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Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq

 
 
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 07:16 am
Harry's War
Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.

--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 12.

Gen. David Petraeus is in Washington this week, where on Monday he briefed President Bush on the progress of the new military strategy in Iraq. Today he will give similar briefings on Capitol Hill, but maybe he should save his breath. As fellow four-star Harry Reid recently informed America, the war Gen. Petraeus is fighting and trying to win is already "lost."

Mr. Reid has since tried to "clarify" that remark, and in a speech Monday he laid out his own strategy for Iraq. But perhaps we ought to be grateful for his earlier candor in laying out the strategic judgment--and nakedly political rationale--that underlies the latest Congressional bid to force a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq starting this fall. By doing so, he and the Democrats are taking ownership of whatever ugly outcome follows a U.S. defeat in Iraq.

This isn't to say that the Administration hasn't made its share of major blunders in this war. But at least Mr. Bush and his commanders are now trying to make up for these mistakes with a strategy to put Prime Minister Maliki's government on a stronger footing, secure Baghdad and the Sunni provinces against al Qaeda and allow for an eventual, honorable, U.S. withdrawal. That's more than can be said for Mr. Reid and the Democratic left, who are making the job for our troops more difficult by undermining U.S. morale and Iraqi confidence in American support.

In his speech Monday, Mr. Reid claimed that "nothing has changed" since the surge began taking effect in February. It's true that the car bombings and U.S. casualties continue, and may increase. But such an enemy counterattack was to be expected, aimed as it is directly at the Democrats in Washington. The real test of the surge is whether it can secure enough of the population to win their cooperation and gradually create fewer safe havens for the terrorists.

So far, the surge is meeting that test, even before the additional troops Mr. Bush ordered have been fully deployed. Between February and March sectarian violence declined by 26%, according to Gen. William Caldwell. Security in Baghdad has improved sufficiently to allow the government to shorten its nightly curfew. Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been politically marginalized, which explains his apparent departure from Iraq and the resignation of his minions from Mr. Maliki's parliamentary coalition--a sign that moderate Shiites are gaining strength at his expense.

More significantly, most Sunni tribal sheikhs are now turning against al Qaeda and cooperating with coalition and Iraqi forces. What has turned these sheikhs isn't some grand "political solution," which Mr. Reid claims is essential for Iraq's salvation. They've turned because they have tired of being fodder for al Qaeda's strategy of fomenting a civil war with a goal of creating a Taliban regime in Baghdad, or at least in Anbar province. The sheikhs realize that they will probably lose such a civil war now that the Shiites are as well-armed as the insurgents and prepared to be just as ruthless. Their best chance for survival now lies with a democratic government in Baghdad. The political solution becomes easier the stronger Mr. Maliki and Iraqi government forces are, and strengthening both is a major goal of the surge.

By contrast, Mr. Reid's strategy of withdrawal will only serve to enlarge the security vacuum in which Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents have thrived. That's also true of what an American withdrawal will mean for the broader Middle East. Mr. Reid says that by withdrawing from Iraq we will be better able to take on al Qaeda and a nuclear Iran. But the reality (to use Mr. Reid's new favorite word) is that we are fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, and if we lose there we will only make it harder to prevail in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Countries do not usually win wars by losing their biggest battles.

As for Iran, Mr. Reid's strategy of defeat would guarantee that the radical mullahs of Tehran have more influence in Baghdad than the moderate Shiites of Najaf. It would also make the mullahs even more confident that they can build a bomb with impunity and no fear of any Western response.

The stakes in Iraq are about the future of the entire Middle East--and of our inevitable involvement in it. In calling for withdrawal, Mr. Reid and his allies, just as with Vietnam, may think they are merely following polls that show the public is unhappy with the war. Yet Americans will come to dislike a humiliation and its aftermath even more, especially as they realize that a withdrawal from Iraq now will only make it harder to stabilize the region and defeat Islamist radicals. And they will like it even less should we be required to re-enter the country someday under far worse circumstances.

This is the outcome toward which the "lost" Democrats and Harry Reid are heading, and for which they will be responsible if it occurs. The alternative is to fight for a stable Iraqi government that can control the country and keep it together in a federal, democratic system. As long as such an outcome is within reach, it is our responsibility to achieve it.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 08:15 am
Re: Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq
McGentrix wrote:
This isn't to say that the Administration hasn't made its share of major blunders in this war. But at least Mr. Bush and his commanders are now trying to make up for these mistakes with a strategy to put Prime Minister Maliki's government on a stronger footing, secure Baghdad and the Sunni provinces against al Qaeda and allow for an eventual, honorable, U.S. withdrawal.

