Posted by Curt on 10 May, 2007 at 12:30 pm. 4 comments already!

How in the world is anyone surprised that the group that has fought us for years, and has wanted us out of Iraq for years, is now trying to do it politically?

The Iraqi bill, drafted by a parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, according to Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc.

The Sadrist bloc, which sees the U.S.-led forces as an occupying army, has pushed similar bills before, but this was the first time it had garnered the support of a majority of lawmakers.

The bill would require the Iraqi government to seek approval from parliament before it requests an extension of the U.N. mandate for foreign forces to be in Iraq, al-Rubaie said. It also calls for a timetable for the troop withdrawal and a freeze on the size of the foreign forces.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously in November to extend the U.S.-led forces’ mandate until the end of 2007. The resolution, however, said the council "will terminate this mandate earlier if requested by the government of Iraq."

What is a bit surprising is that 144 members of the 275 member Parliment are signing off on it.  But Iraq is now it’s own Democracy and they can decide what they want to do.  Will I be happy about it?  Not on your life, but at least the world will know that we didn’t run from the fight like the Democrats want.  We took out a tyrant and helped a fledging democracy get up and running smack dab in the middle of terrorist country.  We did it and didn’t run as Clinton did in 93.

Meanwhile the left is making a big deal out of some RINO’s telling the President that they are unhappy about Iraq.  Another non-surprise:

House Republican moderates, in a remarkably blunt White House meeting, warned President Bush this week that his pursuit of the war in Iraq is risking the future of the Republican Party and that he cannot count on GOP support for many more months.

The meeting, which ran for an hour and a half Tuesday afternoon, was disclosed by participants yesterday as the House prepared to vote this evening on a spending bill that could cut funding for the Iraq war as early as July. GOP moderates told Bush they would stay united against the latest effort by House Democrats to end U.S. involvement in the war. Even Senate Democrats called the House measure unrealistic.

But the meeting between 11 House Republicans, Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, White House political adviser Karl Rove and presidential press secretary Tony Snow was perhaps the clearest sign yet that patience in the party is running out. The meeting, organized by Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.), one of the co-chairs of the moderate "Tuesday Group," included Reps. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), Michael N. Castle (Del.), Todd R. Platts (Pa.), Jim Ramstad (Minn.) and Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.).

"It was a very remarkable, candid conversation," Davis said. "People are always saying President Bush is in a bubble. Well, this was our chance, and we took it."

Amazing.  This is how RINO’s and the left think.  It’s all politics with these people.  We’re talking about a war for against terror and all they can think about are the political repercussions.  I mean a more fitting byline for this article would be:

Today, 11 members of the republican party held a meeting with the President. Afterward, they leaked to their allies in Iraq that they only have to increase the violence and stay viable through September, after which the United States Congress will be ready to surrender the country.

Al Qaeda in Iraq released a statement a brief time later, thanking these brave men for their service, and calling on it’s own members, and insurgents throughout Iraq, to take heart, redouble their efforts, and see their task through the summer. "The end is near, Praise Be to Allah. Our Enemies have announced the day of their retreat, as God foretold. Now we must inflict more pain and suffering on the infidel, confident that each blow, rather than bringing wrath upon us, just moves our Enemy, the great Satan America, closer to humiliation and Defeat".

But hey, it’s only politics right?  The polls say we must surrender so surrender we will.

We’re winning the war but will surrender anyway. 

Unbelievable.

Secretary Gates warned about a short term funding bill the Democrats are trying to push through:

The Secretary of Defense
1000 DEFENSE PENTAGON
WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1000

May 9, 2007

I am writing to express my serious concern over proposals to incrementally fund the Fiscal Year 2007 Emergency Supplemental appropriations bill.

I understand that one of the proposals under active consideration would assume the same funding levels as the bill recently vetoed by the President but withhold amounts corresponding with three months worth of funding.  This second increment of funds would not be available to the Department of Defense until the Congress passed subsequent legislation sometime in the July timeframe.

In my view, such a proposal would cause significant disruption to the effective and efficient operation of the Department of Defense and the health and welfare of the U.S. military.  In submitting the FY07 supplemental request in early February, the Department planned on these funds becoming available by no later than mid-April.  Accordingly, starting in mid-April, the Department began a series of actions to mitigate the impact of the delay in the supplemental on our deployed forces by slowing down spending in less critical accounts.  In addition, funds budgeted for fourth quarter Army operations and personnel costs have been or are in the process of being moved forward and expended to partially make up the shortfall.

These actions have resulted in the Army having to manage civilian payroll obligations on a week-to-week basis, deferring repair of equipment, restricting the use of government purchase cards, curtailing travel, freezing certain categories of civilian hiring, cancelling non-critical orders and restraining supply purchases.  In short, these steps, while necessary to account for the delay in the supplemental, have already caused disruptions within the Department.

Further, the lack of timely supplemental funds has limited the Department’s ability to properly contract for the reconstitution of equipment for both the active and reserve forces.  This situation increases the readiness risk of our military with each passing day should the nation require the use of these forces prior to the equipment becoming available.  In other cases, the funding delay negatively impacts our forces in the field by needlessly delaying the accelerated fielding of new force protection capabilities such as the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and counter-IED technologies developed and acquired by the Join IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).  Finally, the ongoing delay resulted in the depletion of funds necessary to accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces.

Against this backdrop, the prospect of segmenting and further delaying funding that is urgently needed can only result in additional disruption and uncertainty in Department operations.  An organization the size and complexity of the Department of Defense needs a certain measure of funding stability and predictability.  Without it, compensatory measures are required that cause, at best inefficiency and at worst a reduction in the Department’s ability to carry out its national security mission.

Finally, it is critically important that the Congress understand that most, if not all, of the funds that would be held back under the incremental funding proposal will go toward replenishing routine military service operational accounts and not war-related operations.

Thus, a second vote in July on the release of such funds would not be a substantive decision on the war, but rather, a pro forma decision that merely presents members with the simple choice of whether or not to shut down significant elements of the Department of Defense for the rest of the fiscal year.

I strongly urge the Congress to pass a bill with full funding that the President can sign as rapidly as possible.

Sincerely,
Robert M. Gates.

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