Democrats & Liberals Archives

Stop the Surge Now

Democrats are being inundated by the “surge.” After anticipating and preparing for the September reports of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker that the “surge” is not solving the problem but needs a little extra time to work its wonders, President Bush is planning to ask for more money after the presentations to assure that the “surge” “works.”

And what are the Democrats in Congress doing? After being elected in order to end the Iraq War, Democrats tried all sorts of ridiculous ways to end the war. Each time they were told by Republicans that the only decent way to do it is through the denial of funds. Did they do it? No.

Now Bush is going to present the Democrats in Congress a golden opportunity to vote to wind down the Iraq War. The Washington Post reports:

President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.

This is unacceptable. How come Bush feels he "can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown"? Because of the stupid way Democrats have tried to end the war earlier in the year. These Democrats can redeem themselves by not funding whatever request Bush makes. No requirements and no conditions need be discussed. No funds. Period.

The situation is straightforward. Bush will make the request and Congress will refuse it. No vetoes can interfere. Will Democrats do it? I hope so.

Tell your representative and senators that we must stop the "surge" now or it will destroy our country.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 29, 2007 3:07 PM
Comments
Comment #230982

This big money request gives us a good idea of how the White House plans to “spin” the factual data coming out of Iraq…hopefully the Congress has learned its lesson…and will stop funding this boondoggle and stop propositioning cops in bathrooms, too.

Posted by: Rachel at August 29, 2007 3:23 PM
Comment #230983

Fools and their money are soon parted. You Democrats and Republicans keep voting these incumbent war funders back into office, again, again, and again. And if you can’t vote them back in as a Democrat, you vote them back in as an Independent (Lieberman).

When are voters going to realize that voting the same folks back in is NOT going to change the outcome?

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 29, 2007 3:52 PM
Comment #230990

The bush crime family members know that their days are numbered; now they must increase the cash flow in to the Halliburton offshore bank accounts before the next election cycle. They know the cash may run out for them in the near future. It has been a good ride for Halliburton, KBR, Titan, Black Water and the rest of the welfare crowd!!!! They may have to go out and get a real job after this big bush cash giveaway scam ends!!! I do not think that there can be much left in the treasury department!!!

The 9/11 thing has been a god send for the welfare crowd!!!! They have made the best of it!!!!! They can tell stories to their grandchildren for years about the good olds days of the bush free lunch tickets!!!! These traitors can be proud they managed to destroy the most powerful nation on earth with their republican party greed and dirty tricks.

Now the party of predators are so blatant it may not even be safe to use a public restroom!!!!!

Good luck to all!!! I was hoping some one would stand up and stop this madness but I am not going to hold my breath!!!!

Posted by: Outraged at August 29, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #230991

“Bush Crime Family,” huh? Not a bad way to put it, but…
Interesting how the wife of one of the Don’s closest associates is the leading contender for the Democratic nomination…
I hope you aren’t expecting things to change with the next election. We’ll still have the same old people running things from the background.

Posted by: Anti-Skull&Bones at August 29, 2007 5:46 PM
Comment #230992

Should Congress not vote funding to continue the war on terror in Iraq I would assume they will take responsibility for the consequences. Perhaps they can issue a new stamp celebrating our loss. Let’s see, the U.S. will be the loser and I am wondering…who will declared the winner? I can’t wait for the smart-ass comments.

Posted by: Jim at August 29, 2007 5:47 PM
Comment #230995

Paul,

I haven’t read the entire funding request. It may not even be available, I dunno. But “simply” cutting off funding would be much more messy than imagined. The most realistic estimates indicate it would take about one year to withdraw ALL our troops.

Congress can’t actually control where every penny is spent by the POTUS and the Pentagon. If funding falls short do you honestly think Bush would give a damn if our troops were hamstrung with broken down or missing equipment?

I won’t be advocating just cutting off funds. My conscience won’t allow it. I say just keep the pressure on Bush. I expect more Republicans to keep crossing the aisle in the coming weeks.

