Thursday, January 18, 2007

Presidential Politics -- War Mongers Moving Left

Hillary has (finally) said that she is opposed to the surge, vice-presidential candidate Evan Bayh is opposed to an increase in troops, and now 2008 contenders, and former supporters of the invasion of Iraq, Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel, are holding hands on the issue. Biden and Hagel, together with Carl Levin (monger, but not running in 2008), joined to introduce yet another resolution against President Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq. Thanks to the New York Times, here is the text of that resolution:

Whereas the United States strategy and presence on the ground in Iraq an only be sustained with the support of the American people and bipartisan support from Congress;

Whereas maximizing chances of success in Iraq should be out [sic:our] goal, and the best chance of success requires a change in current strategy;

Whereas the situation in Iraq is damaging the standing, influence, and interests of the United States in Iraq, the Middle East, and around the world;

Whereas more than 137,000 United States military personnel are bravely and honorably serving in Iraq and deserve the support of all Americans;

Whereas more than 2,000 United States military personnel have already lost their lives in Iraq, and more than 22,500 have been wounded in Iraq;

Whereas on January 10, 2007, President George W. Bush announced his plan to deepen the United States military involvement in Iraq by deploying approximately 21,000 additional United States combat forces to Iraq;

Whereas Iraq is witnessing widening sectarian and intra-sectarian violence;

Whereas Iraqis must reach a political settlement if there is going to be a reconciliation in Iraq, and the failure of the Iraqis to achieve such a settlement has led to the increase in violence in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated on November 27, 2006, that "the crisis is political, and the ones who can stop the cycle of aggravation and bloodletting of innocents are politicians";

Whereas an open-ended commitment of United States forces in Iraq is unsustainable and a deterrent to the Iraqis making the political compromises and providing the personnel and resources that are needed for violence to end and for stability and security to be achieved in Iraq;

Whereas the responsibility for internal security and halting sectarian violence in Iraq must rest primarily with the Government of Iraq and Iraqi security forces;

Whereas there have been repeated promises by the Government of Iraq to assume a greater share of security responsibilities, disband militias, consider amendments to the Iraq constitution, enact laws to reconcile sectarian differences, and improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people, but those promises have not been kept;

Whereas a successful strategy in Iraq is dependent upon the Iraqi leaders fulfilling their promises; Whereas the commander of the United States Central Command, General John Abizaid, testified to Congress on November 15, 2006, that "it's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon us to do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from taking more responsibility for their own future;

Whereas the Iraq Study Group suggested a comprehensive strategy to "enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly" based on "New and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region;

Whereas the United States Army and Marine Corps, including their Reserves and the Army National Guard, their personnel, and their families, are under enormous strain from multiple, extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas the majority of nondeployed Army and Marine Corps units are no longer combat ready due to a lack of equipment and insufficient time to train; and whereas the United States strategy in Iraq must not compromise the ability of the United States to address other vital national security priorities, in particular global terror networks, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional stability in the Middle East, the nuclear program of Iran, the nuclear weapons of North Korea, and stability and security in Afghanistan.

Now therefore be it resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that -

(1) it is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating the United States military force presence in Iraq;

(2) the primary objective of United States strategy in Iraq should be to have the Iraqi political leaders make the political compromises necessary to end the violence in Iraq;

(3) greater concerted regional, and international support would assist the Iraqis in achieving a political solution and national reconciliation;

(4) main elements of the mission of United States forces in Iraq should transition to helping ensure the territorial integrity of Iraq, conduct counterterrorism activities, reduce regional interference in the internal affairs of Iraq, and accelerate training of Iraqi troops;

(5) the United States should transfer, under an appropriately expedited timeline, responsibility for internal security and halting sectarian violence in Iraq to the Government of Iraq and Iraqi security forces;

(6) the United States should engage nations in the Middle East to develop a regionally-sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Iraq.

In response, the White House spokesmouth, Tony Snow, said that the President and Vice-President don't "give a shit about what the Senate thinks".


Blue Wren said...

This is all just mind-boggling. America is captive to a rogue president and a rogue administration, and while Congress and the press mince words and argue with that head of blow-dried hair, Tony Snow over minutiae, American troops are dying and Iraqis are dying in a criminal war that was started by a load of malevolent lies.

What's worse, Congress KNOWS this and will not act in any decisive way. Every single day shocks and stuns me a little deeper. What in the world have we become?

You've been a very busy boy, dear Slob. Thanks for the great posts and eye-opening information. Too bad Congress doesn't read blogs.

Infantry Dad said...

I eagerly await the day that we can call George Bush the ex president of the United States, and that day when the Democrats step up and do that which they were elected to do. Put a stop to the madness.
The man should be impeached, before he damages this country beyound repair. Wait, he already has..