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Iraq and the Milbloggers

I will be leaving soon to travel to the 2007 Milblog Conference in Arlington. I am really looking forward to meeting some amazing bloggers I have read for years and will be hanging out with Mary Katharine for a bit, which is always fun. I will be live blogging from the conference tomorrow so be sure to check it out. The lineup of panel speakers (and attendees for that matter) is really impressive.

I am sure there will be much talk at the conference about Iraq. I have a column today at Townhall titled "Democrats vote to own defeat in Iraq." Here is an excerpt:

The Democrats made the final payment this week. They are no longer just partially invested, but now they own defeat in Iraq, going on record with their votes in favor of retreat. What is most disturbing though, is not so much that they have made a tactical decision to broadcast our military's itinerary to the enemy, putting our troops at a tremendous disadvantage and all but ensuring failure, but that so many of them seem to relish the prospect of defeat.

These are harsh words, to be sure, but it is evident in their words and actions that Congressional Democrats' strategy on the war contains a political component they believe will win them additional seats in 2008.

Update: Also read Bob Owens' post about Murtha's comments about General Petreaus.

Comments (7)

The Democrats proposal was ... (Below threshold)

The Democrats proposal was nothing more than political theatre that has no real effect on the actual execution of the war. It is the miscalculations in the planning of this war that fatally flawed this mission from the very beginning, despite the best efforts of the very small number of U.S. forces entrusted to secure a nation with a population larger than Australia and Switzerland combined. There was no way that just 130,000 to 150,000 American troops could police a huge nation of 26.7 million. It took 110,000 U.S. soldiers just to defeat 22,000 Japanese in Iwo Jima for example.

The Democrats never really expected success of their withdrawal proposal. Now a far more reasonable proposal that funds the war, but forces the Iraqi government to accept benchmarks for achievement of political unity with the Sunni population and improvement in police and military forces will now emerge.

Rather than resolve the serious political problems in Iraq, the parliament is taking two months off for vacation. Many members fail to even show up for parliament sessions, or use their office solely for a paycheck or to gain corruption or favors for their family. And a powerful secretative office run by Shiite religious fundamentalists operates within the Iraqi government which may be responsible for using the Iraqi Interior Ministry to murder college preofessors who are more secular oriented and other abuses.

The U.S. has such a sacrifice and investment in Iraq, that this country owes it to us to shape up and become a decent nation. Benchmarks are a good way to force this government to straighten up. If this Shiite dominated government does not straighten up, then Iraq will only slip farther into sectarian war and the U.S. cannot rescue that with the small forces we have there.

Hmmm - is there anything in... (Below threshold)

Hmmm - is there anything in our constitution that allows for disbanding/removing a political party for treasonous actions? Submitting a bill to the President that calls for the USA to surrender to our enemy certainly should qualify as treason! gc

The Democrats prop... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:
The Democrats proposal was nothing more than political theatre that has no real effect on the actual execution of the war.

But it certainly affects the war itself. There's nothing like emboldening an enemy to change the outcome of a war. Congrats, Dems. In the name of politics and power you have done more to hurt our soldiers than poor planning ever could have.

"The U.S. has such a sacrif... (Below threshold)

"The U.S. has such a sacrifice and investment in Iraq, that this country owes it to us to shape up and become a decent nation. Benchmarks are a good way to force this government to straighten up." -- Paul Hooson

And said benchmarks will ensure we get what's "owed" to us?

Lori,You are correct... (Below threshold)

You are correct in thinking that the Demos will pick up more seats. Over 55% of the American people feel we should get out of Iraq.

I think we should stay and finish the job, but to do this, we need a different approach to how it's going to be done. Fancy slogans as "stay the course, surge, etc" is not the answer.

Generals who have trained, practiced all their military careers, and who know how to fight a war were forced out because they told #43 how to do it. That didn't set well with the decider in chief, and realizing that if they didn't do it Bush's way, the other generals would also be gone, they did it Bush's way.

We now have a mess on our hands, no clear cut program or plan on how to accomplish the mission. We broke it and we need to fix it. I have not seen one plan from either the Demo's or Repug's that would ensure reaching our goals.

This present surge in troops should have been done at the beginning, but oh no, couldn't do that then, but now we can. The Army is, according to senior generals, close to being broken.

Give Oak Leaf a hug for me ... (Below threshold)
another chagrined lover:

Give Oak Leaf a hug for me if he's there.

Allen, Sth for you ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Sth for you here. Hope that we are not looking for excuse to surrender to the terrorists.


Last weekend a traffic jam several miles long snaked out of the Mansour district in western Baghdad. The delay stemmed not from a car bomb closing the road but from a queue to enter the city's central amusement park. The line became so long some families left their cars and walked to enjoy picnics, fairground rides and soccer, the Iraqi national obsession.


There is no quick fix, but there have been real results: Winning public confidence has led to a spike in intelligence, a disruption of terrorist networks and the capture of key leaders, as well as the discovery of weapons caches. In Anbar province, Sunni sheikhs and insurgents have turned against al-Qaeda and to the side of Iraqi security forces. This would have been unthinkable even six months ago.

Contrary to popular belief, most government ministries are located outside the Green Zone, and employees drive to work every day despite death threats and attacks on colleagues and families. We government ministers are always at risk of assassination. When a suicide bomber attacked parliament last month, the legislators sat in defiance in an extraordinary session the following day. I am particularly inspired by the commitment of the young diplomats in the Foreign Ministry, a diverse mix of Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Arab and Kurdish men and women who serve their country without subscribing to religious or sectarian divisions.






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