Friday, May 22, 2009

What Is Missing From This Debate?

The Senate yesterday approved a funding measure for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If there hadn't been the embarrassing Democratic smackdown of Obama on Gitmo, the public may not even know they were voting on it.

There were no press conferences about how much we are spending on the wars.

There were no threats to withhold funding, thus defunding troops in a war zone.

Cindy Sheehan wasn't in the senate gallery illegally unfurling a banner from the balcony.

The Senate didn't demand the Ambassador for Iraq or the Generals to appear before Congress and testify on progress.

This excerpt sums up the process quite well.

A three-day Senate debate on the bill featured little of the angst over the situation in Afghanistan that permeated debate in the House last week on companion legislation.

Obama is sending more than 20,000 additional troops there and, for the first time next year, the annual cost of the war in Afghanistan is projected to exceed the cost of fighting in Iraq.

With support forces, the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is expected to be about 68,000 by the end of the year -- more than double the size of the U.S. force at the end of 2008.

Among the few cautionary voices was Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

"I want to give this administration ... the resources it needs to successfully end these wars," Boxer said. "I don't support an open-ended commitment of American troops to Afghanistan. And if we do not see measurable progress, we must reconsider our engagement and strategy there."

Debate pretty much fizzled after Democrats retreated and moved to delete from the bill money to close Guantanamo, where about 240 terrorism suspects still are held. The companion House bill had already taken that step.

The underlying war funding measure has gotten relatively little attention, even though it would boost total approved spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars above $900 billion.


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So, what is missing from this debate? A debate. All of a sudden the Democrats aren't interested in making a fuss about bringing the troops home. They're don't appear to be interested in releasing privileged information to embarrass the President.

Something has changed since the last time they did a funding bill last summer, I just can't put my finger on it.

Maybe they don't care about the troops in harms way as much as they said?

14 comments:

mksviews said...

They never gave a shit about the troops Chuck. They hated bush with every fibre of their being and they were prepared to let the troops die to further their own despicable agenda.

The mere fact that there were no Conservatives caterwauling like the sheehans and pelosis of this world of the funding for the troops ought to be enough proof to those constantly whining that leftists and conservatives are essentially the same. But it won't, it was a smear from the get go.

The other thing that's shameful is that for years the left screamed and whined that gitmo must be closed down, and now that they finally can make their dreams come true and they can coddle the terrorists like they fantasize about, what do they do? Yep, dither and weasel from here to there and back. If they were capable of shame, they would be ashamed of themselves.

Flavor Country said...

Pretty simple Chuck. Bush got us into a mess we should not have been, that being Iraq. Please don't say we liberated the Iraqi people from tyranny, if that's the case we should be in Africa and the rest of the Middle East also. We were only there for one reason, trying to link 9/11 to Iraq.

If efforts would have remained fully in Afghanistan, we could have been nearing the end of it instead of restarting the effort.

If Obama had started these wars and continue to request more spending he would have gotten backlash.

I criticized Clinton for not getting Hussein in the first place and I blame Bush for getting us in a war we should not have been in.

Obama has no choice but to see this through and the only way to do this is to increase our manpower and get this thing done.

For me to get mad at Obama for more war spending would be the same as blaming Ed Libby of AIG for requesting bailout money.

They both are just cleaning up the last guys mess.

Chuck said...

MK, I have always said the war on Bush was more important than the war on terror.

Flavor, this is not about Obama. I give him credit for asking for funding for the troops and maintaining the presence there. (it is painful and I am in counseling right now to help me sleep at night, but I do give him credit). This is about the Dems in Congress. In the past they turned these funding requests into a three-ring circus. Now all of a sudden with Obama in office and Bush out, they don't seem to be rending their clothing and wailing in the aisles about the troops.

As far as cleaning up Bush's mess. Do you then say the same about 9/11 in that Bush had to clean up Clinton's mess. He is the one that ignored intelligence warnings for years and whose watch a lot of it was planned.

Finally on the reasons for going to Iraq, you forget that most Dems, most Europeans leaders, and Kofi Annan thought Iraq had WMDs. Further most Dems, including Hillary Clinton, voted to invade Iraq. They only were against it when it became unpopular, a trait that it appears Nancy Pelosi has picked up.

You guys have a good weekend. Enjoy time with your son Flavor, I get to work :-(

Flavor Country said...

Chuck I blame Clinton and Bush for that one. Clinton for not making it a priority with the information they had on potential terrorist using planes and for Bush administration ignoring it when they had it.

