Tag Archives: benchmarks

We need to do what? Where?

afghanistanI don’t know. I simply don’t get it. I voted for someone who was a progressive. I voted for someone who wanted us out of these wars. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say cause right now I don’t see it. 30,000 more troops. Why?

From TPM:

By June 1, there will be about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan with a mission of weakening the Taliban, rooting out Al Qaeda and helping the Afghan government bolster its own forces.

President Obama’s wartime decision comes after weeks of private Situation Room meetings between key Cabinet members, generals and his national security team. After nine of those meetings, Obama also has spoken with world leaders and allies who are backing him by sending more troops of their own.

Republicans after weeks of blasting Obama for taking too long already are hailing the decision as the right one. Meanwhile, left-leaning groups question the cost in both blood and treasure, and Code Pink is out with a tough new flier mocking Obama’s “hope” slogan and marching in front of the White House today. Continue reading We need to do what? Where?

McCain's Rebuttal OpEd

Now, it order to be fair, I’m posting Senator John McCain’s article. This article is less of a thoughtful discussion and more of a “He’s wrong and I’m right” position paper. The New York Post published this article. I find this interesting. The crown jewel of the Murdoch empire would be the Wall Street Journal, but McCain’s article isn’t published there. Instead, it is published in the tabloid daily of the New York Post.

The New York Times has their response to NOT publishing McCain’s rant.

(Emphasis added is mine.)

GETTING IRAQ RIGHT
HOW TO KEEP PROGRESS GOING
By JOHN McCAIN

EDITORS’ NOTE: The New York Times wouldn’t print this oped from the GOP candidate.

AS he took command in Iraq in January 2007, Gen. David Petraeus called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation is full of hope – but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due mainly to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen. Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent.

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on Jan. 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Sen. Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted. Perhaps he’s unaware that the US embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.”

Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks:

* More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists.

* Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has found the will to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City – dispelling suspicions that he’s merely a sectarian leader.

The surge’s success hasn’t changed Sen. Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. Continue reading McCain's Rebuttal OpEd