Democrats to stop head banging on Iraq in 2008: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted December 21, 2007 12:00 PM
The Swamp

by Frank James

Earlier in the week, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid left the impression that congressional Democrats would be pushing hard next year to rein in the Iraq War, despite their repeated inability to impose a time line this year.

That's certainly the message he left reporters with at a Wednesday press conference he held with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders.

REPORTER: Senator Reid, could you talk a little bit about what you plan to do in the new year on the Iraq issue? Are you going to try to change your focus a little bit here?

SEN. REID: We have -- there is some discrepancy as to votes. We've had 33 or 40 votes on Iraq, and we're going to have more votes on Iraq. We're going to continue putting our pedal to the metal. We're going to push on this. The American people are dissatisfied with what's going on.

And all we need to do is look at one of your newspapers. The Washington Post today in a very long article said extensive reviews in Iraq indicate that all people in Iraq, different Shi'a sects -- different Shi'a sects, all the Sunni sects, believe that the problem in Iraq is based on that invasion that took place almost five years ago; and they further believe that we're an occupying force and the only way things are going to work out in Iraq is if we get out of there. That's how the Iraqis feel. And we're going to continue pushing for the reasons that we want our troops home but also to stop bleeding red ink.

REPORTER: (Off mike) -- more next year on domestic -- spending more floor time on domestic issues than you spent on Iraq this year, changing that a little bit?

SEN. REID: As I have to remind you folks once in a while, in Iraq -- we're in the majority, but a little over a year ago, Tim Johnson got real sick, and until September, our majority was 50-49. We did remarkably well with that small majority because Joe Lieberman votes with us on everything except Iraq. But on Iraq, those 32 votes or 40 votes, whatever we had, he voted with the Republicans. We were in the minority. But we still pushed on because we believed we were headed in the right direction, and we still believe that.

We're not going to back off. As to how -- we're going to continue to push. When there are opportunities to speak our mind legislatively on Iraq, we're going to continue to do that.

To some who heard that, it could've sounded like the old joke about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing that failed repeatedly to work before and expecting different results.

With congressional Republicans buoyed by the power that came from their unified front with the White House, the Democrats have little to no chance next year of beating the presidential vetoes or Senate filibusters that hamstrung them this year.

But evidently, Congressional Democrats don't plan on beating their heads against the wall.

According to the Politico today, there's rising dissatisfaction among congressional Democrats with how the Iraq issue played out over the last year.

Junior Democrats describe an “Iraq fatigue” setting in among some members after dozens of successful withdrawal votes failed to drive a wedge between Republicans and President Bush on the war strategy.

The restless Democrats acknowledge the war issue remains critically important for the country, but they would like to see their leaders tone down the rhetoric and avoid showdowns with Bush over the war, wherever possible...

Senior Democrats and leadership aides suggest that Reid and Pelosi, despite their strong rhetoric on ending the war, are not talking about simply forcing more withdrawal votes, as that strategy of repeated pullout votes has not worked in forcing a hoped-for split between Bush and Republicans in Congress.

Instead, Democrats plan to continue to focus on troop readiness and benchmarks for political reconciliation among Iraqi leaders, and to push Bush to accelerate any withdrawals called for by Petraeus and to engage in a broader “diplomatic surge” to accompany the military surge.

Will this be enough to satisfy MoveOn.org, CodePink and other aggressively antiwar groups? No, not even close.

But with polls indicating that more Americans see progress in Iraq, the pressure on Democrats over the war should be somewhat relieved except for the most ardent anti-war supporters.

And as the article notes, if the new president in January 2009 is a Democrat, the Iraq strategy will almost certainly change.

By default, the timetable of presidential politics could, in effect, become the timetable for significant U.S. troop withdrawals that many opposed to the war have been demanding.

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President's Address to the Nation"
-Jan 10, 2007


"To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution."

--George Bush
--January 10, 2007

Let's see, how many of these objectives has W actually obtained?, hmmm.....oh that's right, ZERO.....if so many innocent people hadn't already died in W's Excellent Adventure in Iraq I'd be bent over sideways laughing at this administrations ineptness.


John E seems oblivious to the fact that this article is all about how the Democratic leadership, Reed and Pelosi, continue their efforts to surrender in Iraq regardless of how well things are going. It is pitiful.

