Democrats & Liberals Archives

We're Surging No Matter What You Do

The corporate media has been bad mouthing the “non-binding” agreements being put forward in the House and the Senate against Bush’s sending of over 20,000 new troops to Iraq. However, I do not feel that the non-binding agreements are necessarily either “worthless” or “pointless.”

One way to interpret these motions being put forward by various committees and legislators is that they are an attempt to not escalate a conflict with the White House. Instead, they are an effort to send a message to Bush and Cheney that they do not have Congressional support to continue on their strategy in Iraq. Up till the current time, Bush has had a green light and a greased slope for whatever the administration has wanted to do. Now, the message is being sent that not only Democrats, but Republicans, are not willing to continue to support the disastrous strategy in Iraq.

However, it seems that the Administration either is not listening - or just doesn't care. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN on January 24, 2007, Blitzer asked Cheney about the growing resistance in the Congress to the Administration's strategy in Iraq. Below is the quote from the transcript.

BLITZER: What if the Senate passes a resolution saying, This is not good idea? Will that stop you?

CHENEY: It won't stop us. And it would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops. As General Petraeus said yesterday -- he was asked by Joe Lieberman, among others, in his testimony about this notion that somehow the Senate could vote overwhelmingly for him, send him on his new assignment and then pass a resolution at the same time, say, "But we don't agree with the mission you've been given."

BLITZER: You're moving forward, no matter what the Congress does.

CHENEY: We are moving forward. We are moving forward. The Congress has control over the purse strings. They have the right, obviously, if they want, to cut off funding. But, in terms of this effort, the president's made his decision. We've consulted extensively with them. We'll continue to consult with the Congress. But the fact of the matter is, we need to get the job done. I think General Petraeus can do it. I think our troops can do it. And I think it's far too soon for the talking heads on television to conclude that it's impossible to do, it's not going to work, it can't possibly succeed.

[The transcript is available from a CNN article Cheney: Talk of blunders in Iraq is 'hogwash'. The video clip of the actual exchange is also available from this link under the link text "(Watch Cheney warn against 'walking away' from Iraq Video)"]

So Congress tries to send a warning, and before the warning is sent, the message back is "You can't stop us, and you will have to cut funding if you want to stop us." Cheney knows full well that the Congress is reluctant to take that step because the political hay would be that they are putting the troops at risk. However, Cheney is also making clear that the administration won't stop as long as they have the money to continue.

In Bush's State of the Union Address he stated:

Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching.

If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by Al Qaida and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country. And, in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.

For America, this is a nightmare scenario.

For the enemy, this is the objective.

Chaos is the greatest ally -- their greatest ally -- in this struggle. And out of chaos in Iraq would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens, new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to harm America.

What he does not say is that the nightmare scenario we face is exactly the one that was predicted our invasion of Iraq would set off.

The argument now is that we must exert all our force to keep the entire region from plunging into "chaos." However, our continued occupation of Iraq, our refusal to talk with either Iran or Syria, and our refusal or inability to pursue any kind of a diplomatic or political solution, virtually ensures the nightmare Bush now predicts. To further exacerbate the situation, the Administration is hell bent on provoking Iran. Since both China and Russia have strong ties to Iran, and Russia is purportedly supplying missiles to Iran, the situation could indeed become a "nightmare." That "nightmare" could see the Middle East, Southern Asia, China, Russia, and the US deeply embroiled in a rapidly expanding war.

By this time it is clear to most people that continued pursuit of a military solution in Iraq has a high likelihood of resulting in increased hostilities. Further, the US is being drawn into a potentially genocidal position in Iraq. The efforts to "quiet" Baghdad are focused on the Sunni's. The same is true in Anbar province. The 20,000 plus troops being sent to help eliminate the threat in both areas will be fighting side by side with Shia militia and "death squads" against the Sunni population. That makes us active (even if we were unwilling) collaborators in what is starting be called an attempted genocide on the Sunni population.

Further, it interestingly places the US and Iran backing essentially the same "horse." The death squads are part of the very police and security forces that the US has been training and arming. If we are going to track them down and stop them at the same time we embed our troops with the those same forces, then the risk to US troops is dire indeed. They could very easily end up not only being targets from an Iraqi population (regardless of ethnicity or sect) who sees them as on occupation force, but targets of the very forces with whom they are working. From what I have heard from some troops returning from Iraq, that is already a problem in some areas.

