Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is Hugh Right?

Hugh Hewitt has a post up on the Senate's attempts to pass a resolution against the troop surge in Iraq. Of course Secretary of Defense Gates says it will embolden the enemy, but what do they care? They have important things, like the next election to concern themselves with:

What part of "encouragement to the enemy" don't the Republican senators understand? They can stop the Biden resolution, or at least do the public the service ofilluminating which republicans are willing to join Democrats in providing that encouragement. There is no valid reason --none-- to agree to cloture.

Senator McConnell's D.C. office is closed for the weekend, but you can reach his Louisville office at 502-582-6304. The other contact info is below for Senators McConnell and McCain and the others in the Republican leadership.

Please spend some time this weekend reminding the Republican senators that they are not their to serve themselves.

UPDATE: Read this exchange between an LATimes' editorial board member and Governor Bill Richardson, candidate for president: They are discussing "worst case sceanriaos" for Iraq.

LAT: So Plan B is, Maliki doesn't do what you want, he says "I don't really care what you do"; the Mideast peace conference, everyone says, you know, "America's sort of a weak giant, on the run, and we actually don't like each other, we don't want to sit around and talk about it"; we just leave and the place descends into utter, horrible chaos?

Richardson: No, no, no. You link it to reconciliation talks, but Plan B has to be a diplomatic process that involves other nations sharing the load. I mean, if Saudi Arabia is saying "this is the worst thing in the world for the U.S. to leave," you know, what are you going to do about it? You gotta finance troops.

But I think eventually the best situation is a linkage. But if the linkage is not there, you know, the phased withdrawl, it has to happen. Because right now, it can't be any worse. There's a civil war going on. The Iraqi people want us to leave. So, you cut your losses.

LAT: The can't-be-any-worse argument was also very popular in 1975 in Vietnam, and Cambodians found out that it could actually get quite a good deal worse. Is that something that worries you? What do you build into that process?

Richardson: Yeah. It worries me, but how worse can it get?

LAT: Two million people killed in a genocide?

Richardson: Well, but you're assuming that our presence there has prevented that from happening. Our presence there has caused, I think, the civil war to accelerate. [...] Is our presence preventing this genocide? I'm not sure.

I can remember the same arguments about Viet Nam. In fact I can remember John Kerry saying we were the problem, remove us from Viet Nam and the fighting in South East Asia would stop. Oh, a couple of thousand people might die, but overall the situation would improve. We all know that was a lie.

If the Democrats really believe this nonsense then they need to side with the 15% of the population that wants and immediate and complete withdrawl from Iraq.

Hugh is angry with McCAin for trying to put together some kind of compromise resolution. I have my doubts as well, but it should be remembered that McCAin has always supported sending more troops to Iraq and he still does. He is not a quitter.


Lorie Byrd ask a question that deserves an answer:

It is certainly not a pleasant thing to accuse fellow Americans, particularly ones entrusted by the citizenry with the nation’s well being, of playing politics with American lives or of providing moral support to her enemies, but I think it is time to ask some hard questions.

Why have so many critics of the war spent more time talking about alleged abuses at Gitmo than they have talking about the new freedoms being enjoyed by those in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of actions taken by the U.S. military?

Why is it that many war critics seem to believe the U.S. is capable of addressing the conflict and genocide in Darfur, but that they are not capable of achieving victory in Iraq?”

Why is it that when generals, or more frequently former generals, express a lack of confidence in the President, the Secretary of Defense, or our policy and mission in Iraq, their word is not only accepted without question, but their opinions are treated as absolute fact, but when other generals say that it is still possible to win in Iraq, and that condemnations of the President and his policies encourage the enemy, they are ignored?

Why, when given a choice between defeat through surrender or the possibility to pursue victory, there are so many so eager to choose the former?


Coisty said...

Hugh is beyond parody. He's the guy who called for party loyalty when leftist Arlen Specter needed conservative voters now he's undermining GOP senators. Scrappleface is right: Hewitt would eat a shit sandwich if George Bush told him too.

After all these years of being a Bush/GOP flack Hewitt is now asking GOP senators to destroy their own chances of being re-elected. Doesn't he realise that supporting Bush's very unpopular Iraq policies means the GOP will be reduced to being some kind of regional party? I doubt that so I have to assume he's completely out of touch with the American people.