We need to handle getting out of Iraq a lot smarter than we’ve handled the occupation. If we don’t I fear we’ll see many “Mogadishu moments” on our TV screens.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 29, 2007 5:56 PM
Comment #230996

How about the Dems Link the cost of the war to repealing the tax cuts for the rich.

Posted by: BillS at August 29, 2007 5:58 PM
Comment #230998

“How about the Dems Link the cost of the war to repealing the tax cuts for the rich.”

BillS,

I’ll buy that! And ……… logistics alone demand that we MUST reduce troop levels to at least “pre-surge” levels by early spring ………. or reinstate the draft. Hey, I know it sucks, and I know it’s political suicide but that’s why they’re making the big bucks!

Bring on the reality and the honesty!

Posted by: KansasDem at August 29, 2007 6:17 PM
Comment #231002

The surge has been buying time for civil development and has been working. The new strategy (since January) is working. We do need time to make it work in the long run. It is worth the risk. The risk of the alternative is worse.

Kansas

The plan is to reduce the troops to pre surge levels - soon. We need to get into the civil building stage, and we are.

If Dems think we should get out before the job is done, I disagree. But they can pull funding. It is their business. If they truly believe it is a waste, it is their duty. Otherwise, they should help get the job done.

Posted by: Jack at August 29, 2007 6:44 PM
Comment #231003

logistics alone demand that we MUST reduce troop levels to at least “pre-surge” levels by early spring ….. or reinstate the draft.

No, it doesn’t. Why do Democrats have this thing about bringing back the draft? It’s a stupid idea and it wouldn’t be needed if we were doing even worse than we are now! Our military isn’t being “stretched thin.” Certain units are, because the troops aren’t being rotated properly. But that’s definitely NOT justification for a draft.

Posted by: Anti-Skull&Bones at August 29, 2007 6:49 PM
Comment #231006

Anti-Skull&Bones,

Why then did we have to increase Army TOD’s from 12 to 15 months? I’m all ears!

Posted by: KansasDem at August 29, 2007 7:13 PM
Comment #231012

KansasDem,

I already said that the troop rotations are being mismanaged. Most of the people in our military have not been to Iraq and many who have been over there have had to go multiple times. A draft does not solve the problem of mismanagement.

Posted by: Anti-Skull&Bones at August 29, 2007 8:12 PM
Comment #231014

“We need to get into the civil building stage, and we are.”

Jack,

I’m not at all convinced we’ve turned that corner yet. Look, it’s not just Democrats that are tired of this war, it’s now a majority of the public.

I have no way of actually knowing whether the surge is working or not aside from the news. From what I’ve read it’s about 50/50. That’s better than it was a few months ago. Had Bush not waited so long to replace Rummy and change strategy we might be a bit more patient.

What I absolutely do believe is that we’ll get a hell of a lot more Americans killed by just cutting off funding. Another thing I truly believe is that Iran will “fill the void” we leave behind just as they’ve said they will, and we’ll see one hell of a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. I don’t even want to get into the Kurds and Turkey!

It’s a BIG DEAL! And it keeps getting bigger! I was opposed to the invasion to begin with, but now that we are where we are, we have to do things right ………. period. And, yeah, I do think Biden has the plan that will work.

The Kurds are already working towards that end all on their own. They’ve even negotiated oil deals on their own in recent days. I’d like to see the Saudi’s get more involved in providing security in bordering Sunni neighborhoods.

Maybe if the Saudi’s had to provide their own defense the Osama’s would have something to do besides blow up women and children.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 29, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #231017

Kansas

I do not care about the exact modalities of the Iraqi state, as long as it is stable, reasonably democratic and not a threat. Kurdish leaders have no interest in independence. They are looking for autonomy within Iraq. They need Iraq as a protection against the Turks or Iranians. An independent Kurdistan would certainly provoke a response that nobody wants.

On the Turkish side, they are already absorbing Kurdish Iraq into the Turkish economy. They could not successfully invade Iraqi Kurdistan. They could only succeed in breaking the economic prosperity for both them and the Kurds.

