How Do You Measure Success in Iraq?


Amy Proctor points out another rod by which to measure it:

How do you know things are going really well in Iraq? The State Department doesn’t have to threaten to draft employees to fill positions in Iraq anymore. All 300 jobs are now filled with willing volunteers.

Recall how in Kenneth Timmerman’s The Shadow Warriors, the author describes how State Department officials, as well a some in the CIA and political appointees held over from the Clinton Administration, have worked to undermine the Bush Administration out of political partisanship over professionalism and patriotism.

FP: Shed some light for us on the shadow warriors at the State Department. How much have they hurt Bush administration policies?

Timmerman: Let me answer with an anecdote I describe in the book. After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting at the State Department in Washington . Faced with a sea of Kerry-Edwards stickers in the parking lot, Powell decided to confront the problem head on. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” He went on to tell his employees that President Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history, and that they were constitutionally obligated to serve him.

One of Powell’s subordinates, an assistant secretary of state, became increasingly agitated. Once Powell had dismissed everyone, she returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.” Her staff owed no allegiance to the president of the United States , especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she said. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it, she told them.

Here was an open call to insubordination, and, I might add, it was not an isolated incident.

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In the Senate, it just isn’t done …

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin teamed up to block a vote on a bipartisan resolution “recognizing the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq” and thanking our men and women in uniform for their efforts.

Excuse my ignorance, but who votes for the Congress and Senate in the USA? I sure enjoy and follow your Presidential campaign, but for the Senate and Congress, I am not to familiar the way they get chosen.


Members of the Senate and Congress are voted for directly by the people.

The states are mapped out into districts and each of those districts gets a representative.

And then they get to make the lines of where their constituents comes from with redistricting, Making it hard for them to get kicked out. So the incumbent usually wins until her retires or get caught in a scandal.

Thank you Aye & Stix. This is very different than the Canadian Senate. And we do not have a Congress. Here’s how it works:

The Senate consists of 105 members appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister. Seats are assigned on a regional basis, with each of the four major regions receiving 24 seats, and the remainder of the available seats being assigned to smaller regions.

The Governor General holds the power to appoint senators, although, in modern practice, he or she makes appointments only on the advice of the Prime Minister. Senators originally held their seats for life; however, under the British North America Act, 1965 (now known as the Constitution Act, 1965), members, save for those appointed prior to the change, may not sit in the Senate after reaching the age of 75. Prime ministers normally choose members of their own parties to be senators, though they sometimes nominate independents or members of opposing parties. In practice, a large number of the members of the Senate are ex-Cabinet ministers, ex-provincial premiers, and other eminent people.

The Senate is referred to as the “upper house” of Parliament, and the House of Commons is sometimes referred to as the “lower house”. This does not, however, imply that the Senate is more powerful than the House of Commons, merely that its members and officers outrank the members and officers of the House of Commons in the order of precedence for the purposes of protocol. Indeed, as a matter of practice and custom, the Commons is by far the dominant chamber. Although the approval of both houses is necessary for legislation, the Senate rarely rejects bills passed by the directly elected Commons.

Senators used to be appointed by Governors of States, but I do not know exactly when that changed. I think it would be better if we went back to that. too many Senators run for the next elections as soon as they are elected. It is much worse in the House here though, they run every 2 years, Senators every 6 years, and it is staggered so not all are running at the same time. Ubt House members are elected every 2 years and campaign for the next elections once they are elected.

My brother worked for the State Senate in Illinois. and it is amazing how much really the Senators and House members work. He was one of the people that wrote and read the bills and told them what was in them. The CONgressmen were usually campaigning for the next election, so they did not write or even know what half the bills going before them meant without people like my brother to help them. Almost all are empty suits that have handlers tell them what to vote for.

Not all are that bad, but most have staff and pages there to help them figure out what is what. That is why the thing about McCain not being able to do email is a joke. None of the CONgressmen actually write or read their own email, except from family and friends. they have staff do that.