Wow, that is so delusional that I could have sworn it was written by Victor Davis Hanson. That it was instead from the editorial board of the WSJ should have come as no surprise to me.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 11:00 am
Almost Orwellian, isn't it?

I rest comfortably on the fact that countless polling of public opinion squarely lays, and will continue to lay, the blame for screwing up the war on Bush and the Republicans who allowed him to do so.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 11:21 am
from mcg's post :

Quote:
So far, the surge is meeting that test, even before the additional troops Mr. Bush ordered have been fully deployed. Between February and March sectarian violence declined by 26%, according to Gen. William Caldwell. Security in Baghdad has improved sufficiently to allow the government to shorten its nightly curfew. Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been politically marginalized, which explains his apparent departure from Iraq and the resignation of his minions from Mr. Maliki's parliamentary coalition--a sign that moderate Shiites are gaining strength at his expense.


as ican posted , the death-toll of civilians has almost doubled within one year , but "the surge is meeting that test" ?

and as hbg posted , about 2.5 million iraqis have fled the country and another 2 million have been internally displaced ... but "the surge is meeting that test " - i wonder if anyone has told the iraqis yet ?
hbg
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 11:36 am
Quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The United Nations is unable to determine how many Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year because the Iraqi government won't share the information, a U.N. agency said in a Wednesday report.

An Iraqi government official denied that the information was withheld to cover up the number of civilian deaths, and the prime minister's office said the U.N. report "lacks accuracy."


Oh yeah, the violence is down so far that they... won't even release the numbers which show it.

Anyone think that just maybe the numbers don't show the violence going down?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 11:48 am
this is so beyond democrats or republicans and yet the slim minority of people, like friend McGentrix, can't let it go.

When the ship sinks McGentrix, are you thinking that you will be on a better class of lifeboat or something?

well forget it... this war is the titanic and first class and steerage are going down together.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 12:52 pm
Actually,

The Democrats are going to take responsibility for victory in Iraq.

The majority of the American people want Bush's war ended and the troops withdrawn.

When this victory is achieved, the majority of the American people will rightly reward the party that made it possible.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 01:16 pm
As long as someone takes ownership and responsibility for the major fuckup that is Iraq, I don't care who it is. Clearly Bush has no plans to do so, and neither does anyone in his administration.
0 Replies
 
Gelisgesti
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 02:02 pm
If the current trend of indicted Republicans continues there won't be any Republicans in office to take ownership of whatever a defeat would be defined as. That would leave only the Democrats to clean up.
This would be in the country's best interest .... Who would want to see the people that were in charge of the prosecution of the war, be in charge of the clean up .... I'd say this is a no brainer.
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 02:23 pm
What defeat is Reid talking about? This sorry gorup of Dummycrats have no idea what damage they are doing.

1) We WON the war YEARS ago when we eliminated the military and eliminated the Saddam regime.

2) We ARE losing the peace since our military is not and never has and never should be peacekeepers. Unforutnately the UN and every other Muslim nation refuses to maintain the peace. GW blew it when he decided we could win the peace.

You NEVER EVER give a president of the US an ultimatum. Now it will get personal and nasty and the losers will be our soldiers.

Yet, the Dummycrats are obviously to STUPID to figure that out. THEY are the ones "politicking" this war.

What Reid should have said is either :
1) Increase tactics and start blowing things up and killing people until the citizens of Iraq demand the militia be disarmed

2) Stop all funding at once and get our soldiers out of their yesterday.

What stupid logic is there to keep our troops there until October?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 02:31 pm
woiyo wrote:
What defeat is Reid talking about? This sorry gorup of Dummycrats have no idea what damage they are doing.

1) We WON the war YEARS ago when we eliminated the military and eliminated the Saddam regime.

2) We ARE losing the peace since our military is not and never has and never should be peacekeepers. Unforutnately the UN and every other Muslim nation refuses to maintain the peace. GW blew it when he decided we could win the peace.

You NEVER EVER give a president of the US an ultimatum. Now it will get personal and nasty and the losers will be our soldiers.

Yet, the Dummycrats are obviously to STUPID to figure that out. THEY are the ones "politicking" this war.

What Reid should have said is either :
1) Increase tactics and start blowing things up and killing people until the citizens of Iraq demand the militia be disarmed

2) Stop all funding at once and get our soldiers out of their yesterday.

What stupid logic is there to keep our troops there until October?


The kind of logic which says 'well, maybe we can actually get this done.' If the Dems presented a 'get out now' bill, it wouldn't be passed by Bush. So they give him incentives and options to get out soon.

You can call them all the names you want, but their strategy is undeniably working, though slowly.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 02:34 pm
The Democrats strategy is also supported by the majority of the American people.

