July 18, 2007

Guest Post: Senator James Inhofe

I am pleased to welcome Senator James Inhofe to Captain's Quarters again. In this guest post, Senator Inhofe shares his thoughts about the overnight session Harry Reid demanded.

Iraq and the Continuous Session

Thank you, Ed, for the opportunity to address your readers.

Last night’s shameless press stunt further politicizes a situation that, now more than ever, requires a strong dose of thoughtful discussion and honest debate. Harry Reid’s orchestrated political theatre was never intended to be a serious consideration of Iraq and the War on Terror, but merely a brazen publicity event. And so as our American sons and daughters woke up in Baghdad to put their lives on the line and fight another day, the Democrats kept the Senate up late fighting to undermine their mission and undermine our nation. Armed with a “Let Us Vote” sign and speeches proving how we have already lost, they arrived at their “Sleepover in the Senate” knowing all the while there was no chance the surrender amendment would pass. It seems appeasement of their liberal base is top priority for the razor thin Democrat majority, rather than a discussion of what victory means and how to achieve it.

Of course, it was insufficient to simply be in continuous session. A Washington Post article published this morning details the extent to which Democrats prepared for their event. Pizzas were ordered. A media advisory was issued to advertise cots being rolled in. And Senator Durbin kindly sent toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant to Republican members. Is there any question about how seriously Democrats took the past 24 hours? I bring these points up to illustrate why I am so disappointed. It’s not every day that we debate issues of literal life and death in the Senate, and yet Democrats have been acting like it is sweeps week for C-SPAN.

The continuous session was not without its highlights, however. A number of my colleagues once again reinforced the reasons for our ongoing presence in Iraq and why staying the course is so vital to future security in the Middle East and our homeland. It was an opportunity to review the recent positive points from the surge.

Recent successes in Anbar province have been well documented, and it has become a model for potential developments in other regions of the country. I personally saw the positive results of the newly implemented ‘bottom-up’ approach in both Anbar Province and Baghdad last May. Iraqi defense forces have demonstrated their commitment to security by meeting the benchmark goal of having three brigades trained and deployed in support of Baghdad. Civilians and our military are working jointly together in new ways to build hospitals, improve communications, and develop institutions of democracy. And sectarian violence is on the decline as Iraqis increasingly work side-by-side with our soldiers to root out terrorists. While the picture in Iraq is far from rosy, there are new reasons to believe the situation is improving. These successes give me hope that additional improvements are possible with continued support of our troops and their mission.

The troop surge strategy has been set in motion. The benchmarks for measurable progress have been established. General Petraeus is set to give a complete assessment come September. Undoubtedly the price of our present resolve is high, but the price of impatiently surrendering is even greater still.

By U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)


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Senator James Inhofe was a guest blogger (glogger?) yesterday at Captains Quarters where he railed at the liberals for their round-the-clock pout-fest over President Bush's doomed strategy in war-torn Iraq. It was the first all-nighter the Democrats pu... [Read More]

Comments (34)

Posted by Lod Whorfin | July 18, 2007 7:52 PM

Thank you Captain Ed for hosting, and you Senator Inhofe for those words. I am truly puzzled by the fact that the Democratic Party is willing to lose a war, just to hurt Republican politicians.

Posted by Lord Whorfin | July 18, 2007 8:07 PM

I must be going senile-can't remember who I am anymore.

Lord Whorfin

Posted by Fight4TheRight | July 18, 2007 8:07 PM

Thank you Cap'n Ed for bringing to us, the distinguished Senator from Oklahoma.

I won't even give the Dems' behavior the dignity of a response but I will take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Senator Inhofe for his steadfast devotion to the security and dignity of this United States of America.

There are very few Senators at this moment that I would welcome seeing here, Senator Inhofe, but you certainly are one of the few, that in my mind, exemplify the trust you have been given by the People and you are one of the few, that apparently take that seriously.

And Senator, please do not listen to the polls about the Iraq War. We are many, we are tens of thousands, we are millions who know this fight is for our survival and we will do anything to ensure it is won.

Posted by jdavenport | July 18, 2007 8:10 PM

Sir, thank you for doing the heavy lifting defending our war effort.

