***Bumped and Updated***
The report comes from the AP:
The first of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops will move into Iraq by month’s end under President Bush’s new war plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to hold a vote on the increase, which many Democrats oppose.
Details of a gradual military buildup emerged a day before Bush’s planned speech to the nation, in which he also will propose a bit over $1 billion to shore up the country’s battered economy and create jobs, said a second U.S. official.
Bush is expected to urge friendly Mideast countries to increase their aid to Iraq but will ignore the recommendation of the bipartisan Iraq Study group that he include Syria and Iran in an effort to stanch Iraqi bloodshed nearly four years after the U.S. invasion, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been announced.
Bush is expected to link the troop increase to promised steps by the Iraqi government to build up its own military, ease the country’s murderous sectarian tensions, increase reconstruction and enact a plan to distribute oil revenues among the country’s religious sects.
I’m for a troop increase but they and the troops who are already must be allowed to do what they’ve been trained to do: to aggressively seek out and destroy al Qaeda and other terrorist insurgents in Iraq. At this moment, our troops are in a terrible situation because they can not do their jobs for fear of the media, which is enthusiastically ready to pounce on any event that they think is ugly. Well, here’s a newsflash: war is ugly. It’s hell as General Sherman said. Nonetheless, our troops are there now, and they must complete the mission, and the only way they can do that is to conduct the war without being second guessed by politicians, the media, pundits, and bloggers.
Jay at Stop the ACLU links to a Gallup poll that says 61% of the American people don’t support a troop surge. The last time I checked, we don’t make strategic and tactical decision for a war based upon popular opinion. The President of the United States, the Commander in Chief, along with his generals and other advisers are the ones who determine whether or not more troops are needed in Iraq. His decision is not a popular one, but if he chose to not sent more troops because to do so was politically unpopular, he would be heavily ridiculed, and rightly so.
The Democrats, the media, and the lefty bloggers and pundits will yell from the rooftops about what a horrible decision this is. In fact, Ted Kennedy is already exploding with fury. But not because sending more troops is tactically or strategically the wrong move. Kennedy and the other Democrats would denounce President Bush no matter what decision he made. If President Bush were to suddenly declare the war over, the Democrats would come out in opposition to even that decision because those on the left do one thing: they maneuver themselves so that they hold positions that are the exact opposite of the President’s. That’s why the Democrats will never have a workable plan for Iraq except to “redeploy” our troops.
Update: The Democrats continually prove my point that they really don’t want to achieve anything in Iraq but simply want to “maneuver themselves so that they hold positions that are the exact opposite of the President’s.” Brian at Iowa Voice points out how Nancy Pelosi was at one time highly critical of President Bush for not increasing troops:
This is Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House and Grandmother of America (ahem) in a Washington Post article yesterday:
“We have a platform we didn’t have before, Leader Pelosi and I, and we’re going to … focus attention on this war in many different ways,” said Reid. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested over the weekend using Congress’ power of the purse to restrain any troop buildup.
Now, here’s Nancy Pelosi in her pre-Speaker days on May 30, 2004, on Meet The Press:
MR. RUSSERT: Would you send more American troops in order to stabilize the situation?
REP. PELOSI: Yes.
To be fair, she was trying to say that we should get international troops to go, but Russert asked her (several times) that if they refused, should we send American troops, and her answer was a clear-cut “yes”.
Check out these news articles that reported how the Democrats were for an increase troops in Iraq at a time when President Bush was not:
Update II: Bloggers are weighing in.
The Anchoress agrees with me:
The Democrat philosophy of the past 3-4 years has essentially been, “whatever it is, if Bush is for it, we’re against it. If Bush is against it, we’re for it!”
Jules Crittendon makes a point that can not be stated enough:
I’d like to consider this a joke, but on reflection, I can’t.
The towering irony, that it is Kennedy and his ilk who seek to create a Vietnam in Iraq, apparently is lost on them.
The last time this happened, Congress cut the funding for the war in Vietnam. U.S. troops and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, with American advisors, had largely destroyed the Viet Cong and pushed back the North Vietnamese Army, when an angry Congress intervened to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. Much as this Congress would like to do now. This is recent history, and the cost of this kind of action is quite clear. Millions killed, imprisoned and enslaved in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Afghanistan, invaded by an emboldened Soviet Union, which knew we would do nothing about it. Our embassy and our people in Iran seized by student thugs, encouraged by their Islamic extremist government, because they knew we would do nothing about it.
AJ Strata could be on to something:
I am seeing article after article that Bush can send troops to Iraq, but he cannot move money the Pentagon’s enormous budget around to pay them. Well, paying the troops is not Bush’s responsibility – that job belongs to Congress. So, will Congress not fund troops sent to a Congressionally sanctioned war effort by a duly elected President of the People? Will Democrats leave our military high and dry as a sick show of support for the troops? I kid you not, the 2008 election year could very well be determined in the next few months. The Democrats may actually be stupid enough to punish the troops over their frustration with Bush. BDS is that strong in them.
Update III: Please read this piece by Steve Dunleavy about what New York firefigher Danny Swift says about our troops in Iraq (Thanks Anchoress!). He makes the point that the troops must be allowed to do what they do best: hit the enemy and hit ’em hard:
“Our military can’t fire their weapons on the enemy. We virtually can only return fire when we see someone shooting at us, and that may be too late. That’s not how you fight a war.”
Danny was in a Humvee in Taji that day with fellow firefighter Engledrum when one of those dreaded roadside bombs blew his contingent sky high.
When Swift regained consciousness, blinded in one eye, he went to Engledrum’s side.
“Sadly, Chris was gone and so was rifleman Willie Urbina,” Danny recalled.
But Danny, an Army medic, was credited with saving the lives of Felix Vargas and Ritchie Cornier.
“Change of strategy? People have to realize that the Iraqis, on any side after thousands of years of violence, only respect the guy with the biggest gun,” Danny was saying.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we really went into Sadr City and cleaned it out. Then those guys in there would be saying to themselves, ‘These guys mean business.’
“Trouble is a lot of our guys can’t really give it everything they got even though they want to because they’re worried about ending up in Leavenworth.
What a stinkin’ shame, too. We give our troops all this training, which is not just to kill the enemy, but to protect their own and their buddies’ lives, but when they are placed into harm’s way, they are hogtied with ridiculously strict rules of engagement. Why? For one thing, the administration’s and the Pentagon’s fear of negative media reports.