Those who forget history…

*cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

…are doomed to repeat it.

I have often reminded readers about Iran 1979, and pointed out that when the Ayatollah Khemeini returned to Iran from exile in Paris, the west really was not paying attention. That was so evident when “students” stormed the US embassy in Tehran and took American hostages. Those “students” were the forerunners – I believe – of our current problems with Islam.

Yes, it was thirty years ago today that the Shah of Iran, who some see as a puppet of the west, left Iran, and Iran began its overt journey to what we deal with globally today:

  • 1979

    January The ailing Shah leaves Iran. He dies in Cairo in 1980.

    February Ayatollah Khomeini returns as leader of the revolution. The armed forces announce their neutrality and the monarchy collapses. The Ayatollah takes power with Mehdi Bazargan as his prime minister.

    Ayatollah Khomeini receives an ecstatic welcome

    Ayatollah Khomeini returned to an ecstatic welcome

    November Radical students occupy the American Embassy and hold 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.

    December The new Islamic constitution is ratified by a referendum.

  • 1980 The Iraqi forces attack Iran on 20 September beginning a war that lasts until 18 July 1988.
  • What I most remember about those days was the role of the Canadian Ambassador, Ken Taylor. Away from the media spotlight, he worked to help the Americans, and was later recognised for that. I also remember how the Iranians held the Americans until the very end of Jimmy Carter’s time in office. There has been much written about those days, and as always, what I find most interesting are the first person accounts. Never mind the political rhetoric, and the congratulatory chest thumping, it is always those most intimately affected by the events of history, who share the most compelling stories. Within their reminiscences are the markers of history, which we would all do well to pay attention to. One man from Iran 1979 is Robert C. Ode. Quite apart from the typically bland retelling of events that I found on the Jimmy Carter Library and Musem site (yes, there really is such a thing, and you can find that here,) I found a synopsis about Mr Ode, and also links to some of his writings:

    Robert C. Ode was one of the fifty-two American citizens taken hostage by Iranian students in November 1979 at the American embassy in Tehran. They were held for a total of 444 days and finally released, after lengthy negotiations, on January 20, 1981.

    Ode (pronounced Odee) was the oldest of the hostages and was in fact retired from diplomatic service. He had taken a special assignment to go to Tehran and expected to be there only a few months when taken with the other embassy staff.

    He was allowed to keep a diary after a few months as captive, when conditions under which the hostages lived were loosened, although the conditions were never good. The hostages were separated into small groups that were not allowed to communicate. They were cut off from outside news and contact with the American government, while letters to and from their families were delivered late or not at all. They were blindfolded when taken outside their rooms to take showers or exercise. Moreover, the students were very amateurish jailers, so that essential supplies frequently ran out, meals were often late and improvised and frequently inadequate, and onerous security restrictions far in excess of what was needed were arbitrarily applied. More serious was the problem that medical attention was extremely inadequate, while many of the hostages were senior embassy staff with serious health worries. Above all, there was the psychological pressure of never knowing when they would be released or what the American government was doing to help them.

    Ode’s journal consists of 115 pages. What is presented here are selected pages illustrating either significant changes or problems in the conditions of his captivity, along with some typical days where the main problems were boredom or food. The full diary is available to the public. For information, contact the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta at (404) 865-7100 or e-mail carter.library@nara.gov

    Robert C. Ode

    Although many of their letters were not delivered to each other, a mainstay of Ode’s captivity was the correspondence of his family and friends, especially his wife, Rita Muth Ode, who was under great strain herself but cheered Ode with accounts of the new home she was preparing for his retirement, occasionally receiving advice about the new house from her captive husband.

    After months of negotiations, the Iranian government released the hostages in January 1981. The negotiations had been conducted by the Carter administration, while the release was made the first day of the Reagan administration. President Reagan asked Carter to fly to Germany to welcome the released hostages, while Reagan announced their return to Congress and the world.

    Ode died on September 8, 1995 in Sun City West, Arizona, where he had lived in retirement with Rita in the home that she had described to him in her letters while he was captive in Iran….

    Go here to find links to Mr. Ode’s diary entries.

    Also on this day? As the BBC puts it:

    1991: ‘Mother of all Battles’ begins

    The Gulf War Allies have sent hundreds of planes on bombing raids into Iraq, at the start of Operation Desert Storm.

    The American, British, French, Saudi and Kuwaiti aircraft took off at 2330 GMT last night.

    Their bombs were aimed at military and strategic targets, including an oil refinery and Baghdad airport.

    At least 400 raids took place. Latest reports say all the Allied aircraft have returned home safely, although France says four of its planes were hit.

    US Defence Secretary, Dick Cheney, said the operation appeared to have gone “very well”.

    Two hours after the raids began, President George Bush made a televised address.

    He said the military objectives were clear – force Iraqi troops out of Kuwait and restore the legitimate government.

    In Baghdad, Saddam Hussein remained defiant. He said the “Mother of all Battles had begun”. He urged the Iraqi people to “stand up to evil”.

    First news of the bombing came from reporters in Baghdad working for the American TV network, CNN. They reported hearing air raid sirens shortly before the bombs hit.

    President Bush said: “Our operations are designed to best protect the lives of all the coalition forces by targeting Saddam’s vast military arsenal.

    “Initial reports from General Schwarzkopf are that our operations are proceeding according to plan.”

    The British Prime Minister, John Major, came out of Number Ten shortly before 0800 GMT to make a statement to reporters.

    “No-one wanted this conflict. No-one can be pleased about the fact this conflict has been necessary,” he said.

    “I hope now it is clear to Iraq that the scale of the Allied operation is such that they cannot win….

    Lots of interesting links to the events on the BBC here. There are a few first person accounts there, too. Some of the pictures from Desert Storm here:

    Kuwaiti soldier

    A Kuwaiti soldier with a machine gun stands silhouetted on the skyline

    British soldiers

    British Army soldiers are given injections against the effects of a possible chemical atteck

    Laser-guided bombs

    British and US forces prepare to launch laser-guided bombs on Iraq

    Spent missile

    A US soldier examines the wreckage of a missile, believed to be a Scud, which landed in Saudi Arabia

    Burning Oil Wells

    A cow stands in front of burning oil wells, set alight by retreating Iraqi forces in the al-Ahmadi oil fields near Kuwait City

    French soldiers

    French soldiers patrol under a mural of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Southern Iraq

    Iraqi Prisoners of War

    An Egyptian soldier guards Iraqi prisoners in the Kuwaiti desert

    A Kuwaiti celebrates

    A Kuwaiti raises his arms in celebration as Allied forces arrive in Kuwait City

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein speaks on television for the first time after Iraq’s defeat

    Liberation of Kuwait

    Kuwait City celebrates after the liberation

    New York celebrations

    New Yorkers celebrate the end of the Gulf War

    What did we learn from history? I suggest one was that when we go out to do a job, we better finish it. The historians will, no doubt, be pontificating for years about the success of the mission dubbed The “Mother of all Battles”, and I don’t need to add my two cents’ worth. What was obvious to even this non military observer was that the job was unfinished. And so it was:

    On 27 February, President George Bush declared victory. Kuwait was liberated but Saddam Hussein remained in power in Baghdad.

