April 9, 2007

Reid Vs Levin On Troop Funding

Carl Levin and Harry Reid seem to be on different pages in the battle over funding and withdrawal timetables for the war in Iraq. Just a couple of days after Harry Reid threatened to defund the war effort if Bush did not accept mandatory time triggers for troop withdrawals, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee insisted that the Democrats would not follow the Majority Leader's lead on funding:

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Sunday that the Senate would not cut off funding for the Iraq war but would keep pressing President Bush for a settlement among Iraqi leaders to end the violence.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), appearing on ABC's "This Week," disagreed with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said last week that he would co-sponsor legislation to cut off almost all money for the war in Iraq by next March.

"Well, we're not going to vote to cut funding, period," Levin said. "Even Harry Reid acknowledged that that's not going to happen."

That isn't what Reid said a week ago. Responding to Bush's call to rid the funding bill of both the timetables and the pork that Democrats had drenched over the supplemental, Reid made it clear that no funding at all would come without either. He even co-sponsored a bill with Russ Feingold that would explicitly defund the effort, and said at the time that he would "work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period" if Bush vetoed the current supplemental.

Levin apparently didn't ask Reid about that bill. He did make it clear on "This Week" that efforts like the Reid-Feingold bill would be used to keep political pressure on the White House to change course in Iraq. However, Levin didn't explain how the Reid-Feingold bill would pressure Bush if he and Barack Obama kept publicly insisting that the Democrats would not defund the war effort.

Jon Kyl and Arlen Specter both defended the war effort and chided Congress for its impatience. Specter allowed that his own patience had begun to wear thin, but that he sees signs of improvement. Kyl asked why Congress would pull the rug out from under the Iraqis and the US forces just as they had started implementing a successful strategy. Carl Levin's statement about using the supplemental for politics answers that quite nicely, and it shows that the Democrats perhaps need to quit playing games and start taking their responsibilities to keep the troops equipped a little more seriously.


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Comments (56)

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 7:37 AM

Here's a YouTube video of a group of Troop SUPPORTERS confronting their congressman on his lack of support.


Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 8:26 AM

Sounds like Harry Reid needs to go back to the Gambino underboss who is pulling his strings and get some new marching orders.

That Arab sheik who engineered a surrender through the Gambinos, is going to be upset.

Posted by Gary Gross [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 8:44 AM

A Senate divided is sure to fall.

Ed, I totally agree that these guys better start taking national security seriously or they won't be a majority long.

Posted by Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 9:03 AM

Reid and Pelosi have already caved in to the radical anti-war left supported by the "move-on" dot org. They have already forsaken the plight of the Iraqi people for purley political and monetary gain. And this is a dangerous game they are playing with our troops in harms way.

How a senate that votes 98-0 to send Gen. Petraeus into a campaign to bring stability to Baghdad (that appears to be working) and then succumb to a radical-left agenda, still befuddles many who see a contradiction of what "support the troops" should mean.

Only positive developments in the months to come in Iraq and Baghdad will sway the doubters and cutn'runners-------but don't look for the MSM to report any success.

The "Walter Cronkites" will be breathing down the necks of the those who still see a chance for a victory in this war.

Posted by Bennett [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 9:09 AM

So which one's the head fake? I'm not so sure. This has been going on for awhile now, one Dem will threaten it and another will say, oh no we don't do that! Either it's very poor message discipline or something else is at work here. Either the Dems are not serious about this and just want to throw a little red meat to their rabid anti-Iraq base, to keep the donations flowing in, or they are trying to get the country used to the idea that this is going to happen, not if but when.

And if they do cut off the funding? Would they really pay a political price? The conventional wisdom is that the country wants out of Iraq, that the war was a horrible idea and we should bail as quickly as possible. Those of us who question that wisdom aren't likely to be voting Democrat anyway.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 10:26 AM

The will of the American people will eventually overwhelm GWB's fantasy of a democracy in the heart of an Islamic country. Think people in Egypt and Jordan (our allies) have any freedoms or rights? Theres none. Bashing the Senate Democrats as they follow the wishes of the American people is just a "wag the dog" effort to take peoples minds off the continued fiasco in Iraq. The momentum to get out will only grow, taking shots at Reid and Levin may buy the neo-cons a little time but their fantasies are gone.

Posted by Sandy P [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 10:27 AM

What interests me is that they've completely written off the military vote, it's harder to challenge votes from people in the booths than envelopes from overseas.

Posted by Fight4TheRight [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 10:46 AM

The Dems, to my knowledge, have never questioned the war effort in Afghanistan because we (and NATO) are battling Al queda and the Taliban. They've also made note many times that Iraq took "our" eye off of Al queda and other terrorists. In other words, they seemed to insinuate that we aren't really fighting terrorists in Iraq.

