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Congresscritters Courageous

(Author's note: Crap. Since I finished this piece, it's been OBE -- Overtaken By Events I put too much into it, though, to just let it go to waste, so I'm going to let it stand as a testimonial to "what might have been.")

Earlier today, I lambasted Congress for cowardice. In the interest of keeping things "fair and balanced," to coin a phrase, I'm now going to praise their courage -- and, just to keep things interesting, openly disagree with a colleague.

WIth the current move in Congress to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, Congress is -- finally -- putting deeds to its words in opposing the war in Iraq. It's a refreshing bit of honesty and forthrightness, Congress actually doing its Constitutional duty and ACTING on its beliefs, instead of debating utterly worthless "non-binding resolutions" and seeing who can brag the loudest about how they were fooled and deceived and tricked by the Bush administration (which merely echoed and elaborated the same information and intelligence that had been around for over a decade) into voting for the AUMF in the first place.

(A quick aside: whose bright idea was it to argue that "we were fooled and deceived and manipulated by a man whose intelligence we routinely compare to a chimpanzee's" would be a winning point? And what kind of people are actually thinking that's a strength? But I digress.)

Now that they are actually trying something substantial, we might -- MIGHT -- just be able to discuss the matter reasonably, rationally, and with a possibility that something might get settled. It's long overdue.

That being said, I happen to think that the resolution is incredibly wrong.

The "surge" strategy has barely begun to be tested -- and early indicators are that it might be working. It ought to be given a chance -- and a real one. Because in war, there is no substitute for victory.

I'd also like to see some scenarios that describe the aftermath of a US pullout. Just to choose one possibility, John Kerry and Russ Feingold's plan to withdraw all American forces by July 1, 2007.

I have my own ideas of just what would happen, and I might pull them together over the next day or two. In the meantime, I'd like to invite some of the regular detractors around here to do the same, saying what they think will happen if these gentleman's plans were to come to fruition. And remember, one of them is, by frequent argument, the guy who should be Commander In Chief today.

In the meantime, though, kudos to Congress for actually getting off their asses and actually -- just maybe -- doing something.


Comments (47)

So the "Democrats Iraq Do O... (Below threshold)
lb:

So the "Democrats Iraq Do Over" has been postponed. Snicker Snort Snort.

Great post Jay.And... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Great post Jay.

And the fact that you were "Overtaken by events" is only more evidence that those who say the 2006 election was a refferendum on the Iraq war are members of the fabricated reality based community.

"Because in war, there is n... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Because in war, there is no substitute for victory." by Jay

How true, but what is the definition of victory or even of a successful conclusion to the "surge"?

According R. Pearl in NewsMax, the insurgency was not inevitable, but caused by the Administration's incompetence.

Why should we believe that Bush's "surge" will work when he refuses to announce success metrics? Even the plan is a bastardization of what the authors of the surge wanted (30K to 50K force).

(Author's note: C... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:
(Author's note: Crap. Since I finished this piece, it's been OBE -- Overtaken By Events I put too much into it, though, to just let it go to waste, so I'm going to let it stand as a testimonial to "what might have been.")

The Democrats are hardly in agreement on whether a resolution of no legal consequence is the most pressing issue facing the country.. they do tend to flip-flop.

I must not understand what ... (Below threshold)
Charlie:

I must not understand what you think Congress is going to do since Harry Reid has backed off any action on Biden's motion.

Levin on weekend TV acknowledged that they do not have the votes to defund the war. Lieberman has threated to turn the Dems into a minority again if they get too feisty.

The reality is the Dems will do nothing.

I'm all for the Democrats a... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I'm all for the Democrats actually moving to end the war quickly over a death of a thousand cuts. But I want them to use one of their checks as in checks and balances to do it.

The reason for that is that the President is Commander in Chief. And although a technicality, he should be the one to give the orders to cease combat.

Otherwise you might as well turn over control of the operation of the military to Congress. There's a reason for our division of powers and why a central figure has control of the military and foreign affairs.

