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View Full Version : Another politician turns against his party on Iraq.


patteeu
08-18-2007, 12:28 PM
Since some of you think it's important news when a Lugar or a Domineci goes wobbly, I thought I'd point out that another war critic who just returned from Iraq has changed his tune. I've taken the liberty of bolding the part that I believe ought to be unifying us regardless of our various views on the lead up to the invasion and the handling of the war thusfar. We'd be a stronger country if more war critics were able to set those differences aside like Rep Baird has, IMO.


Baird sees need for longer U.S. role in Iraq (http://www.theolympian.com/news/story/192500.html)

Brad Shannon
The Olympian

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.

"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.

"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."

Baird, a five-term Democrat, voted against President Bush ordering the Iraq invasion at a time when he was in a minority in Congress and at risk of alienating voters. He returned late Tuesday from a trip that included stops in Israel, Jordan and Iraq, where he met troops, U.S. advisers and Iraqis, whose stories have convinced him that U.S. troops must stay longer.

With Congress poised next month to look at U.S. progress in Iraq and a vote looming on U.S. funding for the war, Baird said he's inclined to seek a continued U.S. presence in Iraq beyond what many impatient Americans want. He also expects Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees U.S. troops in Iraq, to seek a redeployment of forces. "People may be upset. I wish I didn't have to say this," Baird said. He added that the United States needs to continue with its military troops surge "at least into early next year, then engage in a gradual redeployment. I know it's going to cost hundreds of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars."

It was Baird's fifth trip to the Middle East, and he conceded that what he has learned has put him again in an unpopular position with some voters. He no longer thinks partitioning Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurd sections is possible, for instance; no one he spoke to in Israel, Jordan, Palestinian cities or Iraq liked the idea, he added.

Activists rallied Thursday at the state Capitol, saying they want Baird, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Olympia, to vote for withdrawing U.S. troops. But Baird said he believes that to the extent Iraqis think the United States would withdraw before bringing security to a functioning Iraqi government, "that might contribute to the infighting and instability of the government."

He also said the United States tore up Iraq with its invasion in 2003, dismantling civil government and industries and tossing a half-million people out of work, but that three years of U.S. help is not enough to let Iraq rebuild.

Baird said he would not say this if he didn't believe two things:

"One, I think we're making real progress."

"Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security."

Cheryl Crist of Olympia, who lost the Democratic primary against Baird in 2004 running on an anti-war platform, said the military presence in Iraq is adding to the problem.

"We do owe them something reparations and help," Crist said of the U.S. obligation to Iraqis. "But we are not good at delivering that through the military."

Nightwish
08-18-2007, 12:36 PM
If you read further down, it doesn't look like he's changing his tune nearly as much as you seem to be implying. He hasn't changed his mind about seeking a withdrawal of troops. He's only changed his mind about how quickly that redeployment should begin (by only a few months).

The United States needs to continue with its current "surge" of military troops "at least into early next year, then engage in a gradual redeployment," said Baird, a five-term lawmaker from Vancouver, Wash. "I know it's going to cost hundreds of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars."

patteeu
08-18-2007, 05:32 PM
If you read further down, it doesn't look like he's changing his tune nearly as much as you seem to be implying. He hasn't changed his mind about seeking a withdrawal of troops. He's only changed his mind about how quickly that redeployment should begin (by only a few months).

Turn in your mind reading card. He's changed his tune exactly as much as I "implied" when I quoted the article. :rolleyes:

BIG_DADDY
08-18-2007, 05:36 PM
We are never leaving even if the Dems get in office, that's what the tards on the left don't understand.

