Sen. Harry Reid does appear to have stuck his foot in it, then put that foot directly back in his mouth, which must be an unpleasant a metaphor as one wants to imagine. Take for example this little tidbit from the Newswire carrying his speech from the Woodrow Wilson Institute, 23 APR 2007 :
The very existence of this debate has already helped. The President's own Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, said that debate is essential to progress, that our efforts have been helpful to communicate to the Iraqis that American patience is limited.I don't think that is a good rendition of what Mr. Gates put forth, like at the Leon Panetta Institute in 2005:
Secretary Gates is right: American patience is limited. As the people's representatives, our patience is also limited.
Robert Gates: I think an Iraqi government secure enough to invite us to leave we can count as a victory. My concern is that we have so little patience. We're so accustomed to watching television and we get irritated if it's a two-part series.Looking for the end credits to roll already, Sen. Reid? A commercial break in the program, perhaps? Something to make the world a much, much nicer place by running from terrorists? Apparently so, and suffering from Short Attention Span Theater Syndrome, to boot. Why's that? Well, a bit further into his diatribe of cowardice, Sen. Reid has this to say:
And we haven't wrapped it up by 9:00. Yesterday marked the end of World War II, sixty years ago. There are still American troops in Germany. We've had troops in Korea for over 50 years. The British have had troops in Cyprus for 40 years. I hope we're not in Iraq for those lengths of times, but if you want to change history, you have to be prepared to stay as long as it takes to do the job.
We all hope that it will be quick. That in a year or two the -- this government in Iraq will be secure enough that they will be able to invite us to leave and we can do so, leaving behind us a government that can survive and that will be very different from what preceded it.
Iraq is one of the oldest countries in the world, that in its thousands of years of history never known democracy.
We're irritated because the Russians haven't figured out democracy in 15 years. There are still all these problems going on in Russia, a country that in its thousand years of history has never known democracy.
We're still working on it after 300 years.
So I guess part of my concern is that there are too many in Americans in public life and in the media who want to know when it's over, who want to have a deadline for when we'll be out of there so we can write finish to this whole thing.
Well, for better or for worse, we have cast our lot and we need to stay there as long as necessary to get the job done. And it's been a long time in a lot of places. We hope it won't be nearly that long in Iraq. But I think it would be a disservice to the young men and women who have given their lives and been casualties in Iraq to leave prematurely and have everything go back to being the way it was.
These are the facts on the ground, the hard truths facing our heroicNow lets take each of those on its own, shall we?
troops on the front lines:-- American casualties are increasing, not decreasing. Four coalition troops have been killed each day this month, making it one of the deadliest months in the war in over two years. My home state of Nevada has lost 27 since the war began, and hundreds remain in harm's way, facing some of the most violent days since the war began.In short, there is no evidence that the escalation is working - and it should come as no surprise, because, as General Petraeus has said, the ultimate solution in Iraq is a political one, not a military one.
-- Untold thousands of Iraqi civilians have died, while over two million more have fled the country as refugees.
-- The President used to talk a lot about establishing benchmarks for the Iraqi government. Yet despite our surge in troops and spending, they have failed to take meaningful steps toward achieving them.
-- Militias have not been disbanded and continue to cause terror. And now the Iraqi government itself, once the Bush Administration's greatest pride, stands on the brink of chaos.
-- Progress on amending the Constitution in order to ensure minority rights has languished, giving further fuel to the sectarian infighting.
-- Power, clean water and oil production - all of which are critical to establishing any kind of economic stability - are still not meeting minimum targets - leaving millions in despair.
-- 70% of Iraqi children are suffering from trauma like nightmares, bed wetting, stuttering and fear -- that some say could paralyze an entire generation that we had been counting on to harvest the seeds of democracy.
-- And to make up for shortages of combat-ready troops, tours of duty
have been extended, recently from 12 to 15 months, with many soldiers now on their third or fourth tour.
First on the troop loss: I do mourn for the Voluntary Defenders of this Nation fallen in the Congressionally sanctioned warfare to remove a tyrant from power and help a people oppressed for centuries up from tyranny and despotism. Apparently Sen. Reid has forgotten that when one stands *with* the oppressed and weak, you become a target just as they do by those that would impose repression upon them.
With that said, that casualties mount is of some question as casualties always mount. The death toll from automobiles have been mounting since they were FIRST INVENTED. If you wish to stop those mounting casualties, we can all stop driving. And that might help on carbon dioxide emissions too! Until you put forth a better path to helping the weak stand against oppression, you might want to see what the US Armed Forces are doing in that realm, Sen. Reid. Or have you forgotten that the 'Tree of Liberty is watered by the blood of Tyrants and Patriots'?
Second: Strangely enough when you are too *strong* to be constantly targeted those that would prey upon the weak move to weaker targets. They no longer go full out against the New Iraqi Army and Security Forces because *they* have proven to be hard targets. So the terrorists go after civilians. Women. Children. Boys and Girls. Men and Women. Those seeking to make families and lead a peaceful life. Ever hear of those, Sen. Reid? Using the deaths of innocents to *abandon them* is pure and absolute cowardice and detestable for anyone who has within their power the ability to *pay* for helping them. I find that attitude reprehensible and disgusting in the extreme, as it is blatantly stating that the US will feed innocents into the hands maw of destructive tyranny when we get a few scratches from those that would do so.
And you may be surprised to know that many of those 2 million that left were individuals who *worked* and *cooperated* with the Ba'athist regime. They have left for a reason: they fear for their lives as those they tortured and the families of those they killed are out to get them. That is a reconciliation that only Iraqis can make, but NO ONE can do that until the terrorists, thugs, and would-be despots are put to heel.
