Patterico's Pontifications

4/10/2008

John Cornyn’s Statement on Iraq

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 11:20 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

From the website of Texas Senator John Cornyn on the Petraeus-Crocker hearings (emphasis supplied):

“America’s top military commander and chief diplomat in Iraq reported Tuesday that we are making significant progress there. They added that we cannot afford to squander our gains by losing our resolve. But was anybody really listening?

Just this morning, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the following on the Senate floor: “Is the war in Iraq making America safer? By all accounts, the answer…is ‘no.'”

Senator Reid’s statement stands in direct contradiction to Amb. Crocker’s testimony on Tuesday. “Al-Qaeda is our mortal and strategic enemy. So to the extent that al-Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq and they have been significantly lessened, I do believe that makes America safer.”

Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker said the advances in security are fragile, and we must be patient in securing them.

Two-thirds of the 18 benchmarks set for Iraq reportedly have been met – a high standard even for the U.S. Congress. The counterinsurgency strategy has yielded positive results, and both civilian and military casualties in Iraq are down. Critics are rapidly losing topics to complain about.

Yet some of my colleagues persist in taking a short-term approach, and viewing the glass as half empty. This dreary pessimism is coming from the same people who declared the surge a failure a year ago – as it was just beginning – and claimed “the war is lost.”

The political pressure from far-left fringe groups like MoveOn.org is extremely important in Democratic politics. So some Democrats try to justify their calls for withdrawal with no real regard for the consequences. Sen. Barack Obama, for example, wondered aloud at the hearing why we can’t just leave Iraq in a “messy, sloppy status quo.”

There are two problems with this approach. It forsakes our only real option in the war on terror – winning. And it demonstrates a fundamental disregard for what happens next – what we face in the region and the world if we don’t win that war.

We all want to bring our troops home – there is no disagreement over that goal. The question is whether they will return after defeating the threat, or whether they’ll return to an America that is less safe and more vulnerable to another terrorist attack.

If we give up too soon, according to Petraeus and Crocker, Iraq would become a breeding ground for terrorists, much like Afghanistan before 9/11. Last month, Osama bin Laden declared Iraq would be a “perfect” base for al-Qaeda. But thanks to our volunteer military, we now have al Qaeda on the run, as Gen. Petraeus declared: “We have our teeth into the jugular, and we need to keep it there.”

Yes, the cost in blood and treasure is high. But the cost would be far greater should America again face another terrorist assault on our civilian population. This is a difficult mission. But as we maintain and fortify the gains we have made, Tuesday’s hearing was an opportunity to bring our broader goals into clearer focus.

Questions from the other side of the aisle about the Iraqi government’s work toward meeting the benchmarks were noticeably absent from the hearings. Instead, the air was filled with rhetoric about the financial costs and a blind need for withdrawal. Perhaps there is no longer suspension of disbelief in progress.

Too many people have stopped listening, and have determined that Iraq must be a failure for the United States, no matter the long-term costs. They insist on taking a short-term view, dismissing radical Islamic terrorism as an irritant instead of a deadly threat.

As we digest the testimony of Petraeus and Crocker and mark the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime five years ago today, we must remember that freedom is never free. We owe to the American people, and to our troops serving on the front lines – especially those who have made the supreme sacrifice – the political courage to see this mission through.”

I’m starting to like Senator Cornyn.

— DRJ

43 Responses to “John Cornyn’s Statement on Iraq”

  1. That man better run for PotUS in 4 or 8 years…

    Or could he at LEAST more to IL so WE can elect him? Pretty please?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  2. Too bad he can’t move. I don’t think a Texan will have a shot at President for awhile.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  3. “Two-thirds of the 18 benchmarks set for Iraq reportedly have been met – a high standard even for the U.S. Congress.”

    – John Cornyn

    Sure they have, Johnny Boy.
    I’d love to see any evidence for that little assertion.

    “Sen. Barack Obama, for example, wondered aloud at the hearing why we can’t just leave Iraq in a “messy, sloppy status quo.””

    – John Cornyn

    Sure he did, Johnny Boy.
    I’d love to see the context of that little assertion.

    “If we give up too soon, according to Petraeus and Crocker, Iraq would become a breeding ground for terrorists, much like Afghanistan before 9/11.”

    – John Cornyn

    Kinda like it has been since March 2003. Go figure.

