Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Kerry on Senate floor - It is a civil war

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:35 PM
Original message
Kerry on Senate floor - It is a civil war
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 01:46 PM by karynnj
Quick notes from a very bad typist:
- Kerry spoke of the funeral he went to and Baucus' nephew

- Spoke about how bad things are in Iraq - Need candor because it's the only way you can get other countries involved. The vast majority killed and wounded by IEDs - usually found only when they explode. Administration is denying reality. Congress needs to hold the administration accountable. They are sending more people into a civil war.

There is a civil war. Policy of standing up as Iraq stands up is a myth - because we're doing the opposite. The Iraqis say they can secure their country by end of year.

Lots of national guard not combat ready. Need to acknowledge there is a civil war. Iraqis killed mostly in sectarian violence.

continuing:

He just said Rumsfeld said if there were a civil war, the Iraqis would deal with this.

He is comparing it to the escalation in Vietnam - he says with current approach it is highly unlikely that we will be pulling down the numbers even though Iraqis will be at full strength by end of year. Says the stand down when they stand up is flawed - there is no military solution. So, this slogan is as false as mission accomplished, we'll be greeted as liberators. Kerry is as angry as I have ever seen him.

Need to resolve the fundamental reason that Shiites and Sunnis are killing each other asn that is extensive diplomacy. Mentioned that pundits and politicians make fun of diplomacy. Used to be the first step. It's been absent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The real transcript is needed - this is amazing
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is a reply to the Armed Forces testimony from this morning
right? Abizaid, Pace and, most notably, Rumsfeld defended the War and denied the Civil War over there. Sigh!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cspanlovr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks, listening now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. why are the shia and sunni killing each other? power.
the shia majority was sorely treated under saddam.
we played democracy and put them in power.
they are getting their revenge for years of oppression.
sunni are fighting back and they want to keep their position on top.

bad move bush. but he didnt see it coming.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Kerry did - he was concerned about it in early 2005
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 01:57 PM by karynnj
in the Senate foreign relations committee.


Now saying:
Says diplomacy is needed in middle east too - spoke of tragedy of deaths of people in Lebanon and Israel. Abbezaid said if 1559 implemented, there wouldn't be this war ongoing.

He spoke of fragile Lebanese democracy and the death of innocents (I am a poor slow typist - so I missed a lot.)

He said we need to stop things before they explode like this.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for this, karynnj!
I was distracted by work, sigh, and missed big parts of it. He was talking about Iraq ...I was distracted ... then I heard him say "and that's why we must disarm Hezballah once and for all" or some such. I am glad for your report that he spoke of the innocent lives lost and "the fragile Lebanese democracy."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. This is key.
Bush and Rumsfeld and all their cohorts invaded Iraq on the premise that we would be promoting safe and stable democracies in the Middle East. There was a 'dominoes theory' for that region, according to the neocons. (Iraq will bloom in the desert as a democracy and this will scare the crap out of rogue nations like Iran and Syria and so forth and they will become much better places and stop threatening their neighbors and do what the US wants.)

Ahm, last week when PM Maliki came to the US, he didn't condemn Hezbollah for their terrorism. That is indicative of a massive failure of US policy in Iraq. We are there to wage 'the global war on terrorism' in Iraq and to get them over there before they can get us over here. Well, the Iraqis are not playing the game. They refuse to condemn Hezbollah. They are not that concerned with the 'global war on terror' and are not going to be good puppets and do what they are told. Again, what is the rationale for American involvement in this war again? (Now, today, at this moment.) Oh yeah, we have to prevent IRaq from turning into a failed state and encouraging terrorism. Ahm, that mission is failing miserably. So why are we there again?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. "what is the rationale...Now, today, at this moment?" "So our KIA did not
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:43 PM by MH1
die in vain..."

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

:grr:

(where have we heard THAT before?)


Edit for anyone wandering by who might misinterpet that: I am echoing the repuke refrain there, of course. Hopefully that's obvious....but I've seen some strange ideas about some Dems posted on DU so thought I'd better clarify.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Every time one of the principals or a General testify
another rationale for the war slips away.

We are down to the last possible reasons: America must be there to prevent all out Civil War (ahm, 'scuz me, looks like all-out civil war to me what with the sectarian violence killing upwards of 100 people a day) and Iraq will fall apart without us. (Ahm, gee, I think it's falling apart now.)

Why are we still there? Why aren't we planning to get our people out? The rationales are looking thinner by the day.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Kerry keeps talking about having a regional summit to create
a Dayton-type accord where all the stakeholders can work out a way to stop the fighting. I like how he talked about Bosnia/Kosovo/Serbia and how bad that was before Clinton stepped in - and there was partisan (read: Republican) resistance to that effort, but they got a peace agreement that's worked reasonably well.

So he is STILL - appropriately - presenting a means to come to stabilize Iraq rather than just throwing up our hands and leaving. Of course the republicans and the talk show tiraders won't ever acknowledge that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Kerry has spoken of needing that since at least 2004
and he makes an excellent case for it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you kj. K&R nt.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
11. Here's the speech as prepared - from a whometense post in JK Group
John Kerry: Administration Sending U.S. Troops into Crossfire of Escalating Civil War



Below John Kerrys remarks on Iraq on the floor of the Senate this afternoon. In his remarks, Kerry spoke about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfelds testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning.



As prepared for delivery.



Mr. President, yesterday I was at Arlington National Cemetery for the funeral of Lance Corporal Geoffrey R. Cayer, a 20 year old from Massachusetts, and I was struck by the number of funerals taking place and the number of new headstones bearing the inscription Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.



