Now the media and the left is jumping all over the not so new news that John Warner has suggested we pull approximately 5,000 troops from Iraq by Christmas as a symbolic meaningless gesture, but this isn't new news this is simply a continuation of his previous posturing.
We see Wapo, Forbes and an AP article touting that John Warner "may" back a time line when the Democrats try to force one again after General Petraeus issues his report to the President and speaks before Congress.
"I'm going to have to evaluate it," Warner said. "I don't say that as a threat, but I say that is an option we all have to consider."
Warner, a former Navy Secretary and one-time chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is seen as someone who could influence the debate among senators who have grown increasingly uneasy about the unpopular war.
Warner's suggestion last week about bringing back some troops put him at odds with Bush, who has insisted that conditions on the ground should dictate any such decisions. Warner long has opposed legislation pushing for timetables.
The Virginia Republican said Sunday it would be best for the president, not Congress, to make a decision on withdrawals and that overriding a presidential veto would be difficult. But Warner made clear his view that people are losing patience with the administration's strategy in Iraq, a significant change is needed in September and troop withdrawals were the best way to accomplish that.
Being that this isn't a new issue with Warner as we have shown in previous posts and considering that, we find that regurgitating this as new news to be nothing more than an attempt by the media and left liberal leaning bloggers to counter statements made by Democratic politicians that have returned from Iraq saying they see success and that they favor giving the troops more time.
One of those important Democratic politicians was Brian Baird, a man who has been against the Iraq war from the beginning, against our actions for four years, against the surge and not has made a public statement saying "Our Troops have earned more time"
Our troops have earned more time
The invasion of Iraq may be one of the worst foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. As tragic and costly as that mistake has been, a precipitous or premature withdrawal of our forces now has the potential to turn the initial errors into an even greater problem just as success looks possible.
As a Democrat who voted against the war from the outset and who has been frankly critical of the administration and the post-invasion strategy, I am convinced by the evidence that the situation has at long last begun to change substantially for the better. I believe Iraq could have a positive future. Our diplomatic and military leaders in Iraq, their current strategy, and most importantly, our troops and the Iraqi people themselves, deserve our continued support and more time to succeed.
I understand the desire of many of our citizens and my colleagues in Congress to bring the troops home as soon as possible. The costs have been horrific for our soldiers, their families, the Iraqi people and the economy. If we keep our troops on the ground we will lose more lives, continue to spend billions each week, and, given the history and complex interests of the region, there is no certainty that our efforts will succeed in the long run. We must be absolutely honest about these costs and risks and I am both profoundly saddened and angry that we are where we are.
Knowing all this, how can someone who opposed the war now call for continuing the new directions that have been taken in Iraq? The answer is that the people, strategies and facts on the ground have changed for the better and those changes justify changing our position on what should be done.
To understand the magnitude of the challenge and why it is taking time for things to improve, consider what happened as the result of the invasion and post-invasion decisions. Tens of thousands of Iraqi lives have been lost and hundreds of thousands have fled the country. We dismantled the civil government, police, armed forces and the nation's infrastructure. We closed critical industries and businesses, putting as many as a half million people, including those who best knew how to run the infrastructure and factories, out of work and filled with resentment. We left arms caches unguarded and the borders open to infiltration. We allowed schools, hospitals and public buildings to be looted and created conditions that fanned sectarian conflicts.
It is just not realistic to expect Iraq or any other nation to be able to rebuild its government, infrastructure, security forces and economy in just four years. Despite the enormous challenges, the fact is, the situation on the ground in Iraq is improving in multiple and important ways.
Regardless of one's politics or position on the invasion, this must be recognized and welcomed as good news.
Our soldiers are reclaiming ground and capturing or killing high-priority targets on a daily basis. Sheiks and tribal groups are uniting to fight against the extremists and have virtually eliminated al-Qaida from certain areas. The Iraqi military and police are making progress in their training, taking more responsibility for bringing the fight to the insurgents and realizing important victories. Businesses and factories that were once closed are being reopened and people are working again. The infrastructure is gradually being repaired and markets are returning to life.
Without question, these gains are still precarious and there are very real and troubling problems with the current Iraqi political regime and parliament at the national level.
The Iraqis are addressing these problems along with our own State Department but these issues will not easily be resolved and could, if not solved, throw the success of the entire endeavor into jeopardy.
Those problems notwithstanding, to walk away now from the recent gains would be to lose all the progress that has been purchased at such a dear price in lives and dollars. As one soldier said to me, "We have lost so many good people and invested so much, It just doesn't make sense to quit now when we're finally making progress. I want to go home as much as anyone else, but I want this mission to succeed and I'm willing to do what it takes. I just want to know the people back home know we're making progress and support us."
Read the rest of his word...
His return from Iraq followed up two of the Brookings Institutes members, Michael O'Hanlon and Keith Pollack who wrote in the NYT that Iraq is a "War we might just win", after returning from Iraq, following that, Keith Ellison and Jerry McNerney, Durbin and Casey, and even Hillary Clinton admitted, albeit reluctantly, that the surge was working.
Those are just from the Democratic side of the aisle.
Other Republicans returning include, Alexander, Corker and Vitter, all of which have reports of the surges success and progress.
Americans are seeing this and slowly support for the war is inching up as we have shown from four different polls in the last two months and September is promising to be a very interesting month.
Countering the actions of the MoveOn org, we have seen no fewer than half a dozen and perhaps more, organization gearing up to converge on the Capitol to show support for General Petraeus and our troops as well as their mission.
A 15 million dollar ad campaign has been launched by Freedom's Watch, we have been showing those videos at the bottoms of most of our posts, those dealing with Iraq, Move America Forward has tens of thousands that will be taking to the streets in a caravan across the country all ending on the doorstep of the Capitol, they will be joined by Gathering of Eagles, Families United for the troops and their mission, Vets For Freedom as well as multiple other organizations and John McCain has a Victory Tour going.
The silent majority is speaking up and it is all culminating in September and their intention is to affect the debate in Washington.
For those that have not read the interview with Pete Hegseth, Executive Director of Vets For Freedom which is a group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that will also be on the hill in September, you should read it, he has invaluable insight into the Iraqi's, the strategies that were being used in comparison to the strategies now being used as well as a host of other issues.
More on Warner at Take Our Country Back.
(NOTE: Instead of leaving you with the advertisements I usually have at the bottom of each post, I will leave you with one of the videos from Freedoms Watch) [30 second video.]
Another Wounded Veteran speaks about anger at Congress and Victory: