Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Congress helping our Enemies?

As the Democrats continue to push the definition of “treason”, al-Zawahiri released a video tape message proving what critics of the Democrat Party have been saying. Republicans, General Petraeus, and many others, have said that passing a resolution condemning the Presidents new way forward would do nothing to change our Presidents policy but would give hope to our enemies. I wrote a few weeks ago about the dangers of this discussion. Now we are starting to see the results of just the discussion.

Under questing by the Senate, General Petraeus said that a move to condemn the President would give hope and support to our enemies. Just the continue talk of this debate is giving Al-Queda more ammunition, and is hurting our allies. Quoting CNN: “Calling the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, allied with the United States, ‘traitors,’ al-Zawahiri warned that the United States ‘is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam.”

Giving our enemies “aid and comfort” is treason. Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to realize that their words are being reported in the Middle East. Our enemies our praying to Allah for an end to the Iraqi War similar to the end of the Vietnam War. We didn’t loose in Vietnam, we beat ourselves. Iran, Syria, Al-Queda, Hezbollah and many others are eager to see an American Helicopter pulling off a crowded embassy in Baghdad. Our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan are wondering if that will be the last images they see as the armies of our enemies sweep in and take control.

The Democrats in Congress and the Republicans helping them are acting like children. Congress is rushing to condemn a plan that hasn’t fully been implemented yet. Some would argue we are already seeing some results of this plan. Muqtada Al-Sadr has reportedly fled the country. Today, US troops went house to house in Baghdad grapping insurgents and weapons as they went. The Statesman of both parties must come forward and end this debate before it provides more help to our enemies. We are in a war for the existence of America. Those who would vote for a “non-binding resolution” need to take a step back and realize the damage they have already caused.


familyman said...

Hey Andy, since before the war started we've been told, if you disagree with the President, shut up because you are aiding the enemy. If the enemy hears a debate going on, it will give them hope.

And for a long time, a lot of people did shut up and went along with whatever the President did. And look where it got us.

So now what are we supposed to do? Just continue to shut up? Is that Democracy?

After all the missteps by this administration, and the previous congress, it seems awfully disingenuous to blame the current congress and their debate for whatever disaster may befall Iraq.

Andy D said...

From the beginning of President Bush’s first term, he has been criticized no matter what he did. The Democrats have never gone along blindly with Bush except for about 6 months after 9/11. There is nothing wrong with debate. However, what is going on in Congress is not debate. It is Congress trying to grab powers given to the President by the Constitution. The President is the only person who gets to decide how to conduct a war.

The Congress demanded the President change directions in Iraq. President Bush has done that. Now the Congress wants to give the President a vote of no confidence before they see whether or not the plan will work. That seems disingenuous to me.

If further disaster happens in Iraq, the Congress won’t be the only one to blame, but they will have a lion’s share of it. They are fighting the President without any real concern for what his plan is, just to fight him. If the President’s plan works in Iraq, it will be despite the best efforts of our Congress.

familyman said...

Yes, he's been criticized. But, the Democrats until recently have had no real leverage to influence the President's policies or even perform any oversight. So, he has pretty much gotten his way in Iraq for the last 4 years.

Now that they finally have a forum to voice their opposition to his policy, we should label them traitors?

Andy D said...

When it comes to conducting the war, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans get to influence the President’s policies. They can give him input, they can withhold funds, but that is it. The Constitution sets up one Commander in Chief.

I wish this was a simple case of these Representatives looking at the way things are going and wishing the President was doing something different. That is not what is happening. These politicians are simply playing politics with an ongoing war. The Democrats demanded the President do something different in Iraq. The President is doing that now. The Senate confirmed unanimously the new general in charge of implementing the President’s new plan. Congress hasn’t had time to see how things are going to work, or not work with this new direction. But instead of waiting to see if things work, they want to condemn the President. The words being used for debate on the floor of the House are giving our enemies in the Middle East ammo to use against our allies.

Epiphany11 said...

I have never been a big proponent of the Bush administration. Not so much the President in particular, but more the people around him. Still, I have to concede that you make a valid point regarding not wanting to appear divided as a country in certain people's eyes. It could lead them to believe that we are in a weakened state in general, and I can't imagine that serving anyone's best interest at this point.

familyman said...

Well, you may think the non-binding resolution debate is helping our enemies, but apparently it's helping the Bush administration too.

From the Feb. 18 New York Times -
"On Friday, a sharply divided House of Representatives passed a resolution formally repudiating President Bush’s decision to send more than 20,000 new combat troops to Iraq.

The rare wartime rebuke to the commander in chief — an act that is not binding but carries symbolic significance — was approved 246 to 182, with 17 Republicans breaking ranks to join all but 2 Democrats in supporting the resolution.

Ms. Rice said she used the restiveness in Washington to underline for Iraqi officials the spread of American frustration with Iraq’s lagging political and economic progress."

It seems to me that the resolution finally puts some weight behind the administration's admonishments of the Iraq government to do more and do it faster.

Andy D said...

You have a very valid point. If the House’s resolution helps get Iraqi’s moving, then that is an unintended consequence we can all benefit from. Maybe it will help even out for the fuel it gives our enemies.

familyman said...

I wouldn't assume it was unintended.

Michael Grant said...

Democrat is a noun. Democratic is an adjective. A party is Democratic. A person is a Democrat. Get it straight if you are purporting to be a writer.

One cannot commit treason with mere words. If you have any interest in learning about the civil rights of United States citizens, such as the right of free speech, please feel free to consult a convenient list of them in a little something the Founding Fathers referred to as the Bill of Rights.

And I shall leave you with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican president: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Andy D said...

