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Are Republicans Finally Coming to their Senses?

Republicans may no longer be willing to walk off a cliff for the President on Iraq:

Eleven Republican lawmakers expressed their frustrations to President Bush this week about the war in Iraq and its political implications, Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood said Thursday. LaHood said the delegation of lawmakers met with Bush Tuesday and told him "in the most unvarnished way that they possibly could that things have got to change" in Iraq.

Top Republicans have said an expected September review by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, may decide the future of the war.

"The American people are war-fatigued. The American people want to know there's a way out," LaHood said. "We will hang with them until September, but we need an honest assessment in September," he said of his fellow congressmen. "People's patience is running very, very thin." One source who attended the meeting, Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, told Bush that without positive results soon in Iraq, his district will be prepared for defeat.

It had to happen sooner or later. Having seen their majorities in both houses of Congress crumble in the 2006 landslide election for the Democrats, Republicans have finally decided they are not going to continue following the suicidal path to self-destruction that Bush has led them down with his ill-conceived, misguided, and mismanaged nation building adventure in Iraq.

What we are now seeing in Republican ranks is the inevitable end result of the administration's incessant and deceptive marketing of the war. We've been told time and again lies like we've "turned the corner", a "turning point" has been reached, and the insurgency is in its "last throes". None of these assessments were based on a hard-headed analysis of the situation. Instead, they were all focused on the objective of maintaining support for the war among the American people and Republican elected officials through the next election cycle. This deceptive marketing campaign was successful in 2004 but it utterly failed in 2006. With the 2008 elections fast approaching, Republican congressmen see the writing on the wall and they realize that the voters will punish them if they fail to bring the war in Iraq to a close as the vast majority of them want.


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Comments (22)

P. Bunyan:

Only a far leftist like you Larkin, would consider putting their political ambitions ahead of their moral convictions to be "coming to their senses".

And only on the left are politicians rewarded for such behavior.

We all know you think America's crushing defeat in Iraq would be the best possible outcome.

Larkin-

You are taking a lot of misguided heat at the sister site "Wizbang" and as a Soldier I just want to thank you for Supporting the Troops because that is exactly what you are doing in this debate.

My normal allies on the "right" do not support the troops, they support the "war."

I can disagree with your politics from morning until night but every day we get closer to ending this Nation Building exercise is better for everyone of my brothers in arms so that we may rightly pursue the GLOBAL War on Terror.

Thank you,

Heralder:

And thank you for your service Oak Leaf.

My normal allies on the "right" do not support the troops, they support the "war."

Interesting conclusion but too broad and too erroneous.

ryan a (the filthy centrist):

And thank you for your service Oak Leaf.

My normal allies on the "right" do not support the troops, they support the "war."

Interesting conclusion but too broad and too erroneous.

Hey Heralder, I think that Oak Leaf does have a point there as well, since I do run into numerous people who continually conflate the idea of supporting the men and women in our armed forces with supporting the POLICIES and decisions of the current administration.

In many cases, this whole "support the troops" meme is based around that very problem.

To me, it's perfectly logical to disagree with the policies of the current administration and still have a high regard and respect for our military. We all know, I hope, that the military does not create our foreign policy, they it certainly does not choose when and where we go to war--that's the job of the president and his administration.

I made this comparison on another post: If Bill Clinton invaded some country, and you completely disagreed with his decision, would you be guilty of "not supporting the troops" if you openly declared your disagreement with the war? In my opinion, it's perfectly rational and valid to dissent, while at the same time respecting and giving a damn about the people whose job it is to fight in wars. They are doing what they signed up to do, and there is no reason to blame our military for the decisions of politicians at home. I have met plenty of people who have been deployed, and trust me, I have a great deal of respect for them. Not everyone is willing to do what they do day in and day out.

And I do think that there are many on the right who support the "war" more than anything else. Not everyone, but enough to be of a concern to me.

P. Bunyan:

"then come forward with a viable plan"

It would be stupid of me to try to come up with a plan when I do not possess adequate information to do so, so I'll leave that up to the experts. I do know that surrendering to the terrorists is not an acceptable plan.