So what is Congress to do with a President and Vice President who are publicly thumbing their noses at that same Congress? What is to be done with an administration which is saying "We are going our own way and you can't stop us."? In fact the administration is already "surging" the forces. Well, since the funding in question is not likely to be brought to Congress until well after the "surge" is a done deal, one might say the only way to stop a rogue administration is impeachment. It is clear that neither Cheney or Bush feel that they have lost so much public and Congressional support that they need fear impeachment. However, like their estimates of the cake walk of regime change in Iraq, they may be sorely wrong.

Depending on the poll, the approval rating for the President is south of 35% and falling. The administration is not responding to the voice of the public, nor are they responding to the voice of the Congress. Instead, they stand up and say "You can't stop us." Would the public really blanch at starting an impeachment proceeding for an administration that has declared itself clearly beyond the constraints of anyone or anything? I believe they may be underestimating the citizens of the United States. I believe that we still make a clear demarcation between a President and a Dictator.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at January 26, 2007 11:35 AM
Comments
Comment #205177

Rowan:

You had me until the impeachment paragraph. While I think impeachment is a possibility, I don’t think it should even be considered until a major amount of the oversight investigations have been completed.

One thing I found interesting in a kind of aside: I read where the judicial department is trying to stop the lawsuit about illegal spying because they now don’t do it outside of the FISA court. Since when does that absolve anyone if they quit breaking the law? They should be brought to trial for what they did, even if they have supposedly stopped doing it, and even that is not necessarily clear at this point.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 26, 2007 12:12 PM
Comment #205179

The nub is when Cheney said: “And I think it’s far too soon for the talking heads on television to conclude that it’s impossible to do, it’s not going to work, it can’t possibly succeed.”

The fact is, eternity would be too soon for folks to conclude the Iraqi civil war is winnable by U.S. military force without losing Iraq altogether. Bush and Cheney have their reputations on the line, and eternity is how long they would fight this civil conflict, because the alternative is bear the responsibility for having caused it in the first place and failed.

So how long should Americans allow our troops to die and be maimed in the name of saving Bush’s and Cheney’s reputation? That is what it is about now, since there is near unanimity by experts that a military solution to the civil war is no longer an option given our military’s limited resources. In addition our national debt is bearing down on our future economic viability and the Iraq civil war is growing it.

Gov’t Accounting Office says after we leave Iraq, we will continue to rack up tremendous costs refurbishing and replenishing military supplies and readiness for years afterward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 26, 2007 12:20 PM
Comment #205182

Kind of reminds you of the double speak of peace with honor and the body count game.

Posted by: gergle at January 26, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #205192

womanmarine said: “You had me until the impeachment paragraph. While I think impeachment is a possibility, I don’t think it should even be considered until a major amount of the oversight investigations have been completed.”

I agree. And add this, do the homework necessary to insure the impeachment of BOTH Bush and Cheney simultaneously. Otherwise, what is the point?

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 26, 2007 12:51 PM
Comment #205198

David,

It is not a foregone conclusion that DickBush will be convicted in any impeachment trial. It is, however, the trial that is most important since I see no win-win situation until 1-20-09.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 26, 2007 1:01 PM
Comment #205222
they are an effort to send a message to Bush and Cheney that they do not have Congressional support to continue on their strategy in Iraq.

They don’t? How do they intend to stop it? They do not have the votes to override a veto so any threat that they give will be a hollow one. If they could override the veto and do NOT stop the war then they are just as guilty as the Republicans.

Sorry, this wishy-washiness that the Dems are currently providing is exactly what we warned people would be the result.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 26, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #205223

GW:

My take on this is that if this surge works now, why the hell wasn’t it done in a timely manner? The thing is, I don’t think it will work, and the generals who didn’t think it would work are fired.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 26, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #205230

They are now passing non-binding resolutions for political purposes. I suppose that part isn’t wishy-washy, it’s just downright despicable.

Of course, if they really wanted to get the votes by leaning pressure on those who are not voting against the current action in Iraq at a time when nearly 70% of the american population wants it to end, then I suppose they are just incompetent.

