Thursday, July 12, 2007

Responsible Redeployment From Iraq - Walberg Votes No

Here's what Congressman Tim Walberg says about Iraq on his official House website:
I cannot support any resolution that says America has already lost and the leaders of our country no longer believe our troops can come home victoriously. It tells other nations that we are an unreliable ally, and they can no longer count on us in times of distress.

Without a doubt, mistakes have been made in Iraq, and these mistakes are important to acknowledge, but we must go forward with a new strategy in Iraq based on quantifiable goals and measurable results.
"Quantifiable goals and measurable results." Sounds pretty good, right? Congress asked the White House for a report on 18 benchmarks to be submitted no later than July 15, 2007, and that report is available here. What's the result?

According to the Bush Administration, "satisfactory progress" has been made in only eight of the 18 areas. Mind you, this is coming from the people whose political capital is entirely invested in making progress in Iraq. Even they admit that the current strategy is failing.

Increasingly, members of President Bush's own party are abandoning that failed strategy. If those "quantifiable goals" aren't being met, it's time for a change.

Yet Congressman Tim Walberg voted against that change today, voting No on the Responsible Redeployment From Iraq Act. It passed, 223 to 201.

Here's the summary of the bill:
Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 authorized the President to use the Armed Forces as appropriate to defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by the government of Iraq at the time; (2) the government of Iraq which was in power at that time has been removed; (3) the current Iraqi government does not pose a threat to the United States; and (4) after more than four years of efforts by members of the Armed Forces and U.S. civilians, the government of Iraq must now be responsible for Iraq's future course.

Directs the Secretary of Defense to commence the reduction of the number of Armed Forces in Iraq beginning no later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act and complete the reduction and transition to a limited presence in Iraq by no later than April 1, 2008

Directs the President, by January 1, 2008, to transmit to the congressional defense, appropriations, and foreign relations committees a comprehensive U.S. strategy for Iraq. Requires the President to update such strategy no later than July 1, 2008, and every 90 days thereafter, including a description of the number of Armed Forces deployed to Iraq and the missions for which they are so deployed.

But Tim Walberg voted No on bringing the troops home. Walberg voted to continue on a path of failure, signaling that he sees nothing wrong with the 608 American soldiers that have died and 3,801 soldiers that have been wounded so far this year. After all, Iraq isn't any worse than Detroit!

Meanwhile, here's the progress report for the "War on Terror" since we've been in Iraq:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Al Qaeda is the strongest it has been since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a new U.S. government analysis concludes, according to a senior government official who has seen it.

Despite a campaign of military action and counterterrorism operations, al Qaeda has regained its strength and found safe haven in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the report says, according to counterterrorism officials familiar with the report.
Contact Congressman Tim Walberg.

Write a letter to the editor.

Let's end this terrible war.

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Walberg is so clueless about military issues and international affairs. I believe that leaving Iraq is shambles would be the most morally bankrupt thing to happen in my lifetime. I feel horrible about what has happened and it sure as hell feels like we are losing this battle, but can we really abandon the war? If we give Iraq to the terrorists, what lesson will they learn? How quickly will Iraq dissolve into all out war? And what other countries will the terrorists bring down next?

Fitzy, I want to bring Walberg down as much as you do, but getting too bent on the anit-war issue is divisive in our goal.

I propose we look more at what Walberg says, how he pretends to know what he is talking about regarding the war. This is a guy who has said he does not even believe Muslim's can understand democracy. How can he support this war if he believes that to be true?

Look at the hypocracy of Walberg. He wants to guarantee soldiers have access to the best health care in the world, but he will never raise taxes to pay for it. He wants this war, but he will never raise taxes to pay for it. He wants his earmarks, but he will never vote to raise taxes and pay for them.

His solutions? Cut the department of education. Simple, huh?

Simply keep the Bush tax cuts. Why? So the other 49 states can continue to prosper while Michigan is left to starve, too slow to cope with the flattening world on its own, deserving of some help from our fellow Americans. (God knows we have paid our dues as a donor state for a long time-- especially through the 50's and 60's when the auto industry was king.) Walberg will never fight for help to our state, just more cuts in spending on all those programs which are helping thos at the bottom barely get by. You can cut taxes all you want, but if I don't have a job, it helps me none.

What are his "big issues?"

Great Lakes restoration? Who is going to pay for it Congressman? He won't raise the taxes to do it. His constant mantra of less red tape is a direct contradiction to the goal of protecting the Great Lakes, not to mention he wants to drill for oil in the world's largest freshwater system.

That brings us to another issue of his, independence from foreign oil. How? Drill the Great Lakes. Drill the pristine wilderness of ANWR. Add some more red tape and mandate biofuels. He seems to contradict himself every time he opens his mouth.

