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Prominent democrat rebutts party and says real progress in Iraq.

Navy Pride

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Senator Joe Leiberman a prominent democrat rebuffs his party after returning from Iraq by saying real progress being made ...

Why doesn't the media ever print stories like this?

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007611

BY JOE LIEBERMAN
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

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nationhood--unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.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.

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.

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.

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
 

Navy Pride

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I am kind of shocked that none of my democratic friends had a comments about a democratic senator after 4 trips to Iraq saying things are progressing well there............

That got to be tough when all the other democrats are raving the party line about the war there as to how terrible things are going ..........
 
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Some highlights:

Navy Pride said:
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.

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.

None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S.

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.

Two-thirds <of Iraqis> 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.

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.

The administration's recent use of the banner "clear, hold and build" accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented last week.

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.
This has to be a bitter pill for the Saddam sympathizing liberals to swallow.
 
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Nothing more than rhetoric.

Liberman's comments do not contain any stats to back up his claims of the Shia having a better electricity supply.

He makes no comment on the amount of school children in primary schools.

Or how many Iraqi's have access to clean water and medical supplies.

Lastly his claim of 82% of Iraqis look forward to the future, could be bollocks for all we now, because there is no source stata for that data.

Just another bit of political rhetoric, with no real substance.
 
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KCConservative said:
Some highlights:
This has to be a bitter pill for the Saddam sympathizing liberals to swallow.
Its more likely to be ignored for the current agenda.


Its an fascinating opinion piece coming from a democratic senator (especially since it wont play well in his district).


""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. "

"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."


He has a nice breakdown in there.
 
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Australianlibertarian said:
Nothing more than rhetoric. Liberman's comments do not contain any stats to back up his claims of the Shia having a better electricity supply. He makes no comment on the amount of school children in primary schools. Or how many Iraqi's have access to clean water and medical supplies. Lastly his claim of 82% of Iraqis look forward to the future, could be bollocks for all we now, because there is no source stata for that data. Just another bit of political rhetoric, with no real substance.
It must suck for you to hear him say these things, what with his first hand knowledge and all. Keep your chin up. It only stings for a little while.
 

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Should we talk about this too:

She said she wanted to thank US soldiers for their "extraordinary work" and to highlight humanitarian projects set up by the US.

I have heard some wonderful stories about the kind of work that captains and majors are doing out there helping people... I think that this is a story that needs to get out," New York Senator Mrs Clinton said
 

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Australianlibertarian said:
Nothing more than rhetoric.

Liberman's comments do not contain any stats to back up his claims of the Shia having a better electricity supply.

He makes no comment on the amount of school children in primary schools.

Or how many Iraqi's have access to clean water and medical supplies.

Lastly his claim of 82% of Iraqis look forward to the future, could be bollocks for all we now, because there is no source stata for that data.

Just another bit of political rhetoric, with no real substance.
I think the point is what Senator Leiberman a democrat is saying contradicts all the spin and talking points of the democratic party of doom and gloom...........
 

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A perfect example is "Lurch" Kerry.......I listened to his bebuttal speech of what the President said and all it did was criticize and ignore the points the president is trying to make.........

You have Kerry and all the spin on doom and gloom who has probably never been to Iraq and you have Leiberman who has been there 4 times and knows what is going on there..........
 

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Navy Pride said:
You have Kerry and all the spin on doom and gloom who has probably never been to Iraq
November 02, 2005
Kerry To Ex-Staffers: Don't Despair


Two months ago I visited Iraq, and I will never forget the flight out of Iraq to an Air Force Base in Kuwait. When I boarded the C-130, I saw a simple aluminum casket draped with an American flag. We were bringing another American soldier home to his family and final resting place. His lonely journey made it clear beyond words that we all need to speak out on Iraq as loudly and strongly as we know how. Many of you were there with me last week at Georgetown when I called for the withdrawal of 20,000 troops over the holidays following the Iraqi elections, and outlined a detailed plan, specific benchmarks, and a needed political solution to bring the rest of our troops home in 12-15 months from a stable Iraq. I hope you take a few minutes to read the speech and continue to speak truth to power now just as you did in 2004.
 