    On 20 March 2003, President George Bush junior led a “coalition of the willing” on an invasion of Iraq with the aim of toppling the Bagdad regime….(here)

    As history shows, the “coalition of the willing” DID give Baghdad – and Iraq – back to the Iraqi people. The history which still remains to be written is whether or not we managed to eradicate the scourge of Islam and their Religion of Death globally. Our battle against the madmen of Islam continues to this day. As a new President gets set to lead America, it will be interesting to see if the 44th President has learned anything from history. The evidence of all that Islam means to do on a worldwide scale has been writ large for many decades. Only time will tell if this next President will ignore all the signs. We ignore the lessons of history at our peril.

    Iraq Fairy Tales

    Front Page Magazine

    By Ralph Peters
    New York Post Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    WORKING out last Monday, I heard a campaign flunky on TV insist that progress in Iraq is an illusion. “The war isn’t over until all of the troops come home!” she grumped.
    Guess we’re still at war with Germany. And Japan. Even Italy. Oh, and let’s not forget all of our military bases occupying the Confederacy.

    The poor woman knew nothing about warfare, history – or Iraq. She just wanted to see her candidate win in November and wasn’t going to let reality get in the way.
    And one look told you she didn’t even know any “troops.”

    But after my initial shrug (back to the bench for more crunches), it struck me how wrong I’d been on a point I’d argued for two decades: I claimed that Western societies have an advantage because of their insistence on factual data.

    Yet, since 9/11, I’ve seen and heard no end of my fellow citizens’ arguing from blind passion and utterly refusing to ingest facts that didn’t match their prejudices (left or right). Since the turnabout in Iraq began a year and a half ago, the rejection of reality has become an outright pathology for the quit-Iraq-and-free-the-terrorists set.

    I’ve watched millions of my countrymen and countrywomen insist that fantasies are real. In a classic through-the-looking-glass reversal last year, Sen. Hillary Clinton told Gen. David Petraeus, the man who turned Iraq around, that his reports of progress were fairy tales. It was the world turned upside down.

    Since that woman on TV “explained” victory last Monday, I’ve thought about the different kinds of people who refuse either to accept that the situation in Iraq has improved remarkably or that quitting now would have serious consequences.

    When I break down the “fairy tales can come true” crowd, the first division is into vendors and consumers. Determined to elect the president of its choice, the “mainstream” media has collapsed into outright lies and whopping distortions. And, of course, political hacks will do anything to get their candidate elected.

    It’s the consumers of fairy tales – those desperate to believe – who are more interesting. They come in several basic flavors, two of which we can quickly set aside:

    Protesting university students. Don’t worry about them. Once they graduate and get a dose of reality, most of the kids will do fine. The need for liberal-arts undergrads to prance to the left is virtually hormonal.

    Hollywood stars and other celebrities. No worries there, either. Just check out the box-office receipts for the dozen or so self-righteous anti-war (anti-military) films. These folks are so far removed from reality that they believe the roles they play give them genuine expertise. Don’t get irate – just laugh. (Coming soon: Susan Sarandon on quantum physics!)

    But there’s another sad bunch:

    My generation. Those of us from our mid-50s into early 60s. The florid youth of yesteryear who declared they were going to change the world, made a mess others had to clean up – and the high point of whose lives came in a protest march down University Boulevard, chanting, “Ho-ho-ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win!”

    The key to understanding the aging activists’ bitterness toward the military (disguised as concern for the common soldier) and their obsession with the rights of terrorists is that this cobbled-together cause gives them one last chance to rise above their disappointing lives and to recapture, for one Viagra-assisted moment, their glory days of raised little fists and bell-bottoms.
    Reality proved bitter for this bunch. In an infuriating turnabout, it was the nerds in the comp-science classes, the geeks with punch cards in their shirt pockets, who changed the world (and became billionaires). It just doesn’t seem fair that the folks with multiple degrees in Comparative Literature ended up, at best, with tenure at an obscure college, serial divorces and a failed book or two.

    My generation’s sense of entitlement is, of course, legendary. But most of us got jobs and got on with our lives. Only a soured minority never got over that brief moment in the sun before the communes fell apart because someone had to do the dishes (and pay for the penicillin).

    Just as no evidence was ever going to convince them that Communists might not all be virtuous, nothing is going to convince them that Iraq is emerging as a better place, for its own people and for us, than it was under Saddam Hussein. They need to believe that our country, having failed to recognize their innate greatness, is wrong.

    I’d pity them, if the stakes weren’t so high.

    If aging activists really want to change the world for the better, facing reality would be a great first step. Magic beanstalks don’t really grow into the clouds. That’s still a minivan, pal, before and after midnight. Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t always make it safely home to the Upper West Side.

    And the United States isn’t always evil.

    An Apology To The Valiant American Soldier

    From Jewish Odysseus blog.

    Khudayr Taher: An Apology to the Valiant American Soldier

    In an April 8, 2008 article titled “Apology to the Valiant American Soldier,” Iraqi liberal Khudayr Taher bemoaned the ill treatment the U.S. army received from those it liberated:

    “We forsook you and betrayed you – we, whose history is an expression of massacres, conflagrations, and ruin. We killed you, and we killed our dream and aspiration of reaching the sun, the moon, and the stars – [we killed our dream] of availing ourselves of the opportunity to live as true humans, thanks to your presence.”

    “My dear, brave American soldier, you noble individual who traversed land and sea in order to write the story of Iraqi freedom for the first time in its modern history – you believed, in accordance with logic, self-evident truths, and rational thought, that a people who had been subjected to repression, starvation, and killing would dance for joy, and would thank Allah who sent you to them as a liberating angel. [You believed that] they would strew flowers and break out in songs of joy that would smash the chains of slavery, ignominy, and humiliation.”

    Not even a writer of surrealistic [literature] or [theater of] the absurd would have imagined that the Iraqi people would revolt against their liberator and would rush ardently back to a new bondage of a different kind – that of the religious cleric, the tribal sheikh, and the gang leader. It was unthinkable that the people would go against logic, rational thought, and self-evident truths, in a mad rush towards the abyss and total ruin.”

    My beloved, brave American soldier, we apologize to you, and we are saddened at our wretched and miserable selves. Since we are a people that slaughters itself, and kills one another, cutting off heads, what can you expect from us other than ingratitude, perfidy, and stabbing you in the back for the benefit of Iranian and Syrian intelligence and Al-Qaeda?…”

    Continue reading here. The full story here.

    Good News From Iraq FINALLY Being Acknowledged

    Via Wake up America, cross posted by request from Miss Beth.

    Due to embedded journalists with combat units in Iraq, the American people were able to get the news, despite the reporting “boycott” the mainstream media had placed, and those reports by the embeds, as they filtered into the publics homes started a reversal of support for the our actions and the surge.

    Not long ago we were treated to a rare glimpse into the reporting, or to state it better the non reporting, of news in the mainstream media, by Robin Wright from Wapo and Barbara Starr from CNN, when they told the world (caught on video for prosperity) that good news from Iraq should not be reported.

