Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

“It’s over out there!”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 23, 2007

                    The Felicity Daily Herald
                       “All the news that’s fit to print; and a whole lot more”

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Republican opposition to Iraq plan grows

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 1 hour, 10 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans pushed back Monday against President Bush‘s decision to increase troop strength in  Iraq, some voicing opposition while others urged holding the administration and Iraqi government more accountable for the war effort.

“We’ve had four other surges since we first went into Iraq,” said Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), referring to the administration’s plan for an additional 21,500 troops. “None of them produced a long-lasting change in the situation on the ground.

“So I am very skeptical that this surge would produce the desired outcome,” said the Maine Republican.

In the Senate, Collins joined two Republicans and one Democrat to unveil nonbinding legislation expressing disagreement with Bush’s plan. The president should consider “all options and alternatives” involving a smaller force, the measure said.

In the House, members of the leadership drafted a series of what they called “strategic benchmarks,” and said the White House should submit monthly reports to Congress measuring progress.

The developments occurred on the eve of Bush’s State of the Union address, and as Democrats pointed toward votes in the House and Senate on bills declaring that the troop increase is “not in the national interest of the United States.”

Republicans have struggled to respond in the two weeks since Bush outlined his new strategy. Though aware that the war played a role in the GOP defeat in last fall’s elections, most have been unwilling to abandon a president of their own party.

Both the Senate legislation and the action taken by the House Republican leaders are softer than the legislation that majority Democrats intend to place for a vote. But they also represent a more forceful response to the long and deadly war than the GOP offered while it held the majority in Congress.

More than 3,000 U.S. troops have been killed in the war, including 27 over the weekend and one more on Monday.

Democrats intend to make the war a part of their formal response to Bush’s nationally televised speech, tapping Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, a Vietnam veteran and former Republican Navy secretary, to speak.

In an interview with reporters, Webb ridiculed Bush’s new strategy as “just a lot more flailing around rather than coming up with something specific that’s going to end our involvement.”

Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Collins and Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record) of Minnesota in producing the legislation expressing disagreement with Bush’s plan. Sen. Ben Nelson (news, bio, voting record), D-Neb., joined them.

“I personally, speaking for myself, have great concern about the American G.I. being thrust into that situation, the origins of which sometimes go back over a thousand years,” Warner said.

Collins said some Republican senators did not feel comfortable with the Democratic-backed measure, but wanted to register their concern with Bush’s approach.

Unlike the measure backed by Democrats, Warner’s proposal would leave open the possibility of Bush sending a small number of additional troops to a specific region, such as Anbar province in the western part of Iraq.

Even so, the action taken by Collins, Coleman and him raised the number of Senate Republicans publicly opposed to the president’s plan to five. Sens. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record) of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record) of Maine have said they back the Democrats’ resolution.

In the House, Rep. John Boehner (news, bio, voting record) of Ohio, the party’s leader, said he supports Bush’s plan and that his backing is not conditional on the president agreeing to meet the standards that lawmakers laid out.

He said he had told the president “that the support is still strong among Republicans but there are a lot of our members who are skeptical that the plan will work” because of doubts that the Iraqi government will follow through on its commitments.

Boehner also released a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., urging her to appoint a special committee of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to oversee the “implementation and progress of the president’s new strategy for success in Iraq.”

As the majority party, Democrats generally are entitled to more seats on House committees than Republicans, and Pelosi quickly rejected the proposal. “Where were the Republicans the last four years?” said her spokesman, Brendan Daly. “They were in charge of Congress and did not hold the president accountable for his failed policy in Iraq, or on any number of other critical issues facing our nation.”

The House Republicans’ suggested “strategic benchmarks” apply largely to the Iraqi government, which has pledged additional troops to quell sectarian fighting and to restrain Shiite militia.

Republicans want the government to be measured on its cooperation with U.S. forces, its ability to purge its security forces of insurgents and their sympathizers and also on its ability to assure that Shiite, Sunni, Kurd and other groups are treated equally.

Democrats are expected to bring Iraq-related legislation to a vote in the days following Bush’s televised State of the Union address.

Warner said he would seek a vote on his alternative at the same time.

In the House, it was not clear whether Republicans intend to seek a vote on an alternative of their own, and if so, whether it would express support for Bush’s plan.

___

Barring some ‘staged’ Terrorist Attack by THIS ADMINISTRATION, “It’s over out there!” said General George S. Patton has he looked out over a battlefield littered with broken down German equipment and carts. Patton’s comment could equally apply to the Presidency of George W. Bush.

When any President can’t hold his own Party together: It’s OVER for that Administration.

                                          Over.

In Bush’s case, these Republicans are not some renegade Group of wildcats and mavericks, but so-called distinguished Gentlemen like Warner, Hagel, and House Minority Leader John Boehner.

This ‘jumping ship’ of Republicans reminds me of the dark days during ‘Watergate” when Republicans baled on Dick Nixon in the 12th Hour; and we all know what Nixon did shortly after these desertions took place, don’t we.

My only regret as I watch Congress display their ‘balls’ to THIS ADMINISTRATION …. is that it didn’t take place prior to the “Iraq War Resolution” back in 2003. Because had that happened, our Treasury would be a lot fatter; over 3,000 more Men & Women in Uniform would have eaten dinner tonight with their families; and there’d been NO “Civil War” raging in Iraq tonight. 

I WRITE WHAT I LIKE

Scorpio

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