... and early indicators ar... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

... and early indicators are that it might be working.

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded near a park west of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 18 boys on a soccer field, police said.

While I would be giddy watc... (Below threshold)

While I would be giddy watching them commit a slow and methodical political suicide by outright defunding the war and pulling troops, no matter what steps they take to get there, the fate of the Iraqi people, and the Middle East as a whole and the consequences we as a nation would face far outweigh my own happiness.

The problem is, these people have a goldfish's memory and a short attention span. If the media isn't covering the resulting carnage, it won't exist for them. There'll be not one, but a hundred Eason Jordan's there telling us how grand things turned out.

Old barney g is right on cu... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Old barney g is right on cue--showing his true colors--a America hater in the ist sense. Piss on you asshole.

Another hypocritical stance... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Another hypocritical stance of the lefties. Troll Barney said 18 boys were killed in Iraq today. Children really. Instead of stating that the animals that kill children should pay, he takes the stance that it is GW's fault. I thought lefties cared about the children? ww

I'd also like to see som... (Below threshold)

I'd also like to see some scenarios that describe the aftermath of a US pullout.

The most likely scenario is a period of civil war that results in a separation of Iraq's 3 warring parties: Sunni, Shia, and Kurd into separate states. It will be similar to what happened in Yugoslavia in the 80's and 90's.

The Shiites, having 60% of the population, control of the government, army and police, and the support of both the US and Iran should come out on top. The Sunnis will be driven out and forced into the Anbar and Salah-ad-Din provinces. Baghdad will likely be split in two along the river (W is Sunni, E is Shia).

The new Shiite country will be an Islamic republic along the lines of Iran. The Sunni country will be a dictatorship but will be allied with the Saudis since they will be impoverished and entirely dependent on foreign support. The Al Qaeda presence there will significantly diminish since there will be no US forces there to attract jihadists. Once we are out, the Sunni tribes will turn on the Al Qaeda that remain and wipe them out. Kurdistan will be a nominal ally of the US and we will (and should) maintain some presence there.

This will be the inevitable outcome regardless of how long we stay in Iraq. Heck, even the Czechs and the Slovaks couldn't live together after communism collapsed. Why in the world we except the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds to live together is beyond me. This outcome won't be the end of the world. In fact, it may end up giving us a much more stable situation than we have right now.


"..a America hater in the i... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"..a America hater in the ist sense. " jhow

The "ist" sense? Is that like spidey sense, because that would be cool?

But you got the message did... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

But you got the message didn't you ASSHOLE?

Barney,In referenc... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Barney,

In reference to our last discussion on the matter of safety in Iraq...if you care to apply some effort to making your point, perhaps you could gather some information on the violence happening a month ago as compared to now?

Here, I'll start you off.

Like many other soldiers at the COP he relishes the chance to drive towards gunfire and separate the combatants in Iraq's sectarian war. That was routine for his platoon until a few days ago, when the violence suddenly dropped almost to nothing. One soldier said he used to doze off at night by imagining the gunfire was the sound of rain on a tin roof. Now the nights are virtually silent. That's unusual for any Baghdad neighborhood, and eerie for a notoriously violent place like Ghazaliyah.

No, not violence-free, but could there be improvement?

If you find a place in any country that is completely devoid of violence, you've found a place unihabited by humans.

Spidey sense is tingling.<b... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Spidey sense is tingling.

A quick aside: whose bri... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

A quick aside: whose bright idea was it to argue that "we were fooled and deceived and manipulated by a man whose intelligence we routinely compare to a chimpanzee's" would be a winning point? And what kind of people are actually thinking that's a strength? But I digress.

Another straw man bites the dust. Provide a link or a quote here. Who actually said this?

"Many parts of Iraq are sta... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, uh, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone." Laura Bush


BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded near a park west of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 18 boys on a soccer field, police said.