    Certain news outlets are now starting to buck Ms. Wright and Barbara Starr’s assertions that good news is not news, bad news is news and no news is good news.

    One of the biggest surprises was (Hat Tip to QandO) the New York Times on November 16, 2007, where they printed two news articles that were not buried on page A-19, all of which showing the success of the surge and the counterinsurgency strategies implemented by General Petraeus.

    Giving credit where it is due, Kudos to NYT.

    Perhaps it was other countries media taking our media and politicians to task for refusing to acknowledge what is happening and has been for the last 6 months in Iraq.

    Perhaps it was voices from the front, soldiers, in Iraq, using the ability of the internet to get word to America and calling our media out on their refusal to report the truth, or the amounts of embeds like Totten, Roggio and Yon, that have funded themselves and risked their lives to bring the truth from Iraq home to the American people.

    Maybe it was some of the editorial writers from the very newspapers that refuse to print the actual news, calling them on their duplicity.

    THE EVIDENCE is now overwhelming that the “surge” of U.S. military forces in Iraq this year has been, in purely military terms, a remarkable success. By every metric used to measure the war — total attacks, U.S. casualties, Iraqi casualties, suicide bombings, roadside bombs — there has been an enormous improvement since January. U.S. commanders report that al-Qaeda has been cleared from large areas it once controlled and that its remaining forces in Iraq are reeling. Markets in Baghdad are reopening, and the curfew is being eased; the huge refugee flow out of the country has begun to reverse itself. Credit for these achievements belongs in large part to U.S. soldiers in Iraq, who took on a tremendously challenging new counterterrorism strategy and made it work; to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of that strategy; and to President Bush, for making the decision to launch the surge against the advice of most of Congress and the country’s foreign policy elite.

    Perhaps it was portions of our own media that refused to stay quiet and started calling their counterparts in the MSM, on their journalistic ethics.

    News from Iraq gets better by the day, but the media have done their best to downplay the turnaround and congressional Democrats have basically pulled the covers over their heads and pretended it doesn’t exist.

    There’s an eery silence out there about what’s going on in Iraq. It’s almost as if the silence is, well, intentional.

    Perhaps it is more simple and self serving than all those possibilities.

    They might just not want to be on the wrong side of victory now that the “trend” is undeniable.

    Where the media goes, how long before the Democrats follow like good little lapdogs?

    From the IBD editorial, linked above:

    Stranger still is the Democratic Party’s response, as reflected in its recent actions in Congress.

    We expected a certain amount of sheepishness on their part. After all, wasn’t it just Sept. 11 that Hillary Clinton told Gen. David Petraeus his progress report on Iraq required “a willing suspension of disbelief”? What we didn’t expect was all the self-delusion and denial that now seems to mark Congressional Democrats’ efforts on Iraq.

    The Democrats are denying our troops the funds they need to finish their job by playing games like Friday’s, when they tried to tie $50 billion in funding to massive troop withdrawals, beginning almost immediately.

    The measure failed in the Senate by seven votes. But the question remains: Why would they do such a thing in a war America is on the verge of winning?

    Meanwhile, as if that vote wasn’t enough, Democrats ripped Iraq’s government — apparently oblivious to what’s going on in Baghdad.

    “Every place you go you hear about no progress being made in Iraq,” Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday. “The government is stalemated today, as it was six months ago, as it was two years ago. It is not getting better; it is getting worse.”

    Virtually nothing in those three sentences is true — unless you replace “Iraq” with “Congress.” Yet, Reid speaks for his party.

    Captain’s Quarters shows just a small part of the political success Iraq is seeing now that the security situation is allowing for it:

    Maliki just approved the trial of two high-ranking Health Ministry officials linked to Moqtada al-Sadr for hundreds of murders and abductions, some from hospitals. Maliki has also proposed an amnesty long demanded by Sunnis to release all but the most violent of the accused native insurgents as another step towards reconciliation. He has isolated Sadr politically and traveled to Sunni strongholds in the west to build trust for steps to come. All of this has occurred in the last three months as violence began to ebb throughout the country.

    The depth of the Democrats denial regarding Iraq is shown by their most recent, 41st failed attempt to force America to surrender in Iraq, just as the media is finally telling the American people that we are winning without a doubt.

    They are so invested in defeat and failure that to acknowledge the truth which is hitting them in the head with a shovel, would be political suicide.

    The problem they now face is that denying the progress and success is also political suicide because every day Americans are being told.

    The other day I stated that the Democratic politicians had 2 choices before them:

    Choice #1: They can acknowledge what is right in front of them and risk the ire of their far left, liberal base, like MoveOn.org and Code pink and the liberal bloggers that have shown they will “go after” anyone that dares speak up and tell the truth. (As they have done with Brian Baird and what they call the Bush Dog Democrats)

    Choice #2: They can continue to ignore the progress and success that is being seen in Iraq and mollify their far left, liberal base, while they alienate the moderates of their party and the independents.

    Neither choice is enviable but I cannot feel any sympathy for them because this is a position they have placed themselves in by betting against America, betting against the Iraqi’s, betting against our military and betting against General Petraeus and his counterinsurgencies strategies.

    I also had a little note to Hillary Clinton, Dingy Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic politicians:

    Note to Hillary Clinton: Your continued statements about the policies in Iraq being “failed”, requires us to have a “willing suspension of disbelief” that you are able to tell the truth and are qualified to be the commander in chief of our fine military which you have staked your political career on betting against. You owe General Petraeus a public apology Hillary.

    (Click image to enlarge and read Hillary’s words to General Petraeus, said for the whole world to hear)

    Note To Harry Reid: Hows that “Iraq is lost” comment going for you now Dingy Harry?

    The war in Iraq “is lost” and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday.

    Note to the rest of the Democratic politicians… eventually you are going to have to pick choice #1 or choice #2 from above because the days of ignoring it and hoping that things will go bad in Iraq are over, and it is time for you to either tell your moderates and the independents to go to hell or to tell MoveOn.org and the far left liberal, unhinged faction of your base to go to hell.

    You have left yourself no middle ground. They will not let you have it both ways.

    So, whats it to be Democrats?

    We are waiting.

    SPEAK UP, WE CANNOT HEAR YOU.

    Good News From Iraq FINALLY Being Acknowledged

    Via Wake up America, cross posted by request from Miss Beth.

    Due to embedded journalists with combat units in Iraq, the American people were able to get the news, despite the reporting “boycott” the mainstream media had placed, and those reports by the embeds, as they filtered into the publics homes started a reversal of support for the our actions and the surge.

    Not long ago we were treated to a rare glimpse into the reporting, or to state it better the non reporting, of news in the mainstream media, by Robin Wright from Wapo and Barbara Starr from CNN, when they told the world (caught on video for prosperity) that good news from Iraq should not be reported.

    Certain news outlets are now starting to buck Ms. Wright and Barbara Starr’s assertions that good news is not news, bad news is news and no news is good news.

    One of the biggest surprises was (Hat Tip to QandO) the New York Times on November 16, 2007, where they printed two news articles that were not buried on page A-19, all of which showing the success of the surge and the counterinsurgency strategies implemented by General Petraeus.

    Giving credit where it is due, Kudos to NYT.

