Friday, October 06, 2006

Sen. Warner Warns About Iraq

The Republican lawmaker who is considered to be the most experienced in dealing with military issues is talking about the war in less optimistic terms than the administration and most of the members of his party.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday offered a stark assessment of the situation in Iraq after a trip there this week, saying that parts of the country have taken "steps backwards" and that the United States is at risk of losing the campaign to control an increasingly violent Baghdad.

Sen. John W. Warner (Va.) told reporters on Capitol Hill that the Iraqi government is having trouble making strides and is incapable of providing even basic human necessities to people in certain areas of the country. Though Warner praised U.S. efforts to keep Iraq under control, he was far less optimistic about the situation there than he had been over the past three years.

Echoing the sentiments of several leading Democrats on his committee, Warner said he believes the United States may have to reevaluate its approach in Iraq if the situation does not improve dramatically over the next several months.

"I assure you, in two or three months, if this thing hasn't come to fruition and if this level of violence is not under control and this government able to function, I think it's a responsibility of our government internally to determine: Is there a change of course that we should take?" Warner said. "And I wouldn't take off the table any option at this time."

Warner and other senators traveled to Jordan, Iraq and Israel this week to discuss the security situation and to evaluate the progress of the Iraqi government. He said U.S. military commanders believe there is no way to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the region in the foreseeable future because of a steady increase in the level of violence, and he added that it is important to acknowledge the civil insurrection, sectarian violence, "unacceptable level" of killings and "heavy casualties" among U.S. forces there.


Warner, to his discredit, does repeat the current talking point about who really is to blame for the lack of progress.

Warner blamed the Iraqi leaders for failing to improve conditions. "You do not see them taking the levers of sovereignty and pulling and pushing them and doing what is necessary to bring about a situation in Iraq whereby the people are able to live, have sufficient food and fresh water, and have a sense of confidence in their government that they're going forward," Warner said.

But he said the situation is not beyond repair. "We're not going to give up hope yet. Let's give it more time to work."

Warner acknowledged that, before the invasion of Iraq, there was a lack of understanding among members of Congress about how much it would take to give Iraq full sovereignty. He blamed himself for not aggressively asking such questions before the war.


Make no mistake, Warner is unlikely to recommend that the U.S. pull out of Iraq. He is more likely to push a program that scares up enough taxpayer funding to dramatically expand the military so that we can achieve "success."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is more likely to push a program that scares up enough taxpayer funding to dramatically expand the military so that we can achieve "success."

Somehow I think that Sen Warner is going to have a tough sell in front of him.... What he essentially has to do is convince the American public to pony up $$$ and the lives of their children so that Western oil and other corporate interests (his bosses) have a clear road ahead for continued rape and pilaging of the natural resources of a country they don't own.

Warner acknowledged that, before the invasion of Iraq, there was a lack of understanding among members of Congress about how much it would take to give Iraq full sovereignty.

I don't know if this is offensive or just laughable... The idea of the U.S. "giving" any country "full soverignty" strikes me as most absurd. Would Dracula give back the keys to the blood bank??

As we all know power is never given away -- anyone who wants to rule Iraq is going to have to do it the hard way.
Dena

10/06/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Good points all.

I threw in the coda about Warner probably advocating a harder line because some people are thinking that Warner's statement amounts to him throwing in the towel on Iraq.

Heck, Warner is the last WWII veteran who will ever serve in the U.S. Senate, and I doubt that he is going wobbly at this point in his career.

The bit about giving Iraq "full sovereignty" is Warner's U.S.-centric way of expressing his party's conviction that we have "liberated" Iraq, and are now seeking responsible adults who will do our bidding in the future.

And as you indicate, the eventual winner will be the people who end up prevailing in the Iraqi civil war, not the Satraps we install.

10/06/2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

I went to a conservative blog and saw this in response to Warner's comments, "Tell that to the Marines". I don't think that blogger is aware that Warner is an ex-Marine.

The rightwing blogosphere is a warehouse of irony.

10/06/2006 11:12 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

copy editor:

Nice.

I can just imagine the mental capacity of anyone who would make a statement like "Tell that to the Marines".

And even worse, about a decorated Marine.

10/06/2006 12:03 PM  

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