Friday, December 22, 2006

Will the Real Jane Harman Please Stand Up

I'm getting whiplash here. First, this morning I see the Huffington Post piece that Jane Harman posted yesterday in which she seemed pretty clear headed about the need to disengage from the occupation of Iraq:

Ike [Skelton] is right. The White House's Iraq strategy has failed, our brave military is stretched to the breaking point, and neither Congress nor the American people will support for much longer throwing good money after bad or sending good people after good people into a hopeless war zone.

Rather than talk about additional troops, it's time to begin redeploying troops out of Iraq immediately and engaging other governments and allies in crafting a diplomatic and political solution to the nightmare. That this administration could still think an escalated military option is a credible path to stability and democracy in Iraq is alarming, and indicative of how far removed from reality this president and his inner circle are.

But then this afternoon, I came across a news item reporting on Harman joining McCain, Lieberman, and other war hawks, to dine with Bush earlier this month, presumably to talk about the war.

Their wings clipped by the Iraq Study Group's report, the hawks who met with Bush included his pal Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Independent-Conn.), California Rep. Jane Harman, who lost her job as top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a 2008 presidential hopeful who wants to send more troops to Iraq.

The sources for the meeting leave it pretty unclear exactly what they were discussing -- were they there to commiserate with Bush, or talk sense to him? But when you look at the attendees -- Lieberman and McCain -- who are advocating escalation of the occupation, you can be pretty sure the the discussion was not about the kind of disengagement that Rep. Harman pushes in her Huffington Post piece . So on the one hand, she's saying the right things, but she's acting like she's the same old facilitator for Bush that we've come to know and loathe.

Talk about sending mixed signals!


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