Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

More Troops for Iraq?

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Hasn’t everyone been talking about troop reductions, redeployment, recasting their purpose, running for cover, cut and run, standing down, etc.  We can’t win in Iraq!  Right.  That has been the mantra for the last 30 days.  Am I right?  Correct me if I am wrong.  Please. 

My brother-in-law and I talked about the outcome of the November elections.  He was fairly certain that we would get a new Iraq policy when the democrats took over Congress.

I told him that I thought “Nothing is going to change as far as Iraq policy.”  The democrats offered nothing new before or during the elections and they are not going to offer anything new now.  It isn’t because they don’t have any opinions on Iraq it is because they are realists (God I hope I am right).  He didn’t agree with me and the conversation ended when his wife said – “David is right.  We are so ($__# we can’t leave until the Iraqi military and police can do the job.”  Bingo!

The consequences of getting this wrong (wronger if that is a word) are huge.  I can’t imagine anything worse that to abandon Iraq at this point.

I don’t know if I am right or wrong.  That is my opinion.  Looks like the incoming Chair of the House Intel agrees.

‘We Can’t Afford to Leave’
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Newsweek
As the debate over Iraq intensifies, leading Democrat Silvestre Reyes is calling for the deployment of more U.S. troops.

Dec. 5. 2006 – In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a stepped up effort to “dismantle the militias.”

I fully expect to hear a chorus of Democrats coming out and saying.  “Absolutely right.”  So, the anti-Bush, anti-Lieberman far left wing of the democratic party will be the only ones left screaming at Reyes and demanding that Pelosi withdrawl Reyes name.  If the Democrats have put the political campaigning behind them and are ready to really govern then they will stick by Reyes because he has the guts to tell it like it is – kinda like another Texan we all know.

Listen to this guy:

When a reporter suggested that was not a position that was likely to be popular with many House Democrats, Reyes replied: “Well again, I differ in that I don’t want Iraq to become the next Afghanistan. We could not allow Iraq to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda, for Hamas, for Hizbullah, or anybody else. We cannot allow Iran or Syria to have a free hand in there to further destabilize the Middle East.”

He sounds just like George Bush.  Does this make him the “worst chairman of the intelligence committee ever”?  No I don’t think so.  It means he is using his head.  Others might see monkeys flying around.  Does Reyes think we might actually win in Iraq?  Sounds that way to me.

Is it not obvious to this guy that our presence in Iraq is not helping anyone?  Obviously not.  He thinks an increased presence in Iraq will help.  So, this really didn’t turn out that bad after all.

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12 Responses to “More Troops for Iraq?”

  1. bsflag2007 said

    ” …. because he has the guts to tell it like it is – kinda like another Texan we all know….”

    I don’t mean to be too dense – but what Texan, exactly, are you talking about?

    “tell it like it is” makes me think in terms of “honest”.

    cindy v

  2. Steve Fine said

    We have lost Iraq, face it. And the consequences are going to be horrible. How many more have to die before we do the right thing: admit we did the wrong thing and ask the UN to come in and fix it. Without a diplomatic solution, we are going to see a bloodbath of enormous proportions. And we are not in any position to lead any diplomatic solution.

    How many parents are going to lose their children? How many more children are going to lose their parents before Bush leaves the Whitehouse?

    Our present diplomatic team is perhaps the worst in our history. Can you name one long-term success?

    (Cross posted at http://stevefine.blogspot.com)

    And you are not saying Bush tells it like it is are you? He makes Clinton look honest.

  3. I think Bush tells it like he sees it. Iraq is a mess. It will be a mess for a long time. No one wants anyone to die. The UN isn’t going to fix this – they will make it worse or stand by as the country blows up.

    The whole point of the post is that nothing is going to change as to US tactics in Iraq. Not with the ISG report, not with a new congress.

  4. I’m sorry – I realize the intent of the original post was not about Bush’s character…. but please – for the sake of all of us who believe in th classically “republican” mission – let’s not “stand by our man” in this case… this is one individual who has done more harm on more fronts than any other in recent memory.

    I’m afraid the distinction between “as he sees it” and “as it is” would only be important in a sanity hearing. I give him more credit than to believe he was unaware that he was actively misleading the American people, and intentionally manipulated the “source material” to cya (cha as it were).

    btw- I don’t consider Bush criticism the same thing as republican bashing. Mr. Bush is, let us hope, an anomoly. One I hope we survive intact.

    Cindy V.

  5. Steve Fine said

    I don’t doubt one bit that Bush has no intention to change course in Iraq. Which sincerely makes me wonder if he is fit for duty.

    I think Congress can change the course in Iraq, just as it did in Vietnam. Whether it will, thats an open question. I think they will, that is the clear message of November 7th. The Democrats know that, they know Iraq got them there and that fixing the problem would keep them in for a long time.

    I am a bit older than most of you people. I remember Vietnam. Too bad Bush and his henchmen didn’t. Or we never would have been in this place. Its going to hurt our nation for a very long time. it wasn’t until the ’90’s that the U.S. Economy started to get over Vietnam. Over 50,000 American families will never, ever get over Vietnam.

    As for Bush’s honesty. I’ll be having some fun with this one! For now, I’ll leave you with one acronym: WMD.

  6. Steve Fine said

    Cindy V. You get it about Bush. Just because Bush is bad does not make Republicans bad.

    But what about the present Congress? They were quite able to distinguish themselves too.

  7. Steve, I think most of us if not all of us “get Bush”. Why do you think his approval rating is 40%? Those 60% are not all democrats.

  8. bsflag2007 said

    David-
    This is the part that I don’t quite understand.

    One on one, even staunch republican party activist types I know are ready to at least roll their eyes at Bush — but how is it that in a group they turn into the 40% who approve? No wonder the administration has so much trouble “understanding” the message – it is still too garbled.