    I’ll let the other Levi do the heavy lifting on this (assuming he hasn’t figured out it’s pointless yet), but I will go out on a limb and say that Cornyn sounds like a Grade A moron. At best.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  4. I guess you haven’t bothered to read the transcripts of the testimony, have you…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  5. Let the other Levi do the heavy lifting ? You mean let him make up stuff so you don’t have to?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. “I guess you haven’t bothered to read the transcripts of the testimony, have you…”

    – Scott Jacobs

    Nope. DRJ highlighted the important stuff.

    “You mean let him make up stuff so you don’t have to?”

    – SPQR

    Aack. Don’t get all high and mighty and pretend that you have some strong objection to people “making stuff up”. You have an objection to liberals making “making stuff up”. You’re willing to swallow your own guy’s bullshit hook, line, and sinker.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  7. Leviticus,

    Here’s the context from CBS News re: Obama’s “messy, sloppy status quo” statement:

    “The problem I have is that if the definition of success is so high, no traces of al Qaeda and no possibility of reconstitution, a highly effective Iraqi government, a democratic multiethnic, multisectarian functioning democracy, no Iranian influence, at least not the kind that we like, then that portends the possibility of us staying for 20 or 30 years,” Obama said.

    “If, on the other hand, our criteria is a messy, sloppy status quo, but there’s not huge outbreaks of violence, there’s still corruption but the country is struggling along, but it’s not a threat to its neighbors and it’s not an al Qaeda base, that seems to me an achievable goal within a measured time frame.”

    DRJ (a431ca)

  8. You know as well as I do that that’s not the same thing as “let’s just leave Iraq a messy, sloppy status quo”.

    Thank you for the context, by the way.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  9. There are underlying assumptions in the logic used here. I question the assumptions. Here are, as far as I can tell, the assumptions:

    1. These employees of the President will actually say “this occupation is a bad idea” to Congress, if they think it’s a bad idea.

    Why should we listen to a general who says that the job he’s doing is in fact the best and most useful application of his and his soldiers’ abilities?

    If he said anything else, he’d be criticizing his boss, and second-guessing his boss. It’s not his job to decide if this war is a good idea, and when he says it’s a good idea, he’s just parroting what his boss told him.

    Referring to a general fighting in Iraq to honestly tell us if he’s making America safer is kinda like depending on your home builder to tell you if you really need a house or not, when he’s two-thirds of the way through building the damn thing. How the heck should he know? It’s not his job!

    2. Less violence in Iraq means a reduced risk of terrorism outside Iraq.

    This could certainly be the case. It could also not be the case. Actually, if the Bush “flypaper” strategy is based in reality, then when all those terrorists who came to Iraq to help the insurgents say “darn it, the Americans won” and go home, there will actually be more violence elsewhere. And we’ll be no safer — just poorer for all the money we spent trying to make Iraq safe.

    3. The gains we are making by occupying Iraq are worth more than what we could achieve by having 150,000 more soldiers to place elsewhere throughout the globe.

    This, to me, is hard to believe. If we had 150,000 more soldiers to deploy elsewhere in the globe, because we weren’t occupying Iraq, I would think we’d be a lot better equipped to respond to problems like Pakistan, the recent problems in Afganistan, and the threat of escalation in Latin America.

    Is keeping a huge percentage of our troops tied up in one country until it’s “fixed” really worth being weaker everywhere else in the globe? I don’t know.

    But I do know that, once again, this determination is not a general’s job. A general doesn’t decide what wars to fight, and where. A general’s job is to figure out how to win the wars he is told to fight.

    So I really don’t buy it when a general tells me “this war is a good idea.” He is no more qualified than I am, as a voter, to determine whether the overall WAR is a good idea.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  10. Levi –

    I rarely post into this sort of thread, but my reading of the Obama quotation with the provided context is the same as Cornyn’s original one.

    That is, if the criteria that Obama wants to define as good enough to exit Iraq is “a messy, sloppy status quo”, then Obama is ready to “leave Iraq” with those the conditions there.

    So, count me as one random reader agreeing with DRJ on this.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  11. Leviticus,

    As jim2 said, “messy” and “sloppy” is Obama’s description of the condition he’d be willing to leave Iraq. If it’s so clear those words are an erroneous characterization, blame Obama. He said it.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  12. Leviticus suffers the same desease as all of the other Libs who comment here: Projection!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  13. “Al-Qaeda is our mortal and strategic enemy. So to the extent that al-Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq and they have been significantly lessened, I do believe that makes America safer.”

