Why I Vote for Ted Kennedy: Resisting the "Surge"

In answer to the question posed by a few people I know, this is why I vote for Ted Kennedy. As W is preparing to send yet more troops into Iraq in an attempt to salvage his disastrous war, Ted Kennedy is saying no. He’s saying that the people voted for change, and a “surge” is not change. While Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have indicated that they will resist the attempt to escalate the war, Ted Kennedy introduced legislation to block the funding for it and to reinsert the rightful role of Congress in this war. In an interview with the New York Times, quoted in the Nation blog linked above, Kennedy said the following:

It seems to me that we are at a time of a major escalation into a civil war, that’s what the proposal of a surge is really about. This president is going to escalate the American presence and escalate the whole Iraqi war. This is a major mistake and a major blunder. If there’s one thing that the election was about last fall was sending a very clear message to Congress and to the president that the American people want accountability. They want a change in direction on Iraq, they want accountability, and they want people to stand up and be counted.

“Surging” will only make this war worse. This is Bush’s attempt to save face from the dope slap he got from the Iraq Study Group, headed up by the man who helped get him selected, James Baker. W keeps saying that this quagmire is an “essential front in the war on terror.” Kennedy is asking why. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was a bastard, but he was not bin Laden. The solution to this mess can only be found through political means, not a misguided “surge.” Thank you, Ted Kennedy, for having the courage to stand up and resist it. This is why I vote for you.

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30 responses to “Why I Vote for Ted Kennedy: Resisting the "Surge"

  1. Great points here, Sassy! NPR had a story on Monday about the increase in the use of the word “surge” over the last few weeks. Everybody is using–a surge in military presence, a surge in violence, a surge in this and that. It was funny how one word can take off.

    It’s like the word “salacious” during the Lowenski mess.

  2. Bush is going out in a wave of insanity.
    Yesterday saw him kill 27 civilians in Somalia, he’s threatening more countries than he even knows exists; I get the feeling that the only way to end the “War On Terror” is a surgical strike on the White House.

  3. Oh, and Lewinski “Mess”, Robyn? Wasn’t that what her dry cleaner called it?

  4. Robyn, I heard that story too. It’s crazy. And I love the word “salacious,” and I was most pissed when people overused it then.

    Dive, wasn’t that a horror show? I mean, what does he think he’s doing?

    I don’t have too much hope for this bill actually passing, but I’m so glad he introduced it.

  5. Robyn- Well to keep the news fresh, did you ever notice they change the pronunciation of words? When the Iraq War started, it was I-rack, but for awhile now it’s become Eh-rack? Or “harrassment” was once HERASSment and now it’s HERRessment.

    On the one hand, I’m completely against the troop surge. It’s going to make a bad mess worse-more targets (our soliders) for them to hit. But on the other hand, the troops are stretched thin in a lot of places and are therefore in more danger because they can’t be and look in all places at once. The only solution seems to be pull everyone out as soon and as quickly as possible. They already hate us over there, so pulling out only saves our lives, leaves the mess and they clean it up, hating us no more than they already do. While that’s not pretty or the right thing to do (make a mess and don’t clean up), it seems like the only solution to keep our troops safe and home.

  6. Good for Ted Kennedy. I’m not generally a big Kennedy fan, but good for him for standing up for dropping us out of the war.

    My husband was telling me about a story he heard on NPR about the need for more troops. The military analyst who was talking said that what tends to happen is that there will be an uprising in an under-staffed area (we’ll call it point A) so they send most of the troops from point B and half from point C to go help out at point A. The point A problem is now under control, but due to weak staffing at point B, there are now problems at point B. The troops are then moved to point B to help, but once that’s under control, there are now problems at point C. This is their reasoning for sending a final “surge” of troops…keep all points well-staffed and maybe things will stay under control.

    HOWEVER

    I think that those who have begun calling it the civil war in Iraq hit the nail on the head. This has degraded to becoming a civil war and it also seems apparent that they don’t want us there nor do they seem to really want to get along with each other. Keeping our troops there isn’t doing any good and is leaving more people dead each day.

    I agree with Robyn that it’s not very nice to go over and make a big mess and leave without cleaning it up….but the Iraqis don’t seem to want to cooperate in the clean-up effort in their own country. I’m not sure what the best solution is now that we’ve gotten ourselves to this point, however, while we’re figuring out what the best thing to do is, I think we should definitely get the troops out of there and think about it with them back home.

  7. The whole point of the excercise was to make a big mess and then pay Haliburton billions to put it right.
    Bush’s cronies will not be happy if all that lucrative work goes to the people whose country they’ve wrecked.

  8. Excellent comments.

    Before Girl, I agree. Nothing we can do over there is going to help. I think we have an obligation to pay for all of this, but I don’t think that anything constructive is going to come from a continued military fight over there.

    Carissa, thank you for some insight here. I don’t think that this war was ever something we could win, but the way that they chose to fight it was an even bigger disaster. There’s a lot of talk about how the Army is already stretched to the breaking point, so I don’t know where these people are really going to come from. We’ve talked about this before, and I agree that we have a responsibility to do something to fix what we have broken. I just don’t think that fighting will do it.

    And if Haliburton gets the contract, there might be another civil war here.

  9. Haliburton already had the contracts, Sassy.
    They were gleefully gearing up when Georgie Boy first (and somewhat prematurely) declared victory.

  10. I meant if they get the contracts to fix the mess that happens when we leave.

  11. They’re smarter than that. They’ll leave the Iraqis to clear up but still demand payment for abortive work from the first contract.
    That’s what you pay your taxes for …

  12. Sigh…

  13. Having said that, it’s refreshing to have a nice lefty moan instead of all that smut.

  14. Precisely.

    Getting my mind out of the gutter. The fact that I finally went to see the new Bond flick last night didn’t help that. So today I posted politics.

