April 26, 2007

The Goalpost-Shifting Of The Democrats

I decided to follow up yesterday's Five Myths piece with another look at Harry Reid and Nancy "No-Show" Pelosi. The inconsistencies between Democratic positions on the Iraq war in just a matter of weeks are astonishing, once one does a little research. It was just in January that Democrats scolded the White House for not listening to its generals. In at least one case, the vacillation occurs within the same interview.

For instance, here's what the two Democratic leaders had to say earlier in the year:

* Senate Democrats voted unanimously to confirm General Petraeus in January.

* “Listen to the generals.” - Sen. Harry Reid, 01/19/2007

* “If the President won't listen to generals, he won't listen to the American people, who have spoken for a new direction, then perhaps he will listen to us, Congress, when we send him a supplemental bill that acknowledges reality in Iraq.” - Reid, 03/26/2007

* “Just listen to the generals.” - Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 02/27/07

Got all that? Now here's a few more quotes from the last ten days for comparison:

* “The Pentagon first approached Armed Services Committee aides to set up a briefing [with General Petraeus], but panel aides said they were “too busy” to schedule a meeting next week, the administration official said. A second attempt to set up a briefing with the Speaker’s office was likewise declined.” - Roll Call, 04/18/2007

* “Initially, some Democrats rejected the offer to meet with General Petraeus, but said they changed their minds to avoid being cast as unwilling to compromise.” - NYTimes, 04/19/2007

Abd for those looking for constancy in Democratic leadership even within a single day, we get nothing but disappointment:

* He's the man on the ground there now. … I agree with General Petraeus. … …I stick with General Petraeus. … He's the commander on the ground there.” – Reid on Gen. Petraeus, 4/23/07

* “I don’t believe him.” - Reid on Petraeus in the same interview

So we should listen to the generals but avoid meeting with them, and support the commander in the field but not believe him. That sums up the Democrats on the war since they took control of Congress. There's been room for plenty of criticism about the war strategies in Iraq over the past sixteen months when insurgencies started becoming much more deadly, but the vacillation of the Democrats serves as a reminder of why American voters don't trust them with national security.


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Comments (22)

Posted by Tess bryan [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 12:00 PM

As a Republican who has totally embraced the war in Irak, I have come to the conclusion that it is not winnable. Not the halfhearted way we are doing it. So better cut the loses and stop the slow bleeding! Either we go all out or we leave. We are fighting too powerful an enemy to be so soft and stupid! So better get out. Partition Irak and help those on our side.Regroup and save money. Fight Iran and the rest from a position of strength: not stuck in Irak and vulnerable! Sad to say but the after war has been botched beyond repair or beyond our will to do it right!

Posted by Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 12:08 PM

Have we become a nation of spineless weasels, that such perfidy and calumny shall go unpunished?

It's a sad day for America that such traitors have risen to high positions in Congress, and an even sadder one that they are tolerated.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 12:22 PM

The inconsistencies between Democratic positions on the Iraq war in just a matter of weeks are astonishing, once one does a little research.

Cap'n, you're preaching to the choir. We KNOW that the dems haven't had a coherent policy on Iraq since day 1. The evidence of this is overwhelming. And it's not just honest ignorance or even honest stupidity: they lack a coherent plan because Iraq, the WoT, and ultimately the security and future of our country mean nothing to them. They simply hate Bush, and would surrender the country to bin Laden tomorrow if he promised to behead Bush first.

Unfortunately, logical thought is not something that libs are good at (otherwise, they wouldn't be libs). In their feeble minds, it doesn't matter that Grand Admiral Reid contradicts himself in a single interview. It doesn't matter that the dems are now doing the very thing they've accused Bush of doing.

The only thing that matters is that they hate Bush. This is as far as their thinking (I use the term loosely) ever gets. They are like the sheep in "Animal Farm", capable of doing nothing other than bleating, "Democrats goooood, Bush baaaaaaddddd. Democrats goooood, Bush baaaaaaddddd." A pack of sniveling, mindless, bitter, spiteful, treasonous filth.

