Foreign Policy

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?

“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.


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?

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.

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.

The Republicans' Pinocchio Problem

Now Mitt Romney lies about hunting.

The former Massachusetts governor said he had been a hunter for just about all his life. Almost immediately his staff reminded him he had only been hunting twice. Presumably Mr. Romney forgot about all the times he never hunted.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is now engaged in intensive preparation for his congressional testimony. Will he accuse his former chief of staff of lying? Or will he admit that he lied himself when he said he was not involved in the U.S. attorney firings?

Of course, Scooter Libby was convicted of lying, to the applause of the neoconservative community, which calls for pardon because, for them, putting one's hand on the Bible with an oath to God Almighty and lying is really OK, thank you.

After many tall tales about Iraq WMDs, a little perjury between friends is no big deal.

Reid And Pelosi Have Bush Flanked

America, Iraq and the Middle East may have entered a profound and historical turning point.

At this moment, the Reid-Pelosi flanking maneuver is brilliant and powerful. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moves aggressively to turn around the military escalation, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) moves aggressively to support Middle East peace initiatives.

Lets begin with one key point. When George Bush said yesterday that he decided to surge the troops and escalate in Iraq at the request of American commanders, he was telling a bald-faced lie.

No more niceties. This is so fundamental and important, with so many American lives at stake, that we should be crystal-clear about the truth.

The Political Battle Lines Become Clearer

A smart press strategy by Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) crack staff has muffled the potential political explosion of his announced support of an amendment to cut off funding for the troops as they fight in Iraq. But this story is not going away. In fact, Reid’s announcement is not merely a political tactic to get President Bush to the negotiating table. It is philosophical dogma to the hard left of the Democratic Party.

Democratic leftists want us to leave Iraq now. They wanted us to leave Vietnam, too, and guess what happened there. A communist takeover of Saigon, massacres, genocide and a crisis of confidence in the United States that led to a weakening of American influence from Iran to South America to Africa.

Bush's Empty Threats

April 15th. Yes, it’s tax day, but we all want to forget that. The other significance of that date? Bush really seems serious about focusing on it as the day “we will run out of money in Iraq.” He is playing politics with the war, just as he has since he started the conflict. Instead of working with Congress and finding a solution, Bush thinks he will have a Clinton-Gingrich budget-shutdown moment.

Of course, this is the administration that told troops “you go to war with the equipment you have” and proclaimed our veterans’ care was “fully funded.” Right. This is the administration that fired a general when he told the American people that the war might cost as much as $200 billion. Hmm. This is the administration and president who have been accused by the military and many Republicans of trying to wage a war “on the cheap.” Please.

Cautious Optimism

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spoke from Baghdad Sunday with "cautious optimism" about the progress a surge in U.S. forces has produced in Iraq, having become cautiously optimistic during what the Washington Post described as "a heavily guarded walk through a newly fortified Baghdad market." But McCain added wisely, "I am not saying 'Mission Accomplished.' ... we have a very difficult task ahead of us."

As McCain struggles to keep his footing in the presidential race he led until recently, progress in Iraq is key to progress on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire and other political battlegrounds for this war's strongest supporter. He must tout each incremental success in the face of an increasingly emboldened opposition party in the Congress and an angry, disheartened public, even as politicians in Iraq have begun to conclude that American forces are on their way out sooner rather than later.