    Perhaps it was other countries media taking our media and politicians to task for refusing to acknowledge what is happening and has been for the last 6 months in Iraq.

    Perhaps it was voices from the front, soldiers, in Iraq, using the ability of the internet to get word to America and calling our media out on their refusal to report the truth, or the amounts of embeds like Totten, Roggio and Yon, that have funded themselves and risked their lives to bring the truth from Iraq home to the American people.

    Maybe it was some of the editorial writers from the very newspapers that refuse to print the actual news, calling them on their duplicity.

    THE EVIDENCE is now overwhelming that the “surge” of U.S. military forces in Iraq this year has been, in purely military terms, a remarkable success. By every metric used to measure the war — total attacks, U.S. casualties, Iraqi casualties, suicide bombings, roadside bombs — there has been an enormous improvement since January. U.S. commanders report that al-Qaeda has been cleared from large areas it once controlled and that its remaining forces in Iraq are reeling. Markets in Baghdad are reopening, and the curfew is being eased; the huge refugee flow out of the country has begun to reverse itself. Credit for these achievements belongs in large part to U.S. soldiers in Iraq, who took on a tremendously challenging new counterterrorism strategy and made it work; to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of that strategy; and to President Bush, for making the decision to launch the surge against the advice of most of Congress and the country’s foreign policy elite.

    Perhaps it was portions of our own media that refused to stay quiet and started calling their counterparts in the MSM, on their journalistic ethics.

    News from Iraq gets better by the day, but the media have done their best to downplay the turnaround and congressional Democrats have basically pulled the covers over their heads and pretended it doesn’t exist.

    There’s an eery silence out there about what’s going on in Iraq. It’s almost as if the silence is, well, intentional.

    Perhaps it is more simple and self serving than all those possibilities.

    They might just not want to be on the wrong side of victory now that the “trend” is undeniable.

    Where the media goes, how long before the Democrats follow like good little lapdogs?

    From the IBD editorial, linked above:

    Stranger still is the Democratic Party’s response, as reflected in its recent actions in Congress.

    We expected a certain amount of sheepishness on their part. After all, wasn’t it just Sept. 11 that Hillary Clinton told Gen. David Petraeus his progress report on Iraq required “a willing suspension of disbelief”? What we didn’t expect was all the self-delusion and denial that now seems to mark Congressional Democrats’ efforts on Iraq.

    The Democrats are denying our troops the funds they need to finish their job by playing games like Friday’s, when they tried to tie $50 billion in funding to massive troop withdrawals, beginning almost immediately.

    The measure failed in the Senate by seven votes. But the question remains: Why would they do such a thing in a war America is on the verge of winning?

    Meanwhile, as if that vote wasn’t enough, Democrats ripped Iraq’s government — apparently oblivious to what’s going on in Baghdad.

    “Every place you go you hear about no progress being made in Iraq,” Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday. “The government is stalemated today, as it was six months ago, as it was two years ago. It is not getting better; it is getting worse.”

    Virtually nothing in those three sentences is true — unless you replace “Iraq” with “Congress.” Yet, Reid speaks for his party.

    Captain’s Quarters shows just a small part of the political success Iraq is seeing now that the security situation is allowing for it:

    Maliki just approved the trial of two high-ranking Health Ministry officials linked to Moqtada al-Sadr for hundreds of murders and abductions, some from hospitals. Maliki has also proposed an amnesty long demanded by Sunnis to release all but the most violent of the accused native insurgents as another step towards reconciliation. He has isolated Sadr politically and traveled to Sunni strongholds in the west to build trust for steps to come. All of this has occurred in the last three months as violence began to ebb throughout the country.

    The depth of the Democrats denial regarding Iraq is shown by their most recent, 41st failed attempt to force America to surrender in Iraq, just as the media is finally telling the American people that we are winning without a doubt.

    They are so invested in defeat and failure that to acknowledge the truth which is hitting them in the head with a shovel, would be political suicide.

    The problem they now face is that denying the progress and success is also political suicide because every day Americans are being told.

    The other day I stated that the Democratic politicians had 2 choices before them:

    Choice #1: They can acknowledge what is right in front of them and risk the ire of their far left, liberal base, like MoveOn.org and Code pink and the liberal bloggers that have shown they will “go after” anyone that dares speak up and tell the truth. (As they have done with Brian Baird and what they call the Bush Dog Democrats)

    Choice #2: They can continue to ignore the progress and success that is being seen in Iraq and mollify their far left, liberal base, while they alienate the moderates of their party and the independents.

    Neither choice is enviable but I cannot feel any sympathy for them because this is a position they have placed themselves in by betting against America, betting against the Iraqi’s, betting against our military and betting against General Petraeus and his counterinsurgencies strategies.

    I also had a little note to Hillary Clinton, Dingy Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic politicians:

    Note to Hillary Clinton: Your continued statements about the policies in Iraq being “failed”, requires us to have a “willing suspension of disbelief” that you are able to tell the truth and are qualified to be the commander in chief of our fine military which you have staked your political career on betting against. You owe General Petraeus a public apology Hillary.

    (Click image to enlarge and read Hillary’s words to General Petraeus, said for the whole world to hear)

    Note To Harry Reid: Hows that “Iraq is lost” comment going for you now Dingy Harry?

    The war in Iraq “is lost” and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday.

    Note to the rest of the Democratic politicians… eventually you are going to have to pick choice #1 or choice #2 from above because the days of ignoring it and hoping that things will go bad in Iraq are over, and it is time for you to either tell your moderates and the independents to go to hell or to tell MoveOn.org and the far left liberal, unhinged faction of your base to go to hell.

    You have left yourself no middle ground. They will not let you have it both ways.

    So, whats it to be Democrats?

    We are waiting.

    SPEAK UP, WE CANNOT HEAR YOU.

    Come Home to Baghdad–Muslims to Christians

    The post below was cross posted by my friend Spree. The BEGINNING of this story is here in Spree’s post entitled “Why We Do What We Do” here and my post entitled “Hope, Thanks and Praise-Michael Yon” here.

    A reminder from those posts–the incredible picture of a muslim man polishing and mounting the cross atop the church, St. John’s Catholic Church (this picture gets my vote for the Pulitzer). THESE ARE THE STORIES WE NEED TO HEAR MORE OF AND THE MSM WILL NEVER PUBLISH--but we here in the blogosphere are delighted to bring them to you.


    Cross posted from Wake up America

    Michael Yon does it again. He captures in pictures and in words the mood of Baghdad. It isn’t the Baghdad under a brutal dictator. It isn’t the Baghdad that was suffering last year with violence.

    It is a new Baghdad and the Muslims in Baghdad are telling their Christian friends and neighbors that it is time to come home.

    (Click image to see the Democrats finally being honest about NOT supporting the troops)
    (Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St John’s today in force, and they showed their faces, and they said, “Come back to Iraq. Come home.” They wanted the cameras to catch it. They wanted to spread the word: Come home. Muslims keep telling me to get it on the news. “Tell the Christians to come home to their country Iraq.”)