In a democracy, this is what matters.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 03:37 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Actually,

The Democrats are going to take responsibility for victory in Iraq.

The majority of the American people want Bush's war ended and the troops withdrawn.

When this victory is achieved, the majority of the American people will rightly reward the party that made it possible.


They cjant take responsibility for a victory in Iraq.

They have staked their whole political stance on how bad the war is going,on how we shouldnt be there,on how the war is "lost",on how the military is a bunch of murderers and criminals,and on how Bush is a failure.

Now,if the US wins,the dems will be the party that fought against the US winning the war,and they will not be able to escape that.

Quote:
The Democrats strategy is also supported by the majority of the American people.

In a democracy, this is what matters.


thats true,but we are not in a democracy,and have never been.
The US is a representative republic,not a democracy.

In a democracy,every citizen would vote on every issue,but that isnt how its done.

Here,we elect people to represent us,and they vote on issues.
Hopefully,they would vote the way we want them to,but if they vote their own convictions instead of what their constituents want,that is the way it works.

So,since the US is not now,nor has it ever been a democracy,your point is not valid.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 03:57 pm
Quote:

They have staked their whole political stance on how bad the war is going,on how we shouldnt be there,on how the war is "lost",on how the military is a bunch of murderers and criminals,and on how Bush is a failure.


I will agree with most of this.
- The war is going bad.
- We shouldn't be there.
- The war is "lost" (meaning Bushes dream of a Middle East subject to US interest is hopeless).
- Bush is a failure.

The Democrats are clearly saying that the military is a fine institution and that the vast number of troops serve with honor.

They are saying it is the administration that is responsible for the crimes that took place at Abu Graib and elsewhere because they failed to provide clear guidance against torture, or strong oversight and leadership of the military operation.

The Democrats are also standing up for the troops that are being blocked from retiring when their commitment is over, being given more and more responsibilities with less and less time off and are being faced with an increasingly difficult and deadly task.

More and more of the brave troops, both retired and now even active duty, are speaking out in favor of the Democrats ending the war.

Quote:

Now,if the US wins,the dems will be the party that fought against the US winning the war...


I agree with your statement here with the one objection that no one, including the adminstration, has clearly outlined any specific realistic picture of what "winning the war" means.

I would be very happy if the troops could be brought home next year with a stable government in Iraq. If we can agree that this is "winning" than we will all be happy with this result.

Quote:

In a democracy,every citizen would vote on every issue,but that isnt how its done.

Here,we elect people to represent us,and they vote on issues.
Hopefully,they would vote the way we want them to,but if they vote their own convictions instead of what their constituents want,that is the way it works.

So,since the US is not now,nor has it ever been a democracy,your point is not valid.


Yeah, you are right.

Your point is that the unexpected and impressive victory that voters gave to the Democrats in Congress last year is the way that the majority of Americans can accomplish their goal of ending the war.

I will agree and thankfully, now our elected representatives are taking the steps, through their Constitutional autherity, to end the war-- just as the majority of Americans want.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 04:04 pm
Quote:
I will agree and thankfully, now are elected representatives are taking the steps, through their Constitutional autherity, to end the war-- just as the majority of Americans want.


Please show all of us where in the Constitution it states that Congress has the authority to decide military matters!

To help you out,here is the Constitution...

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec2

The ONLY authority that Congress has is to declare war and to pay the bills.
The President is the C in C,not the members of congress.
The President takes advice from ther Joint Chiefs of staff,and he alone makes decisions on when and where to use the military.

Congress has NOTHING to do with it.

But,if you think they have the Constitutional authority to end a war,then you should have no trouble finding that authority in the Constitution.

Please feel free to do so,and let all of us know when you find it.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 04:13 pm
mysteryman wrote:
Quote:
I will agree and thankfully, now are elected representatives are taking the steps, through their Constitutional autherity, to end the war-- just as the majority of Americans want.


Please show all of us where in the Constitution it states that Congress has the authority to decide military matters!

To help you out,here is the Constitution...

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec2

The ONLY authority that Congress has is to declare war and to pay the bills.
The President is the C in C,not the members of congress.
The President takes advice from ther Joint Chiefs of staff,and he alone makes decisions on when and where to use the military.

Congress has NOTHING to do with it.

But,if you think they have the Constitutional authority to end a war,then you should have no trouble finding that authority in the Constitution.

Please feel free to do so,and let all of us know when you find it.


They can end it by cutting off the money for the war - and that's exactly what they are doing.

They can add whatever conditions to the money that they like - and that's exactly what they are doing.