    That’s the big sentence that proves to all of you that America is safer because of the Iraq war? Some Bush stooge obviously lying through his teeth just says it is so, and you all buy it?

    We’re not even fighting Osama bin-Laden’s Al-Qaeda in Iraq. This whole time, we’ve been fighting whoever happens to shoot at our soldiers on any given day, which has included at various times a tiny bit of Osama bin-Laden’s Al-Qaeda, but also angry Iraqi insurgents, pissed off Shi’ites, pissed off Sunnis, Iranian meddlers, tribal militias, jihadis, and others. Lots of those groups are people we’ve never had beef with, so don’t pretend like the only thing we’ve been doing in Iraq is greasing Attas and Zarqawis, we haven’t been. Crocker is full of shit.

    The real Al-Qaeda that actually is a mortal and strategic enemy is long gone. They were never in Iraq in the first place. Osama bin-Laden, trust me, must be laughing hysterically as he watches George Bush try to mediate over some thousand year old Islamic feud while our once great economy begins to suffer war fatigue.

    Get real. Invading countries and re-shaping them in your own image is a stupid and costly way to try to fight terrorism. The civics and culture of the Arab world and the West have been evolving in separate directions for thousands of years, it’s stupid to think we’d be able to change them through force, there’s historical precedent for that. Osama and his organization would be dead if we had kept the pressure on them after 9-11, Iraq was a stupid diversion that only endangers the country by creating more long-term foreign policy problems and compromising our economy.

    Levi (76ef55)

  14. I guess Levi missed that pronouncement from Osama where HE stated that Iraq was the central front of His war against the West/U.S.?
    Or, there must be some other reason for the existance of an orginization called AlQaeda In Iraq –
    perhaps they’re doing pre-school or something (have to check with Patty Murray about that)?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  15. I guess Levi missed that pronouncement from Osama where HE stated that Iraq was the central front of His war against the West/U.S.?
    Or, there must be some other reason for the existance of an orginization called AlQaeda In Iraq

    Of course it’s his central front, that’s the whole god damn point. The Middle East is Osama’s turf, he has the advantage there. Guerilla warfare is how these people live. We’re fighting street to street, how easy is it for Osama’s guys and other jihadis that do hate us, to hide among the insurgents and sectarian militias that were mostly reacting to our bumbling invasion? We’re spending most of our time in Iraq fixing problems that we created and that were amplified by our real strategic enemies, like Osama and the Iranians.

    Levi (76ef55)

  16. “Al-Qaeda is our mortal and strategic enemy. So to the extent that al-Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq and they have been significantly lessened, I do believe that makes America safer.”

    That’s the big sentence that proves to all of you that America is safer because of the Iraq war? Some Bush stooge obviously lying through his teeth just says it is so, and you all buy it?

    Someone who says that Al-Qaeda is our mortal enemy…is a Bush stooge, obviously lying through his teeth?

    What color is the sky in your world?

    Or perhaps you take issue with this sentence..

    So to the extent that al-Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq and they have been significantly lessened,

    You don’t believe that Al Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq? You have some evidence to the contrary?

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  17. cfbleachers…
    You forget: Facts to a Liberal, are as Kryptonite to Superman!
    thank you, Larry Elder

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  18. Someone who says that Al-Qaeda is our mortal enemy…is a Bush stooge, obviously lying through his teeth?

    What color is the sky in your world?

    He’s not lying about that part. He’s lying about Iraq by suggesting that Al-Qaeda is who we’re fighting over there, when it’s really just about everyone except Al-Qaeda. We’re refereeing a religious rivalry, not killing Osama’s henchmen. We’ve gotten a few of them, to be sure, but that’s not what we’re doing most of the time in Iraq, that’s not even what we’re doing half of the time. We’re picking up the pieces of what we broke.

    You don’t believe that Al Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq? You have some evidence to the contrary?

    Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq prior to our invasion, they came there after we arrived. I do believe they’ve been lessened since then, yes, but that’s not some great strategy and there’s no big pay-off. ‘Hey, this problem we created is now just finally starting to get under control, after five years, thousands of casualties, and billions of dollars.’ Should we hold a parade for that?