    Michael Yon:

    I can’t remember my last shootout: it’s been months. The nightmare is ending. Al Qaeda is being crushed. The Sunni tribes are awakening all across Iraq and foreswearing violence for negotiation. Many of the Shia are ready to stop the fighting that undermines their ability to forge and manage a new government. This is a complex and still delicate denouement, and the war may not be over yet. But the Muslims are saying it’s time to come home. And the Christians are saying it’s time to come home. They are weary, and there is much work to be done.

    Go to Yon’s site and see the whole wonderful piece, the pictures tell a story of a country rebuilding and what I have shown you here is but a small fraction of what he has there.

    Remember, over 3,000 families have already returned to Baghdad, Iraq and they are encoraging the rest of Iraqi’s to do the same.

    Moving along here to what is left of al-Qaeda and the Strategy Page shows us that they are more worried about surviving now than they are about those “spectacular” attacks that get blasted across the news to make Americans think they are winning in Iraq:

    As the surge offensive continued to tear apart the terrorist infrastructure, the leaders put the organization into survival mode. Planning and carrying out attacks became less important than keeping remaining leaders and key people out of jail, or a grave. This is why the number of terror attacks has plummeted. The remnants of al Qaeda have fled to northern Iraq, around Mosul and areas near the Iranian border. If worse comes to worse, the terrorists know they can flee into Iran, and have a chance of bargaining their way out of an Iranian jail. Within Iraq, however, capture is either a long jail sentence, or execution. Al Qaeda is the most hated organization in the country, and may have to abandon Iraq altogether if the pressure doesn’t ease up.

    […]

    If al Qaeda cannot go dark and rebuild, they will have to abandon Iraq. That is almost unthinkable, because al Qaeda has, since 2003, declared Iraq to be “the graveyard of the Crusaders.” To admit defeat in Iraq would be a tremendous blow to al Qaeda operations elsewhere. The organization is already weakened by the failure to carry out any more operations in the United States since September 11, 2001. Al Qaeda has been shut down in so many other areas as well. But it looks like Iraq may be the last stand, and the last straw.

    Note to al-Qaeda in Iraq: Rot in hell you bastards, despite the past 40 attempts, and yesterdays 41st attempt, from the Democrats in our country to hand you a victory in Iraq, you have failed, they have failed and the Iraqi people have won and want no more to do with you.

    As news such as this finally gets reported to the American people, support is rising and after 6 months the number of people that believe the war is going “very” or “fairly” well has risen to 44%, according to Politico which quotes the newest Pew figures.

    That said, 44 percent of Americans now believe the war is going “very” or “fairly” well, a high point in the past year, according to The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan group.

    At the same time, CBS News polling has found U.S. opposition to Bush’s troop surge softening a bit.

    As for the Democrats (Pelosi, Reid and Company) that would like to abandon those Iraqi’s shown above and all that are not shown, abandon them when things are going undeniably well, you can go to hell too and take your defeatist friends with you.

    [UPDATE] The Democrats finally admit the truth: They DON’T support the troops.

    B. Relevant is also spreading the truth about Iraq….check it out.

    Come Home to Baghdad–Muslims to Christians

    The post below was cross posted by my friend Spree. The BEGINNING of this story is here in Spree’s post entitled “Why We Do What We Do” here and my post entitled “Hope, Thanks and Praise-Michael Yon” here.

    A reminder from those posts–the incredible picture of a muslim man polishing and mounting the cross atop the church, St. John’s Catholic Church (this picture gets my vote for the Pulitzer). THESE ARE THE STORIES WE NEED TO HEAR MORE OF AND THE MSM WILL NEVER PUBLISH--but we here in the blogosphere are delighted to bring them to you.


    Cross posted from Wake up America

    Michael Yon does it again. He captures in pictures and in words the mood of Baghdad. It isn’t the Baghdad under a brutal dictator. It isn’t the Baghdad that was suffering last year with violence.

    It is a new Baghdad and the Muslims in Baghdad are telling their Christian friends and neighbors that it is time to come home.

    (Click image to see the Democrats finally being honest about NOT supporting the troops)
    (Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St John’s today in force, and they showed their faces, and they said, “Come back to Iraq. Come home.” They wanted the cameras to catch it. They wanted to spread the word: Come home. Muslims keep telling me to get it on the news. “Tell the Christians to come home to their country Iraq.”)

    Michael Yon:

    I can’t remember my last shootout: it’s been months. The nightmare is ending. Al Qaeda is being crushed. The Sunni tribes are awakening all across Iraq and foreswearing violence for negotiation. Many of the Shia are ready to stop the fighting that undermines their ability to forge and manage a new government. This is a complex and still delicate denouement, and the war may not be over yet. But the Muslims are saying it’s time to come home. And the Christians are saying it’s time to come home. They are weary, and there is much work to be done.

    Go to Yon’s site and see the whole wonderful piece, the pictures tell a story of a country rebuilding and what I have shown you here is but a small fraction of what he has there.

    Remember, over 3,000 families have already returned to Baghdad, Iraq and they are encoraging the rest of Iraqi’s to do the same.

    Moving along here to what is left of al-Qaeda and the Strategy Page shows us that they are more worried about surviving now than they are about those “spectacular” attacks that get blasted across the news to make Americans think they are winning in Iraq:

    As the surge offensive continued to tear apart the terrorist infrastructure, the leaders put the organization into survival mode. Planning and carrying out attacks became less important than keeping remaining leaders and key people out of jail, or a grave. This is why the number of terror attacks has plummeted. The remnants of al Qaeda have fled to northern Iraq, around Mosul and areas near the Iranian border. If worse comes to worse, the terrorists know they can flee into Iran, and have a chance of bargaining their way out of an Iranian jail. Within Iraq, however, capture is either a long jail sentence, or execution. Al Qaeda is the most hated organization in the country, and may have to abandon Iraq altogether if the pressure doesn’t ease up.

    […]

    If al Qaeda cannot go dark and rebuild, they will have to abandon Iraq. That is almost unthinkable, because al Qaeda has, since 2003, declared Iraq to be “the graveyard of the Crusaders.” To admit defeat in Iraq would be a tremendous blow to al Qaeda operations elsewhere. The organization is already weakened by the failure to carry out any more operations in the United States since September 11, 2001. Al Qaeda has been shut down in so many other areas as well. But it looks like Iraq may be the last stand, and the last straw.

    Note to al-Qaeda in Iraq: Rot in hell you bastards, despite the past 40 attempts, and yesterdays 41st attempt, from the Democrats in our country to hand you a victory in Iraq, you have failed, they have failed and the Iraqi people have won and want no more to do with you.

    As news such as this finally gets reported to the American people, support is rising and after 6 months the number of people that believe the war is going “very” or “fairly” well has risen to 44%, according to Politico which quotes the newest Pew figures.

    That said, 44 percent of Americans now believe the war is going “very” or “fairly” well, a high point in the past year, according to The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan group.

    At the same time, CBS News polling has found U.S. opposition to Bush’s troop surge softening a bit.

    As for the Democrats (Pelosi, Reid and Company) that would like to abandon those Iraqi’s shown above and all that are not shown, abandon them when things are going undeniably well, you can go to hell too and take your defeatist friends with you.

