The Senate passed the surrender bill today 51-46 with two Republicans voting for it, Sen Hagel and Sen Smith. McCain and Graham did not vote. Lieberman voted against it and made some great points in a speech:
I ask my colleagues to take a step back for a moment and consider this plan.
When we say that U.S. troops shouldn’t be “policing a civil war,” that their operations should be restricted to this narrow list of missions, what does this actually mean?
To begin with, it means that our troops will not be allowed to protect the Iraqi people from the insurgents and militias who are trying to terrorize and kill them. Instead of restoring basic security, which General Petraeus has argued should be the central focus of any counterinsurgency campaign, it means our soldiers would instead be ordered, by force of this proposed law, not to stop the sectarian violence happening all around them—no matter how vicious or horrific it becomes.
In short, it means telling our troops to deliberately and consciously turn their backs on ethnic cleansing, to turn their backs on the slaughter of innocent civilians—men, women, and children singled out and killed on the basis of their religion alone. It means turning our backs on the policies that led us to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the principles that today lead many of us to call for intervention in Darfur.
This makes no moral sense at all.
It also makes no strategic or military sense either.
Al Qaeda’s own leaders have repeatedly said that one of the ways they intend to achieve victory in Iraq is to provoke civil war. They are trying to kill as many people as possible today, precisely in the hope of igniting sectarian violence, because they know that this is their best way to collapse Iraq’s political center, overthrow Iraq’s elected government, radicalize its population, and create a failed state in the heart of the Middle East that they can use as a base.
That is why Al Qaeda blew up the Golden Mosque in Samarra last year. And that is why we are seeing mass casualty suicide bombings by Al Qaeda in Baghdad now.
The sectarian violence that the Majority Leader says he wants to order American troops to stop policing, in other words, is the very same sectarian violence that Al Qaeda hopes to ride to victory. The suggestion that we can draw a bright legislative line between stopping terrorists in Iraq and stopping civil war in Iraq flies in the face of this reality.
I do not know how to say it more plainly: it is Al Qaeda that is trying to cause a full-fledged civil war in Iraq.
On the notion that us pulling out will stop the violence:
My colleague from Nevada, in other words, is suggesting that the insurgency is being provoked by the very presence of American troops. By diminishing that presence, then, he believes the insurgency will diminish.
But I ask my colleagues—where is the evidence to support this theory? Since 2003, and before General Petraeus took command, U.S. forces were ordered on several occasions to pull back from Iraqi cities and regions, including Mosul and Fallujah and Tel’Afar and Baghdad. And what happened in these places? Did they stabilize when American troops left? Did the insurgency go away?
On the contrary—in each of these places where U.S. forces pulled back, Al Qaeda rushed in. Rather than becoming islands of peace, they became safe havens for terrorists, islands of fear and violence.
So I ask advocates of withdrawal: on what evidence, on what data, have you concluded that pulling U.S. troops out will weaken the insurgency, when every single experience we have had since 2003 suggests that this legislation will strengthen it?
Meanwhile General David Petraeus tells us that rather then losing this fight we are kicking ass:
The U.S. commander of multinational forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, said Wednesday that efforts to quell unrest in the western Sunni province of Anbar have made almost “breathtaking” progress.
Speaking to reporters about the new U.S. strategy to curb sectarian violence in Iraq launched two months ago, based on a U.S. troop increase, Petraeus said: “We are ahead, I think, with respect … to the reduction of sectarian murders in Baghdad.
“Progress in Anbar is almost something that’s breathtaking,” he added.
The general illustrated his positive evaluation by citing the killing Friday of an al-Qaeda kingpin, identified by the U.S. command as the “security emir” for the east of Anbar province.
He also pointed to the capture of the head of an important weapons network and advances in intelligence about Iranian involvement in the conflict.
And Bill Roggio details the latest Al-Qaeda strategy in the province of Diyala.
But none of the successes bother the Democrats, they still claim defeat even though we have NEVER lost ground to Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The reason they ignore this simple fact is due to politics:
As congressional Democrats move to force President Bush to veto a war spending bill that would start a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, they are simultaneously pursuing a carefully crafted offensive aimed at another target: Republican lawmakers.
In the charged debate over the war, the strategy aims to achieve Democratic objectives on both policy and political fronts, according to party leaders and aides.
Convinced that Bush will never listen to their calls to bring troops home, senior Democrats have concluded that they must force Republicans to vote again and again in defense of the unpopular war until enough plead with the president to change course.
But Democratic strategists also believe that repeated votes on the war will allow the party to expand its congressional majorities in next year’s elections by continuing to link GOP lawmakers with the president and his war policies.
As Bumbling Reid has stated, they are in this for elections…the security of this country be damned. We run and show the world that we are cowards who cannot win a fight and our security will be compromised almost completely. Doesn’t matter. What matters is power.
If this isn’t treason then I don’t know what is. They have emboldened the enemy, the same folks killing our soldiers. To defeat the enemy you MUST rob them of hope. Thanks to the Democrats their hope continue to grow daily.
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