Excuse me, but do we not have Al queda forces in Iraq buzzing rounds over our Marines' heads? Do we not have Al queda car bombing buildings in Iraq? So we should pull out of Iraq where there are probably 10,000 Al queda fighters and deploy to where? Kuwait? Where there might be 1 Al queda nut job holed up in a one-room flat?

I don't get it.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 11:42 AM

the congress has a funding bill. maybe mr. president should take his responsibility to keep the troops equipped a little more seriously and sign it. also keep in mind that he's the one that sent them there ill-equiped to begin with. and also keep in mind that if he wasn't trying so hard to keep this ginormous expenditure of your kid's money off the books, we wouldn't be talking about supplementals.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 12:15 PM

"Well, we're not going to vote to cut funding, period," Levin said. "Even Harry Reid acknowledged that that's not going to happen."



1. Levin is lying, trying to play some sort of game.

2. Levin has read the tea leaves and determined that the American people (minus the lunatics at moveon.org and other groups like it) are willing to give Petraeus a chance to see if we can win this thing.

3. Levin believes that the dems will pay a heavy political price if they are seen as abandoning Iraq, especially if (when?) it turns into a 21st century Cambodia.

4. Levin is taking his duty as a US Senator seriously and, though he may no agree with the war or how it's being waged, is facing up to his responsibility to make sure the troops have everything that they need.*

Poor, poor dems. What's a party of Benedict Arnolds to do? They so WANT to knife Iraq and our troops in the back, and they know that the most rabid part of their base demands that they do it, but they fear the consequences. Decisions, decisions...

As I and so many others have written before, if the dems truly believe that the war is unwinnable and ultimately puts the security of the United States in greater jeopardy, then they have a moral obligation to cut the funding ASAP.

If the DON'T believe those things, then they need to STFU and let the president try to win, 'cause it's obvious that they don't want to.


(*) Yeah, I don't believe it either, but it COULD be...

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:05 PM

docjim505 -
"...STFU and let the president try to win..."
i sure wish i was in iraq, policing a civil war, secure in the knowledge that this imbecile you call a president is trying to win. how long should we let him keep trying? how many more people should die so he can keep trying to prove something? amazing.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:33 PM

Gee, I don't know, jay k. How long should our forebears have allowed those imbeciles named Lincoln and Roosevelt try to win after they got men butchered at places like Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Pearl Harbor, and Kasserine?

Oh, I know! They let them continue butchering American soldiers (for example, sending them out in tanks nicknamed "Ronsons" due to their propensity to burn and roast their crews) until they won.

It's amazing what a little perserverence can do.

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:34 PM

jay k. I wish you were in Iraq also. It would change your perspective.

My son is there. He's proud of the work they're doing.

Do you have a dog is this fight? If not, then STFU. If you and your allies would put as much effort into defeating the real enemy, radical islamists, this battle would be well behind us.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:36 PM


No different, now, than watching wrestling.

The donks want the pork.

If they didn't put on this phony show "about iraqi withdrawal" ... Bush would have been forced to VETO the bill, when it saw his desk. And, the light of day.

I guess there's enough sand so you don't see what's happening?

And, yes, people still watch flabby men in bathing suits, sweat it out, in the ring; making believe they're poking their opponents eyes out. When not doing a race off the ropes, and a belly flop onto their fat opponent. So the ref can count to ten. WITHOUT LAUGHING!

Ah, if the ref laughs, it gives the game away.

Bush is the worst disaster to have befallen good voters. But he's also ending his family's grasp on the dynastic approach to good government.

Not the first "aristocrat" to fail. We still have Teddy Kennedy up there. Proving that an Irishman can have a liver that lets him survive what he drinks.

When will people figure out Bush is bad on so many counts, that you can make a list of things, that expand as long as the one you'd create for algore. If the Supremes had decided they were gonna "take" from a state court.

A game that's always played by nine justices. No matter who fills these seats.

Bush will be rolled.

He has no other choice, really.

Though watching fat Teddy do the wrestle-jump, means that so much fat pours over Bush, when he's down, you won't hardly see him.

It won't get better because sonny-boy called his dad for "halp." And, James Baker appeared.

Wrestling. Phony. Ditto, for what happens when you're playing politics by the numbers.

By the way, the "unknown" remains the "other penny stock." While Bush isn't doing well. Neither is Pelosi.

Just Ted's liver. It's an amazing thing.

Posted by jr565 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:36 PM

fight4theright wrote:
Excuse me, but do we not have Al queda forces in Iraq buzzing rounds over our Marines' heads? Do we not have Al queda car bombing buildings in Iraq? So we should pull out of Iraq where there are probably 10,000 Al queda fighters and deploy to where? Kuwait? Where there might be 1 Al queda nut job holed up in a one-room flat?

I don't get it.

That's because the dems are arguing 5 years behind the times. They're still arguing about going to war as opposed to being at war. That gives them the cover to say Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror, despite the fact that all the key players in Al Qaeda all agree that Iraq is the key front. So they (the dems) want to do exactly what they are accusing Bush of doing, namely divert attention from the real war to pick some imaginary front where all the Al Qaeda presumably are and send troops there. Of course, if we diverted all the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan the lunatic fringe would level the exact same arguments about our engagement there.