Thanks for the critique Michael.

The Bill of Rights applies to any individual so long as they don’t interfere on the rights of another individual. You sound like a smart man, so I won’t insult you by explaining that.

There is a long list of crimes that an individual can commit simply by using words. If someone were to go on National Television and spill top secret information, I believe that could be considered treason.

In the United States, we have the freedom to criticize the President. I can do it on this blog, you are free to criticize him however you want. However, my words don’t carry the weight that the words of a US Senator or a US Congressman carry. If I criticize the President, our enemies don’t care. If Ted Kennedy does it, then it is something they can use. If an elected official in Congress (Democrat or Republican) votes to pass a nonbinding resolution condemning the President and telling him that he doesn’t have the support of the American people, that gives aid and comfort to our enemies in a time of war. While I don’t think anyone will try them for treason, I think it fits the literal definition of treason as spelled out by the Constitution.

If anyone from the Democratic Party truly believes we have no chance of winning in Iraq, then they have a duty to let the President know that. But a non-binding resolution is a cowardly way of accomplishing that. The representative can contact the President, or could vote to withhold funding, or could even vote against conformation of the General who is going to Iraq to implement that policy. A nonbinding resolution doesn’t help our troops, but does help our enemy.

Michael Grant said...

I do certainly agree that a nonbinding resolution is a cowardly way of trying to end the war. I’m only marginally more in favor of the Democrats than the Republicans, which is to say I think they’re all cowardly pandering idiots interested in little more than further enriching their pocketbooks and accumulating power.

However, I disagree with you that any resolutions embolden, frighten, excite, tickle, arouse, or in any way affect our enemies. Nor do I think they affect the troops. The single thing that has both emboldened our enemies and endangered our troops is Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld completely botching every single decision and strategy in the run-up to and execution of this war, up to and including (and especially) the final decision to pre-emptively invade a country that had neither attacked us nor posed any threat. Those three (and their enablers in the media) are why our kids are dying over there. Not a pointless non-binding resolution or any of us godless traitorous liberal heathens with our big mouths and dangerous “no blood for oil” placards.

Andy D said...

I am sorry Michael, you are simply way off base here. Our enemies have shown they follow politics here very closely. During the 1990’s bin Laden quoted Clinton and Clinton’s staff when he issued his jihad’s against the West. Our troops also pay very close attention. When they hear talk of Congress expressing the belief that our troops will fail, that doesn’t help them.

Your comments regarding the lead up to the war in Iraq are a bit simplistic. The war and removal of Saddam was one of the best run wars on the face of this planet. Our government (including Bush et al) made mistakes in the following occupation. Bush has acknowledged that those mistakes lay at his feet. Saddam has represented a threat to this country since the first Gulf War. The United States was enforcing a UN resolution when we invaded. If Saddam didn’t have WMD’s, he wanted them. We know he had them at some point because he used them on his own people. Either way, the UN gave Saddam over a dozen chances to comply, and Saddam did the same thing Iran is doing today. If the UN is going to be a real global body, someone had to enforce the UN’s resolution, and that job fell to us.

Michael Grant said...

Plenty of people want WMD. Plenty of countries slaughter their own people. (Darfur, anyone?) The question is a matter of whether someone who wants WMD is a threat to the United States. The fact is quite simply that he was not a threat. Read this article about Hans Blix, the head weapons inspector. Saddam had allowed the inspectors in and they were finding nothing. It was becoming increasingly clear even at the time that there were no weapons there. And when Bush saw that his reason for starting a war was falling apart, he pulled the inspectors out. They were not kicked out by Saddam.

What would you rather have? An increasingly bloody war, costing us billions of dollars and over 3000 American lives to date or a feckless strongman with no weapons, large areas of no-fly zones, boxed in by his neighbors and the international community?

As far as bin Laden quoting the president for propaganda, the single greatest recruiting tool al Qaeda has ever had is Bush's invasion of Iraq. The threat of terrorism has greatly increased since Bush took office.

Incidentally, why is it that conservatives rail against the UN until it comes to the issue of the resolutions against Iraq? Then, all of a sudden, they are the international authority to whom we must bow down? Are you aware of the long list of UN resolutions Israel is currently ignoring? Shall we invade?

Andy D said...

I will be the first one to tell you I think we should reconsider whether or not we are going to stay in the UN. There are those who say we could do great things if we cut the military budget and spent it on other things. What about the money we spend on the UN? What could we accomplish if that was spent elsewhere?

President Bush, President Clinton, and President G W Bush all thought Saddam was a threat to our country. The entire world (with the exception of a few people) thought Saddam had WMD’s. We know he had them at some point. Did he destroy them? Are they somewhere else right now? I don’t know. Blix is anything but an impartial reporter.

If the result of the US invading Iraq is a free stable Iraq, then I truly believe it will be worth the cost. But that will take time and money and, unfortunately, lives. But lets put this in perspective. 3100 deaths over the 4 years we have been there is nothing in terms of military losses. 5000 people a year die in the US from food poisoning.

If we decide to give up, and not hold tough in Iraq, then we should never have gone in.

We haven’t had any major terrorist strikes in the US since we went to Iraq. So far we must be doing something right. We have probably created some terrorist by going into Iraq. There would have been terrorist created if we didn’t go into Iraq. There is no way to know which number is greater.

Back to the UN…..There are also UN resolutions against Israel’s neighbors that they are ignoring. One of the reasons I think we should get out of the UN is because there are way too many petty dictators that get a vote. If that wasn’t true, you would see a lot more support for both the US and Israel in the UN.

I am also interested in your comments on the “World without America” post Michael.