Sunday, February 10, 2008

What A Steaming Pile of Bull-Pelosi

Consider the title to be a Freudian slip. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday defended earmarks, then declared the surge in Iraq a failure and listed the justifications as to why we need to surrender immediately.


Wolf Blitzer interviewed Speaker Pelosi on CNN today. You can find the complete transcript here. Blitzer first asked her about earmarks. Here is the exchange:

PELOSI: . . . Congress has a right, the power of the purse. And I'm not a big fan of earmarks, but they do have value, if done with transparency. It may be news to the president, but when the Democrats took control of the Congress, we had -- we instituted transparency. We've cut the earmarks in half and went back to the transparency. Every person who has an earmark has to identify himself with it, affirm that he has not -- doesn't have a financial benefit to him personally, or her personally.

Not a big fan of earmarks? She is number 4 on the list of House members who have put earmark requests into 2008 budget bills. Number 1 on the list is her right hand man, Jack Murtha. Between them, they lead the earmark pack, having submitted earmarks for nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money. She's not just a fan of earmarks, she is the Queen of earmarks.

As to the claim to have cut earmarks in half, she is using some math with which I am not familiar. The numbers for 2008 show a four fold increase in earmarks over 2007.

The rules she is claiming she has put in place are the barest of reforms and, ultimately, only amount to partial transparency. They have done nothing to stem the corruption or the waste of the earmark process. Nor have those rules addressed the worst excesses. And indeed, Pelosi is balking at any bi-partisan substantive reform.

PELOSI: But this president is making that statement, in the State of the Union, a president who's signed more legislation, with more earmarks, than any president in the history of our country, didn't say "boo" until his last...

I concur. That is why the Republicans are known today as the minority party.

BLITZER: Why not just eliminate them all?

PELOSI: Well, I'm not averse to that, myself, personally. But when a president says to the Congress, I will decide every penny of spending, that's just not right. That's just not right.

So the reason she refuses to eliminate earmarks is because the President has written an Executive Order refusing to honor the most corrupt earmarking practice of Congress? In what universe can that be classified as either logic or an answer to Blitzer's question. Well, actually it was an answer. As shown in the links above, she is neck deep in earmarks herself and has no intention whatsoever of substanitvely addressing the earmark issue.

BLITZER: So let's talk about Iraq, which is another issue high on the agenda of the American public.

PELOSI: Right.

BLITZER: The president says, quote, "The surge is working. I know some don't want to admit that and I understand, but the terrorists understand the surge is working."

Is the surge working?

PELOSI: The president is wrong in several respects. First of all, the military aspect of the surge is working. And God bless our troops. They've performed excellently. And any time they engage in battle, we want them to succeed. The president knows that. He shouldn't say we don't want admit that that military aspect of the surge is working.

PELOSI: But the purpose of the surge was to create a secure time for the government of Iraq to make the political change to bring reconciliation to Iraq. They have not done that.

BLITZER: But they've taken some steps...

BLITZER: ... on the Baathists being allowed to come back...

PELOSI: ... baby steps, very late -- . . .

On the floor of the House in February, 2007, Pelosi stated she was against the surge because, she predicted, it would only escalate the violence in Iraq. She and Harry Reid were adamant that we shouldn't be fighting in the midst of a civil war. Once it became clear that our soldiers have been largely successful in bringing peace to Iraq, the words "civil war" were dropped from the Pelosi-Reid vocabulary. On December 20, 2007, Pelosi told reporters: "I think you are going to see a good deal of focus be on why it is that even when you have some military success to establish a secure time when the government can act politically, they still do not act in a way to bring reconciliation in Iraq." Now that the Iraqi government has acted to bring about reconciliation, Pelosi moves the goal posts again.

Evidently, she had the Iraqi government on a double secret time limitation, whereby any reconciliation occurring after December 20, 2007 doesn't count. Pelosi does not bother to explain how the reconciliation is "too little." The Sunni's in the Iraqi government were quite happy with it.

