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Iraq Roundup

[Update: The President will discuss the subject of Iraq in a press conference at 10:30 this morning.]

Here is a sampling of opinion from those telling Republicans not to go wobbly on Iraq.

Red State:

The war in Iraq is vital to America's national security and to the Global War on Terror. It is a fight which we are not currently losing on the ground, and which we will not lose if we commit to victory, rather than taking the path that appears easier, at least in the short term - abandoning yet another battlefield to the enemy.
...
The American military can win this fight. What is needed is for the American people, and their leaders, to put politics aside in favor of presenting a united front against those who, regardless what concessions we make, will do their utmost to kill us. The effort will take time; all successful counterinsurgencies have. The time that winning the peace in Iraq will take is compounded by the fact that, for the Iraqi people to decide to put their lives on the line and to stand together against their murderous enemies, we must first convince them that we are committed to staying there to support them for as long as it takes.

Their skepticism on the latter is justified. We fled the battlefield in Vietnam, in Beirut, and in Somalia after being hit in the mouth by our adversaries. Furthermore - and more relevantly - we abandoned the Iraqis in 1991, after encouraging them to revolt against Saddam and promising to stand behind them while they did so. It will take far more than three weeks at full strength and a few more months of operations against the insurgency in Iraq to convince the people there that we will stick with them for the long haul; however, without doing so, we cannot succeed.

Hugh Hewitt:

It is crucial to not that neither Senator Domenici nor Senator Smith has yet crossed the political Rubicon that is support for date-certain defeat. Indeed, no GOP senator up for re-election has yet voted for a timetable that passed, and so the need doesn't exist yet to organize other than a general boycott of the NRSC. But if enough Republicans defect to allow such a bill to pass, then the course is clear: I can't support someone who doesn't support victory. I suspect there are tens of thousands of Republican activists who feel the same way.
...

Even if a GOP senator gets everything else correct, if their vote allows the war to be lost, I don't know how a Republican activist can contribute to or work for their re-election. These senators may argue they are voting their conscience, but my conscience will demand that I at a minimum hope for their defeat as a clear expression of what the party expects on the key issue of our time. All of the GOP presidential candidates support the surge and a victory policy. The vast majority of Republicans do as well, and they believe very much that there is no alternative to winning in Iraq that leaves America safe and the jihadists defeated and without a new refuge. It is also a crucial part of the Republican platform to take the threat from iran very seriously and to agree with President Bush that Iran cannot be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. The tiny isolationist fringe within the GOP is loud but very small, and the demands for retreat from Iraq among Republicans is almost non-existent.

What GOP senators are doing is trying to placate some Democratic and independent voters, betting that their GOP voters will have no where else to go. This is a trend that has to be reversed, and the only way to reverse it is to send the very sharp message that on the war, there are no "free votes" if a defeatist bit of lawmaking is the result.

Ace:

These people supported the surge. In fact, many of them called for a surge before Bush announced a surge. And now that the surge is just beginning, and our troops are taking the inevitable additional casualties that come with taking a more aggressive stance against Al Qaeda, they're busy writing mash-notes to the terrorists in the form of withdrawal plans. This is unconscionable.

As a political matter, it's also ineffectual -- if the Democrats are right (or make themselves right by forcing a defeat), are these jackasses really thinking they can disown responsibility for the war by "distancing themselves from the surge" years after most Democrats declared Iraq a lost cause?

How many additional troop deaths do these people figure a few percentage points of approval are worth? 1% additional approval = 50 additional troop deaths caused by their encouraging Al Qaeda? 100? What's the exact number of additional dead soldiers and Marines they're willing to trade for a marginally better chance at the 2008 elections?...
They are undermining our troops in a war they authorized and surge they championed even as the surge is in its opening phase, and showing genuine success -- and they're encouraging Al Qaeda to kill even more troops.

This slow-bleed strategy is politically cute but militarily deadly -- if they want out of Iraq, they should call for the immediate withdrawal of all troops out of harm's way, not allow our troops to risk their hands, arms, legs, balls, and very lives for a war they've already given up on.

