“Democratic Party Platform Is Much Like Bush’s On Middle East”

“Still, however, the 2008 platform endorses an ongoing U.S. military role in that violent oil-rich nation. It calls for an unspecified number of U.S. troops to remain as a “residual force” for such “specific missions” as “targeting terrorists; protecting our embassy and civil personnel; and advising and supporting Iraq’s Security Forces, provided the Iraqis make political progress.”

A troubling aspect to these exceptions is the vagueness of the language. Given that the Bush administration has referred to all Iraqi insurgents fighting U.S. forces as “terrorists,” it raises questions as to what degree U.S. military operations and the number of troops to sustain them will actually be reduced. In addition, the U.S. “embassy” – the largest complex of its kind in the world, taking up a bigger area than Vatican City and situated in the heart of Baghdad – requires a substantial military force to adequately defend. And the number of “civil personnel” in the country is in the tens of thousands and would presumably require many thousands of troops to protect them. It is also unclear what kind of “support” is required for Iraqi Security Forces, which have thus far shown little ability to engage in major military operations without substantial U.S. personnel involved.

The platform also fails to mention that the invasion was an illegal war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter, the U.S. constitution and the most fundamental principles of international law, raising concerns as to whether the Democratic Party is willing to renounce the Bush Doctrine of “preventative war.” Indeed, the platform insists that the United States “must also be willing to consider using military force in circumstances beyond self-defense.”

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