Look, these aren't normal times - you can only sit around and watch some other branch royally f*ck it up for so long. Those days are done.

Bush can make the choice about accepting restrictions, or he can veto the money. The only people who are talking about how there will be 'consequences' to this with the American voters are those who are already completely out of touch with them anyways.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 04:15 pm
Quote:

The ONLY authority that Congress has is to declare war and to pay the bills.


The authority the Congress has to fund the war (which you agree they have) is the key to the current conflict.

The current bill on Iraq is a funding bill. The administration is an objecting to the Congress setting a deadline after which the administration can't spend any more money in Iraq.

Congress is using their Constitutional authority to enact the will of the majority of the American people.

That's how it works.

(Of course you are wrong that this is the ONLY authority the Congress has. They have plenty of other authority including oversight, and investigation with subpoena power...)
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 04:17 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
mysteryman wrote:
Quote:
I will agree and thankfully, now are elected representatives are taking the steps, through their Constitutional autherity, to end the war-- just as the majority of Americans want.


Please show all of us where in the Constitution it states that Congress has the authority to decide military matters!

To help you out,here is the Constitution...

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec2

The ONLY authority that Congress has is to declare war and to pay the bills.
The President is the C in C,not the members of congress.
The President takes advice from ther Joint Chiefs of staff,and he alone makes decisions on when and where to use the military.

Congress has NOTHING to do with it.

But,if you think they have the Constitutional authority to end a war,then you should have no trouble finding that authority in the Constitution.

Please feel free to do so,and let all of us know when you find it.


They can end it by cutting off the money for the war - and that's exactly what they are doing.

They can add whatever conditions to the money that they like - and that's exactly what they are doing.

Look, these aren't normal times - you can only sit around and watch some other branch royally f*ck it up for so long. Those days are done.

Bush can make the choice about accepting restrictions, or he can veto the money. The only people who are talking about how there will be 'consequences' to this with the American voters are those who are already completely out of touch with them anyways.

Cycloptichorn


I was very clear that congress has the power to pay,or not pay,the bills.

But,if they choose NOT to pay the bills,and American troops die because they didnt get the supplies they need because congress stopped funding,do you really think that it wont come back to haunt the dems?

If you believe that,you truly are delusional.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 04:22 pm
mysteryman wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
mysteryman wrote:
Quote:
I will agree and thankfully, now are elected representatives are taking the steps, through their Constitutional autherity, to end the war-- just as the majority of Americans want.


Please show all of us where in the Constitution it states that Congress has the authority to decide military matters!

To help you out,here is the Constitution...

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec2

The ONLY authority that Congress has is to declare war and to pay the bills.
The President is the C in C,not the members of congress.
The President takes advice from ther Joint Chiefs of staff,and he alone makes decisions on when and where to use the military.

Congress has NOTHING to do with it.

But,if you think they have the Constitutional authority to end a war,then you should have no trouble finding that authority in the Constitution.

Please feel free to do so,and let all of us know when you find it.


They can end it by cutting off the money for the war - and that's exactly what they are doing.

They can add whatever conditions to the money that they like - and that's exactly what they are doing.

Look, these aren't normal times - you can only sit around and watch some other branch royally f*ck it up for so long. Those days are done.

Bush can make the choice about accepting restrictions, or he can veto the money. The only people who are talking about how there will be 'consequences' to this with the American voters are those who are already completely out of touch with them anyways.

Cycloptichorn


I was very clear that congress has the power to pay,or not pay,the bills.

But,if they choose NOT to pay the bills,and American troops die because they didnt get the supplies they need because congress stopped funding,do you really think that it wont come back to haunt the dems?

If you believe that,you truly are delusional.


The troops won't die because money was cut off. They will be brought home. If the decision to keep them in the field with no money is made, the person who makes that decision will be the one who is responsible for their deaths.

If you can't see that the American public has already figured out who to blame for this mess, then you are delusional. '08 is going to make '06 look like a good year for Republicans in elections; I fully expect the Dems to gain several seats in both houses as well as the presidency.

Bush's whining and complaining about attempts to keep him grounded in reality sure aren't raising his approval, approval of the war, or approval of his actions - but the Dem approval ratings are all up. The majority of Americans support ending the war, and they (we) want it done in a responsible fashion, allowing for time to plan for the post-occupation period. The fact that Bush's DoD refuses to do this planning and won't face reality doesn't change people's desires.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2007 04:27 pm
Seung-Hui Cho offers in his video that "YOU are responsible for my killing those people"
George W bush offers with his intended veto "You (democrats in congress) are responsible for the winning or losing of the war in Iraq.
Interesting innit?
0 Replies
 
 

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