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John Kasich believes we should "cut our losses" in Iraq

Reported by Chrish - July 15, 2007 -

John Kasich subbed for Bill O'Reilly last night 7/13/07 on The Factor, where you'll never see a liberal or even moderate guest host (although Kasich did a pretty good impression of a moderate this night). Kasich, Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Ellis Henican of Newsday discussed the recent progress report on Iraq and the House of Representatives' vote to begin withdrawing US troops.
With video.

The discussion fell into the "Unresolved Problem" segment (rather an understatement, no?). Video was shown of Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring that the House will continue to vote for troop withdrawal, and Kasich questioned if they are really out of touch with what is happening on the ground in Iraq?

Saunders arguments, as stated in a recent column, center on the talking point that with General Petraeus and the "surge" in place, we now have adequate troops and a new strategy, which should satisfy the anti-war critics' demands. Henican countered that although optimism is commendable, at some point we have to be realistic and all the encouraging talk of progress in the past has made people skeptical - the Bush administration has lost credibility even with some supporters.

Saunders reiterated her decision to listen to Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who says progress is being made, but Kasich reminded her that last week saw the most killing car-bomb perhaps in the whole war, and people can't even get out of the Green Zone. (Comment: as recently as last week, bombs landed IN the Green Zone, killing 3.)

Saunders insisted that things are better and as long as people there, "boots on the ground," want to continue trying we ought to support them. A Zogby poll almost 18 months ago showed 72% of troops wanted to be brought home within a year; it's hard to imagine that number has gone down.

Kasich turned to Henican to ask why Congress won't wait until September to give Petraeus and the "surge" a chance to succeed? They've lost credibilty, said Henican. Turning to Saunders, Kasich cited Ronald Reagan's withdrawal of American troops from Lebanon and asked why, if St. Ronnie could cut losses then, why can't we cut our losses now? We shouldn't be on the streets, fighting civil wars. Saunders still beleives there's a chance we'll stabilize Iraq and have a "victory."

Kasich claimed he's been pretty clear about this, we shouldn't be involved in a civil war, but if we leave and there's a "bloodletting," what responsibility do we have? Henican acknowledged that it's going to be ugly, no matter when we leave, so let's do it now and "let Allah sort it out."

Kasich wrapped it up, saying we cleaarly need reassessment.

Very interesteng to see former war supporters seeing the light ( or sensing popular support waning) and coming around to the view which, until recently, was ascribed to "the far-left," "anti-war loons," the ""sneering, jeering, spitting anti-war crowd," the "Bush-haters" and worse. Turns out the anti-war crowd just had a more realistic vision of the outcome, not colored all rosy by an excess of Bush-love. Maybe now the pro-war crowd will turn down the rhetoric and with their newfound humility we can elevate the debate.