Under Saddam, Iraq was a centralized socialists state. This was bad. More regional automomy would be a good thing. A soft partition or a loose federation is a possible solution. We have to see how conditions develop. I do not think we should have a detailed idea of the desired end state, except that it should be reasonably democratic, stable and not a threat. Let the Iraqis work out the details.

We are providing the Iraqis the opportunity. I hope they can take it. They will be the chief beneficiaries of a stable Iraq. It is also in our enlightened self interest. It will make the world a better place. I do regret that so much of the rest of the world is not helping and sometimes actually standing in the way, when they will benefit, but that is our burden as the world’s superpower. They will appreciate us when we are gone, just like informed Americans appreciate the protection the Brits gave the world economy in their time.

Posted by: Jack at August 29, 2007 9:30 PM
Comment #231029

Jack: What if they tell Bush where he can shove his market economy? How long will we be there then? It is prety much out in the open now. We are there to get their resources for a song and a dance and they know it.

You want the American people to fork over Several trillion dollars to secure Iraq’s oil for our corporations but we are to broke to rebuild our own infrastructure?

Haliburton, Ingersol Rand and a dozen other American companies made millions if not billions off of Saddam’s centeralized Socialist state during the 1990’s. A fact that Cheney deliberately lied about during the 2000 campaign and is still lying about.

This is the greatest boondogle that has ever been perpetrated on the American People. It is hypocracy at it’s finest. It is High Treason!

Which protections by the Brits are these informed Americans talking about. Was it the time they blockaded our ports and waged war with us because we wanted representation in the government? How about the time they put our Capital to the torch and Old Hickory kicked their asses at New Orleans. Or, perhaps it was those times when they stopped our merchants on the high seas and conscripted their crews (American citizens) into the British navy?

Posted by: jlw at August 29, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #231030

If they tell us that we can shove the market economy, it is their business. They will be poorer for it and it will be much harder to resolve ethnic and regional conflict.

Re the Brits, during the 19th century, the British navy patrolled the ocean, virtually wiped out piracy. They bolstered the world currencies and generally prevented European powers from pushing into the Americas. When they were unable to maintain that role, we had to get involved in two world wars to prevent a potentially hostile power from being able to project power far enough to harm us.

Do you really think that the U.S., which usually maintained an army around the size of Belgium’s to defend a whole continent could have been left alone otherwise?

The British navy took care of the heavy lifting for most of the rest of the world, just as the U.S. navy does today.

Posted by: Jack at August 29, 2007 11:13 PM
Comment #231034

Paul, I agree. If the funding was cut, the war could be brought to an end. Unfortunately, the Dems don’t have the guts to do it.

BillS, you nailed it, and in one line no less! Good work. Since the Dems lack the guts to cut funding, more money should automatically be linked to raising taxes on the rich.

jlw, great reply to Jack.

Jack, most people are extremely tired of the nonsensical GOP talking points and lies being given out about the Iraq war. Strangely, so many of you don’t seem to be aware of this fact, despite what all the polls should be telling you. Perhaps you don’t care, but it seems obvious that it is killing your parties chances in ‘08.

Jim:
“Perhaps they can issue a new stamp celebrating our loss.”

They could issue it right now.

“Let’s see, the U.S. will be the loser”

No, not “will be”, since the Iraq war has already been lost. As it is, our remaining can now only bring a Pyhrric victory, and even that is highly doubtful. We are staying there now at the gravest expense of our own country. A large and growing majority of our citizens are acknowleging that this war hasn’t been, and isn’t currently worth that expense.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 29, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #231035


Did they issue a stamp for our mission accomplished in 2003?

