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Posts Tagged ‘2010

Iraq Withdrawal was Who’s Plan?

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Via(INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY)

The Bush Pullout

Iraq War: President Obama traveled to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Friday to announce that the U.S. would stay in Iraq at least until 2012 and keep 50,000 troops there even after combat ends. Sound familiar?

Obama’s withdrawal plan would take U.S. forces in Iraq down from a current 142,000 troops to 35,000 to 50,000. Under the status of forces agreement between the U.S. and Iran, negotiated and signed last year by the Bush administration, all forces must be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

In short, though President Obama will get credit, it was Bush’s plan — not Obama’s.

When Obama first began running for the nation’s highest office in 2006, he vowed he would immediately withdraw all U.S. combat forces if elected. At the time, few with any knowledge about the conflict in Iraq took him seriously.

And sure enough, faced with the realities on the ground in Iraq and in the campaign back home, Obama changed his stance last year from immediately withdrawing all combat forces to one of removing, as his campaign Web site said, “one to two combat brigades each month, and (having) all our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”

Now comes his much-awaited plan. Technically, Obama won’t be able keep his most recent promise on troop withdrawals, but he’ll come close. For that he can thank President Bush and the highly successful “surge” in troops he and Gen. David Petraeus put in place, making withdrawal possible.

In Friday’s remarks, Obama told the assembled Marines: “Today I’ve come to speak to you about how the war in Iraq will end.” But in fact, the actual war has been over for some time. We hate to tell the Bush-haters out there, or to relive painful recent history, but President Bush won it, making the current pullout possible.

That victory was underscored in January when Iraq held largely peaceful elections, in which voters mostly repudiated extremist parties in favor of the moderate leadership of Nouri al-Maliki.

In his comments Friday, Obama noted the progress made.

“Thanks in great measure to your service,” he said, “the situation in Iraq has improved. Violence has been reduced substantially from the horrific sectarian killing of 2006 and 2007.

“Al-Qaida in Iraq has been dealt a serious blow by our troops and Iraq’s Security Forces, and through our partnership with Sunni Arabs,” Obama continued. “The capacity of Iraq’s Security Forces has improved, and Iraq’s leaders have taken steps toward political accommodation.”

He further lauded January’s elections showing Iraqis have begun “pursuing their aspirations through peaceful political process.”

All very true. Iraq has been a big success, which explains why you never see or hear about it in the mainstream news anymore. Suicide bombings and attacks on troops have become relatively rare, and now that Bush is out of office, there’s little political profit remaining for the left in bashing America’s bold Mideast initiative.

Whether you agree with Bush or not, he brought a kind of democracy to Iraq that can be found nowhere else in that region. His plan rocked al-Qaida back on its heels, to the point where its survival is in doubt. Iraq is a model.

In short, Obama’s policy is really, in most respects, Bush’s policy. That the troops can now come home proudly is a tribute to Bush’s steadfastness. But Obama will be wise not to remove them all.

We kept troops in Europe and Japan after World War II and in South Korea after the Korean War. Bush’s policy proved that democracy can take root where no one thought possible. But as in Europe, Korea and Japan, it must be protected.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Sen. Reid Will Be More Concerned with His Re-election Then Doing His Job!!

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What else is new?  Folks this is honestly not surprising considering how these politicians work.  But what I don’t get is why Nevada residents keep voting the man back in??

Via (WSJ.com)

Sen. Reid Hits the Ground Running in Uphill Re-Election Bid

WASHINGTON — Sen. Harry Reid will command the biggest party majority of any Senate leader in a quarter century when the new Congress convenes in January. But the Nevada Democrat is already worried about his own re-election fight in 2010.

Sen. Reid, perhaps the most-vulnerable Democrat who will face re-election in a midterm race that is likely to favor his party once again, began interviewing campaign managers last week. The Senate majority leader also recently stepped up fund-raising.

Starting early could help Sen. Reid avoid the fate of his predecessor, Tom Daschle, who was Democratic leader for a decade before losing his re-election bid in South Dakota in 2004. The current Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, narrowly won re-election in Kentucky this year.

Sen. Reid “saw what happened to Tom Daschle and Mitch McConnell,” said Republican Sen. John Ensign, Nevada’s the other senator. “He saw the consequences of being the majority leader or the leader of one of the parties.”

Jon Summers, a Reid spokesman, said Sen. Reid knows he will be a Republican target in 2010 and has been preparing for his re-election campaign for some time. He added that Sen. Reid’s leadership position in the Senate is an asset, not a liability. “Being the majority leader means he can do things no one else can.”

Democrats have picked up a combined 13 seats in the past two election cycles. In 2010, more Republicans than Democrats are up for re-election, and Democratic incumbents appear to be well-positioned overall.

Sen. Reid, however, faces a potentially tough fight. A recent Research 2000 poll of likely voters put his approval rating at 38% and his disapproval rating at 54%, a possible reflection of voters’ displeasure with gridlock and partisanship in Washington. And while Nevada broke for President-elect Barack Obama by 12 percentage points in November, the state voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

As Senate majority leader, Sen. Reid is expected to play a critical role in shepherding Democratic priorities through the Senate, with a full docket of legislation up for consideration in the first year of the Obama administration.

Sen. Reid traveled to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late last month to meet with campaign contributors. A spokesman for Sen. Reid said he expects to have $3 million in his campaign account at the end of the year, up from about $2.75 million on Oct. 1. Sen. Reid spent $7 million in his 2004 race.

Two Democratic Senate colleagues, South Dakota’s Tim Johnson and Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, have sent emails to their supporters seeking contributions to Sen. Reid’s campaign.

“Republicans are going after Harry Reid’s Senate seat in 2010, and we can’t afford to lose a great Democratic leader,” Senator-elect Merkley wrote in his email.

Who might square off against Sen. Reid is unclear. Nevada’s Republican lieutenant governor, Brian Krolicki, declared his candidacy last month but was subsequently indicted for suspect accounting practices during his time as state treasurer. He has denied the charges.

Another potential GOP candidate is former Rep. Jon Porter, who lost his House seat representing an area outside of Las Vegas in November after serving three terms. The Research 2000 survey showed Sen. Reid beating Mr. Porter 46% to 40% in a potential 2010 race, an uncomfortably narrow margin for an incumbent.

Democrats say Nevada is a former swing state that has swung to their camp. The party now has a 100,000-person registration advantage there.

In 2004, the last time Sen. Reid was up for re-election, the number of registered Republicans and Democrats was about the same.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie