Rep. Adam Smith: “Troop surge is not the answer”

Rep. Adam Smith / Guest post:

Yesterday several of my colleagues and I met with President Bush and senior members of the Administration to discuss his plans for a “troop surge”. The meeting included the Vice President, Secretary Rice, Secretary Gates, and Karl Rove. Other members of Congress present included Representatives Skelton, Harman, Edwards, Reyes, Lantos, Dicks, and Berman.

I went to the meeting highly skeptical that escalating our troop presence in Iraq by approximately 20,000 personnel is the right answer in Iraq. I hoped to learn more about the administration’s thinking and to ask tough questions about his rationale. The President and his advisors laid out a plan to use a troop surge to support an Iraqi-led effort to “clear and hold” areas of Baghdad to help restore credibility for the Iraq government. They are obviously committed to their plan, but it was clear that they understand the hole they are in. There was no swagger – but it remains to be seen if they truly listen to Congress and to the American people who have deep and justified concerns about such an escalation.

After the meeting I considered the President’s argument and reviewed the available information, including the Iraq Study Group report. In the end, even though I gave the President’s argument due consideration, I don’t find it persuasive. A troop surge is not the answer in Iraq.

I’m concerned that the President continues to view this as a military problem, not a political problem. We have tried troop increases in Baghdad before with very limited results. We need to see from the Administration a real commitment to a broader diplomatic and political effort if we are to have any sense of minimal stability in Iraq. So far, the Administration has talked about such efforts, but not backed them up with resources and action. We simply cannot afford more of the same.

We also have to keep in mind that the global war on terror is exactly that: global. How does our commitment in Iraq affect our ability to prosecute the wider war? As I said yesterday in an interview, the recent air strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Somalia are a reminder that Iraq does not constitute the entire war on terror, and we have to remember that the battle in Iraq does not necessarily determine success or failure in the broader struggle.

In the weeks ahead, I’ll have the opportunity to participate in Armed Services Committee hearings, especially in the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities (which I will chair) to more fully examine the President’s plan.

I don’t want to put the troops in a political fight between Congress and the President, and Congress should carefully consider the consequences of any attempts to block funds for a surge. We cannot put our forces in Iraq at greater risk. But a troop surge is not the answer in Iraq.

Rep. Adam Smith
[Rep. Smith is a Democrat, representing Washington’s 9th Congressional District]


  1. 1

    Libertarian spews:

    This Iraqi mess has gone on long enough. Inevitably, Iraq will disntegrate into chaos because it was a “nation” put-together by the waning British Empire. The creation of Iraq ignored ethnic, religious and cultural differences of the people who were forced into being part of this nation.

  2. 2

    YOS LIB BRO spews:



  3. 3

    mickey spews:

    Rep. Smith – But will you actively oppose the “surge” by freezing funding for it? As far as I can tell, that’s the only tool in Congress’s toolbox. Any equivocating or vacillating on this point will be seen as caving in to Bush, and furthering the disaster our government created in Iraq. We can’t wait for a series of hearings before you and the Congress decide how strong your response will be. Leaks coming from the Bush administration signal that they are planning on having those 22,000 troops in Iraq by the end of the month.

  4. 4


    Thanks Congressman Smith. I appreciate an insider’s view. From the outside, the decision to send more troops under these circumstances looks absolutely crazy.

    And a lot of people are coming to the same conclusion. The question is – What do we do? Is there any realistic way to stop this?

  5. 5


    I completely agree with Adam Smith: we need a “surge” in the diplomatic and political effort. Get Condi Rice, Bush and Cheney out there working that front instead of sending more men and women into a dying effort.

  6. 6

    Will spews:

    We got your back, Congressman Smith. The American people (with majorities in nearly every state) have turned against this awful adventure in Iraq. I want you and other Democrats to know that us folks, the base, have your back on this issue. We support you! Take a robust stand against this horrible “surge” idea.

    Don’t let media insiders try to spin the the war’s opposition as extremists: folks from liberal Seattle to more conservative parts of your district are ready for a change when it comes to our Iraq policy. Let’s be bold in speaking out!

  7. 7

    proud leftist spews:

    Representative Smith,
    In listening to the president’s position with an open mind, you may have given him more deference than he has earned. Nonetheless, the gesture speaks well of Democrats–our politicians pay attention to conflicting views. I applaud your intentions concerning the surge. Congressional Democrats, on behalf of the American people, would do well to explore every possible avenue for blocking the president’s surge proposal. While you do not impugn his motives in pursuing that proposal, I cannot be so charitable. The proposal appears to be nothing less than a cynical attempt to evade responsibility for the Iraq disaster by holding out some claim to still have a chance of “winning” so long as the president remains in office. The alternative, as Senator Biden has suggested, is that he is simply delusional concerning Iraq. Give them hell while we have the majority. Thank you for posting.

  8. 8

    sgmmac spews:

    Rep Smith,

    How many thousands of soldiers and airmen from YOUR district are in Iraq right now fighting and dying in that conflict? Will you look their families in the eye when you cut off funding that would bring those soldiers and airmen food, supplies and critical equipment?

    I live in your district and your statement in the voter’s pamphlet didn’t say anything about you not supporting soldiers and their families in this war……..

  9. 9

    Paul spews:

    I’ll be interested to hear how Congress reacts to tonights speech.

    I’m very interested to hear how Adam Smith came to be a guest poster on Quite frankly, I can think of no better way to harm ones public image than being associated as a 3rd tier back-up to Goldy and Will.

    This lack in judgement does cause me to second guess someone who I do consider to be a man of excellent character. Having said that, Mr. Smith, please keep in mind that the knee jerk reaction to any Iraq policy will be to close the purse strings. Please keep what is in the best interest of our active duty military in mind when voting on this issue.

  10. 10

    Rujax! spews:

    Hey sgmmac-

    Just HOW do you conflate denial of support for the chickrnshit-in-chief’s insane ESCALATION of the Iraqi occupation with a lower level of support for the TROOPS that are ALREADY there.

    The Banana Republicans have consistently denied funding for armor and equipment and passed the feeding and welfare of the troops to the corrupt crony contractors.

    When are you going to GROW UP and realise that this administration is NO FRIEND to anyone who can’t line their pockets.