Now please secure the border.

Posted by gaffo | July 18, 2007 8:17 PM

why would I care to hear the thoughts of a man who sets his moral standards equal to Saddam's.

Afterall how else can one interpret being "outraged by all the outrage" - we ain't as bad as Saddam so we're good enough even if we are nearly on his level.

Posted by Thomas Jackson | July 18, 2007 8:44 PM

Will someone please have the pre emptive surrender types explain to me how American national security will be nehanced by a retreat from Iraq? How will radical Islam be reduced as a threat by allowing them to use Iraq as a sanctuary? Will someone please explain to be how the radical Left (ie the Hildabeast) propose to defeat the terrorists will they will not confront it?

Posted by Rick Howard | July 18, 2007 8:48 PM

Thanks for having the Senators comments. However I'd like to point out that he suffers, as do far to many Republicans, from always conceding to the left with a negative comment ala, 'though the situation is far from Rosy' . Why can't a single statement from a Republican state the positive without the little sidebar agreement that things are a mess?
What leads people to higher goals? "We're improving daily" or "We're improving daily but it's still a big mess"?

Posted by Joe | July 18, 2007 8:49 PM

Inhofe is probably the biggest loon in the senate. Wonder if his lips ever get chapped kissing the ass of GWB?

Posted by MikeD | July 18, 2007 9:19 PM

Go play in traffic Joe.

Posted by Ray | July 18, 2007 9:21 PM

Thank you Senator for addressing the readers here and for your continued support for the military mission in Iraq.

Some people fail to realize that our goal is to support and defend an allied government against those that would impose a totalitarian regime on a society that has chosen democracy and individual freedom. This is occurring in an area of the world where democracy is rare indeed and we have a duty to provide the assistance the Iraqi people need so desperately.

Iraq is now our ally and any democracy is worth defending, no matter where in the world that defense takes place. The cost may be high in achieving the goal of a stable Iraq, but failure would be far, far worse, especially for the Iraqi people.

Posted by Ray | July 18, 2007 9:47 PM


You should ask Monica Lewinsky about chapped lips. I'm sure she has several amusing anecdotes she would be willing to share.

Posted by Frozen Okie | July 18, 2007 9:56 PM

Senator Jim Inhofe - just one more reason I left Oklahoma seven years ago after living most of my life there. The scary thing is that most folks back there in Tulsa just love him! Not surprising from a town that has more churches than gas stations. And Tom Coburn is a worthy match for Inhofe to make up one of the worst pairs of Senators from anywhere!

Posted by Glenn M. Cassel, AMH1(AW), USN, Retired | July 18, 2007 10:04 PM

Sounds like Sen. Inhofe has his stuff in one sock. I mean who could "fault" harry and company for their extensive knowledge of warfare. Cynical laughter follows

Posted by Keemo | July 18, 2007 10:05 PM

The good Senator from Oklahoma gives us a fresh and honest view of what we witnessed in the Senate chamber last night. Of coarse, the Liberal loonies will try their best to throw this thread off topic; don't let it happen.

Thanks Senator Inhofe; come back soon.

Posted by Adjoran | July 18, 2007 10:22 PM

Senator, thanks for the message, and especially for your steadfast support of the troops and their mission and our national security generally.

Please forgive the uncouth miscreants who from time to time infect the comments at Ed's site. He maintains an open door policy, and these poor people don't mean to be nasty and vile - obviously their parents had taken too much LSD shortly before they were conceived and the consequent brain damage results in what you see now.

Posted by Mstessyrue | July 18, 2007 10:33 PM

It is frustrating to see that the majority of the Republican Party still believes in this failed war. American people are fed up with lies and arrogance from the Bush administration. Not only does this war and the defense policies in this country has very little to prove to its people, also it is causing great violence, terror and poverty around the world and in this nation. There are more critical issues that affecting the lives of millions of americans and people world wide that our president is not taking actions against. Now the war has proven to be a failure and is causing more violence, terror and poverty in this world. According to the Borgen Project, it only takes $19 billion dollars annually to eradicate world hunger and poverty. However, our government has already spent more than $450 billion dollars over this fruitless war in Iraq. It is time for the Bush Administration to take a real interest in the lives of the American people as well as people who are in desperate needs around the world. Stop the lies and stop poverty now. Put away the arrogance and put the needs of the people before political gains.