If it wasn't for damn kids!

I'd also like to see som... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I'd also like to see some scenarios that describe the aftermath of a US pullout. Just to choose one possibility, John Kerry and Russ Feingold's plan to withdraw all American forces by July 1, 2007.

Sooner or later, there will be a pullout.

And when that happens, the majority will assert its will and Iraq will then become an Islamic Republic, hostile to the west and liable to lend aid to al Qaeda or whoever else is shlepping around in the terrorist trade.

This outcome is as inevitable as neoconservatives blaming the left for this failure of policy.

Yes: it's that certain. A mortal lock.

It was always going to happen, regardless of how long we stayed -- and more likely the longer we stay, given that we're seen as an occupying force by the majority of Iraqis, Sunni and Shiite.

Always. Inevitable.

Now start your obscene, puerile sniping; I have work to do.

It's pretty clear that the ... (Below threshold)
TR19667:

It's pretty clear that the surge MUST NOT be successful for the liberals to prosper. They've clearly invested in defeat and bet against the military.

Nice play, fools.

Are you trying to prove Lau... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Are you trying to prove Laura's point Barney, or you trying to avoid addressing mine?

With very minor differences... (Below threshold)
mantis:

With very minor differences, I would agree that the scenario Larkin spelled out is most likely.

I think that Baghdad being split down the middle could occur, but such a situation would be untenable. I'm also not sure that Al Qaeda would be driven out completely by Sunni tribes (some support Al Qaeda, some don't; there would be infighting among the Sunni), but the draw to Iraq for them would certainly diminish in our absence. Their continued presence would also depend on the actions of the neighboring Shia state and Iran.

By pressuring for results a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

By pressuring for results and threatening to cut off funds, Congress is helping Bush put the screws to the regimes in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

I'd have thought you conservatives were big enough fans of "24" to recognize "good cop, bad cop" when you see it.

Lee,Interesting co... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Lee,

Interesting conclusion. Do you actually think it's the case?

Lee, excellent point with t... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

Lee, excellent point with the "Good cop, Bad Cop" analogy. Could it be this may be part of Bush's plan all along? If so the Democrats fell for it and, by the way, looked like Bufoons in the process.

I don't see good things hap... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

I don't see good things happening in Iraq, whether we stay or leave. It's a terribly divided country.

Of course, Iran is playing it's cards----trying to use religious ties to gain control. But Iranians aren't arabs...

Which is stronger: Iran's Shiite "appeal", or Iraqi's desire to NOT be dominated by non-arabs?

Any guesses? (I don't, but I'm curious!)

This outcome is as inevitab... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

This outcome is as inevitable as neoconservatives blaming the left for this failure of policy. Astigafa

Astigafa, you will be happy to know that at least one neocon is more than happy to blame the President and his administration (just not himself):

R. Perle views in Iraq, NewsMax 2/26/07: He (Bush) has an administration that not only does not implement his policies, they are often hostile to his policies. He has failed to gain control of his own administration.

Condi [former head of the National Security Council and now Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] was in way over her head from the beginning, and the president gave much too much weight to her views.

Yes. I think it was a mistake to disband the [Iraqi] army the way it was done. But the big mistake was not handing things over to the Iraqis immediately. If you are in a position of occupation and you can't get the electricity going, you're bound to inspire an insurgency. I don't think that insurgency was inevitable.

Now start your obs... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:
Now start your obscene, puerile sniping; I have work to do.

And those who disagree with you do not "have work to do"? Astigafa, among other things, you are a sanctimonious POS.

Heralder - Yes, I do. I thi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Heralder - Yes, I do. I think both Bush and Pelosi realize there is a value to having Congress apply pressure via threats for funding cutoff. I didn't put it together until I saw this yesterday

WASHINGTON - President Bush has decided to send an unusually tough message to one of his most important allies, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, warning him that the newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country unless his forces became far more aggressive in hunting down operatives with al-Qaeda, senior administration officials say.

