Shah of Iran. How has that worked out again?
President Bill Clinton sent the troops into Kosovo to stop genocide, and sent the troops in to Somalia to combat war lards starting an era of using the U.S. military for goodwill missions. Would any of these jesters send the troops back into Iraq after Al Qaeda starts to take revenge on the population that finally got brave enough to kick them out?