Sheldon Whitehouse’s First Flip-Flop?

Has Sheldon Whitehouse already changed his position on the Iraq War? In his initial TV ads, he said he wanted troops out of Iraq “by the end of this year”. And as recently as June, Whitehouse told Projo columnist Charles Bakst that he supported a hard deadline on troop withdrawal from Iraq…

Whitehouse, who wants U.S. troops out by the end of 2006, says he’d have voted last week for Sen. John Kerry’s proposal to require withdrawal of all combat forces by next July, with redeployments beginning this year.
Whitehouse would have voted for the Kerry amendment even though another Democratic-sponsored amendment was available (sponsored, in part, by Jack Reed) that called for the beginnings of a “phased redeployment”, but without providing a final deadline to our enemies that they could use in their planning.
Now, in his latest TV advertisement, Sheldon Whitehouse says that he supports “a responsible redeployment of our troops out of Iraq”, a position that is much more vague than the hard-deadline option he previously favored. It is legitimate to ask if the new emphasis is being driven by an actual change in position on Whitehouse’s part, or if it is simply an attempt to tell people what he thinks they want to hear, i.e. I agree with the well-respected Jack Reed, and not the incoherent John Kerry.
One last concern: In the new TV ad, Whitehouse talks about sending “a clear signal that we are really getting out” of Iraq. If he believes that “signals” are important to the conduct of foreign affairs, does he also accept the possibility that a negative signal is sent to the rest of the world when the US walks away from a potential ally?

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klaus
klaus
15 years ago

So, since the Reps are in charge, and have been for most of the last 6 years, what are they going to win this war? A draft? Higher taxes to support an enlarged military? Or are they going to fight with platitudes, banalities, and empty rhetoric? In other words, “stay the course”? So far, Mr Bush has shown no real intrest in, let alone any propensity for winning this war. It’s over 3 years since Baghdad fell. In WWII terms, that takes us to early 1945. It’s been a year since Cheney said that the insurgency was in its last “throes.” Germany was in its last throes in March, 45. Do you think that this will all be over in 2 more months? If not, what do you propose we do about it? By now it’s obvious to anyone who is willing to think that we do not have enough troops in Iraq to stablize the country. As such, staying the course will be no more effective than our efforts over the last year. Or three years. So, what? Draft? Tax increases? What? And what about the plan the Joint Chiefs put out a month or so ago, talking about withdrawals starting as early as Sept? How come that isn’t cowardice, or cut-and-run? Face it, all the answers are bad. But they’re only going to get worse until someone gets serious about what we’re confronting. And remember, the Reps are in charge of the entire gov’t. All of it. They started the war, they should show the guts and the leadership to make the hard choices. Bush & Cheney showed their courage by dodging the draft in the 1960s. They love to posture and strut like real he-men who talk tough and say tough things like “bring ’em on.” Yet… Read more »

rhodeymark
rhodeymark
15 years ago

Face it, all the answers are bad. But they’re only going to get worse until someone gets serious about what we’re confronting
What are we confronting, Klaus? And if we are confronting something, do you think we should continue to do so? I can’t tell from your screed what your position is – besides “Bush bad”, that is.

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