I guess I was just being nice just pointing out their attempt to convince someone who refuses to be convinced of something as lacking any real pupose at all…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 26, 2007 1:44 PM
Comment #205268

“The enemy.” Right. The people who live there are the enemy. They target and kill each other, and we are just one more faction, a faction that does not even speak the language or know the culture.

It will end when the Shias achieve victory. It is not quite the kind of “victory” we have in mind. The civil war will end when the two sides finish their ethnic separation, and when enough Shias and Sunnis die to burn out the fighting.

Who knows how long that will take? Over one million Iraqis have already fled the country, and @ 600,000 are internally displaced. At some point, the civil war will end, but the end will have nothing to do with American tactics.

We will see a country partioned in everything but name: a Shia democratic theocracy allied with Iran, Kurdistan, and Sunni provinces effectively beyond any rule. Nice. Clap, clap.

And that is if we are lucky.

Posted by: phx8 at January 26, 2007 7:23 PM
Comment #205273

Rowan,

That should be:

“We’re Surging No Matter What You Do” and no matter what happens!

Common sense tell’s me that those we’re about to embed 20,000 GI’s with are not worthy of that trust:

4 troops abducted, killed in Iraq attack
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070126/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_sneak_attack

If I understand this right Iraqi troops were guarding the periphery and, not only did they allow the “english speaking” insurgents entry to the “secured” compound, the same “insurgents” were able to cart off 4 of our best and bravest GI’s while still living and breathing to a location 25 miles away where they were tortured and murdered.

And we’re now embedding some 20,000 American troops with Iragi’s in the lead. Hagel is right when he uses the word “grinder”! We are sending our best into nothing but a God damn grinder!

Bush may be the “decision maker” so let’s let him decide how to handle an impeachment. It’s the only right thing to do, and as hell bent as he’s been on enforcing the law we should prosecute him for every death his lies are responsible for.

I wonder how well he’d sleep in a 6 X 9 jail cell.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 26, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #205276


The decision maker claimed that the generals were making all the calls in Iraq. the decision maker lets his vice president make more decisions than he does. The most powerful vice president in American history. The decision maker makes very poor decisions.

Posted by: jlw at January 26, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #205280


I don’t think the Congress can even pass a non-binding resolution.

June 16, 2006. The House with strong GOP support passed a non-binding (are you for the troops or against the troops) resolution supporting the presidents Iraq policy, rejecting a timetable for withdraw and expressing support for U.S. troops. 214 Republicans and 42 Democrats voted for the resolution.

June 22, 2006. A non-binding resolution offered as an amendment to the defense appropriations bill by Sen. Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Reed (D-R.I.), did not set a date but urged the president to begin withdrawing troops in 2006. It was defeated 60 to 39. 54 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted against it.

A previous resolution offered by Sen Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Feingold (D-Wis.) set a firm date for withdraw to be completed by July 2007. It was defeated 86 to 13. All 55 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against it.

Posted by: jlw at January 26, 2007 9:02 PM
Comment #205282

Interesting point Rowan about the surge placing the US and Iran backing the same horse in taking on the Sunni. I wonder how that will play out in sunni Saudi, sunni Egypt, sunni Turkey, coincidentally all American allies, or puppets if you prefer, in the mid east. Well, they’re not really, it’s just the regimes that are. And the only one that is relatively stable, Turkey, has its own interests in Iraq, which do not necessarily coincide with US interests there. What does anyone think is likely to happen in these countries if they see their sunni brothers in Iraq being attacked by an American/Iraqi Shia alliance? Further, an America/Iraqi Shia alliance doing Tehran’s work? Aren’t these just great times for the military industrial complex?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 26, 2007 9:27 PM
Comment #205283


Paul in Euroland: We are not really doing Tehran’s work. We are going to take their oil to and sell it to Europe and China.

Posted by: jlw at January 26, 2007 9:49 PM
Comment #205298

Well jlw, we have an old saying here and it goes like this; “There’s many a slip, between cup and lip” I know that’s the neo con plan, but it seems to me you can’t even take Iraq, or at least you can’t hold it. And when you take on Iran, unless you get incredibly lucky, which you haven’t been for a while, you’ll see oil for 2 - 300 dollars a barrel, not just in Europe, but in the US as well. Maybe then the oil producers will switch over to Euros as the petrocurrency. Bang goes the dollar.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 26, 2007 10:34 PM
Comment #205303


Paul in Euroland: Were on plan 5 now and it’s going to work but, if it doesn’t, the president will go to plan 6. Something has got to work soon, he is running out of generals to fire. You mean the dollar is going to go boom don’t you. It goes bang every other week.

