Democrats & Liberals Archives

Wait until September

When Democratic lawmakers tried to force a pull-out of troops from Iraq, Republicans, many of whom were turning against the Iraq War, said “Wait until September.” At that time, it was said, General Petraeus will report if the so-called surge is working. He is an honest guy and will tell us the truth, they kept repeating. Silly Democrats went along: “Wait until September.”

General Petraeus is not waiting until September. He spoke up yesterday:

Conditions in Iraq will not improve sufficiently by September to justify a drawdown of U.S. military forces, the top commander in Iraq said yesterday.

Asked whether he thought the job assigned to an additional 30,000 troops deployed as the centerpiece of President Bush's new war strategy would be completed by then, Gen. David H. Petraeus replied: "I do not, no. I think that we have a lot of heavy lifting to do."

Essentially he is telling us today that the surge is not working and will not work. He is preparing us for another "Wait until September" during September.

Ever since the war started we've been told "Wait until September" in so many ways. And what galls me is that the Democrats in Congress believe this nonsense. Sure, Republicans are saying that if they do not get good news in September, they would vote against continuing the war. How can anyone believe them?

Forget about September. Let's start placing pressure on Republicans in the Senate - especially those who are seeking reelection in 2008 - to vote to end this horrible war.

Joe Biden says:

Voters are going to be mad with us until we end the war.

Voters do not want to "wait until September." Congress must act now!

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 18, 2007 5:47 PM
Comments
Comment #223406

The surge is just “stay the course” on steroids. It promised progress, so far undelivered, to justify a war whose mandate had been withdrawn by most Americans. But it’s basically a different form of the same emotional blackmail as before, with the change in approach introduced to justify fresh accusations of defeatism against the war’s detractors.

Folks talk of the dangers of admitting the defeat, but why would that even be a problem if we were not at a point now where our strategic aims in the country, our efforts at winning the war were largely frustrated?

Bush has not demonstrated that continuing the war will improve the outcome in Iraq. He is playing the same game of stalling for time that Nixon did, in order not to be the one admitting defeat. And so, he’s extended a war most no longer want, in the name of gaining progress he hasn’t shown to this point, or gained at any other point when he’s promised it.

In short, the only thing that staying longer will change, is increasing the wear and tear on our forces, maintaining an inflammatory presence, and presenting our enemies with more opportunities to train their terrorists to kill Americans. It will cost America that much more money, can put all the other important matters of this country on the back-burner. And for what?

More of the same lack of progress.

If I were CEO of a company, and saw this kind of waste in a program, I’d cut my losses. Now, cutting your losses doesn’t mean you don’t lose. It just means you don’t lose worse. We’re not doing so to run away, to escape an enemy we fear. We’re doing so because the policy is so dysfunction that it’s just a waste of time, money, and most importantly, lives.

As for those who worry about what will happen with the Iraqis? Well, that should have been on the policymaker’s minds before they got us into this pinch, and left us without a workable path to victory. If you don’t like it, go, take a look at what happened in the course of this war, note those mistakes, and dedicate yourself to making sure these mistakes, these bad habits of foreign policy don’t come back to haunt us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2007 7:45 PM
Comment #223408

Yeah, we’ve been hearing the same BS for years. Just a few more months to turn things around.

Well, call me naive but I think the jig may really be up in September, as long as we all hold Congress’s feet to the fire.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 18, 2007 8:14 PM
Comment #223411

I’ve never approved of the conduct of the war and am not especially confident that “the surge” is any improvement in strategy.

But the surge is not—nor was it ever sold as—a prescription for ending the conflict and leaving Iraq by September. What was said is that we’d need to assess by September whether it was proving effective or not, and by then there should be some solid indication. Will it work or won’t it? We don’t know yet, and for everybody who wants to declare it a failure right now, what part of “September” is so confusing?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 18, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #223416

I feel like the democrat party lied to me and here’s why.

