Right On Cue
By NightTwister Posted in Democrats | Pelosi | War | War — Comments (36) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Promoted by absentee. Love the comparison
Senator Joe Biden Declares Iraq Troop Buildup a Failure as reported by the Associate Press via FoxNews.com.
During the weekly Democratic radio address yesterday, he said,
The purpose of the surge was to bring violence in Iraq down so that its leaders could come together politically. Violence has come down, but the Iraqis have not come together.
The eternally optimistic leader later added,
There is little evidence the Iraqis will settle their differences peacefully any time soon.
Although somewhat subdued this time, Senator Biden's comments are a clear preemptive strike against General Petraeus' scheduled report to congress this coming week. The democrat congressional leadership simply cannot weather another positive report about progress in Iraq.
Read on ...
Senator Biden is not the only one to warn against reporting anything positive. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forewarned General Petraeus against putting a positive spin on the recent uprising of Shiite militants in Iraq. From politico.com, Speaker Pelosi says,
I hope we don’t hear any glorification of what happened in Basra.
Not surprisingly, she also lets us know who she thinks is in charge of Iraq (hint: It's not the Iraqi government nor the U.S. military).
We have to know the real ground truths of what is happening there, not put a shine on events because of a resolution that looks less violent when in fact it has been dictated by al-Sadr, who can grant or withhold that call for violence.
I know this has been done before, but let's check the current score. Results based on The Daily Standard
Iraq's Seven Legislative Benchmarks
1. Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification. DONE
Passed by CoR on January 12, 2008; approved by Presidency Council in February 2008.
2. Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens equitably. NOT DONE
It should be noted that although legislation is still hung up, oil revenues are currently being equitably distributed to the various ethnic groups in the interim.
3. Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions. UNDERWAY
The Kurdish Regional Government is up and running, and a law has been passed that would allow provinces to form regions after April 2008.
4. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections. DONE
Passed by CoR on February 13, 2008; vetoed by Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi on February 26, 2008; veto withdrawn and law approved by Presidency Council on March 19, 2008.
5. Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty. DONE
Passed by CoR on February 13, 2008; signed by Presidency Council on February 26, 2008.
6. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq. DONE
Laws have been passed and decrees have been issued declaring that only the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are legitimate armed forces. The movement of former insurgents into Concerned Local Citizens groups is a major part of accomplishing this task.
7. Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review. UNDERWAY
CoR formed a Constitutional Review Committee in September 2006. It was originally supposed to report back in May 2007, and submitted a draft, but has since been granted an extension through August 2008. On the other hand, most of the key provisions in the Iraqi constitution requiring review involve the rest of the benchmark legislation, so this can be fairly said to be underway.
So there you have it. Four benchmarks met, two underway, and one not met (even though results of intended legislation are already being met.
Now, on to the fun part. In 2006, the new Democratic majority in congress committed to Six for '06. This New Direction for America listed six legislative benchmarks for the 110th congress. These six legislative goals were to be completed in the first 100 days. It's been more than 400 days, and yet they are woefully lacking, even in comparison to the Iraqi government.
The following is my own analysis.
Democrat's Six for'06
1. National Security. NOT DONE
The cut-and-run strategy of the democrats has been a dismal failure. Rather than getting troops out of Iraq, the number of troops has risen significantly during their tenure. They have also failed to renew the intelligence gathering bill, leaving our country more vulnerable to terrorist attack.
2. Jobs and Wages. PARTIAL
They successfully raised the national minimum wage, but in doing so have caused businesses to cut jobs to make up the difference and try to do more with less. Unemployment filings were up last month to a four-year high. The economy is slowing, and true-to-form they've refused to extend or make permanent the Bush tax cuts, thereby causing businesses to slow investments in new business.
3. Energy Independence. NOT DONE
So far, they've passed laws requiring turning food into fuel (ethanol), turning mercury into landfill fodder (fluorescent light bulbs), and raising CAFE standards (without requiring alternative energy usage). None of this will have any effect whatsoever towards energy independence.
4. Affordable Health Care. NOT DONE
5. Retirement Security. NOT DONE
Nothing has been done towards Social Security and Medicare reform. Tax increases have been their only proposals, which will only delay the inevitable bankruptcy of the system.
6. College access for all. NOT DONE
More silence. No changes have been made towards making college available to more people. If and when they do finally make more money available for tuition, it'll only drive up the cost of education and likely shut out even more middle-class people from attending.
7. The most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history.
I added the last one, since this was a direct quote from Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
* Honesty: The lies never stop. From denying progress in Iraq to intentionally maligning the top General and Commander-In-Chief during a time of war.
* Ethical: Several times they tried to put memebers in positions of authority that were under review for or had already committed ethics violations. One of their current members is under indictment for bribery.
* Open: A flat-out, in-your-face refusal to end the practice of quietly and secretly tacking on billions of dollars of hometown pork projects into spending bills.
Well, there you have it. A fair comparison of the legislative progress by the Iraqi and our own Legislatures. Here's the scorecard:
U.S. Congress: 0 completed, 1 partially completed, 6 not completed.
Iraqi Government: 4 completed, 2 partially completed, 1 not completed.
It should be noted that for the Iraqi Government, these benchmarks were dictated to them. For our own Congress, they were selected by the very leaders that have failed to carry them out.
I'm starting to agree that the cut-and-run strategy may be the best choice, but only from the legislative body that has failed to meet any of their benchmarks.
-Fort Collins, CO