We started with Fighting fire with Fire, then yesterday afternoon, had the Senate All Nighter Part #1 and Snooper finished it off with the Senate All Nighter Part #2.
The news is full of articles about it and after having spent two days watching it, I came away with a sense of two separate types of politicians in Washington, one set that wishes for no more than failure on the behalf of our military and is willing to ignore all the progress that General Petraeus and our troops and coalition members have been achieving over the last month and has but one true desire: To surrender to our enemies so that they can pick up a few votes for themselves.
It was pathetic watching them beg to be allowed to encourage the enemy and demoralize our troops as well as to send a message to the whole world that they are weak.
The other side of what I saw were men and women that are willing to fight, here at home, for the only thing our troops ask of us, the people of America: Time to finish what they have started and acknowledgment of the progress and successes they have been seeing.
One group would sell America down the river for a vote or because a "poll" tells them to and the other group willing to forgo votes in their next election to do what they believe is right.
The Democrats as well as 3 Republicans that joined them to commit political suicide have proved time after time that they are more interested in furthering their own careers than helping our country be safe and fight the Global War on Terror, yesterday they proved that by completely ignoring a group of individuals that we told you would be going to the Capitol yesterday to speak with the leadership.
Who are these people that the Democratic leadership deliberately ignored yesterday?
VETERANS FROM THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS.
Power Lione brings us the statement that Vets For Freedom made. Read it. Not many others will dare show it to you.
Vets for Freedom Continues Marching On The Hill
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adriel Domenech
Vets for Freedom expresses disappointment that veterans were not able to meet with Congressional leadership from both sides of the aisle in Congress today. While many Republican Senators, including leadership, made themselves available for questions and input, interaction from Democratic leadership was noticeably absent. In spite of that, Vets for Freedom members remain committed to speaking with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle.
Republican leadership (and some Democrats, although not leadership) made room in their busy schedules—on very short notice—to speak with veterans. These veterans flew in on their own dime to ask Congress to give General David Petraeus the time he needs to fully implement the surge of American forces in Iraq. Veterans are very grateful and thankful for the time that these Senators took to spend with them.
Five days in advance of today's events, Vets for Freedom meeting requests—for 5 minutes—were submitted to the Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House. Repeated attempts were made to contact and meet with the Democratic leadership. "In the end, they made a disappointing decision to decline meeting with veterans who have first-hand knowledge of the situation on the ground" said Pete Hegseth, an Iraq War veteran and executive director of Vets for Freedom. "It is especially disappointing because Democratic leadership's misguided policy—a declaration of defeat—will lead to a national security disaster for the United States."
Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American strategy and tactics—namely "the surge" in Iraq. Vets for Freedom is the leading voice representing troops and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information, please visit www.vetsforfreedom.org.
HEGSETH: Well, first of all, I want to express what an honor it is to be standing with such an esteemed group of senators as well as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans here.
On behalf of this entire group and thousands of veterans, and I want to thank the senators here today for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us. It's not just the folks standing here, but a lot of senators on the Hill.
The men you see standing behind me today, veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, represent just a tiny fraction of the combat veterans who have fought and bled for America's freedom since 2001.
Some bear the scars of battle, a permanent reminder of their duty and sacrifice.
Many here today wear the medals of combat or wear medals of combat. In fact, we have multiple recipients of the Silver Star and Purple Heart in our midst.
And all understand the stakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, having stared the enemy eye to eye and seen the destructive nature of the radical world view they seek to impose on Iraq and the Middle East.
Make no mistake, the group you see here, which was assembled in just four days and paid for on their own dime, is not alone. We've got a lot of our guys out there still meeting with senators as we speak. And you should know these guys represent thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are deeply troubled at the defeatist sentiment emanating from Capitol Hill.
We think we can win in Iraq. We know we can win in Iraq. We've seen it; we've been there; we understand the stakes. And setting a deadline for defeat is just not an option.
We're on Capitol Hill today, and we'll be back again in September, to tell our representatives and senators to give our nation's warriors, led by General Petraeus and his new counterinsurgency strategy, the time and resources necessary to defeat America's enemies.
His strategy is working. Security is improving. Al Qaida and company are on the run.
