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November 13, 2006

ANDREW OLMSTED:

I see that the Democrats are now ready to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq. While I suppose this is no surprise, I'm disappointed to see it. The Democrats have rightly pointed out that Republicans acted without gathering all appropriate data, leading to problems like Iraq. Yet now they're poised to do precisely the same thing.

With all due respect to the Democratic leadership, I'd be impressed to learn that this move was being made on the basis of extensive discussion with military and political leaders from the U.S. and Iraq. I suspect instead that the Democrats have pretty much always wanted to be out of Iraq and want to get the question of Iraq off the table. I have no doubt that they're sincere in their belief that getting out of Iraq is the best course of action available to us, but sincerity is a lot less important to me than whether or not getting out is the right thing to do. And I am not convinced the Democrats have made that determination yet.

It is not sufficient to demonstrate that it was a bad idea to go into Iraq in the first place. While I am of that belief myself, the fact remains that we are there now, and we have to move forward based on where we are, not where we wish we were. We therefore need to ask the right questions about what will happen if we stay or leave Iraq, and make our decision based on that.

I'm not interested in asking those questions right now. I'm more interested in seeing some evidence from the Democrats that they've asked those questions.

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