Posted by dave_rywall [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 12:54 PM

Ohhhhh come on. Dems haven't moved the goalposts any more than the people actually in charge of this nightmare.

Bush has done more than his his fair share of flip flopping on whether or not he will listen to the generals.

But I completely understand how difficult it is to take off the party loyalty blinders.

Posted by contemptofcourt [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 1:04 PM

Intellectual honesty, Ed?

REID: General -- General Petraeus has said the war cannot be won militarily. He said that. And President Bush is doing nothing economically. He is doing nothing diplomatically. He is not doing even the minimal requested by the Iraq Study Group.

So I -- I stick with General Petraeus. I have no doubt that the war cannot be won militarily, and that's what I said last Thursday and I stick with that.

REID: Well, I -- as I said, maybe it's a choice of words. I mean General Petraeus has said the war cannot be won militarily.

Doesn't every soldier going there know that he's said that?

I think so.

BASH: You talked several times about General Petraeus. You know that he is here in town. He was at the White House today, sitting with the president in the Oval Office and the president said that he wants to make it clear that Washington should not be telling him, General Petraeus, a commander on the ground in Iraq, what to do, particularly, the president was talking about Democrats in Congress.

He also said that General Petraeus is going to come to the Hill and make it clear to you that there is progress going on in Iraq, that the so-called surge is working. Will you believe him when he says that?

REID: No, I don't believe him, because it's not happening. All you have to do is look at the facts.

BTW, Patraeus' little black book on counterinsurgency calls for 25 soldiers per 1000 locals. That would require 120K soldiers just for Baghdad. We have not even given the guy what he needs per his own doctrine.

Posted by TyCaptains [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 1:04 PM


As I pointed out in the "No Show Nancy" topic you created earlier...

Though Pelosi did not show up to the house briefing, she did speak with Petraeus one-on-one the day before - thus invalidating the whole idea of "not being informed by him".


Furthermore, don't you think it's hypocritical to just call out Pelosi when McCain missed the Senate briefing? He is the Senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee after all.

Next topic...

If we want to truly lock down Iraq, are we willing to step up and reinstitute the draft? We need more bodies on the ground IMO to truly lock that country down and NEITHER side has the guts to bring the draft back.

Posted by sam pender [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 1:26 PM

Loved that comment about partisan blinders and President Bush moving goal posts. GREAT ONE!

Simpletons can't understand that a war isn't a simple, singular, action/reaction. They happen for a number of reasons, and President Bush listed them very well back in March 2003. He hasn't moved goalposts-he's accomplished them, and as he has casus belli that were lower on the list are moved up to replace accomplished objectives.

Take off the partisan blinders indeed! This entire article was about Democrats, and a blinded partisan couldn't see that; could only see a chance to spout someone elses [incorrect] talking .

What's that talking point? The tried and true, "they did it too/they did it first" whine. Incorrect as demonstrated above, but also completely hypocritical since Dems were supposedly "mandated" by the people to do things differently.

Oh, and btw, I see Al Queda in Iraq has officially endorsed the Democrats' plan for Iraq, and even cited Senator "We're all losers" Reid.

"It is apparent to every watchful eye that recent events over the past few days have exposed a huge crack in America’s administration. With weak declarations from their leaders about events on the ground in Iraq just two months after the so-called “Baghdad security plan” commenced and a growing dispute about funds spent on the Iraq and Afghan wars, the American command has now said “The current security plan is the last chance for the American army and the Maliki government”.
As usual, this was followed by a swift visit by the new (American) Defense Minister “Gates” who said, “The American support to the Maliki government is not unlimited”, insinuating that the American administration is impatient with the Maliki government that is incapable of handling the strikes of the Mujahideen. This comes on the heels of an important statement by House Majority Leader Harry Reid who previously said, “The Iraqi war is hopeless and the situation in Iraq is same as it was in Vietnam.”"

