The AP is reporting this as "news", but Senator Edwards has been saying it for a long while - at least since last fall when he admitted that he believed he's been mistaken on having had voted "yes" to the Iraq War reesolution of 2002. Senator Edwards believes that America should make it clear (to the Iraqis) that we are leaving Iraq, and the best way is to start leaving. He says that we should take 40,000 combat troops out now. Bob Herbert made this clear in his New York Times column about Senator Edwards last June.
"There is no chance other countries in the world will help Iraq as long as we are an occupying force," he said.
He also said this on Wednesday night at Missouri State University's Public Affairs Conference:
"You can't lead if you don't tell the truth," he said referring to the Bush administration. Edwards said keeping large numbers of troops in the country sends a signal that the U.S. "is there forever and is there for oil."
A tone of agreement has been set by former President Jimmy Carter [USA Today]:
"In my opinion, we should make every effort now to withdraw American troops from Iraq," Carter said. "I would say certainly begin a major withdrawal no later than the end of this year."
- President Jimmy Carter
Senator Edwards has spoken out on the situation with Isreael's air raids and limited ground invasion of Lebanon with the aim to do damage to Hezbollah. In the New York Times, he is quoted:
On the Israeli-Hezbollah fighting in the Middle East, Edwards noted he was on the Israel-Lebanon border only three weeks ago, and said Israel "has absolutely the right to defend itself, though he said there "needs to be an international security force in southern Lebanon."
thanks for your comment. i was in israel about a month ago. went to the lebanese border - could see the hezbollah outpost in southern lebanon. i actually believe that hezbollah and hamas were acting, at least to some extent, in concert in an effort to stir up hatred of israel and strengthen radical islam. we clearly need an international security force in southern lebanon.
Min Wage Failure: Shame on Bill Frist's Republicans
On August 3, the Senate failed to get the 60 votes required to end debate (prevent a filibuster) on the "trifecta" bill. This legislation (passed last week by the House) would raise the minimum wage, but only by also providing estate tax reform benefitting the wealthiest. The vote was 56-42.
"The Democrats have obstructed what heretofore had been their No. 1 issue," said [Bill] Frist. [NYT]
Not so fast.
The GOP deliberately front-loaded this obstruction.
It was nothing more than a cheap double-cross by Senator Frist's side of the aisle. Frist goes to churches on Justice Sundays and preaches about values, but like a hypocrite, sets up a scenario where the greedy gain mightily and the poor are made poorer. I've never read about that in Matthew 25. Frist then acts wounded when his chicanery fails and he's faced with a Senate filled with men and women of honor and a clearly better developed sense of American values.
The politics of blackmail, in this case, is nothing more than a political front-loading destined for failure in an attempt to rob the working poor of opportunity while making attempts to enrich the fat and happy.
Shame on Bill Frist's Republicans.
Tom Kean Jr. of New Jersey looks small in the Washington Post today, lashing out at Democrat Bob Menendez, his opponent for the NJ senatorial seat vacated by Jon Corzine on the minimum wage issue, apparently cheering on the mass Republican feasting upon the backs of the working poor for the benefit of the smallest class of American families who are already swimming in luxury.
I believe that Americans are onto this political charade. Many are disgusted by it. A look at just about any recent poll will tell you that.