Okay, here's some free advice for Congresswoman Betty Sutton, Congressmen Kucinich and Ryan, and Senator Sherrod Brown: start pointing out that a vote against a timetable is a vote for a never-ending war in Iraq. The Bush adminstration and its supporters need to be asked this question over and over: how long is the United States going to have military forces in Iraq? The alternative to timetables isn't victory, it is a limitless war.
The Republicans have been allowed to get away with attacking the Democratic plan without coming up with one of their own. Well, that has to stop. Democrats have to start demanding that the Republicans address the issue of how long they are prepared to keep pouring American lives and money into Iraq.
If the American people had been told in 2002 that American forces would be tied up in Iraq for over four years, that we would lose over 3,000 American soldiers, and that the cost for a war in Iraq would be over 500 billion, they would not have supported going into Iraq. The administration got the American public to support this war by hyping the threat of imaginary weapons of mass destruction and by telling the American people that a war with Iraq would be short and relatively painless.
The reason why the American public was prone to believe that a war with Iraq would be short was that we had the experience of a very short war with Iraq in 1991. Most Americans didn't understand that defeating Iraq's Army would be the easy part, that the hard part would be what happened after Saddam was removed from power. Which is why, of course, that Americans have soured on Bush and his war. Not only were there not weapons of mass destruction, but the short war that Americans expected has become an never-ending war of attrition.
Yet, Democrats who oppose this war aren't stressing that the absence of a plan for withdrawal is a prescription for an endless Iraqi occupation. The American public doesn't want a never-ending war, but that is exactly what they are going to get if they listen to Bush and his supporters.