Third: 'Benchmarks' are these things known as 'Goals'. Also 'Objectives'. The United States has a stated set of objectives for everyone in it, which includes: Forming a more perfect Union, Establishing Justice, Providing for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, Securing the Blessings of Liberty for Ourselves and Our Posterity. Apparently we have fallen short of the mark. Is it time to give up yet?
Fourth: Militias have been told to stop fighting and lay down their arms. They have not done so. The Coalition Forces and New Iraqi Army are finding and killing them. Why would anyone want to leave around armed thugs and terrorists? Seems a pretty silly thing to do, if you ask me. That those same militias want to *grab power* in any way they can and will NOT lay down their arms is pretty telling. That they have run out of places to run and hide is EXTREMELY telling. And those that try to 'lie low' are being ratted out by their neighbors who have had it with terror, death and destruction. If you leave those self-same militias around, they will do *worse*. There is no such a thing as a Legitimate Armed Political Party, Sen. Reid. Let us hope that you do not go down that path as it only leads to tyranny of the strong ruling the weak. Unless you think such things would be good in the US of A? Let me know when *killing* terrorists, gangsters, thugs, and armed killers wishing to impose their will upon others is NOT a good way to handle them.
Fifth: Constitutional progress is totally in the hands of Iraqis, Sen. Reid. They have this thing known as a democratically elected representative government. They are going to get more of that this summer with Provincial Elections. Those will shake things up a bit as their democracy gets stronger and breaks up the logjam of the current parties, as they aren't doing such a hot job of representing the Iraqi People. This summer will come the harsh dose of political medicine you are looking for IF you do not abandon Iraq to the thugs and terrorists.
Sixth: You may want to check with USAID and USACE on the infrastructure. There are actual, real timetables for ALL of those things. And do note: many of the people doing without NOW did without under Saddam. You may want to see what neighboring Syria is like which ALSO has limited power, potable water and sanitation capability. Seems that dictatorships only apportion those sorts of things out to favorites. We are working hard with Iraqis on that and the USACE timelines stretch out to 2015. You might want to think about putting those in danger by a quick withdrawal, Sen. Reid.
Seventh: Let me tell you a bit of oral history from my family. The prayers offered by Poles for generations and all the way up to the 20th century went something like this, after giving the major portion of a prayer: "... and God save us from Genghis Khan." That was in the early 20th century when that was finally DROPPED as WORSE had shown up. Children were still brought up to FEAR Genghis Khan right up to the modern era, Sen. Reid. A 'generation' traumatized? That Polish prayer started in 1278! Over 670 years of praying that the Khan did *not* return, Sen. Reid. Getting 'traumatized' by war and wetting one's bed is one thing... to have the fear of one man's Horde for generations...for centurie...makes that pale into *nothing*. Don't try to tell me that what they are facing is bad, considering what made Poles pray like THAT.
Eighth: Sen. Reid you may want to pay attention to the following which is from Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, in part:
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;Guess who gets to help out and find more troops, Sen. Reid? Pick up a mirror and look deeply into it. You are complaining that you are NOT doing your job, Sen. Reid? That you are, indeed, unfit to be in the Senate? You are openly stating that for the Republic to hear? Much thanks, Sen. Reid! You may resign as soon as you like as this job is obviously too much for you. If you can't do YOUR job, then how dare YOU complain about other People who depend upon you when they have problems that are caused directly BY YOU?
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
In case you forgot, Sen. Reid, you have admitted that this is not the job of the Senate, this securing places. In 19 JUN 1996 you said the following during debate:
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1997Sen. Reid, if the Senate could not figure out how to secure a couple of blocks of downtown Washington, DC and had to hand that over to the Executive, then what makes YOU so fit to figure out how to run a war in Iraq? You cannot have 'security by committee' nor can you run a War that way. If the U. S. Senate cannot figure out how to secure things at HOME then how can it ever hope to do so in Iraq, Sen. Reid?
Sen. Reid: I think it would be bad policy for the U.S. Senate to start handling security for the White House. I think it would be bad public policy for the U.S. Senate to start handling security of the Capitol complex, especially without congressional hearings.
Based on information from the Secret Service, the closure is necessary to protect the President and all those who work at and visit the White House every day. The Department of Treasury remains committed to that decision. This, Mr. President, is not a decision to protect President Clinton. It is a decision to protect the President of the United States and those thousands of people that work in, and have contact with, the White House on a daily basis.
Closure was necessary because the White House security review was not able to identify any alternative to prohibiting vehicular traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue that would ensure the protection of the President and others in the White House complex from explosive devices carried in vehicles near the perimeter.
Mr. President, an explosive device in the trunk of a car out on Pennsylvania Avenue would do significant damage to the White House, its property, and the people in the White House.
I suggest you resign, Sen. Reid.
You are unwilling to do the work of Congress in Wartime that has been authorized by Congress.
The United States cannot succeed if YOU fail it and the rest of Congress with you.
And by not doing your job, by not taking your responsibilities seriously from the day that Congress authorized the use of force in Iraq, and by not preparing the Union for War it is YOU that have failed, Sen. Reid.
You and every single Congresscritter that has not done their job.
If Congress fails to support ITS missions, then the Nation itself is on the edge of failure, too. A damned robust economy could support all-out war and our forefathers found one recovering from a Depression was able to fight a World War quite well. But an economy does not make a Nation, Sen. Reid. You volunteered for the job you are in.
And have failed at it, completely by your own reckoning, in not supporting the troops, not properly scoping out the needs of the Armed Forces, not ensuring that ready supplies and replacements are at hand and not adjusting the entire Nation to War.
Perhaps someone actually willing to do some *work* can be found to replace you.
Maybe one of those illegal aliens willing to do the jobs that Americans are unwilling to do.