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Are the Democrats Surrendering in Iraq?

Much has been written on our parent blog about the Democrat's apparent willingness to surrender in Iraq.

I doubt that those who are breathlessly proclaiming HR 1591 a surrender have ever actually read the bill. If they had they might be interested to see this:

(e) After the conclusion of the redeployment specified in subsections (b) and (c), the Secretary of Defense may not deploy or maintain members of the Armed Forces in Iraq for any purpose other than the following:

(1) Protecting American diplomatic facilities and American citizens, including members of the United States Armed Forces.(2) Serving in roles consistent with customary diplomatic positions.(3) Engaging in targeted special actions limited in duration and scope to killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach.(4) Training and equipping members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

So let's see. HR 1591 is supposed to be a total surrender to Al Qaeda if we believe the propaganda of the right. If we look at the fine print, however, we see that it will still allow a large number of US troops to remain in Iraq.

First of all, defending our Taj-Mahal sized embassy (which is the largest embassy anywhere, ever) in the Green Zone will certainly require a sizable force. Training Iraqi military and police could easily require 20-30,000 troops alone.

Then, there's the loophole through which George Bush could ram a mack truck: killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach. All Bush has to do is declare that the Iraqi terrorists have global reach and he can keep whatever forces are necessary there to combat them. Or, he can declare that they are all effectively members of Al Qaeda based on some nebulous, loose alliances that they have formed in the past.

So you see, HR 1591 really isn't a call for surrender at all. It's trying to force a small baby step in the direction of reducing our forces there. It doesn't come anywhere close to requiring a full withdrawal and it certainly does not merit the amount of vilification that it has received on the right. It's the anti-war left that should really be disappointed with this bill because it doesn't even come close to ending our involvement in Iraq.


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Comments (10)

Steve Crickmore:

Certainly this withdrawl as proposed by Congress would be a step by step approach, with benchmarks, and not a surrender. After all, Bush wants eventually to withdraw from Iraq rather than conquer it, except perhaps for leaving some permanent military bases behind, and allowing US oil corporations to skim off, much the oil revenue...Juan Cole makes some good points (it is nice to quote him on a Wizbang site, for a change, without being defensive). He believes that Al queda in Iraq, would be much less of a threat if the Americans left," but a simple US departure would not be enough; the civil war must be negotiated to a settlement, on the model of the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Lebanon."

allen:

The 30% or so of puggies that believe Bush is always correct will never take the time to read this bill. If they did take the time to read it, they might understand what is proposed instead of doing their usual SPIN.

One other question, would Bush have invaded Iraq if they didn't have such a reserve of oil? I think we all know the answer to that.

Heralder:

We do allen, the answer is 'yes'.

Additionally, who is the number 1 oil supplier to the U.S.? The answer may surprise you.

And since Steve is allowed to quote Juan Cole, I'm going to quote Bill Whittle (I actually think I just heard eyes roll) because he said it rather franky.

I'll just put it here for ease of use:

Likewise with a "war for oil." What would a real "war for oil" look like? Well, US troops would have sped to the oilfields with everything we had. Everything we had. Then, secure convoy routes would have been established to the nearest port - probably Basra - and the US Navy would essentially line the entire gulf with wall-to-wall warships in order to ensure the safe passage of US-flagged tankers into and out of the region.

There would have been no overland campaign - what for? - and no fight for Baghdad. Fallujah and Mosul and all those other trouble spots would never even see an American boot. Why? No oil there. The US Military would do what it is extraordinarily well-trained to do: take and hold a very limited area, and supply secure convoys to and from this limited area on an ongoing basis. Saddam could have stayed if he wanted: probably would have saved us a lot of trouble, and the whole thing would have become a sort of super no-fly zone over the oil fields, ports and convoy routes, and the devil take the rest of it. Sadr City IED deaths? Please. What the f**k does Sadr City have that we need?

That's what a war for oil would look like. It's entirely possible that such an operation could have been accomplished and maintained without a single American fatality.

Heralder:

Larkin, or another moderator, could you please if possible put those last paragraphs in italic blockquotes...they're meant to be part of the quote, not my own thoughts.

I forgot that I need to repeat the operation per paragraph not as a whole.

[ok - fixed! - Lee]

Heralder:

Thanks!

itismedavid:

If your premise is true (that Bush could technically get around the withdrawal dates), which I do not buy, then why have the language in the bill at all?

And how does it reconcile the Democrats' talking points and Reid's own comments that this bill "maximizes our chances for success in Iraq and redeploys our troops so we can more effectively wage the war on terror" and "Democrats and Republicans who voted for this bill understand that the Iraq war can be won only politically, not militarily."

Nice try. I still subscribe to the notion that the Democrats want us out of Iraq (mostly for political gain) and yet they will be too afraid to outright vote for defunding the troops.

engineer:

So if the bill passes, our troops can stand around and watch as Sunnis and Shiites kill each other. They can only intervene if, a.) a US interest is involved, or b.) a known al-Queda member is in the fight (and is specially targetted).

Publicus:

This argument over whether or not a policy would be "surrender" is nonsense. Who cares about stupid name calling? What we should care about is the effect of a policy.

I say withdraw the troops. Congress shouldn't send another spending bill for war in Iraq. (They can and should make funds available to bring our troops home.)

Iraq is and will be a terribly dangerous mess no matter what we do now. It can't be "fixed" by American military power. The question is, how many more American troops should lose their lives or limbs before we leave? My answer is: zero.

I don't give a damn about the word "surrender". I care about 19 year olds being blown away by IEDs half a world away to satisfy old men's egos.

I think that these 19 year old should live a full life. If Bush and Cheney want, they can take a few M16 and go over there and see what they can do.

This "WE" who would be staying, if America continues to fight in Iraq...that's the "WE" I care about. Bush and Cheney are doddering old fools who don't care about the bloodshed they've caused.

Jeff Blogworthy:

Funny, I don't see anything in the bill that allows our troops to defend our secular Iraqi allies when the enemy Islamofacists sweep in to annihilate them. No matter - what's a few million dead allies? It'll be just like Cambodia all over again - after we were insincerely assured by the Left that such slaughters would never happen. The blood of millions is on your hands lefties. I'm sure you won't lose a wink of sleep though, since the only thing you care about is yourselves.

"I care about 19 year olds being blown away by IEDs half a world away to satisfy old men's egos."

I hear this oft-repeated in one form or another. If you really cared about the VOLUNTEER troops, you would ask their opinion. Oh yeah, they overwhelmingly differ with you as well. As usual, you think you can run their lives better than they can.

If you really cared about the troops, you would not seek to criminalize their actions at every opportunity.

If you really cared about the troops, you would stop being terrorist sock puppets.

Publicus:

Jeff Blogworthy--

Yeah, we showed our love for the Cambodian people by killing HALF A MILLION of them. And I think we're winning the undying love of the Iraqi people by killing so many of them, too.

And yeah, we're responsible for the Khmer Rouge because we didn't stay in Vietnam forever. Or did we help the Khmer Rouge by bombing Cambodia, destroying the country so Pol Pot could kill the remaining Cambodians we didn't manage to kill?

By the way, when your 19 year old son decides to go drag racing over a cliff without a seat belt, that's HIS choice. Don't be a thug taking away his freedom of choice.

Yeah, you Republicans love the troops; you love them to death.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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