But make no mistake about it. We are in a fight in Iraq. We're facing a radical enemy there who's capitalized on three-plus years of failed policy and knows that while they cannot defeat American troops on the battlefield, they can seek to undermine America's political will, through suicide bombers, roadside bombs and snipers.
And that's why we're here today -- to tell Congress and the American people that we cannot allow politicians in Washington, motivated by election cycles, to make decisions about this war. Too much is at stake.
General Petraeus just received the troops he needed in Baghdad. The strategy he has is showing progress.
And while Iraqi political progress is certainly not where it should be, the security improvements American soldiers are purchasing in blood and sweat are a necessary precondition for political progress and a stable Iraq that denies haven to Al Qaida and company.
So we say to Congress, let General Petraeus and the troops do their job. They want to win.
This week I received news that Mayor Mahmoud (ph), the mayor of Samarra, who we worked with on a daily basis when I was there, was executed in Samarra. He left behind a baby boy named Abdul Kattar. His crime in that city, trying to rebuild the golden mosque that Al Qaida had destroyed when I was there in February 2006.
The perpetrators of both that bombing and that killing: Al Qaida. And the people and the senators who think we can just come home and declare a responsible end to the war still don't get it. Our enemies, radical Islamists led by Al Qaida, will stop at nothing to kill Americans and those who help them. Our hasty exit from Iraq would embolden them, not to mention other radical groups looming in the region.
So what we do in Iraq and in the Senate chamber tonight and in the weeks to come will reverberate for generations. But you're not going to have to stay up all night to figure out what leaving before the job is done does. It weakens American interests, it emboldens America's enemies and it would leave behind one heck of a bloodbath for Abdul Kattar and millions of Iraqis.
So the vets standing here behind me, I'm proud to say, understand this firsthand. We lived it. We breathed it. Our buddies died for it. And we ask Congress to stand with us, just as these senators are standing with us today, and stand with the troops in Iraq.
The Democratic leaders had plenty of time to visit with others for a publicity stunt of a candlelight "vigil" with a group like MoveOn.org, but could not be bothered to give 5 minutes to the men and women that actually went to Iraq and Afghanistan and fought valiantly for our country.
Says quite a bit doesn't it?
Just as they continue to ignore Generals Petraeus, Lynch and Pace, they deliberately snubbed our fighting men and women.
Think about that the next time you even think of defending one of those pathetic lowlifes.
So, Reid, in his typical fashion of throwing a temper tantrum has decided that since his little stunt didn't work, he will pull the whole Defense Authorization bill off the floor until he gets his way on ONE amendment, the Levin/Reed amendment that would set time lines on our military in Iraq.
Fat chance. Just another publicity stunt that won't work, just as last nights didn't.
Funny thing is, just like with the Emergency Supplemental back in May, even if he has managed to get this amendment in the Defense Authorization bill, the President would have vetoed it.
They learn nothing and they have once again proven, without a doubt, to the whole world that they are, have been and will continue to be: Weak on National Security and not prepared to do what has to be done to win the War On Terror.
So, while the Democratic majority leader played his little game and lost, again, our brave troops, coalition members and the Iraqi security forces were busy fighting to WIN, and, indeed, are doing a wonderful job of it as we witnessed with last nights news that they captured Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, back on July 4th.
BAGHDAD - The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.
Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, was captured in Mosul on July 4, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman.
"Al-Mashhadani is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the al-Qaida in Iraq network," Bergner said. He said al-Mashhadani was a close associate of Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.
"In fact, communication between the senior al-Qaida leadership and al-Masri frequently went through al-Mashhadani," Bergner said.
"Along with al-Masri, al-Mashhadani co-founded a virtual organization in cyberspace called the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006," Bergner said. "The Islamic State of Iraq is the latest efforts by al-Qaida to market itself and its goal of imposing a Taliban-like state on the Iraqi people."
The Fourth Rail tells us more about this man and his role as an al-Qaeda front in Iraq:
Mashadani has a long pedigree in Iraq’s Salafist terror networks, and had direct contact with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. “Mashadani was a leader in the Ansar Al Sunna terrorist group before joining AQI two and half years ago,” Brig. Gen Kevin Bergner said in a press briefing. “ He served as the al-Qaeda Media Emir for Baghdad and then was appointed the Media Emir for all of Iraq, serving as an intermediary between AQI leader al-Masri, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In fact, communication between senior al-Qaeda leadership and al-Masri went through Mashadani.”