John E. wake up, and stop with trying to get us to put up the white flag will ya.

The American Public is smart enough to know that the dems already have claimed we lost and that in truth GW is doing a good job on the toughest issue of our times.


Actually, John E., shouldn't your question be "How many of those objectives has the Iraqi government [attained]?" Notice that George Bush said that the Iraqis were going to do those things, not that he was going to.


The schedule and plans of the Democrats, having failed for another year, are now "Stay the course". Is the Wapo article their "Mission Accomplished" banner? Harry and Nancy should declare victory and resign.


John E. wake up, and stop with trying to get us to put up the white flag will ya.

The American Public is smart enough to know that the dems already have claimed we lost and that in truth GW is doing a good job on the toughest issue of our times.


Posted by: CJ | December 21, 2007 1:42 PM


Circle Jerk,

What exactly does "winning in Iraq" mean?

You Wingnut clowns don't seem to get that there is no way to win someone elses civil war do you?

We're OCCUPYING a country, big freaking deal!

If this is so damn important CJ why don't you quit talking tough from behind your keyboard and sign up for it? the military is desperate for bodies ever since Bu$hCo has trashed the military, I'll bet they'll even take fat doughy chickenhawks like you.


Notice that George Bush said that the Iraqis were going to do those things, not that he was going to.

Posted by: Dave | December 21, 2007 1:45 PM

Note that George Bush said in that paragraph immediately preceeding the one John E quoted the President said


"A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced."

Has he held the Iraqi Government to those benchmarks as he specifically promised the American people he would?


John E.

Grow up, in the mean time leave the important things to the adults.


CJ,

George Bush is doing a good job on the toughest issue of our times.

First of all it is GEORGE BUSH who got us into this mess. It isn't as if he inherited this disaster from Clinton, or anyone else. The mess is of his own making.

Secondly. Not only did he get us into this mess, but it is accepted FACT that the mess is in its current state because he and his cohorts lacked any planning. Planning on going in. Planning on what to do once they got in. AND ESPECIALLY planning on how to get out! Remember how we were going to have flowers thrown at the soldiers after they were in Iraq for a few weeks?

Thirdly and the BIGGEST lunacy of all of this. The Republicans keep talking about winning. I'll admit I'm a Democrat. Could you please tell me who I'm supposed to surrender to for the war to end? Osama bin Laden? Since George Bush can't find him, that won't work.

Finally. Would you mind telling all of us where you Republicans plan on getting the TRILLION dollars that it is going to take to pay off the debt from this war? I know, through Bush's tax cuts. Right?


I hate to admit that I might for once be on the side of the Circle Jerk, JohnDumba**, y tu Bruce, John Whitebread, and Paula crowd. Reid and Pelosi should resign. They have accomplished nothing.


GALLUP POLL = Iraq still sucks:

In spite of what the Wingnut (Fox Noise Channel talking heads, Rush etc) punditocracy would have you believe, American opinions on almost all aspects of the Iraq situation have remained largely unchanged. There has been some moderating improvement in attitudes, but the shifts are very small, and nowhere near what has been advertised. And, interestingly, most shifts appear to be in the Republican-leaning independents, who have a natural tendency to cluelessness.


-Who will do a better job with Iraq?

"Thinking now about the political parties: Do you think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party would do a better job of dealing with each of the following issues and problems? How about the situation in Iraq?"

11/30-12/2 Results:

Republicans - 38%
Democrats - 48%


-Was the war a mistake?

"In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

War a mistake - 58%
War not a mistake - 39%


-Is "the surge" working?

"Based on what you have heard or read about the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq that began earlier this year, do you think the increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq is making the situation there better, not making much difference, or is it making the situation there worse?"

Better - 40%
Not Much Difference - 39%
Worse - 20%


-How is the US doing in Iraq?

"In general, how would you say things are going for the U.S. in Iraq: very well, moderately well, moderately badly, or very badly?"

Very Well - 8%
Moderately Well - 35%
Moderately Badly - 43%
Very Badly - 21%


-Will the US "win" in Iraq? (whatever that means).

"Which comes closer to your view about the war in Iraq? You think the U.S. will definitely win the war in Iraq. You think the U.S. will probably win the war in Iraq. You think the U.S. can win the war in Iraq, but you don't think it will win. OR, You do not think the U.S. can win the war in Iraq."

