Dick Morris gets it

June 9, 2008

TPT looks at Dick Morris’ recent article on Iraq

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about Dick Morris. On the one hand I deeply disagreed with his call for Bush to begin drawing down the troops last summer, especially when he suggested that Bush do so with the unspoken aim of leaving Hillary Clinton with a mess that would make her a one term president. However, he did guide Bill Clinton to a victory in 1996 and turned Mike Huckabee into a very temporary frontrunner, despite a nutty tax plan. However, I think that his latest article for the New York Post is one of those extremely astute. Firstly, he makes the point that I have made repeatedly, namely that McCain needs to go on the attack over Iraq. Morris states that, ‘John McCain needs to go on the offensive against Barack Obama over the Iraq war…The key is to force Obama to face these dangers (of withdrawal)- and explain what he’d do’.

Morris also make the interesting suggestion that, ‘Obama basically has to say that he’d keep our troops in the region. Voters can be excused for not seeing much difference between keeping them in Iraq and in Kuwait – especially when pulling them even back to Kuwait makes their return to Iraq seem almost inevitable’. Like Morris, I can see Obama being cynical to pull a similar sort of stunt (I can also see the Democrats having the chutzpah to suggest that the situation is stable enough for drastically reduced troop levels to satisfactorily contain the situation). In that case, McCain has to keep on the offensive and expose such a plan for the sham that it is. Although some support functions could probably be relocated to Kuwait, there is no way that America (or any of the other allies) could keep stability in Iraq by making the occasional sortie from outside the area. The fact that the British, who initially tried this sort of triangulation, still have 4,000 troops in Iraq itself.

I am also going to put my neck out on the line McCain and state that McCain should also steal the agenda by arguing for a temporary halt to withdrawals from the region. This would burnish his national security credentials, discourage any attempts at an ‘October offensive’ by Al-Qaeda or Iran and differentiate himself from Bush. It would also stop the Democrats trying to use complacency as argument for withdrawals. Finally, it would also make it difficult for Obama to move to the centre on national security. Most importantly, it would be the right thing to do since it would help accelerate Iraq progress and probably make McCain’s ambitious goal of a normalisation by 2013 even more likely.



  1. Heh. What does Dick Morris say about the de-deployment of troops from Iraq into Afghanistan, the one place where Osama Bin Laden was and George W. neglected to invade Iraq?

    What now, we should invade another country instead of finishing the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? Not only is that a disasterous foreign policy move in an Election, it shows how little the GOP knows (or cares) about our national security.

  2. How does this foreign policy differ from the Clintons?

  3. It differs because Clinton knew how to send troops into a different country: with the equipment they needed and with bi-partisan leadership. If you want any example, compare how we went into Kosovo to how we went into Iraq.

  4. Kosovo and Iraq are apples to oranges. The Clintons have always supported the invasion of Iraq anyways. Try again.

  5. Too bad Clinton didn’t get the nomination; Obama’s not a Clinton.

  6. No, on foreign policy, he is worse than the Clintons, he is an anti-war extremist and has not plan on fighting terrorism. His only talking point is to withdraw troops immediately from Iraq. He has no plan. The swing voters want solutions, not anti-war talk just for the sake of talk.

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