Nightwish
08-18-2007, 11:27 PM
Turn in your mind reading card. He's changed his tune exactly as much as I "implied" when I quoted the article. :rolleyes:
Who are you trying to kid? Look at your thread title. Do you honestly expect any of us to believe you only meant to imply that he'd changed his tune only a little when you said he "turned against his party?" There are plenty of voices within his party saying that a gradual withdrawal of forces after the surge has had a little more time would be better than a large, precipitous withdrawal. He hasn't "turned against" anyone, as far as I can see. Joining the Republicans and saying something like, "I don't want any timetable for withdrawal," or "I don't want to hear any talk about withdrawal," would qualify as "turning against his party," but I don't see him saying anything remotely like that. But by all means, please continue with your fantasies, they are quite entertaining!

patteeu
08-19-2007, 06:18 AM
Anyone who can't see that Congressman Baird's new position puts him at odds with his party is an idiot. Why does it not surprise me that Nightwish is first in line to confirm his status?

I'm sure that when the WH decides to phase the surge out (probably next year), they won't do it fast enough or to as great a degree as Congressman Baird would like, but that's a different story.

Nightwish
08-19-2007, 08:18 AM
Anyone who can't see that Congressman Baird's new position puts him at odds with his party is an idiot.
At odds with some in his party, sure. At odds with the whole party, hardly. As I said, there are plenty within the party who are of a similar mind to Baird, that the surge should be given time to prove itself. Where they differ from Republicans is that they want a phased withdrawal sometime in the foreseeable future (whereas many Republicans want no talk of withdrawal, period). If you believe the entire party line is complete withdrawal right this instant, then you've made that up. But then, this is you we're talking about, and you've rarely let reality stand in the way of fantasy.

chagrin
08-19-2007, 09:20 AM
We are never leaving even if the Dems get in office, that's what the tards on the left don't understand.

Exactly - Whoever wins will be in Iraq as long if not longer, than the current administration says we will.

wazu
08-19-2007, 09:22 AM
Exactly - Whoever wins will be in Iraq as long if not longer, than the current administration says we will.

I keep seeing people say this as if it's fact. This kind of thing can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. "All the candidates are pro-war even if they say they aren't, so I might as well ignore that issue."

chagrin
08-19-2007, 09:28 AM
I keep seeing people say this as if it's fact. This kind of thing can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. "All the candidates are pro-war even if they say they aren't, so I might as well ignore that issue."


Dude, first of all - most people on this board speak what they believe AS FACT.

But if you want to fool yourself and believe it's not, fine with me. I'll just say it's incredibly unrealistic to believe otherwise.

chagrin
08-19-2007, 09:30 AM
At odds with some in his party, sure. At odds with the whole party, hardly. As I said, there are plenty within the party who are of a similar mind to Baird, that the surge should be given time to prove itself. Where they differ from Republicans is that they want a phased withdrawal sometime in the foreseeable future (whereas many Republicans want no talk of withdrawal, period). If you believe the entire party line is complete withdrawal right this instant, then you've made that up. But then, this is you we're talking about, and you've rarely let reality stand in the way of fantasy.


I think you might take a second to acknowledge that everytime a single pro war Republican changes his mind or shows his support is waning, this place gets as wet as a squirting centerfold.

He makes a point and it's valid.

Bowser
08-19-2007, 09:32 AM
That's pretty wet.

Nightwish
08-19-2007, 10:25 AM
I think you might take a second to acknowledge that everytime a single pro war Republican changes his mind or shows his support is waning, this place gets as wet as a squirting centerfold.
That's because when the Republicans have broken ranks, they've actually broken ranks. The Republicans hold to a much more absolute stance (we want no talk about timetables or withdrawals) than the Democrats (we want some serious discussion about getting our troops home). Within the Dem ranks, there is a wide variety of ideas about how soon those troop reductions should be begin, how gradual it should be, and how total it should be, so it isn't much of a variance at all for one to say, "Okay, I'm willing to put it off six months or so," nearly as much as it is for a Republican to say, "Okay, it's time to start talking about getting our troops out of there."

He makes a point and it's valid.Yes to the first, no to the second.