One of those among the fallen is Phillip Baucus, the nephew of our friend and colleague Sen. Baucus. Phillip was a proud and brave Marine Corps Corporal who gave his life serving his country last Saturday in Anbar Province in Iraq. He was an extraordinary young man, and I know from Max what he meant to his family and what a totally devastating blow this is to all of them. My prayers are for Phillip and every family which has endured this kind of monumental loss. Phillip and Lance Corporal Cayer and all those who have given their lives are a tough reminder to all of the incredible sacrifices Americas children are making every day.



Mr. President, with the violence in Iraq growing worse by the day, it was stunning to hear Secretary Rumsfeld come before the Armed Services Committee this morning with a laundry list of excuses and denials about what is happening there and its consequences for the region. General Abizaid candidly acknowledged that the sectarian violence is as bad as Ive seen it, that hes rarely seen the situation so unsettled and so volatile. He warned of coming civil war, and that failure to apply coordinated regional and international pressure ... will further extremism" and could lead to a widening and more perilous conflict.



But this morning Secretary Rumsfeld did not call for that kind of diplomacy, and he did not lay out a plan for that kind of leadership. Nor has President Bush reached out to undertake the kind of crisis diplomacy needed in Iraq or to leverage the regional pressure to stop Iraq from descending into irretrievable chaos.

No Secretary Rumsfeld announced that there's a number of good things happening amidst all of this difficulty, the currency is fairly stable, the schools are open, the hospitals are open, the people are functioning. Secretary Rumsfeld waxed optimistic about an Iraq where you see people out in the fields doing things and people driving their cars and lining up for gasoline and going about their business. He went on to say that despite all of the difficulties, there are also some good trend lines that are occurring, and I think the period ahead is an important period.



Mr. President, this is more than an important period, this may well be the moment that decides the security of the Middle East itself, and its time the Administration was candid about the situation and got to work on rescuing whats salvageable in Iraq.



With at least 2,578 Americans killed, over 19,000 wounded, and no end in sight, we simply cannot sit idly by as more of our kids die for a policy that isnt working. And we cannot be silent while this Administration continues to deny reality and repeat the same mistakes.



Ive said it before and Ill say it again: this Congress has a constitutional responsibility and a moral obligation to hold this Administration accountable for making the right choices for our troops and our country.



That starts with demanding honesty when it comes to the war in Iraq. Because the bottom line is that this Administration is sending more U.S. troops into the crossfire of an escalating civil war in Iraq and they refuse to come clean with the American people about it.

No more half measures, no more staged phony political debates -- its time to tell the truth about the consequences of todays failed policy in Iraq.

No matter what the Administration tells you, there is a civil war raging in Iraq.

The Presidents policy of standing down U.S. troops as Iraqis stand up has finally been exposed as nothing more than a misleading myth: in fact, we are actually increasing our overall troop presence even as they tell us that many more Iraqis soldiers have been trained -- and weve reportedly all but abandoned hope of withdrawing significant numbers of U.S. troops this year, even as the Iraqi President tells us that Iraqis can take over security responsibility throughout their country by the end of the year.

Yesterday, we learned more about our dangerously overstretched military when the top National Guard General warned that more than two-thirds of the Army National Guard's brigades are not combat ready.

And worst of all, there is no end in sight and no realistic plan to turn the tide.

To change course we must first confront the realities on the ground, starting by acknowledging that there is a civil war going on in Iraq. The Administration denies that because it doesnt fit their rhetoric -- but by objective standards that is exactly whats happening. Just look at the facts.

In the first six months of the year, 14,338 Iraqi civilians were killed, mostly in sectarian violence. Prime Minister Maliki acknowledged last week that an average of 100 Iraqi civilians are being killed every day. Just think about that for a second: 100 people killed every day. And the violence has only been getting worse: 2,669 civilians were killed in May, and 3,129 civilians were killed in June. Thats nearly 6,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the last two months alone. And since the February 22nd bombing of the Shia mosque in Samarra, the government reports that 30,359 families or about 182,000 people have fled their homes due to sectarian violence and intimidation

Mr. President, this is not just a civil war by historical standards, its a relatively large scale civil war. In fact, a recent academic analysis published in the New York Times showed that the median number of casualties in civil wars since 1945 is 18,000. Estimates of total casualties in Iraq vary, but the number is probably at least twice that many. Larry Diamond, a former consultant to the provisional authority in Baghdad, has put it simply: "In academic terms, this is a civil war, and it's not even a small one."

The Iraqis from all sides understand whats going on in their country and theyre not afraid to speak the truth. Haidar al-Ibadi, a prominent Shiite legislator, said that "Certainly, what is happening is the start of the civil war. Saleh al-Mutlak, a Sunni legislator, also described the recent violence as "the start of a civil war," and another leading Sunni, Adnan Dulaimi, recently said Its nothing less than an undeclared civil war.



Still, the Administration continues to deny the plain facts about the civil war just as they once downplayed the insurgency. Remember when it was first clear that chaos had given way to a determined insurgency? Secretary Rumsfeld told us they were just a bunch of dead enders. Vice President Cheney told us last year that the insurgency was in it last throes. And just look at the results. Since then, the number of Iraqi insurgents has increased by 20 percent, and the insurgency is now more than six times stronger that it was in May of 2003. And once again, its our troops that pay the price in fact, the number of IED attacks on U.S. troops has nearly doubled since January.