They can simultaneously argue that there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq unti we went to war, thus it's Bush's fault, and at the same time, there is no Al Qaeda in Iraq therefore we have to be fighting somewhere else.If Al Qaeda is in Iraq NOW, and we are fighting wars against Al Qaeda, and terrorist groups in general, then it would make sense to fight them where they are now as opposed to choosing some imaginary front where they aren't at currently.

Posted by Gaius Livius [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:50 PM

I think what Reid doesn't get, but Levin and Schumer still grasp at some level, is that although the Iraq campaign may not be popular with the electorate, that doesn't mean that they want to lose.

George Bush may not be exactly the most popular guy these days, but what Reid hasn't figured out is that most Americans don't viscerally despise him the way Reid does. Unlike Reid and those like him, the public is not itching for military defeat for no higher purpose than to humiliate the president.

That people like Levin, Schumer and Obama won't (ostensibly, at least) buy into the cut-n-run sellout of our military is mildly encouraging. The wildcard remains Joe Lieberman, who continues to hint that the donkey party's one-seat majority in the Senate might evaporate sooner than anyone thinks if Reid gets his way.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 1:52 PM

to paraphrase you -
if you and your president would put as much effort into defeating the real enemy -radical islamists, instead of policing a civil war, this battle would be well behind us.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 2:03 PM

those are all bogus comparisons and you know it. i expected more.

Posted by Fight4TheRight [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 2:04 PM

jay k -

You seem obsessed with the "policing a civil war" aspect so for the sake of point, let's say that is true. Now, can you tell me WHEN and WHY the so-called "civil war" in Iraq began? In case you missed it....Al queda in Iraq bombed a Shiite mosque in Samarra. A terrorist group, the same one that attacked the Twin Towers and The Pentagon, bombed that mosque to start Shiite-Sunni bloodshed.

So with that in mind, if Al queda in Britain bombed an Irish Catholic church in Belfast and painted "UDA" all over the crime scene, and it was determined that Al queda in Britain had done it, do you not think the British and Irish governments would not step in and go after Al queda in Iraq?

Okay, given the latest actions of the British government, let's just say this example of mine happened a year ago. lol

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 2:13 PM

you are parroting rnc talking points....like a good loyalist. unfortunately the civil unrest started way before samarra mosque bombing. but don't worry about facts...that's what the white house and the rnc and fox news wants you to believe...so keep it up...god forbid you should think for yourself.

Posted by DaveD [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 3:32 PM

jay k.
Just reading down the thread here. You are welcome to point out to us where you, in fact, show the ability to "think for yourself". That is quoting from your posts any insightful statements not already paraphrased by the anti-war side.

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 3:37 PM

Even though the Iraqi people themselves do not believe they are in a civil war, (61% in the most recent poll), or local lefties will always remain convinced that they, and they alone know all of the world's truths.

I guess the fact that Al Queda types are dying in Iraq by the thousands, is just more proof that this war has nothing to do with the war on terror.

As always, our local lefties will remain convinced that they, and they alone know all of the world's truths.

Another thing that gets me is the way our local lefties remain absolutely convinced that the brown man is not intellectually capable of handling democracy.

Posted by jr565 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 3:42 PM

note also jay k's disingenuous use of language. Fight4theright mentions when the civil war began and cites the bombing of the Samarrah mosque. Jay then says "unfortunately civil unrest started way before samarra mosque bombing". Notice how civil unrest is now equated with civil war and how Jay attributes something to fight4right that he never said and attacks that strawman. Notice also the moving of the goal posts.
But for the left, unless is Utopia in Iraq it will always be a failure by its very definition. Because you see, there is civil unrest somewhere in the country, which equates immediately to civil war. Any violence of any kind is immediate grounds for failure and quagmire.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 3:48 PM

"if you and your president would put as much effort into defeating the real enemy -radical islamists"

Well, we all know Democrats are about as interested in defeating "the real enemy" as OJ is interested in finding "the real killers".

Just more goalpost moving, BDS. Political cynicism and no-load leftwing "thinking", that's all we get from the no answer left.

Appeasing, kneeling before and apologizing to, i.e. Nancy Pelosi's ignorant kneepad session before Assad.

Even if Democrats aren't the enemies of this country, how different would they be acting if they were? Why do dictators and terrorists consistently parrot Democrat talking points? Are the DNC and Al Qaeda coordinating agendas?

Let's just ignore what the terrorists/dictators say and pretend Iraq is losable. All this is about is destroying our President and winning votes for Democrats.

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 3:52 PM

jk, Just for the sake of avoiding the argument, I agree, we're in the midst of a civil war and Bush takes "your" advice and we pull all the troops out. Everything from this point on would be nothing more than speculation, but some based on sound, reasoned logic. A power vacuum will be created and there is going to be a bloody fight between all who want to fill this void. It's hard to find anyone who disagrees on this point.