Agriculture? He won't fix the most pressing problem many labor intense farm operations have which is, namely, labor. Build a wall, throw out illegals and then come up with a system for fixing our migrant labor system. How many crops would rot in the fields while his Minutemen are out rounding up the migrants?

Health care? He wants to maintain the status quo. He is perfectly happy with the current system, but then he has health-care-for-life from "working" 16 years as a do-nothing state representative. Businesses and retirees are struggling to maintain affordable health care and he has promised to fight any changes.

I think there are a ton of reasons we can find to attack Walberg, but by going after him on the war we give him authority. Keep in mind he has no clue about a solution in Iraq and he will simply repeat the administration talking points.

Going after him on the war or international relations reminds me of that old adage about arguing with an idiot. Anyone watching won't be able to tell who is who.
That's a great summary of the important issues, but you failed to mention the character issue. He claims to be a Christian, but did many un-Christian things to get elected, he became a character assassin and used out-of-state funds to do. He is not beholden to his constituients but to an ideology group who owns him. He respresents the most rephensible things about politics. He is not a statesman and we deserve to have a statesman represent us.

January 2009 cannot come soon enough!
Walberg's abandonment of Christian principles in his quest for elected office reminds me of a jihad. He is willing to compromise a few commantments of his religion to accomplish a goal. The ends justify the means.

Walberg will stop at nothing to win re-election and we must all keep that in the front of our minds. He will assult Jim Berryman as he has in the past with negative attacks.

He will insult David Nacht as an evil trial lawyer, a carpetbagger or an Ann Arbor elitist.

Nothing is sacred in the world of politics for Walberg and he will step on anyone's throat to get what he wants. Unfortunatly for us, he wants to force a society on us which is only supported by his fringe voter base.

We need to focus on his agenda, not on the national political issues forced on us by the national parties. Let them play that game. We who live in this district need to pay closer attention to what he is doing, or, more often, all the things he is not doing.

Things like attacking his opponent for securing earmarks, promising to never support an earmark, then breaking his promise to us.

Things like pledging to oppose every immigration refrom until we secure the border, but then breaking that pledge by introducing a bill for immigrants from Liberia.

I actually am suprised he submitted any earmarks or that he co-sponsored a sensible immigration reform bill because, as much as I despise how he runs his gutter-politics campaigns, I expected him to honor his word.
To the contributor who wrote about pulling out creating chaos:

To make it work you need to somehow take the Bush Administration out of the driver's seat.

They are not capable of making it work, and they have continually destroyed any real chances to do so.

That cannot be done for *at least* 17 months.

So more Bush failure and death of our people, or getting out in a sensible manner, and saving lives (this matters you know).

This administration created this diabolical mess we are calling Iraq and it is now a machine that guarantees our continuing failure.

We need to: (1) reasonably withdraw, (2) let what happens happen, (3) intervene along with other countries to deal with crises that arise in the new frame of reference.

A new base for terrorists, and all that...? It already is and we are not doing and cannot do anything to curb this.

Again: diabolical, self-perpetuating, Bush driven,
continuing failure.

I wish it were not so.
There is no way to take Bush out of the driver's seat barring impeachemnt. You cannot remove the sitting Commander-in-Chief from a military affair. If that is the only way, we have lost.

We have not lost. Bush has proven he can listen. He has also proven he will not listen if it weakens his political power. This is an unfortunate assesment, especially in the context of this argument over unnecessary, innocent death, but it is the overarching theme in Bush's M.O. and entirely applicable.

Rather than score political points, I would advise Reid and Pelosi to engage him on the issue in private. Rather than embarass him, which always seems to entrench him, they should be firm and explain they want a real solution.

Instead, they drag it into the public sphere with a single goal of shaming him into submission. If that is the strategy, we have lost.

A huge part of politics is allowing your defeated opponent to save face. There is no out for Bush in dealing with the democrat leadership on Iraq. I believe our Senator Levin was trying that tact, being the statesman that he is, but with leadership undercutting his attempts, he failed.

Levin was working a strategy, with a goal of salvaging our efforts and with the best of intentions. In fact, Joe Biden has an alternate strategy. He would actually escalate our involvement in rebuilding, impossible without a troop presence, and set up three states with something similar to our federal vs. state system. His view has merit and is in direct contrast to a withdrawal strategy.

When the debate is US vs. THEM, or ESCALATE vs. PULL OUT, we all lose. We need a debate and we need leadership on this issue. Without that leadership and debate, nothing will change. You and I both lose.

I agree Bush will not provide that needed leadership in the current climate. We all agree Walberg has zero capacity to provide this leadership. I believe Pelosi and Reid have giving up their ability to lead on this issue and our continuing state of affairs in Iarq is proof.

My only hope is we make the best of a horrible situation. We are not dealing with it properly. I do not believe pulling out and letting the chips fall is right either, but barring leadership, those are our only two sad options.
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