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Monday, September 17, 2007

Nancy Pelosi: Military Expert

The past week, The Twin Cities Conservative equated the Leftists to small children, with the temper tantrums, inability to compromise (except, ironically, with terrorists), surliness etc. Well, this article from the San Francisco Chronicle further reinforces the notion that the Left is collectively nothing more than a bunch of rotten, ill-behaved children.

In the article, our beloved Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi lectures us on the “real” situation in Iraq. The article is fairly straightforward, yet I wanted to highlight the following quote from Madam Speaker and discuss.
"The American people long ago lost faith in the president's leadership of the war in Iraq, because his rhetoric has never matched the reality on the ground," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. "The choice is between a Democratic plan for responsible redeployment and the president's plan for an endless war in Iraq."
First, how does she know? Are we to believe a Leftist, who represents several anti-war movements and is CLEARLY pandering to the far-Left? OR, should we instead believe a respected four-star general who has no political agenda whatsoever?

Second, Pelosi discusses the notion of “endless” war. I discussed this last week regarding the Left. They simply possess no foresight or patience to see this struggle through. Moreover, they refuse to believe that we are locked into a struggle with forces opposed to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We’ve heard excessive rhetoric from the party of defeatism on withdrawing from Iraq. Yet, the proverbial “Pandora’s Box” is very evident here. Our retreat, for that is what it is, will be celebrated as a heroic victory for militant Islam (think Soviets retreating from Afghanistan in 1989). What the Left cannot do, and will NEVER do, is realize that 1.) the terrorists do not play nice; 2.) this is a global struggle.

Make no mistake; this group of fanatic religious murderers wants us dead.

Here’s the complete article:

President Bush tried to turn a corner in the fractious debate over Iraq on Thursday night by ordering the first limited troop withdrawals since voters elected an anti-war Congress last year.

But the move did little to appease Democratic leaders, who dismissed it as a token gesture masking an open-ended commitment of U.S. troops.

Bush said progress in Iraq means he can pull out by next summer the additional combat forces he sent in January, or roughly 21,500 troops, and he opened the door to further troop reductions if conditions improve.

Although he offered no forecast for how long it will take, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday that projections anticipate Iraq reaching nationwide sustainable security by June 2009.

Administration officials have said that they hope to reduce the forces substantially by the time Iraq reaches such a state, transitioning to a more-limited mission aimed at supporting Iraqi forces and hunting down al Qaeda cells. Officials said Thursday's decision by the president signals the beginning of what one called a gradual change in mission away from population security - the priority Bush adopted in January - toward turning the lead role over to Iraqis.

While Bush stressed the positive in his nationally televised assessment, his staff finished work on a report it will send to Congress today concluding that Iraq is making satisfactory progress on nine of 18 political, economic and security benchmarks, just one more than in July, administration officials said.

But the president said the progress is enough to justify the beginning of a modest pullout, starting with 5,700 troops by Christmas.

"Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, we can begin seeing troops come home," he said from the Oval Office. "The way forward I have described tonight makes it possible, for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together."

He coined a new slogan to describe his latest strategy, "Return on Success," meaning that further progress will enable further withdrawals.

"The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home," Bush said. "And in all we do, I will ensure that our commanders on the ground have the troops and flexibility they need to defeat the enemy."

At the same time, Bush warned that substantial numbers of U.S. troops will be in Iraq for years to come.

Iraqi leaders "understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency," he said, although he said such a scenario "requires many fewer American troops."

Bush's speech followed congressional testimony this week by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, both of whom warned that a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces could plunge Iraq into even greater instability. Bush's troop reductions reflect recommendations offered by Petraeus and Crocker.

Bush's call for critics to come together behind his new approach appeared to fall on deaf ears among congressional Democrats, who accused him of exaggerating results of the troop buildup.

"The American people long ago lost faith in the president's leadership of the war in Iraq, because his rhetoric has never matched the reality on the ground," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. "The choice is between a Democratic plan for responsible redeployment and the president's plan for an endless war in Iraq."

In the televised Democratic response, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island said Bush's plan does not amount to real change, and he pledged that Congress will profoundly change U.S. war policy.

"Once again, the president failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it," Reed said.

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a Democratic presidential candidate, staged his own rebuttal by buying two minutes of airtime on MSNBC after the speech, chastising Bush for a failed policy and his rivals in the Senate for not doing more to stop him.

"They have the power to end this war, and you expect them to use it," Edwards said, speaking into the camera with a flag behind him. "When the president asks for more money and more time, Congress needs to tell him he only gets one choice: a firm timeline for withdrawal."

The net effect of Bush's decision Thursday night is to return the overall force in Iraq to close to where it was at the beginning of the year.

The redeployment will start this month when a Marine unit leaves Anbar province without being replaced. An Army brigade will leave Iraq in mid-December. Four other brigades and two Marine battalions will leave sometime in the new year by mid-July, about one month earlier than "surge" troops would have moved out anyway under current deployment rules.

Neither Petraeus nor White House aides would say how many troops that means, but typical force sizes for such units would add up to about 21,700, about the same number Bush initially announced last January that he was sending to Iraq.

Petraeus and Bush made no commitments to pulling out another 8,000 support troops who later became part of the buildup, though officials said at least some of them probably would come home, too.

While Bush reached out to Democrats Thursday night, his real targets were congressional Republicans, who despite doubts about the war have stood with him on key votes this year and can sustain any veto.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. said the president's withdrawal of some forces "meets a demand that many of my members have been looking for" and pronounced himself very optimistic that this would ease concerns on the Republican side.

"We've turned the corner on Iraq," McConnell said.

Other Republicans were not convinced.

"If the Iraqis fail to take appropriate action to accomplish political settlement within their country, the United States should consider dramatically accelerating its disengagement," said Rep. Phil English, R-Pa., a moderate who has so far stuck with Bush.

In an interview, Petraeus offered clues to U.S. expectations that he did not mention during two days of congressional testimony. He described Iraq as a quilt in which secure "patches" will be added gradually until they fill the country and can finally be stitched together by June 2009.

"Then you have a sustainable system," he said. "Then you have an Iraq."

A map prepared to illustrate the concept showed Iraq today as a blank space with several discrete "patches" in Anbar province and in the northern and southern parts of the country. On a second map, the entire country was covered with patches - the goal by June 2009.

crossposted at The Twin Cities Conservative

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