Tony Blankley (via Betsy Newmark):

None of these senators has even addressed the question of whether the U.S. is safer if we leave Iraq than if we stay. Isn't that the key question? The question is not whether the Iraqi government deserves American sacrifice on their behalf. Our sons and daughters are not fighting, being grievously wounded and dying for Iraq -- but for American vital interests. If this were just about Iraqi democracy, I might join the screaming for a quick exit.

But if al Qaeda can plausibly claim they drove America out of Iraq (just as they drove the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan) they will gain literally millions of new adherents in their struggle to destroy America and the West. We will then pay in blood, treasure and future wars vastly more than we are paying today to manage and eventually win our struggle in Iraq.

Our staying power, unflinching persistence in the face of adversity, muscular capacity to impose order on chaos and eventual slaughtering of terrorists who are trying to drive us out will do more to win the "hearts and minds" of potentially radical Islamists around the world than all the little sermons about our belief in Islam as the religion of peace. As Osama bin Laden once famously observed, people follow the strong horse.

We have two choices: Use our vast resources to prove we are the strong horse; or get ready to be taken to the glue factory.

National Review:

The Republicans breaking with Bush, in contrast, don't appear to be moved by such a deep-seated conviction on policy. Many of them are just worried about their poll ratings. But winning in Iraq should be more important, and they are misreading the politics in any case. If they force a premature drawdown, they will get no credit for belatedly endorsing the Democrats' position, and will share blame for the deterioration in conditions in Iraq that will inevitably occur throughout 2008.



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Comments (22)

It is time for conservative... (Below threshold)
Puck:

It is time for conservatives to let go of "supporting the president on Iraq." It is also time for President Bush to let go of this. And he will - soon - not because of the will of the people or public opinion but because of foreign policy realpolitics.

American foreign policy is driven by our slavish obedience to the racist polices of Israel and driven through Congress by AIPAC. Iraq is all-but-destroyed - certainly it is destabilized for a decade or more. Israel has welcomed this - even enforced it. Now it is time to make war against Iran and Israel needs America to do it.

We must not let our troops be withdrawn from Iraq only to be sent to Iran.

The smart thing for conservatives to do is withdraw from this debate leaving the Ds with two unpleasant options - angering those who elected them or angering their funding base which is heavily pro-Israel.

For conservatives it's time to remember Washington's aphorism about "foreign entanglements." Let's bring our boys home - and keep them there. And while we are at it - let's keep the Middle East far awy from our borders and our heartland.

1) We don't need to attack ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

1) We don't need to attack Iran. Economic sanctions are working, ref the riots over gas rationing last week.

2) We don't need to retreat from Iraq. The Iraqi's, with/without their government are finally taking a stand against terrorism, especially Al Quaeda. We need to support and encourage that. We need to stay until Al Quada is defeated in Iraq and their government is stable and can defend the country.

ANY and EVERY Republican wh... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

ANY and EVERY Republican who abandons our troops, our President and our country by raising a white flag I will work to defeat in their next election!

Anyone who reads the REAL reporting on what is happening in Iraq knows that alQueda is losing its ASS over there! The "surge" is working...the Iraqis are turning and turning IN alQueda and other Jihadis.

Wait until September, wobbly Repiblicans...at least!!!

Puck, you schmuck, how did ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Puck, you schmuck, how did the Dems avoid angering that joo base for the last four years?
===========================

Anyone who reads the REA... (Below threshold)

Anyone who reads the REAL reporting on what is happening in Iraq knows that alQueda is losing its ASS over there!

That is great news. So when can our troops come home?

You quote Washington about ... (Below threshold)
kim:

You quote Washington about 'foreign entanglements'. Have you been asleep for the last two centuries?
==============================

Yeah, let's pack up our bal... (Below threshold)
yo:

Yeah, let's pack up our ball(s) and go home.

This is too difficult. We're the strongest nation in the history of man, and we're going to allow a bunch of whackjobs - both internationally and domestically, push us around.

Someone check JFK's grave and listen for spinning noises.

We went to Iraq to offer democracy and stability to the region - both of which, without argument, would benefit the international community, not because it would be easy, but because it would be hard.

When the going gets tough, let's just pack it in.

The pussification of America is nearly complete and I am ashamed of Congress. Deeply and morally ashamed.

