Max Cleland today, giving the Democratic response to President Bush's radio address:
... the Bush Administration's plan for victory is not working.
There is no strategy to win. The President disregarded the advice of top military brass who said that at least 500,000 troops were needed to secure Iraq. The President committed only one-fifth of that force to the war. Consequently, our military is completely overextended. Many servicemen and women are returning to Iraq for their third tour. The all-volunteer force is suffering -- not only in the active force, but also in the Guard and Reserves.
Iraq is still not secure and we don't have the forces there to make it secure.
Furthermore, Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist cadre who did attack our country on September 11, 2001 are still on the loose.
We are running out of time. We need a strategy to win in Iraq or an exit strategy to leave. The present course will lead us to disaster. More of the same just means more precious blood spilled in the desert....
The Bush Administration needs to step up the plate. It's time to face the truth. It's time for a strategy to win in Iraq or a strategy to get out....
Look, I doff my hat to Cindy Sheehan, whose protest has made a huge difference in the way we talk about the war -- but we need loud, clear voices to remind people in the political middle that you don't need to be fed up with war in the abstract to question the point of this war and the way it's being conducted. Cleland is exactly right: The Bush administration needs to do something different -- what's being done isn't working. Either get out or devise and execute a strategy to bring peace and stability to Iraq -- if you can. Now, I don't know that any strategy could work right now, and if there were a strategy to bring this war to a successful conclusion I don't know if America would be willing to accept the necessary sacrifice, but it's time for more people to say that that's the only acceptable alternative to getting out ASAP. The status quo isn't acceptable. A majority of Americans, left, center, and right, know that, and it's time to bring them all together.