Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GaryC

Clyburn: Positive Report by Petraeus Could Split House Democrats on War

31 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Clyburn: Positive Report by Petraeus Could Split House Democrats on War

By Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza

Washington Post Staff Writer and Washingtonpost.com Staff Writer

Monday, July 30, 2007; 6:26 PM

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party's efforts to press for a timetable to end the war.

Clyburn, in an interview with the washingtonpost.com video program PostTalk, said Democrats might be wise to wait for the Petraeus report, scheduled to be delivered in September, before charting next steps in their year-long struggle with President Bush over the direction of U.S. strategy.

Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. Without their support, he said, Democratic leaders would find it virtually impossible to pass legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal.

"I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us," Clyburn said. "We, by and large, would be wise to wait on the report."

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."

Clyburn's comments came as House and Senate Democrats try to figure out their next steps in the legislative battle. Clyburn said he could foresee a circumstance in which House Democrats approve a measure without a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces, which has been the consistent goal of the party throughout the months-long debate. But he said he could just as easily see Democrats continue to include a timetable.

Clyburn also address the reasons behind declining approval ratings for Congress, which spiked earlier in the year when Democrats took over the House and Senate. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed just 37 percent approving of the performance of Congress.

"Remember right after the election it went very high on approval,?" he said. "Then all of a sudden people saw that we were not yielding the kind of result that they wanted to yield."

He said most Americans still do not know some of the domestic legislation that has been approved. Fewer understand that, despite Democratic majorities in both houses, that it takes 60 votes to pass anything legislation in the Senate.

Clyburn noted that while overall approval ratings of Congress are low, people still rate Democrats higher than Republicans. "People feel good about the Democratic Party, they just don't feel real good about the Congress itself."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...ml?nav=hcmodule

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The libs don't want us to do good in Iraq.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The libs don't want us to do good in Iraq.

I don't read it like that. If the news is good, it will be interesting to see how the people still feel about the war. The Democrats were victorious in the mid-terms, by and large, to make a change in the war and how it had been managed thus far. Some people may change their minds about that if there is positive news coming from that region. But if a sizeable portion of the US want out, whether immediate withdrawal, phased-out, a timetable, or at least some discussion about an exit strategy, then, yeah, it may be difficult for the Democrats to get that.

There are gonna be Democrats who want out, regardless of the news. Similarly, there will be Republicans who want to stay the course, regardless. The Democrats, at the moment, have more difficulty about a united stance, tho, it seems. That, I see, is the big problem.


"It's not the years; it's the mileage." Indiana Jones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Petraeus released an interim report on this a few weeks back - in which he claimed that the troop surge had satisfied 6 out of 18 criteria imposed by congress. Final report isn't due until September.

His final report will undoubtedly go a long way to shaping the character of US military involvement beyond 2007. Still it's hard to feel good about these things when you see reports by human rights charities and humanitarian organisations (like the one a few days ago) which say that day to day life there (for the people) is pretty bleak, with basic utilities and sanitation in a worse shape than before the invasion; and that large numbers of people are in need of humanitarian aid.

doesn't look like any of your usual debate opponents want to touch this one gary.

maybe they're working on it :blink:

Or maybe they're just working. It is 1:30pm on a weekday (east coast time) after all ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Murtha, Pelosi and Reid get up and say "we already lost" and "we can't win" it makes them look very bad when something good comes out. The dems mantra has been "get us out of Iraq" for so long winning in Iraq does their side serious damage. The congressional dems have chosen sides and that side is we can't win in Iraq. The last thing they want is good news out of Iraq. All you have to do is mention something good out of Iraq and watch the reaction. "Well, that may be good but look at all this other bad stuff". It's the usual response you get. They have staked their political future on defeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Per the comment yesterday - it really depends on what you mean by 'win'. The issue here surely is the creation of a cohesive stable government which can protect its people and infrastructure.

I don't think that’s an impossible goal - but its one that requires an investment of decades of time and money. If we’re talking direct self-interest – the question then becomes “was this what we signed up for?”, “was this what was sold to us?”. Moreover, “should/can we pay for this when there are pressing issues at home that need to be addressed?”.

The US is after all, still in South Korea - 50 years after that conflict ended.

Speaking for myself I think there is an ethical obligation to not let the situation there deteriorate further – but there should surely be a long term plan to get us out of there once key criteria are met.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Per the comment yesterday - it really depends on what you mean by 'win'. The issue here surely is the creation of a cohesive stable government which can protect its people and infrastructure.