Posted by: jlw at August 29, 2007 11:46 PM
Comment #231036

Jack,
The Brits were fine, fine colonialists. How white of them.
When they exterminated the Tasmanians… Oh, never mind. Until 1967, Australia was legally Terra Nullis, a land discovered by whites, uninhabited by human beings. Just aborigines. Remember Rhodesia? South Africa? In the late 1800’s, a strict imposition of capitalism, a la Adam Smith, forbade the stockpiling of wheat by Indian villagers, in order to ensure free markets. Tens of millions of Indians died- more Indians died as a result of that policy than all the people who died at the hands of communists. China and the Opium Wars… Oh, never mind. Middle Eastern lands divided between the French and British to evenly split the oil? Oh, never mind.

Remember the invasion of Iraq in the early 20th century?

“Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.”
General Stanley Maud, 1917

Today, we have invaded Iraq upon pretexts, and since then, we have seen a long litany of lies to justify continued occupation.

Jack, at some point, do you draw a line? Is there a tipping point, a final lie so heinous, that even a Bush Supporter must conclude our country is involved in a despicable act? That the US is the problem, not the solution? That the Iraqi people simply do not want us in their country?

Where do you draw the line?


Posted by: phx8 at August 29, 2007 11:50 PM
Comment #231037


Adrienne: You forgot that old Republican proverb. Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes a fact. 33% of Fox viewers believe that Saddam attacked the U.S. on 9/11.

Posted by: jlw at August 29, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #231040

“We are providing the Iraqis the opportunity.”

Jack,

That is dead on true, but it’s come at a really high f$%#^&g price and I do feel like the Maliki government has pi$$ed all over our sacrifice.

Another major thing to consider is the fact that we will not let Iran develop a nuke. The current state of affairs in Iraq has emboldened Iran. I said from the get-go that removing Saddam was equivalent to giving Iran a big wet kiss.

Well, we can’t let that stand! Whether we like it or not we’re in to the hilt! There is no quick fix. I think those who advocate cutting off funds imagine everything ending in a few weeks which is just ridiculous. It’s a matter of doing things right, not just running away.

Er, uh, well unless we totally abandon Israel?????????

And stop using oil??????????

Posted by: KansasDem at August 30, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #231043

“the Dems don’t have the guts to do it.”

Adrienne,

It’s not a lack of guts. It’s the reality of what we’ll leave behind, and even if we chose to ignore the chaos, as we have in Darfur, a withdrawal must be well managed. We have between 300,000 and 400,000 people in Iraq when you count multinational troops and multinational contractors.

Just cutting off funds would almost guarantee an increase in American dead and I’m not willing to live with that. Nor are the majority of Democratic Senators and/or Legislators. The time to stop this was before it started, now we must end it intelligently, and that may even mean squashing Iran like a bug!

I don’t like it, but that’s reality. And it is true that Clinton started this! Just read each and every paragraph of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 without partisan bias.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c105:H.R.4655.ENR:

Reality sucks sometimes! Why do you think Bill Clinton talked up the invasion for nearly two years after the fact? Actually the invasion and the overthrow of Saddam went off fairly well anyway.

The occupation ………. not so much!!!!!!!! And Clinton had planned on helping to prop up any cooperative post-coup Iraqi government anyway …… even if it meant deploying American troops!

Maybe he would have done better. We’ll never know.

When I look at old campaign footage of W and consider he was “elected” twice I can’t help but think we’re just screwed.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 30, 2007 12:42 AM
Comment #231045

KansasDem,
“Just cutting off funds would almost guarantee an increase in American dead…”

I doubt that. The British are disengaging from southern Iraq without a lot of casualties. The Palace in Basra, like the Green Zone, has been taking constant mortar fire; so, the Brits are withdrawing to the airport outside of the city, and by October, they will probably withdraw completely.

The civil war in southern Iraq will have to play out, and that will happen regardless of US or British interference. The various Shia factions- the Mahdi Army of al-Sadr, the government troops allied with al-Hakim and the Badr Brigades, and the local political party of Basra- will duke it out for supremacy.

Btw, in the past few weeks, two governors of southern Iraq provinces, allied with the Iranian backed Badr Brigades, were assassinated. They died in attacks using modified IEDs. The US accuses Iran of supplying this weaponry, ignoring the fact that attacks are being launched against Iranian allies. The lies are flying around fast and thick about Iranian involvement. Do not believe anything the Bush administration says.

