From the New York Times:
John Edwards says that if elected president he would withdraw the American troops who are training the Iraqi army and police as part of a broader plan to remove virtually all American forces within 10 months…Mr. Edwardsâ€™s plan calls for immediately withdrawing 40,000 to 50,000 troops. Nearly all of the remaining American troops would be removed within 9 or 10 months. The only force that would remain would be a 3,500-to-5,000-strong contingent that would protect the American Embassy and possibly humanitarian workers.
This is quite an evolution from Edwards’ previously more militant stance on keeping troops in Iraq, and his overall liberal hawk foreign policy stances. His bad call on authorizing force for Iraq and calls for aggression against Iran were the chief things preventing me from wholeheartedly endorsing him. Indeed, the odd juxtaposition of his fighting populist/progressive domestic policies and his weird “warlike” foreign policy stance creates a big disconnect that could turn off smart, educated voters.
I’m glad to see he’s getting his mind (more or less) right on the issue. Is this a crass political appeal to the base on the eve of the Iowa primary? Most likely, but at least that means he’s listening to the base, which is a victory in and of itself. America wants our troops to come home and end this ridiculous, insane, ludicrous war that has already cost us so much, and Edwards is not only the only leading Democratic candidate, but the only leading overall candidate to do so. Like I said before, it shouldn’t be Ron Paul’s sole province to tell the country that our occupation of Iraq needs to end.
Edwards is gaining on both Obama and Clinton in polls for the Iowa caucus, and every time he gets media coverage, his fundraising jumps. When it comes to articulating America’s rage at the destruction of our way of life and the gutting of the middle and working classes to serve corporate masters, Edwards has the power of truth on his side. Now he’s finally getting the message on the global policy front.