Just because you refuse to acknowledge all the allied successes in Iraq does not mean they didn't happen.

"they support the 'war.'"

I don't propose to speak for "them", but I personally do not support the war. I support an allied victory.

I wish there was no war, but since there is and we're in it, the only acceptable outcome for me is victory.

"rightly pursue the GLOBAL War on Terror"

How is handing the terrorists an undeserved and unearned victory in the most significant front in the Global War on Terror "rightly" pursuing it? Do you think it will be helpful to let the Islamofascists know that we are only willing to challenge them if it will be quick and easy? Do you think it is right to let the terrorists know that if they can just hold on for a while America will quit and surrender to them every time?

ryan a:

P.Bunyan:

It would be stupid of me to try to come up with a plan when I do not possess adequate information to do so, so I'll leave that up to the experts. I do know that surrendering to the terrorists is not an acceptable plan.

I think that's a fair answer to that question, since there is always a lot that all of us here in the States don't know.

My question to you, though, is where do you think the line is drawn regarding who is, and who is not, a terrorist? I have always been bothered by terms that are so general, and that can encompass a wide swath of people--from those who commit terrorist acts to those who do not go along with everything that the US and its allies do. There are, in my opinion, numerous problems with the "You are either with us or against us mentality."

I mean, what do you call a Sunni Iraqi who has lost half of his family in the war, and who is fighting both American troops AND foreign terrorists? Do you lump that guy in with all the terrorists, or what?

I don't propose to speak for "them", but I personally do not support the war. I support an allied victory.

Is this victory ours? Or is it an Iraqi victory? Do these allies include the Iraqi Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds whose rightful country that is?

ryan a:

Hey Larkin, any way you can delete two of my THREE posts that I accidentally put on here? Sorry. [done - Lee]

P. Bunyan:

"and you completely disagreed with his decision"

Completely disagreeing with his decision is one thing. That's an opinion and I have no problem with those. The actions taken by the left are quite another.

1) Only reporting on the successes of the terrorists while completely ignoring those of the allied forces, does not support the troops.

2) Declaring the mission a failure because things are not proceeding as quickly as we have come to expect in our microwave society does not support the troops.

3) Trying to de-legitimize the mission with evil lies (e.g., "war for oil", "no WMD", "Halliberton...") does not support the troops.

4) Blowing minor incidents by a few WAY OUT OF PROPORTION (e.g., Abu Grab, Haditha) and trying to paint all soldiers with your soiled brush does not support the troops.

These actions not only do not support our troops, they embolden and encourage the enemy.

I want the troops to be victorious. I do not want their sacrifices to be in vain (as they were in Vietnam, thanks to the left).

ryan a:

P.Bunyan:

I understand where you're coming from, and your points are taken.

Completely disagreeing with his decision is one thing. That's an opinion and I have no problem with those. The actions taken by the left are quite another.

Ok, so let's say someone of the left is completely against the war in Iraq. What actions could they take that you would have respect for? Because sitting around with an opinion isn't going to accomplish very much in real life.

1) Only reporting on the successes of the terrorists while completely ignoring those of the allied forces, does not support the troops.

Ya, I know what you mean with this. Both sides do this kind of thing where they selectively emphasize certain aspects in order to make political points. This creates a very narrow view of what's going on over there.

2) Declaring the mission a failure because things are not proceeding as quickly as we have come to expect in our microwave society does not support the troops.

Well, the Reid/Pelosi cadre is going around doing this kind of a thing more for political reasons. To be honest, I don't consider this whole thing a success, and would be hard-pressed to do so. But maybe there's a way to turn things around; I don't know. So, talking about this whole war in simple terms of failure/success doesn't mean a lot to me. I guess it depends on what failure and success mean to everyone involved.

For example, if we defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, but leave the people of Iraq in shambles for the next 50 years, I would consider that a failure.

Success? Well, that would be if we weren't occupying Iraq and it was controlled by a government that the people of Iraq want--whatever that would really be.

I think that all of this gets way to oversimplified, and people boil it down to arguing about failure and success without even agreeing on the terms they are talking about.