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shuamort said:
November 02, 2005
Kerry To Ex-Staffers: Don't Despair


Two months ago I visited Iraq, and I will never forget the flight out of Iraq to an Air Force Base in Kuwait. When I boarded the C-130, I saw a simple aluminum casket draped with an American flag. We were bringing another American soldier home to his family and final resting place. His lonely journey made it clear beyond words that we all need to speak out on Iraq as loudly and strongly as we know how. Many of you were there with me last week at Georgetown when I called for the withdrawal of 20,000 troops over the holidays following the Iraqi elections, and outlined a detailed plan, specific benchmarks, and a needed political solution to bring the rest of our troops home in 12-15 months from a stable Iraq. I hope you take a few minutes to read the speech and continue to speak truth to power now just as you did in 2004.
What part of the word probably do you not understand? Even if he was there Leiberman has been there 4 times in 17 months.............

Oh and if you can take anything from the past election when it comes to the military I doubt if Kerry got very close to the troops that for the most part voted against him................:roll:
 

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Navy Pride said:
What part of the word probably do you not understand? Even if he was there Leiberman has been there 4 times in 17 months.............
You said that he probably wasn't even there. I showed that he was there 2 months ago. He was also there back in January 2005 as well.


Navy Pride said:
Oh and if you can take anything from the past election when it comes to the military I doubt if Kerry got very close to the troops that for the most part voted against him................:roll:
Kerry Visits US Troops in Iraq
Former US presidential hopeful John Kerry has visited US troops in Iraq at a camp in Baghdad, the military said yesterday.

The Democratic senator, who lost to George W. Bush in last year’s vote, met soldiers from his home state of Massachusetts at Camp Tahreer on Wednesday, discussing “the presidential election and the state of the war in Iraq”.

Kerry also asked soldiers what he should tell Congress about the war in Iraq and was told that “the good work that they are doing is not getting reported in the United States.”
 

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I called for the withdrawal of 20,000 troops over the holidays following the Iraqi elections, and outlined a detailed plan, specific benchmarks, and a needed political solution to bring the rest of our troops home in 12-15 months from a stable Iraq.
Notice the elements to Kerry's plan. Notice how they do not differ in principle from that being discussed by the WH, except in two key areas: one, bringing 20k home over the holidays - the WH hasn't been that specific, though it has been offered as a distinct possibility, if the commanders on the ground say that the troops can be re-deployed without harming the mission; and two, specifying 12 - 15 months - the WH has (appropriately, IMO and those of some Bush critics, such as Juan Cole and Hilary) consistently placed importance on tying withdrawals to events rather than the calendar.

Notice also the caveat, "from a stable Iraq". If Iraq is not 'stable' (and who defines 'stable'), are all bets off? And if Iraq is not stable, does that mean that the 20k troops brought home for Christmas are re-deployed? And if Iraq is not stable right now, much less 12 - 15 months from now, how does this square with bringing home 20k over the holidays?

Ah, Kerry, always with the nuance!
 

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shuamort said:
You said that he probably wasn't even there. I showed that he was there 2 months ago. He was also there back in January 2005 as well.




Kerry Visits US Troops in Iraq
Do you remember Kerry and his wind surfing and hunting escapades during the campaign? I suspect his visits were more for just photo ops like that...............I would not think he would be actually meeting with troops who by a huge margin voted against him in the election and whom he called their fathers and uncles murderers, rapists, and baby killers........

You see some of us don't forget that and we tell our children never to forget it either.............
 