Posted by: jlw at January 26, 2007 11:05 PM
Comment #205304

Hate to say it but bringing some degree of stability to Bagdad to give the government some small chance of lasting is not the worst idea in the world if,and only if,it proceeds a withdrawel of US forces from all of Iraq. It is also the only way we can leave gracefully.Personally ,I say to hell with grace,out now and spare some American lives and treasure,but it does make some sense in a withdrawel context. If that is what they are doing we will see US troops in large numbers being redeployed to Bagdad from the countryside. 20000 is not enough to do the job.

Posted by: BillS at January 26, 2007 11:13 PM
Comment #205307

BillS,

General Petraeus is the best the Army has to offer. I can understand the reasoning- that if we can stabilize Bagdhad, stop the Death Squads, and make progress rebuilding the infrastructure in the capitol, then we can… somehow… spread the stability beyond the city.

Oh hell. It is pointless to even pretend. We are so screwed.

My real concern is not so much that Iraq is lost. That has been a foregone conclusion for years. My greatest concern is that Bush & Cheney will roll for double or nothing, and bomb Iran.

Posted by: phx8 at January 26, 2007 11:52 PM
Comment #205317

Checks and Balances—
The Prez cannot declare war. Only Congress can declare war. The Commander-in-Chief runs the war. Congress cannot.
Scenario—
The Senator from XX has introduced bill FY-654. Language contained herein mandating the taking of hill 354.
The Founding Fathers knew a little bit about politics when they drew up the constitution.
Betting on the wrong “horse”—
Neo-libs have gone all in, betting on the terrorists. Only two things can happen when you go all in. You can be a big winner or a big loser. All lefties, cross your fingers. If we lose, all your wildest dreams will come true.

Posted by: JoeRWC at January 27, 2007 6:45 AM
Comment #205321

neo-lib! You made that word up didn’t you. No body wants the terroists to win. We are in the middle of a civil war. All you can do is pull back and let them settle it. We can’t do it for them because to do so you would have to take sides and what does that mean it means that the other side of the middle east will be pissed. Keep up the neo-con talking points it only helps us in 08 people have seen the lies and B.S. and are voting for change. If you do not belive me just look at the last election. Republicans are now starting to see the mess that the neo-cons have made and are starting to speak up.

Posted by: Jeff at January 27, 2007 7:48 AM
Comment #205325

JoeRWC
Yeah thats right. All us secular liberals secretly long for sharia law.Believe that? It is amazing just how gullible some are. You are dreaming. Because of the naked incompetence,fueled by neo-con ideaology,your boy has caused a major setback on any so called “war on terrorist”. If you want to keep dreaming knock your lights out but do not expect the rest of us to sacrifice our sons and daughters in a futile attempt to make Bush-Cheney look better in history. Maybe you should put your ass on the line.Or perhaps you should start blamming those responsible instead of those that have opposed a foolish and dangerious expedition unrelated to the battle against terrorist from the start.

phx8

I would not give mush of a chance that the Iraqi government could spread stability outside Bagdad. Too bad they did not listen to Petraeus before but the die is caste. What I see is an intense effort to stabilize the capital long enough for us to withdraw without such an embarrassing scene as the fall of Siagon.Iraq will ,after much suffering, will be split into the three countries it once was before western imperialism bound it together.
Stupid,stupid,stupid. civil war of course. If this country suffered 50-80 % unemployment for 4 years we would have a civil war too. Again with Bushco’s total disregrard for the need of working people.We just do not fit into his scheme of things. Not part of his thought process except as an annoying afterthought.How was it again the Italians got rid of Musolini?

Posted by: BillS at January 27, 2007 10:21 AM
Comment #205361

ou mean the dollar is going to go boom don’t you. It goes bang every other week.
Posted by: jlw at January 26, 2007 11:05 PM

jlw, ya ain’t seen nuttin yet!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 27, 2007 6:44 PM
Post a comment