  15. Hee hee … Daniel Craig’s pecs.
    I’m now off home, so I’ll leave you with that thought.

  16. It’s the swagger and charm.

    Enjoy the train ride home.

  17. I too voted for Kennedy. Have to admit, his back door dealing with Ted Stevens (R-AK) in trying to kill the Cape Wind project had me furious. The only reason he and Bobby Jr. were against it was because their summer home on Hyannis was nearby. But in the end, Kennedy is against the war, is usually a strong voice for environmental causes, and always is asking congress to raise the federal minimum wage. These are the things that usually have me voting for him. Good shoutout, friend

  18. Why, thank you.

    I don’t like everything he does, either (No Child Left Behind). But when it really counts, he’s there. This was amazing. I was so proud to have voted for him.

  19. I’m just glad that he was at least one of our Senators who voted against the authorization to go to war in the first place (unlike our other Senator). Granted, everyone really did think Saddam had WMD, but it’s still great to look back and say, “hey, at least one of ours got it right.”

  20. NY Times
    Published: July 14, 2005
    WASHINGTON, July 13 – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and other Democrats proposed Wednesday to increase the size of the Army by 80,000 troops as a way to alleviate what she called a “crisis” in the military caused by lengthy deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Joining Ms. Clinton at a news conference announcing the proposals were three other Democratic senators, Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and Ken Salazar of Colorado.

    Thursday, June 30, 2005

    (AP)
    Sen. John McCain, interviewed on CBS’s “The Early Show,” maintained that “one of the very big mistakes early on was that he didn’t have enough troops on the ground, particularly after the initial victory, and that’s still the case.”

    Sen. John Kerry, Bush’s Democratic opponent in last year’s presidential election, told NBC’s “Today” show that the borders of Iraq “are porous” and said “we don’t have enough troops” there.

    Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” disputed Bush’s notion that sufficient troops are in place.

    12/17/06
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday he would support a short-term increase in U.S. troops in Iraq being weighed by President George W. Bush if it is part of a broader withdrawal plan.

    As long as Bush is for it .. the Dems are against it.. or so it would appear from their own comments.

    Just thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

  21. There were some Democrats who were in favor of the war, Yetta (John McCain is NOT a Democrat). As a result, they weren’t all that popular with the base (wanna see some Hillary bashing—try the Nation or left-leaning blogs).

    Ted Kennedy voted against this from the beginning. He’s standing up for it now. I voted for him.

  22. Leaving war decisions to chicken hawks (including Kennedy) is the biggest mistake ever, get over it Ted you’re in the war sure for all the wrong reasons but running away and waiting to be attacked again is not the solution, hit them hard with all you have and win, don’t half do the job like the first Gulf war. The Islamists won’t give up but they will take over Iraq. Bush is a twat but theres a job to do and we don’t need further weak leadership to even more complicate the issue.
    The war is here and it won’t go away if we give up and pretend it doesn’t need to be fought, the west has pissed off sooooo many Islamic fundies they aren’t going to forget, are you going to make peace with them? talk abortion or ghey rights to Christian fundie and you’ll get just as far.

    Kennedys, Bush and terrorists, sorry if I appear annoyed, they bring out the best in me.

  23. Knudsen, I agree, this is a mess. But the thing is that we attacked the wrong country, for the wrong reasons, and the fighting is not going well. This war has only served to further ignite radical Islamists, and I don’t think that continuing to fight it is going to solve the problem.

    That said, this is a big, big mess, and we can’t just run away. I don’t think that’s what Kennedy is saying we should do (and at least this “chicken” didn’t vote for the war, hence he isn’t a “chickenhawk”). What I think he’s saying is that a genuine change needs to happen, and continuing to give W the means to do it his way is not the answer. The Iraq Study group, led by a Republican, with many Republicans as part of the group, has suggested that negotiations are key in the region. W didn’t like the dope slap, and so he wants to send even more people in there. He still thinks we can win. We lost. We made a huge mess. Time to face it. Time to do something else. More fighting isn’t going to solve the problem.

  24. I’m glad they didn’t give up on Northern Ireland after 5 years, strike the chickenhawk for Kennedy, just say civilian instead.

  25. Striked remark noted, Knudsen. I appreciate your points. The thing is that this is supposed to be a democracy, and the people are supposed to have a say. Most of the military leaders have been critical of this from the get-go, and many of them disagree that this surge is going to work. From what I’ve heard, they are the ones saying that the surge is going to dangerously overextend the already overextended military.

    Thanks for stirring the pot.

  26. I heard someone say once that the Korean war is sometimes thought of as the “forgotten war” because Vietnam was such a boiling point. And that same someone said, “It’s the same as now-the Afghanistan War is the new ‘Forgotten War’ like Korea, and Iraq is the new Vietnam war.”

  27. Hmmm … Vietnam …
    “Hey, let’s throw more soldiers in there so we can win it.”
    Mistakes are there to learn from, George.

  28. I’m getting de ja vu I feel like we’ve been here before hmmmmmm

  29. Scary times. Very scary times.

  30. Bock the Robber

    Just a quick comment on something James said: “Granted, everyone really did think Saddam had WMD”

    Perhaps everybody in the US believed it, but nobody here did. Nobody in Britain did either, except Tony Blair. Nobody in France believed it, and most important of all, Hans Blix, the weapons inspector in Iraq, didn’t believe it either!

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