Now, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, the Administration denies that theres a civil war. Who do they think theyre kidding? Why not just level with the American public? Because this is one more inconvenient truth theyd prefer not to deal with. In fact, Secretary Rumsfeld said just a few months ago that if civil war did break out, Iraqi forces not U.S. troops-- would be the ones dealing with it.



Yet not only are our U.S. troops now caught in this civil war were actually sending more of them into the crossfire. Thats right: the Administration doesnt want to talk about it, but we are actually sending more U.S. troops into Iraq.



When the President announced his plan last week to increase the U.S. troop presence in Baghdad, he said the troops would come from other areas of Iraq. He did not mention that additional troops have been sent into Iraq from Kuwait, and that current deployments were being extended as new troops arrived. He did not mention what both the Washington Post and New York Times have reported: that the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq is going to increase by several thousand. And he did not mention that recently-announced deployment schedules could bring the number of U.S. troops in Iraq even higher in the coming years.



Finally, he did not explain why this strategy will work when similar efforts have just failed. The fact is that a few months ago, U.S. and coalition troops in Baghdad increased from 40,000 to 55,000 and the violence has only gotten worse. Now, the President says we are going to send a few thousand more U.S. troops into Baghdad. Why is this going to be any different?



One thing is clear: under this Administrations current approach, its highly unlikely that well be drawing down any significant numbers of U.S. troops from Iraq this year. This is despite the fact that Secretary Rumsfeld said on Wednesday that there are some 275,000 trained Iraqi security forces, with 325,000 expected to be trained by the end of the year. And General Martin Dempsey, the American general in charge of training Iraqi security forces, said in June that the new Iraqi army would be formed and at full strength by the end of this calendar year. In fact, Iraqi President Talabani declared just yesterday that Iraqis could take over security in the entire country by the end of this year.



If the Iraqis are standing up, as the Administration is telling us, why are U.S. troops not standing down? Because the Presidents mantra that as Iraqis stand up, well stand down is not a plan - its misleading rhetoric that now rings as hollow as well be greeted as liberators, and mission accomplished. And given how bad the situation has gotten, does stay the course really sound any better?



This bottom line is that this approach hasnt worked because its underlying assumption that more troops are the real solution to the problem is fundamentally flawed. As our generals, the Iraqi leaders, and the Secretary of State herself have told us, there is no military solution to the insurgency. And just today, Secretary Rumsfeld acknowledged that theres no military solution to the sectarian violence. In fact, all can agree that the only hope for salvaging a measure of lasting success in Iraq is finding a political solution that all of the Iraqis can buy into.



So how do we accomplish that? By finally engaging in the intensive diplomacy that has been so inexplicably lacking from this Administrations approach to Iraq.



We used to understand diplomacy must be the primary means of advancing Americas national security interests. We used to remember that war is the ultimate failure of diplomacy and the best way to end it.



Unfortunately, our current diplomacy is not anywhere near as effective as it needs to be. In fact, so much of what we used to take for granted in national security policy has now been called into question.



We used to know that despite our differences in political philosophy and in perspective our two great parties could cooperate to craft international policies in our national interest.



We used to understand that the unique and historic role of the United States in world affairs required a far-sighted and multi-faceted approach to protecting our people and our interests.



We used to value as a national treasure the international alliances and institutions that enhanced our strength, amplified our voice, and reflected our traditions and ideals in maintaining a free and secure world.



We used to say politics stopped at the water's edge--we used to call on our people to share in the sacrifices demanded by freedom, and our leaders used to raise hopes and inspire trust, not raise fears and demand blind faith.



We used to measure America's strength and security by our moral authority, our economic leadership, and our diplomatic skills, as well as by the power of our military.



Think about how much things have changed, when Tom Friedman wrote just days ago that our President and Secretary of State, although they speak with great mortal clarity, have no moral authority. Thats been shattered by their performance in Iraq.



Key to any hope of stabilizing Iraq is changing course and engaging in the sustained diplomacy from the highest levels of Americas leadership that matches the effort of our soldiers on the ground.



History shows the results that genuine diplomacy can bring. In 1995, there was a brutal civil war in Bosnia involving Serbs, Croats and Muslims. Faced with a seemingly intractable stalemate in the midst of horrific ethnic cleansing, the Clinton Administration took action. Led by Richard Holbrooke, they brought leaders of the Bosnian parties together in Dayton, Ohio with representatives from the European Union, Russia and Britain to hammer out a peace agreement that brought relative stability to the region.



It is past time for the Administration to engage in this type of major diplomatic initiative. While an international process has begun to bring reconstruction and economic aid to Iraq, a true national compact is still needed to bring about a political solution to the insurgency and end the cycle of Sunni-Shia violence.



My strategy would help achieve this by working with the Iraqis to convene a Dayton-like summit that includes leaders of the Iraqi government, the countries bordering Iraq, the Arab League, NATO, the European Union, and the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council. This would enable the Iraqis to engage in the intensive diplomacy necessary to forge a comprehensive political agreement that addresses security guarantees, oil revenues, federalism, and the disbanding of the militias. And all parties would agree on a process for securing Iraqs borders.



These are the key elements of the political agreement necessary to decrease the violence and they are not tasks that U.S. troops can or should be responsible for. They are the responsibility of civilian personnel, especially Iraqis. And success will require collective effort that engages members of the international community who share our interest in a stable Iraq. To enlist their support, we must address their concerns about security in the region after we have withdrawn from Iraq. Thats why this summit should lay the groundwork for creating a new regional security structure that strengthens the security of the countries in the region and the wider community of nations.



