Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Hypocrisy and the Senate

31 January 2007

Perhaps it’s because I’m not a US citizen by birth but I can’t for the life of me understand how the Senate can vote unanimously to confirm a General to command US forces in Iraq while at the committee level pass a non-binding resolution condemning the plan he designed and must implement.

It was amazing to watch each Senator wish the General “good luck” or “Gods speed” while condemning his plan and his ability to carry out the plan. I must be nuts and simply don’t understand how Senator Chuck Hagel (R) and his Democratic Party committee colleges can be so against the plan and the war effort in general and then vote to confirm General Petraeus. Somebody please write to me and explain this strange way of doing the peoples business. You know from reading my previous pieces that I like to use history to explain our recent mistakes or debunk myths but I failed completely to find anything even resembling this action by a Senate Committee although the Senator Kerry line came close when he said “I voted for it before I voted against it” when speaking about additional funding for the Iraq war. That quote was effectively used against him during the 2004 Presidential election and the Senators involved in this latest round of political posturing would be smart to take note of how things turned out for Senator Kerry.

Since the foolishness of the committee vote last week it would appear that there has been a pause in moving forward with debate on the various binding and non-binding resolutions that have been put forward but only because the Republican Senators are backing away from supporting their Democratic friends as the hypocrisy becomes more apparent. It got worse yesterday as the same committee noted above unanimously approved the nomination of the new Commander of CENTCOM which is the command that will be responsible for the Iraq Theater. Once again the same Senators could be heard wishing Admiral Fallon “good luck” while in their speeches (called questions) they slammed the plan and suggested it wasn’t a dramatic enough change in course that had no chance of success. I can’t imagine what the General and Admiral were really thinking and I keep waiting for one of these gentlemen who have to sit through 5 minutes of speech before each scripted question to snap but they didn’t which is why I write and they command.

Although I have my own thoughts and ideas on how to resolve the Iraq challenges I can’t argue with the logic of at least giving President Bush’s plan a reasonable chance to succeed. Yesterday James Baker testified on Capitol Hill as his report is often cited by the Democrats as the proper way ahead and he patiently explained that with few exceptions many of the concepts outlined in the Iraq Study Group report had been adopted and that he believed the Senate was making a mistake not to give the new plan an opportunity to work. He joined General Petraeus in arguing that any resolution binding or not would send a terrible message to our troops, friends and enemies that America was divided and with time and patience could be defeated once again not on the battlefield but at home in the political arena.

So let’s summarize, the President, the Iraqi Prime Minister, James Baker and General Petraeus have all asked for a few months to try on this plan with the promise that if it isn’t working they will report back to Congress immediately and this isn’t enough for a bunch of Senators that have only one simple message, pull the troops back or out and lets talk, lets engage the regional partners as if the regional partners have anything to gain by engaging in talk. Iran loses if it talks because discussion will not get it into Iraq while disorder and a premature American withdrawal will. Syria has nothing to gain with talk but much to gain should Iran succeed and Iraq remains unstable and Americas main effort. Syria dreads the day when America wins in Iraq because with a nuclear threat in Iran they will become the main effort.

It’s a sad and confusing time for Americans, on one hand the main stream media only covers the failures in Iraq giving no time or resources to numerous successes both on the battlefield and in the area of reconstruction and government development while the politicians continue to worry about their own jobs and how best to secure their own re-election. Republicans that must face the electorate in 2008 want to be seen as anti-Administration while Democrats are saying if taking a moderate pro-troops / anti-war position worked in 2006 it will work even better in 2008 when an additional 1700 or so soldiers sailors and Marines have died. How quickly they forget who authorized the war and hide behind the mantra of “If I knew then what I know today I would never have voted for the war”. What a crock…….If Hillary knew today that Bill would have an affair in the White House and humiliate her would she still have married him or stayed with him after the first affair during the election? If I knew then, what I know today I certainly wouldn’t have worn so many hats. It’s a foolish game to play and hardly worthy of our senior politicians but it’s what they for the most part are using to explain their votes and sadly Americans seem to be excepting it.

It’s time to start accepting some facts and realizing what happens if we pull out prematurely:

Iran will become more powerful and better able to ignore UN sanctions thus speeding up the timeline for them to join the nuclear club.
Israel will be under greater pressure to strike Iran preemptively to prevent them achieving nuclear status which will cause much of the Arab world to turn against them.
North Korea will recognize the weakness of the US and continue to develop its nuclear capability and delivery systems.
More rogue countries will turn to China which will become a superpower.
China after the 2008 Olympic Games will take Taiwan back by force.
Russia will continue to regress, move away from democracy and once again use brutal force in Chechnya.
Turkey will invade Northern Iraq and begin the process of wiping out the Kurdish rebels.
Iran will invade Southern Iraq and assist the Shiites to wipe out the Sunnis.
Saudi Arabia will provide support and possibly troops to help the Sunnis.

Some historical events to consider:

The Genocide in Cambodia after the collapse of Vietnam – who was willing to fight in SE Asia or to stop Pol Pot.
The Genocide in Rwanda was ignored by President Clinton after his experience in Somalia.

My point, when America is defeated politically (not on the battlefield) it emboldens despots and lunatics and America ignores the plight of innocent peoples because it is too politically tired to get involved again.

America and Americans must truly consider the consequences of failing in Iraq and the horrific events that would follow an American withdrawal prior to the Iraqi government becoming not only strong enough to sustain itself against internal sectarian violence but against external enemies too. Iran, Syria and even Turkey will not sit idly by if they see weakness to be exploited and American will be too politically drained to do anything about it. Then my friends stand by as the show “24” becomes a reality show.


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