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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Closing Your Eyes and Refusing to "See"...

After the President announced the new way forward in Iraq, Dick Durbin came out and read a pre planned, prewritten speech denouncing the plan and focusing on one element of the new strategy which is the additional troops going to Iraq. Full Speech here. Dick Durbin's speech is here.

It seems that some of the "politicians" believe if they ignore the rest of the changes in strategy and the differences in those same plans that everyone else will ignore it too and only focus on the "surge" aspect. Closing your eyes and refusing to "see" what is in front of you does not mean it doesn't exist, does not mean it is not there, it simply means you cannot see it and that is a "deliberate" choice.

Amy Proctor has an excellent article about the Dems response to the Presidents plan.

Durbin quoted GEN Abizaid, commander of CENTCOM Middle East, which includes Iraq, saying, "More American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future," end of quote. Yet GEN Abizaid also told the Congress in November that all options were on the table and he ruled nothing out. In fact, when Abizaid said he felt troop levels should stay where they were, Abizaid was accused by Democrats of promoting the status quo.

The worst part of Durbin's asinine assertions are about Iraqis themselves:
And we have given the Iraqis so much. We have deposed their dictator. We dug him out of a hole in the ground and forced him to face the courts of his own people. We've given the Iraqi people a chance to draft their own constitution, hold their own free elections and establish their own government. We Americans, and a few allies, have protected Iraq when no one else would.

WE? WE have given Iraqis so much? WE deposed their dictator? WE gave them a chance? WE have protected Iraq when no one else would? Since when have the Democrats protected Iraqis? If "no one else" isn't the Democrats, who is? "No one" has stood more opposed to Iraqi freedom beside insurgents and terrorists than the Democratic Party. Even Iran and Syria side with Democrats in opposition to President Bush's plan to bring resolution to Iraq. When Osama bin Laden endorsed John Kerry for President in 2004, it's pretty clear who is on the side of the Iraqis and who isn't. If it were up to Democrats, Saddam would still be on his throne, torturing his people and living well from bribes and kickbacks from the United Nations.

Please read the rest of Amy's wonderful piece and remember when you do, this is a woman that lives a military life because her husband is in the military. This is a woman and man who have put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, they have made the sacrifices and have lived with this war on terror in a very intimate way.

The Democrats assertion that in the President's speech there was nothing "new" is either a case of closing their eyes and hoping that what is new in the plan simply goes away, or if they pinpoint only the "surge" aspect that no one else will notice the other key points of the new strategy.....we do notice and we do see the other aspects and the Democrats ignoring what is in front of their face is almost laughable.

The Wall Street Journal has an article from Daniel Henninger that desrves a good reading, where he points out the aspects of the new strategy that are being ignored by pundits on both sides of the aisle and really shouldn't be.

Excerpts follow:

Immediately after the president's speech, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "I heard nothing new." Nothing? When Gen. David Petraeus takes command of U.S. forces in Iraq, it will mark the start of an historic turn in military strategy in Iraq and perhaps in U.S. war-fighting doctrine.

The U.S.'s primary problem in Iraq, manifest across 2006, has been an urban insurgency in a 30-mile radius around Baghdad and in Anbar province. The Petraeus command is the overdue beginning of the counterinsurgency.

This isn't a one-off effort as at Fallujah, but counterinsurgency as daily U.S. military policy. It is the product of an enormous amount of self-criticism and analysis done by military and civilian analysts in and out of government. It does not mean, as often suggested the past 24 hours, that 20,000 U.S. troops are now going to run out and look for gun battles with insurgents in back alleys.


In November, the Bush administration joined the rethinking. The participants in that process looked at the whole range of criticisms and formal critiques of what the U.S. had been doing in Iraq to that point. They concluded the one thing that wouldn't change is the goal, mainly establishing a democratic government in Iraq. What would change, heretofore a nonsubject, were the strategic concept and the level of resources.

Some of this came out of Gen. Petraeus's Counterinsurgency Manual, some from U.S. commanders in the field and some from the military think tanks. Suggestions that had gotten a "no" before, now got a "yes."

Is it all a day late and a dollar short? Maybe. Some 20,000 more troops may be insufficient. The inevitable front-page casualty reports and blood-soaked photos may still drain the will of domestic pundits. But what we are seeing in the Petraeus command is the kind of step back that the military sometimes excels at. This the U.S. military at its potential best--remaking itself, as it did with the transition to training a volunteer army after Vietnam.


It is not the least bit obvious that this counterinsurgency plan will fail, and only the most churlishly neurotic Bush hater would want it to. The stakes for the region and the war on terror have been described many times. There is another reason: How this ends will have an important effect on the morale of our officer corps, the people who must summon the gumption to protect us. They deserve a final chance to succeed. This is the chance.

Again, read the whole thing...

Some of the other key elements of the new way forward are found here on the fact sheet the White House has provided.

The aspects concerning security are some of the key elements that I have mentioned here time and again.