Posted by JD | July 18, 2007 10:40 PM

Frozen Okie

Ever considered that if the majority liked him that just possibly YOU were the one wrong? I'm also a former Okie and since there's no towns of any significant size north of my home I doubt if your near as frozen as I am. Religion doesn't enter into it either. I'm a staunch atheist. The fact is that the Senators from Oklahoma are upright people and have a pretty good grip on the issues.

I'm sorry if that hurts the feelings of you hair suit AGW hysterics and immigration apologists. Well actually I'm not sorry about it, the sounds of your repetitive tooth gnashing is enjoyable to me.

Posted by ERNurse | July 18, 2007 10:47 PM


Put a sock in it, you disengenuous hag.

19 billion dollars is easily the annual income of the Hollywood elites, who live better than anyone on the face of this planet. For Chrissake, Catherine Zeta-Jones washes her hair in CAVIAR. How about hitting THEM up for some money to save the world?

And you dare browbeat average Americans. What a tripe-merchant you are.

Posted by malclave | July 18, 2007 11:11 PM

I am curious about the slumber party hosted by Sen. Reid.

Did the Democratic majority provide the ingredients to make s'mores? Did John Kerry and Ted Kennedy braid each others' hair? Just how ruthless IS Sen. Clinton in a pillow fight?

There are some concerns, also, about the Democratic Senators. I've heard recently that engaging in "girl talk" might not be such a great thing to do, in the long run.

Oh, well, I'm sure the Democrats all had a fabulous time at the sleepover. I'm surprised, though. that Speaker Pelosi didn't already have one for the House, since her campaign seemed to be all about putting children in charge in the House. Maybe she's saving her money for the Harry Potter book... but I'm sure the Democrats in the House could all take a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

Posted by G. Moore | July 18, 2007 11:28 PM

Thank you, Senator, for your comments. In an earlier age, Reid and Company would have been arrested and tried for treason.

Here are some naysayer points, with appropriate commentary:

1. The American public wants us to withdrawal.

Granted, no one is pleased that our nation is engaged in war. But I seriously doubt that a majority of Americans would favor the cut-and-run strategy supported by the Democrats. Furthermore, it is important to understand that public opinion is shaped to a large extent by the liberal media.

2. We should not have gotten involved in Iraq in the first place.

This is wrong on several counts:

a. If I recall correctly, many nations and most members of Congress, including many of our Democrat friends, supported an attack on Iraq. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, he refused to cooperate with U.N. inspectors and he refused to abide by numerous U.N. resolutions despite his capitulation at the end of the Persian Gulf War. What‘s more, he was firing on our aircraft in the no-fly zones.

b. Attacking Saddam in Iraq sealed off an escape route for Osama bin Laden after we took up hot pursuit in Afghanistan. We would do well to remember that when bin Laden was forced to leave Sudan in 1999, Saddam invited him to take refuge in Iraq. There’s every reason to believe that Saddam would have extended the offer again after 9/11. And imagine what a pair Saddam and OBL would have been!

(“According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contact and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States.” Page 66, “9/11 Commission Report”)

3. We have already lost the war in Iraq/We cannot win the war in Iraq.

Those assertions are highly suspect.

General Petrais, the person most knowledgeable about the conduct of the war, is scheduled to submit a report on the situation in September, and it would be nice if the politicians could hold their horses for a couple of months.

Furthermore, the Initial Benchmark Assessment Report indicates great progress in many important areas, and the major shortcomings tend to be of a political nature and affected by politics in the United States.

4. Waging war in Iraq is spawning more terrorism and helping bin Laden raise an army.

That is disingenuous and runs contrary to the facts.

We had serious terrorism long before we went into Iraq; OBL issued a “fatwa” against Americans in February 1998; and the Iraqi people are more and more rising up against al Qaeda. (Read the postings of Michael Yon at http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bless-the-beasts-and-children.htm.)

