Monday, March 05, 2007

No more Mr. Nice Guy

A feisty Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning to defend the President’s Iraq surge. "Whether it works, I don’t know, but I can promise you this: This is our last, best chance."

Graham was adamant that General Petraeus get “whatever resources he needs and whatever time he needs…” in Iraq because it is “a central battlefront in a global struggle against terrorism.”

(I thought Iraq was the central battlefront? Or was that last season?)
"The biggest mistake we made early on is not having enough troops, letting the situation get out of hand."


"Here’s the one thing I can guarantee you, that if a failed state in Iraq occurs, the war gets bigger, not smaller. Here’s what I’d like to do going forward. Give the commanders what they haven’t had in the past, the resources they need, give them the breathing space to do it, allow the Iraqi people to regroup, but insist that they do better, and understand that a failed state is a nightmare for this country. Plan for the worst, and don’t assume the best."
But weren't we told since our troops arrived that they had everything they needed?

Well, mistakes were made, Graham says. Whatever. We're really serious now.
"Do we have the desire to win? ... Because if al-Qaeda tastes the blood of Americans leaving and they can say with certainty they broke our will and ran us out of Iraq, and we go to Kuwait, they come wherever we go. The Gulf states are next. If we lose in Iraq, the moderate Gulf states are next. People like King Abdullah in Jordan, they’re on the hit list. We cannot allow Iraq to fail, because if you fail in Iraq, every moderate voice in the Mideast has a death sentence on their head."
Speaking of Gen. Petraeus earlier in the interview, Graham said, “Either stop him from going or give him the resources to do their job. Everything is else is just political theater. That’s dangerous.”

I couldn’t agree more. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

The Oregonian reported over the weekend that Republican Sen. Gordon "Nice Guy" Smith explained to Oregon's GOP faithful why he opposes the president's surge:
"If you're really going to do a surge, you don't do it with 20,000, you do it with 250,000," he said, noting that Baghdad is a city of nearly 7 million people. But he said the United States cannot afford such a response; instead it has to come from the Iraqi Army.

Smith said he recently spoke with Gen. David Petraeus, the new top military commander in Iraq, who told him the troop surge has only a one in four chance of succeeding.
The Iraqi Army? Cannot afford it? This country is facing a nightmare scenario! Only leaders weak on defense would risk dishonoring the sacrifices of the fallen on a plan with only a one in four chance of success; would nickel and dime America’s security now by not planning for the worst; would risk our last best chance on half measures. If 20,000 additional troops aren't adequate, how about 50,000? Or 100,000? Gen. Eric K. Shinseki suggested “something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" back in 2003. We're fighting terrorists. We cannot afford half measures.

We’ll need a draft.

And a war tax to pay for everything our boys will need.

Huh? The president and the Republicans oppose a draft? And a tax?

Don’t you have the desire to win?

[h/t Josh Marshall at TPM]

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