* Publicly acknowledge all parties are responsible for quelling sectarian violence.
* Work with additional Coalition help to regain control of the capital and protect the Iraqi population.
* Deliver necessary Iraqi forces for Baghdad and protect those forces from political interference.
* Commit to intensify efforts to build balanced security forces throughout the nation that provide security even-handedly for all Iraqis.
* Plan and fund eventual demobilization program for militias.

Security for the Iraqi force and population and protecting those forces from political interference is something I referred to before the Presidents speech in my piece "Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen", and I believe if this is done, one aspect that has hindered our efforts in Iraq will be removed.

* Agree that helping Iraqis to provide population security is necessary to enable accelerated transition and political progress.
* Provide additional military and civilian resources to accomplish this mission.
* Increase efforts to support tribes willing to help Iraqis fight Al Qaeda in Anbar.
* Accelerate and expand the embed program while minimizing risk to participants.

By the same token, supporting tribal efforts to help squash al-Qaeda violence and interference is another key that has been mentioned and approached but has not been fully taken advantage of.

There cannot be a political solution if politics are being conducted through threats of death squads and threats to family.... the Dems understand this, they simply cannot admit it.

William Kristol has another article in Weekly Standard called "Boneless Wonders" where he invites you to meet the spineless wonders in congress.

He fully admits that we have spineless wonders on both sides of the aisle, people that are making judgements according to politics and how their opinions will be judged politically rather than using sound judgement to help our troops "succeed" in Iraq and elsewhere.

Say you're an average congressman. How do you react to President Bush's Iraq speech? You suspect, deep down, that he's probably doing more or less what he needs to do. We can't just click our heels and get out of Iraq--the consequences would be disastrous. And the current strategy isn't working. You have said so yourself. Last fall you called for replacing Rumsfeld. You've complained that there weren't enough troops. What's more, you've heard good things about General David Petraeus from colleagues with military expertise. So now Bush has fired Rumsfeld, put Petraeus in command, and sent in more troops. Maybe this new approach deserves a chance to work?

But, hey . . . look at those polls! And those op-ed pages! You didn't come to Washington to support an unpopular president conducting an unpopular war. And the Bush administration is doing a crummy job of explaining this change in strategy. The path ahead in any case is going to be tough, and the new strategy might fail. Besides which, being for "escalation" sure doesn't sound good. Wasn't that a problem in Vietnam?

So you work on your talking points: You understand the president has a tough set of choices. You've got doubts about the path he's chosen. You've got lots of questions. But perhaps we should give it a chance . . .

But wait--that doesn't sound like leadership. That doesn't look decisive. And, if you're a Democrat--you didn't put in all that effort getting elected just so you could get a lot of grief from your own activists. If you're a Republican from a Democratic-leaning state--you didn't put in all those hours getting elected just so you could alienate the swing voters you need. So why not take the next step? Condemn the president's approach! There. That's a position.

But you're not just a talking head. You're a legislator. You need to vote. But on what? How about voting to disapprove of the president's "escalation"? Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have come up with a nonbinding resolution opposing a troop increase. That's the ticket.

After all, you're not cutting off funds. You're not embracing any alternative policy. (God knows what it would be.) As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday, "I'm not the president. It is the president's obligation to set the policy."

He is right... political decisions are being made according to how it will play out in the polls, rather than how we can win this battle we are in.

Back to Amy and her piece, she says something that I think everyone keeps forgetting... how do we expect the Iraqi's to accomplish what WE here in America took over a decade to accomplish.

Apparently Mr. Durbin doesn't know how long it took for America to stand and defend herself or how long she battled against the "insurgency" born out of the American civil war called the KKK. Left wing Democrats launched a "reign of terror" against Republican leaders both black and white at the end of the civil war. The KKK was literally a terrorist group that came from the left wing of the Democratic party. 141 years later, the KKK is petering out. How long does Mr. Durbin afford Iraqis to rid themselves of their death squads and militias?

You do not start a democracy overnight or even over a few years, especially when it is not just sectarian violence from within the country, but has other elements such as al-Qaeda fueling the fires, Iran, providing weapons and fighters.....when you have outside influences trying to destroy a young can you put a timetable on a fight that has never been fought before?

Ridiculous to even try.

A miliblogger, a soldier recieved an email asking him to "Oppose escalation in Iraq" and I thought his response to the email was worth mentioning here.

Et Tu?

I SAW IT IN MY INBOX this evening. It was an email from a familiar name, someone very close to me. But it was the subject line that got me really steamed:

FW: Oppose Escalation in Iraq

Opening it, I read this single line from a loved one:

Let your conscience decide....

What followed was, as the subject line suggested, a forwarded petition urging Congress to cut off funding for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Here is my reply:


I’m dismayed and a little bit hurt that you forwarded this petition to me. You know that I served in this war, and my brother as well. You know that I lost my college roommate, and my brother lost one of his best friends. You know that despite bearing these burdens, I remain passionately committed to the success of our military in Iraq and around the globe.

