The reactions and views of Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Brian Baird (D-WA) concerning Iraq are instructive and important.

Rep. Tauscher was a supporter of the Iraq Debacle. Now she has pledged to no longer vote for funding the Debacle. In an interview with ThinkProgress, she said:

[T]he American people don’t want to see some kind of Saigon-like helicopter liftoff trying to remove people out of Iraq,” 2) they don’t want to see “ethnic cleansing and devastation of Iraqis” after we leave, and 3) they “don’t want the status quo.”

Tauscher was criticized, yes by me too, for some statements she made and some views she held. Rep. Tauscher has listened. The DC Establishment will call that pandering. I call that representing. I believe Rep. Tauscher listened to her constitutents, reviewed the facts and came to the right view on Iraq. This is what our representatives are supposed to do. More.

Rep. Brian Baird opposed the Iraq War and the Surge. But his review of the situation has led him to now support the Surge. He is denying the views of his consitutents and, in my opinion, putting into question his judgment. His explanations for his conversion are, to say the least, unconvincing. To say the most, they reveal little in the way of intellect. But I feel confident that his conversion is a genuine one made from conviction. I believe his constituents are well within their rights to question his judgment and to believe they would be better represented by another person. Baird said:

It could well cost me the next election," Baird said at the end of the meeting. "That's alright."

Given the importance of the issue, it should.

These two representatives highlight an important issue for me that we should all consider. Our representatives often make mistakes. Some honest. Some from political cravenness. But I hope we can focus on the issues at hand and press our representatives to make the right decisions now and not dwell on the mistakes of the past.

There will be a time for evaluating the performance of our representatives in 2008. But now is the time to press them to make the right decisions now, especially on Iraq. They must insist on a date certain for ending the Iraq Debacle. By NOT funding it past a date certain.

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    I saw that Tauscher interview earlier (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:12:32 AM EST
    she has the zeal of a convert. I actually don't much care why she's come to this position. I just hope we can replicate her conversion elsewhere.

    Wow Be Careful (none / 0) (#24)
    by talex on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:17:26 PM EST
    If we replicate her conversion elsewhere we just might end up with a VPM.

    Good for her, but... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:55:05 AM EST
    The American people don't have any right to expect some rosy resolution in Iraq when we leave.  There will be terror, ethnic cleansing, there will be scenes like those in Saigon.  Not the same scenes, obviously, but similar enough.  I hope not, but one can't be naive -- as this administration pretended to be.  That is the price we will pay for getting into this in the first place, and it will pale in comparison to the price Iraqis will pay.  The choice to defund is a sound one, however it must not be made with delusions of a nice ending to this.  For Iraqis, the end is years, if not decades, away.

    Baird is a Very Serious Person now. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:58:17 AM EST
    Maybe O'Hanlon and Pollack can be his sponsors for the initiation rite.

    Nicely done (none / 0) (#5)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:39:30 AM EST
    dadler (1.00 / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:37:41 AM EST
    There will be terror, ethnic cleansing, there will be scenes like those in Saigon.

    Yet you say, leave. Why have you changed your position?

    Re: Networks Refuse to Air Darfur Ad (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:37 PM EST

    ...It's much nicer to wave the big "We're Number One!" foam finger and take a pass on the really difficult stuff.

    Re: Networks Refuse to Air Darfur Ad (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:38 PM EST

    Nicely written, Dadler.


    My position is consistent with REALITY (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:03:40 PM EST
    Egad, man.  Staying in Iraq and believing you can do the impossible is PRECISELY waving the big foam finger ignorantly.  The difficult decision is facing REALITY and accepting you can't fight other people's civil wars, you can't dictate how other people should shape their own destiny.  The difficult decision is to face, like adults, that you made a terrible error, and that there are some things which can't be fixed.  Then you go home, take care of your wounded, learn from your mistakes, repair your divided nation, invest in its prosperity, and try to change the world, gasp, by setting a real example.

    My comment was not so much about (1.00 / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:25:03 PM EST
    the reversal of your position, but the fact you refereced Vietnam and appear willing accept that as the result of what will happen in Iraq if we leave as a defeated power.

    Look at what Baird said.

    Rep. Brian Baird opposed the Iraq War and the Surge. But his review of the situation has led him to now support the Surge.