Definitely Win - 15%
Probably Win - 22%
Can Win,But Won't - 20%
Cannot Win - 37%


-How long do we stay in Iraq?

"If you had to choose, which do you think is better for the U.S.: to keep a significant number of troops in Iraq until the situation there gets better, even if that takes many years, or to set a timetable for removing troops from Iraq and to stick to that timetable regardless of what is going on in Iraq at the time?"

Stay Until Situation Gets Better: 38%

Stick to a Withdrawal Timetable: 59%


- How much confidence do you have in the current Iraqi government?

"How much confidence do you have in the Iraqi government to meet the goals the United States has laid out for Iraq: a great deal, a fair amount, not much, or none at all"

A Great Deal - 2%
A Fair Amount - 30%
Not Much - 42%
None at All - 24%


There it is, despite recent rightwing spin most Americans realize that Iraq is and has been a great big clusterfreak.

I laugh everytime I hear someone from the rightwing lunitic fringe (CJ) come out and claim "mission accomplished" in Iraq...again.

What a bunch of flagwaving, know nothing fools.


Dogjudge,

Your opening point that GW got “us into this mess” is void of historical accuracy to such an extent it is a fools perspective. I won’t waist my time with any of your other idiotic points.


Grow up, in the mean time leave the important things to the adults.

Posted by: CJ | December 21, 2007 3:52 PM


Circle Jerk,

We have left the "important things" to you and the other Neonuts and you decided to pre-emptivly invade Iraq for no good reason.

You call yourself an "adult"? I call you a "rightwing follower", one who doesn't know what to say or think about any given issue until you get the final word from your GOP overloards i. e. Rush, Fixed News.


I realize that you democrats need the war in Iraq to go badly, but you do have to admit that recent events have shown a more favorable outcome in Iraq. is everything perfect? no. was it before we went in ? no.
but our guys are over there working their butts off for us and you have done nothing but complain. Perhaps if you would say some enouraging words every now and then, people would react to you a little better.


John E-

when I read what you have to say I just hear

- wa wa wa, the sounds of children in the preschool yard.

na na nana na na ...


John E,

take that white surrender flag and wrap it around your butt as a diaper - appropriate wardrobe for a whining child that's full of crap.


- wa wa wa, the sounds of children in the preschool yard.

na na nana na na ...

Posted by: CJ | December 21, 2007 5:26 PM


Is that the best you've got, Circle Jerk?


take that white surrender flag and wrap it around your butt as a diaper - appropriate wardrobe for a whining child that's full of crap.

Posted by: Terry | December 21, 2007 5:33 PM


Trickle Terry,

Admit it, your a Wall Street whore whose only goal is to keep the criminal Repubs in power so you and the other fat rich white guys can continue to get big tax cuts while the middle class and the poor continue to suffer?.

You're a selfish piece of sh*t, Terry.


Good grief! To listen to Harry Reid and some of the other fruit cakes like him you would think that everything in Iraq is falling apart, our military is still losing in it's battle with the insurgency and that, in general, we (the U.S.) is destined to fail there. When, may I ask, are these fools going to wake up and accept the FACT that the situation in Iraq is so very rapidly improving - and at virtually every level of consideration. Is it that these folks are so warped by their own sick agendas - be it personal, political and or otherwise, that they actually want to see the U.S. fail in its efforts in Iraq? Given some of the things coming out of their mouths it sometime seems very much that way to me.


JOhn E,

Another vintage whine from the Math Whiz. Did you teacher give you multiplication flash cards for X-MAs?

John E - your just another leeche on AMerican sopciety that wants to take from those that earn and give it to those that don't - like yourself.


Terry,

Not well spelt, but well said.

Well said indeed!


Another vintage whine from the Math Whiz. Did you teacher give you multiplication flash cards for X-MAs?
John E - your just another leeche on AMerican sopciety that wants to take from those that earn and give it to those that don't - like yourself.

Posted by: Terry | December 22, 2007 12:47 PM


Spelling Whiz,

I thought they would at least make sure that you could spell and be able to memorize the alphabet before someone would hire you to rip off people on Wall Street.

I guess the fat rich white guy Republitards will hire anyone to carry water for them these days as long as they take the fascist oath like you have, huh?


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