Nightwish
08-19-2007, 10:27 AM
We are never leaving even if the Dems get in office, that's what the tards on the left don't understand.
There's a huge difference between maintaining an open-ended occupying force (what the Republicans appear to want) and maintaining a token presence (what should be reasonably expected).

patteeu
08-19-2007, 10:38 AM
That's because when the Republicans have broken ranks, they've actually broken ranks. The Republicans hold to a much more absolute stance (we want no talk about timetables or withdrawals) than the Democrats (we want some serious discussion about getting our troops home). Within the Dem ranks, there is a wide variety of ideas about how soon those troop reductions should be begin, how gradual it should be, and how total it should be, so it isn't much of a variance at all for one to say, "Okay, I'm willing to put it off six months or so," nearly as much as it is for a Republican to say, "Okay, it's time to start talking about getting our troops out of there."

Yes to the first, no to the second.

You've got the Republican position wrong. But it doesn't surprise me that you misunderstand the reality in favor of the silly caricature. That seems par for your course.

penchief
08-19-2007, 10:45 AM
We are never leaving even if the Dems get in office, that's what the tards on the left don't understand.

Stop it. The tards on the left are quite aware that this administration has handcuffed future administrations in a tragic way. The tards on the left just want a different plan than the one that the corporate dicksuckers on the right have been following so stringently.

The tards on the right could stand to wipe the sleep from their eyes and take a realistic look at the direction this entire country has taken over the past several years. If they did they'd recognize that our black hole in Iraq is part of that plan. A self-proclaimed "libertarian" such as yourself shouldn't be so hard on the tards on the left when they've yelled and screamed about getting screwed out of our liberties while the tards on the right have provided the vaseline.

Quit using this administration's abuses as an opportunity to trash the left. You're no libertarian. If you were, you'd recognize that the left is your ally right now, not the right. But you're not a libertarian. You're a right-wing conservative who has bought into political victory at all costs.

Mr. Laz
08-19-2007, 11:16 AM
We are never leaving even if the Dems get in office, that's what the tards on the left don't understand.
at least that's what YOU tards on the right are trying to sell.

Direckshun
08-19-2007, 11:25 AM
On issues of war, there will always be folks going against their party.

What makes this story unremarkable in particular is that you're trying to explain dozens of Republicans turning against their own party by pointing to a single Democrat who's turned against his.

patteeu
08-19-2007, 11:47 AM
On issues of war, there will always be folks going against their party.

I agree with this part. And I certainly would have been less likely to post this thread if it weren't for the (often far more hysterical) threads posted every time a Republican uses his left foot when the President is using his right.

What makes this story unremarkable in particular is that you're trying to explain dozens of Republicans turning against their own party by pointing to a single Democrat who's turned against his.

I don't think you could have chosen a worse word to use with that explanation. One guy doing the opposite of what a dozen other guys are doing is pretty close to the definition of remarkable, IMO.

But in addition to that, this isn't really just one guy. This is one guy following on the heals of a couple of other guys (O'Hanlon and Pollack), all moving against the previous flow toward a withdrawal showdown as early as September. I'm not saying it's a permanent reversal of the trend, but it is at the very least a short term reversal. :)

Nightwish
08-19-2007, 03:54 PM
You've got the Republican position wrong. But it doesn't surprise me that you misunderstand the reality in favor of the silly caricature. That seems par for your course.With all their decrying any and every attempt to discuss troop reductions and withdrawals, it certainly seems to be their position. On the other hand, they are Republicans, and if Cheney's latest revelation is any indication, then saying one thing while believing another might be second nature to them. Since that also seems to be your MO, then you might know better than I. Perhaps you have an insider's insight into what their position truly is, but all I have to go on is the position they've been publically putting forward, and that is pretty much how I described it. Granted, it may be a tad unfair to say that what they actually want is an open-ended occupation (though no further off base, I'd wager, than patteeu's queer assertion that Baird is standing in stark opposition to the Democratic majority), but they do seem to be crying awfully hard every time someone tries to introduce discussions of alternatives in Congress.