    [UPDATE] The Democrats finally admit the truth: They DON’T support the troops.

    B. Relevant is also spreading the truth about Iraq….check it out.

    I have an emotional connection with those people in Iraq.”


    Cross posted from Wake up America by request.

    Rick Moran writes an excellent MUST READ article for PJM after speaking with the soldier that was expelled from the YearlyKos convention for daring to produce evidence that they didn’t want to hear, the surge is working.

    I am going to show you the end of that interview, and then link to the whole thing so you can see the whole thing.

    “This isn’t something political for me. I have an emotional connection with those people in Iraq.”

    To illustrate his point, he tells the story of one day while he was on guard duty, protecting a group of Iraqi workers, his command was unable or unwilling to supply him with lunch.

    “With the little food they had – and I mean little food – they each pitched in some of their own lunch so that I could eat. It’s amazing that 5 Shiites and 2 Sunnis cared more about my well-being than my own soldiers.

    Sergeant Aguina then took a candy wrapper out of his wallet where he had carefully folded it.

    It was just a wrapper. But for him, it was a reminder that there are many Iraqis who are grateful for the American presence and that his personal connection with those people was worth standing up in a place like YearlyKos where there was passionate objections to his views and opinions.

    “That act of compassion meant so much to me that I kept the wrapper from the first piece of food they gave me and I kept it in my body armor for the rest of the time I was in Iraq to remind me that there’s a lot of good people over there that deserve to be free.”

    The whole article is here and he admits he shouldn’t have originally gone there in uniform, then he proceeds to nail Soltz for his hypocritical stance as well as Soltz’s unprofessional conduct in his actions.

    It is a great piece, go read it all.

    Why did he bother to go to the Yearly Kos to begin with?

    Simple, he understood that it is part of the battlefield..

    I have an emotional connection with those people in Iraq.”


    Cross posted from Wake up America by request.

    Rick Moran writes an excellent MUST READ article for PJM after speaking with the soldier that was expelled from the YearlyKos convention for daring to produce evidence that they didn’t want to hear, the surge is working.

    I am going to show you the end of that interview, and then link to the whole thing so you can see the whole thing.

    “This isn’t something political for me. I have an emotional connection with those people in Iraq.”

    To illustrate his point, he tells the story of one day while he was on guard duty, protecting a group of Iraqi workers, his command was unable or unwilling to supply him with lunch.

    “With the little food they had – and I mean little food – they each pitched in some of their own lunch so that I could eat. It’s amazing that 5 Shiites and 2 Sunnis cared more about my well-being than my own soldiers.

    Sergeant Aguina then took a candy wrapper out of his wallet where he had carefully folded it.

    It was just a wrapper. But for him, it was a reminder that there are many Iraqis who are grateful for the American presence and that his personal connection with those people was worth standing up in a place like YearlyKos where there was passionate objections to his views and opinions.

    “That act of compassion meant so much to me that I kept the wrapper from the first piece of food they gave me and I kept it in my body armor for the rest of the time I was in Iraq to remind me that there’s a lot of good people over there that deserve to be free.”

    The whole article is here and he admits he shouldn’t have originally gone there in uniform, then he proceeds to nail Soltz for his hypocritical stance as well as Soltz’s unprofessional conduct in his actions.

    It is a great piece, go read it all.

    Why did he bother to go to the Yearly Kos to begin with?

    Simple, he understood that it is part of the battlefield..

    Recap of the Senate All Nighter: The Next Day:UPDATED with Reax

    Cross Posted from Wake up America

    First I want to give Snooper, from Take Our Country Back and huge THANK YOU for live blogging the pathetic Senate All Nighter for Wake up America.

    We started with Fighting fire with Fire, then yesterday afternoon, had the Senate All Nighter Part #1 and Snooper finished it off with the Senate All Nighter Part #2.

    The news is full of articles about it and after having spent two days watching it, I came away with a sense of two separate types of politicians in Washington, one set that wishes for no more than failure on the behalf of our military and is willing to ignore all the progress that General Petraeus and our troops and coalition members have been achieving over the last month and has but one true desire: To surrender to our enemies so that they can pick up a few votes for themselves.

    It was pathetic watching them beg to be allowed to encourage the enemy and demoralize our troops as well as to send a message to the whole world that they are weak.

    The other side of what I saw were men and women that are willing to fight, here at home, for the only thing our troops ask of us, the people of America: Time to finish what they have started and acknowledgment of the progress and successes they have been seeing.

    One group would sell America down the river for a vote or because a “poll” tells them to and the other group willing to forgo votes in their next election to do what they believe is right.

    The Democrats as well as 3 Republicans that joined them to commit political suicide have proved time after time that they are more interested in furthering their own careers than helping our country be safe and fight the Global War on Terror, yesterday they proved that by completely ignoring a group of individuals that we told you would be going to the Capitol yesterday to speak with the leadership.

    Who are these people that the Democratic leadership deliberately ignored yesterday?

    VETERANS FROM THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS.

    Vets for Freedom Continues Marching On The Hill

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Adriel Domenech
    501-412-1224

    Vets for Freedom expresses disappointment that veterans were not able to meet with Congressional leadership from both sides of the aisle in Congress today. While many Republican Senators, including leadership, made themselves available for questions and input, interaction from Democratic leadership was noticeably absent. In spite of that, Vets for Freedom members remain committed to speaking with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle.

    Republican leadership (and some Democrats, although not leadership) made room in their busy schedules—on very short notice—to speak with veterans. These veterans flew in on their own dime to ask Congress to give General David Petraeus the time he needs to fully implement the surge of American forces in Iraq. Veterans are very grateful and thankful for the time that these Senators took to spend with them.

    Five days in advance of today’s events, Vets for Freedom meeting requests—for 5 minutes—were submitted to the Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House. Repeated attempts were made to contact and meet with the Democratic leadership. “In the end, they made a disappointing decision to decline meeting with veterans who have first-hand knowledge of the situation on the ground” said Pete Hegseth, an Iraq War veteran and executive director of Vets for Freedom. “It is especially disappointing because Democratic leadership’s misguided policy—a declaration of defeat—will lead to a national security disaster for the United States.”

    Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American strategy and tactics—namely “the surge” in Iraq. Vets for Freedom is the leading voice representing troops and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information, please visit http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/.

    The Democratic leaders had plenty of time to visit with others for a publicity stunt of a candlelight “vigil” with a group like MoveOn.org, but could not be bothered to give 5 minutes to the men and women that actually went to Iraq and Afghanistan and fought valiantly for our country.

    Says quite a bit doesn’t it?

    Just as they continue to ignore Generals Petraeus, Lynch and Pace, they deliberately snubbed our fighting men and women.

    Think about that the next time you even think of defending one of those pathetic lowlifes.

    So, Reid, in his typical fashion of throwing a temper tantrum has decided that since his little stunt didn’t work, he will pull the whole Defense Authorization bill off the floor until he gets his way on ONE amendment, the Levin/Reed amendment that would set time lines on our military in Iraq.

    Fat chance. Just another publicity stunt that won’t work, just as last nights didn’t.