    Levi (76ef55)

  19. “Al-Qaeda is our mortal and strategic enemy. So to the extent that al-Qaeda’s capacities have been lessened in Iraq and they have been significantly lessened, I do believe that makes America safer.”

    Without the bolded words, the statement would have a lot more “oomph” to it, don’t you think? But he isn’t qualified to make this statement without using the bolded words.

    And isn’t the effect of this war on Al Qaeda outside of Iraq the real issue, for our purposes?

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  20. Levi and Leviticus are either unread, uneducated or uninformed. There are hundreds of thousands of documents available, taken from Iraq. Some of which indicate Saddam’s involvement with terrorist movements including al Qaeda. Saddam lied his ass off, but you believe him when he said he got rid of his WMD. Yeah, and Hitler was done after the annexation of Austria. It amazes me that we are force, in a free (?) country to suffer fools such as there two. The BS they write here idicates they are either extremely stupid or are fools. I suspect both. You believed Bill Clinton when he lied his ass off and call a man not known to lie, a liar. If you ever get what you want, you surely deserve it.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e18128)

  21. Zelsdorf,

    You’re full of shit. There’s nothing in any of those documents that reveals anything that would justify the immense amount of resources we’ve put into Iraq. If there was, you would have mentioned it specifically, instead of vaguely referring to ‘hundreds of thousands of documents,’ ‘some of which indicate Saddam’s involvement.’ That’s not a real rock solid case you’re putting forward there.

    Levi (76ef55)

  22. Of course it’s his central front, that’s the whole god damn point. The Middle East is Osama’s turf, he has the advantage there.

    Considering the rate at which we kill his people whenever they are dumb enough to poke their head out, that’s not much of an advantage.

    Maybe you would prefer we be fighting on OUR home turf?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  23. Considering the rate at which we kill his people whenever they are dumb enough to poke their head out, that’s not much of an advantage.

    They don’t consider getting killed a loss the way that we do. They’re not afraid of death and they have nothing to lose. They gladly trade their own lives to kill anybody. Even if we could kill these guys at a steady clip, we won’t be able to outpace the amount of new recruits that we generate with our presence there, and even then that’s a really economical and counter-productive way to do it.

    You can’t fight these people with a conventional military. A combination of air and intelligence superiority with small, special tactical units is clearly what’s called for, how long is it going to take for you to realize this? Our military and our wealth can do a lot of things, but they can’t do everything.

    Levi (76ef55)

  24. You can’t fight these people with a conventional military.

    FUnny… We’ve actually been doing a fair job of it lately…

    They can welcome death all they like. Eventually, they’ll start to run out of people suicidal enough to make the attempt.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  25. And I’ll ask again: Would you rather us be fighting them on OUR home turf instead of their’s?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  26. As a Marine said:
    “Their goal is to die for Allah,
    My goal is to facilitate their wishes.”

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  27. As General Patton said: No one ever won a war by dying for his country, you win by making the other poor bastard die for his.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  28. Always liked the way George C. Scott said that.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  29. Leviticus you couldn’t hold Sen. Cornyn’s jock with both hands, you sanctimonious prick. Your low-grade intellect, and smug dismissal of him just reflects your pathetic insecure existence. Your sad little pithy smears against this accomplished gentleman just show how meaningless and petty little cretinous know-it-alls like you play the game when you’re completely outshined in terms of accomplishment and class. You’re a fucking loser.

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  30. “Levi and Leviticus are either unread, uneducated or uninformed. There are hundreds of thousands of documents available, taken from Iraq. Some of which indicate Saddam’s involvement with terrorist movements including al Qaeda.”

    – Zelsdork Ragshaft III

    Oh, there are? Why don’t you show us a couple of them? Hell: show us ONE…

    The other Levi is right: you are full of shit. If you had any evidence of anything remotely resembling the kind of proof you claim to possess, you’d be showing it off like a drunken sorority girl on mardi gras.

    “Yeah, and Hitler was done after the annexation of Austria.”

    – Zelsdork Ragshaft III

    Hitler had a conventional army, moron. You know, the kind with a fucking uniform? That you can see? With your eyes? You didn’t have to play Ouija Board Bombing with the Nazis, because they were a state actor.

