Former Sen. John Edwards, speaking to The Star's Steve Kraske on Iraq:
E: I would draw down 40-50,000 troops immediately and continue that process over the next 12-plus months, get our combat troops out of Iraq.
K: But the administration says setting just tells the insurgents they have to persevere only that long
E: I think the flip side is true. What Bush has been doing is enabling the bad behavior of the Shiite-Malaki-led government and the Sunni leadership. The result is there’s been no serious effort for political reconciliation. There can’t be peace and stability in Iraq without a political reconciliation. That’s the problem in Iraq. Congress should not be funding an escalation in this war. Congress has the power to stop it. And we should do more than just pass non-binding resolutions.
K: Critics say if you pull out, you’re inviting Iran in.
E: We need to be engaged with the Iranians directly. The Iranians, hostile as they are in many ways to us, they have an interest in stability in Iraq. They won’t want a million-plus refugees coming across their western border. They are a Shiite country. It’s a Sunni-dominated Muslim world. They are very much in the minority. That means if the conflict were to go completely south and spread out outside the borders of Iraq, they’re in the minority, they’re in a very dangerous place.
Posted by Steve Kraske