The decision came after the White House concluded that Musharraf is failing to live up to commitments he made to Bush during a visit here in September. Musharraf insisted then, both in private and public, that a peace deal he struck with tribal leaders in one of the country's most lawless border areas would not diminish the hunt for the leaders of al-Qaeda and the Taliban or their training camps.

President Bush is playing the cards perfectly. At this point, the more that guys like Murtha threaten to cut funds completely, the better this strategy plays out..

Notice that Congress is slowly escalating the threat of funding cuts higher and higher, turning up the heat as time progresses. It's a beautiful strategy, and if it doesn't work perhaps the cutting of funds is the best choice after all We can't hold their hands forever - or at least - we shouldn't have to...

We Democrats have a role to play in his game of chess - and I think we're fulfilling that role.

"We Democrats have a rol... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"We Democrats have a role to play in his game of chess "

Yes, you "democrats" make good pawns...

Heralder - It looks like <a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Heralder - It looks like this is a part of the new game plan as well.

The United States and the Iraqi government are launching a new diplomatic initiative to invite Iran and Syria to a "neighbors meeting" on stabilizing Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday.

"We hope that all governments seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region," Rice said in remarks prepared for delivery to a Senate committee. Excerpts were released in advance by the State Department.

The move reflects a change of approach by the Bush administration, which previously had resisted calls by members of Congress and by a bipartisan Iraq review group to include Iran and Syria in diplomatic talks on stabilizing Iraq.

"I am pleased to announce that we are also supporting the Iraqis in a new diplomatic offensive: to build greater support, both within the region and beyond, for peace and prosperity in Iraq," Rice said, adding that U.S. and Iraqi officials agree that success in Iraq "requires the positive support of Iraq's neighbors."

This represents a rather major phase shift, and it's in-line with what the Democrats have been calling for.

A little even-handedness mi... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

A little even-handedness might do some good. Not necessarily in the respect that Iran and Syria will suddenly agree with us and mend thier ways, but at least it will be seen that a diplomatic process has been attempted.

I would suscribe a little more to the conclusion that the Democrats and the Administration are working together on this if efforts to defund our own troops weren't still present.

"Now that they are actually... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Now that they are actually trying something substantial, we might -- MIGHT -- just be able to discuss the matter reasonably, rationally, and with a possibility that something might get settled."

Well, Jay, if you think that the consequences and negative effects of the democrat's actions are going to be discussed reasonably & rationally, you are dreaming. The democrats will not allow those unpleasent things to be discussed.

"Pelosi said. 'It has no place in our debate.'"

To the left, it's their intentions that matter. The realities of the consequnces of their actions are off limits.

I'd also like to see som... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I'd also like to see some scenarios that describe the aftermath of a US pullout.
...
I have my own ideas of just what would happen, and I might pull them together over the next day or two.

Jay, I would be more interested in hearing your scenario for "victory". How will specific action that the US has taken (or should take) result in a peaceful and US-friendly Iraq, with our troops home and out of harm's way, and the elimination of the threat from Al Qaeda.

"I would subscribe a lit... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"I would subscribe a little more to the conclusion that the Democrats and the Administration are working together on this if efforts to defund our own troops weren't still present."

When those efforts come closer to reality you may have reason for concern - right now it's all just talk, and the talk is having a positive effect on the situation imho.

The only people upset by the talk are those who can't see past the red nose on their face, and/or those that feel that they can gain political ground by demonizing the Democrats.

The opinion of short-sighted people has never mattered much in the overall scheme of things. As my father taught me - small things effect small minds. Who cares what the little Byrds and Jays think -- I don't.

Lee,Righteous or n... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Lee,

Righteous or no, I think many get upset over the threat of defunding our military because of the consequences it could have. It seems like no small thing given that future of two nations could be negatively affected by the outcome.

But, as you say, right now it's just talk. I'm interested to see how both of these recent developments pan out.

