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Pelosi complains to Bush about Cheney Remarks
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nancy Pelosi is none too happy with Dick Cheney at the moment.

Cheney, while in Tokyo, took an opportunity during an interview to say:
"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the Al Qaeda strategy," the vice president told ABC News. "The Al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."
Says Peolosi:
"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," the speaker said.
Apparently going out of the country to mischaracterize positions is reserved only for Democratic politicians.

Anyway, a couple of points here for the Speaker. Cheney isn't talking about "disagreement". He's talking about the legislative strategy of the Democrats. That's more than just talk as she well knows. Secondly, even if "disagreement" were the point, disagreement doesn't work just one way. Speaker Pelosi wants the ability to "disagree" without criticism.

And as usual she engages in hyperbole to do so.
"And you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to call the president and tell him I disapprove of what the vice president said," Pelosi said. "It has no place in our debate." Bush had previously urged her to call him when a member of his administration stepped over the line by questioning Democrats' patriotism, she said.
My goodness ... of course she disapproves of what Cheney said. It basically implies things she doesn't want out there. Let's review a couple of things for a second.

The plan, to which Cheney refers and which the Speaker has said she supports is one John Murtha put together:
Rep. John Murtha is bidding to pre-empt the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief by attaching so many preconditions to a $93 billion supplemental defense appropriations bill that troops and other reinforcements cannot be deployed to Iraq.

[…]

They didn’t bother to offer an alternative to President Bush’s troop surge to secure Baghdad and then progressively turning security over to the Iraqi military and police. Now Murtha and company scurry about throwing tiny legislative ropes here and there hoping to tie Bush down. This is political farce, not the actions of a serious legislative body.

But Murtha, chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, knows that, sooner or later, even a giant like the U.S. military will be crippled if enough of those little ropes are approved. He frankly admits that his intention is to cripple Bush’s ability to conduct the war by making it impossible for the military to surge troop levels in Iraq. Employing such a tactic while our nation is engaged in armed hostilities abroad is nothing less than an attempted congressional usurpation of clear presidential authority.
And it is clear what the Murtha goal is - immediate withdrawal of US forces:
“People tend to say well, if we leave, there’s going to be chaos. I don’t believe that ... 78 percent of the Iraqis say … we’re the ones that are causing this [violence], and al-Qaida is going to ... disappear” once U.S. troops are withdrawn.
It is on the basis of one old poll conducted by a group of Iraqis which Murtha bases his contention. But that is the Democratic strategy in a nutshell ... withdraw now ... and it is that which Nancy Pelosi says she supports. And most importantly it does validate the al Queda strategy:
Al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri On Our Iraqi And Afghan Allies: “These traitors [who entered Kabul and Baghdad on the backs of American tanks] in Iraq and Afghanistan must face their inevitable fate, and face up to the inescapable facts. America—which was transformed from the Great Satan into the closest Ally—is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam.” (“Text Of Al-Zawahiri Statement Saying Bush 'Addicted To Drinking, Lying And Gambling,'” Open Source Center, 02/14/07)
Frankly, when you read Zawahiri's quote its hard to fault Cheney. And it certainly doesn't support Murtha's contention that if we leave, peace will follow. Who does he think Zawahiri is referring too when he says, "These traitors [who entered Kabul and Baghdad on the backs of American tanks] in Iraq and Afghanistan must face their inevitable fate?"

Stratfor sent out an Terror Intelligence Report (subscription) yesterday in which they reminded us of a 2005 letter from Al-Zawahiri in which he outlined the strategy:
Al-Zawahiri said he was proposing the four-step strategy in order to "stress something extremely important" to al-Zarqawi, "and it is that the mujahideen must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal." He clearly wanted the jihadists to press on toward bigger objectives following the U.S. withdrawal.

In the letter, he cautioned: "Things may develop faster than we imagine. The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam — and how they ran and left their agents — is noteworthy. Because of that, we must be ready starting now, before events overtake us, and before we are surprised by the conspiracies of the Americans and the United Nations and their plans to fill the void behind them. We must take the initiative and impose a fait accompli upon our enemies, instead of the enemy imposing one on us, wherein our lot would be to merely resist their schemes."

It follows from this that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be construed by the jihadists as an opportunity to establish an important base or sanctuary — and then to consolidate their gains and continue their "jihad wave" to other parts of the region. With that in mind, jihadist attacks against "Jews and Crusaders" could be expected to continue even after a U.S. departure from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The four-step al Qaeda strategy outlined by by al Qaeda's number 2 man, al-Zawahiri, (and found in the Stratfor report) is:
1) Expel the Americans from Iraq.
2) Establish an Islamic authority or emirate in Iraq.
3) Extend the jihad wave to secular countries neighboring Iraq.
4) Initiate a clash with Israel.
Now "expel" or "withdraw" mean precisely the same thing in terms of result. The point in step one is get the Americans out of Iraq. They call it "expel". We'd call it "withdraw". Either way, step 1 is accomplished.