1) The promised to be the party of greater fiscal responsibility. They told me that republicans were “spending our children’s futures” and talked about the budget all the time. Now they are spending more than the republicans and they don’t want to talk about the budget any more. No balanced budget, no fiscal responsibility. The president is having to threaten them with an embarrassing veto if they try to create to big a budget.

2) They promised us an end to corruption. That pork under republicans was out of control but they would deal with the pork and stop the corruption. Now they are shoving though more pork than the republicans. What do they say about pork now? That it’s “good for our children because that’s how congress works”.??? What? What happened to pork is bad and we will tame it? Now we need more pork?

3) They promised us an end to corruption. Then we find a freezer full of cash. And learn Harry Reid, the leader of the senate took Abramoff money and refused to return it. Made dirty little property deals in Vegas peddling his influence and that made him rich. And big money is paying his children, to lobby him. They spent 20 billion dollars in pork as open bribes to democrat senators to buy votes. The trips, the fees, the pork, the lobbying…it’s all there. No end to corruption. Even Obama got caught taking money in the way of major donations then using his influence to help the donators business.

4) They have done nothing to fix social security.

5) They have done nothing to fix Medicare.

6) They have done nothing for National Health Care.

7) Gas is more expensive now that they are in power…where is the cheap gas democrats have been promising us? In fact, now that they are in they are talking about making gas more expensive then ever. How can they go from blaming Bush for expensive gas and that’s a bad thing to declaring they will make it even more expensive and that’s a good thing? I don’t need them to punish the companies that supply me with cheap energy….I need them to help those companies to keep supplying me with cheap energy.

8) No bipartisanship, their war of hate and radicalized politics continues.

So here we are, six months in. And we see a corrupt, big spending, do nothing democrat congress that wants to raise my taxes and “punish” American businesses and declare the earth is burning up so I need to be massively taxed and live under socialism for the sake of the planets survival.

I told you folks this was where we were heading. And you here have gone from telling me all about the cheap gas, the fixes for our social problems, the end to ear marks, the end to corruption….to supporting those things or avoiding talking about them.

Posted by: Stephen at June 18, 2007 10:13 PM
Comment #223419

I know Dems are anxious to declare defeat. Harry Reid likes the undertaker role. Nancy Pelosi probably never believed in any military solutions. The only thing that stops them from pulling out is their craven political calculations. Their greatest fear is that the surge will work. Harry Reid has bragged how much Iraq will help the Dems. His exact words way back in April were, “We’re going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me the numbers that are compelling and astounding.”

What does that tell you about his priorities? (hint winning ain’t among them.)

So, Paul, you do not have to ask the Dems to pull out. They will do so as soon as it is politically profitable.

Posted by: Jack at June 18, 2007 11:02 PM
Comment #223420

LO-
There’s an unfortunate pattern that’s developed.

It goes a little like this: The administration finally admits that people are dissatisfied about how the war is going, then rolls out a new plan, promising results; the results are not delivered, and they ask for more time or roll out another new plan.

The trouble is that this administration tends to do these things to catch up in terms of public relations, rather than anticipating problems, or at least tackling them at the time the become of concern. In politics, this might work, but when you’re fighting a war to go with that politics, it’s a recipe for extended, painful disaster.

They’ve done these little assessments before, and the problem is, there’s no negative test for the continuation of the war. That is, there’s no threshold past which they say we cut our losses and go. Without that, especially with lackluster results like we’re getting, the strategy is only a holding pattern that’s now putting more soldiers in harms way for no more real benefit than we were getting before. Now I don’t begrudge the notion that soldiers are paid to take such risks, but it’s not supposed to be arbitrary risk without gain.

This is my whole problem with this Iraq war of Bush’s: strategically, it’s got no serious focus. It’s just a field of moved goalposts, which seem to be shifted around to avoid accusations towards the administration that they aren’t winning, that we’re falling short. Now that might seem like political necessity to some, but if you think about it from a military point of view, it’s a disaster in progress. Military action without clear purpose is pain without gain.

