Foreign Policy

Was Sen. Reid Right to Say Iraq War is Lost?

Vice-President Dick Cheney took the unusual step Tuesday of blasting Senate Majority Leader during a visit to Capitol Hill. The veep usually says nothing on these visits. But he broke custom this time, he says, because he believes Reid was so seriously out of line in suggesting publicly last week that the Iraq war is already "lost." What do you think? Scroll down to our Quick Poll! and tell us whether you approve or disapprove of what Reid said.
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Pelosi Can't Find the Time

General Petraeus is coming to town tomorrow to brief lawmakers regarding progress on the ground in Iraq. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to ABC's Jake Tapper, won't be able to make a briefing with our lead commander in Iraq due to a conflict in her schedule.

Are you kidding me? The Congress will vote on a $124 billlion supplemental this week to fund the war on terror and the Speaker can't find a few minutes to hear for herself how things are going? The line from the Speaker's office is that she already spoke to the general today by phone but she can't make the briefing tomorrow. Unreal.

I can't think of anything more important facing the United States than fighting and winning the war on terror and yet the Speaker's too busy to spare a few moments to sit with her colleagues and hear how our brave men and women in uniform are doing to protect us all.
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Plan B

The following is an excerpt from an op-ed that appears in tomorrow's issue of The Hill:

Plan B aims to end the war among Iraqis and win the war against al Qaeda.

If Iraq is Vietnam, George Bush supports the moral equivalent of the Viet Cong with a Maliki government dependent on Shi'ite death squads and often allied with Iranian interests.

Iranian strategy was to fight to the last American and remove their hated Sunni enemy, replaced by Shi'ite allies.

Iran-supported insurgents will lie low for the surge while Americans kill their Sunni enemies, and Sunni Iraqis are walled in by new versions of the Berlin Wall, de facto and de jure.
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Are We Ready to Get Tough on Immigration?

The Federation for American Immigration Reform is in Washington, D.C., uniting talk radio hosts and citizens in an effort to alert the public and Congress to the real issues of immigration. It is estimated that there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States and thousands flooding across the southern border every day. We must encourage Congress to enact and enforce immigration laws that protect the interests and security of this great nation. We must rally against organizations that make it easy for illegal immigrants to obtain credit of any kind. This definitely sends the wrong message to Americans that they no longer count as it appears to be a double standard (a higher standard for U.S. residents and a lower standard for illegal immigrants). That the federal government has done little to resolve the problem of illegal immigration does not mean that banks and other business interests have the right to profit from illegal immigration. We can stop this proliferation of profit if we, as consumers, influence smaller businesses that depend on our patronage by patronizing those who operate in the public interest and refuse to support illegal immigration. Hopefully this will provide economic incentives for companies to act responsibly and avoid hiring illegal immigrants or engaging in business practices that encourage illegal immigration.
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Reid was Right

Attack. Attack. Attack. Is that really all the Bush team knows how to do? Yes, it has won them two elections but it doesn’t help a great deal when it comes to governing.

Take the latest effort at going nuclear over Harry Reid, a usual target. OK, I grant you that “the war is lost” makes a nice sound bite to eviscerate. No one likes to hear that anything is lost — your wallet, your umbrella, your pet — let alone a war. The trouble is that Harry Reid became so furious at George Bush and his my-way or the highway approach to this war that he let it fly. The surge is not working, he said — hard to argue with that after the last several weeks.

But Bush and his attack dogs have it all wrong. This is precisely about supporting the troops……as the bumper sticker says: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME. Reid and other Democrats have given the president everything he has asked for and then some, as Budowsky writes. It really is time to set limits, to avoid making the same mistakes as we did in Vietnam, when over half those 58,000 who died were killed after the war was "lost."

Bush can only attack Reid to try and boost his own sad policy, not try and come up with a political solution that works, and works fast.

We create more insurgents each day than we kill. We now have polls in Iraq that show over 80% of Iraqis want us out. We are losing more precious young men and women, both Americans and Iraqis, every day. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a lost cause, weakening our military beyond what is imaginable, and destroying the country in order to save it.