3) Trying to de-legitimize the mission with evil lies (e.g., "war for oil", "no WMD", "Halliberton...") does not support the troops.

Look, people who didn't believe in the war are going to try to de-legitimize it. How else does someone go about protesting or dissenting? I understand the fact that too many people latch onto catch phrases and oversimplified arguements about the war though.

But are there arguments against the war that you would not characterize as evil lies???

If you disagreed with some war that Clinton started, what are ways that you would protest? Let's say he invaded the U.K., and you were completely aghast at the decision. Would you just sit there and hold your opinion, or would you do something.

4) Blowing minor incidents by a few WAY OUT OF PROPORTION (e.g., Abu Grab, Haditha) and trying to paint all soldiers with your soiled brush does not support the troops.

I agree with you here; this is often a huge problem, where thousands of people are characterized based upon what a few do. Problem.

P. Bunyan:

"How else does someone go about protesting or dissenting?"

You can protest and dissent all you want just keep it honest and within the realm of reality.

For example: "I oppose the war because people die in wars."

Or: "I oppose the war because George Bush thought it was the right decision"

Or: "I oppose the war because even after Saddam Hussein developed a nuclear bomb, I don't think he would have used it on us."

When you have to use lies to make your point, your point just might not be valid.

"Success?"

This is not a conventional war or anything we've ever seen before so defining success gets a little tricky.

I would define success in this case as anything that in NO WAY allows Al Qaeda or any other Islamofascist group to claim victory.

"what are ways that you would protest?"

I personally wouldn't protest. Even if I disagreed, when my President sends American forces into war I would support the decision and would accept nothing less than unquestionable victory.

That's not saying I think it's wrong to protest. I just want things kept in the realm of facts and truth.

(It may suprise you, but I did not at the time, think it was the right decision to invade Iraq. Since that time the overwhelming prepoderance of evidence has proven me wrong.)

Steve Crickmore:

I agree with you here; this is often a huge problem, where thousands of people are characterized based upon what a few do. Problem.... A few? This is just another misconception that is going to a be a bigger problem, as part of the new surge strategy, US forces interact more with Iraqi civilans..A U.S. Army Surgeon General Study of over 1,300 troops in Iraq reported "nearly one in five soldiers, said that all noncombatants "should be treated as insurgents." About 30% said their officers had not made it clear that they should not mistreat civilians."

P. Bunyan:

In WWII a single bomb killed 80,000 "civilians". Vaporized them instantly...

P. Bunyan:

O.k. 7:36 was my p'd off answer. Here's my calmer answer:

The US felt justified in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki because they were centers of manufacturing for Japan's war machine. Lots of "civilians" were killed, but they were supporting and contributing to the effort. Not all, there were innocents of course.

In Iraq we are not fighting a non-uniformed army. (Something often seen in civil wars by the way.) Abu picks up a machine gun - Abu is a terrorist. Abu hides machine gun - Abu is a "civilian". Plus those harboring them, supplying them, and aiding them, while they are not technically combatants, they are support and they are the enemy. But they look just like everyone else... Like civilians...

Hence:

"'nearly one in five soldiers, said that all noncombatants 'should be treated as insurgents.' About 30% said their officers had not made it clear that they should not mistreat civilians"

The totally innocent civilians, true civilians that are being killed are being killed by the enemy- the terrorists. Get it? (No, I'm not saying that not one single innocent civilian was killed by the allied forces, just that most likely, no totally uninvolved civilian was intentionally killed.)

Jay Tea used this example recently about a battle on a different front in this war and it's just as true and applicable to this battle: If the terrorists would lay down their weapons and bombs and stop killing people today, the war would be over. If the Allied Forces leave Iraq today the war will escalate. (Yes, I suppose the second sentence is an opinion but it is a very, very substantiated opinion.)

So when I read: "A few? This is just another misconception that is going to a be a bigger problem, as part of the new surge strategy, US forces interact more with Iraqi civilans."

It just made me sick. And of course a link to some leftist propagandist with poll numbers.