    "It could well cost me the next election," Baird said at the end of the meeting. "That's alright."

    If a man is willing to lay his political future on the line, I think we should listen to what he has to say.


    I listened and ummm NOPE (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:47:11 PM EST
    Don't have the troops to do it and don't even have evidence that it can be done even if we did have the troops, staying there is feeding an insurgency and adding to civil war and more and more dead everyday just like Vietnam did (and has broken our military just like Vietnam did)........NOPE, time to go home.  Time for America to learn another lesson in the real world about real life, we are young nation, we are bound to screw up though screwing up over this regime change thing when the welfare of the nation is not directly at risk is getting very tiresome.

    Tracy (1.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:40:19 PM EST
    Your military expertise and historical knowledge is, I am sure, widely aknowledged.

    (sarcasm alert)


    Wrong, but I am not surprised. (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:04:12 PM EST
    100s of thousands of Vietnamese were killed, and millions being exiled from their homes as a direct result of our bombing in Vietnam.

    10's of thousands of Vietnamese were killed, and hundreds of thousands exiled to re-education camps, by a triumphant Communist government after Saigon fell

    Our leaving Vietnam resulted in a NET SAVING of lives.

    Its a MINOR detail you conviently and persistently miss. Maybe it has to do with your desire to try and score political points rather than any Bleeding Heart you pretend to have for the Vietnamese.

    It can't be proven, but I suspect there will be a net saving of lives in Iraq when we leave. In any event, there will be a net saving of American lives.


    Nice strawman (1.00 / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:17:29 PM EST
    First you don't mention Cambodia. Remember the Killing Fields??

    Secondly, the war was winding down after Tet... that's Jan '68.. I think you are ignoring the deaths that occurred after that date...It was the Left's actions that convinced North Vietnam that they could win a political victory if they just hung on..

    It was with Tet '68 that the American media first knew sin. Anyone seeking to understand the character of consistently negative media coverage of the Global War on Terror must understand Tet.


    Here,  listen to someone who was there

    AS AN OFFICER and a journalist for the North Vietnamese army newspaper, Bui Tin knew many of the political leaders of the post-French era in Indochina. Twice he made the dangerous journey down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was the main military supply route from the North through the Laotian panhandle to the South during the American phase of Vietnam's wars of independence. He was one of the first high-ranking communists to enter Saigon when the government of South Vietnam collapsed in 1975.

    In a recent interview published in The Wall Street Journal, former colonel Bui Tin who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese Army and received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975 confirmed the American Tet 1968 military victory....

    "And the left: "Support for the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9AM to follow the growth of the antiwar movement.
    Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey "Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses..."

    Bui Tin went on to serve as the editor of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

    So much talk (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by glanton on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:25:22 PM EST
    these days by all the Talking Heads, Bush included, about the consequences of leaving Vietnam.  The neocons would like us all to "lear" from it.

    But where's the serious discussion about the United States totally screwing up and getting in to the conflict in the first place?  Where is that conversation now, to counter these smug neocons authors and bloggers, sipping their lattes and watching their hedge funds some 3,000 miles away from the slaughtering, even as they talk about how (obligatory drumroll) the very fate of Western Civilization is at stake in Iraq?  

    Indeed, where was this discussion when it was really needed, 5 years ago?  


    Glanton (1.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:43:05 PM EST
    Those are excellent questions, and the ones on Vietnam would span what, 10 years or so? Ditto for Iraq.

    But the fact is we are now in a war.

    But, it sounds like a good topic, why not take it to the Open Thread??


    Why not take it to an Open Thread? (Heh) (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by glanton on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:02:08 PM EST
    The questions aren't so hard.  By the end it was clear that we had never had any business there to bgin with: that the "domino theory" was nothing short of smug stupidity.  That from this hubristic foolery tens of thousands of American soldiers died for absolutely nothing.

    And now that they have replayed the foolery, these unspeakable bas#ards have the gall to warn us to heed the lessons of Vietnam? Ahh, the bravery of being out of range!  But God what it must be like to be that smug and that ignorant at the same time.

    But the fact is we are now in a war.

