Transmission from an alternate universe: Episode 3 Posted by: Billy Hollis
on Monday, September 10, 2007
I just never know when the quantum uncertainty radio will run across something while scanning through the quantum continuum. But it came on today, and this transmission is apparently from the same universe as the last episode.
Monday, September 10, 2007, late in the day. A press conference called by Nancy Pelosi. Transcript follows:
Pelosi: Good evening. I’d like to discuss today’s testimony before Congress by General Petraeus. As you know, when the surge began, I pointed out that it was done primarily because we Democrats won Congress on our position of changing strategy in Iraq. At that time, I also noted that we needed to give that new strategy time to work.
Certainly I had major reservations about whether it would work, giving the probability as less than 50-50. I am very pleased to revise that opinion based on what Genearl Petraeus told us yesterday. The new surge strategy, which again was caused by Democratic victory in 2006, seems to be generating positive results. Violence in Iraq is sharply down. Al Qaeda in Iraq seems significantly weakened.
There are still major challenges there. Political reconciliation is not where it should be, and violence is still too high. We don’t know if this decline in violence will be reversed.
However, in contrast to the failed policies of the Bush administration during 2003-2006, based on what I heard today, the new strategy is making some level of progress. Accordingly, I believe we need to continue to show some patience, as long as we continue to see progress, and as long as the administration retains enough flexibility to adapt to changing conditions in Iraq and forego its previous “stay the course” attitude that was so clearly a failure.
I hope this episode puts to rest once and for all the doubts the American people have about the ability of Democrats to keep our country safe. In this case, clearly the Republicans were going down the wrong course, and we stepped in to change that course. I recognize that some in our party were canalized by their experience in the Vietnam era, and I think it is healthy to have those who question the need for war. However, the leadership of the Democratic Party has shown the ability to balance the views of those who strongly oppose any overseas involvement with those who are more pragmatic. We are in a war, and that war has to be fought. If it can be won, it should be. If it can’t, then we’ll have to decide how best to handle defeat, but I hope that won’t happen. General Petraeus’ report indicates that we can still win, so we should continue to try. I’m sorry that some in my party will be terribly upset by that, but it’s the reality with which we must deal.
I want for American foreign policy to succeed and for the Islamist threat to be neutralized. We were moving away from those goals until the Democratic majority in Congress was achieved. Now we are moving in the right direction. I’d like for voters to consider that as our candidates for President begin laying out their plans for completing our goals in Iraq and eventually scaling back our presence there to a small fraction of what it is today.
I’ll now take questions.
Reporter #1: Many of your party voted against the war originally. Based on the first three years of the Iraq operation, it looks like they were right to oppose it. Aren’t you turning your back on the members of your party that have shown the best judgment on Iraq?
Pelosi: No, as I said I continue to listen to them. But we can’t go back in time and not have a war in Iraq. We have to go forward. No matter how misguided we believe the original war was, the consequences of losing it and withdrawing in disgrace are potentially catastrophic. We should only endure those consequences if the alternative, that is attempting to make Iraq a relatively peaceful and open society, are clearly impossible. A year ago, it looked as if that might be the case, but it was hard to tell because the Bush administration had botched the entire operation so badly. Now, after the surge strategy taken on the advice of key Democrats, it appears that our chances are not so dismal. General Petraeus thinks they are reasonably good. I’m less optimistic, but he’s the person on the ground, and he’s shown enough progress to deserve to prove that he’s right.
I’d love to be wrong about Iraq. I’d love for the Iraqi people to join the family of open, democratic, peaceful societies, and serve as an example to despotic and fanatic regimes throughout the Middle East. Even though I think the odds are still against reaching that ultimate goal, it looks like an acceptable gamble to try it, based on what we now know about the relative success of the surge to this date. We can’t live in the past, as some in our party want to do. We have to live in the future.
Reporter #2: Just how much longer are you willing to give General Petraeus and the Bush administration? Won’t it become a moot point as we approach the 2008 elections?
Pelosi: We’ve established that we’ll be checking on progress by having General Petraeus return in March of 2008. If things take a sharp downward turn, we might very well start exerting pressure for a complete pullout. But if there is continued progress, even modest progress, then the best place to decide the next step is to put the issue up to the American people. By voting for president, they will be able to give an unambiguous signal about the direction they want to go in Iraq. Given how badly the Bush administration has handled Iraq, and how much better things have gone since we took the Congress, I’m confident they will choose the Democratic alternative. All the major candidates are generally in line with myself and Senator Reid on this issue.
Reporter #3: If there is progress towards a peaceful and open Iraq, do you foresee the need for us to be there indefinitely? And if so, doesn’t that violate your party’s original stance on the war?
