Friday, January 12, 2007

Week's End

On C-SPAN yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations committee had a hearing with Secretary Rice. Today it is the Senate Armed Services committee with Secretary Gates and Chairman of Joint Chiefs Pace. Quite the excercise in contrast.

Some Senators are members of both committees. Secretary Rice was afforded very little respect yesterday. The Senators used their allotted time to make speeches and personal attacks instead of asking questions. It seemed to be a lost opportunity for some answers. Senator Boxer went so far as to again call Secretary Rice a liar and to tell her she had no way of understanding the human cost of the war in Iraq as she had no 'immediate family' reference. Wow. I thought that particular form of nasty feminism was long gone. I thought the movement was all about respect for personal choices. I guess it doesn't apply if you are a conservative, black woman.

Both parties were voicing displeasure with the new strategy in Iraq.

Today shows a more thoughtful and calm group of Senators willing to listen and learn what the thoughts are of the new Secretary of Defense. An interesting contrast involves the new Senator from Virginia, Senator Webb when compared to Senator McCain. Webb, boasting of his time in the Pentagon during the Reagan years though not of the fact he only lasted 7 short months before being fired for incompetence as Secretary of the Navy, is now a Democrat for the sake of seeking office. He wore his Marine son's combat boots with his suits while campaigning to prove his street cred. Webb's a conservative and will soon disappoint the liberals who gleefully voted for him in November.

Senator McCain also has a Marine son in Iraq. He believes the new strategy and still believes in victory. He asked if those opposed to the new strategy think leaving is the best choice? I tend to agree with Senator McCain that now is the time for full participation by the Iraqis in the mission and if progress is not shown in the very near future then it will be clear the people of Iraq will not be able to meet the challenges of a free society.

Senator Lieberman said now is the time for all those opposing the new strategy to produce their plan for victory. He lamented the point that most of the opposition seems to be raw politics and not in the best interests of our country. He said we should remember that when the first President Bush went into Kuwait he only had the support of about 17% of the U.S. public. When the mission was successful, he enjoyed approval ratings of 90%, the highest of any sitting American president. He said we must think of the long run. Decisions must sometimes be made in light of long term vision, not popularity or a future legacy.

President Bush is an ideologue. He is not of the school of realism. He truly believes every human being is entitled to a life of freedom. This is a noble trait. It is a very liberal trait. It is a good trait.

This is tough stuff. If the answers were simple, the problem would have been attended to in the previous administration. The previous administration was responsible for the 1998 resolution making regime change in Iraq as our national policy. But, Clinton was more concerned with legacy and personal ambitions of him and his wife to do brave moves in the world. He authorized, in 2002 after he was long out of office, Sandy Berger, former NSA to Maddie Allbright, to go into the National Archives and research documents on brewing events that lead to Sept 11, 2001. Berger morphed into Burglar and stole classified, archived documents by stuffing them into his sock, trousers and on his person while being filmed by security cameras. He left the building with them and even went so far as to hide them under a trailer at a construction site. Why was the full extent of his criminal activity not known until December 2006, after the November elections? Why was he only given a fine and community service? Hillary Rodham began her Washington career as a staffer on Watergate committees and their hearings during the Nixon days. You'd think she and Bill would not resort to those type of tactics to coverup his administrations actions.

I go back to the absence of common sense in politics. The enemy is watching. Yes, there is a real enemy. Troubled nations look to the U.S. for help. Whether you are proud of our place in the world and the responsibilities that our place brings, or think if we just not bother anyone then we will not be bothered, the fact is that the words of our politicians are broadcast around the world. binLaden bloviates that Americans are too soft to respond to bully tactics, just as Saddam did. Neither thought Americans would be up to the task of war in Afghanistan or Iraq.

I continue to pray we prove them wrong.


Beverly said...

Thanks for your posts. I so agree with your last statement. God help us.

Nate said...

"President Bush is an ideologue. He is not of the school of realism. He truly believes every human being is entitled to a life of freedom. This is a noble trait. It is a very liberal trait. It is a good trait."

Well put, and a great post. I'm glad to have stumbled onto your blog the other day. You're now on my short list of daily reads.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Karen. You are on a fine roll. How many is this, 1327 great posts in a row?

I wa asounded and not in a good way about the questioning Barbara Boxer used on Sec. Rice, yesterday. Following her logic, then, since Boxer has not served in the Armed Forces, then she should not get a vote or a voice on military matters.

That'll be the day. You'd think that line of questioning would be so transparent even her toadies would not be able to defend it.

Anonymous said...

It would be a great honor if I, or someone, were appointed to stand behind each Senator, say, with Maxwell's Silver Hammer and if the fine Senator's question exceeds three sentences administer a significant reminder that time was up.
It shows the intelligence of those being questioned to even keep up with whatever line is being pursued.
I'd play some sort of "Who's on First," with them about the existence of a question at all.
"You asked a question?" "Yes." "What was it?"
They are dorks but they're not dumb.

I don't want to insult anyone but is there anyone who does not see the decline of America in all this?
I think our enemies do, and they are gathering. A high price will once again be paid.

Anonymous said...

Paul owes me a new keyboard for the Silver Hammer image, nearly reimbursement for the EMS as I choked almost on my very sweet southern iced tea while reading.

Anonymous said...

Karen, this post is awesome. Thanks for expounding on the issues well.

Gattina said...

I am on my walk through the photohunters and found your blog, so I started to read (see, photo hunting is sometimes good) but I think you never put your feet outside the states, otherwise you wouldn't talk like that. If you hear the Americans living shortly in Europe or other countries for professional reasons, they learned to see America from outside and that's a completely other picture.But, everybody has the right to believe what he wants to believe, even if it seems crazy to others.
Why are there so many anonymous comments ? are people afraid to say what they think and stand for it ??

Jennifer said...

I do appreciate your educated and articulate passion, that much cannot be denied.

AC said...

Karen, I don't know why my comments are showing up as anonymous, I am #3 & #5.

That's from me, AC, in case Gattina wants to know. Obviously Blogger is having issues.

Paul is a Hermit said...

Yes, Karen, my # 4 is showing as anonymous too.

What are you doing? Protecting me from having to buy AC a new keyboard?
Bless you.

Karen said...

Thanks all for the patience with this comments section. When I switched over last night to the new version of Blogger, in hopes it would behave better, some comments came up as anonymous.
Gattina is representative of why I do not care what others think of my opinions. I must not be well-traveled. I must be crazy. Whatever. She comes once, makes judgements and leaves.
Dissention is welcome. Snide arguments, if that's all you have, are better done elsewhere.
I hope the comments section works better.
I'll be posting tonight when I return from our evening's entertainment.
Gattina won't like this one either.

AC said...

I, for one, can't wait, Karen.

Janie said...

Karen, don't ask me how I got to be "anonymous" (I must have hit the wrong button?), but that was me.

srp said...

I wouldn't worry about it, and I'm sure you won't. You are right. We are so far off base from what the founding fathers intended that we may not find our way back.

We are, however, not as far off base as Europe is and for that I am grateful.

L. Stoner said...

I am excited to see that yet another intelligent invidual has capability to see beyond the cloud of media, and realize that the fight for freedom for everyone is truly a noble deed. I think that you might find Ray L. Laurent's song "Lad of Seventeen" very wonderful! You can find it on, this guys got some heart felt stuff.
Fellow Female Texan