Seventeen Republicans joined Democrats on Friday in passing a two-sentence resolution denouncing President Bush's plan to boost troop levels in Iraq.
The resolution passed easily, 246-182.
Democratic leaders on Saturday will attempt to bring the same measure to the floor in the Senate. (Full story)
Democrats hailed the victory, while outside the chamber, Republican congressional leadership blasted the resolution, calling it the first step toward de-funding the war.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the passage of the non-binding resolution "should send a very clear and firm message to the president of the United States: that the American people spoke in November, that they wanted a new direction in Iraq. This resolution today sets the stage for that new direction"
Thats the first lie I will point to in todays piece..... in case Pelosi missed the exit polls, Iraq was listed as number 4, thats FOUR, on the list of reasons for the vote that was given.
So, Once again, Pelosi simply lies because she knows that there are many Americans that will swallow that lie, hook, line and sinker.
As Captain's Quarters points out, Next stop....The Senate.
The AP's Anne Flaherty reports that "several" GOP Senators will support the legislation, but that will probably only happen if the bill passes cloture. Reid once again will not allow competing amendments to come to the floor, especially not the Gregg bill, which pledges no unilateral Congressional decrease in funding for the Iraq war during this session. That bill splits the Democrats more than it does the Republicans, which is why Reid fears it. The Majority Leader said yesterday that even a failed cloture vote will put Senators on record. However, that's exactly why he won't allow a vote on the Gregg bill; it will put Democrats on record as supporting the war and reveal the split between the anti-war activists and the moderates, and it will put at least two Democratic presidential contenders in a tight spot, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The lie in this?
WASHINGTON - Determined to check President Bush, Democratic critics of the Iraq war hope a strong House vote critical of the administration's troop buildup will pay dividends in the Senate.
Senate Republicans, however, insisted on an alternative that would reject any reduction in money for the troops, making it unlikely that Democrats would prevail in a test vote planned Saturday.
"Americans deserve to know whether their senator stands with the president and his plan to deepen our military commitment in Iraq, or with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose this escalation," Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday.
Harry Reid and his wording..... where does he mention supporting the troops? They could VERY easily have had this debate simply by considering the Gregg bill, but Reid is a coward because he knows the Gregg bill is the only bill that has bipartisan support, the only one that has enough votes to start the debate... Reid's lie is that he wants an honest debate on Iraq.
Maybe the American people would like to also see where Harry Reid "stands" on the Gregg bill.
What he has shown now, is he does not want an honest debate, he wants one bill and thats it and if he cannot get it he will do what he did last time, which is stomp his feet and cry out how unfair those horrible republicans are for not letting him steamroll his own agenda through.
Isn't this nice... the head of the house, Pelosi and the leader of the Senate, Reid, both have no problems with telling their lies because they know their base will believe them.
What about lies of omission, are those really lies? That question can be debated another time, to me, it is a lie and they are also doing this.
Well let us jump right on over to the Mudville Gazette and take a look at what was happening on the ground while Congress was voting.... the lie by omission here is completely ignoring the public success that is being seen in Iraq.
I am going to list the Headlines, you can go on over to the Mudville Gazette to read the full stories.
Iraqi Government and 1st Iraqi Army Division assumes control
IA Captures Al Qaeda In Iraq Cell Leader, Recovers Weapons Cache
BOMB-MAKING FACILITY DESTROYED
IA, CF target terrorist cells in Muqdadiya
Paratroopers crack down on extra-judicial killings
Head on over to the Mudville Gazettes other page too, so you can see what the Iraqi Media is saying:
The long awaited new security plan for Baghdad has now started in earnest. These Iraqi unites trained by us and the UK are performing well. As I have mentioned many times. It is hard to train Iraqi security to serve, protect and enforce the rule of law in three short years, when all they have known previously is oppression and dictatorship. Think about how long it takes for us to train our military, and our men and women have grown up in a society of rule of law and democracy. Democracy and rule of law has only been a dream for Iraqis up until four years ago. The training of the Iraqis is thus doubly challenging.
