I just heard Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) spout on about the continuing occupation of Iraq. I don’t recall him calling it that, but that’s what it is.
For Kennedy, and the majority of other Democrats, the war is not to be questioned on the basis of its beginning: was it ethical, was it legal, is it right to give the President war-making power that trumps Congress? The war is to be questioned as a management issue: it’s not being fought properly.
In other words, there’s no disagreement that the war was a good idea, how it is being fought is the key issue. If the Republicans were to somehow turn the occupation around and make progress building infrastructure, supplying potable water and electricity to a majority of Iraqis, much of Kennedy’s speech would be a moot point. If the Republicans took down Saddam Hussein’s anti-organized labor laws and let Iraqis work to rebuild their own country, another huge segment of Democratic Party objection would fall away. As more Democratic Party bitching disappears, it is made even more plain how much the Democrats are not an anti-war party.
The Democrats remain, deservedly, a minority party who are not an opposition party.
This is an important issue because of who benefits from this “debate”—the businesses who keep war going (Bechtel, Halliburton, GE, Northrup Grummon, etc.). Two major national parties compete for their dollars while not seeing that elections are lost over these issues and more people don’t care to vote because they’re fed up with the process.