Mr. President, we must also recognize that redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq is an essential part of a strategy for success. In fact, our own generals and the Iraqi National Security Adviser, Mr. Rubaie, tell us that the presence of large numbers of U.S. troops actually fuels the insurgency. Thats why I say that to change course now, we must acknowledge that it takes a deadline to get Iraq up on its own two feet and get American troops home. My strategy would redeploy U.S. forces from Iraq within one year in accordance with a schedule coordinated with the Iraqi Government, leaving only those forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces, conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions, and protecting United States facilities and personnel. It also calls for keeping a rapid reaction force over the horizon in Kuwait so that we can always bring overwhelming force to bear on any concentration of enemy forces.



Coordinating a schedule for redeploying our troops is not cutting and running its a key to finding the political solution that is needed to stabilize Iraq. As we know from Mr. Rubaie, this will give the Iraqi leadership the best chance to stabilize the country by empowering and legitimizing the new government with the Iraqi people, expediting the process of getting Iraqis to assume a larger role in running their country, and undermining support for the insurgency among the vast majority of Iraqis who want U.S. troops to leave.



We know that Prime Minister Maliki understands this, thats why he has talked openly about a timeframe for the reduction of U.S. forces. We know that Ambassador Khalilzad and General Casey are discussing with the Iraqi government the formation of a joint commission to outline terms and conditions for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. We know from Mr. Rubaie that there is already an unofficial road map to foreign troop reductions that will eventually lead to total withdrawal of U.S. troops. We know that General Casey has drafted a plan for significantly reducing U.S. troop levels by the end of 2007. We know that polls of Iraqis have shown that 87% including 94% of the Sunnis and 90% of the Shia -- support their government endorsing a timeline for U.S. withdrawal.

If the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people, our Ambassador and top military commander, and the majority of Americans can see that the time has come for a timeframe for the redeployment of U.S. forces, why cant the Bush Administration?

Think about that for a second: for over three years, the President has said that were prepared to stay as long as it takes, and during this time the insurgency has only grown stronger and sectarian killings are now at an all time high. Does anyone really think more of the same will solve the problem?



We simply cannot allow the Administration to undermine this key aspect of a successful strategy in Iraq because they are too stubborn to admit that the timeline they have so adamantly opposed is now clearly an important part of the way forward. The bottom line is that by the middle of next year, the presence of large numbers of U.S. troops will have served its purpose. That does not mean we will be abandoning Iraq, it simply means our involvement will change.



Mr. President, even as we consider the way forward in Iraq, we must not lose sight of the war raging on the other side of the Middle East in Lebanon and Israel. Watching the news from the Mideast these days is an exercise in continual heartbreak. As Israel continues military operations to defend itself against the grave threat from Hezbollah in Lebanon and missiles still rain on innocents in northern Israel, our hearts go out to people suffering all across the Mideast.



We all want peace, and the death of every childLebanese in Qana or Israeli in Haifais an unspeakable tragedy. But we know from the hard lessons of the past that lasting peace will not come easily and it will not come without the type of sustained involvement at the highest levels of the U.S. government that we have not seen from this Administration.



In fact, the violence we are seeing now is in part the bitter fruit of years of U.S. neglect in the region, yet another disastrous byproduct of being distracted and bogged down in Iraq. Our inattention to diplomacy and failure to disarm Hezbollah and stop the flow of weapons from Iran and Syria -- as required by UN Resolution 1559 -- left Israel to respond to this terrorist organizations provocations with a bloody war that threatens to spread into a larger regional conflict. In fact, just a few hours ago General Abizaid testified that if that Resolution 1559 had been fully implemented, we wouldnt be in this situation today. And its clear that our compromised position in Iraq, combined with our diplomatic isolation in the region, has reduced our leverage and undermined our ability to bring about the lasting resolution that is so desperately needed.



Make no mistake about it: Israel has every right to defend itself against these terrorists. The people of Israel can count on the stalwart support of the United States during these difficult times. At the same time, the Lebanese people must know that Americans also care deeply about protecting innocent civilians and preserving their fragile democracy.



Thats why we must work urgently to achieve a viable and sustainable peace agreement that includes an international force capable of ensuring Israel's security and Lebanons complete territorial sovereignty, the return of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers, and the permanent removal of the threat posed by Hezbollah. Given the dire circumstances, its imperative that we do everything in our power to accomplish this as soon as possible and we shouldnt be afraid of talking to any country that will help us advance this objective.



But that cannot be the end of our involvement in fact, it must be the beginning of a new era of sustained diplomatic engagement in the region. The unmistakable lesson here is that we need more much than just crisis diplomacy we need preventive diplomacy that addresses the underlying problems before they explode. That means putting an end once and for all to state sponsorship of terrorism by Iran and Syria. And that requires a renewed commitment to work ceaselessly to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.



# # #
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks! It's civil war, withdraw the troops
In the first six months of the year, 14,338 Iraqi civilians were killed, mostly in sectarian violence. Prime Minister Maliki acknowledged last week that an average of 100 Iraqi civilians are being killed every day. Just think about that for a second: 100 people killed every day. And the violence has only been getting worse: 2,669 civilians were killed in May, and 3,129 civilians were killed in June. Thats nearly 6,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the last two months alone. And since the February 22nd bombing of the Shia mosque in Samarra, the government reports that 30,359 families or about 182,000 people have fled their homes due to sectarian violence and intimidation

Mr. President, this is not just a civil war by historical standards, its a relatively large scale civil war. In fact, a recent academic analysis published in the New York Times showed that the median number of casualties in civil wars since 1945 is 18,000. Estimates of total casualties in Iraq vary, but the number is probably at least twice that many. Larry Diamond, a former consultant to the provisional authority in Baghdad, has put it simply: "In academic terms, this is a civil war, and it's not even a small one."