The new security operation looks and sounds good with Iraqis performing well. What is also interesting is the media campaign the Government has launched to support this operation. Extra billboards displaying hotlines numbers for tips, TV & Radio adds denouncing terrorism etc…
Popular and political support for this operation is the highest I have seen for any operation to date. Iraqi Arab Sunnis and Shiites as well as Kurds, who in Iraq are mostly Sunni, and Christians all support and have high hopes for this operation. Sentiment and hope is especially high amongst the displaced families who are now hoping they can return to their homes sooner rather than later.
Al-Maliki's words to President Bush:
BAGHDAD, Feb. 16 — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki told President Bush on Friday that the increased effort to provide security in Baghdad had gone exceedingly well so far, Mr. Maliki’s office said in a statement.
The two spoke via video link and, according the statement, Mr. Maliki said, “The security plan has been a dazzling success during its first days.”
Across Baghdad, there were signs of the heightened troop presence, as cars were searched at new checkpoints and raids resulted in the arrest of at least 35 people, according to Iraqi officials.
Well well, have we heard anything about this from the liars in the house or in the senate?
Michelle Malkin points out a few more lies the Democrats are trying to feed the American people, with letters from the military showing the nature of those lies coming out of our politicians mouths.
For the record, here is the Army's full response:Recent media reports and a three-page summary from a classified Defense Department Inspector General report suggest the Army may have difficulty meeting its equipment requirements with regard to the recently announced troop increase in Iraq. These media reports are inaccurate and paint an incomplete picture. The U.S. Army's priority is sending only the best trained and equipped Soldiers into combat operations and that means providing the best force protection equipment for Soldiers. Even as we plus up troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom and beyond, force protection will not be shortchanged. Further, the Army will ensure all these Soldiers continue to have the best and most capable equipment in the world.
"Combat is an inherently dangerous and risky endeavor," said Brig. Gen. Chuck Anderson, a senior leader for the Army’s force development section. "The one area the Army will not accept risk is in the protection of our most valuable resource - the Soldier. As our additional forces reach Iraq, they will have the most modern force protection equipment available."
The Army began the Global War on Terrorism with equipment shortages totaling $56 billion from previous decades. In the last several years, the Army has transformed itself more than any other military in history and rapidly acquires ever-improving equipment on a scale not seen since World War II. This agility was forced by the reality of the battlefield: urban combat, the enemy’s selection of casualty producing weapons like Improvised Explosive Devices, and the need to operate in dispersed locations across vast distances are examples. As the combat environment our Soldiers fight in continues to change, the requirements for the type of equipment necessary to fight successfully and win also change.
So, while engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, training and rotating thousands of Soldiers and their units year after year, the Army has provided Soldiers with the best in individual body armor and continues to improve that protective system as technology evolves. In Iraq alone, the Army has gone from a low of 400 up-armored Humvees to nearly 15,000 up-armored Humvees patrolling neighborhoods, protecting troops, and mitigating risk from most types of enemy munitions.
And, while all these improvements have been substantial, the comprehensive process of assessing lessons learned to find and accelerate technological advancements to Soldiers continues.
An excellent example is how the Army is improving the Humvee, based on the ever-changing battlefield threat. As of this date, the Army has produced enough Frag Kit #5 Retrofit kits to outfit every Humvee in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thousands of these kits are being flown into theater every month and they are being installed in theater, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure Soldiers have the best protection available. Retrofit of vehicles being used in Iraq and Kuwait has been synchronized with the plus-up, and is scheduled to be completed this Spring. Retrofits of vehicles being used in Afghanistan are scheduled to be completed this Summer. Bottom line and contrary to news reports, the Army has sufficient up-armored Humvees being produced or fitted with Frag Kit #5 and all other force protection and safety enhancements to meet the plus-up requirement. These vehicles are being shipped directly from the factory to theater to ensure no Soldier “crosses the berm” in a Humvee without Frag Kit #5.
The draft Defense Department Inspector General report, also much-discussed in the media, is an anecdote-based survey that includes interviews with Soldiers about their experiences from 2004-2005 in Afghanistan, and the experiences of multi-Service Members (slightly more than half were U.S. Army) from various units in Iraq in May 2006. We are closely reviewing the Inspector General’s findings and recommendations, always ready to apply lessons learned.