It's hard to argue with a statement that legislation designed to cripple our military's ability to function in Iraq and thereby force its withdrawal is simply "disagreement". It is equally hard, given al Qaeda's stated strategy to argue that it doesn't "validate the Al Qaeda strategy."

Pelosi may not like it, but in this case Cheney is right.
 
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Now, if Cheney would just say, in response to this criticism, "well, you know, if the shoe fits..."
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
If Pelosi or Murtha would just come out once and say, "Yes, I know our policies are exactly what Al Qaeda wants. But I believe in them anyway, and here’s why...", then I would actually believe they had principles and some connection to reality.

As it is, their behavior reflects a combination of dissembling, deception, and willful blindness. Beyond the usual amount politicians exhibit, I mean.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
What’s funny is that Cheney is probably Al Qaeda’s biggest ally. He drove the US into a war which has profoundly weakened America, created a new opportunity for terror that didn’t exist before, diverted resources away from Afghanistan and other aspects in the war on terror, and made possible PR jewels (for al qaeda) such as Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and the numerous charges of American atrocities spread over Arab media. Al Qaeda wants a show down with the West, and wants to undercut the growth of modernism in the region. The Iraq war, in weakening the US, dividing the country politically, stretching the military thin, and engaging us less in a fight against them than in the middle of a sectarian struggle likely not to end soon, was the biggest gift anybody could have given to al qaeda.

Bin Laden must be chuckling as he thinks of Cheney and Bush, wishing he could give them a big hug and thank them for their help.

Meanwhile it’s amusing to see those who have been so wrong about Iraq for four years still looking for something in the surge to make them think this can all magically turn around. The utter inability of some people to think clearly when their biases are challenged is remarkable. Sad, but remarkable.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Thank goodness we have The Erb to think clearly for us! Especially about "The Truth" concerning American atrocities. Keep up the good work!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
It’s only fair, Bush put US troops in Iraq, which is what bin Laden wanted, the Democrats will pull them out - which is what Zawahiri wants now. We do aim to please our enemies.
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
Al Qaeda wants a show down with the West,...
That seems irreconcilable with this:
"and it is that the mujahideen must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq,...
I’m curious why
made possible PR jewels (for al qaeda) such as Abu Ghraib, Haditha,...
has far exceeded the potential PR and media of the burned, mutilated bodies of the contract personnel or the beheading of Daniel Pearl. One can convincingly argue that American transgressions were the result of a breakdown in unit discipline whereas Al queda acted on on their goals.
The utter inability of some people to think clearly when their biases are challenged is remarkable. Sad, but remarkable.
How true.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
If your foreign policy consists of not doing what your enemy apparently wants you to do, then you’ve already lost. The enemy has the initiative. The enemy drives the terms of debate. The enemy sets victory conditions. The very fact of recognizing the enemy’s ability to set terms immeasurably strengthens the enemy.

did americans actually care what Tokyo Rose said? did she set tactical or strategic policy?

if we admit that we are driven to respond to what AQ says, then we can never leave iraq because AQ will most certainly claim victory on our departure. Great. Anyone remember the tale of B’rer Rabbit?

The sole administration response to any AQ statement should be: We do not care what they say. US foreign policy will not be set by terrorists. We care only that they live. And we’re working on that.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Tom Scott:

Nicely done. Your KoolAid awaits, little Scotty!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
The utter inability of some people to think clearly when their biases are challenged is remarkable. Sad, but remarkable.


I know Erby, but there is hope for you yet. Try to leave your reflexive academia liberalism for a minute if you can
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Arguing we should do exactly what the enemy wants because to not do what the enemy wants is playing right into what the enemy wants is just dotty. Our tactical decisions are not made in a vacuum. Now maybe if it made strategic sense to retreat and leave Iraq, if it would help us drive our longer term goal of defeating terror and fostering democracy in islam then yes, what you say would be true. However retreating from the iraq does not achieve any of those, and will have immediate negative consequences as laid out by our very enemy.

And besides, you’re talking as if there is an actual war on terror and Iraq is related to that long war, and I’ve not really seen anyone arguing for defeat in Iraq ever admit that as such. The democrats are arguing that running away will have no bad effects and will lead to stability (this despite the consensus view of armed forces intelligence).