Stephen-
1) Where was that damn veto when his people were in power, when they were setting records on earmarks? I have no desire to excuse the recent behavior of congressional Democrats, and will shortly be writing an article about this, but good God, man, face up to what your people were doing, because you’ll come back to the office with the same problems if you don’t.

2)Same thing.

3)If you read what the top Democrats say, especially bloggers, you will not find many sorry to see him go. As for Reid, he never did what Abramoff asked of him. Quid pro quo doesn’t work if you don’t do the quo.

4)Bush’s program wasn’t going to do anything, and the problem was not near as severe as he implied.

5)I do want them to take care of this, to be sure, but where was this criticism when Bush was passing this entitlement? Was it just too important to support the President and your Congress to oppose all this?

6)I hope they make a change here, really. We do need it, in the wake of what generations of politicans have done to the system.

7) A lot of this falls under the purview of the president’s power, with regulatory agencies and all. Unfortunately, the president doesn’t consider you important enough to let you in on his discussions he and his people had with energy execs. I do expect my people to do better on this, but what can they do? A large part of these high prices come from the fact that Bush’s administration let the oil companies merge and let them shut down refineries. Then he handed them millions in taxpayer subsidies and breaks, perhaps because they ate their vegetables. I think we rolled back some of the subsidies, but could you tell me how we could force them to open more refineries, and force the Bush administration to trust bust these oil companies?

8) War of hate and radicalized politics, eh? Tell me something: who here is more radicalized: the people who are trying to get us out of this war that most Americans dislike, or the folks trying to get us into a new one with Iran? And if your politics is the politics of love and moderation, why are you basically calling us a bunch of communists?

The reality is, sometimes businesses deserve to be punished. Like when they break the law. They’re counted as individuals in the eyes of the law. If they cheat somebody, why should they not be treated like con artists? If they loot their companies, why should they not be treated as thieves? If they kill somebody, why shouldn’t they be held accountable, as you or I might be? If they poison a water supply or befoul a public resource with animal waste, should they not be dealt with like we would deal with an individual doing those things?

I’m not for socialism. I’m for companies following the law. If it hurts their bottom line? Well, we don’t allow people to get away with crap for the sake of their own profit, why should we let a company do so.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #223421

Jack-
Most Democrats are not afraid the surge will work. They’re concerned it will become neverending. Just what evidence do you have to suggest that this surge is on track to do what it is supposed to do?

We do stand to gain a lot, because your people never defined failure at all, and therefore, never defined how to avoid it. Nobody planned for things to go other than as planned, and that has been the plan every since. Plan B, from the very start, has been to make Plan A work.

It never has. But that doesn’t bother people who think willpower and not the correspondence of intentions, methods and results is what wins wars.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2007 11:19 PM
Comment #223422

Stephen

The troops just got in place last week. I do not have evidence yet. Sorry. I know Reid was defeated in April before the surge even started.

Did you ever plant a garden. It takes more than a week for a marigold seed to sprout. Maybe your time frame needs adjustment.

BTW - success is a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq that is not a threat to its neighbors. If we seem firmly on the road to that in September, it will be worth the wait. If not, perhaps we should go with the Dem defeat strategy.

Posted by: Jack at June 18, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #223423

Jack-
You can wax philosophical about the marigolds, but this Garden in Iraq wasn’t planted six months ago, but rather a little over four. The consequences of all those years of neglect have not just gone away.

The president has much better opportunities earlier in the war to try something like this, when numbers like we had could be better sustained, and would have more force on the ground.

He’s waited until Iraq was only behind Sudan as the worst failed state on the planet to do something about it. Too little, too late. At this point, we are nowhere near getting the kind of Iraq you want, and America has nowhere near the patience for four years more of this same crap.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #223427

Hey Jack.
Your posts sounds more prudent if they were spoken four years ago. Yes, you are correct that the “surge” probably won’t be successful, for quite a while (assuming success). What is probably a much better question is: “Why are we even entertaining the idea of starting fresh after four years?”

