Blogs » Politcs Plus » After several committee hearings..Still no easy solution for Iraq
The best argument for staying in Iraq can came from generals who opposed the war from the very start. Retired generals, William Odom and Brent Scowcroft both start off their argument,by saying. "We are where we are" but to leave anytime soon without fixing what we broke will have a lasting feeling of betrayal in that region. This would greatly damage our reputation, and we would be seen as a country that does not finish what it starts. The other reason for staying is to preserve our own economic interest. Imagine what would happen if oil was very risky and expensive for China to import. That country could call in our $500 billion (and growing) note, causing devastation and economic chaos at levels we have not seen before.
The dog and pony show (Foreign Relations and Senate Armed Service Committee hearings) were disappointing. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker gave the same administration canned answers and the senators asked the same unanswerable questions. Senator Hillary Clinton asked one of the most important questions of the hearings. She asked Ambassador Crocker, if it was proper for the Iraqi government and the president to sign a long-term occupation treaty in Iraq without the approval of the U.S. Congress. Ambassador Crocker said the present plan did not need the advise and consent of Congress. Sounds like a constitutional matter to me. Senator Joe Biden asked another great question, when he asked Ambassador, which Al Qaeda posed the greatest danger Qaeda in Iraq or Al Qaeda around the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border area. The ambassador reluctantly said "Al Qaeda around the Pakistan Afghanistan border; post the greatest danger. I would have followed up with "Then, why are most of our forces in Iraq?"
General Petraeus said the troop withdrawal of 30,000 scheduled in July, would remain, but then he would take a 45 day pause to evaluate the situation. Another committee hearing another delay. Senator Hillary Clinton asked General Petraeus to outline the conditions in which he would tell the president that the current strategy is not working. On cue, the general brought up the "When they stand up, We stand down" slogan by indicating that if Iraq was not able to provide their own security. He quickly said" is not a mathematical science. Does that mean, we are to discount the 1000 security troops that quit, while their comrades were in battle?
I didn’t hear a word about passing the new G.I. bill, nor the need to address the fact ,27% of noncommissioned officers are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder caused by the three or four rotations to Iraq.
We did learn that Iraq has the budget surplus, but we still have to continue to pay to repair their infrastructure. Ambassador Crocker said if we loaned the new government money to repair the infrastructures, instead of just giving them the money would hurt their economy. Oh yeah.