"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Where Would Iraq Be Today If We Listened To Democrats In 2007?

August 31st, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

According to today’s New York Times, “For only the second time since he took office, President Obama  will speak to the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, in an address meant to convey that he has kept one of the central promises of his campaign: withdrawing American combat troops from Iraq.” But, The Times notes, “Mr. Obama will still strike a promises-kept theme, aides said, even as he seeks to reconcile his opposition to the Iraq war — and his opposition to the so-called troop surge, which Republicans and many military officials credit for the decrease in violence in Iraq — with his role as a wartime commander in chief seeking to credit his troops with carrying out a difficult mission.”

 Politico reports that both House Republican Leader John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will have comments on President Obama’s speech today, pointing out the success of the surge, our troops, and General David Petreaus, and noting how many Democrats opposed this plan. “‘Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results,’ Boehner says in remarks prepared for delivery to the American Legion’s 92nd national convention, in Milwaukee. ‘[T]oday we mark not the defeat those voices anticipated – but progress.’ . . . “McConnell underscores the contribution of President George W. Bush’s troop ‘surge’ in Iraq: ‘By adopting the Bush administration’s plan for winding down the war and transitioning security responsibilities to the Iraqi military over time, the president has enabled us and the Iraqis to build on the gains our troops have made. … Thankfully, we can say today that our troops, the surge, and the Petraeus plan all succeeded where many in Washington thought they would fail.’”

Indeed, Democrats continually branded the surge a “failure.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) famously declared, “[T]his war is lost and … the surge is not accomplishing anything.” Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said, “It has failed.” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “President Bush promised us his troop surge was going to improve security and allow Iraqis to stabilize their own country, but that is not working.” Then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) vented, “This whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy.” And a year after the surge was announced, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) said, “Tonight we heard President Bush say that the surge in Iraq is working, when we know that’s just not true.”

Many Democrats even attempted to stop the surge before it could get underway. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced early on, “The surge has to be stopped. It is a reckless, almost mindless approach to a desperately difficult situation.” And he proceeded to introduce multiple bills and amendments that would have cut off funding for troops in the field.

In fact, beginning in 2007, Congressional Democrats forced more than 40 votes to either require troops to withdraw, to micromanage forces instead of letting the generals adapt to conditions on the ground, or to outright condemn the surge strategy. Where would our troops, where would Iraqis, and where would the United States be today if Democrats had their way in 2007?

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