Vetobait bill passed

Senate OKs Iraq bill with timetable for pullout

Hot Air notes part of Joseph Lieberman’s speech:

My colleague from Nevada, in other words, is suggesting that the insurgency is being provoked by the very presence of American troops. By diminishing that presence, then, he believes the insurgency will diminish.

But I ask my colleagues–where is the evidence to support this theory? Since 2003, and before General Petraeus took command, U.S. forces were ordered on several occasions to pull back from Iraqi cities and regions, including Mosul and Fallujah and Tel’Afar and Baghdad. And what happened in these places? Did they stabilize when American troops left? Did the insurgency go away?

On the contrary–in each of these places where U.S. forces pulled back, Al Qaeda rushed in. Rather than becoming islands of peace, they became safe havens for terrorists, islands of fear and violence.

So I ask advocates of withdrawal: on what evidence, on what data, have you concluded that pulling U.S. troops out will weaken the insurgency, when every single experience we have had since 2003 suggests that this legislation will strengthen it?

This is similar to something I’ve brought up many times in conversation with a few particular critics. These folks believe very strongly that A) we used too few troops during the invasion, B) we used too few troops during the post-victory occupation, and C) because we have so many troops in Iraq it’s stirring up violence. I’ve asked a few times for those points to be reconciled, but I’ve never got anything approaching a coherent answer.

For the record, I don’t really think Reid and Pelosi want to pull out troops because it will be good for America in any way, shape, or form. They don’t want to withdraw because they think that’s the best strategy for the US, for Iraq, or for any of our allies in the world. They don’t want to withdraw because they’ve got some plan to prosecute the war in a way that they believe is better.

And, regardless of anyone’s personal aims or strategies, isn’t it just a bit unsettling that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Moqtada al Sadr are all demanding the same thing?

Doesn’t that make anyone pause? I mean, is anyone suggesting that Sadr is taking the stand he’s taking because he thinks it’s best for America and will advance the cause of liberty and justice in the world?

Lorie Byrd writes:

I hope the President is planning on making a prime time speech to talk about the veto.

Remember that I’ve already written one for him. Looking back on it now, three weeks after I originally wrote it, there are of course a few things I’d tweak. And I’d certainly have a good paragraph or two about Harry Reid’s jackassery over “the war is lost” and intentionally misrepresenting what General Petraeus said. But I’m fairly happy with it as is.

UPDATE: Here’s the audio version of Murdoc’s speech for President Bush, read by yours truly.


  1. Actually, that too much/too little problem can be explained in two sensible and mutually consistent ways. The numbers needed were different for different purposes, so there were enough for invading but not enough for occupying – the confusion comes from their not making it clear (perhaps not being clear) that they are talking two different numbers at two different times. And, the number right now is both too much to avoid provocation without being enough for forcible pacification, which is just falling between two stools. I think it was Machiavelli who said that you should never cause an enemy a small injury.

  2. Well, that explains why there were practically no violent attacks against US forces or Iraqi civilians between the end of major military operations and the new Iraqi government taking over… As for we should be causing greater injuries to our enemy, I do happen to agree wholeheartedly.

  3. But I ask my colleagues–where is the evidence to support this theory?’ What the holy hades do evidence or data or measured conclusions have to do with party politics? Lieberman’s been at this long enough to know the answer to that.

  4. Hey, our Rep in my district voted for this crap, can we start a recall petition or something? Waiting for the next election is a crap solution, and asking for a resignation is worthless cause they are power hungry twits. Instead of just complaining I want to do something…legal…

  5. Well, that explains why there were practically no violent attacks against US forces or Iraqi civilians between the end of major military operations and the new Iraqi government taking over…’ My sarcasm detector is going off, but I’ll try to answer that as a straight comment. It doesn’t explain it, it only addresses the points that were raised earlier. But there is no inconsistency here, for the simple reason that we shouldn’t be surprised if things took a while to heat up. Why not expect a time lag? It was pecisely to head off that sort of slow build that some generals wanted more forces in place from the beginning. By the way, in this thread I haven’t been making recommendations so much as the part before that, analysis. It doesn’t lead to recommending more injury to the enemy so much as offering a choice between that and backing off. Whichever is chosen should be done fast so as to minimise the opportunities to the enemy to take advantage of the transition. And that’s only looking at military issues, not diplomatic, domestic political, or economic ones. It’s all much more complicated than we – or our rulers, probably – can get to grips with comfortably.