Jack Reed; this drawdown is not a drawdown

| September 14, 2007

Last night, the President announced, to no surprise, that the surge has worked so well militarily that he’ll begin drawing down our force presence in Iraq (Washington Examiner/AP);

Bush said 5,700 U.S. forces would be home by Christmas instead of leaving Iraq beginning in the spring as originally planned. Four more combat brigades would pull out of Iraq as currently scheduled by July.

These troops comprise the troop buildup that Bush ordered in January that boosted U.S. troop strength to 168,000, the highest level of the war. Under the withdrawal plan, troop levels would drop back to around 130,000 by next summer, close to where they were before the buildup.

Well, it makes sense – since we’ve made places like Anhbar safer and proved to the Iraqis that we’re there to see this through – despite the political rhetoric here, we can reduce our boot prints in Iraq while still being successful.

But, that’s not good enough for the Democrats, of course. For some reason, Jack Reed, a twelve-year veteran of the armed forces, felt the need to “rebutt” the President’s address (Wall Street Journal Online);

So tonight, we find ourselves at a critical moment.

Do we continue to heed the president’s call that all Iraq needs is more time, more money, and the indefinite presence of 130,000 American troops _ the same number as nine months ago? Or do we follow what is in our nation’s best interest and redefine our mission in Iraq?

Democrats believe it is a time to change course. We think it’s wrong that the president tells us there’s not enough money for our veterans and children’s health care because he is spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. We have put forth a plan to responsibly and rapidly begin a reduction of our troops. Our proposal cannot erase the mistakes of the last four and a half years, but we can chart a better way forward.

That is why our plan focuses on counterterrorism and training the Iraqi army. It engages in diplomacy to bring warring factions to the table and addresses regional issues that inflame the situation. It begins a responsible and rapid redeployment of our troops out of Iraq. And it returns our focus to those who seek to do us harm: al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

An endless and unlimited military presence in Iraq is not an option.

Like our “endless and unlimited military presence” in Japan, Germany, South Korea, Bosnia and Kosovo? The President is drawing down our combat forces in a safe and timely manner. The Democrats recommend that we negotiate with 12th Century savages who are still cutting off hands and executing criminals in public. Savages who deny that there were millions executed in Europe because of their religion and sexual preferences in the last century. People who execute their own citizens for converting to another religion. How do you negotiate with that culture?

And of course, the Washington Post snipes at the president from the sidelines;

For instance, Bush asserted that “Iraq’s national leaders are getting some things done,” such as “sharing oil revenues with the provinces” and allowing “former Baathists to rejoin Iraq’s military or receive government pensions.”

Yet his statement ignored the fact that U.S. officials have been frustrated that none of those actions have been enshrined into law — and that reports from Baghdad this week indicated that a potential deal on sharing oil revenue is collapsing.

Well, it’s a work in progress, isn’t it? They’ve been under the jackboot of one thug for nearly thirty years – it takes time to work out details of important issues. How long has Congress been talking about healthcare in this country? Nearly twentyfive years. Saddam’s been gone just over four years. It took us twelve years to get our Constitution done right.

In another story in the Post, they overplayed the murder of an allied sheik in Anhbar as a blow to the Administration;

The president’s upbeat assessment of the situation in Iraq during a nationally televised address last night was clouded by the killing earlier in the day of a Sunni sheik who led the turnaround of a key province in alliance with U.S. forces.

You can almost hear the Post’s reporters dancing with glee over the death of a key player in the surge’s success. Even though AP reports in the Washington Times that the murder has only strengthened the resolve of tribal leaders;

Mr. Abu Risha’s allies, as well as U.S. and Iraqi officials, insisted the assassination would not deter them from fighting al Qaeda, and the tribal alliance appears to have gained enough momentum to survive the loss of a single figure, no matter how senior. Late yesterday, Mr. Abu Risha’s brother, Ahmed, was selected to replace him as head of the council.

Reed, ever the whiner, complains that the President has no plan;

“A nation eager for change in Iraq heard the president speak about his plans for the future. But once again, the president failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it,” said Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat and a former U.S. Army Ranger and paratrooper.

But, there’s no plan only if you haven’t listening. Everyone knows the plan – this is the worst case of projection in American history. Reed claims Democrats have a plan – but there is no Democrat plan except pull the troops out now and then work with Iran from a point of weakness – the weakness being that we’ll be gone from the Middle East, while Iran is free to terrorize their neighbors and their population with no fear from retribution. Iran is the problem and the Democrats want to strengthen Iran.

You’d think a “former Army Ranger” would be jubilant at the successes and accomplishments in Iraq. Instead this particular “former Army Ranger” wants to play political games and draw the war out further and cost more American lives in the interim.

Category: Foreign Policy, Politics, Terror War

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