So basically, don’t pick and choose logically inconsistent arguments. If you are actually arguing what you’ve just said, then you accept that Iraq is part of the larger war on terror, and that we must win that war. If you don’t agree with that, then you are making a dishonest argument.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Grow up, Nancy.
The Veep’s correct.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Thank you Some Shill SShiell. I have my koolAid and Jim Jones asked that I say hi to you.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Bin Laden must be chuckling as he thinks of Cheney and Bush, wishing he could give them a big hug and thank them for their help.
Yeah, that cave he’s rotting (dead or alive) in is so much better than the terrorist training camp he ran before. Things are so much better for bin Laden now that the Taliban no longer run things.


 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Scott, I ran across this quote that reminded me of you.
Anybody who says "you can’t support the troops without supporting the mission" is using propaganda used by some of the worst regimes to try to stifle political opposition by equating that with being against people in the military. It is simply absurd, anti-American and dishonest to say "you have to support the mission to support the troops." People who make that argument are drifting into neo-fascism.

Have you found any examples of the worst regimes using "you can’t support the troops without supporting the mission"?

It seems to be a common dodge among academics to compare any criticism of them to totalitarian regimes practices.
Piot’s "wall of silence" response
2) Did you say, as my notes indict, that at his blog, Durham-in-Wonderland, Johnson practiced “common strategies [used] among totalitarian regimes” which you’ve studied?
 
Written By: Paul L
URL: http://kingdomofidiots.blogspot.com/
Tom Scott:

My apologies - my comment was applauding you and the KoolAid comment was directed at another Scott - the ERB one.

Again, my apolgies. I will be more specific in the future.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
It’s always the "questioning Democrats’ patriotism card.

Why doesn’t Pelosi and Murtha engage in a proper discussion/argument, rather that Pelosi jumping to the "name calling."

So, Ms. Pelosi .. is Cheney wrong and how is he wrong ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
What Francis said is correct. There is no value in listening to the ravings of the lunatic who plans a ruinous strategy.

If America withdraws then Al Qaeda have only successfully completed step 1 of 4. To argue for continued occupation on the basis of preventing this, you must believe that their strategy is good or at least well grounded - it is not.
2) Establish an Islamic authority or emirate in Iraq.
Recently we have witnessed an up surge in sectarian killings. Conflict between Al Qaedas Sunni community and the Shia who celebrated the liberation from Saddam.
"These traitors [who entered Kabul and Baghdad on the backs of American tanks] in Iraq and Afghanistan must face their inevitable fate, and face up to the inescapable facts. America—which was transformed from the Great Satan into the closest Ally—is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam."
These Shia (infidel traitors according to al-Zawahiri) have indeed faced up to their likely abandonment and armed themselves to the teeth, making alliances with Iran. In numbers and arms and supply the Shia have overwhelming superiority in Iraq. The chances of an Iraqi emirate being formed are (in my opinion) very poor, step 2 will be extremely difficult for Al Qaeda to achieve.

An American pull out will result in a bloodbath in Iraq that the Sunni (Al Qaeda included) are destined to lose.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
What resources were divered away from Afghanistan?
Each year since the overthrow of the Taliban the US has only increased numbers of soldiers there.
 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
Nancy seems like a kindergartner: "Dickie called me unpatriotic. I’m telling Georgie on you, Dickie."
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
Arguing we should do exactly what the enemy wants because to not do what the enemy wants is playing right into what the enemy wants is just dotty. Our tactical decisions are not made in a vacuum. Now maybe if it made strategic sense to retreat and leave Iraq, if it would help us drive our longer term goal of defeating terror and fostering democracy in islam then yes, what you say would be true. However retreating from the iraq does not achieve any of those, and will have immediate negative consequences as laid out by our very enemy.
I think the enemy wants us in Iraq. I think they love the hole they’ve helped us dig, and they would be very disappointed if we left Iraq — especially since we’re primarily fighting insurgents who otherwise would not be enemies of the US.

Nothing we are doing in Iraq is fostering democracy in the Mideast and it’s detracting from the war on terror. I am arguing that attacking Iraq — or at least staying there after Saddam was deposed to try to ’reconstruct’ it on our terms — was a fundamental and devastating strategic error, one that might end our days as the major world power. I do not think there would be "immediate negative consequences" from pulling out from Iraq in an orderly manner and handing power to the Iraqis. It’s their country, not ours. We won the war, right now it’s just a big social engineering experiment by big government gone awry.

