Friday, February 27, 2009

Congressional reaction to the non-withdrawal

Amid complaints from has own party that he's moving too slowly to end the war in Iraq, President Barack Obama will announce Friday that U.S. combat troops will be withdrawn by Aug. 31, 2010, but that as many as 50,000 Marines and soldiers would remain until the end of 2011.
Obama will announce his plans during a visit with troops at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he'll also visit with Marines who are being deployed to Afghanistan, senior administration officials said.

The above is from Steven Thomma's "Obama to extend Iraq withdrawal timetable; 50,000 troops to stay" (McClatchy Newspapers) on the non-withdrawal 'withdrawal.' We'll again note
US Senator Russ Feingold on Barack's 'withdrawal:'

After years of failed Iraq policies, I am pleased by reports that President Obama plans to significantly reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by August 2010. Our presence in Iraq has cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives, overburdened our military, fueled anti-Americanism and distracted us from the global threat posed by al Qaeda. I am concerned, however, by reports that tens of thousands of U.S. troops may remain in Iraq beyond August 2010. I question whether such a large force is needed to combat any al Qaeda affiliates in Iraq or whether it will contribute to stability in the region.

Feingold is hardly the only one in Congress questioning the number to be left behind in Iraq. Anne E. Kornblut and Paul Kane's "Democrats Assail Plan For Pulling Out Troops: Number to Remain In Iraq Questioned" (Washington Post) observes:

President Obama sought yesterday to quell growing complaints from members of Congress about his plans for drawing down troops in Iraq, inviting lawmakers to a White House meeting on the eve of a North Carolina speech in which he is expected to announce that he will pull out many combat troops by August of 2010.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) complained that the level of troops -- 50,000 -- who would remain in Iraq is too high, other senior Democrats voiced similar concerns. Not one member of the Democratic leadership, except for Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), defended the new Obama plan, which will take three months longer than he promised and still leave a significant force structure on the ground.

Little Dicky Durbin, always the suck-up. Those needing or preferring audio on this topic can refer to a Wednesday Morning Edition (NPR) report where Steve Inskeep noted that Barack's 'plan' had "slipped a bit" from what he campaigned on and Tom Bowman agreed that was correct because "they're looking at keeping anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 troops in Iraq and they could remain for many years. It's a sizable number." Sidebar, Bowman would go on to report, "NPR has also learned that the Pentagon is planning on sending 900 additional Special Operation Forces to Afghanistan. Now these are Green Berets, Navy Seals, Marine Special Operations Forces. They're training now and will start heading to Afghanistan soon."

Meanwhile readers of the New York Times in print get Peter Baker's "Some Democrats Say Obama's Plan Would Leave Too Many Troops in Iraq." It's apparently a very bad report that must be buried so it's been vanished online. This is not it, nor is this. Harry Reid's quoted in the article stating, "I have been one for a long time who has called for significant cutbacks in Iraq. I'm happy to listen to the secretary of defense and the president but when they talk about 50,000, that's a little higher number than I anticipated." Patty Murray states, "I want to hear what the president has to say about justifying whatever number it is that he has. I do think we have to look carefully at the numbers that are there and do it as quickly as we can." Charles Schumer declares, "Fifty thousand is more than I would have thought. We await the justification for why that would be." Only Jack Reed plays happy, of all the senators quoted, only Jack Reed wallows in his own (and Barack's) filth. It's a shame the paper has decided to bury Baker's story. Readers of the national edition will find it on A8.

Karen DeYoung and Anne E. Kornblut offer "Officials: Obama to Leave Up to 50K Troops in Iraq Through 2011" at the Washington Post online (filed this morning, so not in today's paper) and it is based on sources and on leaked portions of Barack's speech to be delivered later today:

Officials said that both the 19-month deadline for withdrawing "combat" forces, and the size of the residual force to remain for an additional 16 months, were recommended by Obama's senior civilian and military advisers as the best way to manage the exit he has pledged without jeopardizing Iraq's still-fragile security.

What did Thomas E. Ricks (author of The Gamble) say yesterday? "Watch this phrase: 'Residual force.' I think it will be President Obama's term for what he hopes to have in Iraq by the end of next year."

We'll again note John Walsh's "Indict Bush and Impeach Obama: Liberal Leaders Betray Antiwar Cause To Serve Dems and Obama -- Again" (Dissident Voice) and his reply to PDA hack Laura Bonham (see yesterday's snapshot for more on Bohham). This is Walsh reply to Bonham:

John Walsh said on February 26th, 2009 at 12:51pm #
"P"DA is complicit in war.
In response to Laura Bonham’s claim that "P"DA is principled and consistent on the question of war, I have to ask, Is she kidding? Or whom does she think she is kidding?
"P"DA supported John Kerry in 2004 when he ran on a prowar platform.
"P"DA supported Barack Obama in 2008 - even as he called for a 100,000 increase in men and women in the active duty army and marines and even as he called to step up the war on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
So far as I know, "P"DA will not be joining the March 21 national mobilization in DC against what the mainstream media call Obama's war.
Obama has been bombing Pakistan, an act of war, without any Congressional declaration of war, an impeachable offense. "P"DA has not called for impeachment.
If Bush were doing any of this "P"DA would be yelling at the top of its lungs. But I hear only quiet when Obama does these things -- perhaps a few statements on the web site to cover their ass, but no action at all.
As Eugene McCarthy, echoing Daniel Webster, said of the war on Vietnam, it went on because too many placed party over principle. That is exactly what "P"DA is doing.
john walsh

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