Friday, April 06, 2007

Senator Feingold Evokes Somalia in Describing Iraq Withdrawal Resolution: Hypocrisy Ensues

In comments to a recent post by Treasure of Baghdad (“You Both Suck4/3/07), I stated my belief that the Democrats don’t really want to fix Iraq. I was specifically thinking about the positions on the war in Iraq by the Democrat’s candidates for President in ’08. This is how I put it:
“None of the dems have a plan to fix Iraq, only to get our troops out and let AQ, criminals, the insurgency, the militias, and the weak gov't slug it out, with Iraqi civilians in the middle as usual. Small exception for Clinton, who says she would pursue AQ but turn our backs on sectarian killing.”

Commenter annie thought she caught me in a lie, and posted this:

None of the dems have a plan to fix Iraq, only to get our troops out and let AQ, criminals, the insurgency, the militias, and the weak gov't slug it out


one of the 'narrow' exceptions..

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

Annie’s link goes to a press release from Senator Feingold about his bill to withdraw US forces from Iraq, effective March 31, 2008. Although she omitted the part where I granted Clinton a small exception for continuing to fight al Qaeda, which was important for the Presidential candidates I had in mind, her excerpt still proves my point by specifying “international terrorist organizations”. In other words, the Feingold resolution doesn’t vow to fight terrorists in Iraq, just those that threaten to spill out of Iraq. I tried to point this out to her:

Annie, do you know the difference between "international" and "domestic" terrorist organizations? the language should make it clear which one the dems care about. They have no interest in helping Iraqis.

Annie doesn’t say whether she knows the difference or not. She posts this instead:

"domestic" terrorist organizations?

rhus, i noticed you did not acknowledge that what you said about the dems regarding AQ was totally incorrect. some of the other 'exceptions' were training the iraqi troops, and leaving 'security' behind to 'protect infrastructer'.

My reply:

What I said about the dems, phrased slightly more clearly here, is that they don't give a rat's *ss about Iraqis. You called that a lie, but the text of the Senate resolution was more proof to my point. Al Queda in Iraq, their successor the Islamic State of Iraq, and all of the other market place resistors in Iraq would be classified as "domestic" terrorist groups, especially for a party that just wants to turn their backs on "bush's War". Training Iraqis, fine, that helps a little. But 'protect infrastructer'? you mean:

"(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel."

You accidentally left out the "United States" part.

The dems just don't give a rat's *ss about Iraqis, annie.

We went back and forth along those lines for a few more posts, and pick up this commentary when annie said:

your 'implications' are absurd.
anyone can just call fiengolds office and ask. "oh, btw, excuuuse me, the 'exceptions including AQ, did you mean their operations in iraq??" lol, da.

And this is how we get to where I took a look at some of Feingold’s other press releases. My comment in full:

annie: "there is absolutely nothing in the resolution that " excludes al Qaeda in Iraq."

So if the terrorists blow up an Iraqi marketplace after the resolution is in effect, you think the dems will risk Americans to pursue the attackers or prevent other attacks? Or would they say "that's domestic terrorism. Our narrow exceptions only allow action on international terrorism"? Which one, annie, and why?

annie: "your 'implications' are absurd.
anyone can just call fiengolds office and ask."

"Senator Fiengold, do you give a rat's *ss about what happens to Iraqis after your resolution goes into effect?" That would be great. But you think I'd be able to speak to him? I'm not even one of his constituents. I did find an op-ed here though. It doesn't mention Iraqi citizens even once, nor does it express any concern whatsoever about what happens to the country after we leave. This is how it addresses the "narrow conditions":

"After March, funding for the war in Iraq would be cut off, with three narrow exceptions -- targeted counterterrorism operations, protection of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and training and equipping Iraqi forces."

It doesn't say what he means by "targeted", does he? But it should be clear that he doesn't give a rat's *ss for Iraq or the Iraqis.

OK, now this is awesome. You will enjoy this. That op-ed parallels the situation in Iraq with the situation in Somalia. You remember Somalia, right? America enterred to intervene in their civil war and save tens of thousands of starving Somalis. The mission expanded to pursue warlords who were fueling the violence. We lost some helicopters, lost some soldiers, lost our nerve, and withdrew. Somalia's violence continued to the present day, but nobody in Congress gave a rat's *ss about them. I know you will like this, because it was a Republican congress that forced the withdrawal back then. This is how Feingold put it:

"Many Americans remember the tragic deaths of U.S. troops in Somalia

As Congress debates the war in Iraq, the congressional debate over Somalia 14 years ago has some surprising parallels. Without question, Somalia in 1993 differs in many ways from Iraq in 2007, from the scope of the mission to the reason for that mission in the first place. What hasn't changed, however, is Congress' constitutional power to end a military mission, and its ability to use that power without endangering the safety of our brave troops.

That is exactly what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and I propose to do with legislation we will introduce when the Senate reconvenes next week."

OK? Are you with me so far? Now, look at another op-ed by Feingold from January 16, 2007:

"Recent reports that terrorists and hard-line members of the Islamic Courts in Somalia are on the run are capturing headlines. But that is only a small part of Somalia's story, and it shouldn't take our focus off the bigger challenge: Unless the United States helps create stability in Somalia, that country will remain what it has been since the early 1990s – a haven for terrorists and warlords, and a source of instability in a critical region."

Holy cr*p, annie! Did you see that? That was an op-ed from the same Senator, written just a few months before he uses Somalia as an example of what Congress can, and in his opinion, should do in Iraq. Read both op-eds, annie. They are short. But OK, here's another excerpt:

"The US should take at least three critical steps to bring stability to Somalia in the coming weeks and months.

First, America needs to ramp up diplomatic efforts to build support for a robust international peacekeeping force that can deploy to SomaliaUS will need to help – not necessarily with troops, but with airlift and logistical support and training."

OK, do you understand what he's saying? Can I just leave it alone and let you comprehend that?

Alright, one more:

"Previous US attempts to resolve the competing and violent dynamics in Somalia have failed. Americans cannot forget that. But we cannot allow our past to overshadow the pressing security concerns we face in the region today. We have an opportunity to help the Somali people dig themselves out of almost two decades of chaos and to strengthen our national security. But if our government does not move quickly and aggressively on all fronts, Somalia will continue to be a haven for terrorist networks and a source of instability that pose a direct threat to the United States."

So he gives a rat's *ss about the Somalis there, in an op-ed written in January 2007, but cites turning our backs on them 14 years ago as an example of what we should do now, in Iraq! Un-frigging-believable.

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