    In your world it is never a good time to say what is true, to pay the account.  During the runup to the Iraq war people who called out the foolery were told we cannot get into all that "nuance" just now, we cannot afford the luxury of questioning this because we're in crisis mode, a bomb could go off in your city any minute if you don't get on board with this.  Colin Powell and his tubes.  There will be flowers thrown at the feet of the soldiers.  Macabre comedy, all of it.    

    Now it's hey, mistakes were made, let's put it behind us, we're in a war now let's just focus on that.  Now it's hey, if people had shut up and supported us Iraq would be Pleasantville right now.  Now it's even, with real idiots like Krauthammer and Kristol and Cheney: You know, if we invaded Iran there would be flowers thrown at the feet of the troops.

    At what point for Christ's sake will any of you-- the whole apologistic justifying 101st keyboarding faux patriotic smug lot of you-- ever stand and be accountable for the catastrophe you have wrought?  When will it be the right time to pin the tail on he friggin donkey?

    Stay alert, and stay with Fox.


    Why take it to an open thread?? (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:33:03 PM EST
    Mostly because it is off subject.... but I don't mind..

    First your answers are all papered over with 20-20 hindsigt. I have no answer as to why Kennedy expanded support. Some say he did it because having been embarassed at the Bay of Pigs and being challenged in the Cuban Missile Crisis he felt it important to demonstrate to the Soviets his commitment to fighting.. Remember that "Mutally Assured Destruction" was our basic defense. Anything that weakened MAD was not acceptable.

    Then there is the matter of SEATO, a treaty that pledged the US to defense of those who had signed. Again it may be silly, but some actually took us at our word.

    Worked rather well until Carter proved us knaves and them foolish in late '79. Having given away our virginity we have spent 28 years looking for it. What foolish boys we are.

    As to the "Domino Theory," I can only note that, like MAD, at times it is only important that the other side understand that you will fight. I have found that principle to be fulfilling in my personal and professional life.

    The other point is that the comparsion with Vietnam and Iraq is nonsense on how we got in.

    The accurate comparsion is to what the cost of what the "locals" will bear if we leave early.
    The results will be horrible to see, and in the end we will see that it was our leaving that has made them pay the price. And this embarassment will elect 8, maybe 12 years of Republicans.

    There is no comparsion between the two when it comes to what the US will bear. That you fail to understand that is a chasm that can not be bridged.


    Most history teachers in the know claim that by (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:50:40 PM EST
    staying in Vietnam the way we did we destabilized the region and fed what happened in Cambodia....per Militarychild#1

    Tracy (1.00 / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:44:34 PM EST
    Your child is being shortchanged. Get the child to a private school...

    but wait... that is also your bias..


    I think you might tend to your own schoolin (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:26:30 PM EST
    before you give advise to others.


    Molly (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:39:01 PM EST
    And I think you should learn to give less poor advice.

    Especially since, on the political side, you have backed losers for what.. 12 years out of the last 32?


    making 20 years to 12... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:55:19 PM EST
    Silly AND non-responsive. tsk. tsk.

    Alas, Regent University is full up right now ;( (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:26:54 AM EST
    She'll just have to be educated with lessers and by lessers.

    Not everything is a strawman (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:57:25 PM EST
    There is all sorts of abuse of logic (for instance, you seem to be a fan of false cause) around here, but not every fallacy of logic committed here is that of strawman. So please learn to id them rather than have readers think that you learned one logical fallacy and apply it to everything appropriately or not.

    American ground troops hadn't been in Cambodia in 1971, so how could our leaving Cambodia have caused the rise of the lunatic Khmer Rouge?

    There are historians who argue that (conservative republican) Richard M Nixon's massive bombing of Cambodia that left Cambodian society a bloody, nihilistic wasteland making conditions ripe for the Khmer Rouge takeover. That, would be a failure of your allies on the right side of the aisle, not the left. It was (conservative republican) Jerry   Ford who declined (liberal Democrat) Senator George McGovern's suggestion we should do something to stop the carnage in Cambodia.

    Finally  you do not understand the significance of Tet. The Tet Offensive demonstrated that the United States could not win a limited war of attrition. To defend the urban areas, U.S and ARVN forces were withdrawan from the countryside, allowing the communists to increase their control there which was a setback for the pacification effort. Tet also destroyed the South Vietnamese confidene in its own government and South Vietnamese Troop desertion rate went up about 25% after Tet. It showed the NV were prepared to continue a protracted war.

