GOP Escalation Debate Strategy Memo

Brian Zick

Greg Sargent at TPM Cafe reports: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office has obtained a letter that GOP Reps. John Shadegg and Peter Hoekstra sent out to House GOP colleagues about escalation. The letter gives GOP members pointers on how they should approach the battle over it on the House floor this week. Hoyer's office has now posted the letter on his Web site The memo: We are writing to urge you not to debate the Democratic Iraq resolution on their terms, but rather on ours. Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge, making the case that it will work and explaining why the President's new Iraq policy is different from prior efforts and therefore justified. We urge you to instead broaden the debate to the threat posed to Americans, the world, and all "unbelievers" by radical Islamists. We would further urge you to join us in educating the American people about the views of radical Islamists and the consequences of not defeating radical Islam in Iraq. The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.

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