  11. 11


    sgmmac – I’m sure you’ll agree that funding should be focused, not just added to a general fund used for any kind of military expense. If Congress were to withhold funding that would have been explicitly use for a surge, and the Bush administration still decided to enforce a surge, it is the Bush administration that should have to explain to servicemen and women that they are doing so despite the fact the funds aren’t there, and it will be the Bush administration that will have chosen to take away food, supplies and critical equipment from the already existing troops.

    Simply put, Congress will be saying, we’ll fund what is there, we will not fund a troop escalation. Blame Bush if they escalate regardless.

  12. 12

    Rujax! spews:

    The BEST thing we can do to support our precious Men and Women of the Armed Forces of these United States is GET THEM THE HELL OUT OF THERE.

  13. 13


    The “surge” is only a result of Bush’s delusional thinking. Somehow he thinks this can be fixed with puny measures–maybe he is still listening to Dick “insurgency is in its last throes” Cheney.

    He is all of a sudden worried about his treatment in the history books and has deludedly compared himself to Truman.

    Compare adding 20k troops to Baghdad to adding 20k more street cops to New York City. What’s the difference?

    THe only POSSIBLE solution is to involve the rest of the Arab states and/or trisect Iraq. Otherwise, it goes on for decades whether we are there as sitting ducks or not.

  14. 14

    inyourdistrict2 spews:

    Dear Rep. Smith,
    I too am from your district. Unlike smgmac, I would like to see funds cut for the proposed escalation (oops, ‘surge’) of troops in Bagdad, as a clear message to the people of the United States and the world that the USA is no longer in support of this war. A poll came out today only 11% polled support more troops, down from a poll yesterday that reported an 18% support of more troops (apologies, I forget who conducted the poll).

    What is not being stated in the press is that military leaders do not support an escalation in troops because it will drastically compromise the integrity of the military. We just don’t have troops to spare.

    And, please help educate people like sgmmac that freezing funding for more troops is different from freezing all funding. Freezing funding for more troops is the best way to support the troops; not only in Iraq, but in the entire military.

  15. 15

    proud leftist spews:

    Paul @ 9
    Our congressional representatives should be lauded anytime they reach out to communicate with their constituents, no matter what forum they use. Whatever you might think of this forum, I am confident that many voters in Rep. Smith’s district regularly come here. This forum is free–posting here involves no postage, printing, or labor costs. I think your implied criticism of Rep. Smith for posting here is misplaced.

  16. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Give it a rest, Mac! The rightwing tripe about “not supporting the troops” has no traction anymore: The people who didn’t “support the troops” are the folks who …

    1) Sent them into an unnecessary, ill-advised, and poorly planned and executed war,
    2) Didn’t support them with adequate troops in the beginning, armor, medical care, or veterans benefits,
    3) Failed to understand Iraq, its people, history, and the likely outcome of a U.S. invasion (i.e., civil war),
    4) Had no occupation plan,
    5) Failed to exercise adequate oversight and management of either military operations or civil affairs (i.e., reconstruction efforts),

    and so on. The GOP, from the president and Congress on down, have failed to support the troops. It’s time the American people did — by putting an end to the madness of this corrupt and incompetent regime. The solution is impeachment.

  17. 17

    mickey spews:

    Paul @ 9 – What’s so suspicious about Rep. Smith posting something here? Politicians post blogs on HuffPo and DailyKos all the time. It’s a really effective way to reach an audience and get instant feedback. I wish more of our WA State public officials would use the blogs as a communications tool. It sure beats writing an email or phoning the rep’s office, only to get a canned reply 8 weeks later.

  18. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The problem is we have only one president/commander-in-chief, and it’s not Congress. Nor should it be. The quandary of what to do when Congress and the CIC are at odds over fundamental policy issues (such as whether we should have gone there in the first place, and whether the war should continue) is a real dilemma, because Congress cannot (and should not) execute policy or command troops.

    The Constitution provides an answer, however. Congress has two important roles in war policy. First, Congress must authorize war by passing a declaration of war before the president can act. Second, Congress must authorize funds to wage war.

    From this, it is clear the Framers did not attend to give unchecked, unreviewable, and unaccountable power to the president to make war. It is also clear that Congress, not the president, has the final authority on the issue of whether the country should go to war — and, by implication, whether the country should stay in a war.

    If the Iraq Resolution is seen as the legal authority tantamount to a declaration of war that gave the president power to invade Iraq, then repeal. What Congress can give, it can take away; what it can authorize, it can rescind.

    The president has had nearly 4 years to win this war, and it’s now clear that he and his advisors didn’t know what they were getting into, didn’t know what they were doing, and still don’t. It is time to put an end to this. It is clear Congress must do that because the president never will. Two more years of guerrilla warfare in the alleys of Baghdad will only produce more casualties, continue the killing of Iraqi innocents, and deepen the catastrophe. To continue on this course for two more years is like buying more stock in a company headed for bankruptcy in vain hope of recouping your losses. It’s called “throwing good money after bad.” In Iraq, the president is proposing to lose more American lives in a useless effort to validate those already lost. It’s a loser’s game, and a game for losers.

    Bring the troops home now. There is no mission in Iraq. Fighting there is pointless and useless.

  19. 19


    I agree with you that escalating our the number of troops in Iraq is not the answer. It is clear to me that Congress must take charge and repeal any measure that declares this a war. If it has not legally been declared a war, then the President has overstepped his power. This country must not become a dictatorship and from the actions of the past 6 years, it has all the earmarks of that direction. It is time to return the power back to the people and abide by our Constitution!

  20. 20

    Yer Killin Me spews:


    Unfortunately that won’t work as you stated it. Bush and Cheney aren’t capable of any diplomacy more nuanced than “my way or the highway” and Rice doesn’t seem to be either able to willing to do so either. We need new people resolving the conflict who actually want it resolved, not people who continue to profit from military action and who would go into negotiations with the attitude of a six-year-old who’s just been told to return to the table and eat his Brussels sprouts.

  21. 21


    sgmmac says:

    Rep Smith,

    How many thousands of soldiers and airmen from YOUR district are in Iraq right now fighting and dying in that conflict? Will you look their families in the eye when you cut off funding that would bring those soldiers and airmen food, supplies and critical equipment?

    I live in your district and your statement in the voter’s pamphlet didn’t say anything about you not supporting soldiers and their families in this war……..