Information Ministry
*The Islamic State of Iraq*
7 Rabi Al-Akir, 1428
April 24, 2007

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 1:53 PM

I have so much contempt for those of you who see Iraq as just another club to swing at this president.

You chide us about the number of American lives lost in Iraq. And you lecture us about our obligations to the world community and deride conservatives for what you say is their lack of concern for people of color. And yet you argue for a withdrawal that would end in a mass slaughter of Iraqis.

In short, you ignore the obligation to Iraq that we took on when, right or wrong, we sent troops there.

A responsible opposition would say "we don't like the reasons for this war but, like it or not, we're there now. We'll stay until Iraqi troops can take the place of American ones." But you're incapable of saying that. Given the choice between responsible opposition and playing politics you choose politics.

A conservative I respect talks of the left's "broken moral compass." But your moral compass isn't just broken. You discarded it some time ago, exchanged for a shiny new political compass.

Posted by awbtf [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 3:06 PM

A much better post than the Reid myths attempt.

BTW, Patraeus' little black book on counterinsurgency calls for 25 soldiers per 1000 locals. That would require 120K soldiers just for Baghdad. We have not even given the guy what he needs per his own doctrine.

Posted by contemptofcourt at April 26, 2007 01:04 PM

You are forgetting Iraq's army.

If we want to truly lock down Iraq, are we willing to step up and reinstitute the draft? We need more bodies on the ground IMO to truly lock that country down and NEITHER side has the guts to bring the draft back.

Posted by TyCaptains at April 26, 2007 01:04 PM

Both sides has the brains to know the draft is a bad, dumb idea. Except those who fondly remember the Vietnam era.

Posted by DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 3:29 PM

Captain, the very fact that you express surprise at these discoveries shows how effectively the Dems control the media narrative in this country. Their tactics don't have to be very sophisticated - they can say virtually anything they want to and get away with it, so they can be on whatever side of every issue seems advantageous all the time.

All they have to do is keep up a nonstop barrage of allegations and outrage, and the media will make sure it runs on the front page. And they don't have to worry about being confronted about their flip-flops - the media won't do it and if someone else tries to, the media simply won't report it.

Two things to remember:
1. You don't even have to pretend to be playing fair when you have the refs in your pocket.
2. Any young person about to spend 4 years of their life in J-school, only to wake up in a bed full of whores, needs career counselling, pronto.

Posted by The Fop [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 3:46 PM

Remember when all the lefties were screaming about how sanctions against Iraq were leading to the starvation of millions of Iraqis?

Now the same lefties say "let the Iraqis kill each in a civil war, it's not our problem".

So America was guilty of murder when it put Saddam Hussein in "a box".

America was guilty of murder when we got rid of Saddam Hussein.

So I guess the answer was to leave Saddam Hussein in power and remove sanctions. That's the left's idea of a humane solution to dealing with a brutal dictator.

These are the same people who were calling Afghanistan "the next Vietnam" before Bush gave them the opportunity to call Iraq "the next Vietman".

Posted by hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 5:51 PM

The fop,
YOu make an incredible point.
Iraq for years has not been about rational policy making or execution of policy, as far as the left is concerned.
The doublespeak history rewrites of the left have totally buried that false claim of thiers, regarding the sanctions.
The same mindwipes who now call for abandoning the Iraqis to death and terror and oppression are the first to blame America for anything going wrong in the world.
Keep up the good work,

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 6:51 PM

Holy smoke, there, Batman. Ma and Pa Kettle have square danced Dubya right up against the ropes.

Not as if we were gaining ground in iraq. How could we? We stopped fighting, there, years ago. And, the terrorists were planting bombs, which at first got our military guys. Less so, now.

Because the terror's been turned against iraqi neighborhoods.

Probably, the biggest problem in iraq, anyway, is unemployment. That's where they get their "dreamers" to don suicide belts; for this religion of theirs.

Wasn't Saddam's style. Back in the old days, Iraqis at least were free of religious onslaught.

But the Saud's know their business. They've dropped these madrasses all over the globe. And, Bush never spoke up.