The best outcome would be a Government such as Lebanon (and I ain't bragging about that). A weak central Government with no strong military. Hezbellah, or something like it, would be the unelected and unanswerable military arm of the Iraqi Government, able to wage war on whims. And this is assuming the best case! At worse would be a bloody coup by Al Sadr's militia with his eventual takeover of the whole country. We'd be right back to square one with another Saddam and the Iraqi people subjected to another brutal dictator. Do you even care about that/them? We have no choice but to ensure a strong central Iraqi Government is in place before we leave.

This is our military's mission. If you don't support it, ok, just don't undermine it. By doing so, you put our soldiers' at greater risk.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 3:57 PM

Mark: "Another thing that gets me is the way our local lefties remain absolutely convinced that the brown man is not intellectually capable of handling democracy."

I know. This is truly amazing. How many millions of Iraqis voted, despite actual physical danger, and this means NOTHING to the left, absolutely NOTHING.

And when they say that there is no hope in Iraq, they are effectively saying that if a tiny minority of radicals terrorizes an entire country, the people of that country do not stand a chance at defeating them, even with the aid of the world's largest and best trained military.

It is a perposterous premise, yet they repeat it daily.

Well, if the human race is as doomed as all that, we'd better get back to the caves. Then again, isn't that what the Left is all about?

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:05 PM

first of all, what you wrote is speculation by people who have been wrong on every point they have speculated on...so why should we buy into their speculations now?
second...how long do we stay? the iraqis have shown no ability or inclination to meet benchmarks set to this point. no matter what we do al queda will be able to operate where they couldn't and didn't before. iran will have a greater influence than they did before. we will have propped up a weak and corrupt government. so how long do we stay, how many soldiers are going to die, to accomplish what has already been accomplished? face it - there is no "winning" here. we got rid of saddam...mission over.
and with all due respect to you and your child who is in harms way...and be clear on this...i didn't put soldiers at risk. george w. bush did...and for no reason.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:07 PM

"conservative" democrat:

"Think people in Egypt and Jordan (our allies) have any freedoms or rights? Theres none. "

No, they don't have any rights. Now let's talk about why that is. I think that is important, don't you?

What on earth is preventing the people of those benighted countries from electing governments of their own choosing?

Are they too stupid to do so?

Do they prefer living as subjects in autocracies?

Or maybe, just maybe, do the ruling elites of those countries have FORCE at their disposal? You know, the same way Saddam Hussein did.

I am interested to know YOUR theory for why these countries are not democracies.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:19 PM

there are no original thoughts...but there is a difference between facts and rnc talking points parroted as facts.

Posted by Sandy P [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:19 PM

YIPPEE! We're finally closing down 2 army bases in England!

Mebbe we'll close an AF base or 2, too!


Doesn't mean squat, Gaius. They never set up rules for changeover like they did in 2001-2002.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:30 PM

Jay K,
You can change the subject all you like. The Left's steadfast refusal to consider the people of Iraq as actual, living, breathing, intelligent human beings speaks for itself.

PS: Why don't you educate yourself as to how the American Left is perceived in the mid-East now? See http://arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=94405&d=31&m=3&y=2007

Here's a snippet:

“We looked to the left in the West and imitated it,” says Awad Nasir, one of Iraq’s best-known poets and a lifelong Communist. “We heard from the US and Western Europe that being left meant being anti-American. So we were anti-American. And then we saw Americans coming from the other side of the world to save us from Saddam Hussein, something that our leftist friends and the Soviet Union would never contemplate.”

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:32 PM

jk said "and with all due respect to you and your child who is in harms way...and be clear on this...i didn't put soldiers at risk. george w. bush did...and for no reason. "

Well, jk, my son is no child. He's a 30 year old man. He meets and works with the Iraqis everyday. He's encouraged by their enthusiasm and their committment . He looks them in the eye everyday.
George W. Bush did put troops in harms war. He had a vision. A vision of just one Middle Eastern country that is a thriving and prospering democracy. Wouldn’t you agree this is a worthy cause?

Your efforts undermine our troops and their mission. You're saying my son and all the sons and daughters who are in this fight, are going to fail. You're position is as deadly to them than any that Al Queda threat they face.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:38 PM

“Anti-Americanism is a luxury we cannot afford in the Middle East,” says Adnan Hussein, a leftist Iraq writer recently picked by the Financial Times as one of the 50 most influential columnists in the world. “Blinded by anti-Americanism, the left in the West ends up on the same side as religious fascists and despots.”


Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:43 PM

Dayam Boston, GREAT ARTICLE !!! Thanks for the link.

Posted by Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 4:44 PM

"the congress has a funding bill. maybe mr. president should take his responsibility to keep the troops equipped a little more seriously and sign it."