You know what? I would love to live a the world where all the world's press (and I mean all of them from one extreme to the other, from FOX News to NPR/CNN/MSNBS/Al Jazeera) writes stories like these every day:

Our top story tonight:

Today in Iraq the allied forces continued their stunningly successful offensive operations today destroying a truck bomb full of explosives which was identified through interrogation of 6 detained terrorists who were captured earlier by the heroes of the Marine Regimental Combat Team on routine offensive operations northeast of Fallujah.

The truck was destroyed by Fighter Jets from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing after marines cordoned off the area and evacuated civilians out of harms way. Allied forces in the area have assessed damage to the nearby buildings and owners have been compensated appropriately.

In Mahudiyah a combined US and Iraqi force detained eight likely terrorists and found three large weapons catches containing mortar systems, rockets and ammunition. Some of the rockets and mortar systems were deteriorated and most likely were to be used in improvised explosive devises, but some mortar rounds and most of the ammunition was nearly new. The weapons found were stamped with recent dates and Iranian markings.

Also captured in overnight raids were 17 likely terrorists in Baghdad, 6 northwest of Karmah, 2 southeast of al Asad including a likely al Qaeda intelligence officer, 2 likely al Qaeda members in Baghdad, 4 al Qaeda weapons & IED distributors in Mosul, and 3 likely terrorists east of Balad.

"We're achieving a deliberate, systematic disruption in the al Qaeda in Iraq network," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. "These operations will slow al-Qaeda's ability to target and harm the people of Iraq."

Allied forces suffered extremely light casualties again today while enemy combatants again suffered many losses.

And a cowardly terrorist suicide bomber detonated himself in a market senselessly killing 15 innocent, unarmed men, women, and children.

Next up is a special report by Dick Dickerson on the rise of the global warming cult and the junk science behind it...

In the world I'd like to live in, most of the world would be supporting the forces of good, not evil.

Many leftists clam George Bush is creating terrorists. If that's true it's due mostly to the lies that the left has been telling since the start of this war and the reporters among them who have worked so hard to make fabrications into conventional wisdom. And the fawning, sensationalized, one sided, misleading, terrorist emboldening press coverage that ignores all the good being done by the allies.

ryan a:

P.Bunyan:

You can protest and dissent all you want just keep it honest and within the realm of reality.

Honesty and reality. Got it.

I would define success in this case as anything that in NO WAY allows Al Qaeda or any other Islamofascist group to claim victory.

Ok, so how would you feel if Iraq democratically ELECTED a theocratic leader and booted the US out of the country? Would you consider that success? Because along with democracy comes choice, and it's not always easy to predict what people are going to do.

I personally wouldn't protest. Even if I disagreed, when my President sends American forces into war I would support the decision and would accept nothing less than unquestionable victory.

Really? Even if you felt the war was completely immoral or unjust? What if Hillary became president and declared war on England? Would you support that decision no matter what, and accept nothing less than victory?

(It may suprise you, but I did not at the time, think it was the right decision to invade Iraq. Since that time the overwhelming prepoderance of evidence has proven me wrong.)

No, that doesn't surprise me. I know plenty of people who have changed their position over time, and with new information. I'd be interested to know what kinds of things changed your mind though.

And thanks for the good insult-free discussion, btw.

P. Bunyan:

"Ok, so how would you feel if Iraq democratically ELECTED a theocratic leader and booted the US out of the country?"

I would be fine with that and actually that actually might happen.

Leaving because we're asked to leave is the right thing to do. Leaving because the terrorists killed almost as many Americans in 1 month as the Germans killed in a few seconds on D-Day is wrong.

"Really? Even if you felt the war was completely immoral or unjust? What if Hillary became president and declared war on England? Would you support that decision no matter what, and accept nothing less than victory?"

Well that's a pretty outrageous hypothetical. Hillary would only be able to fight the war for 60 days with congressional support, and most likely would be impeached long before that.

You see, I don't think America, even with a far, far leftist neocom like Hillary would fight an immoral or unjust war.

If somehow that extremely unlikely hypothetical were to happen, then I would speak out loudly, but I would make up outrageous, evil lies like many leftists do today.

P. Bunyan:

Correction to my last sentence above: I wouldn't make up outrageous, evil lies...

