Sunday, April 01, 2007

News Flash: A Congressional Democrat has acted responsibly on the Iraq War

Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama has revealed the Democratic caucus' bluff on withholding funding from the military as a tactic for strongarming President Bush to set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
If President Bush vetoes an Iraq war spending bill as promised, Congress quickly will provide the money without the withdrawal timeline the White House objects to because no lawmaker "wants to play chicken with our troops," Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday.

"My expectation is that we will continue to try to ratchet up the pressure on the president to change course," the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think that we will see a majority of the Senate vote to cut off funding at this stage."

The usual suspects on the Left are predictably up in arms over a Democrat not toeing the extremist line. But someone has to act like an adult in that party, even if only for a moment. Can't you just feel the knife twisting in Kos' back?


Blogger David said...

I find this choice fascinating. Obama is pretty far left and has been a consistent opponent of the war. Yet here he completely lets the President off the hook (not that it was much of a hook to start with) and seems to be stabbing the caucus in the back.

April 02, 2007 10:19 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

He's hedging his bets. There is no serious contender in the Democratic party to his left, so the Kos faction has no rival candidate to support. The surge might just succeed, so he has to leave his options open for that outcome. I think it's pretty shrewd on his part. It also shows moderates that he is his own man, and not the lapdog of the Kos wing.

April 02, 2007 10:46 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Wanna have a little wager on the surge succeeding?

The new, robuster RoE still don't allow us to go into mosques. You know what that tells the Moslems?

It tells them that Islam is stronger than the US Army. As long as we tell them that, the surge won't work.

When is somebody gonna start taking this seriously?

April 02, 2007 2:03 PM  
Blogger joe shropshire said...

It tells them that Islam is stronger than the US Army.

Actually it tells everybody that Reuters, AP, CNN and the BBC are stronger than the U.S. Army. Which is true, they are. That's our system. Our military answers to our politicians, and our politicians can be brought to heel by our press. That's the way it works. Are you not happy with that? I should think you'd count the fact that we are not going into mosques as a victory for your tribe, Harry.

April 03, 2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

joe, have you ever read an American newspaper? I'd guess not.

If press/broadcasting controlled US policy, US policy would be rather different from what it is, no?

Bush has been appeasing Islam since Sept. 12, 2001.

April 03, 2007 9:36 AM  
Blogger joe shropshire said...

Well, sure, Bush has only invaded two Muslim countries since September 12, 2001. As there are several Muslim countries Bush has not yet invaded, I suppose he has to be counted as an appeaser. I am told that if we had only listened to the editorial page of the New York Times (not familiar with that paper myself but they say it's pretty influential) we would have whupped them all by now.

April 03, 2007 10:08 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Yeah, it's complicated, ain't it? But if you don't understand appeasement, I can't help ya.

April 03, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger joe shropshire said...

No, it's not really that complicated. Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated, or imitated. If your current crop of young guys did not see themselves as the next David Halberstam or Bob Woodward, then that would need explaining. As it stands, it's no more complicated than a chicken pecking at a pedal in a Skinner box.

April 03, 2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

You really haven't ever read a newspaper, have you?

April 03, 2007 7:51 PM  
Blogger joe shropshire said...

The specific chicken I had in mind is the editor of my hometown paper. Young(ish) guy, used to write a humor column in which he tried to sound like Lileks, and came off as Garrison Keillor without the warmth. Politics are probably not too much different from yours. His local coverage, the city hall/cat-up-a-tree stuff, is generally not bad, I will give him that. But if troopers from Fort Carson were to start kicking in doors in mosques, taking fire in mosques, returning fire in mosques, being wounded and killed in mosques, or (hallelujah) killing clerics by mistake in mosques I'm willing to bet his editorial tone would be solemnly gleeful, just as it was when we had some interrogators court-martialled here two years ago. That is why we let the IA deal with mosques. It's not the system I would choose, but it is what it is.

April 04, 2007 5:56 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

I guess you never read the sanctuary stories around the time of Gulf War I.

The government has always been leery about invading churches, and the victory over the Branch Dravidians didn't do anything to make them less so.

It is absurd to suppose that newspaper comment has anything to do with that.

April 04, 2007 4:47 PM  
Blogger Jake's Razor said...

Now if we can just find a Republican that has acted responsibly in the Iraq war...

Duck, you get pretty excited about a Democrat who tells the truth and wants to have more transparency in the government. You should be more excited to see politicians of your own party acting that way. Republicans have been hoarding power, taking away individual rights, leading the country in an unrighteous war, and lying to Americans for the past six years.

Joe Shropshire is right - the press is very powerful. It's the job of the press to report news, to try to make government and the world more transparent to the American people. However, anyone who says that the press is ruining America by illuminating the shortcomings of the government and our elected leaders needs to take a lesson in democracy. Really.

And Harry Eagar, do you really think Bush is appeasing Islam by doing away with the most fundamental and controlling Islamic government in the world in the Taliban? That's ridiculous. And do you really think Jesus told him to invade Iraq because they had WMDs? Then Jesus' intelligence is even more piss-poor than that used to justify the invasion. George Bush is trying to make sure Islamic fundamentalists do not run the puppet Iraqi government, but he wants to involve as much Christian fundamentalism as he can in the US government.

Sorry. I know it's not cool for a stranger to come in here and rip everything that everyone has said, but I'm in a fiesty mood.

April 05, 2007 8:34 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

And even things people have not said. Like Jesus's intelligence, whatever that is.

Yes, of course, Bush is appeasing Islam. He broke bread with the imams before my daughter-in-law could wash the smoke of the burning World Trade Center out of her hair.

And of course, this appeasement isn't working any better than the 1930s variety.

Bush is as feckless as Daladier.

April 06, 2007 12:00 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Republicans have been hoarding power, taking away individual rights, leading the country in an unrighteous war, and lying to Americans for the past six years.

Welcome Jake.

Hoarding power? Power isn't something you can hoard, you either use it or lose it. Theyve been using the power that the voters gave them. The voters weren't thrilled with what they did, so now they've lost most of that power.

I don't buy the taking away of rights rap. Are you talking about the Patriot Act? The wiretapping? I don't think that listening into conversations with foreigners constitutes an infringement of rights. It's a loss of privacy, but as we all know, there is no absolute right to provacy enumerated in the Constitution.

I support the war. There were many other reasons to overthrow Saddam's regime than just the idea that he might have WMDs. We were still technically in a war standing with Iraq going back to the war for Kuwait in 1991. We never signed a peace treaty, only a cease fire. Many conditions were put on his regime as part of that ceasefire, including the dismantling and verification of all prodction facilities for the manufacture of WMDs. Saddam never cooperated with UNSCOM, the UN agency charged with inspecting WMD facilities, and illegally kicked them out of IRAQ in 1996.

Saddam was also illegally subverting the UN oil for food program to generate cash that he used to rebuild his armed forces and fund other operations not related to feeding his own people, who suffered needlessly. The trading embargo against Iraq wasn't working, but was only causing the needless deaths of many Iraqis.

Saddam's regime had to go. He should have been overthrown after the Gulf War, and because of his inability to honor the terms of the ceasefire treaty after that war justified our overthrow of his regime.

April 06, 2007 4:31 AM  

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