Friday, January 05, 2007

Incoming message for deaf ears

The Democratic leadership has written a letter to GWB which opens with "The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities to work together on the critical issues confronting our country. No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq."

This is borne out by this new CBS poll which says that 68% are "optimistic" about 110th Congress. That's quite a contrast from the ~10% who thought that the 109th had done a good job. At least as significant is the overwhelming choice as the top priority (Iraq: 45% followed by Economy/Jobs and Health Care 7% each). As Josh Marshall says: "I'm not sure I remember ever seeing such a stark number on public priorities on a question like this. With nearly half the respondents giving the same answer and the second highest not even rating in double digits."

So these Dems can see that the sun rises in the East and they hope that Boy George might see the light too.
The American people demonstrated in the November elections that they do not believe your current Iraq policy will lead to success and that we need a change in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi people.


Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed. Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.


Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.

Our troops and the American people have already sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time to bring the war to a close. We, therefore, strongly encourage you to reject any plans that call for our getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success.

Do you think that this will precipitate an epiphany in Commander Codpiece's "thinking"about his Iraqi debacle? I didn't think so. Here's what the WaPo had to say about Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday:
he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.
"I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."


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