Wonder how much of my paycheck will be chopped to cover the "Vagisil Tax."

Focus on the Oil Rev... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


Focus on the Oil Revenue Sharing Agreement -- when the Iraqis sign away 70% of their profits from oil the collateral damage will subside.

Bush just said the leaked r... (Below threshold)
kim:

Bush just said the leaked report about al-Qaeda regaining pre 9/11 strength is not true.
================================

"Bush just said the leak... (Below threshold)

"Bush just said the leaked report about al-Qaeda regaining pre 9/11 strength is not true."

That's not surprising - the news that al-Qaeda is at full strength is absolutely devastating, and signals the total and complete failure of Bush's GWOT.

The question is... do you believe him? We're were seeing reports along these lines two months ago.

It is time for those that v... (Below threshold)
scrapiron Author Profile Page:

It is time for those that vote for any democrat to come back to reality. There is no 'democrat' party left. Haven't you noticed that the communist/socialist/radicals (and now the radicals of Islam) no longer field a candadiate for any office. They simple use the dimmy's to gain a foothold in offices across the country. (right now the so called democrat party is backing a known Islamic radical 'Osama Obama' for POTUS). If that isn't retarded they need to change the definition. The old time democrats all turned traitor/coward in the 60's so it's been easy for those that desire to destroy freedom and become the 'supreme' rulers of all to take over the once proud party. It's easy to see, watch any gathering of democrats? to see that they (ex. Dirty Harry and Pigloooshi) now consist of those that would kill every true American to gain power and money. Say what you want, they prove themselves traitors everyday and the proof is wide open to anyone who 'cares' to look. A party that bows and kisses a** of the likes of $oro$, Je$$ie and $harpton is nothing to be proud of.

"... and signals the total ... (Below threshold)
yo:

"... and signals the total and complete failure of Bush's GWOT."

It's not Bush's "GWOT", it's the free world's.

But, no man .. feel free to fold your hatred of the man into the mix of your over-dramatized defeatism and let's call it a day, shall we?

Again, it's not going our way so let's tear ourselves asunder from within, eh?

There's no issue of terrorism, and if there were, it's all our fault anyway .. blah blah blah ..

*yawn*

If Gore were in office, he might easy be saying the exact same things and you'd be carrying his water with both hands.

Ace of Spades says it all,<... (Below threshold)

Ace of Spades says it all,

Accepting for when the trials should start to try these bastards for sedition. ALL of the people playing politics with this war are traitors of no small magnitude, be they republican OR democrat. It's not enough to buy Sen. Voinivich an extra large box of tampons to mop up the mess in his trousers.

It's time to publicly immolate these people and send the message that actively pursuing the defeat of this countrys' great and honorable military is an act that will no longer be tolerated. At the very least there should be internment camps for the wreckless scum who have the blood of their fellow countrymen on their hands. Then,after we capture another bunch of those islamo-maniacs in one of their perverse plots to blow up innocent people (doing evil things like going to work / feeding their kids etc.),and upon "questioning them with vim and vigor" we find out that much of the inspiration for their planned attrocities, are in fact our very own enemies within,then,and God willing,maybe just then,the American people will finally have a taste for the blood of the scumly cowards in our very midst, who carelessly aid our enemies in their mission to destroy our wonderful country.

May they,our enemies,both foriegn and domestic, rot from the eyeballs down,repeatedly,throughout all eternity,for all of the death and torture they have brought down upon the countless innocents.And God bless those Jesus like saviors in flack jackets who stand between us and the devil incarnate,the islamo-nazis.Unfortunately, those brave souls can't do anything about the murderers with $800 haircuts, so Americans have to be courageous enough to call them for what they are so the shame of being such a turncoat (the likes of which has not existed, to go unabated by a right thinking president with the force of the constitution behind him,in our nations history)will be overwhelming to the point of surrendering that which amounts to open treason. That,or the president would at least have the public support to throw them all in irons.

What has happened to the conscience and common sense of my beloved country ? For the sake of God,may we all soon wake up from this horrific nightmare.

"But, no man .. feel fre... (Below threshold)

"But, no man .. feel free to fold your hatred of the man into the mix of your over-dramatized defeatism and let's call it a day, shall we?"