Coisty said...

Why have so many critics of the war spent more time talking about alleged abuses at Gitmo than they have talking about the new freedoms being enjoyed by those in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of actions taken by the U.S. military?

Gitmo has been overplayed, no doubt about it. But what are these new freedoms she is talking about? The Sunni Arabs don't think things have changed for the better. With Shia death squads masquerading as soldiers who can blame them? In Afghanistan the Tajiks who are only a quarter of the population are probably happy. Pashtuns - over 40% and the largest single ethnic group - can't be happy that they are under the mostly Tajik government's boot.

In multiethnic societies politics is mostly about ethnic identity. People care more about that than they do about abstractions like "freedom." Always have, always will.

Syl said...

My feeling is that the enemy uses any excuse it can to become emboldened. This is a good talking point, but only actions against the enemy truly matter.

Yakking about our policy? just makes the jihadists smile.

Withdrawing in defeat? emboldens the enemy.

Bostonian said...

Coisty is beyond parody, isn't he?

As for the last question asked in the post, I'd say that a solid minority of this country sees no choice at all: they believe that it is impossible for 1) a first-world nation to defeat guerrilla forces, 2) millions of newly freed people to make correct choices at their polls and learn to defend themselves from the next would-be tyrants, and 3) anything good to come from the application of force rather than "dialog."

And the enemy has already figured out that they can make use of these fools.

vnjagvet said...
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vnjagvet said...
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vnjagvet said...

I don't think Coisty is right, but Hugh's political strategy is questionable.

If McCain can maneuver the Senate to something positive, I will support him for President.

That is because the the Senate is now a much bigger power base than it has ever been in the past. Witness the where the vast majority of the Democrat Presidential candidates are now employed.

I submit that while Baghdad and Anwar Province are the two most visible locations of the next battles in the Iraqi front of the WOT, the US Senate is, de facto, the third such battle. It is equally important IMO as Baghdad and Anwar.

If McCain can pull a victory off in the Senate, (or if he goes down fighting a valiant effort) he is a real leader and deserves my support. If he cannot, he is merely a politician.

richard mcenroe said...

coisty -- the Sunnis are going to reap what they sowed for decades of a comfortable life serving as Saddam's leg-breakers, secret police and house rapists. US involvement is the ONLY thing that will mitigate that. Do you think Maliki would have brought in Kurds to move against the Bagdhad militias without US pressure?

terrye said...

I happen to agree with vnjagvet about McCain. I don't like the nonbinding resolutions that the other Senators have come up with, but I have never seen anything from McCain that would lead me to believe that he would abandon his country.

lurker said...

I questioned why McCain thought we needed a resolution defining benchmarks because Bush already has benchmarks. Did McCain compare his benchmarks against those already defined?

They appear to look identical to me but I haven't compared.

Don Surber took note that today's anti-war protests were not as well-attended as the anti-war protesters had hoped. They are hoping for 100,000 but probably got less than twenty IF the 300 buses were not full.

As for "The Pledge", the number of signatures is approaching 27,000. In spite of Patrick's Ruffino's hesitations and I can understand his reasons, I think this Pledge is necessary to get the point across to McConnell, Ensign, Collins, and the others.

Sean Penn wants more than the non-binding but since there is nothing that the Senate can do so why bother doing a non-binding other than taking away the strength of Bush's Executive Power. Bush knows that "we" have to win the war against Global Jihadism or we will see an increasing divisions between Bush and Congress next year.

Bostonian said...

"I have never seen anything from McCain that would lead me to believe that he would abandon his country."

... If he were in charge of it, I'd agree.

But for some reason, if some other person is President, McCain just has to throw up hurdle after hurdle which make it harder for that person to serve his county.

I don't know whose side McCain thinks he is on, but he is not on mine.

Rick Ballard said...

"I don't know whose side McCain thinks he is on, but he is not on mine."

Hear, hear.

Nor the Constitutions. Thin skin is dangerous when mixed with a fat (empty) head. In the past five years the esteemed Senator from AZ has used his ability to do what, precisely?