    Do you eat Bush talking points whole, or do you grind them up and take them through an iv? How about in an enema?

    Saying Republicans support troops would be like saying Hitler supported Jews.

    Illegal war, based on lies. When is this going to sink in? Tell you what. Can you name a single thing Bush got right in Iraq? One single decision he made that turned out to be correct, and make the situation better?

    Name something. I dare you.

    I double dare you.

    I triple dare you.

    All you wingnuts are clamoring for victory, but your quarterback throws nothing but interceptions, and your running back fumbles the ball every time he gets a handoff. With Bush calling the shots victory is impossible, unless your objective is endless war. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer could do a better job managing a war than Bush, and Rummy did.

    Name something these liars got right on Iraq…. (crickets chirping)….

  22. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And if the president disobeys the legislative commands of Congress, the Constitution provides a remedy for that, too — impeach him.

  23. 23

    sgmmac spews:

    Daniel K,

    Soldiers are already spending money on the “surge.” The All Americans, the 82nd were spotlighted in the news the other day getting on a plane bound for Iraq. It is next to impossible to separate the money spent on soldiers there now and soldiers who will be there next month.

    McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis both are in Adam Smith’s district and his responsibility to represent in Congress. He has a reputation as being a moderate (centrist) Democrat and that’s what he just got reelected to do.

    I was one of those soldiers stuck in “limbo land” waiting for money to be authorized for a conflict with Gen Clark and President Clinton and it wasn’t a fun place to be. We were screwed over by a warring Congress and a President.

  24. 24

    Yer Killin Me spews:

    Mr. Smith,

    I also want to thank you for posting your views here. I realize that you (and our other representatives in DC) are busy people, and I appreciate the efforts you make to communicate with those of us back home.

  25. 25

    Chad Lupkes spews:

    #17: I agree with you. I wonder what the reaction would be to an op-ed from the President if he, hypothetically, wrote one for the Wall Street Journal or Washington Post. Hypothetically…

    This blog is a media outlet, just as capable and eligable to get communications from elected officials as the Times or PI. The more our elected officials engage with the media, both mainstream and independent, both online and offline, the better.

  26. 26

    westello spews:

    And by the way, it’s an escalation, not a surge. No prettyfing what Bush and Company want to do.

    There are a couple of things that should go into motion now (and should have 4 years ago but oh well, shoulda, coulda, woulda). One, get Bush, Condi, back to talks with the Palestians/Israelis. Americans have GOT to get that, throughout the Muslim world, this is a HUGE reason they don’t trust us or believe in what we say we are doing. Until that issue get straightened out or at least some forward motion, nothing will ever change.

    Two, get some education on these different countries. They are not Western countries and thinking we can force democracies isn’t going to work. We are going to, whether we like or not, have to work with Iran and Syria. We need to realize most of these countries think in very tribal manner(and that doesn’t mean ignorant, it means a long, long history beyond what we as Americans can probably grasp) and are not just going to go with what we say at the point of a gun.

  27. 27

    Rujax! spews:

    sgmmac says:

    “I was one of those soldiers stuck in “limbo land” waiting for money to be authorized for a conflict with Gen Clark and President Clinton and it wasn’t a fun place to be. We were screwed over by a warring Congress and a President.”

    Thank your Republican Buddies for THAT one:

  28. 28

    sgmmac spews:


    Yes, I can thank them and I can thank Lautenberg for his stupid amendment that hurt us too! I would rather thank them with my middle finger.

    Soldiers don’t care whether someone is a Democrat or Republican as long as they have everything they need to do their mission…………

  29. 29

    anti-liberal spews:

    Dear Mr Smith,

    You could have saved yourself some time and just condensed it down to 3 words:



    ps: you may not “want to put the troops in a political fight between Congress and the President” but you and your party have masterfully succeeded at doing just that. Congratulations. You might want to remember that, barring Al Gore refusing to count their votes, our hardworking uniformed men and women do indeed vote and take that obligation as seriously as their obligation to protect you.

  30. 30

    Right Stuff spews:

    Roger is the only one here who, with respect to Roger, clearly states his opionion.
    “Bring the troops home now. There is no mission in Iraq. Fighting there is pointless and useless.”

    Of course I disagree with him, but respect his opionion.
    Rep. Smith none of the folks here are privy to the information and details that you received with regards to the “surge” of troops to Iraq. Given that, Please detail for us your position on how best to win the war in Iraq.
    The easy thing to do is try to dismantle what the president is proposing. The hard thing to do is put forth your own plan. You wrote, “We need to see from the Administration a real commitment to a broader diplomatic and political effort if we are to have any sense of minimal stability in Iraq.” I respectfully ask, what is your plan for a broader diplomatic and political effort? What is your plan for victory in Iraq.

  31. 31

    PaulL spews:

    It seems to me that there are several potentially feasible approaches to solving the Bush catastrophe, and a continuing American presence is not one of them. Why not explore the partition Iraq into two or three self-sustaining countries (Kurd, Shia and an independant Sunni region, or possibly a Sunni region economically linked to other Sunni-dominated states) or perhaps establish a UN mandate policed by non-Arab Islamic troops? At the very least, we need to engage in serious, inelligent diplomacy with Turkey, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to solve this problem.

    Unfortunately, the Bush Administration believes it is incapable of error (after all- God talks to George, and George doesn’t like to read), so all we can expect from them are clever euphemisms for war and empty platitudes about sacrifice while their children are safe at home. Spilling more American blood will solve nothing and further weaken our world-standing.

  32. 33

    bill spews:

    antiliberal, that is a false dilema. You would have us believe that the choice is either capitulate or stay in Iraq and fight untill. . . well noone is quite sure what the until is. But history disagrees with you. Unless we depopulate the entire country, there is no such thing as a purely military solution. Iraq is not a bar brawl.

    I think that its about time that Congress begins exercising oversight duties they have neglected for so long. The president is not soverign, and is subject to the will of the people.

    On a side note, I think its odd that the republicans have been vocal in their objection to a ‘nanny state’ but are lead by a man who who insists that we fight a war rather than persue a diplomatic solution, for our own good regardless of whether we want to or not.

  33. 34


    Representative Smith, Thank you for posting here.