While jk prefers to eggnore the part where the Commander and Chief said, (prior to the passing of this legislated pork-laden bill) he would veto ANY bill that included a timeline.

And if we care to show concern for the future of our children, it should be considered that a free and democratic society in the ME would be preferable to the alternatives.

Unless you can show me where it is written in stone that the U.S. has exclusive rights to the libertys that this country, (and our fathers) fought and died for, the "ivory towers" our smug friends live in on the left hold no moral ground.

"how long should we let him keep trying?"

Wouldn't it have been so nice if some one had the authority to put a timeline on Lincoln, FDR, Chruchill? Send one more of them buzz-rockets over here Mr. Hitler, and we will submit to your tyranny.

Finding real solutions to a complex problem seems too hard to explain, or even attempt to resolve. If you've had enough and want to except defeat, why not just come out and say so Jay-k, instead of "beating around the Bush"

But I'm just thinking for myself. How selfish is that?

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 5:05 PM

jay k wrote (April 9, 2007 02:03 PM):

those are all bogus comparisons and you know it. i expected more.

Oh, of course they are!


And, you know, that's exactly the kind of answer I expected.

Tell you what: read about what happened to Torpedo Squadron 8 at Midway, or to the II Corps at Kasserine, or to the 305th Bomb Group on Black Thursday, or how the Marines were left alone on Guadalcanal with little but half-rotten Japanese rice to eat, and then tell me how Roosevelt was sooooo competent compared to Chimpy McBushitler. Read about how one could walk all over the Wheat Field at Gettysburg and never touch ground for all the yankee corpses or how yankee soldiers pinned bits of paper with their names on them to their coats so their bodies could be identified at Cold Harbor, and then tell me how Lincoln was sooooo competent compared to Chimpy McBushitler.

Oh, sorry; I forgot. Those situations were "different" in some magical way that only lefties understand.

O' course, mindlessly bleating that "Bush is stupid" and "Quagmire!" lets lefties off the hook: they don't have to try to propose a winning solution for Iraq. A good thing for them, too, as it's obvious that they don't have one.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 9:18 PM

Jay K:

The reasons why you and others won’t draw comparisons with other are conflicts are two fold. First and foremost you are ignorant of history and second it your meme has always been the war is messed up because Bush&co are chickenhawks. So here is a little historical score card for you.

Successful wars:

Barbary Pirates Jefferson (no military experience)
Mexican War Tyler (no military experience)
Civil War Lincoln (no military experience)
Spanish-American War McKinley (Civil War)
WWI Wilson (no military experience)
WWII Roosevelt II (no military experience)
Gulf War I Bush 41 (Naval Aviator WWII)

Stalemate or defeat:

Korea Truman (Artillery Captain WWI) Eisenhower (SHAPE WWII)
Vietnam Kennedy (naval officer WWII) Johnson (naval officer WWII), Nixon (naval officer WWII)

Ambiguous or Undetermined:

War of 1812 Madison (no military experience)
Philippine Insurrection Roosevelt I (Spanish American War)
Balkans Clinton (no military experience)
GWOT Bush 43 (fighter pilot, Texas ANG)

The first Gulf War was only successful war where the Commander in Chief had military experience. I am generously giving credit for win to McKinley for a “warrior” victor although he was just a cook in an Ohio Regiment and in reality the Philippine insurrection is a direct result of that war and was very analogous to the aftermath in Iraq. Where the results were more ambiguous or outright defeats the Commander in Chief, with one exception, the War of 1812, had military experience. So, the lesson one can draw from American History is that if you want to win a war then go with a Chickenhawk over a proven warrior. Maybe you should start touting Bush’s ANG service as reason why we are “failing” in Iraq.

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 9:52 PM

Great thread...

Of coarse the facts are stacking up; linking the American left with the enemies of America. Pelosi is off talking with a sworn enemy of America, all while Americans are fighting a few hundred miles away. Other leading Democrats are off talking with the enemies of America. Mean while, the funding for this war being fought by American soldiers is days away from running on empty.

It doesn't matter if American politicians are in favor of this war or not, their duty to Americans is to make sure our warriors have the funds and every tool necessary to "DEFEAT" the enemies of America. Pelosi and her gang of losers have proven beyond any doubt that they are 100% invested in an American defeat in this Global War on Terror. It's time for Americans to take charge here and now; our troops are days away from complete and total disaster. This group of Democrats are the worst of the worst; the facts have stacked up & are looking every one of us squarely in the face.

Letters to the White House; letters, letters, & more letters... Calls, calls, & more calls... Our troops need loud voices immediately. Democrats must be called out... Pelosi & Reid are the worst of the worst American politicians to ever serve Americans. Is it any wonder why Democrats are so miserably weak on national defense? Let's not forget, Congress sent our warriors off to wage war. Democrats and Republicans together voted to send American troops into battle. Jay K is a wasted effort, as are all Liberals when it comes to rational thinking regarding war; any war; any battle that involves Americans fighting evil. I often wonder if Liberals are riddled with evil themselves; they fail to have a rational thought.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 9, 2007 10:06 PM

"they fail to have a rational thought."

they're like kids tormenting the baby sitter - too busy having fun to think much about anything.

