The Corner

YOU WITHDRAW, I REDEPLOY

From Lawrence F. Kaplan at the New Republic’s blog, The Plank :

There’s a new catchphrase in town. In coming days, the Senate will consider various Democratic resolutions calling for a “phased redeployment” of U.S. troops in Iraq. What exactly is a phased redeployment? “It’s not a cut-and-run strategy,” insists Senator Carl Levin. His fellow senators, John Kerry and Russell Feingold, agree, saying in a joint statement about their own resolution, “We need a deadline for the redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq.” This, needless to say, would hardly be the first time a country has redeployed in the midst of wartime. Britain famously redeployed from its American colonies. France redeployed from Algeria. In 1975, the United States redeployed from Vietnam. And indeed, as a careful reading of the fine print makes clear, the architects of phased redeployment want the troops redeployed all the way back to Fort Bragg. Rejecting the “cut-and-run” label, which after Vietnam was banished from the lexicon of smart Democratic politicians, is one thing. But now the word “withdraw” frightens them? Senators Levin, Kerry, and Feingold want to withdraw from Iraq. Rather than contribute to the everyday pollution of public discourse, couldn’t they just say so?

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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