The Democrats in Congress have made many mistakes in the short time they have held the majority, one that stands out above the rest was Harry Reid, after having voted for General Petraeus to go to Iraq and take charge, voted overwhelmingly and unanimously, Harry Reid issues the statement, that "the surge is not accomplishing anything and Iraq is lost", having done this before the full compliment of troops had even arrived.
"I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and - you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows - (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday," said Reid, D-Nev.
According to Wapo the Democrats in Congress were planning to use the August recess to "raise the heat" or put pressure on the Republicans to break with President Bush and insist on a timeline to withdraw the troops prematurely. (Check out the buzz on this Wapo article)
Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with President Bush on the Iraq war. Instead, Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face of recent positive signs on the security front, increasingly focusing their criticisms on what those military gains have not achieved: reconciliation among Iraq's diverse political factions.
Not so fast though, first we hear from two respected members from the Brookings Institute saying in a NYT op-ed piece, after returning from Iraq and seeing the progress the surge has brought about, titling their piece "A War We Just Might Win".
Then Keith Ellison and Jerry McNerney, both Democrats came back from Iraq and reluctantly admitted that the surge was producing results, now Jerry McNerney still insists that he backs timelines and a date certain, BUT, in an interview he also made it clear his initial views have "shifted since returning from Iraq".
But in an interview yesterday, McNerney made clear his views have shifted since returning from Iraq. He said Democrats should be willing to negotiate with the generals in Iraq over just how much more time they might need. And, he said, Democrats should move beyond their confrontational approach, away from tough-minded, partisan withdrawal resolutions, to be more conciliatory with Republicans who might also be looking for a way out of the war.
"We should sit down with Republicans, see what would be acceptable to them to end the war and present it to the president, start negotiating from the beginning," he said, adding, "I don't know what the [Democratic] leadership is thinking. Sometimes they've done things that are beyond me."
I can tell him exactly what the Democratic leadership is "thinking" and his feigned innocence and pretending to be that naive is just that, pretense.
They are thinking that the unthinkable has happened and Anbar province, once thought of as hopeless and unwinnable, has been brought under control and the success of the surge is undeniable and they understand that good news from Iraq is bad news for their next election.
It IS that simple.
More from Wapo:
And now the Democrats, along with wavering Republicans, will face an advertising blitz from Bush supporters determined to remain on offense. A new pressure group, Freedom's Watch, will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign today designed to shore up support for Bush's policies before the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, lays out a White House assessment of the war's progress. The first installment of Petraeus's testimony is scheduled to be delivered before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a fact both the administration and congressional Democrats say is simply a scheduling coincidence.
That is not the only blitz they are facing either.
Move America Forward will have a caravan crossing the United States and converging on the Hill to show support for General Petraeus and our troops and their mission, Vets For Freedom is on week 7 of their Ten Weeks to Testimony, ending with their presence on the hill as well to show support for our troops, General Petraeus and their mission, Gathering of Eagles, Families United for the troops and their mission, Eagles Up, Protest Warriors, American Patriot Council, Oppose Reid, Free Republic and Mil. order of Purple Heart are ALL joining in the effort to let General Petraeus and our troops know, we support them.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn admitted that should there be progress in Iraq it would "be a problem" for the Democratic politicians.
In late July, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said an upbeat assessment from Petraeus would carry significant weight with his party’s most conservative members. They would “want to stay the course, and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us,” Clyburn told The Washington Post.
They have painted themselves into a corner here and have become so heavily invested in defeat that progress and success, for our military and for our country has become the worst news they can hear.
A hell of a position to have put themselves in, isn't it?
But O'Hanlon and Pollack from the Brookings Institute and Keith Ellison and Jerry Mcnerney are not the only ones that have come back from Iraq having to grudgingly admit that progress is being made on the military front, which everyone had already agreed was the prerequisite for any progress to be made politically, Durbin and Casey also returned from Iraq and had to admit to the progress that was being seen, and in a glimpse of how the Democratic leadership was going to readjust their "message", launched in with the criticism of the al-Maliki goverment and the slower progress on the political level, completely ignoring the fact that we, ourselves, cannot get anything done politically and we have more experience on that front ourselves.
I think the most important endorsement for the progress we are making in Iraq has come from Brian Baird, A Democratic politician that has been against our actions in Iraq from the start and has maintained that position for the last 4 years and has returned from Iraq reporting progress:
U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.