During interrogations, Mashadani admitted that the Islamic State of Iraq was merely a puppet front group established by al Qaeda in order to put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. Mashadani cofounded the Islamic State of Iraq with al-Masri in 2006. “The Islamic State of Iraq is a ‘front’ organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within AQI in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of AQI,” said Brig. Gen Bergner.
The headlines tell us exactly how the Democratic leadership is being and will be portrayed in the MSM, in the weeks to come, or maybe for the years to come.
The NYT- "Democrats Fail to Force Vote on Iraq Pullout"
Another NYT Article headline- "Democrats Lack Support to Force Vote on Pullout"
Wapo Headline- "Senate Rejects Troop Withdrawal Measure"
Those are just a few and make a good example. The Democrats are known as "failures" that stage "political stunts" while ignoring our Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Talk Left has been continuously touting that the only way to force us into surrendering Iraq to al-Qaeda is by using the power of the purse, I have seen them make this argument over and over and over again.
One simple question here: If the Democrats cannot manage to pass an amendment, what on EARTH makes Talk Left think, for a moment, that they would have enough votes (60 to bypass a filibuster) to defund anything?
Simply another strawman argument although I truly believe the writer believes what he is saying.
Lets say this simply so everyone can understand it: THEY. DON'T. HAVE. THE. VOTES
One specific speech made last night, out of so many, should be seen by all and is brought to us from Captain's Quarters, and that is McCain's, I am not his greatest fan but have always maintained that I respect the hell out of McCain. He would rather lose an election that sell out our troops.
His last speech last night:
Mr. President, we have nearly finished this little exhibition, which was staged, I assume, for the benefit of a briefly amused press corps and in deference to political activists opposed to the war who have come to expect from Congress such gestures, empty though they may be, as proof that the majority in the Senate has heard their demands for action to end the war in Iraq. The outcome of this debate, the vote we are about to take, has never been in doubt to a single member of this body. And to state the obvious, nothing we have done for the last twenty-four hours will have changed any facts on the ground in Iraq or made the outcome of the war any more or less important to the security of our country. The stakes in this war remain as high today as they were yesterday; the consequences of an American defeat are just as grave; the costs of success just as dear. No battle will have been won or lost, no enemy will have been captured or killed, no ground will have been taken or surrendered, no soldier will have survived or been wounded, died or come home because we spent an entire night delivering our poll-tested message points, spinning our soundbites, arguing with each other, and substituting our amateur theatrics for statesmanship. All we have achieved are remarkably similar newspaper accounts of our inflated sense of the drama of this display and our own temporary physical fatigue. Tomorrow the press will move on to other things and we will be better rested. But nothing else will have changed.
In Iraq, American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen are still fighting bravely and tenaciously in battles that are as dangerous, difficult and consequential as the great battles of our armed forces’ storied past. Our enemies will still be intent on defeating us, and using our defeat to encourage their followers in the jihad they wage against us, a war which will become a greater threat to us should we quit the central battlefield in defeat. The Middle East will still be a tinderbox, which our defeat could ignite in a regional war that will imperil our vital interests at risk there and draw us into a longer and far more costly war. The prospect of genocide in Iraq, in which we will be morally complicit, is still as real a consequence of our withdrawal today as it was yesterday.
During our extended debate over the last few days, I have heard senators repeat certain arguments over and over again. My friends on the other side of this argument accuse those of us who oppose this amendment with advocating “staying the course,” which is intended to suggest that we are intent on continuing the mistakes that have put the outcome of the war in doubt. Yet we all know that with the arrival of General Petraeus we have changed course. We are now fighting a counterinsurgency strategy, which some of us have argued we should have been following from the beginning, and which makes the most effective use of our strength and does not strengthen the tactics of our enemy. This new battle plan is succeeding where our previous tactics have failed, although the outcome remains far from certain. The tactics proposed in the amendment offered by my friends, Senators Levin and Reed – a smaller force, confined to bases distant from the battlefield, from where they will launch occasional search and destroy missions and train the Iraqi military – are precisely the tactics employed for most of this war and which have, by anyone’s account, failed miserably. Now, that, Mr. President, is staying the course, and it is a course that inevitably leads to our defeat and the catastrophic consequences for Iraq, the region and the security of the United States our defeat would entail.