I don't think that’s an impossible goal - but its one that requires an investment of decades of time and money. If we’re talking direct self-interest – the question then becomes “was this what we signed up for?”, “was this what was sold to us?”. Moreover, “should/can we pay for this when there are pressing issues at home that need to be addressed?”.

The US is after all, still in South Korea - 50 years after that conflict ended.

Speaking for myself I think there is an ethical obligation to not let the situation there deteriorate further – but there should surely be a long term plan to get us out of there once key criteria are met.

And we are still in Germany and Japan. But staying there has stabilized those areas has kept the peace. I can see a need to stay in Iraq for a very long time and ultimately it will stabilize the area. That is the long term goal and it is also my definition of "winning" in Iraq.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can see a need to stay in Iraq for a very long time and ultimately it will stabilize the area. That is the long term goal and it is also my definition of "winning" in Iraq.

Was this your opinion from the start? Because I doubt many shared that view. Not to harp on about it or anything, but when the 'Mission Accomplished' banner was raised, I'd wager most people read it at face value.


"It's not the years; it's the mileage." Indiana Jones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the above - its hard to see how an extension of this sort of unilateral conflict to other countries is justifiable if that plan is basically relies upon perpetual (or at least very long term) devolved military occupation. The other countries (Germany, Japan and South Korea) didn't have the tribal/factional issues that Iraq currently does. Hence its difficult to see whether US involvement in that respect offers a solution - as much as being part of the underlying problem.

This is one of the reasons that it wasn't a good idea to get involved in the first place - as we are now in a position with extremely limited options (can't withdraw for obvious reasons, but equally difficult to see how our occupation will resolve the cultural animosities of the various factions living there). IMO however, those people should have thought about that before. It wasn't exactly difficult to forsee that we would end up in this position.

Edited by Number 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can see a need to stay in Iraq for a very long time and ultimately it will stabilize the area. That is the long term goal and it is also my definition of "winning" in Iraq.

Was this your opinion from the start? Because I doubt many shared that view. Not to harp on about it or anything, but when the 'Mission Accomplished' banner was raised, I'd wager most people read it at face value.

When we went in 4 years ago I knew that it would be a very long term thing. I also saw the "mission accomplished" banner for what it was: we were successful at kicking out Saddam. You need to give a little more credit to the pro-war types. We understood that there was not going to be a quick win followed by a equally quick withdrawal. If you look back to my past posts about this you will see this is what I have always said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You must admit however - that this wasn't spelled out when this thing was being sold. Quite the opposite in fact - as I remember Rumsfeld made public claims that we would be out there by the end of 2005. That and similar comments made by other officials about the 'insurgency being in its last throes' simply weren't true.

Edited by Number 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You must admit however - that this wasn't spelled out when this thing was being sold. Quite the opposite in fact - as I remember Rumsfeld made public claims that we would be out there by the end of 2005. That and similar comments made by other officials about the 'insurgency being in its last throes' simply weren't true.

Both sides are guilty of this. It is obvious that there are some in America that only get their news from sound bites. A large proportion of the population do not take the time to understand what the real truth is. So you have the "pro-war" sides giving sound bites like "last throes" and "continuing success" while the anti-war types are giving sound bites like "we can't win" and "we have lost". That is the political side of these things. If a dummy like me can see what the long term struggle was going to be I am sure Bush and company saw the same thing. They just couldn't spell it out because it would be misunderstood by the general population and demonized by political opposition. This isn't a rep or dem thing, it's a general political thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You must admit however - that this wasn't spelled out when this thing was being sold. Quite the opposite in fact - as I remember Rumsfeld made public claims that we would be out there by the end of 2005. That and similar comments made by other officials about the 'insurgency being in its last throes' simply weren't true.

Both sides are guilty of this. It is obvious that there are some in America that only get their news from sound bites. A large proportion of the population do not take the time to understand what the real truth is. So you have the "pro-war" sides giving sound bites like "last throes" and "continuing success" while the anti-war types are giving sound bites like "we can't win" and "we have lost". That is the political side of these things. If a dummy like me can see what the long term struggle was going to be I am sure Bush and company saw the same thing. They just couldn't spell it out because it would be misunderstood by the general population and demonized by political opposition. This isn't a rep or dem thing, it's a general political thing.

True - but those things were said by senior officials who were essentially the architects of this policy. For them to turn around and get it so wrong in their public statements about (i) how things are going; and (ii) how long they imagine it will take - that doesn't inspire confidence. To say the least.

Edited by Number 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×