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oldreliable67 said:
Notice the elements to Kerry's plan. Notice how they do not differ in principle from that being discussed by the WH, except in two key areas: one, bringing 20k home over the holidays - the WH hasn't been that specific, though it has been offered as a distinct possibility, if the commanders on the ground say that the troops can be re-deployed without harming the mission; and two, specifying 12 - 15 months - the WH has (appropriately, IMO and those of some Bush critics, such as Juan Cole and Hilary) consistently placed importance on tying withdrawals to events rather than the calendar.

Notice also the caveat, "from a stable Iraq". If Iraq is not 'stable' (and who defines 'stable'), are all bets off? And if Iraq is not stable, does that mean that the 20k troops brought home for Christmas are re-deployed? And if Iraq is not stable right now, much less 12 - 15 months from now, how does this square with bringing home 20k over the holidays?

Ah, Kerry, always with the nuance!
Exactly, Kerry has no plan that is different then the administration except to whine and criticize...........
 

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Navy Pride said:
Do you remember Kerry and his wind surfing and hunting escapades during the campaign? I suspect his visits were more for just photo ops like that...............I would not think he would be actually meeting with troops who by a huge margin voted against him in the election and whom he called their fathers and uncles murderers, rapists, and baby killers........

You see some of us don't forget that and we tell our children never to forget it either.............
So first you say that Kerry's probably never been to Iraq.
I show you that he has
Then you claim that Lieberman's been there 4 times.
I show you that he's been there at least twice.
Then you doubt that Kerry got even close the troops.
I link an article where Kerry talked to the troops.

If you don't like the man, fine. But don't weasel around everytime I show that your suppositions aren't correct. As for the photo-op claim? We can go through a litany of photo-ops done by President Bush or any other politician as well...but would the point be?

 

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"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."

Iraq was not a hotbed of terrorist activity under Saddam, who was a mostly secular dictator who was threatened by Islamic extremism. But it is today.

"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."

Again, this they were not able to do under Saddam. But they can now. In other words, this war has created the threat of Islamic extremism that didn't exist before.

"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."

More circular reasoning. The bungled, badly planned war destabalized the country and created the terrorism that now threatens it. It's "critically important to the security and freedom of America" now, but it wasn't before, because we had contained and neutralized the threat.

It's like shooting someone, then saying, "Saving this man's life is critically important to my safety!"

"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."

What "emboldens the enemy" is having a jackass as commander in chief.

Despite Leiberman's treacly claptrap, the issue is not whether we're going to let "the terrorists win." Thanks to Bush's complete and utter incompetence, they've already won. The issue is that the military cannot sustain the effort beyond the next two years. Not because they're incompetent or cowards, but because of simple military logistics. Bush did not plan on deploying the military beyond the fall of Saddam (remember we were going to be "greeted as liberators" and the oil was going to take care of the bill?), or for fighting a tenacious insurgency, and the Army is now stretched to the breaking point.

They will have to pull out within the next two years whether we want them to or not. And Bush knows this, that's why in his speech today he went on and on about successes in Iraq (even Condi is starting to sing the withdrawal song), and at some point he'll declare "mission accomplished" again and the military will pull out, regardless of the condition Iraq is in, which at this point won't be much better than it is today; infrastructure in shambles, anemic, untrained security forces, devestated economy, a people sickened by war and death, etc.

So the question isn't should we "cut and run," the question is howwill we do it. Does Bush actually have a plan for this inevitability besides the tired and inane "stay the course," or is he waiting for a message from Jesus?
 

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Navy Pride said:
I am kind of shocked that none of my democratic friends had a comments about a democratic senator after 4 trips to Iraq saying things are progressing well there............

That got to be tough when all the other democrats are raving the party line about the war there as to how terrible things are going ..........
So the situation in Iraq is progressing well?? Confirmation of chemical attacks on civilians (Fallujah), secret prisons and torture camps operated by the Government, death squads freely targeting political rivals.....sounds just like the Saddma era to me!!

Oh...I forgot...there are now also thousands of terrorists roaming the country, blowing up our troops and carrying out suicide bombings against the Iraqi civilians. Looks more like a step back than a step forward to me.

