Democrats and Republicans continue to move toward bipartisan unity in foreign policy. The proof is the statements of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards that troops will still in Iraq in 2009, maybe even 2013 if they become president:
"Among all of the leading Democratic candidates for president, none was willing to commit to a promise in a campaign debate that all of the U.S. combat forces deployed in Iraq will be gone by 2013, the end of the next president�s term in office.
"'It's hard to project four years from now,' said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, at the start of a debate of the Democratic candidates in Hanover, N.H.
"'It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who has vowed that if President Bush has not ended the war in Iraq by the time the next president takes office, 'I will.'"
"'I cannot make that commitment,' said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, answering the question posed in a televised debate in the state that will hold the first of the presidential primary elections in January."(1)
The statements were obvious replies to president Bush, who asked them to make statements that allowed wriggle room if they became president. The top three candidates Clinton, Obama and Edwards all have Senate experience in connection to Iraq, so they had the additional unifying incentive of wanting to make the Democrats in the Senate look effective.
With primary contests three months away, such lockstep unity of the top three candidates did not happen without a deal with Bush. In all likelihood it is similar to the deal offered Senate Republicans. MIM would suspect that without locking the president into timetables, Bush is offering withdrawals while 2008 election campaigning is going on.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirms our suspicions about the outlines of the deal.
"Mr. Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee, 'When I speak of a long-term presence, I�m thinking of a very modest U.S. presence with no permanent bases, where we can continue to go after Al Qaeda in Iraq and help the Iraqi forces.'This is a substantial statement both for the number cut and the reference to not having a permanent base, a key demand of the oppressed in Iraq.
"He added that 'in my head' he envisioned a force as a quarter of the current combat brigades."(2)
The moves toward bipartisan unity started with Korea. Then they expanded into Iraq. At the moment, Hillary Clinton is also emphasizing her support for the "apparent" I$raeli air force attack on Syria.(3)
Whether there was a persyn-to-persyn conspiracy to get this line up of positions from the Democrats on Iraq or whether it was just Clinton followed by Obama and Edwards on-the-fly is not important. The fact is that the positions of the parties have converged as MIM predicted. In this Iraq case, the underlying fantasy is again Korea, where 50,000 troops stationed themselves for decades without being in firefights. Obviously such a situation requires the striking of a political deal in Iraq.
Those who require the exact videotape of Clinton, Obama and Edwards meeting with Bush or Cheney in a smoke-filled room are literal-minded, who-oriented intelligence sorts--pre-scientific. The details do not matter as much as the predictable and orderly line-up of the Democrats, a thing of beauty for the scientist to behold.
Against MIM were those who said the Bush administration was "fascist" or "fundamentalist," while the Democrats were not. They would be hard- pressed to explain why Democrats at this time are converging with Bush on foreign policy. Bush is still there after all.
In contrast, MIM said that the rising strategic and tactical position of the oppressed guaranteed a bipartisan response, not something one would have thought possible under a fascist one-party regime. MIM treated the Republicans and Democrats the same way as usual, without buckling under various pressures to join a petty-bourgeois fad with little popularity outside the literati.
Marxism is a scientific method that teaches that the historical trends of populations and subgroups called classes are the starting point. It is meaningless to talk strategy and tactics before a scientific evaluation of the millions of people on the historical stage. The Democrats and Republicans were united when they started the war. The Republicans attempted to push into a partisan direction, but the upsurge of the Iraqi oppressed beat back the Republicans into having to rely on the Democrats and also increasingly England and the European Union. There was not a white so-called worker uprising that generated a fascist response and nor was there anything but a handful of thousands protesting the "Bush regime." Bush is still there, and the Democrats and Republicans are united into 2013 on the Iraq War if they can negotiate a Korea parallel.
The Gates statement reflects a victory of the oppressed, an acknowledgement of reality not found up to this point. The oppressed need to hold the U.$. imperialists to not creating a permanent base in Iraq.
For the Bush administration's part, the Gates statement solidifies line with the Democrats and also sets the stage for October diplomacy. It is very possible that the Bush administration will hit into a double-play on Syria and Korea. In that case, Bush officials will be glad that they negotiated with Democrats toward unity on Iraq, so as not to have one out against them already when October is over.