The report’s findings for Iraq were actually positive, and in almost all categories there were no equipment shortages in Army units there. Almost all of the Army shortages described in the report were in Afghanistan, with the majority of those shortages in Task Force Phoenix, the US-lead coalition force that trains Afghan security forces. The equipping conditions described in Afghanistan, though accurate for the report’s time period, are dated. The requirement for more and more Afghan security forces means the requirement for US personnel and equipment to execute the train-and-equip mission has increased even further since the date of the report. And these new requirements are being addressed right now. "We’ve had steady and continuous improvement in force protection assets over the past year,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Durbin, the senior American trainer for Afghan security forces. “To date, the increased critical force protection requirement my command has identified has been validated and approved and I am totally confident that everything possible is being done to ensure that equipment arrives in theater as quickly as possible."
Also, the DoD IG report’s finding that the Army lacks a standard process to determine equipping requirements is incorrect. The Army Requirement and Resource Board (AR2B), a weekly three-star level event with key overseas headquarters linked by video teleconference is the process that reviews emerging theater requirements and operational needs and determines how to solve equipping problems for deployed and deploying units. Through this process – in place and continually refined since early 2003 -- the Army continues to work closely with commanders on the ground, U.S. Central Command, the Joint Staff and the Defense Department to provide Soldiers and other U.S. forces with needed equipment in a timely manner. Unlike the report’s recommendation, the Army believes that it would be inefficient to simply follow a rigid, uniform approach in equipping forces in view of the constantly changing realities on the battlefield. Instead, the Army’s process responds rapidly and flexibly to the assessments that commanders continually make in the field in determining the exact resources they require to accomplish their missions and safeguard the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines under their command. With each new assessment, the Army has been quick to respond, and will continue to do so.
Facing even greater requirements now in 2007, and to ensure full protection with no compromises, the Army has developed a plan to make use of every available asset worldwide to fully equip plus up forces. The essential elements of the plan include:
1. Ensuring Soldiers of deploying units have the equipment they need to train with before deployment.
2. Preparing unit sets of what we call "TPE" (Theater Provided Equipment) for the forces when they arrive in theater.
3. Speeding up production of key "in demand" systems, capabilities and additional equipment like armored trucks.
4. Retro-fitting -- in theater or back in the United States -- equipment that has been in the fight with updated force protection.
5. Continuously reviewing and streamlining the process to identify, request, validate and deliver needed equipment to the Soldier. The Equipping Common Operating Picture System started Sept. 1, 2006, provides a worldwide collaborative data base and tracking capability for equipment needs and is an example one such improvement made from this constant review.
"We will fully resource our combat commanders for this new plus up mission, and assure them we will satisfy their theater force protection requirements for our Soldiers. It is always the priority mission, “ said Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs.
It's easy for people with no clue about the complexities of logistics to carp about the armor gap at politically expedient times. I think I'll take the Army's word over Ted Kennedy's and the Democrat strategist's, how about you?
Yeah, I think the army has a little bit more knowledge than Ted kennedy!!!!!
Read the reast of Michelle Malkins piece, she has emails from more members of our military showing the nature of the dishonesty of our politicians.
Statement from Bill Frist about the ongoing dishonesty from the Democrats:
As many of you, I have watched with interest the new Democrat Majority.
Throughout the 2006 campaign, Democrats spoke at great length about the fair mindednesss of Democrat rule. If Democrats were in the Majority the American people would see a difference. Real debate. Real votes on the issues of our time.
So how have they done?
Well in his first month as Leader, Harry Reid has "filled the tree" to block any amendments to the continuing resolution and twice attempted to block votes on alternatives to his Iraq resolution. So much for real debate.
By filling the tree and filing cloture on the latest Iraq resolution, he brings the Senate in for a Saturday cloture vote - trying to break the minority by forcing Republicans to vote for cloture or else suffer media spin that they are blocking a vote on Iraq. He's too clever by half.
I hope Republicans will openly denounce this charade, throw his words back at him about minority rights and the meaning of the Senate, and take aggressive steps to demonstrate that it is Democrats, not Republicans, who are stifling free debate on Iraq. The last part of this is especially important - because in round one, the Mainstream Media (MSM) especially the NY Times and LA Times have helped Leader Reid by spinning headlines that Republicans were obstructing.
