Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Congressional Views Of Iraq

A couple of congressmen have made their views on Iraq known in the past few days and both cases are unusual. First up is Joe Lieberman who, after returning from a trip to Iraq, wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Our Troops Must Stay." The whole thing is a fabulous read, so follow the link and read it now. If nothing else, read this section--and remember Lieberman is a Democrat who was once a vice-presidential candidate.
Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.

There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.
This wouldn't be shocking if written by a Republican, of course. They could simply be labeled as a party-man, echoing what the White House wants them to echo. What would be Lieberman's alterative motive, other than an honest assessment?

The second quote comes from a Representative from Georgia, Jack Kingston. Kingston had this to say:
We just left Iraq. As expected, the trip was a great success.

First and foremost: the war that we saw is not the same war that we are reading in the media everyday. In fact, our soldiers are very frustrated that the media is only reporting the bad news instead of highlighting the progress being made.

Our troops are in high spirits and are doing well. Their morale is high, and they are proud of the work that they are doing.
The first thing to note is that the link for this quote goes to Kingston's own blog. It is interesting to see a Congressman author a blog. What I found more interesting is the Kingston is a guest blogger at Redstate, where the full text of his quote can be found. Note that the blog entry doesn't link to the full quote of the Congressman--it is the source of the full quote. If any mainstream media outlet chose the cover the story (unlikely, of course) we would have MSM referencing a blog instead of the other way around. You might find that surprising; I call it foreshadowing.