Speaker Pelosi Walks A Delicate Line
Mar. 12 - KGO -- The push and pull over Iraq got personal this morning. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi awoke to protestors camped outside her Pacific Heights home.
Speaker Pelosi is being hit from the right and the left as she attempts to maneuver the president into ending the war.
Nancy Pelosi headed for the airport early this morning, obviously put out with the Code Pink protesters who were camped outside her house.
Code Pink Protester: "We represent your constituents, Nancy. We'd like you to talk with us just for an hour or two hours."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House: "But you aren't my constituents."
The speaker did not speak to reporters, saying only, "my home is my home." At a black tie event Saturday night, she portrayed Democrats as united in their support to fund the war if the president agrees to bring troops home no later than August 2008.
Nancy Pelosi: "We always work together. I feel very confident that everyone in our caucus wants to bring this war in Iraq to an end. This is a way to do it and to do it soon."
But in fact, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Oakland is leading progressive Democrats in a call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. She has been joined by Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of Marin.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, (D) Santa Rosa: "I would prefer that that funding be set aside for one thing and one thing only, and that's to bring our troops home from Iraq and bring them home safely."
That is what the Code Pink protesters are advocating. On the other side are those who say pulling out of the war would be a disaster.
Vice President Dick Cheney: "When members speak not of victory, but of time limits, deadlines or other arbitrary measures, they're telling the enemy simply to watch the clock and wait us out."
But at U.C. Berkeley, an expert on national security and the dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy believes the troops would be better used in Afghanistan.
Prof. Michael Nacht, Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley Goldman School: "We need to have the forces to go after those who really want to hurt us and most of the Sunnis and Shias fighting with each other in Iraq are not aiming at us, they're aiming at each other."
The bottom line, says Professor Nacht, is it's a judgment call to pick the least harmful from a batch of bad options.
On the political side, the president is promising to veto any deadline for pulling out the troops. So the showdown for Democrats will come when they must decide to fund the war or not and run the risk of appearing to undermine the troops that are already there.
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