We need to be more aggressive and challenge this time and again.
Bloggers are at the heart of this debate and I encourage every blogger to expose the Democrat hypocrisy for what it is and continue to decry the decline of the MSM and their lack of objectivity.
Written by Bill Frist, M.D.
Well said Mr. Frist and thank you.
Joseph Lieberman's statement on this issue:
Mr. President, our nation has reached a critical crossroad in the war in Iraq. More than four years ago, this chamber voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein, a tyrant who slaughtered his own people, attacked his neighbors, and threatened our security. Thanks to the courageous service of the men and women of our military, that evil regime was overthrown. And in its place came hopes of democracy in the heart of the Middle East and a victory in the war for the hearts and minds of the Muslim world.
As of today, those hopes have not been realized. Because of the ruthless conduct of our enemies, as well as our own failures, we instead today find ourselves on a knife’s edge in Iraq.
Now, a new course has been chosen. A new commander is in place in Iraq, confirmed by this Senate. A new Secretary of Defense is in place at the Pentagon, confirmed by this Senate. And a new strategy has begun to be put into action on the ground in Iraq by our troops.
It is altogether proper that we debate our policy in Iraq. It should be a debate that is as serious as the situation in Iraq and that reflects the powers the Constitution gives to Congress in matters of war.
But that, sadly, is not the debate that the Warner-Levin resolution invites us to have. I am going to speak strongly against this resolution because I feel strongly about it. I do so with respect for my colleagues who have offered it, but I believe its passage would so compromise America’s security, present and future, that I will say so in the clearest terms I can.
The resolution before us, its sponsors concede, will not stop the new strategy from going forward. As we speak, thousands of troops are already in Baghdad, with thousands more moving into position to carry out their Commander’s orders. This resolution does nothing to alter these facts.
Instead, its sponsors say it will send a message of rebuke from the Senate to the president, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other. But there is a world beyond Pennsylvania Avenue that is watching and listening.
What we say here is being heard in Baghdad by Iraqi moderates, trying to decide whether the Americans will stand with them. We are being heard by our men and women in uniform, who will be interested to know whether we support the plan they have begun to carry out. We are being heard by the leaders of the thuggish regimes in Iran and Syria, and by Al Qaeda terrorists, eager for evidence that America’s will is breaking. And we are being heard across America by our constituents, who are wondering if their Congress is capable of serious action, not just hollow posturing.
This resolution is not about Congress taking responsibility. It is the opposite. It is a resolution of irresolution.
For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented, but it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity. And that is why I will vote against cloture.
If you believe that General Petraeus and his new strategy have a reasonable chance of success in Iraq, then you should resolve to support him and his troops through the difficult days ahead. On the other hand, if you believe that this new strategy is flawed or that our cause is hopeless in Iraq, then you should vote to stop it. Vote to cut off funds. Vote for a binding timeline for American withdrawal. If that is where your convictions lie, then have the courage of your convictions to accept the consequences of your convictions. That would be a resolution.
The non-binding measure before us, by contrast, is an accumulation of ambiguities and inconsistencies. It is at once for the war but also against the war. It pledges its support to the troops in the field but also washes its hands of what they are doing. It approves more troops for Anbar but not for Baghdad.
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot vote full confidence in General Petraeus, but no confidence in his strategy. We cannot say that the troops have our full support, but disavow their mission on the eve of battle. This is what happens when you try to wage war by committee. That is why the Constitution gave that authority to the President as Commander in Chief.
Cynics may say this kind of thing happens all of the time in Congress. In this case, however, they are wrong. If it passed, this resolution would be unique in American legislative history. I contacted the Library of Congress on this question last week and was told that, never before, when American soldiers have been in harm’s way, fighting and dying in a conflict that Congress had voted to authorize, has Congress turned around and passed a resolution like this, disapproving of a particular battlefield strategy.
I ask each of my colleagues to stop for a moment and consider this history carefully. Even during Vietnam, even after the Tet Offensive, even after the invasion of Cambodia, Congress did not take up a resolution like this one.