5. The war in Iraq is no longer worth fighting.

I think the evidence indicates quite the opposite.

a. If we were to pull out, there would be a bloodbath, just as there was when we pulled out of Vietnam. Are Democrats willing to be responsible for thousands of Iraqi deaths in the wake of a pull-out?

b. If we were to pull out, our standing in the world community would be seriously damaged and perhaps permanently crippled. Are Democrats willing to be responsible for that?

c. If we were to pull out, al Qaeda, which is already imbedded in Iraq, would turn the entire nation into a terrorist training camp. That would lead to a world-wide nightmare the likes of which we have never seen. Is that what Harry Reid wants?

Our friends and enemies elsewhere in the world must be wondering what has happened to the United States when we come uncomfortably close to handing our conduct of the war over to feckless politicians with shiny pants seats.

Posted by Baxter Greene | July 18, 2007 11:35 PM


Thank you for your strong support of our troops and the
War on Terror.

Posted by Hugh Beaumont | July 19, 2007 1:50 AM

According to the Borgen Project, it only takes $19 billion dollars annually to eradicate world hunger ...

This statement has to be a punchline on a Chris Rock
HBO comedy special.

When the boobs at the Borgen Project give us a detailed breakdown of the trillions (read TRILLIONS) of dollars
spent during the Great Society anti-poverty project in the US.....call us with the fascinating statistics!

19 billion....ROTFLMAO!!

Posted by KendraWilder | July 19, 2007 1:57 AM

Thank you, Senator Inhofe, for being one of the few voices of reason and common sense in the GOP membership of the current Congress.

What I'd like to know is: Just who paid the bill for this blatantly obvious political theatre meant to give the Democrats photo ops and video footage for garnering campaign contributions.

Who paid for the cots and pizza? Not to mention the additional Congressional personnel required for cleanup and added security!

Posted by Counterfactual | July 19, 2007 1:57 AM

G. Moore - If I may comment on a few of your assertions.

1 - "I seriously doubt that a majority of Americans would favor the cut-and-run strategy supported by the Democrats. Furthermore, it is important to understand that public opinion is shaped to a large extent by the liberal media."

I am sure you are skeptical of polls, as am I, but it is true that most current polls show more public support for the Democratic possition than the Republican. Of much greater importance than any polls is the actual election last year in which, with Iraq being the most important issue, the Democrats pretty much swept the board in every contested race. A bit hard to square with the idea that the public really opposes the Democratic position.

And if public opinion is largly shaped by the liberal media, how did the public come to support the war in the first place? How comforting to think that back when the public agreed with you, that was 'real' public opinion, but now that they have turned against the war, that is just blind following of the media, and not at all a reaction to how things have gone since then.

2 - "We would do well to remember that when bin Laden was forced to leave Sudan in 1999, Saddam invited him to take refuge in Iraq. There’s every reason to believe that Saddam would have extended the offer again after 9/11."

It may be true that Saddam offered Osama a haven in 1999. You seriously think that he would have done so again in the vastly different circumstances of 2001 when he knew it meant destruction of his government and his own death in short order? And if he had, then we would have had justification for our invasion, both in the eyes of the American public, and the rest of the world. A much better situation to be in than our mad after the fact scramble to try and come up with justifications for our invasion when we found the WMD story was just flat out untrue.

As far as the military situtation in Iraq now is, I am no expert. But what I do know is that for almost 4 years I was fed a steady diet of happy news from our President on down which turned out to be nothing more in most cases than a combination of their wishful thinking and the desire to keep the American public from seeing what was actually happening. I am sure you remember Dick Cheney's famous pronouncement that the insurgency "was on its last legs" a couple years ago. So the question is why should I believe their happy talk now when it has not been true for the last 4 years?

Posted by docjim505 | July 19, 2007 4:09 AM

I appreciate Sen. Inhofe's comments, and I'm glad that he and most of his fellow Republicans in the Senate stood firm in the face of Dingy Harry's mattresses and Turban Durbin's toothpaste. A few questions / points:

1. Why is the GOP allowing wobbly senators like Chuck Hagel, John Warner and the Maine Girls to be the chief voices of the Republican Party on Iraq? The impression I get is that they agree with the Benedict Arnolds and want to surrender, while the rest of the GOP just wants to run and hide until it's over. I'd like to see a more aggressive campaign to explain to the American people why there is still no substitute for victory.