    I know the distinction between bombing uniformed Nazis and non-uniformed Iraqis may be too subtle for you to grasp, but ask for help from one of your smarter ideological brethren before you shoot your mouth off again.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  31. Geez, Jack – Why can’t you tell us how you really feel?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  32. The only way we can be defeated in Iraq, or the ME in general, is for unread, uneducated, and uniformed to prevail in the political arena.
    God Help Us!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  33. Cornyn is one of the real heroes in the U.S.Senate right now.

    driver (faae10)

  34. “Leviticus you couldn’t hold Sen. Cornyn’s jock with both hands, you sanctimonious prick.”

    – “Jack Klompus”

    “Jack Klompus”, my ass… I’d say you can count Sen. Cornyn amongst your reader base, Patterico/DRJ.

    “Your sad little pithy smears against this accomplished gentleman just show how meaningless and petty little cretinous know-it-alls like you play the game when you’re completely outshined in terms of accomplishment and class. You’re a fucking loser.”

    – “Jack Klompus”

    Well, at least we’re not quitters, right?

    But seriously, Senator Cornyn why don’t you stop sock-sucking your own cock long enough to read us a section of your utterly amazing resume? You know, with all those “accomplishments” you claim to have?

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  35. Uggh I’m sorry but when the “smug” just oozes off the screen it’s hard to just cut to the chase and call someone out for what a classless douche they are. Read the tones – yeah I’m talking about you, Leviticus. Who wants to engage a self-righteous dickwad like this guy in anything approaching civil discourse. The know-it-all attitude, the sarcasm, that just total punch-in-the-face-worthy smirking tool attitude that you can practically taste from the phrasing and choice of words. Does anyone really think that this jerkoff Leviticus and his comrade-in-jerkoffness Levi have any real knowledge of military tactics or statecraft or diplomacy that would move their resumes to the front of the line at the State Department. Well they sure seem to think they know better enough! Imagine them with power. Wow.

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  36. And now allegations of sockpuppetry? Wow what a fucking tool you are.

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  37. Remember how they used to fire a “human cannonball” with a helmet, into a net?

    I would like to volunteer the conspicuous idiots who sometimes post here for similar duty, without a helmet, and with no net, right into, say, Basra or someplace. Just splatter those terrorist bastards with Leviticus. And show it on YouTube.

    Back to my gardening.

    driver (faae10)

  38. Cornyn – two law degrees, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General, U.S. Senator reelected in landslide.
    Leviticus – immature, profane, know-it-all, psuedo-intellectual, insecure, keyboard statesman pounding petty insults on a message board.
    Yep, clearly the more accomplished individual stands out in this crowd.

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  39. I try to get some work done for a couple of hours and look what happens. For Pete’s sake, tone it down.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  40. Possibly Levi and Leviticus are closet conservatives stirring the pot. No matter what the subject they can always be counted on to be against it.

    Go John Cornyn!

    PatAZ (56a0a8)

  41. This seems like pretty stock “stay the course” political blah blah to me, full of lots of scary, unsubstantiated statements like “Iraq will become a base fer terror if we leave cuz Osama sed so”. What’s to get so worked up about?
    Well besides that excellent (paraphrased) line that Coryn quoted from Team America World Police
    “freedom is never free”
    I you won’t pay your Buck O’ FIVE who wiiiilll?
    Excellent song.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  42. So is Levi the sock-puppet of Leviticus, or is it the other way round ?

    Jack Klompus – the Levwhatevers aren’t alleging sock-puppetry, they are demonstrating it and projecting it …

    Alasdair (0c1945)

  43. Iran’s state-run media have de facto confirmed that this was no spontaneous “uprising.” Rather, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize control of Iraq’s second-largest city using local Shiite militias as a Trojan horse.

    Initially, Quds commanders appeared to have won their bet. Their Special Groups and Mahdi Army allies easily seized control of key areas of Basra when more than 500 Iraqi security personnel abandoned their positions and disappeared into the woodwork.

    Soon, however, the tide turned. Maliki proved that he had the courage to lead the new Iraqi Security Force (ISF) into battle, even if that meant confronting Iran. The ISF showed that it had the capacity and the will to fight.

    After more than a week of fighting, the Iraqis forced the Quds commanders to call for a cease-fire through Sadr. The Iraqi commander agreed – provided that the Quds force directly guaranteed it. To highlight Iran’s role in the episode, he insisted that the Quds force dispatch a senior commander to finalize the accord.

    Looks like al-Sadr was a mere spectator at best, more probable, just an Iranian stooge.

    Neo (cba5df)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2844 secs.