Yes, we have heard quite a lot about the folly of “staying the course,” though the real outcome should this amendment prevail and be signed into law, would be to deny our generals and the Americans they have the honor to command the ability to try, in this late hour, to address the calamity these tried and failed tactics produced, and salvage from the wreckage of our previous failures a measure of stability for Iraq and the Middle East, and a more secure future for the American people.
I have also listened to my colleagues on the other side repeatedly remind us that the American people have spoken in the last election. They have demanded we withdraw from Iraq, and it is our responsibility to do, as quickly as possible, what they have bid us to do. But is that our primary responsibility? Really, Mr. President, is that how we construe our role: to follow without question popular opinion even if we believe it to be in error, and likely to endanger the security of the country we have sworn to defend? Surely, we must be responsive to the people who have elected us to office, and who, if it is their wish, will remove us when they become unsatisfied with our failure to heed their demands. I understand that, of course. And I understand why so many Americans have become sick and tired of this war, given the many, many mistakes made by civilian and military leaders in its prosecution. I, too, have been made sick at heart by these mistakes and the terrible price we have paid for them. But I cannot react to these mistakes by embracing a course of action that I know will be an even greater mistake, a mistake of colossal historical proportions, which will -- and I am as sure of this as I am of anything – seriously endanger the people I represent and the country I have served all my adult life. I have many responsibilities to the people of Arizona, and to all Americans. I take them all seriously, Mr. President, or try to. But I have one responsibility that outweighs all the others – and that is to do everything in my power, to use whatever meager talents I posses, and every resource God has granted me to protect the security of this great and good nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. And that I intend to do, Mr. President, even if I must stand athwart popular opinion. I will explain my reasons to the American people. I will attempt to convince as many of my countrymen as I can that we must show even greater patience, though our patience is nearly exhausted, and that as long as there is a prospect for not losing this war, then we must not choose to lose it. That is how I construe my responsibility to my constituency and my country. That is how I construed it yesterday. It is how I construe it today. And it is how I will construe it tomorrow. I do not know how I could choose any other course.
I cannot be certain that I possess the skills to be persuasive. I cannot be certain that even if I could convince Americans to give General Petraeus the time he needs to determine whether we can prevail, that we will prevail in Iraq. All I am certain of is that our defeat there would be catastrophic, not just for Iraq, but for us, and that I cannot be complicit in it, but must do whatever I can, whether I am effective or not, to help us try to avert it. That, Mr. President, is all I can possibly offer my country at this time. It is not much compared to the sacrifices made by Americans who have volunteered to shoulder a rifle and fight this war for us. I know that, and am humbled by it, as we all are. But though my duty is neither dangerous nor onerous, it compels me nonetheless to say to my colleagues and to all Americans who disagree with me: that as long as we have a chance to succeed we must try to succeed.
I am privileged, as we all are, to be subject to the judgment of the American people and history. But, my friends, they are not always the same judgment. The verdict of the people will arrive long before history’s. I am unlikely to ever know how history has judged us in this hour. The public’s judgment of me I will know soon enough. I will accept it, as I must. But whether it is favorable or unforgiving, I will stand where I stand, and take comfort from my confidence that I took my responsibilities to my country seriously, and despite the mistakes I have made as a public servant and the flaws I have as an advocate, I tried as best I could to help the country we all love remain as safe as she could be in an hour of serious peril.
Well said Senator McCain and I am proud to have you as my Senator, here in AZ.
I have no doubt that Baghdad Reid and his merry band of surrender monkeys will continue to try to see America down the river, surrender to our enemies as well as do everything in their power to demoralize our troops in the field, but for today, after last nights pathetic attempt to do so, they have been shown, once again, for the worthless, spineless and weak politicians that they truly are.
Not only are they the party OF defeat, they are the party that keeps getting defeated and I must admit, it is fun to see the GOP make a mockery of Baghdad Reid in such a public way.
Later I will be bringing you the Good News From Iraq, the news that the Democratic party wishes to ignore.