Posted by Bitter Pill [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 6:13 AM

jay k and conceited democrat:

two of the finest examples of cut-and-run cowards available in blue states today.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 8:00 AM

docjim505 & jerry...
i didn't say there were no comparisons in history...that's a tactic of the right...misqoute someone to set up a strawman. what i said was that our own civil war and ww2 were bogus comparisons to iraq.
you all are so intent on defending this thing that you have no sense of reality.
your president f'ed this thing up. there was no reason to go into iraq in the first place. and today there is no good option for leaving. we will have troops there forever because we opened the country up for al - queda and now we will have to do what is necessary to keep them in check to whatever extent we can. but there are ways of doing that without loosing soldiers, like the four yesterday, or spending $200 million a day.
think about that...$200 million a day...on what planet does the cost/benefit analysis for that work? i thought conservatives were supposed to be smart with money.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 9:45 AM

Jay k:

The Spanish-American War/Philippine Insurrection is a good analogy to the situation in Iraq. The number of US Casualties was proportionally greater and the cost about the same. Are you saying that the McKinley/Roosevelt Administrations screwed that up too? That was a war run by two veterans.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 10:01 AM

jay k,

First you say that it's "bogus" to compare the mistakes made by Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt during the Civil War and World War II with those made by President Bush during the war in Iraq. Then you say that you're being misquoted when we question that assertion. Now you drag out casualties and money spent as if that is the only way to measure whether a war is successful or not. You say:

... there are ways of doing that without loosing soldiers, like the four yesterday...

I think we are all sorry whenever a US soldier is killed, be it in combat or by accident. However, losing only four in a day is a blessing for which American generals from George Washington on would get down on their knees in thanks to God.

As for the "ways" that we can win without losing troops... This is a point I (and many others) have made many, many times: if the dems have any ideas of how to WIN the war instead of simply declaring "quagmire" and running like hell, I'm sure we'd all love to hear them. Sadly, however - and your own posts bear this out - the only idea the dems have is to cut, run, and blame it all on Bush.

So, I repeat my original point:

If the dems have no ideas of how to win in Iraq, then they need to STFU and let the president try to win, 'cause it's obvious that they don't want to.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 10:21 AM

george washington was fighting for our freedom. is that why we are in iraq? because then i would say thank god we only lost four yesterday too. but that's not why we are in iraq. do you know why we are? tell me.
it seems like you and everyone else on this blog seem intent on mischarachterizing the dems stand. in fact you seem to see this as winning, or running. that's infantile. describe winning to me.
so there are two hard fast questions for you...why are we there, and what is winning?

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 11:54 AM

Jay K.

Why were in the Philippines after tje Spanish-American War mission was accomplished, i.e., the Liberation of Cuba, and what was winning?

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 12:15 PM

you are pointing to the phillipines as a reason to be in iraq? we occupied them for 48 years...is that what you have in mind for iraq? big picture...we ended up there because of propoganda and imperialism (and unfortunately in no small part because of the senator my home town is named after). what in the world is your point?

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 12:32 PM

Jay K:

The United States did not "occupy" the Philippines for 48 years. With exception of the territory inhabited by the Muslim terrorists we made the country self governing by the mid 20's and had set a date for Independence in 1942 which was delayed by the Japanese invasion. By your definition of occupation the US has occupied Germany, Japan, Italy and Korea for over 60 years.

My point is that Philippine Insurrection was very much like the Iraq War and that you don't have enough historical understanding to be able use history to understand current problems. That is a trademark of the Left. History is what happened yesterday and it fades from memory in a week.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 1:02 PM

the phillipine insurrection is nothing like iraq. we ended up there because of the spanish-american war. we chose to attack and occupy iraq. the only similarity is the role of propoganda and imperialism. but it's ok...that is a trademark of the right, don't let facts stand in the way of your spin.
even if the phillipines were independent by the '20s, which is an iffy claim, thats still 20+ years...is that how long you plan on being in iraq? even then they were taken over by our enemy...we had to re-liberate them. is that what is in store for iraq? and then of course we controlled the canal...a great resource...is that what you want from iraq? and ultimately you had marcos and martial law. is this what you forsee for iraq? please tell me this is just a bad analogy.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 1:12 PM

I don't know why you bother.

We have told these people hundreds of thousands of times that Al Qaeda's war is against not just the US, but against democracy, against rule by (hu)man, against free will--and ultimately against civilization itself.

Because people like Jay K have zero comprehension of Al Qaeda, it is absolutely impossible for them to see that turning Iraq into a democracy is a strategic blow against this enemy.

You can point out that the enemy perceives this action in that way, and Jay K will ignore you. It will be as if you never spoke.

