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On Iraq, Carl Levin Can’t Win, nor can the Democrats (Update)
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Matt Stoller of MyDD demonstrates the box that Democrats have put themselves in. Talking about Sen. Carl Levin's appearance that I discussed below, Stoller is quite upset with what Levin had to say.

You remember that Levin said:
Things have changed in Iraq. We don't believe that it's going to be possible to remove all of our troops from Iraq because there's going to be a limited purpose that they're going to need to serve, including a training, continued training of the Iraqi army, support for logistics in the Iraqi army, a counterterrorism purpose or a mission because there's about 5,000 al-Qaida in Iraq.
Well Stoller finds two thing about that which are just simply unacceptable:
There are two problems here. First of all, he ratifies the right-wing talking point that we're in Iraq because of Al Qaeda. More significantly, by saying that Bush needs to keep troops in Iraq, he's giving Bush carte blanche. There is no pony plan here. Bush is leading our forces, and he will until 2009.
Any question about what the extreme left expects Democrats to say and do? If there are still questions, I'll let Stoller explain:
So Levin wants to make sure that Bush can keep as many troops in Iraq as is necessary to carry out limited functions, a clear delegation of power to Bush. But it's even worse - Levin doesn't want to use the only Congressional leverage that actually exists - funding. And he doesn't want to use it for disgraceful reasons.
Most of us do not want to cut funding for our troops for two reasons. One is it's wrong. Our troops deserve our support as long as they're there, and we're not going to repeat the mistake of Vietnam where we took out on the troops our differences over policies with the administration.
Democrats need to stop equating funding the war with supporting the troops. By arguing that Democrats cannot morally use the power of the purse, Levin is expressing a preference to sending our troops into Iraq underequipped and led by an entirely politicized and incompetent civilian leadership.
I agree with Stoller's point. If Democrats are serious about stopping the war in Iraq, to quote Stoller, "use the only Congressional leverage that actually exists - funding."

But it appears (if you take Levin at his word) they won't and apparently that is beginning to dawn on Stoller and others. Watch for the "screech" volume to rise exponentially as more and more in the leftosphere figure it out.

(HT: Cadillac Tight)

UPDATE: It also appears that legislative end-runs aren't going to work for the Dems either. Murtha's plan seems to be DOA and now the attempt to re-write the AUMF is being tabled, at least temporarily, by Sen. Reid:
Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush's war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

[...]

"Iraq is going to be there — it's just a question of when we get back to it," Reid said, predicting it would be "days, not weeks" before the Senate returned to the issue. The war reauthorization legislation also appears to lack the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate.
As for the Murtha plan?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn't support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress' spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: "I don't see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops."
Awaiting the netroots reaction with baited breath.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Iraq is going to be there - it’s just a question of when we get back to it," Reid said
Spoken like a true profile in courage. That translates into "we’ll try something again when we think nobody is looking or if it gets more unpopular"

And while Reid dithers about, the war that he said just HAD to be ended NOW goes on.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Badger? Badger? Badger.....?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
the Democrat leadership is in the position of partially facing the facts... and discovering Bush was correct.

Stoller, who is never troubled by fact, hasn’t gone quite so far as yet.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Sen. Levin shows that one of the (lesser talked about) lessons of Viet Nam is don’t get blamed for losing the thing.

Congressional Democrats were (rightly) accused of losing Viet Nam and (even more rightly) enabling the "killing fields" of Cambodia through their callous use of defunding.

They don’t fear the extreme left side of the party as much as they fear creating a new generation of "Reagan Democrats".
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Bad-Jer standing in:

The majority of the American public demands an end....uh
The majority of the public trusts the Democrats more than the President....uh
The majority of the public doesn’t want the surge....uh

The workers control the means of production!


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
McQ, slightly off topic, but did you happen to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday. I guess by your logic, those troops don’t support themselves?
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
McQ, slightly off topic, but did you happen to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday. I guess by your logic, those troops don’t support themselves?
*gasp*

Dissent from members of the military? Why that’s never happened before, has it AL?

And yes, I’d agree with your assessment of "my logic" in this case. In fact, they’re flat out saying they don’t support the mission or them being a part of it ... or did you miss that?

As to "60 Minutes", no, I gave it up for Lent after "Rathergate" and have never bothered to pick it up again. OK, I was kidding about Lent.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Anyone with a brain knows that nowadays there are Polls and there are "polls". While the nutroots are dancing around in glee declaiming the "polls" that show America supporting their positions, Representative Pelosi is reading the Polls.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Dissent from members of the military? Why that’s never happened before, has it AL?

And yes, I’d agree with your assessment of "my logic" in this case. In fact, they’re flat out saying they don’t support the mission or them being a part of it ... or did you miss that?
McQ, did you happen to notice that many of the troops on the 60 Minutes panel had voluntarily re-enlisted, despite their strong criticism of the war? They were asked why they did this and they explained that, while they disagreed with the war, they cared about the welfare of their fellow troops and wanted to do whatever they could to try to keep their friends safe.

Is that really so hard to understand, McQ? You don’t see how someone can be opposed to Bush’s war policy and support the troops at the same time? These troops are doing it. Obviously they support the troops. They are the troops, and they re-enlisted for no other reason than to support their fellow troops.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
Dissent from inside the miliary? Yeah it’s true.

