But Democratic strategists also believe that repeated votes on the war will allow the party to expand its congressional majorities in next year's elections by continuing to link GOP lawmakers with the president and his war policies.
"It bewilders me why these Republicans have tied themselves so closely to this president…. God bless them," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
U.S. Commander Petraeus Says Conditions in Iraq Likely to Get Harder Before Improving.
One senior administration official with extensive knowledge of the region, who didn't want to be identified discussing sensitive policy matters, tells NEWSWEEK that the chances of a regional war in Iraq are low in the event of a U.S. withdrawal. When asked if a regional war would break out, the official said: "Possibly, not probably. It's more likely that other powers would support their favorite militias, as they're doing already."
The senior official said the genocidal bloodbath that Sen. John McCain outlined recently was also unlikely, pointing to the militias' ability to secure their own neighborhoods after the attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra in early 2006. (The official's main concern: the Iraqi government's failure to unify the nation and address the root cause of sectarian conflict. "Both the Sunni and Shia are too afraid of each other," the official said.)
Bush's argument that Al Qaeda will use Iraq as a safe haven to plot new 9/11-style attacks if the United States pulls out is problematic, too. Osama bin Laden already has a safe haven to plot new attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Gen. Michael Hayden, the CIA director, told senators last year that the border area of Pakistan was a "physical safe haven" that Al Qaeda used as a base to attack Afghanistan. That area is also the likely home of bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, General Hayden added.
(c) If the President makes the determinations specified in subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall commence the redeployment of the Armed Forces from Iraq not later than October 1, 2007, with a goal of completing such redeployment within 180 days.
I am the very model of the modern liberal senator,
Betraying U.S. Soldiers for Islamo-fascists sinister;
I’ll sell out for George Soros scorning those who fight and die for me,
And when I get in trouble Chucky Schumer’s there to lie for me.
My chips are on Al Qaida, no, I do not care to hedge my bet,
While others mourn when soldiers die, I calculate the seats I’ll get.
Though this treasonous behavior thwarts description save in metaphor--
Like damning of the SCOTUS for upholding laws you voted for.
I used to play the moderate but let me say those days are through.
I’ll cut the troops off at the knees because Pelosi tells me to.
That’s why in matters treasonous, unprincipled and sinister,
I am the very model of a modern liberal senator.
Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home.
"Fifty-seven percent (57%) of American voters now favor either an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq (37%) or a firm deadline for their withdrawal (20%). The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 35% of voters are opposed to both of these options for ending the war....Underlying these attitudes is pessimism about the War itself. Just 29% of American voters believe the troop surge launched earlier this year has made things better in Iraq. Twice as many, 61%, believe the surge has either made things worse (43%) or had no impact (18%). A separate survey found that just 33% believe history will judge the U.S. mission in Iraq a success. Fifty percent (50%) believe it will be viewed as a failure."
David Broder, like much of Washington journalism, and much of the country, fell for the Republicans' lies over the past six-plus years. Broder drank the Kool-Aid, kicked Lucy's football, and came running when George Bush cried 'wolf.' And now, rather than slinking away with a terminal case of professional humiliation, Broder is still fighting the last war. No, not the war in Iraq. George Bush's other war. The war against the truth.
Today, every single Democratic Senator signed a letter to the editor of the Washington Post rebutting Broder and praising their leader."
"We'll stand up when they stand down."
"Things will get worse, before they get better."
"If we withdraw before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here/home."
"We're making steady progress...A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it's very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course."
“‘As fighting in Iraq enters its fifth year, an increasing number of experts in foreign policy and national strategy are arguing that the biggest difference may be that the Iraq war will inflict greater damage to U.S. interests than Vietnam did.’
‘It makes Vietnam look like a cakewalk,’ said retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, a veteran of the Vietnam War. The domino theory that nations across Southeast Asia would go communist was not fulfilled, he noted, but with Iraq, ‘worst-case scenarios are the most likely thing to happen.’
Iraq is worse than Vietnam ‘in so many ways,’ agreed Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., a retired Army officer and author of one of the most respected studies of the U.S. military’s failure in Vietnam. ‘We knew what we were getting into in Vietnam. We didn’t here.’
Also, President Richard M. Nixon used diplomacy with China and the Soviet Union to exploit the split between them and so minimize the fallout of Vietnam. By contrast, Krepinevich said, the Bush administration has ‘magnified’ the problems of Iraq by neglecting public diplomacy in the Muslim world and by not developing an energy policy to reduce the significance of Middle Eastern oil.”
If Bush follows through on his veto threat, senior Democratic lawmakers have said they will pass an emergency funding bill that does not include the withdrawal timelines the president has complained so vociferously about.
Such a measure, however, almost certainly would include readiness standards for the strained military. It would also outline benchmarks the Iraqi government must meet to demonstrate progress in reconciling differences between the country's sectarian communities.
Democratic and Republican members of Congress already are focusing on September as their next major decision point on the war — planning hearings to debate Petraeus' findings and, in the Democrats' case, promising new attempts to force Bush to withdraw troops.
By September, the troop buildup will have been underway for more than six months. Unless there is dramatic improvement in Iraq, public support for the war will probably have eroded further. And by September, skittish Republicans will be four months closer to starting their reelection campaigns.
....GOP leaders warn that they will need dramatic evidence of progress — something that has been in short supply in Iraq — to maintain support for the war.
"We need to get some better results from Iraq both politically, economically and militarily, and that needs to happen in the foreseeable future," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a Bush administration loyalist.
Several moderate Republicans have warned that they are preparing to switch sides unless the troop "surge" shows results.
"If the president's new strategy does not demonstrate significant results by August, then Congress should consider all options — including a redefinition of our mission and a gradual but significant withdrawal of our troops next year," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who last week voted against the withdrawal bill.
« Older Prototaxites,... | How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt