Wednesday, February 14, 2007
"Bring It On".....(Home)
SAN DIEGO – The highway scribe is actually cruising the highway for once, down in San Diego, on assignment, where he is the beneficiary of cable television in his favorite staying place La Pensione Hotel at the confluence of Date and India streets.
That means C-Span and the rare privilege of watching our House of Representatives debate a resolution bitch-slapping the (p)resident for not understanding the November bitch-slap the American people gave him.
It is something of a pleasure to watch people of varying stripes from the four corners of these United States arguing the virtues of the Iraq war. Some observers are surprised at the lack of polish, the stuttering and stammering of certain of these representatives, but the scribe finds it refreshing that not everybody in government comes from Harvard, Yale, Princeton et. al. That they speak for all of us, and not just the well-heeled, who are always ably represented.
The contents of the bitch-slap are simple enough and they are that the House, as the representative body of the American people, disapproves of the (p)resident’s plan to escalate the war.
Whoever is chairing the debate is constantly reminding the House members not to personalize the proceedings by mentioning geo. w. bsh’s name, and repeatedly the members find it too difficult given that the war is his.
Meanwhile, the two sides are discussing different projects.
The Democrats have the advantage of arguing a debate they’ve already won once in the past general elections. They are blessed with employing four years of lies, misrepresentations, and military failure as evidence on their side.
The (r)epublicans, stuck with a turkey, are twisting their rhetoric into conceptual pretzels, attempting to equate this ghastly affair (the scribe’s favorite sobriquet) with the (American) Civil War, the American Revolutionary War, and yes, that canard of “appeasement” they used so effectively when scaring our people into going along with invasion of Iraq.
Democrats correctly see our troops as “babysitting” or “mediating” a flare-up, brought on by the (p)resident’s war, of a 1,400-year old disagreement between two Muslim sects.
The (r)epublicans see the resolution, not as a condemnation of the (p)resident’s decision to escalate the war in the face of the American peoples’ rejection of same, but as a “retreat” in the great battle of our times against a for desiring to rule us and the whole entire world.
Of course that’s poppycock. Saddam Hussein, whose country was subject to daily surveillance by American fighter planes, should not have been compared to Adolf Hitler, who guided the most potent military machine the world had seen, and had flattened and invaded a number of countries.
Similarly, while the radical Islamist threat to kill innocent train and plane riders, office building workers and disco dancers is real and worthy of urgent address, it’s stupid to suggest these angry young men in their urban cells and Internet chat groups can “rule the world.”
(r)epublicans never explain how the jihadists are going to overrun Nebraska while they’re at each other’s throats and spend more time quoting that Al-Zawhiri guy than listening to the majority of the American people.
Among the interesting speeches was one by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who pointed out that the House of Representatives had been guilty of such defeatism before. Namely during the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress decided to slash funding for General Washington’s troops and limit the size of his army.
Washington, of course, went on to win with what they gave him, so the scribe is not sure what point Rep. Poe was hoping to make, but is sure he made it very poorly.
the scribe, of course, wasn’t there and Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.) was and he pointed out that Washington was surrounded by men like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; leaving the (r)epublicans an opening to argue that guys like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and “Scooter” Libby were cut from the same cloth.
None took it. Rather they spent a lot of time complaining that the Democrats had “no plan for victory.” But who could win this thing? The debate is about preventing an escalation, not turning shit into gold.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), from Miami, argued that Democratic protestations they had no plan to begin de-funding “our” troops (the troops belong to the (r)epublicans, you see) were dishonest. Then she went on to read some bills introduced by different Democratic members of late, clearly intended to put an end to the military campaign - as the American people made clear they desired in November.
Ros-Lehtinen, like most of the hand-wringers on her side of the aisle, was being disingenuous. If Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer says the Democrats plan to do no such thing, you can rest assured the Democratic leadership is not quite ready to take that step.
But the fact that some in his caucus got the message right and aren’t taking the bait as to their “appeasement,” their “micro-managing” the war, their “dividing” of the American people, and their “sending the wrong message” to “our” troops, is something to be excited about.
And that’s because it’s time to bring it on (home).
Here are some more soldiers to remember:
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Folsom Soldier
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Sgt. Robert B. Thrasher of Folsom, CA:
"Sergeant Thrasher's tireless dedication to preserving freedom will not be forgotten. Robert's bravery in the face of danger is an inspiration to all Californians. Maria and I extend our deepest condolences to Robert's family, friends and fellow soldiers in their time of mourning."
Thrasher, 23, died Feb. 11 as a result of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with the enemy using small arms fire during combat patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, TX.
In honor of Sgt. Thrasher, Capitol flags will be flown at half staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Newhall Soldier
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Spc. Dennis L. Sellen Jr. of Newhall, CA:
"Our nation's soldiers put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day. Specialist Sellen's loyalty to our nation and commitment to preserving freedom represent true heroism. Maria and I join all Californians in extending our heartfelt sympathies to Dennis's family and friends."
Sellen, 20, died Feb. 11 as a result of non-combat related injuries in Umm Qasr, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 185th Infantry Regiment, Fresno, CA.
In honor of Spc. Sellen, Capitol flags will be flown at half staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Three Camp Pendleton Marines
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the deaths of Capt. Jennifer J. Harris of Swampscott, MA, Sgt. Travis D. Pfister of Richland, WA and Sgt. James R. Tijerina of Beasley, TX:
"The noble sacrifices of Captain Harris, Sergeant Pfister and Sergeant Tijerina serve as a reminder of the tremendous cost of our freedom. Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our gratitude for these Marines' ultimate acts of selflessness. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Jennifer's, Travis' and James' families and will keep them in our prayers."
Harris, 28, Pfister, 27, and Tijerina, 26, died Feb. 7 as a result of injuries sustained when the helicopter they were flying in crashed while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. They were all was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.
In honor of Capt. Harris, Sgt. Pfister and Sgt. Tijerina, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of San Diego Soldier
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Pvt. Clarence T. Spencer of San Diego, CA:
"Private Spencer dedicated his life to preserving the liberties of our great nation. His bravery will forever remain an inspiration to all Californians. Maria and I offer our deepest condolences to Clarence's family, friends and fellow soldiers."
Spencer, 24, died Feb. 4 as a result of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with the enemy using small arms fire in Baqubah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX.
In honor of Pvt. Spencer, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Big Bear City Marine
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of 1st Lt. Jared M. Landaker of Big Bear City, CA:
"First Lieutenant Landaker undertook the noble endeavor of risking his own life to ensure the safety and liberty of others. This Marine's sacrifice epitomizes true patriotism. Maria and I extend our sympathies to Jared's family, friends and fellow Marines."
Landaker, 25, died Feb. 7 as a result of injuries sustained when the helicopter he was flying in crashed while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.
In honor of 1st Lt. Landaker, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.