    I see this statement of yours, quoted below — as helpful for context — that this is a global situation and it weakens us and distracts from the effort to bog down in one area. Where I would differ from you and ask you to consider a different view — is in the idea that anti-terrorism efforts should be characterized first or primarily as “war”. Aren’t we beyond war now as the main way to fight the kind of distributed threats and violence that terrorism represents? Isn’t war a strategically and tactically outmoded idea in this context? Don’t we find ourselves in a more complex world than that? Isn’t the kind of force associated with war only one of many tools that must be used in an integrated way (with force as a last resort)? Bush’s formulation on this, the war idea, seems to me a major part of the problem. Thank you!

    We also have to keep in mind that the global war on terror is exactly that: global. How does our commitment in Iraq affect our ability to prosecute the wider war? As I said yesterday in an interview, the recent air strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Somalia are a reminder that Iraq does not constitute the entire war on terror, and we have to remember that the battle in Iraq does not necessarily determine success or failure in the broader struggle.

  34. 35

    proud leftist spews:

    RightStuff @ 30
    Without trying to be rhetorical, I would like you to define “victory in Iraq.” Stating an objective such as “winning” when no one even states what “winning” means makes attaining the objective impossible. The elusive definition, however, permits the president and the few people who still support his Iraq policy to continue throwing lives and resources at the conflict without any sort of accountability. We can’t measure success when we don’t know what the goal is. I believe most people believe that any conventional notion of what winning means is not something that we will ever attain in Iraq. The rational goal now is simply to minimize the fallout from our inevitable departure. Reasonable people can differ concerning that goal. But, asking the congressman for his strategy concerning how to win is simply asking the wrong question.

  35. 36

    sgmmac spews:


    Washington is a “nanny” state, there is NO doubt. Just look at the bills passed by the legislature every session. They have a good one introduced again this year that would bar talking to certain individuals on a cell phone while driving. It’s okay for you to have sex while driving and putting on makeup while driving to work is always a good way to save time. Smoking cigarettes and eating a Big Mac are cool things to do while driving, but don’t you dare call your wife or husband! You can call the police or an ambulance and report illegal activity or an accident.

  36. 37

    sgmmac spews:


    As for Republicans not liking a Diplomatic solution, I would love a Diplomatic solution. There are many ways to show the military strength of a country and using it’s military in a conflict should be the last resort. Diplomacy should be first. Unfortunately, it’s didn’t work with Saddam and much of that blame should rest with the UN and their so corrupt officials.

  37. 38

    My Left Foot spews:

    auntieliberal/JCH (what is with the Al shit) @ 29

    When will you learn that “cut and run” has nothing to do with it? The war is lost. Over. Done. We are wasting valuable resources (lives of servicemen and women) in a failed effort to legitmize the lies of the present administration.

    By the way, why are you so keen on sending more troops to die? I don’t see you volunteering (as my family has done for over 50 years).

    You are capable of loud, ignorant argument, repeating talking points and proving yourself a buffoon. And nothing else.

    Go fuck yourself, asshole.

    The beer offer is still open, Sparky.

  38. 39

    Right Stuff spews:

    @35 and for Rep Smith.
    I pose this right back at you. Mr. Smith is an elected representative from WA State. I think it’s his duty to define that, and offer his detailed solution. I would expect nothing less from him, especially if he is considering to vote against funding the additional troops, or scale back funding for Iraq.

    Here is what our president details. I support the president, our troops, and the USA.

  39. 40

    Jack Burton spews:

    How much time do you have on the ground in Iraq Rep Smith.

    What have YOU done to eliminate political correctness from the Rules of Engagement?

  40. 41

    My Left Foot spews:

    Right Stuff @ 30:

    The beauty of this Iraq quagmire is that Democrats don’t have to have a plan. They only have to hold the POTUS accountable (and he hates that). This is his war. This is his problem. The political fallout from this is that, in two years, the executive branch of government will revert to Democratic control (with Sen. McCain now drinking kegs of the Kool-Aid, you have no chance to retain the Presidency). At that time a plan will become the Democrats responsibility and not before.

    Y’all made your bed, now sleep in it.

    Funny how that works!

  41. 42

    proud leftist spews:

    Okay, you do it for me–tell me, in detail, what victory in Iraq would entail. Tell me how we can measure a win over there. Does victory mean installation of a constitutional representative democracy? Does it mean an end to all sectarian conflict? Does it mean that Sunnis and Shias will all lay down their arms, hug each other, and sing “Kum Ba Ya” in perfect four-part harmony? I have no idea what “victory in Iraq” means, and I don’t believe the president does either. And, by the way, I support the troops and the United States of America, and I believe you do, too. A difference of opinion concerning what to do about Iraq does not equate to different levels of affection for the country. Not at all. I believe that the nation’s short-term and long-term best interests require pulling our troops out of Iraq as soon as is reasonably feasible.

  42. 44


    Right Stuff – I agree with you on two of the three: I support our troops and the USA. The president has lost the support of a large majority of Americans on this and many other matters. It does not hold that Americans should blindly follow a man who would lead them to ruin.

    The simple fact is that the vast majority of people who oppose a troop escalation do so precisely because they are concerned for the troops, those already in Iraq and those that would be added. They do so because they care deeply for this country and what this war has done.

    That they don’t support the president on this is because they view his decisions and stubbornness as the reason why we are in the mess we are in now.

  43. 45

    Jack Burton spews:

    Victory = Iraqi gov’t in control using it’s own police and military.

    The ability to insure Iran and Syria do not invade.

    Control = A level of violence equal to or less than in the major cities in our own country.

  44. 46

    waterboy spews:

    “I support the president, our troops, and the USA.”

    Easy to say. What sacrifices are you personally willing to bear?

    How much time/American lives/$$$ do you give him to complete this vision?

    Please be specific. Thanks.

  45. 47


    Paul at 9 wrote, “I’m very interested to hear how Adam Smith came to be a guest poster on Quite frankly, I can think of no better way to harm ones public image than being associated as a 3rd tier back-up to Goldy and Will.

    With one or two exceptions this particular comment section has been civil and thoughtful. That tells me that’s reputation that you would like to think might harm the congressman’s image has nothing to do with the congressman, and everything to do with those that would turn this blog into a place for the public graffiti of a few disruptive, vocal, and hateful trolls.