Yeah. We've got a bit less than two years to go to the next big election disaster. Well, what do you think the dnks are planning? You think they're doing a build-up to lose?

That would give your name calling tactics lots of power.

SO, I'll guess, instead, that the donks are goosing Bush. And, showing displeasure at the iraqis.

While at the same time NO OTHER COUNTRY is wasting money having sustained wars with arabs.

The Israelis tried that! Great general in charge, Arik Sharon, did go into Lebanon. And, then the Israelis spent ten years there, GOING NO PLACE.

Last summer? Well, Bush was hot for the Israelis to not only bust Nasrallah's chops; but to take a detour. Go down the Golan. Where they stay put on top. And, venture in about 37 milies to Damascus. The order? Bring back Assad's head on a plate. The reality? FOG. And, diplomacy. And, anything BUT going into arab territory to change "things."

Still, we're in iraq.

And, the Saud's are without the keys they want.

Oh, yeah. Back in iraq, the iranians also saw the fire-sale. So they, too, have shot up with loot, to help the terror along. To the point where Maliki was able to provide tit-for-tat.

Our troops NEVER leave the fortified Green Zone. Still, about 80% of iraq has been pacified, enough. Though it is not a tourist attraction. ANd, with all it's oil wealth, it is not really paying contractors to come in and install infrastructure.

Electricity is not delivered, uniformly. Those who can afford it, have generators. So the racket is LOUD. And, limited in its effectiveness.

Maybe, Bush over-promised?

Maybe, lots of Americans are past caring?

The Israelis have lost all interest in going into arab areas. Though Israelis also bring with them military strength to force the terrorists underground. WHere they scurry about like rats.

By the way, unlike hunter, I don't think the donks are doing a "cut and run." I think they're using a stick. To hit the iraqis with FACTS. If the iraqis aren't interested in helping themselves, then, nobody else is gonna foot the bill.

Stopping in Iraq, is like stopping welfare.

And, we ain't ever done that, either.

But the threats do put some able bodied people to work.

And, showing two sides of issues, is exactly what happened in Israel, too. Diplomacy, could be called one (worthless) track. While, retaliation is the other. Holds the hordes of arabs at bay, so far.

In iraq, there's plenty of examples that part of the failures are due to the revolving door nature you got. When Americans arrested bad guys. Graft was paid to the police. And, the bad guys exit in no time.

Even Abner Dinnerjacket, in kidnapping British Wavy personnel; got the release of one iranian prisoner UNDER THE TABLE. The Kurds held onto their's.

As a matter of fact, HAMAS just tried to duplicate Abner Dinnerjacket's media success. To no avail. Hit with a barage of 60 Kassams, the IDF troops were trained well enough not to fall into disarray.

Shalit got captured due to not being trained well enough. And, in the chaos that followed, then, the terrorists ran in and captured one soldier.

They've seen Olmert's list. And, they want those ten thousand terrorists released from Israeli jails. Their problem? Shalit's dead. So the list grew long; but there's no trade. They got cooperation from Eygpt. Probably military help from the russians. But it did them no good.

To threaten that America is at risk because we're disappointed with the results, so far, in Iraq; is to miss the big picture.

In Israel, it's a known fact that trying to help arabs is a waste of time.

However, when they strike, THEN you hit them hard. Israel withdrew. Did not do Bush's bidding.

Which means there's a disconnect in the White House, itself. Made worse by having James Baker, back.

Ma and Pa Kettle. If it wasn't for Tom DeLay's whining, in his book, I'd have had no idea that pelosi got him! Why? Because DeLay went after Bill Clinton with impeachment. For the GOP, that was a loss.

For pelosi? Guess what, she's a pro. You don't like her methods?

You think wars are nice? Well, then you guessed wrong. Because there are only winners and losers. Nobody gets the whole pie.

And, the donks are going after Bush, because the opportunities to win points at home are greater than not.

Again, you only have to keep your ONE PERCENT INTACT. And, here? Ma and Pa Kettle seem to know which way the winds are blowing.