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BrewAz Donating Member (147 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. Everyone on DU needs to read this...
in fact every American should read Kerry's speech.

Thanks for the thread...and the speech.

BrewAz
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Thanks
as you can see from the speech - I simply couldn't get even a fraction of it. This is an excellent speech that shows no speaking to countries we don't like and avoiding diplomacy have made bad situations in both places inordinately worse.

It's sad that Kerry, who was interested in diplomacy as a 10yr old, would have done the diplomacy had he won - The whole world lost in Nov 2004.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BrewAz Donating Member (147 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. ***** EVERYONE STOP and read this thread.
Whatever you are doing can wait. We all need to read Kerry's SPEECH....and provide whatever support we can.

Here is a leader who is taking the lead...what a change from what we currently have in office.

All I ask that everyone take the time to read the entire speech. If nothing else you will pick up talking points for discussion with friends and family. You will also see what might be achievable n the Middle East.

Read It !!!

BrewAz
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. There was a ton of useful info in the speech, but getting DU to read it is
like herding cats.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
38. Too bad he didn't read the faxes and letters
sent by DUers like me and hundreds of thousands of others NOT to vote for the IWR. He sent back shmaltzy emails talking about WMDs and Saddam having to be stopped.

I don't trust his judgment.

He's more of a wheelbarrow than a leader....he's only out front when pushed by events that have long since passed him.

I did vote for him, because there was no choice. I even sent him money. But I have very little respect for him.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. Too bad for you. He is the leader on this issue.
Too bad for you that you have no one to support who can actually make a real case for withdrawal and garner support. Senator Kerry is the recognized leader on this issue: check the Senate record and the groups that support his plan.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. If you think IWR sent this country to war, you don't understand the DSM
Edited on Sun Aug-06-06 10:22 AM by blm
and the evidence that has been mounting that Bush had no intention of adhering to the IWR and had every intention of breaking ANY resolution and ignoring ANY guidelines, even if it was necessary to present cause that had to be manufactured.

IWR did not take this country to war, and Gonzalez even testified a few weeks ago UNDER OATH that the IWR did not give Bush full war powers. Did you miss that thread?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #41
44. It was an important part of the political cover to go to war
and EVERYONE damn well knows that.

He also tried to get the UN to go along and they wouldn't

Now that the dems were stupid enough to authorize force, they are also painted and smeared with shit, all according to plan.

Anyone who wants to parse what might or might not have happened without the IWR doesn't remember how this unfolded,....right before the November elections, forcing a vote in congress.

I remember Vietnam clearly, and I and MANY MILLIONS of americans saw this one becoming Vietnam before the invasion....and MILLIONS protested and demanded that congress NOT rubber stamp this craziness.

All the 'oh the IWR didn'nt make any difference' apologists for the IDIOT dems who voted for it....I don't listen to them very much anymore.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. It was purely POLITICAL - and those who EXAGGERATED it as the conduit for
war ended up playing right into the politics. You even provided cover by repeating the IWR was a vote for war mantra, so there would be no scrutiny for BushInc when he violated the provisions in the IWR.

Why was it so significant when Gonzalez said under oath that the IWR did NOT give Bush full war powers? Because it didn't match what the previous rhetoric has been from the WH and the newsmedia since the vote on it. And WHO has helped push the WH rhetoric?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. It's time to
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
18. Not until Rove needs it to be
then all the media whores will admit that it is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
19. This was an excellent speech! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
20. frankly, who cares ...
Edited on Sat Aug-05-06 04:09 PM by welshTerrier2
here's what John Kerry said about civil war last April:

The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave.

Now, his position-du-jour is that we need diplomacy ... diplomacy from bush?? is he for real?? why would he assume the bush administration has either the competence or the inclination to use diplomacy???

Kerry had it right in April when he stated that if the civil war gets worse, and who could deny that it has since April,
"WE WILL HAVE NO CHOICE ANYWAY BUT TO LEAVE"

and now Kerry decides that we indeed do have a choice? i never thought calling him a "flip flopper" was fair but sheesh, what the hell is this nonsense??

Kerry had it right in April ... i would support his position if he ever spins his roulette wheel filled with all different positions and returned to the April one ... but it's clear, however competent and knowledgeable Kerry may be, he just can't be trusted to stick to his guns ...

don't like this? don't argue with me; argue with Kerry ... he's arguing with his own positions ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Kerry's resolution always included diplomacy. Didn't you read it?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. You've had this stuff explained to you repeatedly
What's your motive in constantly distorting Kerry's position on Iraq?

If he had a magic wand and waved all the troops home in an instant, he'd STILL call for diplomacy to resolve the issues in Iraq because, unlike you, he CARES about EVERY life in the world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Kerry is STILL for withdrawal - why do you ASSUME that has changed while
he's urging stepped up diplomacy?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. withdrawal when?
which of his many plans is he "STILL" for?

is it the one with benchmarks? the one on May 22 that called for immediate withdrawal? or the 12/31/06 plan? or the 7/1/07 plan? or is there now a new Kerry plan with no date certain at all and just a call for diplomacy? perhaps you see him as adaptable ... i see it as unreliable ...

the April Kerry was right!! we should have gotten out if the Iraqis didn't form an effective unity government ... and he was also dead on with his observation that we would have to leave if the civil war worsened ... the July Kerry, or was it the August Kerry, must either believe the Iraqis have an effective unity government or that there is no worsening civil war ... Mr. August should have listened to Mr. April ...

did you agree with Kerry's April plan? I sure did ... did you think the Iraqis formed an effective unity government? i sure did not ... did you agree with Kerry's statement that if the civil war worsened we would have to leave? i sure did ... do you think the civil war has worsened? i sure do ...

