James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, December 12, 2005

James Webb, Democratic Senator from Virginia?

Is it possible that the former Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, the author of Born Fighting, the history of the Scots-Irish (rednecks) in America, will challenge VA Senator George Allen as a Democrat?

If that's just a rumor, it is well worth spreading. Greg Priddy takes a look at Webb's realist foreign policy. Priddy's piece is worth a read. Personally, I prefer "realists" over hawkish "idealists" any day of the week, because realists are more likely to work to avoid war. If I were to describe the realist position in the best light it would be both "peace through strength" and "strength through peace."

Priddy quotes passages of Webb's writings. Shortly after Sept 11, Webb warned against "open ended combat" and using our troops as "occupation forces." And in Sept 2002, he identified the real issue of an Iraq War as whether we were prepared to occupy Middle East territory for the next 30-50 years, and what a windfall that would be for China.

It is hard not to want a voice like that in the Senate. As Priddy points out, Democrats need a Brent Scowcroft:

I don't mean to imply that Scowcroft and Webb have completely overlapping views, but I think that encapsulates the key challenge for Democrats - how do you argue that Iraq was a strategic blunder, without being perceived as "antiwar" or "weak" in general? Even with the dissatisfaction felt by the majority of Americans with Bush's policy in Iraq, Democrats still face the hurdle of demonstrating "strength" on national security - an issue area where Republicans have traditionally held a big advantage.

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