On the WMD's of course everyone was going to support it when the Bush team said for certain they had them. There is only one way to be certain or positive about something isn't it?

Hey have a good weekend saving lives. We appreciate what you do sir! Take Care

Burr Deming said...

Well, it is possible there is more trust in the intent to wind the thing down.

Thanks for the thought. Well presented, as usual.

Chuck said...

Bur, that is one possibility, the other is they never cared in the first place.

Z said...

"what's missing..?"

integrity? Statesmen instead of politicians? Just a thought.

Chuck, this memorial day weekend, thanks for YOUR work on the front lines. I hope you're getting some good time off with the family.

shoprat said...

Anything done by Democrats/liberals is OK in their book because they're the good guys.

Always On Watch said...

Cindy Sheehan wasn't in the senate gallery illegally unfurling a banner from the balcony.Thank God for that small mercy!

Something has changed since the last time they did a funding bill last summer...In my view, the change is that this Congress doesn't want to put BHO is on the spot. The hardcore leftistas are quite dissatisfied these days with BHO's military "policy."

LASunsett said...

As AOW says, there are many hardcore leftists who are not happy with the BHO war policy right now. They are not making noise right now, but that doesn't mean they won't down the road.

I have respect for those that have a principle and stick with it, politic be damned. But as you note in this post, there are many in the government (who were playing to the anti-war lobby when Bush was in) who are not the least bit consistent in their actions, now that Obama is President. Hypocritical bastards is what I call them.

I don't like war. I don't want it now, or ever. But the difference between me and the others is, I see instances where there is no way around it. When that happens, it must be fought.

The time to raise objections is before we engage the enemy, not afterward. The way I see it, there are many in Congress that voted for authorizing Bush to use military force, and then decided that it was politically expedient to change their mind after the political climate changed. Treasonous bastards is what I call them.

Chuck said...

Z, thanks. Have to work Saturday and Sunday. It's okay, part of the job.

Good addition on what's missing

Shoprat, true

AOW, they're dissatisfied because he is taking pages out of Bush's playbook. I would actually give him credit for sticking with the plan and bucking the Dems if he would give credit to Bush for being right on a lot of these issues.

LA, this takes us back to Kosovo. The GOP was not happy with the idea of going in, it was Europe's problem and registered their complaints before the troops went in. Once they were in they supported the troops and the action. There was no "Clinton lied, people died", no "Clinton is a terrorist", and no showing more support for the enemy than the US. It's a lack of class, and yes, treason.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Pretty simple Chuck. Bush got us into a mess we should not have been, that being Iraq. Please don't say we liberated the Iraqi people from tyranny, if that's the case we should be in Africa and the rest of the Middle East also.Liberation was part of the justification put forth in the beginning; but the threat of a terrorist-sponsoring regime such as Saddam's, who has a flagrant history of a love for wmds, in a post-9/11 world, brought Iraq into the forefront of national security concerns, after years of kind of just "dealing" with the problem of Iraq in a non-meaningful manner (16 UN Resolutions at that point).

Liberation became the main talking point after invasion, when the "embarrassment" of not finding wmd stockpiles became the likely reality. But honest soldiers and even politicians like Bush, believe in the humanitarian side of the war; but no, if a humanitarian mission was all it was meant to be, we would not have committed lives and resources to it.


We were only there for one reason, trying to link 9/11 to Iraq.Not exactly. Right after 9/11, it would have been irresponsible not to have examined the possibility of Iraq's involvement. If you go back to news media during the latter part of the 90's, they were drawing links between bin Laden and Iraq; this wasn't just some Bush fantasy or propaganda. Furthermore, the Bush Administration never made the accusation that Saddam had a part in 9/11. The evidence wasn't there, and it never became a part of the case for war. If you believe otherwise, please find me a quote from President Bush or VP Cheney, saying that Iraq had a hand in the events of 9/11.

If efforts would have remained fully in Afghanistan, we could have been nearing the end of it instead of restarting the effort.I don't think this is the case at all. You can blame NATO or not lay blame anyone and accept that setbacks and pushbacks from opponents are a natural part of life.