I like to read all of Kerry's speeches ... he should reread one once in a while ... there's some really good stuff in some of those old ones ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Reread the initial plan. You've got the dates confused. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. glad to ... which "initial plan" do you mean?
if you're referring to April, and correct me if i'm wrong, his initial statement about "immediate withdrawal" referenced May 15 but he appropriately extended it to May 22 to comply with issues around the Iraqi requirement to form a government by that date ... in his April statement, and again, correct me if i'm wrong, Kerry also said that IF the Iraqis formed an "effective unity government", he thought we should then get almost all US troops out by 12/31/06 ... and then as part of the Kerry-Feingold proposal, he used the 7/1/07 date ...

i'll go back and reread my post above but these are the dates i believe Kerry has referred to ... are these not correct?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #29
48. So you still want him to call for withdrawal in May?
Even though it's now August?

DO you not realize how stupid that sounds?

Maybe he can write a bill authorizing time machines to be sent to Iraq so that soldiers can step in them and magically be home by May 15th!

:eyes:

I think you really seem to think that calling for withdrawal is as simple as waving a magic wand and putting all the soliders on a plane home TOMORROW, which is, to put it nicely, incredibly naive.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #27
40. Yes, I have read his speeches, and also respect that he KEEPS working on
plans to push other senators even after the dates he previously planned for are past.

You want him to stand in front of a microphone repeating his April speech, but that would only achieve a one way ticket to the tailor fitting him for a straight jacket.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. I do!
It is unfortunate that you do not understand there were those of us who actually did want to see some good come from this Bush mess- if nothing else but for our troops fighting over there and the Iraq people. Things might have worked if a new direction was taken and the administration was flexible. Senator Kerry, could see what was coming if a new direction wasn't forged,and he gave this administration the time to possibly change. Unfortunately, they did not. At this point, there is nothing left to do but leave.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. "It is unfortunate that you do not understand"
it is unfortunate that you do not understand that i do understand ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Oh, then you personally have something against the Senator.
That too, is unfortunate.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. personally?
no, not personally ...

i was very supportive of his April position ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Then what's the problem?
Edited on Sat Aug-05-06 09:29 PM by ProSense
Kerry:

April 2006: set a deadline for withdrawal
May 2006: set a deadline for withdrawal
June 2006: set a deadline for withdrawal
July 2006: set a deadline for withdrawal
August 2006: set a deadline for withdrawal


Thirteen Senators voted for the Kerry-Feingold Amendment

The amendment set a deadline for withdrawal.


What's your beef?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. the problem I have with Kerry is his floating dates ...
Edited on Sun Aug-06-06 12:17 AM by welshTerrier2
from April to July, Kerry changed his position from what should have remained a call for "immediate withdrawal" to calling for troops to remain in Iraq for another year ...

was there a basis for this change based on the conditions that Kerry himself defined? the honest answer is "NO" ...

no one seems to want to address what Kerry himself actually said! do you think i'm making this stuff up?

Kerry said we should immediately withdraw if the Iraqis did not form an "effective unity government" by May 22 ... now he's calling for another year of war? that may be fine with you; i think it totally sucks ... does anyone want to make a case for the current Iraqi government ... major Shiite leaders have started backing away from the "unity" government ... the whole damned thing is collapsing and we still play these little pretend games that if we only changed this or that something positive could still emerge in Iraq ... you may believe that; i don't ...

Kerry also said we will have no choice but withdrawing our troops if the civil war worsened? can any reasonable person make a case that the civil war hasn't worsened significantly since April? and now Mr. "We'll Have No Choice But to Leave" thinks we can remain in Iraq for another year while bush suddenly becomes enlightened and tries his hand at diplomacy????? Kerry apparently has more faith in the bush regime than I do ...

I understand the blatant efforts to defend Kerry here but just once it would be nice to have you guys acknowledge that Kerry has tacked on a year to his April proposal and has failed to follow-through with his own words ... i realize that's probably asking the impossible ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. You're confused!
There have been two dates: Kerry called for Dec. 2006 and, on compromise with the other Senators who sponsored the bill, July 2007. It is a deadline, if it gets done earlier so be it. Those who continue to find excuses to not rally behind the best plan for withdrawal and demand action will be as culpable as those who disingenuosly pretend that there is an alternative. This is the plan; support it or show me another plan that gets the troops out by July 2007 or sooner.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. His April position has deepened
In April Sen. Kerry called for a withdrawal if the conditions he set forth weren't met. They weren't. Bush didn't withdraw the troops and has kept on his current strategy. Kerry called on him to do so. In June, Kerry delivered a speech in Washington in front of a bigger crowd and a lot more media reps and went further than he did in April. He said:

It's not enough to argue with the logistics or to argue about the details or the manner of the conflict's execution or the failures of competence, as great as they are. It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake. To say - - to say the simple words that contain more truth than pride.

We were misled. We were given evidence that was not true. It was wrong, and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution.


That is how he feels. He has said this in numerous other appearances. There is a lot of confusion among Kerry supporters when we talk about this with you and with others. This is how Kerry feels. The confusion comes with the difference in how the United States Senate operates and how it's Democratic and Republican caucuses work and how one Senator's opinion affect the workings of those caucuses. We are attentive to that. It is a necessary part of the argument. It often feels like that part is loped off and discounted. I greatly fear it just leads to confusion on this issue.

