I confess: I am an abject hypocrite when it comes to my vote, especially in the general election.
As evidenced throughout this blog; I immersed myself in the factual details of the ascendency of Barack Obama into the Oval Office. Then, based on my newfound education, I vowed not vote for any Democrats for 40 years, likening this to the proverbial desert odyssey God imposed on the Jews to kill off all those generations raised within a culture steeped in idolatry, who had disobeyed His commandment to worship only Him. But, all things being equal; this means, I cannot justify voting Republican, either, because of the conduct of President George (W.) Bush, an awareness which broadsided me during a recent exchange about references to a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq.
Larry Johnson, Owner and Proprietor of the NoQuarter blog, posted NeoCon and Conservative Alzheimers on Iraq in which he sharply criticized Charles Krauthammer for blaming the current chaos in Iraq on President Obama’s failure to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement (“SOFA”): “What a crock of shit!” Id. He want on to correctly point out, “The Status of Forces Agreement was negotiated by George W. Bush’s people. Not Obama’s.” Id. Here was my response.
LJ, you wrote, “I am sickened and disgusted by the craven and dishonest conduct of pundits like Krauthammer.” Having missed the segment to which you referred – I usually skip O’Reilly – I went back and listened. Then, given 1) what might on the surface have appeared to be a less-than-forthright pronouncement from Dr. K; and 2) what I have found to be his history of reliability; I began to investigate. That’s how I came to realize, we are talking about 2 SOFA’s (see my comment below). Comments by your loyal opposition, Banned, inspired me to further research the facts.
No one is perfect; we all contradict ourselves, whether due to honest evolution of opinion. But based on Dr. K’s voluminous record of well-founded punditry; he has earned my ‘benefit of the doubt.’
(Note that I hadn’t even investigated the reasons underlying the horrible news coming out of Iraq until LJ attacked one of my favored political pundits! So much for being a civic citizen…)
Then, I responded to other commenters on that blog, with more information from my newly conducted research:
“Mr. Biden also predicted that the Americans could work out a deal with a government led by Mr. Maliki. “Maliki wants us to stick around because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise,” Mr. Biden said. “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA,” he added, referring to the Status of Forces Agreement the Obama administration hoped to negotiate.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09…
Clearly, VP Biden (and, by extension, President Obama) not only announced the position of the Administration, a new SOFA was necessary to stabilize the situation in Iraq; he assumed one would be negotiated. Then, why wasn’t it? Because President Obama is incapable of negotiating such an agreement. Then, having failed to negotiate such an agreement, Obama took credit for living up to his campaign promise to get US troops out of Iraq. And, he didn’t bother explaining to the country, what likely would be the devastating results of his failed attempts to finalize a new SOFA.
Remember, in the lead-up to the Iraqi war, several members of Congress, from both parties, granted provisional authorization for a use of force on the basis Iraq held weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) which could pose a threat to America’s vital interests. The resolution contained this caveat: before force would be used, all other non-combative measures would be exhausted, first. Most notable: UN inspectors would complete their work, consisting of searching for these WMD’s. Here is the corresponding (controlling) section of the AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002 :
…SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES. (a) Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to-- (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. (b) Presidential Determination.--In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that-- (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. ...
(Note that this resolution does not directly hold the “nation” of Iraq responsible for 9/11. Indeed, it could not, given that, Iraq was not responsible for 9/11 and, insofar as any nation could be said to be responsible for 9/11 then, it would be that nation in closest nexus to the actual act, which both history and the US Courts have established is Saudi Arabia. Rather, the carefully parsed wording of the resolution provides an alternative rationale to attack that country, by implying it perhaps is, or is associated with an international terrorist and terrorist organization.)
Anyway, the facts are in: we lied about why we sent our military forces into Iraq. Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq And even if only judging by the fact, FOX News hired former NYT reporter Judith Miller, in large part responsible for propagating the Bush administration’s widely believed false meme, there were WMD’s; the Republicans don’t care, this was a lie.
Again, my purpose here is not to re-litigate the reasons we initiated the Iraq war, or even to reason whether, having sparked some of the violence which resulted from our presence in Fallujah, we should have negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement (“SOFA”) before our scheduled departure in 2011 at a time the city was experiencing relative peace; or whether such a SOFA would have forestalled the ensuing turmoil.
I only want to point out, as much as I detest Democrats in general for all things related to Barack Obama, including his failure to negotiate that new SOFA; I hate the Republicans and President Bush for getting us into that war in the first place.
I hate Vice President Cheney most of all.
At a congressional hearing examining the march to war in Iraq, Republican congressman Walter Jones posed “a very simple question” about the administration’s manipulation of intelligence: “How could the professionals see what was happening and nobody speak out?” Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, responded with an equally simple answer: “The vice president.” Id.