REMINDER FROM CASSY: Remember to vote today and once every day for the Wounded Warriors Project... they deserve the money.
[Update] Yesterday I did promise you reactions from around the blogosphere and in the news, so lets get to keeping that promise:
Let me start with one of my favorite bloggers/journalists, Don Surber:
Read it all.
Our American troops are risking their lives in a war to fight al-Qaeda — a war they are winning — a war that Harry Reid voted to authorize and a war that Reid wants to give up on. For 2 years he has been crying “change the course.” Here’s the proof.
When will he change his course? When will this senator from Nevada open his mind, review the facts and change his course from the cut-and-run whining he has made for 2 years now?
So the Senate stayed up last night? Thousands of troops stay up every night. They put in 12-hour days. They are beating an enemy that wants to kill us.
Reid’s stunt — his word — showed the American people what pampered babies senators are — and how incompetent the Democratic Party’s leaders are.
Bush’s approval is 29%? So what? That is still double the 14% confidence rate of the Democratic-controlled Congress. Bush may be nearing Carter levels on job approval, but Congressional Democrats have already bested the 19% record low they set a 14 years ago.
How dare Reid complain about the Iraqi government? He cannot even pass a budget. The immigration bill went poof on him. The sole bill that he’s passed was a minimum-wage amendment tacked onto an Iraqi funding bill.
That doesn’t appear to have worked too well. The voters who have been the most upset are the ones who expected more of their narrow majority of Democrats in Congress than impotent flailing, half-measures and making futile gestures. Of course they, like the Democratic leadership they voted in, think the lawful exercise of constitutional checks and balances and congressional rules is an outrage.
So what did this accomplish? Nothing. After midnight, most of the Senate disappeared. It turned into nothing more than a huge bluff, and Reid lost.
Here's what Reid wanted. He knew that he didn't have enough votes for a quorum; he only has 49 Democrats available, with Tim Johnson's disability. Reid counted on Republicans forcing an end to the session by having a single member present to challenge for a quorum. No votes could take place without one, including the instruction motion to the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest recalcitrant members and drag them back to the chamber. That would have allowed Reid and the Democrats to accuse Republicans of dodging the debate, calling them cowards to take the spotlight off of their insistence on retreat.
Many expected the Republicans to do just that, but it turns out that Mitch McConnell is a little smarter than Harry Reid. Instead of denying Reid a quorum, the Republicans showed up for the debate, perhaps charged up by John McCain's earlier speech on the floor. Once Reid figured out that the Republicans would not give him the satisfaction of walking out the door, he caved. In fact, Reid didn't even bother to attend his own No Snooze Until We Lose party after the first instruction motion, choosing to hit the sack instead while Republicans took the podium all night long.
The cloture vote has been scheduled for around 11 am this morning. The overnight session has done nothing except to annoy Republicans into a more unified caucus, and to make Harry Reid look like a fool. One might have expected a Senator from Nevada to recognize a busted flush when he saw it.
Just One Minute:
Playing politics with this? Geez, do they mean to suggest that the same party that gave us Clinton, Kerry and Edwards supporting the war resolution in 2002 in order to burnish their "tough on security" credentials is still playing politics?
Take Our Country Back:
Reid lost. Spree allowed me to live blog on her site. I stopped after the GOP stopped the cloture issue and they did so. Now, the whiner Reid is whining. The dude with the LOWEST approval rating in history is frustrated. He is a TOTAL idiot!!
So, to Reid and the Rosies, the UN, and the MSM thanks for making the assured destruction of many a possibility with your lack of seriousness in these grave issues.
Michelle Malkin live blogged the senate debate also:
Jim Hoft notes that the Dems would not meet with anti-surrender veterans. Power Line has more.
(For those that don't know yet, Jim Hoft is from Gateway Pundit.)
Of course, it also focuses attention on the willingness of the Democrats to push for what Republican Orrin Hatch called the “political abandonment . . . of the biggest threat we face of the 21st century.”
Update: Our crap politics — having failed to get his up or down vote, Reid throws a tantrum by yanking the entire defense policy bill from the floor.
Just a small example of how we see the left's attempt to surrender to our enemies.
Tracked back by:
Blogging The Retarded All Nighter from Take Our Country Back...