    Funny thing is, just like with the Emergency Supplemental back in May, even if he has managed to get this amendment in the Defense Authorization bill, the President would have vetoed it.

    They learn nothing and they have once again proven, without a doubt, to the whole world that they are, have been and will continue to be: Weak on National Security and not prepared to do what has to be done to win the War On Terror.

    So, while the Democratic majority leader played his little game and lost, again, our brave troops, coalition members and the Iraqi security forces were busy fighting to WIN, and, indeed, are doing a wonderful job of it as we witnessed with last nights news that they captured Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, back on July 4th.

    BAGHDAD – The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group’s foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.

    Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, was captured in Mosul on July 4, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman.

    “Al-Mashhadani is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the al-Qaida in Iraq network,” Bergner said. He said al-Mashhadani was a close associate of Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq.

    Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.

    “In fact, communication between the senior al-Qaida leadership and al-Masri frequently went through al-Mashhadani,” Bergner said.

    “Along with al-Masri, al-Mashhadani co-founded a virtual organization in cyberspace called the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006,” Bergner said. “The Islamic State of Iraq is the latest efforts by al-Qaida to market itself and its goal of imposing a Taliban-like state on the Iraqi people.”

    The Fourth Rail tells us more about this man and his role as an al-Qaeda front in Iraq:

    Mashadani has a long pedigree in Iraq’s Salafist terror networks, and had direct contact with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. “Mashadani was a leader in the Ansar Al Sunna terrorist group before joining AQI two and half years ago,” Brig. Gen Kevin Bergner said in a press briefing. “ He served as the al-Qaeda Media Emir for Baghdad and then was appointed the Media Emir for all of Iraq, serving as an intermediary between AQI leader al-Masri, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In fact, communication between senior al-Qaeda leadership and al-Masri went through Mashadani.”

    During interrogations, Mashadani admitted that the Islamic State of Iraq was merely a puppet front group established by al Qaeda in order to put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. Mashadani cofounded the Islamic State of Iraq with al-Masri in 2006. “The Islamic State of Iraq is a ‘front’ organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within AQI in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of AQI,” said Brig. Gen Bergner.

    The headlines tell us exactly how the Democratic leadership is being and will be portrayed in the MSM, in the weeks to come, or maybe for the years to come.

    The NYT- “Democrats Fail to Force Vote on Iraq Pullout

    Another NYT Article headline- “Democrats Lack Support to Force Vote on Pullout

    Wapo Headline- “Senate Rejects Troop Withdrawal Measure

    Those are just a few and make a good example. The Democrats are known as “failures” that stage “political stunts” while ignoring our Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    Talk Left has been continuously touting that the only way to force us into surrendering Iraq to al-Qaeda is by using the power of the purse, I have seen them make this argument over and over and over again.

    One simple question here: If the Democrats cannot manage to pass an amendment, what on EARTH makes Talk Left think, for a moment, that they would have enough votes (60 to bypass a filibuster) to defund anything?

    Simply another strawman argument although I truly believe the writer believes what he is saying.

    Lets say this simply so everyone can understand it: THEY. DON’T. HAVE. THE. VOTES

    One specific speech made last night, out of so many, should be seen by all and is brought to us from Captain’s Quarters, and that is McCain’s, I am not his greatest fan but have always maintained that I respect the hell out of McCain. He would rather lose an election that sell out our troops.

    His last speech last night:

    Mr. President, we have nearly finished this little exhibition, which was staged, I assume, for the benefit of a briefly amused press corps and in deference to political activists opposed to the war who have come to expect from Congress such gestures, empty though they may be, as proof that the majority in the Senate has heard their demands for action to end the war in Iraq. The outcome of this debate, the vote we are about to take, has never been in doubt to a single member of this body. And to state the obvious, nothing we have done for the last twenty-four hours will have changed any facts on the ground in Iraq or made the outcome of the war any more or less important to the security of our country. The stakes in this war remain as high today as they were yesterday; the consequences of an American defeat are just as grave; the costs of success just as dear. No battle will have been won or lost, no enemy will have been captured or killed, no ground will have been taken or surrendered, no soldier will have survived or been wounded, died or come home because we spent an entire night delivering our poll-tested message points, spinning our soundbites, arguing with each other, and substituting our amateur theatrics for statesmanship. All we have achieved are remarkably similar newspaper accounts of our inflated sense of the drama of this display and our own temporary physical fatigue. Tomorrow the press will move on to other things and we will be better rested. But nothing else will have changed.

    In Iraq, American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen are still fighting bravely and tenaciously in battles that are as dangerous, difficult and consequential as the great battles of our armed forces’ storied past. Our enemies will still be intent on defeating us, and using our defeat to encourage their followers in the jihad they wage against us, a war which will become a greater threat to us should we quit the central battlefield in defeat. The Middle East will still be a tinderbox, which our defeat could ignite in a regional war that will imperil our vital interests at risk there and draw us into a longer and far more costly war. The prospect of genocide in Iraq, in which we will be morally complicit, is still as real a consequence of our withdrawal today as it was yesterday.

    During our extended debate over the last few days, I have heard senators repeat certain arguments over and over again. My friends on the other side of this argument accuse those of us who oppose this amendment with advocating “staying the course,” which is intended to suggest that we are intent on continuing the mistakes that have put the outcome of the war in doubt. Yet we all know that with the arrival of General Petraeus we have changed course. We are now fighting a counterinsurgency strategy, which some of us have argued we should have been following from the beginning, and which makes the most effective use of our strength and does not strengthen the tactics of our enemy. This new battle plan is succeeding where our previous tactics have failed, although the outcome remains far from certain. The tactics proposed in the amendment offered by my friends, Senators Levin and Reed – a smaller force, confined to bases distant from the battlefield, from where they will launch occasional search and destroy missions and train the Iraqi military – are precisely the tactics employed for most of this war and which have, by anyone’s account, failed miserably. Now, that, Mr. President, is staying the course, and it is a course that inevitably leads to our defeat and the catastrophic consequences for Iraq, the region and the security of the United States our defeat would entail.

    Yes, we have heard quite a lot about the folly of “staying the course,” though the real outcome should this amendment prevail and be signed into law, would be to deny our generals and the Americans they have the honor to command the ability to try, in this late hour, to address the calamity these tried and failed tactics produced, and salvage from the wreckage of our previous failures a measure of stability for Iraq and the Middle East, and a more secure future for the American people.

