Monday, November 13, 2006

Making up for Lost Time

I've been away since early Friday evening and as such, had no time to comment on a few things about which which there was a bit of buzz. Regardless of the not-so-timely nature of the comments, I'm going to go with them anyway.

McGovern to Meet With Congress on War: George McGovern, the former senator and Democratic presidential candidate, said Thursday that he will meet with more than 60 members of Congress next week to recommend a strategy to remove U.S. troops from Iraq by June.

If Democrats don't take steps to end the war in Iraq soon, they won't be in power very long, McGovern told reporters before a speech at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"I think the Democratic leadership is wise enough to know that if they're going to follow the message that election sent, they're going to have to take steps to bring the war to a conclusion," he said.

McGovern will present his recommendations before the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a 62-member group led by Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee.

"The best way to reduce this insurgency is to get the American forces out of there," McGovern said. "That's what's driving this insurgency."

McGovern told the audience Thursday that the Iraq and Vietnam wars were equally "foolish enterprises" and that the current threat of terrorism developed because _ not before _ the United States went into Iraq.

Perhaps I've been wrong all along and Iraq really is Vietnam. Is it just me or is this lunacy on the part of the Democrats?

The Lamest of the Lame Duck Senators, Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee is considering leaving the Republican party. That would of course assume he really ever was one:

Two days after losing a bid for a second term, Sen. Lincoln Chafee said he was unsure whether he would remain a Republican.

Chafee lost to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in a race seen as a referendum on President Bush and the GOP. On Thursday, he was asked whether he would stick with the Republican Party or become an independent or Democrat.

"I haven't made any decisions. I just haven't even thought about where my place is," Chafee said at a news conference.

When pressed on whether his comments indicated he might leave the GOP, he replied: "That's fair."

If ever there was a RINO for whom the term truly applies, it's Senator Chafee. In the six years of the Bush Administration, he's stood with the Democrats and against his own party on nearly every large issue of the day. He refused even to vote for the head of his party in 2004.

And still the NRSC spent tons of money to get this man re-elected. Why, I'm sure I don't know.

Now that he's gone, that's money that can fund a conservative campaign somewhere. I know of no Republicans who will miss this man. It's one thing to be a maverick, it's another to consistently and dependably stand against everything meaningful your party seeks to accomplish.

Good riddance, Senator Chafee. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

The incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has written a letter to newly-elected House Democrats in support of outspoken Iraq War opponent Rep. John Murtha’s (D-PA) quest to become House Majority Leader. (Roll Call)

Murtha was interviewed by NBC's Brian Williams on Election night and asked about running for Majority Leader. He said plainly that he would run and seek the post. He also stood--when pressed by Williams on Iraq--behind his calls for withdrawal from Iraq as soon as possible.

Calling all Libertarians, Independents and moderate Republicans! Still happy with what you accomplished last Tuesday?


Many folks have put their hopes, not to mention all their eggs, in the Iraq Study Group's basket. The commission headed by close Bush-family friend James Baker is set to release this week it's findings on Iraq, namely a strategy to win and leave. What it's found though is most definitely up for debate. Mario Loyola at the Corner last week was convinced they've come up with nothing:

Among other things, it's time to begin massively diminishing the expectations for Baker's Iraq Study Group, which looks likely to confirm the dilemma we face in Iraq without resolving it:

As will soon be apparent, the Iraq Survey Group [sic*] of which Mr. Gates is a member and to which I'm an adviser, has not discovered any way for the U.S. to exit Iraq — except under catastrophic conditions. Its recommendations will probably be the least helpful of all the blue-ribbon commissions in Washington since World War II because it cannot escape from an unavoidable reality: We either declare defeat and withdraw completely tout de suite, or we surge troops into Baghdad and fight. The ISG will surely try to find some middle ground between these positions, which, of course, doesn't exist.

If one works through the different scenarios, they all return quickly to a Rumsfeldian position that the U.S. needs to do more in Iraq with less — a position that has been proven flatly wrong since the spring of 2003. This is why Washington has not been able to draw down even though the president, his defense secretary and his generals have dearly wanted to do so. Any meaningful reduction of U.S. forces is very likely to collapse the Iraqi Army into Shiite and Sunni militias and bring on massive carnage, the likes of which the Middle East has not seen since the Iran-Iraq War. If Mr. Gates signs off on the ISG's recommendations, which will probably be completed before he assumes office, he will be party to a doomed strategy — and everyone in Washington and abroad will recognize it as a failure as soon as they start to work through it — before he even sets foot in the Pentagon. It may not be easy for Mr. Gates to recover from this initial flop.

However, when the ISG bombs, the Bush administration may finally get serious about correcting its mistakes in Iraq.

Meanwhile, over at Hugh Hewitt, they're essentially calling it the Iraq Surrender Group. If the future House speaker is to be believed, this finding will be part of at least the basis of her Party's and Congress' approach to Iraq.

The only amusing thing about it all will be watching them squirm while they balance saying they're finding a way to withdraw to satisfy their base while saying they're simultaneously finding a way to win to the rest of the country that got them elected this time around.

Too bad it's so serious a problem.

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