He won't even acknowledge that this same argument has been put forth consistently since before Baghdad fell. He never heard it; he will never hear it. There is no getting through.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 1:24 PM

jay k wrote (April 10, 2007 10:21 AM):

why are we there, and what is winning?

We are there because:

1. It was believed by US intelligence, British intelligence, the UN, and virtually every other intelligence agency in the world that Saddam had WMD and was reconstituting the programs he'd been forced to discontinue after the '91 war.

2. Saddam was aligned / allied with terrorist organizations.

3. After 9-11, we didn't propose to sit around and wait for Saddam or terrorists funded and supplied by Saddam to hit us again.

President Bush said in Cincinnati on Oct. 8, 2002:

Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions, its history of aggression and its drive toward an arsenal of terror.

Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons and to stop all support for terrorist groups.

The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism and practices terror against its own people.

The entire world has witnessed Iraq's 11-year history of defiance, deception, and bad faith.

We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September 11, 2001, America felt its vulnerability -- even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.

Members of the Congress of both political parties, and members of the United Nations Security Council, agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons, and diseases, and gases, and atomic weapons. (1)

Given the lopsided vote to authorize military action against Iraq in the Congress, I'd have to say that the majority of the Representatives and Senators agreed.

As for why we are STILL there, the answer should be obvious:

In accordance with our beliefs ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...") and traditions, we are going to try to foster democracy in Iraq. We believe that this will ultimately be best for the Iraqi people AND for the people of the Middle East who (we hope) will want to emulate the free and peaceful Iraq that we hope to help build. We also believe that it will be good for us. Not only do we believe that democracy and freedom will ultimately bring peace to that entire region, we also believe that the threat of terrorism cannot survive and prosper in such an environment.

Again, President Bush, from a speech on Nov. 6, 2003:

This is a massive and difficult undertaking -- it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe -- because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo.

Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace.

The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country. From the Fourteen Points to the Four Freedoms, to the Speech at Westminster, America has put our power at the service of principle. We believe that liberty is the design of nature; we believe that liberty is the direction of history. We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom -- the freedom we prize -- is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind.

Working for the spread of freedom can be hard. Yet, America has accomplished hard tasks before. Our nation is strong; we're strong of heart. And we're not alone. Freedom is finding allies in every country; freedom finds allies in every culture. And as we meet the terror and violence of the world, we can be certain the author of freedom is not indifferent to the fate of freedom. (2)

What is "winning"?

Obvious: a stable, free Iraq that can take care of its own security issues and isn't a hotbed of despotism, islamofascism and the terrorism they breed.

Liberals railed - with considerable justification - all through the Cold War that the US would back the most odious and oppressive regimes so long as they claimed to be anti-communist. We're not going to make that mistake this time. We COULD probably find some "strong man" in Iraq (maybe Sadr) and work a deal with him: "You get the violence under control, and we'll give you a blank check and look the other way while you deal with your enemies". We COULD be even more draconian and slaughter Iraqis wholesale, beating them into submission much as colonial powers have in the past. We COULD be totally irresponsible and simply leave the country; we got rid of Saddam, so what do we care what happens to Iraq so long as they don't bother us?

We're not doing those things. Instead, we're doing the hard work of trying to plant the seeds of democracy on the very rocky ground of the Middle East in the belief that they will bear sweet fruit not only for us but for the people of the region.

Once again, President Bush:

Our commitment to democracy is also tested in the Middle East, which is my focus today, and must be a focus of American policy for decades to come. In many nations of the Middle East -- countries of great strategic importance -- democracy has not yet taken root. And the questions arise: Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom, and never even to have a choice in the matter? I, for one, do not believe it. I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free.

Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government. This "cultural condescension," as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would "never work." Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany are, and I quote, "most uncertain at best" -- he made that claim in 1957. Seventy-four years ago, The Sunday London Times declared nine-tenths of the population of India to be "illiterates not caring a fig for politics." Yet when Indian democracy was imperiled in the 1970s, the Indian people showed their commitment to liberty in a national referendum that saved their form of government.

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path.

It should be clear to all that Islam -- the faith of one-fifth of humanity -- is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries -- in Turkey and Indonesia, and Senegal and Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone. Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, of the nations of Western Europe, and of the United States of America.

More than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments. They succeed in democratic societies, not in spite of their faith, but because of it. A religion that demands individual moral accountability, and encourages the encounter of the individual with God, is fully compatible with the rights and responsibilities of self-government. (3)

If President Bush is "stupid" for what he's trying to do in Iraq, he's stupid like President Lincoln was stupid when he had the idea that black people should (or even could) be anything more than chattle slaves, or like President Truman when he had the insane idea that Germany or Japan could EVER become democracies (what was HE thinking???), or like President Kennedy when he said that the United States would pay any price or bear any burden to assure the success of liberty.

