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Steven Clemons on Democrats' Iraq Strategy in Agence France Presse

March 16, 2007 |

Democrats in Congress are vowing to wage an escalating battle to thwart President George W. Bush's plan to stay in Iraq, convinced they have a winning strategy, despite fierce White House resistance...

The focus of the Democrats' political battle will next week switch from the Senate to the House of Representatives, due to debate Bush's 124 billion dollar budget request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...

Like the Senate legislation, had it passed, Bush has vowed to veto any measure which emerges from the House which bears any resemblance to a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq.

So while the Democratic legislation appears to have almost zero chance of becoming law, it forms a key cog in the party's strategy of piling political heat on Republicans ahead of congressional and presidential elections in 2008.

"The Democratic proposals on Iraq are not designed to actually force the White House on a different course," said Steven Clemons, an analyst with the New America Foundation think-tank.

"They are designed to help make the American public think that the Democrats have strong, alternative ideas, but not to have any of them ultimately adopted. "The Democrats do not want to own this war; they want Bush to own this war -- all the way up until the next presidential race..."

For the complete article, please visit the Agence France Presse website.

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