Kerry is a Senator. He is one of 44 Democrats in the US Senate. That group is full of people with various and sundry opinions and those range from the liberal wing, which includes Kerry, to the Nelsons in both Nebraska and Florida and some fairly conservative Senators who, while Democrats, are not out in front of this issue. The news reports and reports from 'insiders' at the time of the June vote on withdrawal in Iraq said that many Democratic Senators were upset that this issue even came up. Feingold, Kerry and Boxer got the Dem caucus to keep the binding and more forceful amendment on the agenda, forced the Dem leadership to hold the debate despite the unhappiness that a lot of the Dem caucus felt that the amendment was being discussed and forced an actual floor vote on it. There was a price for this.

The Senate is a legislative body. John Kerry can't impose his will and his wish on it unilaterally. He can keep up the pressure, he can keep making speeches that press for withdrawal, he can keep asking for the Senate to not drop this as an issue and he can try and keep the discussion on Iraq going forward. That is his job as a Senator. He just made a speech on Thursday that, once again, laid down the case for withdrawal as soon as possible. That has not changed.

If you were to adopt a policy that sets some timeframes and deadlines, you still leave the President the discretion to be able to keep certain forces there to complete the training; you leave the President the discretion to keep forces there to fight al-Qaida; you leave the President the discretion to use forces to protect American facilities; and you maintain over-the-horizon ability to protect American interests in the region.

I think we need to get away from this simplistic sloganeering and get into a real discussion about how one makes Iraq a success and our policy in the region a success. We know that Prime Minister Maliki understands this, which is why he has talked openly about a timeframe for the reduction of U.S. forces.

We know that Ambassador Khalilzad and General Casey are discussing with the Iraqi Government the formation of a joint commission to outline the terms and conditions of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. We know Mr. Rubaie has already said there is an ``unofficial `road map' to troop reductions that will eventually lead to a total withdrawal of U.S. troops.'' And we know that General Casey has drafted a plan for significantly reducing U.S. troop levels by the end of 2007. And we know that the polls of Iraqis have shown that 87 percent of Iraqis, including 94 percent Sunnis and 90 percent Shia, support their Government endorsing a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

So it seems to me that if the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi people, the Ambassador, the top military commander, and a majority of Americans can see that the time has come for an adequate timeframe to get Iraqis to fight for democracy for themselves as much as we have done it for them, why can't the Bush administration?

John Kerry, August 3, 2006. From the Congressional Record


This argument is confusing. What part of 'get the troops out as soon as possible' is not in there? After this week and especially after the testimony in Congress this week, I think it will start dawning on more and more Senators that we are in a civil war and we have to get out. Kerry is continuing to press that argument. He did so again this week. He has been doing so in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate. He is doing so on the road. He repeated his call for a withdrawal as a preface to his health care speech in Boston this past week.

Can we qualify the confusion on this? It always seems to me that this is an argument among the choir. No one on the Kerry side wants the troops to stay, they want a withdrawal and they want the rest of the Democrats in Congress to call for it as well and genuinely begin to pressure the President on this. We are on the same page here, hence the confusion.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. "how one makes Iraq a success"
Edited on Sun Aug-06-06 12:42 AM by welshTerrier2
that's the first problem right there ... bush is NEVER going to "make Iraq a success" ... there's probably not much worth discussing past that difference ... i do NOT believe bush will EVER make Iraq a success and i do NOT think we should remain in Iraq another day pretending he can or even wants to ... if you believe otherwise, as Kerry seems to, he is placing his faith in bush ...

but let's get beyond that point ...

you talked about the "political realities" in the Senate ... Kerry has now offered 3 specific dates in his policy proposals ... without rehashing the previous points i've made that i think his "floating dates" are unjustified, now it seems he will no longer provide any date certain ... before it was OK to do it and now he's back to, what, benchmarks again? now it's even more vague than benchmarks ... when "stuff gets kinda better which hopefully happens kinda soon" we should withdraw? when is that going to happen? in a year? two? three? too vague for my tastes, sorry ... and he even cites Gen. Casey's stupid plan for the end of 2007? has he already thrown in the towel on his 7/07 plan that came after he threw in the towel on his 12/06 plan that came after he threw in the towel on his 5/06 plan??? push 'em back, push 'em back, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back ...

and, you've stated we are all on the same page here ... judging from the reactions to my post, it's hard to see how you've drawn that conclusion ... i was on Kerry's page in April; he walked off and changed the terms and i sure don't agree with his floating deadlines now ...

you also said: "What part of 'get the troops out as soon as possible' is not in there?" ... quite honestly, i'm not sure why you're even asking me this ... everybody on the planet uses that exact same theme ... bush wants to bring the troops home as soon as possible ... well, he says he does ... same with cheney and rumsfeld and all of them ... the words mean nothing ... as soon as possible??? that establishes a "condition" without clarifying the requirements of meeting that condition ... yeah, everyone wants the occupation to end soon ... does it look like anything can possibly end soon to you??? the place is a cauldron of death ... what am i missing here?