President Bush is gambling that the Iraqis, like blacks, Germans, Japanese, Italians, Koreans, etc, etc, etc will prefer liberty to despotism. Maybe he's wrong, and Iraq will never be a free country. But it certainly won't be if the dems have their way and pull the rug out from under them.

You may not win, but you'll certainly lose if you quit.


(1) http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/07/bush.transcript/

(2) http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/11/20031106-2.html

(3) Ibid.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 1:37 PM

al queda wasn't in iraq until we got there and let them in. i'm all for annihilating al queda. when do you want to start? because right now iraq is a recruiting poster and a training ground for al queda. how long do you suppose it is going to take to deliver this brilliant strategic blow you and the neo-cons are dreaming of? 5 more years? ten more? 15? 20? never mind...just tell me how we will know that it has happened? or even that it has started to happen.
the problem is not that i won't acknowledge your argument...i have heard your argument and evaluated the facts...the problem is that you won't acknoledge what the facts show...that it is a failed strategy and it was from the start. until your president accepts reality we will accomplish little or nothing in our struggle against al queda.
people like you think this is the way george has laid out so it is right. what will it take for you to see that it's a f'ed up plan and it has been from the first. i want to eliminate al queda...you want to sit on our hands in iraq because george bush said it is a good idea. i hope you have fun explaining to your grandchildren how you thought we could simply sprinkle the fairy dust of democracy over the middle east and al queda would slink away and leave us alone.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 1:46 PM

Jay K.

We are in Iraq because we made a decision that Saddam had to go. We were in the Philippines because we decided that Spain had to go from Cuba and decided to grab the Philippines as well. We actually had more reason to go to war against Saddam then we did to go against Spain in either the Philippines or Cuba. Your inability to understand this shows you don't really much about history or international affairs.

You also don't know how to read because I didn't say the Philippines were independent by the 1920's, I said that they were self governing.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 2:00 PM

very nice post. i regret that i don't have time to do it justice with the response it truly deserves. so i will agree to disagree with all due respect. i hope the iraqis, at some time in the near future, decide to step up and vindicate your faith in the ability of the seeds of democracy to take hold. i also hope that this flowering of democracy in iraq will some day, somehow, make us safe from religious zealots.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 2:06 PM

Jay K:

Your side is far more alarmed by global warming, the impending "theocracy" in the US, the impending "police state," "corporatism," and other invented boogeymen.

Oh, I'm sure AQ is on the list, somewhere below banning Santa at malls and giving out iPods to school kids.

But it is not just an issue of priority.

I have yet to hear a single so-called "liberal" articulate any kind of understanding of Al Qaeda. Instead, your side has consistently projected onto Al Qaeda (and Hezbellah, etc.) your *own* problems with Western civilization. You propose "root causes" that are utterly disassociated with reality, and entirely at odds with what these barbarians have actually said publicly.

With such a dismal failure of understanding, it is no wonder that the war in Iraq makes no sense to aq you. For example, I notice that you ignore the fact that Al Qaeda does indeed consider democracy in Iraq to be a direct THREAT TO THEIR GOALS.

Sorry, pal, if you do not understand the enemy, you do not understand anything at all.

But my real problem with you and your ilk is that you consistently denigrate what is good. Our allies in Iraq come to mind.

Apparently, 25 million people who know true dictatorship are simply incapable of defeating a tiny minority of terrorists, even with the help of the world's largest and best equipped military. I want to know why you think this. Is it because they aren't as educated as "good liberals" like yourself? Or is it skin color? Please do enlighten us.

Posted by jay k. [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 2:50 PM

we got the phillipines as result of the war, not because we decided to grab it as well. don't assume because you know something you know everything.
get back on your meds. my side? do you see this as a football game?
iraq may be a threat to there goals but it is not going to change anything...even if we "win". if we "win" they walk away. no big deal. what you fail to realize about them is that they are terrorists and terror as a tactic is intended to create an over-reaction. exactly what your president did when he decided to attack iraq. the people of iraq that voted are not fighting al-queda...they are fighting a civil war. and so are we because we are in the middle. and where did the skin color thing come from you f'ing racist.

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 10, 2007 3:17 PM

Jay K.

You obviously don't know your history. The war was about the liberation of Cuba not about claims on the Spanish Empire elsewhere. Nobody in Washington was thinking about the Philippines except the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and the Commander of the US Asiatic Squadron. Roosevelt and Dewey had a plan to seize the Philippines if we declared war on Spain. The Secretary of the Navy left town on the weekend and specifically told Roosevelt not to take any hostile action before Congress acted. Roosevelt, now acting Secretary of the Navy, sent a pre-arranged signal to Commodore Dewey to sail for the Philippines. President McKinley had no real desire to go to war against Spain over Cuba let alone grab other parts of the Spanish Empire. In age before wireless communications, Roosevelt knew that once he sent Dewey the Philippines was a done deal. So to say we got the Philippines simply because of the victory over spain and not through the Navy’s independent actions is not factual.