Also, as long as we are in Iraq, it weakens us in the real counter terrorism efforts we need to engage in. I don’t think you and many other war supporters truly comprehend the diaster this is for our national strength and long term policy goals. You are so convinced by the political rhetoric that Democrats hate Bush or liberals want to ’cut and run’ that you are not letting yourself see the major strategic arguments for why this is already a failure, and why we need a complete reconceptualization of our counter-terrorism policy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Petain thought his policy was best for France’s interests.

Quisling too.

The main thing the Dems need to do is to take a serious look and think "hmmmm, why are they agreeing with my position?" instead of ignoring that and just thinking "Gaawd, let’s get out, let’s get out - oh yeah, that might help me get elected, see?"

___
Nothing we are doing in Iraq is fostering democracy in the Mideast and it’s detracting from the war on terror. I am arguing that attacking Iraq — or at least staying there after Saddam was deposed to try to ’reconstruct’ it on our terms — was a fundamental and devastating strategic error, one that might end our days as the major world power. I do not think there would be "immediate negative consequences" from pulling out from Iraq in an orderly manner and handing power to the Iraqis. It’s their country, not ours. We won the war, right now it’s just a big social engineering experiment by big government gone awry.
____

Is this argument you use to try to convince libertarians? Heh. It might work. You sound like you’re channelling Bush in 2000 - NO NATION BUILDING.

Please ask yourself if you are truly being fair when you say "Nothing we are doing in Iraq is fostering democracy in the Mideast" because I seem to see a democratically elected coalition in charge in Iraq and not a Sunni minority despot. Pehaps you meant "fostering stability?"

"it’s detracting from the war on terror"

Is it really? I wonder. How many Strykers could be deployed to Waziristan tomorrow? Let NATO allies share that burden. And I would guess our troops are now far, far better adapted to war fighting in an Islamic/Arab environment than before.



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Petain thought his policy was best for France’s interests.

Quisling too.
Which is totally irrelevant to this topic.
The main thing the Dems need to do is to take a serious look and think "hmmmm, why are they agreeing with my position?" instead of ignoring that and just thinking "Gaawd, let’s get out, let’s get out - oh yeah, that might help me get elected, see
First, it doesn’t matter what will get someone elected, or what others say publically (which may or may not be what they really think). Instead, what matters is analysis of the situation and the strategic implications of various actions.
Is this argument you use to try to convince libertarians? Heh. It might work. You sound like you’re channelling Bush in 2000 - NO NATION BUILDING.
I agree with libertarians on a large number of foreign policy issues.
Please ask yourself if you are truly being fair when you say "Nothing we are doing in Iraq is fostering democracy in the Mideast" because I seem to see a democratically elected coalition in charge in Iraq and not a Sunni minority despot. Pehaps you meant "fostering stability?"
I’m not ready to call Iraq a real democracy since they haven’t been able to really stand on their own. The US sponsored and organized these elections, and in fact influenced the choice of Prime Minister.
"it’s detracting from the war on terror"

Is it really? I wonder. How many Strykers could be deployed to Waziristan tomorrow? Let NATO allies share that burden. And I would guess our troops are now far, far better adapted to war fighting in an Islamic/Arab environment than before
This is costing hundreds of billions, is directed primarily against people who were not involved in any terrorism in 2003 (and now are focused on sectarian violence), and provides massive PR for the real terrorists, who I’m convinced love that the US got itself in a quagmire in Iraq fighting people who aren’t otherwise their supporters.

Moreover, this clearly has divided the nation and spread the military thin. We are no longer feared because it’s clear our capacity to control events is limited. Strategically, this "war" (or really this social engineering experiment — the war was actually won in 2003)has hurt American interests and strength immensely.

Now a little logic lesson for ABC who wrote:
What resources were divered away from Afghanistan?
Each year since the overthrow of the Taliban the US has only increased numbers of soldiers there.
When the military is stretched thin and hundreds of billions are spent elsewhere, those are resources which could have been used in Afghanistan, where we are also starting to ’lose the peace.’

Face it, President Bush may have been idealistic in believing we could spread democracy and alter politics in the mideast, but such idealism and interventionism has failed tremendously and unless we make a true strategic adjustment to avoid an even greater failure.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
’Could have been’ is speculation. You said ’were’. The commitment has only increased. Thus nothing has been ’diverted away’.
 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://

’Could have been’ is speculation. You said ’were’. The commitment has only increased. Thus nothing has been ’diverted away’.
Ah, you parse words like Bill Clinton!

So if you don’t like the original phrasing, how about this: Afghanistan is not doing well, and the Taliban and al qaeda is resurgent. If the US was not in Iraq, not spending so much money and not stretching the military thin, there would be a lot more resources available to make sure the Taliban and al qaeda could not do what they’re doing.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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