"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.
"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."
Baird, a five-term Democrat, voted against President Bush ordering the Iraq invasion — at a time when he was in a minority in Congress and at risk of alienating voters. He returned late Tuesday from a trip that included stops in Israel, Jordan and Iraq, where he met troops, U.S. advisers and Iraqis, whose stories have convinced him that U.S. troops must stay longer.
With Congress poised next month to look at U.S. progress in Iraq and a vote looming on U.S. funding for the war, Baird said he's inclined to seek a continued U.S. presence in Iraq beyond what many impatient Americans want. He also expects Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees U.S. troops in Iraq, to seek a redeployment of forces. "People may be upset. I wish I didn't have to say this," Baird said. He added that the United States needs to continue with its military troops surge "at least into early next year, then engage in a gradual redeployment. … I know it's going to cost hundreds of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars."
His two reasons for saying this:Baird said he would not say this if he didn't believe two things:
• "One, I think we're making real progress."
• "Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility … and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security."
So, what is to be done by the Democratic leadership, their attempts to encourage the enemies, demoralize our troops and stop any visible progress from being achieved has failed miserably and has backfired on them.
Next step, start with more public statements from prominent Democratic politicians to try to increase tensions between the Iraqi government and the U.S., namely Carl Levin, in a deliberate attempt to stoke tensions, comes home and insists we replace al-Maliki, the official elected in Iraq's first ever elections, causing Maliki to lash out in anger.
, D-Mich., said Monday that al-Maliki, a Shiite, should be ousted and replaced with a less sectarian leader.
At every turn the Democratic leadership has done everything in their power to lose this war for America, to try to force defeat and surrender to al-Qaeda and so far, nothing has worked, everything has backfired and they wonder why Congressional approval ratings are the lowest in Gallup history of polling Congress?
So, now, on their merry go round of options, which is dwindling, on how to hinder the success that we are seeing and more importantly the success that the American people are finally starting to see since the media has been forced to report on the progress and successes that our military, headed by General Petraeus, our coalition forces and the Iraqi security forces are seeing, the Democratic politicians are going from "the surge is accomplishing nothing (Harry Reid's words) to, well the surge IS accomplishing quite a bit, but the political process is too slow so we must take that progress and success away from our troops and WITHDRAW.
It is a never ending game of politics for the Democrats, we see it, the American people are seeing it, hence the lowest approval ratings in history for Congress, people watching across the world is seeing it and the Democrats cannot understand that if they keep playing this game of political football with our military, they themselves will continue to drop in approval ratings.
They had better get on board, start publicly rooting for our troops and for success and victory if they ever, EVER plan on attaining any credibility again and if they want to shed the stigma that they have had for so many years about being "weak on National Security and terrorism".
It is time for them to put politics aside, elections be damned, and start rooting for America.
We know they won't because to them winning the elections and quietening the loud screeching voices from the far left liberal unhinged is more important to them than seeing America succeed.
They have proven this time and time again and it will be their downfall in the end.
More exceptional analysis from The Van Der Galiën Gazette and Captain's Quarters.
[Update] The intellectual dishonesty I find over at Huffington Post on a daily basis is simply astounding. In response to the above referenced Wapo article, is titled "The Surge Is Working ... On You" and includes the following paragraph:
Is the Surge working? It isn't creating a safer Iraq, that's clear. But it's beginning to work very well on Democrats and the media.
So, either the writer missed the memo or the writer deliberately ignores the fact that this war has been waged by the enemy on more than one front, the media being included as witnessed by their own words:
Osama Bin Laden: Al-Qaeda Intends To Launch "A Media Campaign ... To Create A Wedge Between The American People And Their Government." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar)
Bin Laden: This Media Campaign Will Stress "That [The American] Government Would Bring Them More Losses, In Finances And In Casualties." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar)
Bin Laden: The Media Campaign "Aims At Creating Pressure From The American People On The American Government To Stop Their Campaign Against Afghanistan." (Letter From Osama Bin Laden To Mullah Omar)
Just a few examples. Of course there is a media campaign aimed at the American people, our enemies started it and we, finally, years after we should have, are fighting the battle in the media as well as the war overseas.
[Update]Bush's speech in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention. Text here.