Democrats swept into Congress for only one reason: the American people want their soldiers to stop dying for Bush's folly. Democratic leaders owe it to the American people to rein in this administration's recklessness. The plan proposed by Senator John McCain and incoming operational commander General Odierno needs to be pronounced a non-starter by a united front of Democratic leaders. This so-called, "doubling-down," on the bad bet that was Iraq by increasing rather than decreasing troop levels makes little sense. As so many others have said before the only possible way that a vast increase of combat forces might ever stabilize the situation is if we were prepared to stay in Iraq at similar troop levels for decades. So unless we're willing to make Iraq our fifty-first state it just won't work and will just needlessly waste more and more and more American lives.
We've tried this stick in Iraq for going on four years and the results have been plain to see. Beating harder, beating longer, will never bring us the results we desire. Outgoing operational commander General Chiarelli understood that and proposes a carrot: a vast jobs program for the swarms of unemployed Iraqi men. Why aggressive rebuilding, jobs programs and round-the-clock retraining of Iraqi troops wasn't initiated the day after Saddam's statue fell are just further examples of this Administration's criminal negligence.