The bottom line, of course, is the goal posts will continue to move as more success is achieved in Iraq. But under no circumstances can the surge or our efforts in Iraq be characterized as "winning" or "succeeding." This is, after all, about partisan political gain for the Democrats to, one, achieve power, and two, discredit conservatives. What is our national security mmatched up against that?

BLITZER: I spoke with General David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq. And he pointed to all the statistics showing that casualties are down; stability is coming to the Al Anbar province, elsewhere.

And the increased troops that they sent over for the surge -- they'll be back out by July or so. But he then said this.


GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCES, IRAQ: We will, though, need to have some time to let things settle a bit, if you will, after we complete the withdrawal. We think it would be prudent to do some period of assessment, then, to make decisions.


BLITZER: He's basically suggesting there should be a pause, this summer, to assess where it stands, so that all of the gains will not have been lost, squandered. Are you open to that?

PELOSI: We will be entering the sixth year of this war in about another month, March 19. It will be five years that we've been in this war, over a year and a half longer than we were in World War II. . . .

In other words, "no" - we need to surrender and time is of the essence. What World War II has to do with this, I do not know. Hostilities in the one other insurgency we fought, the Philipines War, did not end for 14 years. There is a difference between war - fought with incredible violence by standing armies over a short period - and an insurgency where the opposing force tries to hide in the civilian population. That is a nuance Pelosi does not wish to ponder.

PELOSI: . . . Certainly, we have to leave a few people there to protect our embassy, for force protection, to fight the terrorists and that.

This is utter insanity. The Iraqi Defense Minister recently estimated it would take until 2012 until Iraq can achieve complete responsibility for internal security and 2018 until it could control its borders from foreign threat. The only stability that would come to Iraq if we were to leave now would be that imposed by al Qaeda in Sunni regions, by Iran in Baghdad and the Shia south, and by Turkey in the Kurdish north. It would come at the cost of countless lives and have nearly unimaginable ramifications for our foreign policy. We have nearly 150,000 soldiers in Iraq now "fighting terrorists." If she thinks that we can leave a small force in Iraq under the circumstances that would likely ensue, she's nuts. She would be inviting the massacre of our soldiers.

BLITZER: Are you not worried, though, that all the gains that have been achieved over the past year might be lost?

PELOSI: There haven't been gains, Wolf. The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure.

This is simply and utter and complete determination to lose in Iraq. I wish Blitzer had asked her to define "reconciliation" if she refuses to acknowledge the security gains, the number of people returning to Iraq, the real Pax Americana descending on Baghdad, the recent de-Baathification law, nor the recent law passed to allow Sunnis to collect pensions as evidence of reconciliation. So what would she accept?

PELOSI: . . . But [U.S. soldiers] deserve better than a policy of a war without end, a war that could be 20 years or longer. And Secretary Gates just testified, in the last 24 hours, to Congress, that this next year in Iraq and Afghanistan is going to cost $170 billion. . . .

There is no such thing as war without end. Wars end in one of three ways. You win (WWII). You convince the other side to stop fighting (WWI, Korea). You lose and leave, and to the victors go the spoils, sooner or later (Vietnam). Guess which option Pelosi is opting for.

And as to the costs to stay, they are high. But what will be the long term costs that we will pay for leaving Iraq to become an Qaeda stronghold in the Sunni area and a sattelite of Iran in the Shia south. What costs will we pay to fight what would be an explosion of terrorism? Which Middle East country or radical religious movement will be deterred by the threat of U.S. force in the future - and what costs will we pay to fend off their conventional - or nuclear - adventursim? Which country will ally themselves with the U.S. against any foe? Nobody has asked yet about the costs of surrender and withdrawal from Iraq will be, yet they quite forseeably outweigh any cost we might pay to succeed there.

In summary, Pelosi has embraced the "culture of corruption" represented by earmarks that she had promised to reform. She didn't drain the swamp; rather, she personally has jumped in for a swim with Jack Murtha. As to the Iraq War, would it be possible for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the anti-war crowd to be any more transparent. The games Pelosi and Reid are playing on these critical issues with the American people are a travesty, perhaps approached in scale only by MSM whose complicity is necessary for Pelosi and Reid to pursue this travesty.

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