Click here to read the “confidential messaging memo” from House Majority Leader John Boehner on all the good stuff that Republican Congressman should “tout” about America’s progress in Iraq.
I guess Texas swagger is back.
Boehner’s memo amplifies a “high-fear” drumbeat for the so-called war on terror and suggests that the death of Zarqawi, the completion of appointing Iraq’s senior cabinet ministers, and Bush’s personal meeting with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seal the deal for America achieving victory in its efforts there.
What Boehner doesn’t tell his flock is that Zarqawi’s team seems dedicated to worsening the violence and that Zarqawi’s activities in their entirety were a very small percentage of the overall insurgency in Iraq (some commanders in the field were even trying to get the $25 million bounty on Zarqawi reduced because he was becoming proportionally less of the exploding problems in Iraq). He didn’t say that Iraq’s Minister of Defense — only just appointed — has already threated to resign if America goes on a massive hunt and kill effort through the Al Anbar region of Western Iraq. He didn’t say that security in Iraq is still so bad that the meeting between Bush and al-Maliki was put on the Iraq Prime Minister’s schedule just five minutes before Bush’s arrival. That’s not a sign of a stable relationship.
Apparently, Boehner is going to push passage of House Resolution 861 tomorrow declaring the Iraq War as a smashing success and as synonymous with the overused and inappropriate metaphor, “war on terror”.
It’s a disturbing resolution that recognizes none of the setbacks that we are experiencing and again ratchets up the arrogance and hubris of America’s position in Iraq.
To get a flavor, sample the opening:
H. Res. 861
Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.
Whereas the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use
of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world;
Whereas for the past two decades, terrorists have used violence in a futile attempt to intimidate the United States;
Whereas it is essential to the security of the American people and to world security that the United States, together with its allies, take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance;
Whereas the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorists failed to stop free elections in Afghanistan and the first popularly elected President in that nation’s history has taken office;
Whereas the continued determination of Afghanistan, the United States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be required to sustain a sovereign, free, and secure Afghanistan;
Whereas the steadfast resolve of the United States and its partners since September 11, 2001, helped persuade the government of Libya to surrender its weapons of mass destruction;
Whereas by early 2003 Saddam Hussein and his criminal, Ba’athist regime in Iraq, which had supported terrorists, constituted a threat against global peace and security and was in violation of mandatory United Nations Security Council Resolutions;
There’s more. Here’s the full link.
Neil Abercrombie is headlining an alternative resolution, H. Res. 543 — but the bottom line is that many American and Iraqi men and women are dying while our House members engage in silly gestures that are not only irrelevant to America’s strained military circumstances but also harmful to morale.
I will be discussing Republican and Democratic views on the Iraq War with other guests on Warren Olney’s KCRW show, To The Point, which can be heard live over the web between 2 and 3 p.m. today. I think it will replay in the DC area tonight on national public radio. My hunch is that I will be on around 2:15 p.m.
— Steve Clemons