A methodical withdrawal need not endanger US soldiers, anymore than the withdrawal in the south has endangered British soldiers. Yes, there are issues of the civil war which will have to be resolved. But they will have to resolved by Iraqis, not us.

Posted by: phx8 at August 30, 2007 12:56 AM
Comment #231055

Kansas Dem:
“a withdrawal must be well managed.”

Of course it must. But a withdrawal isn’t going to happen at all if we keep giving Bush everything he asks for. He’s gotten tons of our tax dollars already, most of it borrowed money at that, and it’s been ripped off and pissed away by everyone involved. Time to say NO to giving him another increase, and long past time to make tax cuts for the rich pay to fund, and to end this war.

“Just cutting off funds would almost guarantee an increase in American dead”

What phx8 said.

“and I’m not willing to live with that.”

Our troops have been stuck trying to fight in the middle of Iraq’s civil war! Why should they be made to stay? There has been an increase in American dead as a result of nonsensical “surge.” No matter when we begin to leave, our troops are going to be in danger. I honestly don’t see how forcing a withdrawal through limiting funds could make anything worse at this stage. This war has been nothing but a quagmire, and I’d hate to see it get to the point where we end up leaving they way we did in Vietnam.

“Nor are the majority of Democratic Senators and/or Legislators.”

They aren’t listening to the people — and just look at their poll numbers.

“The time to stop this was before it started,”

Indeed. I can say that I was out there protesting before it started. And at that time I wondered, why isn’t everyone out here with us? We might have stopped this had enough of our citizens marched in the streets of America. But why dwell on that? It’s all water under the bridge, unfortunately.

“now we must end it intelligently,”

Yes. But it needs to start ending NOW, not ten years from now. We can’t afford to let it go on like this.

“and that may even mean squashing Iran like a bug!”

NO!!!! THAT’S JUST CRAZY TALK, KD. NOT ANOTHER PREEMPTIVE WAR! NEVER AGAIN!

“I don’t like it, but that’s reality.”

I strongly disagree.

“And it is true that Clinton started this! Just read each and every paragraph of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 without partisan bias.”

KD, I think you know me better than this by now. I’m from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and I agree that that was complete BS. You know that I don’t like the Clinton’s. Indeed, you should definitely know that I don’t like most of the policies forwarded by DLC Republican Lites, and that’s not what I’ll be voting for in the ‘08 Democratic Primary.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2007 1:42 AM
Comment #231057

phx8,

A large part of Petraeus’ strategy, aka “Operation Law and Order” was to place many, many more American troops in much more local environments, aka “Combat Outposts”.

Pulling back is going to be very difficult. If we’re not real damn careful we’ll leave these “stations” isolated and cut off except by air. That creates the perfect scenario for “Blackhawk Down” attacks. I mean our “pullback” will be obvious and it won’t take long for the RPG’s to come out.

There are only so many exits by ground. Some bridges have been blown up. Some streets have been blocked by us. Talk about an IED planters heaven …….. whoooie! The same Iraqi’s we were getting friendly with will want to prove that they hate us so they can keep their heads.

Our FOB’s should be fairly secure, but what about the embassy in Bagdad? Just abandon it? Common sense tells me that Iran would move in almost as soon as we move out, but they’d do it with the blessing of Iraq’s sectarian government.

We’re in a huge mess and we’re going to be in it for a long, long time. And we still have Bin Laden’s AQ to deal with to boot! And Hamas, and Hezbollah………….

Posted by: KansasDem at August 30, 2007 2:18 AM
Comment #231060

“why isn’t everyone out here with us?”

Adrienne,

That’s an easy one. A vast majority of Americans thought Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Last I heard 40% still do. I can honestly say I tried to the best of my ability to stop it before it started.

But we are where we are now and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ain’t joking when he says Iran will fill the vacuum. I can only think of three candidates for POTUS that wouldn’t blast Iran for taking that action. Care to guess who?