Someday, they may get credit for knocking some common sense into the heads of iraqi arabs. Why not? Nothing else worked.

Posted by richard mcenroe [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 9:30 PM

"Both sides has the brains to know the draft is a bad, dumb idea. "

Yeah? Wait til they try to find enlistees under a Democratic adminstration...

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 9:32 PM

cAPTAIN, THANKS FOR SHARING TODAYS GOP TALKING POINTS.DaveR.... blame the msm, now their an original thought. Bush has totally botched the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but somehow the gop will try to blame the dems for bush being an idiot. And neo-clowns, how come the architects of the invasion, Wolfowitz,Feith,and Rummy, are completely out of the picture now? Coincidence? I'm thinking......probably not. You failed, your incompetent,your too proud to admit failure. Bush supposedly listens to the Generals, except for the time before the invasion when General Shinseki told him he'd need 500,000 troops to secure Iraq. I believe nothing that comes out of Bush's mouth. He's been a failure his whole life and nothing has changed.

Posted by awbtf [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 11:40 PM

It's amusing in a sad way. To hear the critics of removing Saddam, you'd think in 2002 that Shinseki was the only General in the entire US military.

And for Carol who said "Back in the old days, Iraqis at least were free of religious onslaught." a question: Is Saddam killing a million of his own citizens for secular reasons better because it's not religious reasons or because our media and politicians could just pretty much ignore the whole thing?

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 11:42 PM

RE: conservative democrat (April 26, 2007 09:32 PM)
He's [Bush] been a failure his whole life and nothing has changed.

Right. Because failures in life regularly make it to the Presidency of the United States.

Just curious here, cd. How would you describe your own ascendancy and success in life compared to Bush's? Are you really a sock puppet for Bill Gates, the ghost of Sam Walton, or a time-traveling George Washington perchance?

Posted by TyCaptains [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 11:55 PM

awbtf said:
Both sides has the brains to know the draft is a bad, dumb idea. Except those who fondly remember the Vietnam era.

Well I didn't say I wanted the draft. The issue is that I think we need more bodies in the military to support current operations, something you may disagree with.

For the years long committment that Petraeus is now hinting at required in Iraq, I don't see any other way as to how we're going to support it.

Let me ask a question:

If the Draft were the only way to truly "win" in Iraq, would you support it?

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 27, 2007 6:16 AM

TyCaptains wrote (April 26, 2007 11:55 PM):

If the Draft were the only way to truly "win" in Iraq, would you support it?

Of course I would. However, I don't think that the draft is neccessary at this point. Further, given that it is being suggested by people who have practically admitted that they were stupid enough to be suckered by George Bush (you know? The idiot who's been a loser his entire life?) into invading Iraq for no good reason, I think we can safely discount their advice. Even Charlie "Taz" Rangle, who floated the idea with such passion, refused to vote in favor of it.

The draft, like almost everything else the libs do, is yet another "filibuster" (to borrow from jerry): it's not about actually DOING something, it's about setting up a phony reason why we CAN'T do something.

But here's a question in return: the dems claim that the military is "overstretched" and "broken" because of Iraq. So, would you support a large, sustained increase in defense spending to increase the size of the active military, with no strings attached?

Or do the spinach growers need the money more?

And let's go even further. If we believe the dems' hysteria about a broken, overstretched military, doesn't it point toward the maintenance of a larger armed forces even after we surrender in Iraq? After all, if we couldn't knock over the Taliban and Saddam without dangerously overstretching the military (after all, Shinseki warned us we'd need a half million troops to secure Iraq), and if there's no way we can hope to deal with Iran as things stand, don't we need to put tens of thousands more Americans into uniform, as we did during the Cold War?

Or are the dems going to do exactly what I suspect, i.e. surrender and start spending the "peace dividend"? Field Marshall al-Murtha as good as said that's what they will do as soon as he and his fellow quislings "slow bleed" our troops in Iraq to death.

Posted by TyCaptains [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 27, 2007 12:04 PM

Getting to your questions, let's figure out the assumptions:

1> Do you think that the military is stretched?

