A Tangled Webb… The Democratic Response to the SOTU Address
Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) gave the democratic response to the SOTU Address tonight.
Here’s a snapshot…
(The nine Arab countries include Saudi Arabia and Egypt)
Did you notice that democrats pushed to stay and to withdraw from Iraq in the same paragraph!
Here are a few choice lines from his blunt challenge:
The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and predicted – disarray that has followed.
…(We have) lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism(?)
Who do democrats think that we are fighting in Iraq, anyway?
Do they have any idea?
We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism(?) Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq’s cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.
Get that… the US should not withdraw(al) and the US should leave Iraq… Same paragraph.
As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. “When comes the end?” asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.
…These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
…A way to cut and run, no doubt.
Dan Riehl has another take on the democrat’s disappointing rebuttal.
A Second Hand Conjecture nails it…
Webb said: “The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military.”
The first part of that statement is true, but a significant part of that figure feels that way but doesn’t want us to end the fight in Iraq, but fight it more aggressively. The real issue I have though is with the second part. The implication is the troops favor his views, which is not what all the evidence I see shows. How would he know anyway? My evidence is anecdotal, but the soldiers I speak to, including relatives, do not support a withdrawal, though they have many, and often contradictory views about what needs to change.
Update 2: The truth behind Webb’s tangled numbers:
Last night – despite the fact that Bush is changing the way the war is being fought — Jim Webb claimed that “the majority of our military” does not support “the way this war is being fought”. This is the poll that is being cited as evidence of his claim:
“Only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved. […]Just as telling, in this year’s poll only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, down from 65 percent in 2003.”
However, if you read further, you’ll find that only “13 percent said we should have no troops” in Iraq.
More importantly, though, is this:
** the poll is only “of active-duty military subscribers to the Military Times newspapers” and
** the “results should not be read as representative of the military as a whole“.
Sadly, the media will not report this.