Tomorrow, the House will be debating the Iraq War and the overall "waronterrahTM", which I guess we should at least be giving them props for doing as opposed to, oh, say flag burning or discriminating against same sex marriages.
And of course, House Majority Leader John Boehner is putting on a shiny happy face about having a fresh debate on the matter while behind the scenes they are planning more of the same tired old gameplan of obscuring the truth and attacking opponents.
Fortunately, the good folks at thinkprogress have gotten their hands on a "confidential message memo" from Boehner to House Republicans on how they are going to "debate" the absolute mess that has become civil war in Iraq.
Oh sure, we get the same tired pathetic attempts at "playing nice" and wanting to get to the bottom of the discussion from Republican House members:
House majority leader John Boehner (R) of Ohio, who has long planned for this week's debate, hopes to match the serious, dignified tone of deliberation that preceded the Gulf war, in 1991. Most of his GOP colleagues support the idea.
"The House is a debating society in the best sense of the word," says Rep. Henry Hyde (R) of Illinois, chairman of the International Relations Committee. "Everyone that listens with an open mind will find an aspect to this that they hadn't thought of."
It's the right thing to do," says Rep. Christopher Shays (R) of Connecticut, who has been to Iraq 12 times, more than any other member. "There's a logic in debating an issue that has not turned out like any of us hoped, and then determine why that's the case."
But of course, the true intent is to do what the Republicans do best - willfully and incorrectly link Iraq to 9/11, smear opponents as "sheepish", and rekindle the "either you are for war in Iraq or you are for the terrorists" attacks on those who dare question Dear Leader and his merry band of war criminals.
The entire (2 page) memo is here but I have copied a few of the choice sections below (emphasis mine):
During this debate, our Republican Conference should be focused on delivering these key points:
The Importance of Our Actions
It is imperative during this debate that we re-examine the conditions that required the United States to take military action in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Link Iraq to 9/11. Always a tried and true strategy, despite the overwhelming evidence that Iraq had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with 9/11.
The attacks we witnessed that day serve as a reminder of the dangers we face as a nation in a post-9/11 world. We can no longer expect oceans between us and our enemies to keep us safe. The plotting and planning taking place in terror camps protected by rogue regimes could no longer go unchecked or unchallenged. In a post-9/11 world, we could no longer allow despots and dictators like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein to ignore international sanctions and resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council.
We are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. Another great lie that we have heard so much of. Not to mention that Bush and the neocons have basically ignored the UN when it came to the illegal invasion of Iraq.
So, during this debate we must make clear to the American people that the United States had to take action in the best interests of the security of our nation and the world community. As Republicans who supported military action against Saddam Hussein and terrorists around the globe, the United States had to show our resolve as the world's premier defender of freedom and liberty before such ideals were preyed upon, rather than after standing witness to their demise at the hands of our enemies.
Lump Saddam in with terrorists around the world. While it may very well be that he was a horrific dictator that did horrific things to Iraqis, that isn't why we were told we HAD to invade Iraq. And we can't forget to call the US the "world's premier defender of freedom and liberty" - except here in the US of course.
A Portrait of Contrasts
[w]e must conduct this debate as a portrait of contrasts between Republicans and Democrats with regard to one of the most important political issues of our era.
In a post-9/11 world, do we confront dangerous regimes and the threat of terrorism with strength and resolve, or do we instead abandon our efforts against these threats in the hopes that they will just fade away on their own?
Nice push poll-type question. How about this one instead: Are you for killing thousands of innocent people and pissing off the entire world, thereby making the US less safe or are you for actually doing the things that are necessary to make the US safer? I bet the Republicans don't want the question framed THAT way....
Republicans believe victory in Iraq will be an important blow to terrorism and the threat it poses around the world. Democrats, on the other hand, are prone to waver endlessly about the use of force to protect American ideals. Capitol Hill Democrats' only specific policy proposals are to concede defeat on the battlefield and instead, merely manage the threat of terrorism and the danger it poses.
These are troubling policies to embrace in a post-9/11 world. During this debate, we need to clarify just how wrong the Democrats' weak approach is and just how dangerous their implementation would be to both the short-term and long-term national security interests of the United States.
Ooooooooh, those evil and wimpy Democrats don't want to kill innocents and ruin what little goodwill the US may have left by actually trying to come up with a reasonable solution other than "let's keep killing `em all!!" And please tell me how this haphazard and dangerous post invasion "plan" is helping the short and long-term national security interests of the US. I'd love to hear it.
Resolve Will Triumph Over Retreat
As a result of our efforts during this debate, Americans will recognize that on the issue of national security, they have a clear choice between a Republican Party aware of the stakes and dedicated to victory, versus a Democrat Party without a coherent national security policy that sheepishly dismisses the challenges America faces in a post- 9/11 world.
And just what is that coherent national security policy that the Republicans have? Other than to bomb (or threaten to bomb) every country that has oil or "brown people" and to scare Americans into giving up their civil liberties?
Democrats are all too eager to seize upon the challenges we face as their rationale or motivation for retreat. As Republicans, we understand the diplomatic and national security hazards of such a move. We must echo the American public's understanding of just how great the stakes are in Iraq and our long-term efforts to win the War on Terrorism.
Just shameless. But hey, thanks for being sloppy enough to allow your talking points memo of "divide the country and obscure the facts" to get out a day in advance.