10/07/2007 09:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Does the Democratic Party Leadership Want to Withdraw from Iraq or Win the War?

If you are not already convinced that the Democratic party leadership supports the war and does not want to end it, this Washington Post poll should help you change your mind.

The Democratic Party leadership keeps saying that they cannot vote a reduction in the $190 billion supplemental war budget because the voters will turn against them for endangering the lives of the troops that are there.

The key finding in this poll is that exactly one-quarter of Americans want Congress to fully fund the 190 billion dollar supplemental budget for the war. Fully 70% want it reduced, with 46% want it dramatically reduced or eliminated altogether. Even 45% of Republicans want it reduced.

Not only that: most people think that the Democrats are not doing enough to oppose Bush's war policy. In fact, the evaluation of Congress has dropped 14 points since the Democrats took over, apparently because of inaction around the war.

All this shows that the U.S. electorate would certainly support a reduction and maybe even a drastic reduction in the war budget. Such a reduction could be used to hamstring the surge and force Bush to truly de-escalate, and perhaps withdraw.

And the Democrats would not have to worry about a veto, because if Bush vetoes the supplemental, he is vetoing the funding for the war. The Democrats can pass it again and then wait for him to sign it or withdraw the troops when the money runs out.

So why don't they do it? The old idea that they are afraid of losing the election is wiped out by this poll.

So the only other reason is that they do not want to hurt the war effort.

Listen to the actual words of the three Democratic front-runners for the presidency. The reason that none of them would guarantee withdrawal in their first term was that they were not sure they could accomplish their goals in four years. What kind of goals need four years to accomplish?

Sure, they disagree with the way Bush is conducting the war, but they want to use different strategies to accomplish Bush's goals: defeating the insurgency, installing a friendly government that is an enemy of Iran and will welcome an overwhelming American presence (military and political and economic) in the Middle East. Right now, if we withdraw, the insurgency (Sunni and Shia) would dictate what government would emerge and it would not be our friend; it would not be an enemy of Iran either; and it would oppose any powerful American presence in the Middle East. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards do not want to withdraw while this would be the result.

They want to fight on for an outcome that would make the U.S. the dominant presence in the region.