Another item to add to the long list of incompetent features of the U.S. House of Representatives, in it's current form. The "surge" strategy in Iraq has only recently received the full compliment of troops and already has had dramatic improvement. Yet this hasn't stopped the House from passing a bill demanding a timetable to withdraw from Iraq.
Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.
The vote generally followed party lines: 219 Democrats and four Republicans in favor, and 191 Republicans and 10 Democrats opposed. (source)
It's appropriate that these fools decided on April 1st to complete the withdrawal. However, I doubt this ironic result will be seen as a knee-slapping, let's laugh together joke by the Iraqis that have worked with us to stabilize their country.
Across the nation, many believe we've lost and that it's impossible to win. They would do well to pay attention to actual conditions on the ground. Our success in Anbar province would be data against what they're saying. There are also those who had fought against us but have now turned against Al Qaeda. As our troops enter areas, locals are helping us locate IED's and rigged buildings. The surge has only recently received the full complement of troops and we've had that much success already. We really need to give this strategy time, if we don't and we leave to soon we will have created a loss that we can still avoid and only further solidified the view that our country is too soft to count on when the going get's tough, that we're an unreliable ally. We earned enough of that in Vietnam, Beirut, Somalia and when we let the Kurds down after the first Gulf War.
What can we expect when we leave Iraq? Just ask U.S Senator (D) Harry Reid:
*chirp* *chirp* *chirp*
Ace covers Reid's refusal to answer and gives well deserved praise to the liberal reporter who tried to get Harry Reid to answer the simple question.
TAPPER: With all due respect, Senator, you didn't answer my question.
REID: OK. This is not a debate.
TAPPER: Will the Iraqis be safer?
REID: We're answering questions. (calling on someone else) Yes, young man? Anyone else have a question?
If we look at recent history, we can reasonably conclude that Iraq will descend into some mixture of increased violence, with Al Qaeda extending it's reach and control. Every time we've vacated an area of Iraq, Al Qaeda has entered and terrorized the citizens with atrocities and taken over. What kind of thought process thinks we will have the opposite result when we leave all of Iraq before the Iraqi army or police force are capable? I would ask Harry Reid for an answer but I think we should give the crickets a break.
Several Republicans voted for this foolishness, here are the names. (source)
The Senate may have even more Republicans stupid enough to vote for this. I bet my Senator, Richard Lugar, will continue his nitwit streak from Shamnesty by supporting a measure similar to the house, if not identical, when it's taken up by the Senate. Fortunately, the President has of course vowed to veto any bill with a timetable. While I've been frustrated with his stubbornness in the recent past (Shamnesty) it will be welcomed on this matter.
What's frustrating is that now that we're having military success, so many are choosing to quit and snuggle up to a defeat that they've unnecessarily created. Much foolishness and plain old crass political posturing with disrespect and disregard for our soldiers in the field and those who have sacrificed their lives is to blame here, but that's just stating the obvious. Charles Krauthammer brings the point home with this:
The tragedy is that, just as a working strategy has been found, some Republicans in the Senate have lost heart and want to pull the plug.
...What is not understandable is the vote of no confidence they are passing on Petraeus. These are the same senators who sent him back to Iraq by an 81 to 0 vote to institute his new counterinsurgency strategy.
A month ago, Petraeus was asked whether we could still win in Iraq. The general, who had recently attended two memorial services for soldiers lost under his command, replied that if he thought he could not succeed he would not be risking the life of a single soldier.
Just this week, Petraeus said that the one thing he needs more than anything else is time. To cut off Petraeus's plan just as it is beginning -- the last surge troops arrived only last month -- on the assumption that we cannot succeed is to declare Petraeus either deluded or dishonorable. Deluded in that, as the best-positioned American in Baghdad, he still believes we can succeed. Or dishonorable in pretending to believe in victory and sending soldiers to die in what he really knows is an already failed strategy.
...we finally have a counterinsurgency strategy in place that is showing success against the one enemy -- al-Qaeda -- that both critics and supporters of the war maintain must be fought everywhere and at all cost. (source)
Will these fools in Congress and the MSM take responsibility should their attempts at undermining the war be successful, but then result in tremendous bloodshed and expanding regional violence? The answer is obviously no, but that will do nothing to remove the stench of delusion and dishonor they will have earned. Perhaps they'll feel relief that this country and the world will be too distracted by an expanding cauldron of violence and terrorism to notice their blood stained hands.
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