Although I am not currently serving overseas, you also know that I continue to make difficult personal sacrifices in order to serve our country. While most Americans are enjoying their three-day weekend, I will be here, far away from my wife and family, doing what I can to support the effort. The enemy won’t take the weekend off, so neither can I.

Fortunately, I won’t be alone. There are hundreds of thousands of brave and bold Americans serving around the world who don’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” Perhaps you should consider showing us some support, instead of blindly forwarding an email to your contacts list urging people to lobby Congress to cut our funding!

Let your conscience decide.

America, you know that we will never turn our backs on you.

So why are you so ready to turn your backs on us?

Polls and politics should never determine wartime strategy and our soldiers hard work, courageous actions and unselfish sacrifice should never be less important than partisanship.

So why is it?

A perfect example of allowing politics and political aspirations to drive one to work AGAINST our soldiers, comes in the form of Hillary Clinton, the woman who voted for our actions in Iraq, who once again stood BY her decision to vote for those actions again in 2004, just to sidestep those principles and throw them out the window when the polls said it was an unpopular position.

Where is the honor in that Ms. Clinton?

There is none, it simply shows the world that you, like most politicians only stand for what is right, if it is popular.

I am also glad to see that the President is calling the Democrats out on their duplicity and showing the irresposible nature of their political games.

President Bush fought back at lawmakers opposing his new plan for Iraq today, charging that simply being against the strategy without suggesting alternatives was "irresponsible." He challenged them to come up with a better plan.

Bush made his comments in his weekly radio address two days after top officials of his administration received a roasting on Capitol Hill about the plan, which calls for 21,500 additional soldiers and Marines to be sent to Iraq in an attempt to quell the increasing sectarian violence there between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, particularly in Baghdad.


"To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible," Bush said in the radio address. "Members of Congress have a right to express their views, and express them forcefully," he said, but added: "Those who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success."

Bush also lashed back at critics who have called the plan a repackaging of the same strategy, which the president and military officials have all said has failed to put an end to the violence there. Sen. Carl L. Levin (D-Mich), the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said yesterday on the Hill that the plan only reinforces a "flawed strategy."

"We have a new strategy with a new mission: Helping secure the population, especially in Baghdad," Bush said. "Our plan puts Iraqis in the lead."

The plan calls for Iraqi forces, backed by beefed-up U.S. forces, to enter neighborhoods in the capital where suspected insurgents are hiding to root them out and then hold the territory gained in what the administration has called its "clear, hold and build" strategy. The additional forces would also be deployed in Iraq's embattled Anbar province, which the administration says is now the epicenter of the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told lawmakers yesterday the operation to secure the Iraqi capital will begin in earnest with a push by thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops in the first week of February and that its chances of success should be evident within a few months. If the plan works, Gates said, the U.S. could begin drawing down troop levels by the end of the year.

Democratic leaders in both the House and the Senate intend to hold votes in the coming weeks on the plan, which could produce nonbinding resolutions that would force Republicans to make a clear choice on whether they support the plan or not.

Many in Congress acknowledge they have few ways to stop the implementation of the new White House plan short of cutting off funds to the U.S. troops there, a step many seem reluctant to take. The White House is moving ahead with the plan already; the first of five additional brigades for Baghdad are due to arrive within days.

Good for the President.

Which brings us full circle to the Boneless (Spineless) Wonders in todays Congress.

There is more than a "surge" and ignoring the other key elements in the new strategy, the members of congress and our politicians are being narrow minded and trying to ignore what is right in front of their face and hoping that if they ignore the obvious, the American people will also.

One last thought before closing this off:

If the President had announced the withdrawal of our troops in Iraq, the politicians and most of the worldwould have accused him of abandoning the Iraqi's, and they would have been right. Because members of BOTH sides of the aisles have already stated publicly that to withdraw immediately would be tantamount to handing Iraq over to terrorists and would make us less safe here.

If the president had announced a new strategy without a surge or redeployment, he would have been accused of not doing all that was needed to win.

If you are a member of the Democratic party or on the far left of the aisle....ask yourself ONE QUESTION and please put your answer in the comment section.

What could the President have announced that you would have said "Good decision"?

Nothing? Exactly. That is my point.

So, the President made a command decision, which is HIS job, he was voted in TWICE to the position of Commander in Chief and since there was NO decision that could have been made that would NOT be criticized, I am glad he chose a strategy that at least has a chance of succeeding.

[UPDATE] Please read Right Truth's piece called "Chaos and Courage"... well written and a very important read.


It is comforting to know that Bush is still on top of terrorists around the world, like "the suspected salafist terrorists with blueprints of embassies and names of foreign diplomats who were among those killed in a January 3 firefight with Tunisian police." Another great example is the efforts of United Stated military in Somalia. The attack with the AC130H gunship and the patrolling U.S. warships to prevent al-Qaeda from escaping the area.

She makes some very good points and says what needs to be said.

Tracked back by:
Chaos and Courage from Right Truth...