Democrats in Congress are proposing benchmarks for the Iraqis to meet, setting exit strategies, calling for dialogue, as did the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group. The Bush doctrine is more of the same. My guess is that Secretary Gates may return from his trip to Iraq and report privately to the president what members of Congress have found (Republicans and Democrats) — the country is falling apart and our presence is hurting not helping. That would be the honest assessment and, how ironic, not far from what Reid declared in his own impolitic way.
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To My Brother Ron Christie, Let's Have a Debate About Who Really Supports The Troops

With respect:

When Harry Reid was fighting for more body armor, more armored vehicles for the troops, and was opposed by George Bush and Dick Cheney, who do you believe was right?

Did you stand with Reid, supporting the body armor and armored vehicles, or did you stand with Republicans who opposed those efforts at the time?

When Harry Reid was fighting for more funds and support for healthcare and benefits for wounded troops, and American veterans, did you stand with Republicans who opposed that support for troops and vets? Or did you
stand with Harry Reid, who was fighting for them?
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“The War is Lost.” Really?

I’ve long suspected that despite the rhetoric that they “support the troops,” many Democrats in Congress never really supported our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. This despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Democrats voted in favor of the authorization of the use of military force a few years ago. The reason for their vote then and the reason for their cold feet now can be summarized in one word: politics.

Years ago, I believe many Democrats voted in favor of authorizing the president to send troops in harm’s way as they felt this was where the sentiment of the country was. Still reeling after the attacks upon American soil on 9/11 and confronted with compelling evidence that Saddam posed an imminent threat to the United States — an assessment believed by both Democrats and Republicans — President Bush was given authority to send our brave men and women into combat to wage the War on Terror.
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Fired

Now that Don Imus has been fired, who else should be pink-slipped?

Here are my candidates:

Alberto Gonzales: I have lots of friends at the Justice Department, so this may seem hard. But it ain’t. Al has got to go. The days are counting down for this Administration, and for it to be able to get anything done with the limited time left, it needs to throw any excess baggage overboard. In other words, if you aren’t helping, you are hurting.

Nancy Pelosi: First Syria, next stop Iran? Let’s stop confusing the world, and leave diplomacy with the Executive Branch. Can you imagine if Newt decided to sit down with Milosevic while he was ethnic-cleansing the Balkans?
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The Road to Damascus

Returning from Easter break, I was stunned when I read that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) commented that “the road to Damascus is a road to peace.” More than anything else Pelosi did or said last week while in the Middle East, this particular comment struck me as particular galling — even for the Speaker.

The last time I checked, the Syrian government openly supports terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah — the two terrorist groups responsible for the death of hundreds of American citizens. According to The Wall Street Journal, “this is the same Syrian regime that has facilitated the movement of money and insurgents to kill Americans in Iraq; that has been implicated by a U.N. probe in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri; and that has snubbed any number of U.S. overtures since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
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McCain's Ball and Chain

After he has spent more than five years meticulously building a second presidential campaign, this one meant to carry him over the finish line, it's hard to believe Sen. John McCain's candidacy has stumbled so badly. With money drying up and poll numbers falling, McCain has found ever since the midterm elections of 2006 that his support for the Iraq war is a ball and chain following him wherever he goes. As he drags it around it drags him down but doesn't seem to hold back Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney, both of whom supported the recent troop increase right along with McCain.

On Sunday, McCain began a public-relations offensive he hopes will help redefine him as the right leader on the country's most difficult issue. With a Washington Post editorial, a "60 Minutes" interview and an upcoming speech at the Virginia Military Institute, McCain is making his case for finishing the job in Iraq. Though he has campaigned in primary states, McCain has not had much national visibility in recent months, and during this time polls have indicated a majority has begun to support a withdrawal from Iraq. McCain knows he is pushing a political boulder up the side of a mountain. He is asking voters not to agree with him but to trust his position and his leadership. With some luck and skill his new strategy just may help him.
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