    Obviously it doesn’t have to be that way, and it isn’t always so.

    Adam Smith’s presence here with his thoughtful posting is proof that he can effect the dialog at HorseAss, and not that HorseAss will have any negative effect on the congressman.

  46. 48

    Jack Burton spews:

    @ 43: “There’s a lot more wrong with Bush’s Iraq policy than politically correctness!”

    Been there?

    I’m talking about on-the-ground ability of our soldiers to actually perform their duties in an effective manner.

    Political Correctness doesn’t allow us to, for example, attack a mosque when the jihadists will do so as well as use them for hide outs, firing positions, and arms caches. This also applies to hospitals, schools and private residences.

  47. 49

    Right Stuff spews:

    “I believe that the nation’s short-term and long-term best interests require pulling our troops out of Iraq as soon as is reasonably feasible.”

    We are on common ground.

    I don’t think we leave Iraq until the govt there is able to offer security for it’s people and borders. Leaving before the Iraqi’s are able to defend themselves would leave them wide open for domination by Iran.(which is already meddling). Not to mention Syria. Do we stay there indefinetly? Well that is interesting isn’t it. We are still “in” Korea aren’t we? If Iraq can stand up on it’s own, as a representative democracy, we gain a valuable ally in the middle east. I think the govt there has to show it’s citizens that they can offer security and rule of law for them.

    I do whole heartedly agree that we need to set bench marks for the Iraqi govt to meet. We don’t have to publish them, but the Iraqi govt has to stand up and take charge. They have to disarm the mitilias, uphold their constitution, and take over the rebirth of their free nation.

  48. 50

    whistler's brother spews:

    To put it in terms conservatives might better grasp..You are the shareholder for Nation-building, Inc. GW is the CEO. Given where we are as a co. after 4 years, 3,000 lives and 1 trillion $$ spent..Give the guy another shot?

  49. 51

    Yer Killin Me spews:

    George Bush is not the United States of America. George Bush is not the troops. Support for the country, support for the troops, and support for the President are three different things.

    I love my country, I support the troops and I am a liberal. They are not mutually exclusive, and anyone who says they are is a liar.

  50. 52

    Will spews:

    I’ve never been to Iraq, Jack. But I think that if Amerca leveled every mosque that house insurgents, we’d have even less of a chance to “win” the war.

    You sound like all of those old guys who said “if they only let us use nukes, we’d a’won in Vietnam”. What kind of moral banruptcy would it be if we had to blow up mosques? Is that the kind of war YOU want to fight?

  51. 54

    headless lucy spews:

    re 8: Doesn’t the real irresponsibility lie in the hands of a faux president who will send these 22,000 soldiers into the fray with no guarantee they will receive the additional funding ? It will take 7 weeks for Congress to implement a decision.

    Conservatives rule with coercion. The only thing they will understand is having their own arms twisted at every opportunity. How dare this jackass deserter (BUSH) gamble with the lives of these young soldiers for a devious finger-pointing strategy that gets people killed for no good reason.

  52. 55

    Cherisse spews:

    Is there any chance Congress will work toward a ‘diplomatic surge’? I am truly hoping that our members of Congress are reaching out to people like Richard Holbrooke, who brokered the Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Holbrooke completely understands that the situation in Iraq is different than in Bosnia and different strategies are need. That said, he does have experience and credentials that could be useful now.

  53. 56

    Right Stuff spews:

    My Left Foot.
    You have been there. Done that.
    from the boots on the ground perspective for the troopers, what does supporting them mean? I have always took it to mean that we support them in their mission. That they are there to fight the enemy there rather than here in the USA. That it gives them great pride to know that the people back home support what they are doing, day in and day out….

  54. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 “It is next to impossible to separate the money spent on soldiers there now and soldiers who will be there next month.”


  55. 59

    proud leftist spews:

    RightStuff @ 49
    I guess our definition of “reasonably feasible” differs. My definition is something along the lines of “now.” I think you’ve made a reasonable attempt to define “victory in Iraq.” I do not believe, however, that we can ever attain such objectives. To try to do so would mean, I think, that our children’s children would be fighting over there, and not just stationed there as in South Korea. At least you stated a coherent position, however, unlike someone such as antiliberal.

  56. 60

    headless lucy spews:

    re 56: The only problem is that your rationale is a lie. You think soldiers feel better about dieing just because you are willing to delude yourself that it is to some good purpose?

    If it were so important, Bush’s kids would be in Iraq.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  57. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 “Soldiers don’t care whether someone is a Democrat or Republican as long as they have everything they need to do their mission…………”

    Some soldiers — I’m thinking specifically of you, Mac — politicize things that should be military issues, not political issues. You’ve repeatedly proven on this board that you’re nothing but a megaphone for wingnut talking points. Republican = OK, no matter how FUBARed it is. Democrat = give ‘em your middle finger. Here’s a rabbit toe for YOU, Mac!

    P.S., speaking of giving the troops “everything they need to do their mission ….” how about starting by giving them a mission? Do you know what the mission is, Mac? Do the generals? Does Bush? Is there one? What is it? And how about body armor, vehicle armor, battle helmets? I donated $99 of my own money to because the Pentagon won’t buy battle helmets designed to protect against IEDs for their own troops. You’re full of shit, Mac. Admit it, you’re a Republican shill.

  58. 62

    bill spews:

    sgmmac, Saddam has been gone a long time, how about a diplomatic solution with the people we are fighting? Show me one war that did not end with the diplomats. Keep fighting till we win isnt a plan, its a mantra.

    And how is keeping a war going for our own good whether we want one or not any different from any other nanny state activity?

    Are we at war or not right now? Seriously. the administration has said that the war is over and we are fighting ‘insurgents’. Seems to me that if we are not at war, then the war powers act of 73 is in play and congress should be ordering them out or reviewing the situation with that in mind. If we are at war, then we are at war with an entity and someone needs to sit down with that entity and negotiate an end to all this.

  59. 63

    bob spews:

    Right Stuff @ 39:

    The democrats had a plan, it was called John Kerry. But George Bush told the US that “We turned the corner” and unfortunately too many people believed him, again. So the only person who gets to have a plan at this time is Mr. Bush. When Mr. Smith runs for President, he’ll be glad to tell you his plan at that time.
    Until then, he and the rest of the Democrats who now have the ability to show some spine will say no to the administration and will hopefully be able to use some of the tools they do have, the Constitution and the Constitutional right of the Congress to control the money.