2> If so, then in what manner? Bodies? Equipment? Both?

I'd have ZERO problem throwing more money at Iraq IF I thought MONEY would solve the issue. Alas, it's not as simple as throwing greenbacks at the warring tribes, insurgents, and ALQ.

You need bodies to wield that equipment, and that's what I think we're lacking. Unfortunately to increase the size of the military, it takes years. Even a draft is not end all solution of bodies since training takes a decent amount of time.

Now, as to your "no strings attached" parameter, my answer is "no". And here's a counter-question that will illustrate my reasoning.

Let's say the Dems had fully supported the Surge and Petraeus but the situation in Iraq did NOT improve at all over the period of a year.

What would you say then? Need more time? Need more boots on the ground? Need more money?

Ok, rinse and repeat. Another year goes by and the same thing, no improvement in Iraq. What then?

I want accountability. I want progress. If we simply continue with this form of military welfare, then Iraq will remain a welfare state.

Don't you think having metrics to measure progress is important? Or would you rather simply "believe" that Iraq is moving forward? And I'm completely open to discussing what those metrics might be comprised of, mind you.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 27, 2007 1:59 PM

Re: TyCaptains April 27, 2007 12:04 PM:

One of the problems with COIN is that "metrics" are not easy to come by. In conventional war, they are obvious: territory lost / taken, ships sunk, aircraft shot down. In COIN, they are not so obvious.

In Vietnam, we tried the body count; it appealed to bean counters in Washington and Saigon who honestly thought that dead enemy soldiers was a good indicator of progress (ironically, the MSM is still enamored of the body count... so long as it's AMERICAN bodies). Later, we developed the Hamlet Evaluation System, which factored in such diverse data as VC / NVA attacks, taxes collected, public works completed, etc, to try to get a good picture of how much a hamlet actually "belonged" to Saigon. We had learned from bitter experience earlier in the war that the only time an area was "controlled" by Saigon was when US or ARVN troops were actually in it. Soon as they left, the VC Infrastructure (VCI) came back. A VCI "shadow government" operated more or less openly in many areas of South Vietnam, with everything from VC "mayors" to VC teachers in the schools.

The Phoenix Program was designed to deal with this problem by identifying the members of the VCI and eliminating them. Natch, when libs in America found out that the Army and the CIA were actually (gasp!) killing the enemy, they screamed bloody murder.

It seems clear to me that we are doing a lot of the kind of work in Iraq that Phoenix did in Vietnam. For example, I don't think we found Zarqawi by accident. We are also doing a lot of the civic action type projects, such as building schools, roads, etc. This isn't glamorous (i.e. it doesn't involve dead GI's), so the MSM isn't interested. As near as I can tell, there is no terrorist equivalent of the VCI, or, if there is, its presence is limited to a few, very small areas (which the surge is supposed to help eliminate).

Here's another metric: terrorist bombings. It's counter-intuitive, but random terrorist bombings actually demonstrate that the terrorists are LOSING: if they control an area and its people, they don't have to resort to this kind of indiscriminate destruction. Bombings are a mark of desperation, not success.

Long and short: I'd like better "metrics", but I'm not interested in the kind that libs want, i.e. ones that are designed to demonstrate failure. Even if we had good metrics (and I hope that the Army actually does), the MSM wouldn't be interested or even understand them. For example, in how many Iraqi provinces does the ISF have primary (if not sole) responsibility for security? How many have been handed over by us or the other coaltion forces to them? This information isn't easy to come by, but it IS a good metric.

Unfortunately, the MSM and the filthy dems it serves are not interested in metrics that might (gasp!) show that Iraq isn't a total disaster. They want (American) body counts and nothing else.

Posted by zeeter [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 30, 2007 12:36 PM

I really like Reid's comments on Petraeus. In fact, I found it where in the same interview he both backed the general and then said that he wouldn't believe him if he had good news. It was on cnn and you can find it on my site. Reid is just a puppet put up there by the far left wing.