While it is noble for some republican Senators to come out and finally realize the death, destruction, raging civil war, chaos and near genocide in Iraq is not getting any better and that a “change of course” is warranted, there has really been much of a free pass about the complete insanity of calls to wait until September or October for Bush to come up with a “new plan” or Petraeus to give his not-so-long awaited “progress report” with respect to the escalation.
We have been told in clear terms that all of the benchmarks outlined back in January are failing or have not been met.
We have been told that the threat from al Qaeda has not decreased since 9/11. In fact, this very statement, simply stated, completely repudiates the entire approach taken by the Bush administration and supported by the neocons, the republican party, Joe Lieberman, the fighting keyboardists and the other chickenhawk warmongers since we were attacked in 2001.
To talk about any further waiting before a strong push for withdrawal or a significant reduction in forces as well as a massive change in course with respect to Iraq can be summed up in two words: cowardly and unpatriotic.
What makes things even worse, not to mention more of an example of how demoralized this country SHOULD be when it comes to fighting those who attacked us, we are not only losing in Iraq, but also against al Qaeda in Pakistan (per Bush’s own aides), and are losing in Afghanistan to the Taliban and al Qaeda resurgence.
If these three undisputable facts don’t show that we are not only losing the two
non wars that we started, but also a third in Pakistan that we haven’t even started. I’ll also point out here that the $750 million that the US has pledged to the lawless region in Pakistan is rightfully thought by many to be another all time classic stupid initiative as the whole meaning of the word “lawless” seems to escape the brain trust behind this idea. If the region is “lawless” then how will at least some of the money not fall into enemy hands? Even if a small percentage will, how many weapons will a few hundred thousand buy that can be used against us?
Which brings me back to Iraq and the Senate slumber party last night. The NY Times article addressing this is titled “Democrats Lack Support to Force Vote on Pullout. While it does mention the words “Republican filibuster” in the very first paragraph, it features some of the same tired statements, which only serve to show the weak and spineless nature of the republican party.
From Norm Coleman:
“We need to change mission,” said Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota, who was among a handful of lawmakers who spent nearly the whole night in the chamber, listening to the debate. “But we have to do it thoughtfully, we have to do it strategically.”
Thoughtfully and strategically. Like not giving proper body armor. Or arming Sunni insurgents. Or not having any plan for the first 4 years to begin with. Or, for that measure, ignoring all of the evidence on the ground, the generals, former generals and expert after expert who warned of every single event that has happened to date.
Or playing “kick the can” for another few months and leaving our troops in the middle of a situation that they have no business being in, with no plan and the only measured results being of the “horrible” and “miserable” variety.
“It doesn’t pass the smell test,” Senator John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said of the Democratic criticism.
He and other Republicans challenged the wisdom of the withdrawal plan, saying it would short-circuit an escalation of military forces before the buildup had sufficient time to work, hand terrorist forces a victory, damage the nation’s reputation and leave Iraq in chaos.
Of course, six months was the timeframe given initially for where there HAD to be results – results which are holding true to all expectations when this ill advised escalation was first announced to begin with. As for the while “handing terrorists a victory”, I merely need to point to the recent study indicating that al Qaeda is stronger than ever, and that Bush’s own people indicated that the battle in Pakistan was lost. And with respect to our “nation’s reputation”, McCain should probably have thought about that before getting behind the PATRIOT Act, excusing the torture memos and actual torture, suspension of habeas corpus and the secret prison camps.
However, the so-called “brave brave republican Senators” like Warner, Lugar and Lamar Alexander who have “challenged the president with a call for a plan” which would merely recommend a new course in a few months and not really call for anything material is a farce among farces.
An insult upon tons of prior insults already heaped upon our troops by the republican party troop haters. It is disingenuous and serves absolutely nothing other than playing cheap political games with our own citizens lives. It is craven. It is absolutely ludicrous and should be only labeled as such.
There is absolutely nothing that can change for the better over the next two to three months – not on the Iraqi political side with the Parliament being on vacation for all of August, and the only thing they can agree upon is that our troops should leave. Not on the violence front as violence in every measurable metric has been increasing to unacceptable levels. Not on the security front as the Green Zone is now not even close to safe (unless you are a pandering visiting Senator and have the luxury of 500 troops protecting you).
To wait for an artificial date will only result in more death and destruction, on top of no accountability. It is dangerous and insane. And it is unpatriotic, and a slap in the face of our troops as well as the Iraqi civilians.
It should only be referred to in this manner. Loudly, forcefully and repeatedly.