Pelosi: First, I would remind you that many Democrats supported the Iraq invasion. We had a tough debate at the time, and I think there were good points by both sides, especially after it turned out that the WMD threat was overblown. But Democrats favor keeping our country strong, so I don’t think our original stance dictated that we would completely and inalterably be opposed to the Iraq effort.
And, as I said, we have to live in the future. If Iraq does achieve a level of functioning democracy and an open society that serves as an example to the rest of the Middle East, then it might very well make sense to maintain a troop presence there for a long time. I’d remind you that we stayed in Korea, Germany, and Japan decades after those conflicts ended. Having a long term base in a part of the world that is responsible for far too much war is not necessarily a bad thing. If our presence helps deter actions such as Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, or another Arab invasion of Israel, then it might be well worth it. Those are tough decisions, and the next president will probably have to make them.
Thank you all for coming. I hope you will read all of General Petraeus’ report, and help me communicate to the American people how gratified we Democrats are that our pressure to change course in Iraq is bearing fruit
What bugs me the most about those who are arguing for us to lose in Iraq, is what it demonstrates about the character of the people in this country. No backbone, no strength of resolve, no ability to see it through tough times.
Abandoning Iraq is like:
Helping a dear friend work through a battle with cancer, but since the first round of chemo didn’t cure all right away, giving them the big F’ you, and walking away.
Helping a family member work through drug addiction, but the first time they fall off the wagon, you say, thats it, off to prison with you cuz you have no hope of recovery.
Rescuing a group of orphans from abusive foster parents who locked them in dog cages and fed them rancid meat for 10 years, but then throwing them out on the streets at the first sign of a mental disorder.
While not the whole country has fallen so low, it appears that a very large portion has become so self centered and blinded by hate (BDS) that it no longer has any compassion for the rest of the world.
Revisionist history knows no bounds and as reporter #1 asked in his/her question, “Many of your party voted against the war originally. Based on the first three years of the Iraq operation, it looks like they were right to oppose it. - - - “. Gee, that certainly is being independent and certainly challenges a statement by a politician. The Gathering of Eagles attempted to talk to the Speaker yesterday, but she wouldn’t see the GOE chairman and coordinator, but hey she supports the military and is now co-sponsoring the Surge. We were there to actually support General Petraeus.
There has been one attack and maybe a second attempt to desecrate the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall (Friday 9/7 and Saturday 9/8 or the morning of Saturday and Sunday); a short post and a picture is at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=gatheringofeagles. Who ever did that should be condemned by those on both sides of the Iraq War issue (those that actually support the troops, that is), but the Park Service is not giving out much information about it, so no media reports. Why, no one contacted really knew yesterday.
Code Pink was out in force with Sister Cindy and ANSWER will be in DC Saturday, September 15th to demonstrate. Veteran groups will be there to show our pro-American faces. The GOE III will start with a rally at The Mall at 0900 hrs on 7th Street between Madison and Jefferson. I am hoping that this will be a repeat of the March 17th GOE I counter-demonstration in which we outnumbered them but hopefully we get a little more media attention this time. After over 30 years of anti-war/American demonstrations and some violence against the military and their symbols, a grass roots, non-mainstream group of veterans organizations rises to the occasion to prevent our men and women in the military from being treated as they were when we returned home and there is little mention of this in the media. Well, Iraq is reforming from the ground up, so maybe they have set an example for us to follow. Take care and be safe.
This is one of Pelosi’s press releases. Pay close attention to the date, not that long ago, eh?
THE ‘SURGE’ AT SIX MONTHS: MORE VIOLENCE, MORE CASUALTIES
Six months ago today, President Bush renewed his failed policies for Iraq and announced to the nation that he would send more troops – more than 20,000 – into the war zone. This strategy has failed before and is failing now. In the face of mounting criticism from military leaders, experts, bipartisan members of Congress and the American people, the President continues to ask us to wait, be patient, give the surge a chance to work.
The truth of the matter is the President’s escalation plan has utterly failed to quell the violence in Iraq or force Iraqis to meet political benchmarks critical for the country’s future.
The time for a New Direction in Iraq is long past due.
For follow up: http://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/pressreleases?id=0242
I am "assuming" you are pointing that at me. If you are let me start off by saying read the top of the post, it was a press release from Pelosi back in July 2007. If you got that then let me explain, it was used to show her hypocrisy based on the statements she made in her most recent press release on the subject. I should not have to explain simple things like this. If that was not the intention of your post or you were not ignorant of the facts I was trying to convey then you have my apologies. If you did not understand or fully read the post then I suggest you get rid of your GED and try High School once again.