If you ask most of us here in Ramadi we really would rather be home drinking a nice beer and grilling instead of running from buildings or having to sleep on rooftops to watch our sectors but that’s part of the job of being a Soldier.

To be all honest, I’d rather be any place in the world than Iraq but I did this on my own free will and would come here in a second again if I knew it helped someone else from not having to come here.

While coming here again is tiring it all boils down to fighting here or at home and I’d rather be doing the fight here before it’s at my doorstep.

As for training, I came to my new unit knowing they were going back to Iraq within a year and we are the best trained we can be at this point (two previous deployments helps).

Most of our current training also focused on lessons learned in two previous tours already so you could say longer training time is good but for us now this conflict is like doing stuff we’ve already done just now in different areas of Iraq.

Now arguing about Iraq that can be a drain for those around you but it’s all you got sometimes.

It’s hot, you are gone for a year and at a dangerous place risking your life, so you need to be able to vent just don’t let it affect your head for the safety of those around you.

Politicans can say what they like but there are a few out there that understand and hopefully they carry the big voices during debate.

v/r
SPC Branch
Camp Ramadi
 
Written By: Ricardo Branch
URL: http://
You don’t see how someone can be opposed to Bush’s war policy and support the troops at the same time? These troops are doing it.
Actually they’re not, AL. And I’ve outlined why that’s the case many times. And, of course, "troops" don’t get to decide which war they fight, that’s part of being a ’troop’.

So while you find it laudable that they talk about opposing the war, do you suppose the troops I’ve featured buy into their ’supporting" them?

Yeah, they obviously wouldn’t and I don’t either.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If you ask most of us here in Ramadi we really would rather be home drinking a nice beer and grilling instead of running from buildings or having to sleep on rooftops to watch our sectors but that’s part of the job of being a Soldier.
Rick ... good to see your comments again.

For those of you who don’t know, Rick is with the 3rd ID and has been a QandO reader for a few years. He’s currently on his second tour in Iraq.

Stay safe Ricardo.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
. . . did you happen to notice that many of the troops on the 60 Minutes panel had voluntarily re-enlisted, despite their strong criticism of the war? They were asked why they did this and they explained that, while they disagreed with the war, they cared about the welfare of their fellow troops and wanted to do whatever they could to try to keep their friends safe.
Of course they are going to give a politically correct answer.



 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Anon, be sure to catch the milbloggers outing of the 60 Minutes soldiers’ group as an astroturfing false front for longstanding antiwar/socialist groups. Greyhawk has the details.

Rick, thank you for your service.

Thank God our soldiers now viewed as sacrosanct, rather than spitworthy. Their will, skill, and professionalism may be enough to drag the unwilling to victory.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://semirandomramblings.blogspot.com
Rick,

Stay safe and have at ’em.
 
Written By: cjd
URL: http://
Of course they are going to give a politically correct answer.
Yeah, Don, they were being politically correct when they decided to re-enlist and put themselves yet again in harm’s way. That makes sense.

As for this, McQ:
Actually they’re not, AL. And I’ve outlined why that’s the case many times. And, of course, "troops" don’t get to decide which war they fight, that’s part of being a ’troop’.

So while you find it laudable that they talk about opposing the war, do you suppose the troops I’ve featured buy into their ’supporting" them?
Okay, McQ, these soldiers actually don’t support themselves and their comrades because you "outlined why that’s the case" with your ironclad logic. They just re-enlisted because they relished the idea of risking their lives some more in pursuit a policy they don’t believe in. That makes sense.

And I love how you presume to speak on behalf of their fellow soldiers. These people are currently serving in Iraq, bravely, and I doubt their comrades think that just because they spoke out about Bush’s war policy, they somehow no longer support their friends. I mean that’s just self-evidently stupid.

And, McQ, these soldiers aren’t claiming that they "get to decide which war they fight." They’re simply voicing their opinions. None of them are deserting or refusing to follow orders or report for duty. These are people who volunteered to serve their country following 9/11 and continue do whatever is asked of them. They’re not claiming they have the right to choose which war they fight in. They’re simply voicing skepticism about the wisdom of our policies in Iraq.

And I bring them up not to "laud" their decision to speak out, but simply to illustrate that it is obviously possible to support the troops while opposing Bush’s policies, something which is so self-evidently true that I’m continually amazed you deny it.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
In other words, AL, you disagree. No surprise there. I knew that when you asked the first question. And pardon me if I’m not interested in continuing a discussion you and I have had at least 3 or 4 times previously.

I know where you stand, you know where I stand, and neither of us is going to change our mind. So perhaps we should just agree to leave it there.

BTW, have you seen where Carl Levin said today that we should consider going after Syria?

There ... gently nudged back on topic.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yeah, Don, they were being politically correct when they decided to re-enlist and put themselves yet again in harm’s way. That makes sense.
They re-enlisted for their own reasons, which may or may not match the politically correct answers they provided while staring into a TV camera.

While reading your post, I was think of McBride’s book A Rifleman Went to War, which tells his experience as an American in the Canadian forces in WW1. When McBride was working on the manuscript, a friend told him he couldn’t publish it; he couldn’t tell people that he actually enjoyed aspects of WW1, and actually enjoyed killing the enemy.

Just like Al Gore on a Global Warming jet ride, people’s political views and personal behaviour do not always neatly line up . . .

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"Thank God our soldiers now viewed as sacrosanct, rather than spitworthy."

Neither extreme is healthy.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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