This will leave a mark:
Deepening the Democratic split over Iraq, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina today became the party’s first major presidential contender to oppose President Bush’s request for $87 billion to secure and reconstruct the country…
“It is clear to me that President Bush is not going to change direction unless someone stands up to him and says no,” said Edwards, who had voted in 2002 to authorize the war in Iraq.
Edwards said he did not want the United States to withdraw from Iraq, but believed that a congressional vote denying Bush the funds would compel the administration to develop a new reconstruction plan that provided a larger role to the United Nations and ensured that the rebuilding “will not be exploited as a means to give sweetheart deals to [the president’s] friends.”
From the WaPo today:
France, Russia and Germany on Tuesday dropped their demands that the United States grant the United Nations a central role in Iraq’s reconstruction and yield power to a provisional Iraqi government in the coming months.
The move constituted a major retreat by the Security Council’s chief antiwar advocates, and signaled their renewed willingness to consider the merits of a U.S. resolution aimed at conferring greater international legitimacy on its military occupation of Iraq.
All three countries seem willing to accept a resolution that would retain U.S. authority over Iraq’s political future while extending only a symbolic measure of sovereignty to Iraqis. But a major sticking point remains: The three governments made new demands, including setting a timetable for ending the U.S. military occupation in Iraq and strengthening the Security Council’s role in monitoring Iraq’s political transition.
Thanks for all your help and, ummm, leadership, Sen. Edwards.