P. Bunyan:

By the way,

That "news story" I wrote in my 9:21 pm post is all true. Those things really happened. That was an accurate representation of a typical day in the Iraqi theatre of war.

It just might have sounded made up becuse it was told from a pro-American, pro-Allied victory standpoint, rather than what you normally hear on the TV, Radio, and Newspapers/Websites.

"That "news story" I wrote in my 9:21 pm post is all true. Those things really happened. That was an accurate representation of a typical day in the Iraqi theatre of war."

And how would more stories like the one you suggested at 9:21pm have changed the outcome. Mr. Bunyan? I agree that it might make the wingnuts who sleep in camouflage PJs happy to hear only one-sided, pro-war reports, but what useful purpose would it have served?

"Leaving because we're asked to leave is the right thing to do. Leaving because the terrorists killed almost as many Americans in 1 month as the Germans killed in a few seconds on D-Day is wrong."

I see, your desire to spill more American blood wasn't satiated yet. So sorry that you're disappointed, Mr, Bunyan, but today we have 150,000 troops in Iraq and they are unable to stop the bloodshed and violence being thrown at the innocent people of of that country - and adding another 150,000 troops to Iraq would not help one bit.

The fact that your thirst for blood is unsatiated is secondary to that reality. I'm all for finding a way to end the violence in Iraq, but writing more pro-war stories and extending and/or escalating military solutions won't solve anything.

ryan a:

P.Bunyan:

Leaving because we're asked to leave is the right thing to do. Leaving because the terrorists killed almost as many Americans in 1 month as the Germans killed in a few seconds on D-Day is wrong.

Is there a possibility, in your mind, that many of these terrorists could in fact be Iraqis who are fighting against what they feel to be an invading foreign army? How do you differentiate people who fight against us because they feel they are defending their country, from foreign terrorists?

Do you think it's possible that some Iraqis may in fact disagree with what we're doing, and they might not want us there?

I have a hard time imagining that there aren't large numbers of Iraqis who disagree with what we are doing, and who are fighting against what they see as an occupying force, among other things. What do you think about that? Because many of the pro-war folks tend to lump anyone and everyone who isn't staunchly pro-US into the terrorist category. I think that things might be a bit more complex than that, personally.

Have you ever read the book or the blog by Salam Pax? It's interesting, and gives some insight into one Iraqi's complex views of the war, from the start. It's a good read. Then, read some of the views of the guys who write over at "Iraq the Model." Different perspectives, same country. Add Baghdad burning, and things get stirred up more. What this shows me is that this war is much more complex, and less black and white, than many people pretend that it is.

You see, I don't think America, even with a far, far leftist neocom like Hillary would fight an immoral or unjust war.

What makes you so sure about this? You seem to be pretty confident about this.

Well, has the United States ever, in your opinion, fought any unjust or immoral wars in the past?

If somehow that extremely unlikely hypothetical were to happen, then I would speak out loudly, but I wouldn't make up outrageous, evil lies like many leftists do today.

I know that hypothetical was pretty out there. But I'm glad to hear that you would speak out against something that you disagreed with, and that you would put honesty at the forefront.

P. Bunyan:

"And how would more stories like the one you suggested at 9:21pm have changed the outcome. Mr. Bunyan?"

Most of the world would realize that the allied forces are the good guys and are in fact winning this war. And far, far fewer young Muslims would be lured into becoming terrorists because they would realize it's futile.

Current reporting on the war (including pretty much every article I've ever noticed you link to) is agenda based. The agenda is to (1) demoralize the American public and the world in general, (2) to deligitimize the war and falsely paint the President as an agressor who is willing to engage in warfare for personal profit and power (among other things). While I don't think it is their intention, the unintended consequence of the agenda based "journalism" we have today is that it legitimizes, sensationalizes, emboldens, and encourages the terrorists. It is the misleading, biased, unfair "journalism" that is sustaining the terrorists and contributing to their successful recruiting.

Get it Lee? If journalists can't be objective, I'd rather they demoralize the bad guys than the good guys. (And yes I realize you may have a different opinion of who the bad guys and good guys are.)