    The US death count at November 2004 was about 1,125. Now it’s 3,019. What do you say to those nearly 2,000 families between then and now, to the kids that have a flag in a box instead of a Dad or Mom? That war is hell? That you do your part by having a made-in-China yellow ribbon on your car? That their deaths were worth your tax cut? What will you say to the 2,000 or 5,000 other families who will get their own flag in the next 2 years?

  60. 64

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @39 If you support the president, you don’t support the troops. Supporting the president means sending our troops to their deaths for nothing.

  61. 66

    Right Stuff spews:

    No I don’t think anybody feels good about dying anytime. I also believe that for a troop on the ground, they are so dedicated to each other, that they are willing to die for each other. And, that if they know that the folks at home support their mission, they feel empowered to perform their duty….

  62. 68


    Respected Military and Middle east experts, including some who supported this President’s Iraq policy now see escalation as a mistake.

  63. 70

    whl spews:

    I think a Constitutional lawyer could have a lot of fun with the following:

    The Constitution of the United States of America, Article I, Section 8 & following:

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. . . .

    (my emphasis)

    I would like for the House & the Senate to recall all of the National Guard soldiers & airmen so that they may be re-organized, re-armed & re-disciplined in a manner prescribed by the 110th Congress. Bring ‘em home & get ‘em ready to suppress the insurrections & repel the invasions. What a concept.

  64. 71

    GBS spews:

    Hey Adam Tell us about all your military servie.what joint commands that you held etc.why dont you sit down and shut up im tired of hearing from jerks like you who have no idea what end of the gun the bullet comes out of,you are the party of cut and run,you are a jerk grow up.

  65. 72


    Hey Sarge-

    Do you still like this administration’s committment to the troops?


    ‘Better armor lacking for new troops in Iraq.’“The thousands of troops that President Bush is expected to order to Iraq will join the fight largely without the protection of the latest armored vehicles that withstand bomb blasts far better than the Humvees in wide use, military officers said.” 6:49 pm | Comment (6)

    Filed under:
    Posted by Amanda at 6:49 pm

    Permalink | Comment (6)

  66. 73

    Wells spews:

    The Bush administration no longer holds the least credibility regarding its handling of the Iraq War. Because of this and because President Bush has no leadership skills whatsoever, any possibility that US military can win the war against terrorism, at least in the so-called Iraqi Front, is gone. The majority of US citizens no longer believe George Bush is fit to command.

    Other international forces and regional interests should assume military command for most stabilization operations and reconstruction in Iraq. Also, all US oil corporations should abandon their interests in Iraq’s oil fields.

    Not only should impeachment remain on the table as a means to reign in the president’s ruthless, reckless miltarism, impeachment may be the only way to win the war against terrorism. It seems obvious the Bush administration intends to escalate this war for decades, as if the last 5 years was only the beginning. Impeachment NOW!

  67. 76

    proud leftist spews:

    GBS @ 71
    You are addressing an elected official of the United States government. Your illiterate and rude rant isn’t even appropriate in a barroom. Though I don’t have the least respect for our president, I would have enough respect for his position that I would at least treat him with common courtesy and address him as sir. You, my friend, are a pathetic, snot-nosed imbecile, who really should learn to keep his ill-considered opinions to himself.

  68. 78

    ArtFart spews:

    I keep wondering when some official is going to slip up and drop the “light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel” phrase that all us old greybeards remember from Vietnam. Who knows, maybe it’ll come from Preznit Dumbass himself tonight.

  69. 79

    GBS spews:

    hey proud leftist bite me.assholes
    like you are a dime a to give us your military service.did not think so.and if the elected official and you thought it rude it was suppose to be.remember its a free are the imbecile got it.

  70. 80

    Jack Burton spews:

    @ 52 “Will says………”

    Where did I say “level” EVERY Mosque? I gave an example of a very dangerous situation. It also applies to Schools, Hospital and Private Residences.

    If I get shot at from a mosque, I return fire PERIOD.

    What’s so complicated about that?

    Also, Thanks for the personal attack on my moral “bankruptcy” and the comparison to a negative stereotype.

  71. 81

    GBS spews:

    proud leftist where is the rage when people make fun of the president.cant hear you.what is good for the president must be good for the congressman.oh ya did i tell you to bite me.

  72. 83

    mickey spews:

    82 comments so far, and Congressman Smith has not yet posted one comment back. Was this supposed to be a dialogue or a monologue?

  73. 84

    Will spews:

    @ 80

    No offense intended… I think American soldiers have latitude to fight the war, regardless of where the enemy goes. It’s just that fight itself is an unwinnable one. It’s time to find a political solution and bring them home.

  74. 86

    sgmmac spews:


    So, I was a Republican shill when I told Rujax that I would like to give the Republican lawmakers who screwed over the soldiers supporting the bombing of Kosovo my middle finger?
    They could well do without ME being a shill for them……..

    As for the mission, you know that a mission has to have objectives and when they are achieved – a well defined exit strategy….. Since Iraq never had the exit strategy, I’m not sure when the military knows that they have accomplished the mission.

    As for the “surge” and their mission, I haven’t watched the speech yet, so I don’t know what it is. I can guess that it is to clear out the nests of insurgents who continue to plague the country.

    You and your Democratic friends have not seen bloodshed anything like you will see if we pull out before the Iraqi government can maintain and secure itself. If we leave too soon, the bloodbath will be in the hundreds of thousands. I do think we have a moral obligation to try and fix the problem that we helped create there………

    The Iraq Study Group report didn’t say cutoff funding or pull out immediately.

    Yes, there is a glaring lack of diplomacy. Other than sending the Delta Force and Green Berets into Iraq to kick their leaders in the ass – so that they step up to the plate and take responsibility for their country, I don’t the answer is, but it surely isn’t hurting the soldiers there or those who soon will be there.

    As for the lack of updated equipment, there is nothing new in that. It takes the military years and years to buy and field new equipment and it always has………….