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone thinking that the situation in Iraq has gotten any better in the last four years, so wouldn’t it be prudent to just STOP NOW with the optimism. We would be starting a war worse than it was post invasion. It would be admitting that all the money and lives we have spent are for a failed strategy… Four years, not a week, not six months, not a year… but four years for a correction in policy. This is outrageous, and I think it’s great that Pace stepped down. I don’t respect failed policies, or failed presidents. The surge is way too late, and way to little.

I’m not even saying we simply withdraw. That may not be the best solution. It’s just depressing that one solution even being discussed is to dump hundreds of billion$ and soldiers into this, after the war has been managed like the red-headed stepchild of Enron… this… how can I put this so you can understand it…. A stock you bought for 1.5 TRILLION dollars dropping to 300 BILLION dollars, and arguing to have more faith and time. Just replace the CEO, everything will be OK. Leave faith for religion, and judge war based on results. What results have we achieved since the intial invasion ended? A government? Wait, aren’t they on vacation? Is this vacation in their constitution? Oh, wait. They don’t have one.

If we leave, there may be disaster. There may be genocide, and perhaps a new center for Al Quaeda (although more likely Iran). Let’s try and keep the damage to our Country/Economy/Soldiers at a minimum. This isn’t a football game at halftime. There are no re-do’s four years into war. Our children WILL pay for this disaster, so maybe we should think of some real solution to the problem.

I don’t know if Biden’s three country solution would work, but it’s one of the only alternatives I’ve heard. It seems as if we have three choices: keep surging, pull out, or split up (pardon the overtones). I like three the best, but I’d appreciate some other options. Maybe we can bribe/blackmail other countries into taking this mess off our hands?

I don’t care at this point. Will anyone take Iraq if we pay you? Take the oil, I’d rather subsidize nuclear plants in my backyard then have to spend this kind of money to secure oil. China… You hearing this??? Russia… you wan’t in on this action??? It’s all baby, come and get it. Perhaps a Liquidation sale? We need a way to get out of this, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

On a serious note, I won’t post any more rants about this disaster until I have some better ideas of my own on how to fix it… But I recognize a disaster when I see one - and fortunately for good and bad democrats running for office, so do most americans.

So I apologize about the rant, but understand it’s just a form of self-therapy for an angry and frustrated american among many.

Posted by: SilverIce9 at June 19, 2007 1:33 AM
Comment #223438

Stephen Daugherty ,

You post seems to be aimed at blaming Bush and Republicans for the failure of the democrats.

I now have a democrat congress. I want the same things I wanted from my Republican congress. My desires haven’t changed for nearly 25 years. I now hold THE DEMOCRAT congress responsible for IT’S Failures.

Here’s a RADICAL idea. Instead of acting like an apologist for the massive failures of the democrats in congress….why not PUSH THEM to do a few things?

My suggestion would be to:

1) Kill Ear Marks and thus have a big impact on the present corruption in the democrat controlled congress.

2) Fix Social Security.

3) Fix Medicare.

4) Create a bi-partisan national health care plan.

5) Secure this nations boarders. (stop illegal immigration).

6) Balance the budgets.

Now, I told you folks they would be a corrupt, big spending, socialist organization that didn’t do anything about our nations big issues. And 6 months in as they continue to struggle over non binding resolutions and how to spend more pork….It looks like I’m right.

SCREAM at them. YELL at them. Get their attention. Tell them they are BLOWING IT! Tell them to fix something big. That’s what I want, it’s what I always wanted. Look at all those lovely promises they no longer talk about. Why? Because now the corrupt buggers are in charge and they think their own crap doesn’t stink. They wont fix anything unless their own base pushes them too.

Stop covering up for them, tell them you are disappointed in their actions and you want them to clean it up!

