Senate Democrats ran a Defeat-o-thon for the Levin-Reed Surrender Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. The all-night session was nothing more than a political stunt to push for an early withdrawal and surrender of Iraq to terrorists and sectarian death squads.
Senator Durbin deceptively whined about how it would take 60 votes to get this amendment passed. Like all issues brought before the Senate, they must pass cloture before they can be voted on for adoption. Durbin should recall how unfortunate it was that the Democrats used the cloture vote requirement to block many of President Bush's judicial nominees. The difference between using it as a partisan means to block the President's Constitution power for purely political reasons and why it will now be used to stop the agenda of surrender is significant.
From the Senate record (Senator Durbin speaking):
the Republican leader insists on 60 votes, insists on filibustering the amendment that is before the Senate. He is trying to stop the debate on whether we will change direction in Iraq.
Actually a filibuster as it is called, or the failure to attain cloture, is not stopping debate. The debate on the issue at hand can continue for as long as it wants, or until cloture is finally attained. In recent years, legislation failing cloture often are tabled. Whether or not this is good or bad can be debated, however the fact is that debate is not stopped. There is nothing in the Senate rules that states if a bill or amendment fails cloture that it is D.O.A. Although in some cases we may wish it were so.
Senator Dodd, from the Senate Journal, said yesterday:
Our country was told that despite the catastrophic policy failures of this administration up until that point, that the surge would take time to work and that we couldn't judge its success until U.S. forces had "surged" to their maximum levels--and that would take up to 6 months.
But that the surge is at full force, and we are told yet again that the time isn't right to make a judgment about the success or failure of the administration's policy. Now we are told we must wait until September to determine the success of the surge. I strongly suspect, as I stand here in July, that as September draws near the administration will once again come up with some additional arguments to delay the day of reckoning on the policy in Iraq.
I do not need any more time, or any more reports and briefings to confirm what most of us already know. The American people and the Iraqi people don't need any more time to realize that the administration's Iraq policy, including the surge, has been a failure.
The plan for the "surge" was to give it six months to operate once it had been fully implemented. The Senate Democrats did not give it even six weeks, let alone six months, to see whether or not it would work. They wasted no time in condemning it as yet another failure. Perhaps the Senators of Defeat would do better by being honest with the American people by stating that the only policy in Iraq they will support is letting the bad guys win. If Senator Dodd and the other members of the Defeatcratic Party were to cut to the chase, Dodd would not be so concerned about needing more time to see if things work, or any reports, etc.
Because my amendment sets clear timelines for the phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq, with three specific exceptions for activities that are critical to our national security interests and the interests of Iraq: First, conducting counterrorism operations in Iraq, targeted at al-Qaida in Mesopotamia; second, training and equipping Iraqi forces; and third, force protection for U.S. personnel and infrastructure.
This amendment also provides a specific timeline for all combat forces to redeploy out of Iraq, aside from the three exceptions I just mentioned, by April 30, 2008.
To ensure that this process gets underway without any stonewalling by the administration or anyone in his administration, my amendment sets an interim deadline of December 31, 2007, at which point at least 50,000 troops must have been redeployed out of Iraq.
Failure to meet this initial milestone will result in a funding penalty. The amendment would withhold 25 percent of the fiscal year 2008 military budget for Iraq-related activities until the President certifies that he can meet the overall April 30, 2008, deadline.
Based on this, the terrorists and sectarian death squads can expect to achieve victory of the United States, and the fledgling democratic government of Iraq, by no later than April 30, 2008.
Senator Cornyn later said:
The one thing we all agree on is that we want to bring our troops home. We want to bring them home as soon as we can. The line of division between us seems to be between those who want to do so based upon an arbitrary political timetable and those who want to do so based on conditions on the ground. So I think it is important to have--as any adult would say to their child--a conversation about the consequences of your actions because I think these are the birds that are going to come home to roost should the Levin amendment be adopted.
Amen to that. The Democrats and their followers of Defeat want nothing more than the same thing that the terrorists want to hear: the sound of feet (combat boots?) beating a path out of Iraq.
Is apparent that the Democrats have not thought through what that the consequences of an early withdrawal from Iraq will have within that region. Cornyn and others on the right have!
As we know from the Iraq Study Group as well as the National Intelligence Estimate, the consequences of a failed state in Iraq are numerous, but they are significant and highly dangerous to the United States.
First of all, Iraq would become a safe haven for Islamic radicals, including al-Qaida and Hezbollah, who are determined to attack the United States and U.S. allies. The Iraq Study Group found that a chaotic Iraq would provide a still stronger base of operation for terrorists who seek to act regionally or even globally. That is not me talking; that is the Iraq Study Group. The Iraq Study Group also noted that al-Qaida will portray any failure by the United States in Iraq as a significant victory that will be featured prominently as they recruit for their cause in the region and around the world.
Isn't the ISG report the same document that the Democrats are touting as the reason for sounding the retreat?
In a nutshell, Cornyn states that should we withdrawal before achieving stability in Iraq, and helping it keep itself secure from enemies both foreign and domestic, the odds are that there will be greater violence and we may well have to return there in force. It is better to get the job done right the first time (like we should have done in the first gulf War).
If we withdrawal now, and then find we do need to reinsert ourselves into Iraq, how many more troops will be killed or injured than if we were to stay and get the job done right now?
Tough decision to make: continue to commit troops now, and hope that we can achieve victory, though at an increasing price in American blood, or get out now and hope (and pray) that the cost for doing so won't be overwhelming.
When President Truman was faced with the decision of whether or not to order the use of the atomic bomb on Japan, he made his decision on what the price, in American, as well as Japanese, blood would be if he didn't drop the Bomb. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, millions of Japanese, and a war that would continue well into 1946 was the alternative he faced if he had chosen not to use the Bomb.
We face the same kind of decision now: if we withdrawal from Iraq, the terrorists and the sectarian death squads will see that as a signal that they are winning. They will be emboldened to continue their attacks with greater ferocity. Their terrorist brothers in other countries will take that as a signal to broaden the front and expand jihad to greater proportions. Iraqis who sided with the U.S. and the legitimate government of Iraq will face reprisals and extermination.
Are the Democrats and others who support withdrawal prepared to take the responsibility should Iraq and the surrounding region turn into another Cambodia or Vietnam? No doubt that they will try to find some way to blame Bush should it come to that.