Everyone who uses facebook is probably used to that handful of dull-eyed dudes who talk loud political trash or say how America’s gonna rock some one’s world when they have absolutely no power to do anything about it, but it’s a certain new kind of pathetic to see a guy who failed gloriously at his job pretend to still have some sort of power beyond generating collective scoffs.
“I do think there is more of a tendency to pull together when the guy in the White House is on your side. So I think some of these views were probably held by some of my members even in the previous administration, but party loyalty tended to kind of mute them. I think a lot of our members, not having our party in the White House, feel more free to kind of express their reservations.”
It’s kind of easy to point to this and say this is another example of Mitch McConnell being “off his game”, admitting to something true in public when he is supposed to spin. But maybe Mitch is playing chess here, either in competition with the Paul/Tea Party right, or giving Obama more slack to screw up with next year concerning the wars.
Kentucky’s 4th District Representative Geoff Davis told Ryan Alessi that the Iraq War was a mistake. Here’s the full interview, which I recommend you listen to full and in context:
First of all, I think it’s great that he realizes that perhaps the worst foreign policy mistake in American history was, in fact, a mistake. That’s progress.
But what I found odd about this statement was that it wasn’t prefaced with a large apology for being so wrong for so long, and vilifying opponents of the war for so many years.
Davis ran on invading Iraq in his unsuccessful 2002 run, then ran against Nick Clooney in 2004 by using Clooney’s opposition to the war against him, while Davis strongly supported it. Dick Cheney even came to town in 2004 to show his support for Davis, as he was one of the brave souls willing to be a rubber stamp for George W. Bush’s foreign policy, if elected:
“President Bush has a clear vision for the future of the nation. Aboard he will use — excuse me, abroad he will use America’s great power to serve great purposes, to protect our homeland by turning back the forces of terror and to spread hope and freedom throughout the world. Here at home, we will continue building prosperity that reaches every corner of the land. Geoff shares that vision and once he’s in Congress, he’ll be a key ally in carrying it out. The President and I are proud the stand with him today.”
Washington, Sep 25, 2005 – On Thursday, Sept. 22, President Bush spoke at the Pentagon on the importance of staying the course in Iraq. This speech, unfortunately, received little coverage from the national media. The Washington Post included the President’s comments in the penultimate paragraph of a story about Democratic lawmakers’ concerns over our continued presence in Iraq. The New York Times only mentioned the President’s speech in a story about a Saudi official’s comments on Iraq.
For months now, the demagoguery of those demanding to know when the President will withdraw our troops from Iraq has been widely reported. But when the President answers, the national media ignores his comments in favor of covering the political expediency of anti-war protestors.
Our goal in Iraq is for the Iraqi people to live in freedom and choose their own government rather than having one imposed on them by terrorists. We will continue to stand with the Iraqi people as they face down terrorists. We will not cut and run because that would prove right the lies of terrorists’ who say America is weak. We will prevail because there is too much – our freedom, our childrens’ freedom and the security of our nation – at stake for us to lose.
I believe it’s important that everyone have the opportunity to know what President Bush said last week, so I have excerpted his speech below.
“Ayman Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, as well as Abu Musab Zarqawi, have made it quite clear in their internal propaganda that they cannot win unless they can drive the Americans out. And they know that they can’t do that there, so they’ve brought the battlefield to the halls of Congress. And, frankly, the liberal leadership have put politics ahead of sound, fiscal and national security policy. And what they have done is cooperated with our enemies and are emboldening our enemies. I think, most importantly, that the soldiers and the Marines on the ground in Iraq have made the statement that with their unbelievable, unprecedented reenlistment rates — I’ve talked with hundreds of soldiers and Marines, ranging from junior enlisted soldiers to my West Point classmates who I’ve known for nearly 30 years and served with in the Middle East myself as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and they believe in the mission. They see the success. And they ask me, why is politics consuming this mission that we are clearly winning? And I would say this for all to hear in America, as well as for our enemies who watch this broadcast: that our exit strategy is winning and supporting the Iraqi people.”
“He knows we can’t leave Iraq too soon. If we do that, Iraq will fall and create a sanctuary for terrorists. Geoff knows we need to leave a stable Iraq behind.”
And here’s Davis from 2007, where those who were against the war and in favor of pulling out were for “surrender“:
“Some in the Democratic leadership have declared it the job of Congress to micromanage the war in Iraq, yet we learn today that the Speaker of the House has refused to even be seen face to face with the very military commanders whose hands will be tied by the Democrat war funding bill.