Feel free to direct the thread away from Bush, the Global War on Terror, and Iraq, and make it all about us liberal American terrorists instead...

"Again, it's not going our way so let's tear ourselves asunder from within, eh?

There's no issue of terrorism, and if there were, it's all our fault anyway .. blah blah blah ..

*yawn*

If Gore were in office, he might easy be saying the exact same things and you'd be carrying his water with both hands."

I like the 'blah blah blah' part - nice touch, blends well with Lorie's post.

[I guess it actually helps ... (Below threshold)

[I guess it actually helps to look at the preview, eh - take 2]

"But, no man .. feel free to fold your hatred of the man into the mix of your over-dramatized defeatism and let's call it a day, shall we?"

Feel free to direct the thread away from Bush, the Global War on Terror, and Iraq, and make it all about us liberal American terrorists instead...

"Again, it's not going our way so let's tear ourselves asunder from within, eh?

"There's no issue of terrorism, and if there were, it's all our fault anyway .. blah blah blah .."

"*yawn*"

"If Gore were in office, he might easy be saying the exact same things and you'd be carrying his water with both hands."

I like the 'blah blah blah' part - nice touch, blends well with Lorie's post.

C'mon, pre 9/11 al-Qaeda ha... (Below threshold)
kim:

C'mon, pre 9/11 al-Qaeda had a state sponsor. You've been bushwhacked by the standard MSM technique of lying about something no one can see, then if it is declassified, ignoring it.

I've got a living breathing source, who can be named, for my contention that al-Qaeda has not regained the strength it had pre 9/11. You got bupkus.
========================

Oh, sure, mine's a politici... (Below threshold)
kim:

Oh, sure, mine's a politician, but your's is a mirage.

And a politician.
===============================

Kim we have been letting th... (Below threshold)
Puck:

Kim we have been letting the D's off easy by letting them make their base happy with tough anti-war talk but never, ever actually doing anything to end the war. They get away with that only becuase Rs are willing to take the heat and keep the war going.

The people don't want this war - Israel does. That is a problem for the majority party in Congress - and it will become their problem when we stop defending this and say - OK - what would you do?


I really wish I had time to... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I really wish I had time to get involved in this convo; unfortunately, this whole "work" thing that I need to do pay bills, eat, etc. is getting in the way. But I will say this:

Puck, you're clearly a leftist troll spouting off anti-war BDS talking points--and likely doing so at numerous right-leaning sites. Lots of bluster, little (if any) substance.

Lee, nice try. The report says al-Qaeda is at its strongest SINCE 9/11, not "full strength" as claim--and yes, that makes a difference. So you're being totally misleading. (And what would "full strength" be anyway...)

Second, I'd really like to see the NIE report as the news reports I'm reading on it are incredibly vague, especially in regards to how AQ can be seen as "strong" when hiding in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Not exactly easy access to the world from there. If anybody has the NIE, pass a link on it, will you?

Funny how libs like citing NIE reports when they fit their views.

Jes Puck, it's all because ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Jes Puck, it's all because of those damnable Joooos.

Last time I looked, Israel ... (Below threshold)
Beeblebrox:

Last time I looked, Israel was our ALLY in the Middle East, really the only one. We are bound by TREATY to defend them so even if this was just about the Joooos, so what? Puck, are you suggesting that we walk away from our treaty obligations?

And Lee, the course of this war is what this thread is about. Liberals are aiding and abetting the enemy and getting our people killed. Pulling out gets 10s of thousands more killed and only serves to eventually bring the fight to our doorstep where even more will be killed, possibly you among them.

So yes, it is entirely on topic to point out how the BDS haters who want to pull out of Iraq are traitorous cowards who are not worthy to even lick the boots of our soldiers fighting in Iraq.


"The people don't want t... (Below threshold)
rrita m:

"The people don't want this war - Israel does. That is a problem for the majority party in Congress - and it will become their problem when we stop defending this and say - OK - what would you do?"

Ok, explain that in detail please. When has Israel ever wanted a war? (No, I'm really asking you.) What motive are we defending? And if you can, supply sources and not a blogroll.




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