    I have also listened to my colleagues on the other side repeatedly remind us that the American people have spoken in the last election. They have demanded we withdraw from Iraq, and it is our responsibility to do, as quickly as possible, what they have bid us to do. But is that our primary responsibility? Really, Mr. President, is that how we construe our role: to follow without question popular opinion even if we believe it to be in error, and likely to endanger the security of the country we have sworn to defend? Surely, we must be responsive to the people who have elected us to office, and who, if it is their wish, will remove us when they become unsatisfied with our failure to heed their demands. I understand that, of course. And I understand why so many Americans have become sick and tired of this war, given the many, many mistakes made by civilian and military leaders in its prosecution. I, too, have been made sick at heart by these mistakes and the terrible price we have paid for them. But I cannot react to these mistakes by embracing a course of action that I know will be an even greater mistake, a mistake of colossal historical proportions, which will — and I am as sure of this as I am of anything – seriously endanger the people I represent and the country I have served all my adult life. I have many responsibilities to the people of Arizona, and to all Americans. I take them all seriously, Mr. President, or try to. But I have one responsibility that outweighs all the others – and that is to do everything in my power, to use whatever meager talents I posses, and every resource God has granted me to protect the security of this great and good nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. And that I intend to do, Mr. President, even if I must stand athwart popular opinion. I will explain my reasons to the American people. I will attempt to convince as many of my countrymen as I can that we must show even greater patience, though our patience is nearly exhausted, and that as long as there is a prospect for not losing this war, then we must not choose to lose it. That is how I construe my responsibility to my constituency and my country. That is how I construed it yesterday. It is how I construe it today. And it is how I will construe it tomorrow. I do not know how I could choose any other course.

    I cannot be certain that I possess the skills to be persuasive. I cannot be certain that even if I could convince Americans to give General Petraeus the time he needs to determine whether we can prevail, that we will prevail in Iraq. All I am certain of is that our defeat there would be catastrophic, not just for Iraq, but for us, and that I cannot be complicit in it, but must do whatever I can, whether I am effective or not, to help us try to avert it. That, Mr. President, is all I can possibly offer my country at this time. It is not much compared to the sacrifices made by Americans who have volunteered to shoulder a rifle and fight this war for us. I know that, and am humbled by it, as we all are. But though my duty is neither dangerous nor onerous, it compels me nonetheless to say to my colleagues and to all Americans who disagree with me: that as long as we have a chance to succeed we must try to succeed.

    I am privileged, as we all are, to be subject to the judgment of the American people and history. But, my friends, they are not always the same judgment. The verdict of the people will arrive long before history’s. I am unlikely to ever know how history has judged us in this hour. The public’s judgment of me I will know soon enough. I will accept it, as I must. But whether it is favorable or unforgiving, I will stand where I stand, and take comfort from my confidence that I took my responsibilities to my country seriously, and despite the mistakes I have made as a public servant and the flaws I have as an advocate, I tried as best I could to help the country we all love remain as safe as she could be in an hour of serious peril.

    (Emphasis mine)

    Well said Senator McCain and I am proud to have you as my Senator, here in AZ.

    I have no doubt that Baghdad Reid and his merry band of surrender monkeys will continue to try to see America down the river, surrender to our enemies as well as do everything in their power to demoralize our troops in the field, but for today, after last nights pathetic attempt to do so, they have been shown, once again, for the worthless, spineless and weak politicians that they truly are.

    Not only are they the party OF defeat, they are the party that keeps getting defeated and I must admit, it is fun to see the GOP make a mockery of Baghdad Reid in such a public way.

    Later I will be bringing you the Good News From Iraq, the news that the Democratic party wishes to ignore.

    REMINDER FROM CASSY: Remember to vote today and once every day for the Wounded Warriors Project… they deserve the money.

    [Update] Yesterday I did promise you reactions from around the blogosphere and in the news, so lets get to keeping that promise:

    Let me start with one of my favorite bloggers/journalists, Don Surber:

    Our American troops are risking their lives in a war to fight al-Qaeda — a war they are winning — a war that Harry Reid voted to authorize and a war that Reid wants to give up on. For 2 years he has been crying “change the course.” Here’s the proof.

    When will he change his course? When will this senator from Nevada open his mind, review the facts and change his course from the cut-and-run whining he has made for 2 years now?

    So the Senate stayed up last night? Thousands of troops stay up every night. They put in 12-hour days. They are beating an enemy that wants to kill us.

    Reid’s stunt — his word — showed the American people what pampered babies senators are — and how incompetent the Democratic Party’s leaders are.

    Bush’s approval is 29%? So what? That is still double the 14% confidence rate of the Democratic-controlled Congress. Bush may be nearing Carter levels on job approval, but Congressional Democrats have already bested the 19% record low they set a 14 years ago.

    How dare Reid complain about the Iraqi government? He cannot even pass a budget. The immigration bill went poof on him. The sole bill that he’s passed was a minimum-wage amendment tacked onto an Iraqi funding bill.

    Read it all.

    Jules Crittenden:

    That doesn’t appear to have worked too well. The voters who have been the most upset are the ones who expected more of their narrow majority of Democrats in Congress than impotent flailing, half-measures and making futile gestures. Of course they, like the Democratic leadership they voted in, think the lawful exercise of constitutional checks and balances and congressional rules is an outrage.

    Captain’s Quarters:

    So what did this accomplish? Nothing. After midnight, most of the Senate disappeared. It turned into nothing more than a huge bluff, and Reid lost.

    Here’s what Reid wanted. He knew that he didn’t have enough votes for a quorum; he only has 49 Democrats available, with Tim Johnson’s disability. Reid counted on Republicans forcing an end to the session by having a single member present to challenge for a quorum. No votes could take place without one, including the instruction motion to the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest recalcitrant members and drag them back to the chamber. That would have allowed Reid and the Democrats to accuse Republicans of dodging the debate, calling them cowards to take the spotlight off of their insistence on retreat.

    Many expected the Republicans to do just that, but it turns out that Mitch McConnell is a little smarter than Harry Reid. Instead of denying Reid a quorum, the Republicans showed up for the debate, perhaps charged up by John McCain’s earlier speech on the floor. Once Reid figured out that the Republicans would not give him the satisfaction of walking out the door, he caved. In fact, Reid didn’t even bother to attend his own No Snooze Until We Lose party after the first instruction motion, choosing to hit the sack instead while Republicans took the podium all night long.

    The cloture vote has been scheduled for around 11 am this morning. The overnight session has done nothing except to annoy Republicans into a more unified caucus, and to make Harry Reid look like a fool. One might have expected a Senator from Nevada to recognize a busted flush when he saw it.

    Just One Minute:

    Playing politics with this? Geez, do they mean to suggest that the same party that gave us Clinton, Kerry and Edwards supporting the war resolution in 2002 in order to burnish their “tough on security” credentials is still playing politics?

    Take Our Country Back:

    Reid lost. Spree allowed me to live blog on her site. I stopped after the GOP stopped the cloture issue and they did so. Now, the whiner Reid is whining. The dude with the LOWEST approval rating in history is frustrated. He is a TOTAL idiot!!

    Demediacratic Nation:

    So, to Reid and the Rosies, the UN, and the MSM thanks for making the assured destruction of many a possibility with your lack of seriousness in these grave issues.

    Michelle Malkin live blogged the senate debate also:

    Jim Hoft notes that the Dems would not meet with anti-surrender veterans. Power Line has more.

    (For those that don’t know yet, Jim Hoft is from Gateway Pundit.)

    Neo-Neocon:

    Of course, it also focuses attention on the willingness of the Democrats to push for what Republican Orrin Hatch called the “political abandonment . . . of the biggest threat we face of the 21st century.”

    Hot Air:

    Update: Our crap politics — having failed to get his up or down vote, Reid throws a tantrum by yanking the entire defense policy bill from the floor.

    Just a small example of how we see the left’s attempt to surrender to our enemies.