2. It's hard to take the GOP seriously on national security when it is doing nothing to secure the borders.

3. Let's assume that Gen. Petraeus reports that the surge failed (which the dems will claim in any event). What then? Will we keep trying or give up?

4. The left claims that the military is broken. Does Sen. Inhofe agree? With tensions between the United States and Iran so high and so many of our troops committed to Iraq and Afghanistan, what is being done to improve our military readiness and increase the size of our armed forces?

5. In Sen. Inhofe's opinion, why are the dems in the Congress behaving as they are?

Posted by onlineanalyst | July 19, 2007 6:41 AM

Thank you, Sen. Inhofe, for your tireless work in focusing on the security of our nation and your recognition of the principles of the Constitution, which you have sworn to uphold.

You are also the voice of reason with your fact-filled objections to the global warming alarmists who are attempting to undermine our nation with repressive taxation and regulation through warm and fuzzy emotionalism.

Posted by Keemo | July 19, 2007 6:55 AM

Right now, Hugh Hewitt & Michael Savage are the two leading talk radio personalities; these two guys are dishing us a steady diet of the facts in "rapid fire mode"....

From Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday:

Is The Surge Working? An Interview With General Petraeus
Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 7:04 PM
Iraq is not a breeding ground for terrorists, but a burying ground. General Petraeus, from my interview with him this morning:

[A]s you know, we try to avoid body counting, but inevitably, obviously, it is something we keep track of, because we're trying to have some sense of the damage we are doing to al Qaeda-Iraq, its affiliates, other Sunni insurgent groups, and also certainly to the Shia militia extremist elements. And the answer to that in a general sense is that they are losing many, many hundreds of their, of these different elements each month, certainly since the onset of the surge.

Why such an increase in effectiveness? Part of the answer is in the incredible effectiveness of the allied special forces operating in tandem with the conventional forces:

Our best operators in the world are here in the largest numbers of anywhere in the world by several multiples, and conducting a very, very high operational tempo, and doing extraordinary operations. When I think back to the operations we did, for example, going after war criminals in Bosnia, or something like that, you know, and one of those would be a big deal, and you'd dine off that for the next several months. On a nightly basis here, you know, ten or twelve serious operations are going down by these forces. And any one of those is far more significant than we conducted for decades. They are very sophisticated, very complex, very lethal sometimes, and very effective. Having said that, although they may be the most important operations, because they can take down, as they did the senior Iraqi leader in al Qaeda-Iraq, or kill all three al-Turki brothers, or what have you, it is also the weight of the operations conducted by the, if you will, the regular special forces, the Green Berets and the others that make up the special operations task force, and operate throughout the country at a very high operational tempo, and of our conventional forces. I mean it is our conventional forces who cleared Western Baquba. Certainly, augmented by, again, our special forces and our special mission unit elements, but they're the ones that, you know, killed the 80 or 90 confirmed kill, and perhaps another 80 or so more, and captured a couple of hundred in addition to that as well. And they're the ones who will hold that area against attempts that have already taken place by Al Qaeda and their affiliates to try and get back into these neighborhoods.

Read the whole thing for a broad assessment of conditions in Iraq, one that completely contradicts assertions that the surge has failed. The audio will also be posted and can be listened to by hitting the "Talk Radio Clips" button above. HughHewitt.com

Posted by Keemo | July 19, 2007 7:03 AM

Hugh Hewitt interviews the good General at length; in contrast, Pelosi wouldn't even give the guy a few moments of her time. If the news coming out of Iraq regarding the surge was going to be "bad news" for America, Pelosi would have given the good General the entire day if necessary.

I, for one, will accept not accept anything other than "victory" in Iraq and or any other nation on earth this war takes us to. I will not tolerate another "defeat" at the hands of Democrats and the 90% Liberal media running this country. To hell with the lot of them!

