Thursday, April 26, 2007

Comments on the US Congress's Surrender Legislation

"I would rather win the war and lose the election than vice-versa."
Governor of New York, Thomas Dewey, Republican presidential candidate, responding to critics that he should go after Roosevelt on perceived mistakes in the war against Germany, 1944
All Drawing by Michael Ramirez

Today, the US Senate and Congress passed (telling word there) the Unilateral Surrender to Al-Qaeda Legislation which David Espo of the AP called "a bold wartime challenge to President Bush". That's right, Al-Qaeda has been at war with us for 14 years but the Congressional Derelicts can only mount wartime challenges against their own President. Good one.

I've been getting instant messages from friends in Kurdistan seeking reassurance that Dubya's veto would ensure this legislation would be D.O.A. They believe that if the US pulls out, Turkey, Iran, and Al-Qaeda will rip Kurdistan into teeney little smithers. And of course they're right, but how is it in America's interest to support the US's most ardent allies in the Middle East? If you think the Kurds felt betrayed by the US in 1991, you just wait.

The Senate passed their bill 51-46. Congress passed their bill 218-208. They need 290 votes to over-rule President Dubya's veto, so that's that.

But Majority Ldr Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi said (in effect) that the American people had clearly voted for empty political theater and so that was what the White Flaggers were giving them.

Cpl Tyler Rock
Pat Dollard got a lot of traffic recently when Drudge linked to his email from Cpl Tyler Rock of Ramadi, responding Sen. Reid:

i got a qoute for that douche harry reid. these families need us here. obviously he has never been in iraq. or atleast the area worth seeing. the parts where insurgency is rampant and the buildings are blown to pieces. we need to stay here and help rebuild....it sucks that iraqi’s have more patriotism for a country that has turned to complete shit more than the people in america who drink starbucks everyday...and the sad thing is after we WIN this war. people like him will say he was there for us the whole time....well ramadi was once dubbed by everyone as the worst city in the world. but we have done such a great job here that all the families in the area have worked with us on driving out the insurgency and that we work directly with the IA and the IP’s. the city has been cleaned up so well that the IP’s do most of the patrols now and we go out with them to hand out candy and toys to the children. you can tell that the people want us here to protect them from the thugs and gangs (insurgents).

The NY Post then picked up the story. Dollard has since posted one and another report from Cpl Rock. To the NY Post he wrote:

my opinion is what i already stated in the email to pat. i am a marine in iraq that isnt getting the support from a senator that should support his fellow americans. when was the last time he was here. what does he know about us “losing” besides what he wants to believe. the truth is that we are pushing al qaeda out and we are pushing the insurgency out. we are here to support a nation.”

Barack Obama
Sen. Barack Obama, for whom math was apparently not best subject, said, "We are one signature away from ending the Iraq war". (Well, actually, Obama is 72 votes (25%) short of surrender, but he's not counting) He continued, "President Bush must listen to the will of the American people and sign this bill so that our troops can come home.” Well, a signature by Dubya would end the war and the troops would come home...but who would win the war?

Sen. Joe Lieberman
Sen. Lieberman responded with the following:

When we say that U.S. troops shouldn't be "policing a civil war," that their operations should be restricted to this narrow list of missions, what does this actually mean?

To begin with, it means that our troops will not be allowed to protect the Iraqi people from the insurgents and militias who are trying to terrorize and kill them. Instead of restoring basic security, which General Petraeus has argued should be the central focus of any counterinsurgency campaign, it means our soldiers would instead be ordered, by force of this proposed law, not to stop the sectarian violence happening all around them—no matter how vicious or horrific it becomes.

In short, it means telling our troops to deliberately and consciously turn their backs on ethnic cleansing, to turn their backs on the slaughter of innocent civilians—men, women, and children singled out and killed on the basis of their religion alone. It means turning our backs on the policies that led us to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the principles that today lead many of us to call for intervention in Darfur. This makes no moral sense at all.


Iraqi Government
Iraqi Government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh:

"We see some negative signs in the decision because it sends wrong signals to some sides that might think of alternatives to the political process...Coalition forces gave lots of sacrifices and they should continue their mission, which is building Iraqi security forces to take over...We see (it) as a loss of four years of sacrifices."
The Terrorists
The terrorists had, of course, already weighed in last November saying:
"As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk...very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance. This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal."

Iran
My friends in Iran note that the Iranian press, consistently quotes the Democratic leadership with glee.