Past Congresses certainly debated wars. They argued heatedly about them. And they clashed directly with the Executive Branch over their execution. But in doing so they accepted the consequences of their convictions.
This resolution does no such thing. It is simply an expression of opinion. It does not pretend to have any substantive effect on policy on the ground in Iraq.
But again, I ask you: what will this resolution say to our soldiers? What will it say to our allies? And what will it say to our enemies?
We heard from General Petraeus during his confirmation hearing that war is a battle of wills. Our enemies believe that they are winning in Iraq today. They believe that they can outlast us; that, sooner or later, we will tire of this grinding conflict and go home. That is the lesson that Osama bin Laden took from our retreats from Lebanon and Somalia in the 1980s and 1990s. It is a belief at the core of the insurgency in Iraq, and at the core of radical Islam worldwide. And this resolution—by codifying our disunity, by disavowing the mission our troops are about to undertake—confirms our enemies’ belief in American weakness.
This resolution also sends a terrible message to our allies. I agree that we must hold the Iraqi government to account. That is exactly what the resolution Senator McCain and I have offered would do. But I ask you: Imagine for a moment that you are a Sunni or Shia politician in Baghdad who wants the violence to end—and ask yourself how the Warner-Levin resolution will affect your thinking, your calculations of risk, your willingness to stand against the forces of extremism. Every day, you are threatened by enemies who want nothing but to inflict the most brutal imaginable horrors on you and your loved ones. Will this resolution empower you, or will it undermine you? Will it make you feel safer, or will it make you feel you should hedge your bets, or go over to the extremists, or leave the country?
And finally, what is the message this resolution sends to our soldiers? I know that everyone here supports our troops—but actions have consequences, often unintended. When we send a message of irresolution, it does not support our troops. When we renounce their mission, it does not support our troops.
We heard recently in the Senate Armed Services Committee from General Jack Keane, who said of this resolution. “It’s just not helpful… What the enemy sees is an erosion of the political and moral will of the American people… Our soldiers are Americans first. They clearly understand there’s a political process in this country that they clearly support… But at the end of the day, they are going to go out and do a tough mission, and I certainly would like to see them supported in that mission as opposed to declaring non-support....”
Everyone here knows that the American people are frustrated about the lack of progress in Iraq. Everyone here shares that frustration. And as elected representatives of the people, everyone here feels pressure to give expression to that frustration.
This is not a new challenge. It is one that every democracy in every long, difficult war has had to confront.
Nearly a century and a half ago, at a site not far from here, an American president wrestled with just this problem. It was in the midst of a terrible war—a civil war—in which hundreds of thousands of Americans were fighting and dying to secure the freedom of millions long and cruelly denied it.
“We here highly resolve…”—that was Lincoln’s message at Gettysburg. It was a message of resolution, of conviction against adversity, of hope against despair, and of confidence in the cause of freedom, which is America’s cause.
Today, in the depths of a terrible war, on the brink of a decisive battle for Baghdad, let us have a serious debate about where we stand and where we must go in Iraq. That is the debate we should have—but it is not the debate that this resolution would bring.
The sixty vote requirement to close debate was put in place by our predecessors as a way to stop the passions of the moment from sweeping across our country and through Congress in a way that will jeopardize our future. Because I believe this resolution, if passed, would have such an effect, I will respectfully oppose the motion for cloture.
I thank the President and yield the floor.
I may not agree with Joseph Lieberman on all issues, but I would welcome him with open arms into the Republican party..... The Democrats keep pushing the issue about Iraq, and they will hand deliver the senate back into Republican hands.
This is one to watch.
All in all, Iraq is seeing what al-Maliki calls "dazzling success" very early into the implementation of the new security plan and our politicians are doing their best to stop these successes in their tracks.
Take a look at the conflicting headlines here at memeorandum and understand that while our soldiers are fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must continue to fight OUR enemy here at home, our own form of terrorists and communists and liars..... the Democratic Party.
They are the enemies best hope for success....
[UPDATE] 4:53pm- Wapo smacks down Murtha, forgetting the part they themselves played in handing congress and the senate to the party of defeat and retreat with their biased reporting and outright lies. [End Update]
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