In WWII most of the reporting was pretty much like what I posted above, and guess what? WE WON.

I am not a war supported. I never wanted any war. But sometimes war is the lesser of two evils. And whether you or I wanted it is irrelevant. IT IS. So now I am an allied victory supporter.

I have no desire to spill anyone's blood. I hate all wars and all killing and wish there was never a need for them. Every day this war makes me sick. Unfortunatly, unlike you, I can't just fabricate a reality and live there. I sincerely believe that if we did not do what we are doing now BILLIONS would be killed. And if George Soros and the rest of the far left has their way billions WILL be killed.

How would you feel if I said you have a desire for terrorists to obtain nuclear weapons and destroy every major city in the US? That could very well happen if we allow your side to have their way in this war, so according to your logic you desire the blood of billions to be spilled (or vaporized).

My whole point about mentioned those killed on D-Day was that in one Day more were killed than have been killed in 4 years in this war. I don't want that to ever happen again. I don't think you want that to happen either, you're just to stubborn or ignorant to admit that if the left had it's way, this war could dwarf what happened in WWII.

I'm taking about the war on Islamofascism, not just the Iraq theatre.

P. Bunyan:

"Is there a possibility, in your mind, that many of these terrorists could in fact be Iraqis who are fighting against what they feel to be an invading foreign army?"

I wouldn't say it's a possibility, I would say it's a fact. Still they are not uniformed forces doing things with military obectives- they are terrorists.

"How do you differentiate people who fight against us because they feel they are defending their country, from foreign terrorists?"

I don't think you can or need to. It is a shame that they feel they need to defend their country from forein terrorists, when nothing could be further from the truth. But you have the leftist media and the Iraqi media to thank for that. The leftist media has done nothing but spread lies that George Bush had invaded their country to steal their oil.

Had the media told the truth, that America was there to not to invade but to liberate; and that America does not want their oil; but rather wants them to live peacefully under leadership they themselves choose; and if they choose to stop killing and live in peace they can; and that it is them, not America who is preventing that; THEN WE WOULD NOT HAVE THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE TODAY.

I think that was President Bush's biggest mistake. He "misunderestimated" the pure evil of the leftists and power of their media organs.

Do you think it's possible that some Iraqis may in fact disagree with what we're doing, and they might not want us there?

I think I answered that already, but yes, not only possible but likely. Some people actually want to live under tyranical, fascist goverments. Hell, in 2004, 18% of the electorate actually voted "for" John Kerry (the rest of Kerry votes were not for him, but rather against Bush).

"I have a hard time imagining that there aren't large numbers of Iraqis who disagree with what we are doing, and who are fighting against what they see as an occupying force, among other things. What do you think about that?"

Again already answered above.

"Because many of the pro-war folks tend to lump anyone and everyone who isn't staunchly pro-US into the terrorist category. I think that things might be a bit more complex than that, personally."

If they put on a uniform and join an army they are soldiers. If they are "civilians" performing random, militarily insignificant attacks they are terrorists.

I'm sad the the American leftists, the worldwide leftist media, and the terrorist leaders have deceived them, but the reason why they are terrorists does not change the fact that they are.

"Have you ever read the book or the blog by Salam Pax?"

No, but I am not unaware of the other side. I just disagree. Again:

If the terrorists would lay down their weapons and bombs and stop killing people today, the war would be over. If the Allied Forces leave Iraq today the war will escalate.

Just because the leftists and terrorist leaders has caused them to belive in a lie, their actions are still not justified.

"I don't think America, even with a far, far leftist neocom like Hillary would fight an immoral or unjust war."

"What makes you so sure about this?"

I don't think they'd get away with it in this day and age.

Plus there are constitutional protections against it (as I've already said in an earlier comment).

Plus, I know that Hillary wants POWER more than anything else and would no risk loosing it for anything.

Plus, I'm mostly a pragmatic optimist.

But I could be wrong.

"Well, has the United States ever, in your opinion, fought any unjust or immoral wars in the past?"

The only example I can think of would be the "wars" against the native Americans, and even then there are grey areas.

Otherwise, no, I don't think so.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

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

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