Iraq The Model
Last Saturday, ITM said that the "stop the war" crowd were talking to the wrong people:

Tell the criminals to stop killing us and stop attacking the people who are risking their lives fighting for liberty and equality. We're not asking the media and the stop-the-war crowd to carry arms and shoot the terrorists; we just want them to stop shooting at us.

[Update] Omar at ITM posted this today:

Why are the Democrats doing this?...For four years everybody made mistakes; the administration made mistakes and admitted them and my people and leaders made mistakes as well and we regret them...I understood that by having the majority in the legislature the democrats were supposed to guide America to victory by correcting the mistakes of the past. Obviously I was wrong; they have put all their efforts into making sure the exact opposite outcome happens.
[...]
Quitting is not an option we can afford—not in America and definitely not in Iraq...The forces of extremism are more determined, more resourceful and more barbaric than the Nazi or the communists of the past. And with weapons they can improvise or acquire through their unholy alliance with rogue regimes-combined with their fluid structure and mobility-well, they can be even deadlier.
[...]
In no time al-Qaeda and all similarly extremist factions will start boasting about how America is fleeing Iraq under the heavy blows of the “Mujahideen” planned by OBL himself. The Democrats just offered al-Qaeda victory on a silver plate, and for free.

[Update]
Eye Raki
Eye Raki posts for merry ol' England with nearly duplicate language:

I don’t understand people’s obsession for wanting the US to set a timetable for troop withdrawal. No one wants the US troops to stay in Iraq forever and not least the troops themselves, but surely telling the terrorists “We are going to start leaving Iraq in October” already means they have won. Are these the messages the Democrats want to send to the people responsible for the daily killings of their men?

"Hello Al-Qaida, we are going to get ready to hand over the country to you on a silver platter by the end of this year."

Now that’s not to say that any Iraqi who wants a timetable is a terrorist, on the contrary, many patriotic Iraqi’s think the withdrawal of US troops will be for the better of the country…But it will be the terrorists who will have won this war.

IraqPundit
IraqPundit responded directly to Sen. Reid after his cynical "The war is lost" speech, and his gratuitous attribution of that belief to the Secys of State and Defense:

I can play rhetorical games like that, too. "I believe myself that Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks the Iraq war debate is an opportunity to
damage the administration, and cares about nothing else. I believe myself that
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is totally indifferent to the effect of his
words on American troops, the Iraqi people, the jihadis in Iraq, the Middle East
at large, or anyone else as long as the administration is weakened or
damaged."

[btw: I'm a huuuuge fan of IraqPundit, among the most under-rated of Iraqi bloggers. Read him. Re-read his posts. And then you will be prepared to read about Iraq.]

General Petraeus
General Petraeus met with the leaders of the Senate and Congress. The congressional leaders at first planned to skip the meeting as superfluous since facts on the grounds were totally beside the point. But, after some embarrassing newspaper columns, they decided to pretend to listen to him afterall. Speaker of the House Pelosi skipped the meeting and listened to a summary by him on her cellphone. He said:

NYT: Listing signs of progress he said were already evident, the general spoke of a dropoff in sectarian killings in Baghdad and of security gains in Anbar Province [cmarii: that is, tribal sheiks turning violent against Al-Qaeda there.]. He mentioned the dismantling of a car-bomb network that has been blamed for 650 deaths in Baghdad and a stepped-up pace of arms-cache seizures in the Ramadi area.

“I am well aware that the sense of gradual progress and achievement we feel on the ground in many areas in Iraq is often eclipsed by the sensational attacks that overshadow our daily accomplishments,” he said. “There clearly are still far too many of them.”

He emphasized the role of Al Qaeda militants, who are few in number compared with other groups of insurgents, but who are held responsible for many of the deadliest bombing attacks in Iraq.

“It is a very significant enemy,” he said. “I think it is probably Public Enemy Number One."

Essentially, we are making gains in Iraq, but Al-Qaeda knows that it's best tactic is to stage bigger and bigger car-bombs that will attract the interest of US television and newspapers. (And who is telling them that's a good tactic?) Predictably, White-flag Democrats used the recent mass murders as a reason to flee Iraq rather than an object lesson on what is coming to the US if they do. Also, Petaeus said:

"Evidence of Iranian assistance to anti-American forces in Iraq has grown considerably in the past month, General Petraeus said. He noted that documents had been seized that detail the planning and conduct of anti-coalition attacks, and that the documents appeared to have been drawn up for the parties who are financing the activities.