Posted by: StephenL at June 19, 2007 7:53 AM
Comment #223444

StephenL-
My last four posts have been aimed at the Democrats in Congress as much as their Republican counterparts. As much as it’s low on my lists of things that I enjoy, I do not like to be made a fool of, and I’m telling my people that.

However, I can’t seem to remember most of your fellow Republicans doing the same, however reluctantly. The Democrats have not been in power long enough to have massive failures. Their failures at this point are in dealing with the legacy of your party’s policies. You can complain about our not immediately eliminating the deficit, but just whose deficit was that? You can roast our people for caving in to Bush on the war, but which party was utterly united on the war, and never questioned the President on it until it was too late? Who was in charge when the ultra-expensive medicare drug benefit was passed? About the only thing you can say for these people is that they didn’t raise taxes so much. Unfortunately, they didn’t indulge in their fiscal conservativism on the spending side, as they did on the revenue side.

I am telling my Congress that they’re making mistakes. And that is one thing that me and other Democrats like myself are doing that your party’s members failed to do for years on end. Why did you people never enforce your will on your party when you had the chance?

Don’t worry about me. Worry about your people still in Washington, worry about what the President is going to do next. Your party still has substantial power, and so far, they don’t seem to have learned from the errors that lead to their ouster in 2006.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2007 8:46 AM
Comment #223448

Focusing on past failures of Republicans as the response to, why are democrats failing us….does nothing but COVER for a democrat congress that is still failing all of us.

The only time Republicans really did what I wanted them to was when Newt ran on a balanced budget and made it happen. Next fix should have been social security. Now we are back to where we were before Newt came on the scene….a do nothing, big spending democrat congress that wants to punish big business, increase taxes, and generally make things worse in the name of making them better.

Posted by: StephenL at June 19, 2007 9:30 AM
Comment #223476

StephenL-
So what kind of noise did you make to them? I don’t seem to recall you doing a whole lot of criticism towards Republicans, back when they were in charge.

Yes, now it’s our problem. But I’m going to be saying as much from this point onwards, so what’s your problem.

Besides, it’s not as if your folks have dropped off the face of the Earth. They still have influence over spending, they still have all these things they’re doing or have done to get us in our current troubles.

The real question that I have to answer is whether my people are worthy to retain the majority. I have to say that this is not a sure thing by any measure, and that we need to be on our best behavior. The question you have to answer is whether the Republicans have really understood their mistakes well enough to deserve to come back to power, and at the rate those people are going, I don’t think so.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 19, 2007 4:44 PM
Comment #223503

StephenL

1)Define “ear marks”. I expect my people in congress to get fedeal money for projects at home. That is part of their job. Education grants,highway and infastucture money etc. What I do not like is for favors for big contributors in the dead of night with no one knowing who put it into the bill. The Dems have put forward rules that make it a more transparent process.

2)SS is not broke. It is not insolvent. It is also the greatest anti-poverty program of all time. The problem it may have in the future is the political faction that does not want to pay the SS fund the money it is owed by the federal government. This is NOT the Dems.

3) and 4)

3)can not be addressed without 4). The only approach to the cost control necessary to fix Medicare is through national healthcare. This is politically impossible at this time BECAUSE of the Reps not the Dems.

5) This is being addressed,not well I grant,but an attempt is being made. If anything this attempt is being hobbled by the Reps in congress.

6) The Dems have proposed a budget that balances in 5 years. Not a bad goal in the face of the icredible spending spree by the Rep congress and adminisration for the last 6 years.

Posted by: BillS at June 19, 2007 7:57 PM
Comment #223736

StephenL- How do you think people should take
some one who says the democrats are at fault
because legislation is not moving forward, when
the republicans have blocked almost every bill
that has come up for a vote. Even when they
have 3/4 of the vote, the President has a veto
pen in hand making sure it is DOA! And speak
of credibility!

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 22, 2007 4:57 AM
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