This is a little late in th... (Below threshold)
marc:

This is a little late in the thread from the original thread but bares noting:

Spidey sense is tingling. Posted by: BarneyG2000 at February 27, 2007 12:22 PM

A sure sign of frequent and incoherent brain activity.

Whatever happens to the mil... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Whatever happens to the military is not important to Democrats. All that really matters is that the next President (possibly a Democrat) NOT have to deal with Iraq.

THAT is your real deadline.

"right now it's all just... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"right now it's all just talk"

The "talk" of the democrats (not supporting, pulling out, defunding) does have real world effects however. It negatively effects the morale of the US & Allied forces and it positively effects the morale of the terrorists.

Thus the democrats "talk" results in strengthening the enemy. But Lee seems to think: "the talk is having a positive effect on the situation"

I guess those of us who don't have blue noses think helping the enemy is not a positive thing.

The "talk"... does have ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The "talk"... does have real world effects however. It negatively effects the morale of the US & Allied forces and it positively effects the morale of the terrorists.

Well, boo hoo for morale. But the failed policies of this administration have actual consequences that should be given more consideration than the terrorists' morale.

I guess those of us who don't have blue noses think helping the enemy is not a positive thing.

No, it's just that you have your non-blue nose so far up Bush's butt that you can't see anything else.

Back to the past...I love i... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Back to the past...I love irony..we feel obligated to reduce ourselves and others into labels...
ok let me give a label..
The Right...starting in March 2002..what claims and/or forecasts concerning our involvement in Iraq by the "Right" ...have been right? It does not mean being wrong almost all the time does not mean you are not still "Right" ...what it does mean..based on reality..is almost every claim or prediction made by those you despise..have been right...Based on reality ..I hereby proclaim "moonbats" as the true party of the Right...
...unless of course..by September the "surge" has made Baghdad peaceful...after all there is the law of probablity...it is hard to be wrong..all the time..

"The "talk" of the democ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"The "talk" of the democrats (not supporting, pulling out, defunding) does have real world effects however. It negatively effects the morale of the US & Allied forces and it positively effects the morale of the terrorists."

Quit yer whining baby bunyan. War is hell.

And explain how it helps the enemy. That's just Malkin/Byrd/Priestap bullshit...

"No, it's just that you ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"No, it's just that you have your non-blue nose so far up Bush's butt that you can't see anything else."

Saw this too late, but it says it all...

I think its actually your g... (Below threshold)
TheManTheMyth:

I think its actually your gay-ass sense that's tingling, Barney Traitor

Lee, are you really that st... (Below threshold)
TheManTheMyth:

Lee, are you really that stupid? Or just posting from Mecca?

Nope, I'm really that stupi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Nope, I'm really that stupid.

Though this might not be ge... (Below threshold)
DCE:

Though this might not be germane to this thread, we must remember that US troops are still in Europe 62 years after the end of World War II. Will US troops still be in Iraq 62 years after the end of hostilities there?

I could think of worse things.

Lee - If, in WW2, ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Lee -

If, in WW2, around 1943 or so, there were SERIOUS discussions in the House and Senate with the Republicans trying hard to defund the war (since so much money was going to arms manufacturers, and items were rationed, and casualties were so high) don't you think the Nazis and the Japanese would have LOVED to think that all they had to do was inflict some more casualties and the enemy would go away?

Watching your enemy's factions squabble over whether to fight or not HAS to be encouraging. And it's not like the information's limited to the continental borders - with the internet you get CNN in Tehran just as easily as in New York. What do you think the war planners in Iran think of Murtha's slow bleed plan to get the military to the point where it can't fight? Are they disappointed or anticipating a time when the US will once again be a weak adversary?

In the '80s, if Pravda had daily reports on infighting in the Politibureau do you think our military would have felt reassured that supporting the Afghans against the USSR's invasion would be the correct thing?

A lot of politics is preaching to the choir - but they seem to ignore the sound goes way outside the church.




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