“And there’s no question, again, that Iranian financing is taking place through the Quds force of the Iranian Republican Guards Corps.



Hammorabi
Hammorabi disagrees with Petreaus that the new plan is working. He says it is only training Al-Qaeda to get better. He also worries (and I don't get why this is a bad thing for Iraq) that the terrorists move into Syria:

It is not so far from seeing the example of Iraq in the other Arab countries and this time not by the US invasion but by the terrorists and not surprisingly the US itself may help to transfer such attacks to Syria and the others deliberately.
From what I hear, the Syria is the penultimate stop for jihadis coming to Iraq. If they decide to stay there instead, that suits me fine. The only explanation I can discern for this is that since Hammorabi is (I have inferred) a fan of Hezbollah, he is concerned for the well-being of that organization's protector.

BaghdadTreasure
BaghdadTreasure agrees with Hammorabi about the success of the new plan (I think). A couple weeks ago, that mad, troubled soul excoriated Sen. McCain for saying he saw progress in Iraq, and then he turned his rabid dander on the Democrats:

Democrats, wait. Don’t be so happy. You also suck. I am not a huge fan of US troops but I do believe that the withdrawal you are calling for is a big mistake. Of course, it is. Do you think invading a country and leaving it destroyed is something that history will be praising you for? Don’t you think that what your country did is very important to fix? But that’s just me thinking like this. You also proved you are no better than the Republicans. You proved how selfish you are. You didn’t even discuss the issue of the people of a country your country destroyed with tanks and stupid no-future plans.

And finally, it’s our fault that we had this feeling of trust and confidence in you. Alas! I really thought you are the leaders of the world. But it seems that you guys pay Hollywood hell of money to keep your ass covered. You beautify your image through movies which you use as propaganda to tell the world you are the “Jesus” of earth. Even Jesus has lost hope in you.

The Mesopotamian
Alaa "al-Coolhead" at The Mesopotamian suggests what he considers a middle course to US withdrawal and US engagement. He says:
Thus a middle course, which seems to me a sensible alternative, is for the U.S. and allied forces to withdraw to secure bases within Iraq and concentrate on providing training, material and strategic support to the Iraqi forces. This of course, hinges on bringing up these Iraqi forces to the required level of ability. But this process will be greatly accelerated by allowing these forces to work and manage on their own more and more, and ASAP. It is like any other training task. If you are teaching somebody to swim, the sooner you can let him float on his own the quicker will he become a swimmer. But of course the trainer must keep a watchful eye.

But I think, in general, the U.S. administration strategists understand all this; however, certain regional concerns seem to interfere with their good judgment at times. For instance, too much emphasis on the Sadrists and Muqtada, loathsome as they maybe; is just deflecting attention from the immediate main threat. I have warned about that before. Indeed, one of the factors that are slowing the new security plan is the preoccupation with Sadr City and similar areas while neglecting the more dangerous hotbeds of Baghdad.
Well, okay, but the kink in his plan IMO is the part in which we "bring Iraqi forces to the required level of ability."

24StepsToLiberty
24StepsToLiberty seems to agree. He says in his comment section (At 7:01 PM) that he is not for a pull-out of US troops, however:
I do think they should retreat to their bases for one reason only: they shouldn’t get killed in the civil war that is happening in Iraq.

CMAR II
I think my response to 24STL will suffice as a response to Alaa as well:

I appreciate this, however, I don't think it is practical, unfortunately. The Shi'a militas and the corrupt IP have so poisoned the trust between the people (Sunni Arabs especially) and the police that (so I'm am told) no one trusts the police unless they are with Coalition soldiers. It is heart-breaking but necessary for the US soldiers to be involved with the police work.

Furthermore, once the US forces seriously disengage from the fight in Iraq, political gravity in the US and Iraq will make it difficult to re-engage them. Worse, there is a good chance of parallel forces (I could spend a couple thousand words concisely detailing them) that would simultaneously and PERMANENTLY pull Iraq apart into sectarian and ethnic divisions while dragging US forces out of Iraq to US bases. The end result would a regional war that would include every nation adjacent to Iraq, strengthen the enemies of liberty and civilization, and force American society into a permanent fortress mentality such as Israel has today.

As I summed it up to 24STL:

Like it or not, the US and the Iraqis are inseparable partners in the success or failure of a free Iraq.

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