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Friday, December 16, 2005
  Pelosi: Our strength is in our fragmented cowardice
Pelosi Hails Democrats' Diverse War Stances: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.

Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she sad.

'There is no one Democratic voice . . . and there is no one Democratic position,' Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors.

Pelosi recently endorsed the proposal by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) for a swift redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq over a period of six months, but no other party leader followed, and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) publicly opposed her.

She said her support for Murtha was not intended to forge a Democratic position on the war, adding that she blocked an effort by some of her colleagues to put the Democrats on record backing Murtha.

Her comments ruling out a caucus position appeared to put Pelosi at odds with some other party officials. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean recently said Democrats were beginning to coalesce around a strategy that would pull out all troops over the next two years. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on the day Murtha offered his plan, 'As for Iraq policy, at the right time, we'll have a position.'

Pelosi, one of the most liberal Democrats in the House, opposed the war and, as the senior Democrat on the intelligence committee before the invasion, argued that Saddam Hussein posed no imminent threat to the United States. She served a"
 
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