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Kerry, Hillary Were Against Cutting, Running

Only two and a half years ago John Kerry was accusing the Bush administration of thinking about "cutting and running" from Iraq before the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations:

Making America Secure Again: Setting the Right Course for Foreign Policy

John F. Kerry

December 3, 2003
Council on Foreign Relations

…In fact, I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election.

I have called for the administration to transfer sovereignty, and they must transfer it to the Iraqi people as quickly as circumstances permit. But it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops. That could risk the hijacking of Iraq by terrorist groups and former Ba’athists. Security and political stability cannot be divorced. Security must come first…

And two weeks later, Hillary Rodham was singing the same song at the same venue:

Remarks by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton

December 15, 2003
Council on Foreign Relations

…Finally, with regard to both Iraq and Afghanistan, we need more of something that is often in short supply here in our country: patience. I was struck, during our briefing at the embassy in Kabul, by a comment made by one of our U.S. aid workers, who had recently returned from the Southeast and had met with a number of former Taliban, so-called former Taliban. And one of these former Taliban said, "Americans may have all the watches, but we have all the time." I think it’s a lesson that we forget at our peril. This will not be an easy undertaking. It will require patience, and it will require the continuing support of the American people.

I was struck, in my briefing with Ambassador Bremer — his frequent reference to the American occupation in Germany. I think we’ve all heard Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Wolfowitz and others refer to the German example. There certainly are lessons to be learned from that, and in some respects we have actually exceeded the time line in place there. The banking system is further along than it was at the time in the post-World War II era in Germany. There is a central bank that’s up and going, to some extent.

But it took 10 years to create a stable, sovereign government, and we still have troops in Germany, as we do in Japan, as we do in South Korea, as we do in Bosnia, as we do in Kosovo. So the idea that we can somehow bring about dramatic transformational change in either a short period of time or with a relatively limited financial commitment is contradicted by our own history. And therefore we have not only the need for patience but a sense that we are going to be involved over the long run, or we will not guarantee or create the conditions for potential success

Funny what convenient memories they have.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 22nd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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