Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Winning the War

Whatever problems Conservatives have with John McCain, courage isn't one of them. At risk to his political career he steadfastly defends a war growing more and more unpopular daily and a policy supported by fewer and fewer colleagues. The rest of the legislature is ready to give in when the going gets tough, but not McCain...

here is what he said on the Senate floor yesterday

In this light I would like to discuss America’s involvement in Iraq. The
final reinforcements needed to implement General Petraeus’ new
counter-insurgency strategy arrived several weeks ago, and last week I had the
opportunity to visit these troops in theatre. From what I saw and heard while
there, I believe that our military, in cooperation with the Iraqi security
forces, is making progress in a number of areas. I’d like to outline some of
their efforts, not to argue that these areas have suddenly become safe — they
have not — but to illustrate the progress that our military has achieved under
General Petraeus’s new strategy. The most dramatic advances have been made in
Anbar Province, a region that last year was widely believed to be lost to al
Qaeda. After an offensive by U.S. and Iraqi troops cleaned al Qaeda fighters out
of Ramadi and other areas of western Anbar, the province’s tribal sheikhs broke
formally with the terrorists and joined the coalition side. Ramadi, which just
months ago stood as Iraq’s most dangerous city, is now one of its safest.

In February, attacks in Ramadi averaged between 30 and 35; now many days
see no attacks at all — no gunfire, no IEDs, and no suicide bombings. In
Falluja, Iraqi police have established numerous stations and have divided the
city into gated districts, leading to a decline in violence. Local intelligence
tips have proliferated in the province, thousands of men are signing up for the
police and army, and the locals are taking the fight to al Qaeda. U.S.
commanders in Anbar attest that all 18 major tribes in the province are now on
board with the security plan, and they expect that a year from now the Iraqi
army and police could have total control of security in Ramadi. At that point,
they project, we could safely draw down American forces in the area. The Anbar
model is one that our military is attempting to replicate in other parts of
Iraq, with some real successes. A brigade of the 10th Mountain Division is
operating in the areas south of Baghdad, the belts around the capital which have
been havens for al Qaeda and other insurgents. All soldiers in the brigade are
“living forward,” and commanders report that the local sheikhs are increasingly
siding with the coalition against al Qaeda, the main enemy in that area of
operations. Southeast of Baghdad, the military is targeting al Qaeda in safe
havens they maintain along the Tigris River. These and other efforts are part of
Operation Phantom Thunder, a military operation intended to stop insurgents
present in the Baghdad belts from originating attacks in the capital

contrast that to Hillary Clinton and Robert Byrd

The American people have waited long enough for progress in Iraq. They have
waited long enough for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future.
Today, more than 150,000 members of our armed forces are caught in a civil war.
According to the Pentagon, overall levels of violence in Iraq have not decreased
since the surge began. The last three months have been the deadliest period for
American troops since the start of the war. It is time for the waiting to end
and for our troops to start to come home.

That is why we propose to end
the authorization for the war in Iraq. The civil war we have on our hands in
Iraq is not our fight and it is not the fight Congress authorized. Iraq is at
war with itself and American troops are caught in the middle.

to the two Senators, I present the 1864 DEMOCRATIC Party platform

Resolved, that this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the
American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the
experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of military necessity, or
war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been
disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden
down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice,
humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made
for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of the
States or other peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable
moment peace may be restored on the basis of the federal Union of the

boy, don't they sound eerily similar, thank goodness the Democrats lost in 1864, and we can only hope for the same fate now.

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