Maybe he meant real progress in that we are now managing to get some of that oil back to our shores and into our fuel tanks.
 
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KCConservative said:
It must suck for you to hear him say these things, what with his first hand knowledge and all. Keep your chin up. It only stings for a little while.
How does it sting me? Leiberman's comments are nothing more than rhetoric. At no time did he source his stats or actually have any conclusive data that backs up his conclusions. Therefore his comments are nothing more than opinion.

If Leiberman had any stats or data, to back up his points I would be interested. If there is progress being made in the war in Iraq, give us facts figures and data. Not just political lip service.
 

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shuamort said:
So first you say that Kerry's probably never been to Iraq.
I show you that he has
Then you claim that Lieberman's been there 4 times.
I show you that he's been there at least twice.
Then you doubt that Kerry got even close the troops.
I link an article where Kerry talked to the troops.

If you don't like the man, fine. But don't weasel around everytime I show that your suppositions aren't correct. As for the photo-op claim? We can go through a litany of photo-ops done by President Bush or any other politician as well...but would the point be?

Again That is why I said probably........I have a question for you........Have you ever seen your boy Kerry address the troops anywhere?

I wonder why that is?
 
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Navy Pride said:
I think the point is what Senator Leiberman a democrat is saying contradicts all the spin and talking points of the democratic party of doom and gloom...........

And because Leiberman was too intellectually lazy to put any data, facts or figures into his view point (82% stat doesn't count without a source!), then Leiberman's comments are nothing more than POSITIVE SPIN.

I know that I may sound harsh, its just that as someone that is studying science, we are taught to always back up any conclusion with hard data, stats, and correct references. Otherwise any conclusions you make are just opinion, and are not correct until validated by data.

I more than happy to see that progress is being made. I think that it is healthy instead of all the doom and gloom that we see on our TV's around the globe. But I'm not just going to believe that things are improving because a politician tells me so. I like to have facts and figures. That way those sources and claims can be verified. That is when the real debate begins.
 

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G-Man said:
So the situation in Iraq is progressing well?? Confirmation of chemical attacks on civilians (Fallujah), secret prisons and torture camps operated by the Government, death squads freely targeting political rivals.....sounds just like the Saddma era to me!!

Oh...I forgot...there are now also thousands of terrorists roaming the country, blowing up our troops and carrying out suicide bombings against the Iraqi civilians. Looks more like a step back than a step forward to me.

Maybe he meant real progress in that we are now managing to get some of that oil back to our shores and into our fuel tanks.
Well that is not what a top democrat on the Armed Services Committe who has been to Iraq 4 times in the last 17 month says, so you liberals better get your talking points and spin down pat because they are not making any sense now..........
 

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Australianlibertarian said:
And because Leiberman was too intellectually lazy to put any data, facts or figures into his view point (82% stat doesn't count without a source!), then Leiberman's comments are nothing more than POSITIVE SPIN.

I know that I may sound harsh, its just that as someone that is studying science, we are taught to always back up any conclusion with hard data, stats, and correct references. Otherwise any conclusions you make are just opinion, and are not correct until validated by data.

I more than happy to see that progress is being made. I think that it is healthy instead of all the doom and gloom that we see on our TV's around the globe. But I'm not just going to believe that things are improving because a politician tells me so. I like to have facts and figures. That way those sources and claims can be verified. That is when the real debate begins.
Your not a U.S. citizen so you don't apply but I love it when democrats fight democrats.........:lol:
 

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Navy Pride said:
Do you remember Kerry and his wind surfing and hunting escapades during the campaign? I suspect his visits were more for just photo ops like that...............I would not think he would be actually meeting with troops who by a huge margin voted against him in the election and whom he called their fathers and uncles murderers, rapists, and baby killers........
Cite please. Or is this more stuff you make up.
 

Navy Pride

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Iriemon said:
Cite please. Or is this more stuff you make up.
What do you want me to cite? Be specific...........thanks
 
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