    Westmoreland requested more troops from Wheeler. According to our (as in the US) own 7000 page top secret report on Vietnam, Tet was  

    A fork in the road had been reached. Now the alternatives stood out in stark reality. To accept and meet General Wheeler's request for troops would mean a total U.S. military commitment to South Vietnam - an Americanization of the war, a callup of reserve forces, vastly increased expenditures. To deny the request for troops, or to attempt to again cut it to a size which could be sustained by the thinly stretched active forces, would just as surely signify that an upper limit to the U.S. military commitment in South Vietnam had been reached

    Clark Clifford pointed out to Johnson and McNamara that

    "There is a very strange contradiction in what we are saying and doing. On one hand, we are saying that we have known of this build up. We now know the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched this type of effort in the cities. We have publicly told the American people that the communist offensive was: (a) not a victory, (b) produced no uprising among the Vietnamese in support of the enemy, and (c) cost the enemy between 2,000 and 5,000 of his combat troops. Now our reaction to all of that is to say that the situation is more dangerous today than it was before all of this. We are saying that we need more troops, that we need more ammunition and that we need to call up the reserves."

    Would you like more schoolin' onTet, or have you had enough?


    You are welcome to provide all the free (1.00 / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:04:30 PM EST
    advice you want, but understand I take it to be worth what I paid for it.

    American ground troops hadn't been in Cambodia in 1971, so how could our leaving Cambodia have caused the rise of the lunatic Khmer Rouge?

    Uh.... if we had won.....See the point??

    And I prefer to believe a man who was actually there, not a bias news force.

    Our loses were staggering and a complete surprise. Giap later told me that Tet had been a military defeat, though we had gained the planned political advantages when Johnson agreed to negotiate and did not run for reelection.


    You see, it was the pressure from the Left that led to the above. Negotiations led to nothing but more dead Americans and more dead civilians. Had we responded with our full military might the war would have been over by late '68 or early '69.

    Many Americans, despite a concentrated attempt by the Left to rewrite hostory, still understand this. They will also understand the Left's position on Iraq.


    What biased news source? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:25:29 PM EST
    I quoted a US (then) top secret report, and Clark Clifford. Do you even read before you respond?

    Giap would never lie.

    You are tied up in knots.
    As for Cambodia...

    If we hadn't gone in the first place and bombed the place to obilvion in the first place, the conditions giving rise to the Khmer Rouge would not have occured, the would not have come to power and there would have been no blood bath for you to blame on liberals, when the blame belongs on the man who ordered the invasion of Cambodia in the first place.

    To quote someone:

    Uh.... get the point?

    If you would read, stop, think and then response as opposed to repeating stale (and dumb) talking points you would not embarrass yourself.


    Heh (1.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:42:01 PM EST
    Of course Giap would never lie, except when he was saying things that don't fit into the really big lie spun by the Left.

    Really Molly, your claims are a joke.

    Except to the dead.


    A net savings of lives is no (none / 0) (#32)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:57:27 PM EST
    laughing matter... except to you.

    You are playing  a losing hand here. Fold, while you still have some dignity left.


    Oy Vey! (none / 0) (#34)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 08:56:21 PM EST
    Truth us (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:56:21 PM EST
    And you will not acknowledge that it was the extension of the war caused by the Left that killed thousands.

    Actually (none / 0) (#37)
    by glanton on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:59:49 PM EST
    It was getting in, in the first place, that directly led to the killing of thousands.  Obviously.  

    Stay alert, and stay with Fox.


    DA (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 09:57:54 PM EST
    You obviously haven't read the link to the book.

    Those who won't be educated will always remain dumb.


    Now if the (none / 0) (#13)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:55:06 PM EST
    Hon. Representatives would listen to their constitutients on Illegal ailens.

    Which constituents? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:21:38 PM EST
    partition (none / 0) (#26)
    by diogenes on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:36:15 PM EST
    Hey, Kissenger would have partitioned Iraq or kept it whole and appointed  Hosni Mubarak-type dictators. If that had been done in 203 then there would be no problem

    That's what's shaping up (none / 0) (#29)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 11:00:29 PM EST
    to be Plan B it looks like now.