the bottom line is not "Senatorial limitations"; the bottom line is that Kerry is now saying that "success" is the objective ... yeah, it would be very nice if Iraq could have a stable government and a rebuilt infrastructure and an end to the civil war and they could all live happily ever after ... pull the troops out now and use the money to start rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure ... keeping the troops there while a civil war rages is totally insane and calling for diplomacy and an end to the occupation "as soon as possible" is just not a reasonable position anymore ... Iraq is DONE and it's time someone in the Senate stood up and said so and started giving voice to the way many of us feel ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. Pay attention! That's the whole point of withdrawal:
The troops presence is making the situation worse and Iraq is in a civil war. Senator Kerry has been pointing this out for more than a year. America's military mission should end, but Iraq isn't done. The Iraqis certainly don't believe Iraq is done. Once American troops withdraw the country will continue to work through the volatility unleashed by this illegal war.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #35
42. Iraq a success refers to political means
Edited on Sun Aug-06-06 10:58 AM by TayTay
Sen Kerry has repeatedly stated that there is no military solution to Iraq's problems. He has stated Gen. Casey's testimony to a Congressional panel so often that I can quote it from memory now, "Our own generals have told us that there is no military solution to Iraq, only political." It is a central tenet, in fact, the central tenet of Kerry's oppostion: the military has done it's duty, they can't do anything to affect a civil war. This point underpins his entire plan for withdrawal.

The plan for success is a political option only. Period. That is why the troops must come home. Success is a political thing. It is a distortion to call it anything else. As Kerry said, our troops have done their duty. They can't stem or stop a civil war. This is the crucial idea behind every other thing he has said on Iraq. If someone believed that the military still was a viable option and could positively affect the outcome, then they would not be in favor of getting US troops out. Success is a political options for the Iraqis to implement. The US would still keep a small number of personnel in Iraq as guides to train the Iraqis recruits, and the US could keep troops in Kuwait or some other over-the-horizon location, in much diminished numbers, but not in Iraq and certainly not in anything like the numbers we have now. (at least 90% less, if not 98% less.)

I agree with Kerry on the special forces personnel and the need to keep them. That is a more intelligent way to fight actual terrorists who want to do harm to mass civilian populations. We are not fighting standing armies, we can't pretend we are. We need to innovate. (Much longer subject about the role of the military in the future put off for now in the interests of brevity.)

Kerry's role is to get other Senators and national leaders to start to call for withdrawal, and sooner rather than later. This is what he is doing. I just watched Meet the Press where they had surrogates for the Lamont and Lieberman campaign on to talk about the CT race. The options put forth were: do you back Kerry's plan to get out or not. It is very clearly understood that Senator Kerry wants the troops out. I think the deadline will contract and not expand as more people come to realize that the US must leave that country.

Cindy Sheehan was recently asked on Hardball if she had any support in the US Senate for her position that we need to get US troops out of Iraq. She stated that she was working with Kerry's office on this. She did not cite any other Senators.

Personally, in my own opinion, I think that the Senate testimony last week is indicative of a turning point in this debate. The words 'civil war' were uttered by Bush's own hand-picked generals who have on-the-ground experience in Iraq. It is, finally, starting to dawn on people that Iraq is not going to get better and that US troops cannot do anything in Iraq that will result in positive action to stabilize that country. US troops will simply occupy a land that is in the process of a sectarian split. Republicans are starting to see this and I think the movement is irresversibly toward getting the US troops out. Unfortunately, the obstacles in the way are still the Bush Administration itself, which still refuses to give up on their mistake in Iraq. I think that the greater political forces in the US will force them to do so more and more as this year goes on. The midterms themselves this year will go a long way to erasing any Congressional support for this war.

Sen. John Warner of Virginia said this week that he thinks, in light of the civil war in Iraq, the Congress may want to revisit the resolution that allowed Bush to take action in the first place and have a new vote on what Bush's powers are in that conflict. A Republican said that. The Rethugs in that Party won't listen to that voice, but saner people will. That was one of the most significant events of the last week. (and one hinted at in Kerry and Warner's debate on the floor about withdrawal back in June.)

Sen. Kerry must continue to talk about the civil war. He must continue to talk about the fact that the US can't do anything in a civil war except be targets of all sides. The US must get out of Iraq, Kerry has made that clear. I think all deadlines and time tables and so forth are 'by the boards' at this point. This situation can only be resolved by the Iraqis. The US, as Kerry has stated, must leave and sooner rather than later. I think that is what more and more people in the Senate will come to understand. The Dem caucus did just release a letter calling for withdrawal that was already stronger than the Levin/Reid proposal in June. I think that call will intensify.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #35
43. He and Murtha have both said it over a HUNDRED TIMES - POLITICAL SUCCESS
because there is no military success to be had.

Political success would be in showing the Iraqis we are NOT staying - no permanent bases and draw out a significant number of troops IMMEDIATELY with the rest drawn down in regular intervals and a goal of having them out by next July.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KKKarl is an idiot Donating Member (662 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
46. Good speech
But that has always been Kerry. In the presidential debates of '04 he won hands down. But the notion he has created of being a flip-flopper has tainted his integrity. How did he vote on the Israeli-Hezbollah war? He obviously supported Israels efforts. When thing start going wrong he is bound to change his position. My only wish in '04 was that Howard dean was as good a speaker as John Kerry because he never seems to change his position. Bill Clinton was a good speaker. But he was also a man of action & conviction. In Fact in the recent past democrats have been the better speakers. Spurred on by one of the greatest JFK.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. He didn't create flip-flopper, media complicitly fed that RNC lie.
Just as they turned Gore into a liar.

And it is more than a speech - it is the TRUTH. Kerry believes the American people, the military, and our allies deserve the TRUTH about what is going on.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #46
49. Bush never changes his position either
That is NOT a virtue.

Kerry's positions have been remarkably consistent, although he is wise enough to alter them as the facts change. That's called intelligence.

BTW, there was no "vote" on the Israel-Hezbollah war, because the US is not involved...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Aug 27th 2014, 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC