Obama and Durbin Want to Bring Troops Home
Yesterday Senators Obama and Durbin both gave speeches criticizing the Bush administration’s policies in the Iraq war and called for US troops to return home.
Obama, who opposed the war from the very beginning, gave a high profile speech before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in which he spoke out against Bush for calling into question the patriotism of politicians and citizens who criticize the war effort, and criticized the administration’s run-up to war:
… the Administration launched the Iraq war without giving either Congress or the American people the full story. This is not a partisan claim - you don't have to take my word for it. All you need to do is to match up the Administration's statements during the run-up to the war with the now declassified intelligence estimates that they had in their possession at the time. Match them up and you will conclude that at the very least, the Administration shaded, exaggerated and selectively used the intelligence available in order to make the case for invasion.
Obama went on to call for a plan to reduce troop numbers, but did not call for a full withdrawal of American forces, and expressed his dismay over Bush’s leadership:
The President could take the politics out of Iraq once and for all if he would simply go on television and say to the American people "Yes, we made mistakes. Yes, there are things I would have done differently. But now that we're here, I am willing to work with both Republicans and Democrats to find the most responsible way out.”
Speaking in DuPage County, Durbin called for at least 20,000 troops to be brought home by the end of the year.
Chicagoist is certain that critics will take the stances of Obama and Durbin as another opportunity to refer to them as liberals out of touch with America, but how can that be when polls show vast majorities of Americans now think going into Iraq was a mistake and think Bush is doing a bad job? Also, the Pentagon has made tentative plans to reduce troop levels starting next year, so Obama and Durbin aren't really saying anything very radical. It looks more and more like those out of touch with America are those still backing the war.