  75. 87

    rhp6033 spews:

    For those that think a “troop surge” would work in Iraq, I suggest you consider the following scenario:

    The U.S. decides that gang violence in Los Angeles is intollerable, and allocates 20,000 troops to put a stop to it. How will they do so? By kicking in the doors of every house in L.A., searching it, and then moving on to the next one. Before doing so, they will publicize the plan, and give several weeks, if not months, of warning before exercising the plan.

    How will the gangs react? Of course, they will hide their weapons more carefully, or just move them out of the area until the “surge” is over, after which they will just return with their weapons (or dig them up), and start shooting at the soldiers from behind.

    Obviously, it won’t accomplish anything more than a temporary reduction in activity in the specific areas where the troops are concentrated, which will renew as soon as the troops leave.

    Kind of like all those “search & destroy” missions in Vietnam.

    Obviously, this is simply a strategy to buy more time. As long as Bush is claiming that the “surge” is in progress, and we will have to wait to see the results, he gets several more months of leeway. He did this in 2004, when he claimed that right before the election the Iraqi government had just been organized, and we needed to give it more time for it to work. But by 2006 he had run out of excuses.

    More troops were an obvious answer in the spring of 2003, when they might have had an impact. They might have been able to secure the borders, secure Iraqi Army weapons storage centers, and prevent looting. They might have even been able to prevent the intial assasination of Shiite leaders which took place just days afer the collapse of the Saddam’s government. But sending them in now doesn’t make up for the mistakes made earlier.

    Timing is everything.

  76. 88


    anti-liberal says:

    Dear Mr Smith,

    You could have saved yourself some time and just condensed it down to 3 words:



    ps: you may not “want to put the troops in a political fight between Congress and the President” but you and your party have masterfully succeeded at doing just that. Congratulations. You might want to remember that, barring Al Gore refusing to count their votes, our hardworking uniformed men and women do indeed vote and take that obligation as seriously as their obligation to protect you.


    The Republicans have used the “War on Terror” veil to hide their lies, hypocracy, and crimes for far too long.

    Every single thing about the Iraq war has been for political purposes and used by the Bush Crime Family for their power grab. If we really wanted to “win” we would have gotten U.N. approval, a real coalition, and invaded with enought troops to really secure the country, and rebuild Iraq with the plan that the State Dept. had been working on for 10 years that Bush flatly ignored.

    Bush has used the blood of our troops for political gain, and the financial gain of his buddies, and more than half of America and 99% of the rest of the world understand this.

    When will you figure it out?

    What is your problem? Blind faith in the GOP? Bush? Utter oblivion to facts any 3 year old could understand?

    All Facts Support My Positions. Period.

    What would have been great would have been if Bush went after Al Queda instead of Saddam. Invading Iraq was giving the rest of the world the finger, and they shall not forget. I travel internationally, and I gotta tell you, there are a lot of people pissed off at Americans right now, all because of your Fuhrer Bush.

  77. 89


    The only real answer is political, and as long as we help the Shia with their ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis it will only get worse. No amount of dead American soldiers can secure a country when the people that live there, and hold power there are not willing to help.

    If we tell them we are leaving, and they need to get their house in order, and then start leaving, then they will have to share the oil income evenly.

    Bush doesn’t want to guarantee we will leave, because he wants permanent bases, and the Iraqis know this. Why do you think they are resisting? Bush plans on occupying Iraq for decades to protect his prescious black gold. 5 billion people understand this. Only a few conservative cave dwellers don’t get it.

  78. 90

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Clearly, Bush’s troop surge is a last-ditch, last-gasp effort of a dying administration to win a war that is already lost. It won’t work, will increase U.S. and Iraqi civilian casualties, and its only function appears to be to provoke domestic political opposition so Republicans can falsely claim “Democrats lost the war.” The truth is, the Republicans lost the war when they tortured innocent Iraqi civilians in Abu Ghraib prison. You can’t keep things like that secret, no matter how hard you try.

  79. 91


    anti-liberal says:

    Dear Mr Smith,

    You could have saved yourself some time and just condensed it down to 3 words:



    Anti Liberal

    Read Rove’s book, and how he claimed he could turn a war into a positive political force.

    See if a bell goes off…..

    Then blame Democrats, who have had zero chance to steer a course in Iraq for the Fiasco there……

    Then smoke some more of the good stuff, because anyone defending Bush these days is definitely smoking something illegal.

    Cut and Run ~Vs~ Stay and Die Making Things Worse

    Take your pick from the two options left. Disaster, and Horrible Disaster. Thank You President Bush!

  80. 92

    anti-liberal spews:




    SPREE SAYS IS BETTER… http://wwwwakeupamericans-spre.....-wait.html

    ” A few quick notes here as we wait for the speech tonight from President Bush on his new strategy in Iraq. ”

    ” First, I do hope everyone notices that before the speech has been made, before the strategy has been outlined, the Democratic party, or most of it, is already coming out against his plan, which he has not announced yet…thus proving one point from those of us on the right, that it doesn’t matter what the strategy is, the Democrats have already decided in a “partisan” manner to speak against it. ”

    ” There is nothing wrong with having an opinion that differs when it comes to a plan or a strategy in Iraq, but to decide that a plan is unacceptable BEFORE you even know the details of the plan, makes the partisan manner of these complaints very clear and very public and something that will be remembered for a very long time. ”


    Cisco Sues Apple Over Use of IPhone Name

  81. 93


    anti-liberal says:




    anti dude. I am still waiting for you to tell us one thing Bush got right in Iraq…… (crickets chirping)

    What decision has Bush made pertaining to Iraq that has actually made the situations better?

    Bush is 0 for 10,000 and you bitch because we don’t have faith in him.

    C’mon. Smell the carnage…. Blood…..gore…..corpses…..

    What will it take anti dude? God himself telling you Bush is a failure? Heck you probably would not even believe God himself…..

    Why don’t you turn your radio to AM1090 and find out what is going on in your country?

  82. 94

    harry poon spews:

    re 66: Define their mission. In a realistic way, please. Bush never hit upon this “democracy building” feint until all his other lies had been exposed. The troops know they are not there to spread democracy, take down a dictator, fight terrorists, or any of the multitude of deceptions that you choose to believe.

    Like Vietnam, the soldiers who are there just want to get out alive — because the real reason we are there is to secure Iraq’s oil reserves for US corporatists and to enrich crooked war profiteers — because dying for EXXON is not a valid reason to die.