Furthermore,

Al Queda largely escaped Afghanistan in December 2001, and was almost completely driven from the country in the first 3 months of 2002. When there were just remnants of Al Queda in Afghanistan, the US handed over most of the responsibility for the war there to our NATO allies, and left mopping up forces in country with the belief that relying on allies was a good idea. Then there was a 4-5 month period in 2002 when the US began to update its military strategies for Iraq, and in September 2002 (6 months after the final major battle with Al Queda in Afghanistan), the US began its military/political/diplomatic runup to war in Iraq. Partisan political opponents of the Iraq invasion called this September 2002-March 2003, 6-month period the “Rush to war,” but sometimes that term also encompasses the additional, previous 6-months during which Al Queda fled to Pakistan and the war in Afghanistan dwindled to a mopping-up operation. Only ONE U.S. military unit was shifted from Afghanistan to the invasion of Iraq (the 5th Special Operations Unit), and that unit specialized in using indigenous forces to overthrow a country covertly and with the support of air power rather than full out invasion. No other units were diverted from fighting Al Queda in Afghanistan (which had already fled Afghanistan) to the invasion of Iraq.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

If Obama had started these wars and continue to request more spending he would have gotten backlash.Are you so sure? The dangers Saddam posed to the world seemed fine to say, when it was a Democrat in office. Clinton never had the political backbone (although regime change became official U.S. policy on his watch) to take big risks and make a drive to enforce the original UN Cease-Fire Agreement, although Saddam's regime was irredeemable, and diplomacy tried and failed. UNMOVIC and UNSCOM were never meant to be weapons hunters, playing cat and mouse games.

Obama is escalating the war in Afghanistan and his Iraq plan is basically the same as Bush and McCain's. This makes us warmongering neocons happy campers. I support President Obama, so long as he prosecutes the Overseas Contingency Plans, to good effect and recognizes this isn't just a law enforcement issue.

I criticized Clinton for not getting Hussein in the first place and I blame Bush for getting us in a war we should not have been in.And where would we be today, with Saddam and his murderous sons still in power? Iran and NK, part of the "axis of evil", would be a threesome instead of the current twosome problem. Would eroding sanctions still be in place or gone by now? What should we have done in dealing with Saddam? More of the same? President Bush said we had to act before the threat became imminent. We frankly didn't know Saddam's wmd state of being- and that was a big part of the point! We didn't know; and post 9/11, we weren't going to afford the chance of a wmd-lovin' dictator exporting terrorism and using jihadis as proxies to deliver wmd attacks (it's a CIA myth that a "secular" Saddam would not work with religious fanatics to achieve short-term common goals).

They both are just cleaning up the last guys mess.Hey...cleaning up terrorism is going to be an ongoing "mess" that will stretch on into the next century; and the next president after Obama will be dealing with the mess handed to her.

What's funny is all the tools created under Bush for dealing with terrorism that Obama has kept. Will Guantanamo actually close at the end of the year? Unlikely. Rendition programs, created under Clinton? Still active. NSA wiretaps? Check. Patriot Act? Check. Iraq and Afghanistan? Check. Maybe even expanded into Pakistan. State secret rights? Ask Senator Feingold about that one.


So much of the opposition to Bush was about partisanship; not patriotism. Who was scaremongering? Bush and Cheney or their political opponents regarding our civil liberties and the Constitution? Even now, Obama can't help himself but resort to blame-handing Bush for problems he has to deal with. It's called governing, President Obama. Deal with it like a mature leader rather than a partisan campaigner.



Chuck I blame Clinton and Bush for that one. Clinton for not making it a priority with the information they had on potential terrorist using planes and for Bush administration ignoring it when they had it.Laying the events of 9/11 at the feet of one man isn't fair when, for the most part with a few exceptions, we were all asleep before 9/11. Nothing like planes flown into towers had ever been done before. And the PDB that Bush critics like to cite had no actionable intelligence.

I don't blame Clinton. I don't blame Bush for 9/11. I think it would have happened regardless of who was in the driver's chair (as if the president can micromanage the CIA and the FBI). It's all fine now to look back in 20/20 hindsight, as armchair quarterbacks, to say "shoulda, woulda, coulda".

Chuck said...

Wordsmith, very well written. You make a better me than I do.

I do believe, and this was the point of my post, that the "concern" for the troops from the Dems was more politics than actual concern. I have always said that the Dems put the war on Bush ahead of the war on terror.

As far as Obama, he is keeping a lot of Bush's policies. What is making me upset is that he is one, billing them as his own, and two, showing he was an incredible hypocrite for attacking Bush for the same policies he is adopting.

I think he is on the right track with a lot of this and I would even give him credit for it if he would be honest and say that now in office he sees that these policies are needed and give Bush credit where credit is due. Instead he stands and attacks Bush while he is continuing his legacy. This makes him petty and small.