“This latest insult to our troops should come as no surprise since others in the Democrat leadership have declared the war lost despite our military commanders’ statements to the contrary and before General Petreaus has even gotten the additional resources he’s requested. His reinforcement hasn’t even been fully implemented before Congressional leaders have called it a failure.
And when candidate Obama was busy advocating for pulling out of Iraq in 2008, this is the wisdom that Geoff Davis dropped on us:
“I’m going to tell you something: That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” Davis said. “He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country.”
I’m sure there are plenty more quotes out there, but that’s just what I was able to find in the past two hours.
But I guess that’s water under the bridge now. I too favor withdrawal from Iraq, which has been occurring slowly, and withdrawal from Afghanistan, which needs to start happening before July and quickly, at that. So I’ll take the high road and not accuse Geoff Davis of being a cut-and-runner, surrenderer, and ally of al-Qaeda, like he was so willing to do to Democrats over the past 8 years.
A few other thoughts on his statements to Alessi. First, his belief that we should have focused more attention and troops to Afghanistan is laughable, as the only reason we took our eyes off the ball there was the ridiculous war in Iraq, which he fully supported. And his statement that “the intelligence in Iraq” turned out to be bad is quite true, but Geoff Davis probably should have admitted that back in 2004 when he was busy defending the invasion as a wise move for America and vilifying those who correctly disagreed. Also, Davis claims that Barack Obama was for “immediate withdrawal” from Afghanistan and has abandoned that promise. Those who actually spent any time paying attention in that election and not preoccupying themselves with calling Obama “boy” would know that the opposite is true, as he promised to leave Iraq and double down on Afghanistan, which is exactly what he’s doing. I don’t like that move, but facts are facts. Lastly, Davis may very well be right on Libya, as it’s looking more and more like those who pulled the trigger on this move either didn’t think of a clear way forward, or misjudged what effect it would have. The jury is still out, but color me skeptical.
But whether or not Davis is right in any of the statements he made to Alessi, one thing is glaringly missing: a giant apology to critics of the Iraq War who said that the invasion was a fool’s errand that distracted from the war on al-Qaeda, helped bankrupt America, lead to the unnecessary death of thousands of Americas, and created a wave of unnecessary hostility towards America all over the world. It would have been nice to hear this viewpoint when the president was of his own party, but I suppose we’ll have to guess as to Geoff Davis’ motives. Maybe it was genuine.
And if he’d like to follow these statements with an apology, we’re all ears.
Rand Paul is criticizing Barack Obama for imposing the United Nations Security Council backed no-fly zone in Libya. He may or may not be right about that, only time will tell.
But Rand Paul’s critique is a little faulty in one area. On March 1st, the Senate passed a unanimous resolution backing the United Nations Security Council “to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory”. So while Rand is against this action now, he certainly raised no objection to this resolution in the Senate when he had the chance 30 days ago.
The poppy plants were still low to the ground at that time of year. The two soldiers, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, saw a young farmer who was working by himself among the spiky shoots. Off in the distance, a few other soldiers stood sentry. But the farmer was the only Afghan in sight. With no one around to witness, the timing was right. And just like that, they picked him for execution.
He was a smooth-faced kid, about 15 years old. Not much younger than they were: Morlock was 21, Holmes was 19. His name, they would later learn, was Gul Mudin, a common name in Afghanistan. He was wearing a little cap and a Western-style green jacket. He held nothing in his hand that could be interpreted as a weapon, not even a shovel. The expression on his face was welcoming. “He was not a threat,” Morlock later confessed.
Read the whole thing here (with pictures), if you want to be thoroughly depressed and disgusted.
“The photos published by Rolling Stone are disturbing and in striking contrast to the standards and values of the United States Army. Like those published by Der Spiegel, the Army apologizes for the distress these latest photos cause. Accountability remains the Army’s paramount concern in these alleged crimes. Accordingly, we are in the midst of courts-martial, and we continue to investigate leads. We must allow the judicial process to continue to unfold and be mindful that the government has distinct obligations to the victims and to the accused, which include compliance with the court’s protective order to ensure a fair trial. That said, the Army will relentlessly pursue the truth, no matter where it leads, both in and out of court, no matter how unpleasant it may be, no matter how long it takes. As an Army, we are troubled that any soldier would lose his ‘moral compass’ as one soldier said during his trial. We will continue to do whatever we need to as an institution to understand how it happened, why it happened and what we need to do to prevent it from happening again.”
July is a long, long ways away…
Oh, and be sure to tune in for Obama’s speech on protecting civilians from slaughter in Libya tonight at 7:30.