Hot Air has video of Teddy Kennedy talking, again, about "George Bush's Vietnam." Hot Air also inserts commentary from Christopher Hitchens from 2004 that is entirely appropriate today.
...There’s something creepy about the Democratic decision to hail the heroes of Vietnam, from Kerry to Clark, and to denigrate the extraordinary effort being made to salvage Iraq and to pursue and kill people who really are, unlike the Viet Cong, the common enemies of humanity...
The big problem with those on the left claiming that a troop surge will not work is that they are correct. Which is why there has been resistance to the "we need more troops, Mr. President" claim for the last few years.
If all we do is surge troops, then, no, sorry, that won't work.
I believe that Teddy knows that's not the plan (and, come on, folks, he's got lots of sources, resources, and access to know what the plan will be). The addition of 20K troops is part of an over-arching strategy that will employ different tactics throughout Iraq (changes in ROEs, methods, embedding in Iraqi units, etc.).
But Teddy won't say that because it's much more politically convenient to claim that adding more troops now won't help...as if the addition of troops will just be staying the course, rather than adapting to the challenges we face in Iraq in Baghdad and Anbar.
Instead, the left wing, who've called for a change for two years, should have a plan to win. Teddy demands a political solution, but offers none.
The left uses sound bites but.has.no.plan. (except to lose). It's better for them for us all to lose, than to win. As much as they wish for a Vietnam (where they exercised their power), they won't get one today.
While I personally am disappointed in how excruciatingly long it's taken to get to this point, the good news is that I suspect that the President is about to hit the cover off of the freakin' ball...LTG Petraeus will be speaking softly and carrying an extremely large stick in the next few weeks. If anyone has a chance at making this work, it's him.
But, honestly, I'd really like to see King David's jump boot so far up Sadr's ass that he can ask "Mookie" if he tastes Kiwi...
Update: I just received the outline of the President's speech. I'll include it after the jump.
The President's New Iraq Strategy Is Rooted In Six Fundamental Elements:
- Let the Iraqis lead;
- Help Iraqis protect the population;
- Isolate extremists;
- Create space for political progress;
- Diversify political and economic efforts; and
- Situate the strategy in a regional approach.
� The Consequences Of Failure In Iraq Could Not Be Graver � The War On Terror Cannot Be Won If We Fail In Iraq. Our enemies throughout the Middle East are trying to defeat us in Iraq. If we step back now, the problems in Iraq will become more lethal, and make our troops fight an uglier battle than we are seeing today.
Key Elements Of The New Approach: Security
� Publicly acknowledge all parties are responsible for quelling sectarian violence.
� Work with additional Coalition help to regain control of the capital and protect the Iraqi population.
� Deliver necessary Iraqi forces for Baghdad and protect those forces from political interference.
� Commit to intensify efforts to build balanced security forces throughout the nation that provide security even-handedly for all Iraqis.
� Plan and fund eventual demobilization program for militias.
� Agree that helping Iraqis to provide population security is necessary to enable accelerated transition and political progress.
� Provide additional military and civilian resources to accomplish this mission.
� Increase efforts to support tribes willing to help Iraqis fight Al Qaeda in Anbar.
� Accelerate and expand the embed program while minimizing risk to participants.
Both Coalition And Iraqi:
� Continue counter-terror operations against Al Qaeda and insurgent organizations.
� Take more vigorous action against death squad networks.
� Accelerate transition to Iraqi responsibility and increase Iraqi ownership.
� Increase Iraqi security force capacity � both size and effectiveness � from 10 to 13 Army divisions, 36 to 41 Army Brigades, and 112 to 132 Army Battalions.
- Establish a National Operations Center, National Counterterrorism Force, and National Strike Force.
- Reform the Ministry of Interior to increase transparency and accountability and transform the National Police.
Key Elements Of The New Approach: Political
� The Government of Iraq commits to:
o Reform its cabinet to provide even-handed service delivery.
- Act on promised reconciliation initiatives (oil law, de-Baathification law, Provincial elections).
- Give Coalition and ISF authority to pursue ALL extremists.
� All Iraqi leaders support reconciliation.
� Moderate coalition emerges as strong base of support for unity government.
� Support political moderates so they can take on the extremists.
o Build and sustain strategic partnerships with moderate Shi'a, Sunnis, and Kurds.
� Support the national compact and key elements of reconciliation with Iraqis in the lead.
� Diversify U.S. efforts to foster political accommodation outside Baghdad (more flexibility for local commanders and civilian leaders).
- Expand and increase the flexibility of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) footprint.
- Focus U.S. political, security, and economic resources at local level to open space for moderates, with initial priority to Baghdad and Anbar.
Both Coalition And Iraqi:
� Partnership between Prime Minister Maliki, Iraqi moderates, and the United States where all parties are clear on expectations and responsibilities.
� Strengthen the rule of law and combat corruption.
� Build on security gains to foster local and national political accommodations.
� Make Iraqi institutions even-handed, serving all of Iraq's communities on an impartial basis.
Key Elements Of The New Approach: Economic
� Deliver economic resources and provide essential services to all areas and communities.
� Enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment, national unity, and reconciliation.
� Capitalize and execute jobs-producing programs.
� Match U.S. efforts to create jobs with longer term sustainable Iraqi programs.
� Focus more economic effort on relatively secure areas as a magnet for employment and growth.
� Refocus efforts to help Iraqis build capacity in areas vital to success of the government (e.g. budget execution, key ministries).
� Decentralize efforts to build Iraqi capacities outside the Green Zone.
- Double the number of PRTs and civilians serving outside the Green Zone.
- Establish PRT-capability within maneuver Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs).
� Greater integration of economic strategy with military effort.
- Joint civil-military plans devised by PRT and BCT.
- Remove legal and bureaucratic barriers to maximize cooperation and flexibility.
Key Elements Of The New Approach: Regional
� Vigorously engage Arab states.
� Take the lead in establishing a regional forum to give support and help from the neighborhood.
� Counter negative foreign activity in Iraq.
� Intensify efforts to counter Iranian and Syrian influence inside Iraq.
� Increase military presence in the region.
� Strengthen defense ties with partner states in the region.
� Encourage Arab state support to Government of Iraq.
� Continue efforts to help manage relations between Iraq and Turkey.
� Continue to seek the region's full support in the War on Terror.
Both Coalition And Iraqi:
� Focus on the International Compact.
� Retain active U.N. engagement in Iraq � particularly for election support and constitutional review.