    This all goes back to Reagan dismantling the alternative energy programs Carter started. Now we are literally over a barrel — of oil — and until there is no more profit in it , these oil overlords will be milking us all dry.

    So, there it is. That’s their mission.And they know it. They don’t need your mothering.

  83. 95

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    AL @ 92:

    The plan has been trial-ballooned for the last month. The plan is to bring in a lot more troops to restore order to Baghdad.

    I’d really advise renting “Fog of War” to watch during this bout of lousy weather we’re having. McNamara said the big mistake with Vietnam was not understanding the nature of the conflict. He, and the rest of the Best and Brightest saw it as a proxy war with the Soviet Bloc. By throwing enough firepower, spending enough money, and dedicating enough energy, they figured they could get the Soviets (and the Chinese) to back off, and South Vietnam would stay as part of the free world.

    The Vietnamese saw it as a war of independence. The war had started with the Chinese, continued with the French, then the Japanese, then the French again, and finally the Americans. A war of independence is a very different thing. They were willing to fight to the last man to get their country back. Since we were not willing to fight to the last American soldier to keep Vietnam (duh!), we were pretty much fucked from the moment we stepped in there.

    Could the war have ended differently? Yeah, maybe. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Was there any number of troops, any quantity of bombs, any amount of support on the home front that would have changed that equation? NO!

    We are facing a similar problem in Iraq. We are supporting a government that has lukewarm support from the Shia population of the country, and the absolute, fight-to-the-last-man opposition of the Sunni population. Are the Sunnis being unreasonable and unconstructive? Maybe. Is this government the “fault” of the US? I’d say yes, but that is not the point.

    The point is that unless we dictate as a military goal to kill every single Sunni in Iraq, there is no military solution to this problem. As far as I know, this is not one of Bush’s goals. Absent that, 50,000 troops won’t fix it. Neither will 200,000. We are getting ourselves into another situation where we are fucked by not understanding the nature of the conflict.

  84. 96

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Thank you for your post Mr. Smith.
    I would opposee this plan to increase the troop strength. However, rather than out and out denying funding, I would make it dependant on giving the best armor and protective gear to these troops before they can be deployed.
    Congress, particularly the 109th Congress has been remiss in their oversight. We can start making amends for that NOW.

  85. 97

    stevec spews:

    Representative Smith,
    Thank you for you views and posting them.
    I didn’t read your post until after hearing the President’s speech.
    Clearly he and his advisers don’t grasp the complexity of the disaster they have created in Iraq.
    The planned “surge” as explained is doomed to fail.
    I’m sorry, but polite word escape me.
    Everything I think to say is being drowned out by the clearer phrase, “Impeach the Bastard!”

  86. 98

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @48 The ban on attacking private residences (if there is one) didn’t stop a squad of rogue Marines from butchering three Iraqi families in Haditha. And my understanding is those extra troops Bush is sending to Baghdad will be conducting house-to-house searches. Methinks you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  87. 99

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @49 “Leaving before the Iraqi’s are able to defend themselves would leave them wide open for domination by Iran.”

    Which will be when? Every day, it looks more and more like never.

  88. 100

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @50 “To put it in terms conservatives might better grasp..You are the shareholder for Nation-building, Inc. GW is the CEO. Given where we are as a co. after 4 years, 3,000 lives and 1 trillion $$ spent..Give the guy another shot?”

    No problem, as long as they can continue investing other people’s money and sons.

  89. 101

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @100 Ya know, this point has been raised so many times — wingnuts fight their wars with OPM&S — yet I’ve never heard any Republican respond to it. But what could they say? “B-b-b-ut, but … my five draft deferments were LEGAL …”?

  90. 102

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    85 We have two different posters using the “GBS” handle. The “good GBS” went away, and now we’re stuck with his evil twin!

  91. 104

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @92 Bush’s “strategy” — and bullshit — is as predictable as rain in Seattle in the winter.

  92. 105

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @92 Hey Aunty Looney — now that we’ve heard the speech, tell us which part we got wrong? The part about a 20,000-troop “surge”? Yeah, we got that wrong — it’s 21,500.

  93. 106

    GBS spews:


  94. 108

    ArtFart spews:


    We do now, sweetie. Guess what? We still think it sucks.

  95. 109

    Humanity spews:

    Insane supporters of the “Iraq Surge” Bush policy.

    Take one for the team. Lean in on home plate and die.

    Humanity will thank you.

    So will the actual troops. Really, they will. They are dying for you to die.

    Die. If necessary, kill yourselves. And everyone who you have given the cup of cyanide laced Kool Ade.

    You provide no useful input. You are waste matter. Fellow sewer travelers.

    Thank you,


  96. 110

    rhp6033 spews:

    jsa AT 95: McNamara still only got it half right. Like most wars of independence, Vietnam was also a civil war, between the Catholics and merchants who previously served the French colonial government administrators and were attempting to take their place in S. Vietnam, and the Buddist peasants and villagers. In between there were lots of opportunists who would switch sides frequently depending upon which side of the bread was buttered. During most of the war, the great majority of of the best ARVN troops weren’t in the countryside fighting the NVA or Viet Cong, but were confined to the area around Saigon to protect the government from coup attempts.

    A book I read by one Viet Cong officer said that before the Americans arrived, the Vietnamese all had difficulty telling who was their friend and who was their enemy. But once the Americans arrive, everyone know it was safe to shoot at them.

  97. 111

    Robin Friend spews:

    Thank YOU Representative Smith. Now please let them know you really mean “no surge” by voting against any funding for this action.

  98. 112

    Jill Jones spews:

    Thank you Rep. Smith for bringing to light your meeting at the White House and your thinking on the President’s plan for more troops in Iraq.

    However, I suggest that if Democrats want to change course for our country, we need to stop using the President’s catchwords and start defining issues in our own terms. There cannot be a “war on terror” because one cannot declare war on a tactic. The “war on terror” terminology allows the President to conflate our invasion and occupation of Iraq with countering terrorism. It also allows our occupation of Iraq to continue indefinitely, as long as the terrorism tactic is used by someone somewhere. Also, unless there is a plan for a subsequent withdrawal of troops, the “surge” is actually an escalation.

    Not only do Democrats need to chart a new course, we need to be united in how we present that course to the people.