Elizabeth Dole on Iraq: blame the victims.
Two days ago, Republican North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole issued a statement on Iraq. Dole says in her statement that the U.S. troops in Iraq are doing a great job, though the Iraq occupation isn't going well at all. She says that the U.S. occupation of Iraq isn't the troops' fault, or the president's fault, but rather, it's the Iraqi government's fault. Yes, the same Iraqi government that the United States designed and installed after we invaded Iraq during a month-long war.
Here's an excerpt of what Senator Dole says:
“Simply put, our troops have been doing a great job, but the Iraqi government has not. Our commitment in Iraq is not indefinite, nor should the Iraqi government perceive it to be. It is my firm hope and belief that we can start bringing our troops home in 2008.”
What's odd about that statement is that Dole seems to think that the Iraqi government ever had any reason to think that the United States has actually ever had a commitment in Iraq. Really, we've occupied the place since 2003, but what have we actually accomplished, besides giving George W. Bush a campaign issue to run on?
Dole, in true Republican fashion, is trying to have it both ways. She wants to say that the Iraq occupation isn't working, and that it's someone else's fault. There's that famous Republican accountability: something's going wrong, so it clearly must be someone else's fault!
Here's Dole's complete press release on the subject. Interestingly (but not surprisingly) she goes on to say that she'll oppose any cuts in funding for the troops, as well as any timelines for withdrawal. In other words, she reminds us that our commitment in Iraq is not indefinite, and that the current strategy is not working, but she still believes we should do nothing different. What kind of arrogant egomaniac issues a press release just to say that she hasn't changed her mind about anything? That would be first-term Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.