The Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq is beginning to shift the debate with some national commentators. Yesterday morning on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the Plan came up as a subject, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, clearly got it: "There are no military solutions" to the crisis in Iraq, she said, and "if we withdraw responsibly, the region in the long term will be more stable, (and) America will be restored as a responsible global leader."
For too long the debate over Iraq has been limited to military solutions when in fact the only viable solution hinges on diplomacy, including ending the humanitarian and economic crisis in the region. The Republicans and the Bush administration have been successful in limiting the debate to winning vs. losing, or "stay the course" vs. "cut-and-run."
But that is beginning to change as Americans begin to see there is no military solution in Iraq. (Unfortunately Cokie Roberts is one commentator who hasn't caught on. During the discussion of The Responsible Plan she sided with John McCain, who wants for us to stay in Iraq to "win," even if it means a longterm occupation.)
Watch the exchange here:
Darcy Burner, a congressional candidate in Washington State, pioneered the concept of the Plan, and I began working with her on it this past winter. We had help from military and national security experts like retired generals Paul Eaton and John Johns.
Since we presented the Plan in Washington last month, more than 50 progressive House and Senate candidates around the country have signed on, and it continues to generate necessary conversation about how to end the war. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that General Petraeus and the Bush administration will pay any attention. It'll be up to the next administration and Congress to figure out what's responsible.
Follow Rep. Chellie Pingree on Twitter: www.twitter.com/chelliepingree