None of the three stand a snow-balls chance in hell.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 30, 2007 3:12 AM
Comment #231079


Don’t worry, the Administration has a new blackmail strategy that is guaranteed to keep us in Iraq.

Pull out = $9 per gallon gas.

Posted by: jlw at August 30, 2007 12:58 PM
Comment #231085

Kansas Dem:
“Common sense tells me that Iran would move in almost as soon as we move out, but they’d do it with the blessing of Iraq’s sectarian government.”

“But we are where we are now and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ain’t joking when he says Iran will fill the vacuum.”

Sorry KD, but I don’t buy this for a minute. I’m in agreement with phx8 here (just as he and I have been in almost total agreement on so many things regarding this war, for years now).

The civil war in southern Iraq will have to play out, and that will happen regardless of US or British interference. The various Shia factions- the Mahdi Army of al-Sadr, the government troops allied with al-Hakim and the Badr Brigades, and the local political party of Basra- will duke it out for supremacy.

Btw, in the past few weeks, two governors of southern Iraq provinces, allied with the Iranian backed Badr Brigades, were assassinated. They died in attacks using modified IEDs. The US accuses Iran of supplying this weaponry, ignoring the fact that attacks are being launched against Iranian allies. The lies are flying around fast and thick about Iranian involvement. Do not believe anything the Bush administration says.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #231087

KD, I think Ahmadinejad likes to talk tough, but the last thing he wants is for us to do to his country is what we’ve already done to Iraq. We should try to handle him diplomatically. War should always be the last resort, and I am utterly astounded that you would start talking about “squashing Iran like a bug.”

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2007 3:08 PM
Comment #231088

Don’t worry, the Administration has a new blackmail strategy that is guaranteed to keep us in Iraq. Pull out = $9 per gallon gas. Posted by: jlw at August 30, 2007 12:58 PM

Actually, I believe it could go much higher than $9. Consider Iran pulling the strings in Iraq and threatening Saudia Arabia, with Turkey rattling its nuclear swords and one doesn’t even have to guess that oil futures could reach $12 to $15 per gallon, if available at all. Of course, many on this site have advocated higher gas prices to combat so-called “man-made global warming” so at least one or two Americans will be pleased.

Posted by: Jim at August 30, 2007 3:12 PM
Comment #231111

Adrienne

“Perhaps you don’t care, but it seems obvious that it is killing your parties chances in ‘08.”

I do not care. I believe very strongly that leaving Iraq prematurely will be very bad for America and the world. If it means Republicans are not elected again for a decade, that is a chance I am willing to take.

But I also think that leading Dems understand that too. They will not pull our nor will they make it necessary for Bush to pull out. We will be in Iraq for a couple more years. The surge will begin to be drawn down later this year. Our civilians efforts will increase. This is a risk worth taking.


Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2007 7:30 PM
Comment #231160

Jim, you are not thinking this through far enough. If we pull out of Iraq, our forces are free to invade Iran. That can have a very chilling effect on Iran, even on Ahmadinejad. Trust me, Ahmadinejad has not forgotten Saddam Hussein’s fate.

Iran is far more likely to work WITH Saudi Arabia than against it, if we pull out. The reason is simple, failure to could result in Iraq’s conflict invading Iranian sovereignty and wreaking havoc on Amadinejad’s influence and support amongst Iranians.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2007 12:07 AM
Comment #231197

THE DEMOCRATS NEED TO PUT AN END TO THIS ADMINISTRATIONS LIES AND RAIDING THE TREASURY.
HOW COME THERE IS NO MONEY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY, HEALTH CARE, KATRINA, AND THE ELDERLY, BUT ALWAYS MONEY FOR HALIBURTON ETC.TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, SUBSIDIES FOR THE OIL COMPANIES, ETC.
WISE UP, THE CORPORATIONS ARE RUNNING THE COUNTRY FOR THERE OWN GAIN, NOT THE BEST INTEREST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Posted by: JIM at August 31, 2007 10:26 AM
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