Fwd: Boston Tea Party 2005: Dems Revolt on Iraq

Submitted by PAAMember on November 3, 2005 - 4:00pm. ::

The Dems are finally showing vague signs of life and need all the
encouragement they can get. Hope everyone will sign the petition.
Charlie M
________________


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Submitted by PAAMember on November 29, 2005 - 1:01pm.

Get a load of this -

say..... I'm aware of the "backbone" award - perhaps we should
counter that effort with the "spineless" award!

Begin forwarded message:

> Our Troops Must Stay
> By JOE LIEBERMAN
> November 29, 2005
>
> I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months
> and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of
> course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed
> transformation
> from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-
> governing,
> self-securing nationhood -- unless the great American military that
> has
> given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely
> withdrawn.
>
> Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is
> continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South
> remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric
> power and
> other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing
> greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically
> defined by
> Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is
> where
> most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is
> progress.
>
> There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television
> dishes on
> the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than
> before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni
> candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National
> Assembly.
> People are working their way toward a functioning society and
> economy in
> the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war
> against the
> civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to
> protect
> it.
>
> It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who
> want to
> live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000
> terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic
> extremists or
> al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be
> set back
> if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping
> this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will
> allow Iraq
> to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making.
> We are
> fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this
> war is
> critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the
> terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again
> and
> to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle
> East, which has long been a major American national and economic
> security
> priority.
>
> * * *
>
> Before going to Iraq last week, I visited Israel and the Palestinian
> Authority. Israel has been the only genuine democracy in the
> region, but
> it is now getting some welcome company from the Iraqis and
> Palestinians
> who are in the midst of robust national legislative election
> campaigns,
> the Lebanese who have risen up in proud self-determination after the
> Hariri assassination to eject their Syrian occupiers (the Syrian- and
> Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias should be next), and the Kuwaitis,
> Egyptians and Saudis who have taken steps to open up their governments
> more broadly to their people. In my meeting with the thoughtful prime
> minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, he declared with justifiable
> pride
> that his country now has the most open, democratic political system in
> the Arab world. He is right.
>
> In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight
> million
> Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January,
> almost 10
> million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in
> October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections
> for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million
> Iraqis
> have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have
> voted
> for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000
> terrorists offer them. Most encouraging has been the behavior of the
> Sunni community, which, when disappointed by the proposed
> constitution,
> registered to vote and went to the polls instead of taking up arms and
> going to the streets. Last week, I was thrilled to see a vigorous
> political campaign, and a large number of independent television
> stations
> and newspapers covering it.
>
> None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the
> coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of
> the
> progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those
> forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of
> securing the country.
>
> The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and
> they
> asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is
> whether the American people and enough of their representatives in
> Congress from both parties understand this. I am disappointed by
> Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into
> the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are
> more
> worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's
> elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the
> progress in
> Iraq in the months and years ahead.
>
> Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public
> opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and
> increasing
> pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi
> universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are
> better off
> than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their
> lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today.
> What a
> colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political
> leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and,
> in the
> famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.
>
> The leaders of America's military and diplomatic forces in Iraq, Gen.
> George Casey and Ambassador Zal Khalilzad, have a clear and compelling
> vision of our mission there. It is to create the environment in which
> Iraqi democracy, security and prosperity can take hold and the Iraqis
> themselves can defend their political progress against those 10,000
> terrorists who would take it from them.
>
> * * *
>
> Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for
> victory in
> Iraq? Yes we do. And it is important to make it clear to the American
> people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed
> over the years. Mistakes, some of them big, were made after Saddam was
> removed, and no one who supports the war should hesitate to admit
> that;
> but we have learned from those mistakes and, in characteristic
> American
> fashion, from what has worked and not worked on the ground. The
> administration's recent use of the banner "clear, hold and build"
> accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented
> last week.
>
> We are now embedding a core of coalition forces in every Iraqi
> fighting
> unit, which makes each unit more effective and acts as a multiplier of
> our forces. Progress in "clearing" and "holding" is being made. The
> Sixth
> Infantry Division of the Iraqi Security Forces now controls and
> polices
> more than one-third of Baghdad on its own. Coalition and Iraqi forces
> have together cleared the previously terrorist-controlled cities of
> Fallujah, Mosul and Tal Afar, and most of the border with Syria. Those
> areas are now being "held" secure by the Iraqi military themselves.
> Iraqi
> and coalition forces are jointly carrying out a mission to clear
> Ramadi,
> now the most dangerous city in Al-Anbar province at the west end of
> the
> Sunni Triangle.
>
> Nationwide, American military leaders estimate that about one-third of
> the approximately 100,000 members of the Iraqi military are able to
> "lead
> the fight" themselves with logistical support from the U.S., and that
> that number should double by next year. If that happens, American
> military forces could begin a drawdown in numbers proportional to the
> increasing self-sufficiency of the Iraqi forces in 2006. If all goes
> well, I believe we can have a much smaller American military presence
> there by the end of 2006 or in 2007, but it is also likely that our
> presence will need to be significant in Iraq or nearby for years to
> come.
>
> The economic reconstruction of Iraq has gone slower than it should
> have,
> and too much money has been wasted or stolen. Ambassador Khalilzad
> is now
> implementing reform that has worked in Afghanistan -- Provincial
> Reconstruction Teams, composed of American economic and political
> experts, working in partnership in each of Iraq's 18 provinces with
> its
> elected leadership, civil service and the private sector. That is the
> "build" part of the "clear, hold and build" strategy, and so is the
> work
> American and international teams are doing to professionalize national
> and provincial governmental agencies in Iraq.
>
> These are new ideas that are working and changing the reality on the
> ground, which is undoubtedly why the Iraqi people are optimistic about
> their future -- and why the American people should be, too.
>
> * * *
>
> I cannot say enough about the U.S. Army and Marines who are
> carrying most
> of the fight for us in Iraq. They are courageous, smart, effective,
> innovative, very honorable and very proud. After a Thanksgiving
> meal with
> a great group of Marines at Camp Fallujah in western Iraq, I asked
> their
> commander whether the morale of his troops had been hurt by the
> growing
> public dissent in America over the war in Iraq. His answer was
> insightful, instructive and inspirational: "I would guess that if the
> opposition and division at home go on a lot longer and get a lot
> deeper
> it might have some effect, but, Senator, my Marines are motivated by
> their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political debates."
>
> Thank you, General. That is a powerful, needed message for the rest of
> America and its political leadership at this critical moment in our
> nation's history. Semper Fi.
>
> Mr. Lieberman is a Democratic senator from Connecticut.