THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.Note that the war had one more hard year to go and three years until a peace treaty was signed. For a war whose beginning was 1775.
Thomas Paine 1780
Well the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots are out in force today. Who are these summer soldiers?
Let us start with Rep. Walter Jones.
Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina conservative, said on ABC's "This Week" that he would offer legislation this week setting a timetable for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.What effect will this have on the Islamic fascists? It will tell them how long they have to hold on to win. In other words this is an encouragement to the enemy. If the legislation actually passes God help the Iraqis. Or perhaps the Rep. don't give a damn about them. Perhaps purple fingers mean nothing to him.
And who does Jones think is to blame?
Jones, a member of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said "primarily the neoconservatives" in the administration were to blame for flawed war planning.Them evil neocons (who are not our kind) are to blame. Not Saddam for making inspection for weapons all but impossible. Not Saddam who was shooting at our aircraft. Not Saddam who was running a murderous fascist state. Nope. Neocons.
"The reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there," he said.
Jones joins some of Congress' most liberal Democrats in demanding a deadline to withdraw troops from a conflict they said has been too costly in U.S. lives and money.
Is he talking about the cost to the Iraqi people of an American defeat? How it would dishearten democrats in Syria and Iran? Why no. Just leave. Put it all behind us. The hell with them.
And then we have another stalwart Sen. Lindsey Graham. What does he have to say?
"The insurgency is alive and well. We underestimated the viability of the insurgency," Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on CBS' Face the Nation. He said the administration has "been slow to adjust when it comes to troop strength and supporting our troops."So what is the Senator proposing? Adding more divisions to the Army? Raising pay to attract more soldiers? An appeal to American patriotism and Iraqi freedom? Nope. Just talk up how enlistments are down and public opinion is on its last legs. Is he trying to rally the nation or tuck in his tail and crawl away in defeat?
At least Graham gets one thing right in part. He does not want to set a date.:
Graham opposed setting a date. "If the insurgents drive us out ... we've lost a big battle in the war on terror," he said.Here is another complainer:
Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who just returned from Iraq, joined several Democrats saying the administration must be more candid and acknowledge that it could take about two years to train Iraqi forces to replace U.S. soldiers and allow a significant pullout.Now here is where the complaints get interesting:
Weldon also said the administration must "come to grips" with a rising insurgency, boosted by fighters from Syria and Iran, "which for some reason our intelligence community does not want to acknowledge or deal with."Now I think he gets it. At least he knows what the next targets are.
Weldon said he heard "a common theme" in Iraq that the largest number of foreign insurgents may be coming from Syria, but that "Iran overwhelmingly has the quality behind the insurgency."
And lest you think all our politicians are totally stupid they are working on The Saudi Accountability Act
ON TUESDAY, June 7, Sen. Arlen Specter took an action that may substantially improve the difficult--some might say despicable--state of U.S.-Saudi relations. Specter dropped the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005 into the hopper; the text was designated Senate bill 1171. Its cosponsors, so far, are Sens. Evan Bayh, Susan Collins, Tim Johnson, Patty Murray, Russ Feingold, and Ron Wyden.Well war is painful and resolutions are easy, but there may be hope for some of these Congress critters yet. At least they have identified some of the sources of the problem.
The legislation is concise. The bill's text stands as an indictment of Saudi Arabia, since it is mainly an inventory of evidence against the kingdom and the role of its rulers in enabling terrorism. S. 1171 summons the rulers of the Saudi kingdom to comply with United Nations resolution 1373, calling on states to refrain from supporting terrorism, to combat terrorism, and to deny safe haven to financiers and planners of terrorism. As the home of Wahhabism, the state cult and Islamist ideology underpinning al Qaeda and its allies, Saudi territory is a rich field of targets for serious counter-terrorism.