    Can you help me out here?

    Cindy V.

  9. bsflag2007 said

    Steve-

    I have a theory on this “perfect storm” of political ineptness.

    I look to middle America, and my Dad. (from Ohio, no less – which did not go well for the republicans this time).

    I had a certain “bead” on Mr. Bush early — my college roommate was from Texas. She was an early introduction to Jerry Falwell and “the moral majority” (which, imho is neither) —

    I had a conversation with my dad about Bush – “Dad, these people are religious zealots who want to impose their fundamentalist value system on the rest of us”

    “Oh, don’t worry about that – they’ll never get that stuff through….. those things have been settled….”

    Unfortunately – at the same time we got a rogue megolomaniac in the white house … we also had the bad luck to get some demonstrably bad apples in the Congress … and too many American citizens put on the their “henny penny” hats after 9/11 and let themselves get manipulated into a frenzy of fear til they were ready to “sell

    their souls for the illusion of safety”. And here we are. The perfect storm of fear, fear mongering, corruption and zealotry.

    Now – we need some “good old fashioned American values” – truth, justice, liberty for all…. freedom of speech, religion, association, the press, the right to bear arms, to be safe from the government in our homes, not to have our property seived without real due process…..
    wait a minute, I think someone already wrote that list.

    Cindy Vaillancourt

  10. One on one, even staunch republican party activist types I know are ready to at least roll their eyes at Bush — but how is it that in a group they turn into the 40% who approve? No wonder the administration has so much trouble “understanding” the “message – it is still too garbled.”

    Cindy, I think that 40% is made up of red meat republicans, people who are married to the phrase “The American Way or the Highway”, people who just don’t trust democrats, people who actually believe Bush is right. Some are people who think this guy has the toughest job in the world and they are just glad it isn’t their job.

    I don’t think George is much of a conservative. He is on some issues but mostly not.

    I supported the invasion of Iraq because I believed Bush, and Blair, and the Italians, etc. In the end they were wrong. I don’t think they lied (I pray that they didn’t lie). Some part of me would not be surprised if in 20 or 30 years we learn that WMDs were sent to Syria. But really. Who knows. No one writing, commenting or reading this blog has any idea.

    So we invaded. I wish we hadn’t. We are where we are and we have to deal with it.

    Do we pull out of Iraq? I don’t think so. If people think that invading Iraq was the beginning of the end of the world then we would only hasten the end of the world by pulling out now. I think Israel would be at even greater risk and pressure than it is today and Lebanon would be a lost cause. Moderate States would be under threat. The whole middle east would fall into into WWIII – and Israel has nukes. If they use nukes then who will use them next?

    No one who can do anything about Iraq is going to change course. They are all going to or already have come to the same conclusion as Bush. We have to stay the course because the alternative (even the potential alternative however unlikely) is too terrible to contemplate.

    The ISG did not recommend anything new. Murtha lost not because of scandal but because cooler and wiser heads in the Democratic party prevailed – we can’t pull out massive numbers of US Troops without a bigger mess on our hands – so the Democrats are not going to change anything either. We may hear a lot of political noise but by 2008 we will still be their with the same number of troops – if not more.

    With all that said and to answer your question more directly. Bush isn’t getting mixed messages. He isn’t listening to new messages from the population – he has more information than I have to make decisions with and I am just going to go on my gut and emotion. Now other people with the same or similiar information as Bush are coming to the same conclusion as Bush. The point is that Bush has made up his mind. We are staying. The only thing that he might change are some tactics and those will be nuanced.

    Bush and others in the power elite crowd (Pelosi, Reid, Reyes, Dean, etc) have decided we have to finish what we started. We are going to hear less and less about troop withdrawls for the next 12 months when election season heats up again.

    A lot of people are saying negotiating with Iran and Syria may be a new course of action and as the ISG has proposed. Well it isn’t new. It has been proposed and attempted. Our ambassador to Iraq was suppose to go to Tehran to talk – it got canceled. We are talking to the Syrians – so we slowed the flow of fighters coming in from Syria. Can we do more – I think so. How do we do that without giving those two countries more undue influence in the region?

    Bush is supposed to talk to the nation around Christmas time on the ISG report, the upcoming Penatagon Report, and the separate reports coming from State and the NSA, and the NIA. Maybe with all these reports taken together Bush can find new strategies to quicken the pace of progress in Iraq. I hope so but then again what do I know.

  11. David,
    My gut feeling” is that you are being too generous to Mr. Bush — as far as the actual lying goes, anyway.

    I believe most people will tell you what they are doing/will do if you listen closely enough. Mr. Bush has said he will do what he considers “right” based on his personal criteria- and will do whatever he has to to make that happen. Although that is usually a pretty benign kind of general position — it has become clear that “whatever it takes” and his definition of “right” allow him to actively circumvent our laws and most closely held values (like not torturing prisoners)

    Remember the “…even if only my wife and dog are still with me… comment?” …. that may have been intended as hyperbole — but it is actually very telling. “No matter what anyone else thinks ” may have worked for the Louis (inc. xiv, and xv, but not su much xvi) who believed they werre “ordained by God” — but as the “elected” leader of a “free country” that kind of imperialist attitude is inapproporiate, to say the least.

    As for the WMD and the pretext for going to war – i have a whole ‘nother post on that one… but as a preview…. when I want to be generous to Mr. Bush I think he may not have lied about the intel…. and that the intel was correct…. there were WMDs …. but since they were stamped “made in the USA by Haliburton” they were “disappeared”.. .

    cindy v

  12. timactual said

    “it wasn’t until the ’90’s that the U.S. Economy started to get over Vietnam”

    I think that is a bit of an exageration

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