Posted by crossdotcurve | July 19, 2007 7:29 AM

[Comment deleted. If you're going to post the same comment in every thread, I'll delete them all. Either contribute something meaningful, or don't bother. -- CE]

Posted by Angry Dumbo | July 19, 2007 7:56 AM

Senator, would you consider moving to Illinois?

Posted by crossdotcurve | July 19, 2007 8:40 AM

Posting a relevant comment, twice, on different days.

Not allowed. No commenter bumping.

Got it.

Posted by G. Moore | July 19, 2007 10:16 AM

Counterfactual: Some observations.

Regarding polls, the latest Rasmussen poll report says, "Fifty-one percent (51%) of American voters say that the United States should wait for the September progress report before making major policy changes in Iraq. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 38% disagree."

That seems to support my assertion.

Regarding the impact of the media, many information consumers did a left turn when the media did a left turn. If you'll remember, the run-up to the war featured story after story about Saddam poking a finger into the eyes of the U.N. and the U.S. Then, when the fighting started, a media obsessed with casualty reports and liberal tendencies did a left turn, taking many of their customers (38 percent plus, perhaps) with them.

Think about it. Opinion is not developed in a vacuum. It is based upon the information one consumes. Regretably, most people do not take the trouble to search out the facts. It's much easier sitting in an easy chair and listening to a reader on the 6 o'clock "news." And that can mean trouble when that "news" is fragmentary and biased, as it often is. (Listen carefully and critically.)

Regarding OBL and Saddam, do you really think Saddam was playing with a full deck prior to the war? He was as nuts before the war as he was when he was on trial. He would have relished the thought of OBL joining him in fighting the United States.

Regarding the conduct of the war, don't you think it would be wise to wait two months for what everybody acknowledges would be the "definitive" word on the war? Why the rush to judgment? The Democrats seemed to buy into the timetable when the general was confirmed. So why not wait and avoid the possibility of a tragic mistake with extremely grave consequences?

Do you have any thoughts regarding the withdrawal consequences I mentioned? I'd be interested in your comments.

Posted by Frozen Okie | July 19, 2007 11:49 AM

"Please forgive the uncouth miscreants who from time to time infect the comments at Ed's site. He maintains an open door policy, and these poor people don't mean to be nasty and vile - obviously their parents had taken too much LSD shortly before they were conceived and the consequent brain damage results in what you see now."

Hi, Adjoran,

My family settled in southern Oklahoma in the 1892 land run. My father was a Republican and worked at Tinker Air Force Base for 29 years. My brother's best friend was Henry Bellmon's nephew, John. Bellmon was the first Republican governor of Oklahoma and a fine US Senator for many years. My mother was a professor at Oklahoma University,and, yes, she was a Democrat. I went to school with Patty Edmondson, Senator J. Howard Edmondson's daughter, and he was another fine Senator. These were all good people who didn't start cranking out acerbic epitaphs for identifying folks who don't believe the same way you do. It's sad that this happens because we all need each other to make this country work. And, my parents never took LSD.

Dear JD,

If you're an Okie, you should know that Okies are naturally suspicious of Tulsans. After all, Tulsa is really an eastern city that somehow found itself in the Land of the Red Man (or so I'm told by many Tulsans!) I hate to let the air out of your suppositions about me, but I do not wear a hair shirt. I actually feel sorry for GWB. He meant well, but he got bad advice. Still, I hold to my convictions that Inhofe and Coburn can't hold a candle to the likes of Kerr, Monroney, Edmondson, Bellman, Bartlett, Boren, and Nickles.

Posted by firedup | July 19, 2007 3:57 PM

Senator Inhofe, I hope you didn't use the toothpaste sent out by Dick "Turban" Durbin; it's probably that poison stuff from China.

Seriously, the Democrats continue to reach for new lows in their mockery of our troops in their valiant fight against jihad. Do you ever wonder, Senator Inhofe, if you are actually in the United States Senate, or have been assigned to teach in a kindergarten? Honestly.

I thank you for realizing the importance of the GWOT and for supporting the current Greatest Generation. Keep up the good work.