Boehner Claims Iraq Debacle As GOP Victory

Apparently, the GOP wants all the "credit" for the Iraq Debacle. John Boehner:

“Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results,” Mr. Boehner’s speech said.

You want the Iraq Debacle on your list of "achievements," GOP? You got it is what Dems should say.

speaking for me only

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    Is he taking credit for this also? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:28:33 AM EST
    at least (none / 0) (#22)
    by CST on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:58:35 AM EST
    it's better than

    US wasted trillions bombing Iraq


    This is what I saw at my base last year (none / 0) (#26)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:06:55 AM EST

    Not sure if they ever opened it or not, it was still under construction when I left in September.

    A monument to wasteful spending and no oversight.


    It should have said (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:14:06 AM EST
    Camp Delta Dunning Facility

    Are You Arguing (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:33:31 AM EST
    That Obama should not end the war?

    Or just trying to change the subject?

    For all his innumerable disappointments, Obama has consistently argued that the Iraq war was a serious mistake.


    I thought she was talking (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:36:54 AM EST
    about Boehner.

    I think you jumped the gun.


    Yes. TY. (none / 0) (#33)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    Sorry (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:43:51 AM EST
    For jumping the gun....   lol...

    And yes, good point, he cannot cherry pick and must either distance himself or take credit for it all.  


    no prob . . . . (none / 0) (#43)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:02:29 PM EST
    think he'll also 'claim' the unaccounted for billions?

    He Can't Avoid It (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:18:29 PM EST
    Glory has its price tag...  OK, he will turn the price tag away from the cameras, but the Iraq war has been very unpopular particularly in a bad economy...

    A mistake to claim any part of it, save for ending it...


    What was achieved? (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:39:28 AM EST
    To me this day is no more significant than the day Bush landed on the carrier and declared the end of combat operations.

    50,000 soldiers remain in Iraq, they are simply not classified on paper as combat troops.  American soldiers and contractors will continue to die in Iraq after this day.  It is absurd for anyone to rejoice or celebrate much today, anyone doing so will soon look the fool they are.

    down from (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:54:47 AM EST
    something like 150,000 when he was elected, to be gone completely by December 2011, and now under the control of the Iraqi government, at least according to the Iraqis.

    It has been under Iraqi control (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:05:19 PM EST
    for quite some time.  I think a reduction in forces is a good thing.  It is a step to actually leaving but 50,000 troops is a huge presence, and we are sending more contractors there now so the celebration of the "leaving" is very "questionable" in the world that I live in every day.  And that world is the world where soldiers are deployed to Iraq and civilians attend military train ups now to go to Iraq and sometimes they are killed there.  I don't see that changing a great deal. On a bad day when we take a bad hit, when that goes to the newsroom a truer reality will set in for everyone else. And on that day anyone who was running this show and celebrated today will have their judgement questioned.

    Also (none / 0) (#48)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:31:47 PM EST
    Agree with you MT. Tho, I doubt that the WH will do any celebrating or rejoicing on this. I'm guessing that it will be addressed as a marker (as CST noted) wherein the President can say a variation of "A promise made, a promise kept." In that sense, the drawdown--& the obvious segue to whats up in Afghanistan-- is deserving of a report to the American public. M. Ambinder has some insightful remarks on the WH position today; he suggests that by the gentle (not cheering) acknowledgement of where we have come and pivoting softly to savings for reinvest at home and referencing also Afghanistan (in the promise-made-promise-kept direction, the President can tie together central foreign policy initiatives being undertaken beginning this week with the mid-east talks.

    Is there a president or a person (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:46:18 AM EST
    alive who would not want to be the one to stand before the nation and announce the end of a war?  I don't think so.

    Is it better to be the one who didn't start that war who gets to announce that it's ending - however that term is defined - on his watch?  Yeah, I think it is.

    We can get mired down in the details of what it means to say the war is over, because we still have a significant presence, we're still budgeting gazillions of dollars, and there will be continued violence, but with a dearth of good news over the last couple of years, and lots of broken promises, I'm glad that this is one promise Obama has actually kept, considering that he didn't have to.  It's too bad, though, that Obama didn't realize just how dominating and consuming the problems of the economy would be, and that "yeah, okay, but what about...?" is how the American people are likely to react to this news.  Can't say as I blame them, but I just hope Obama doesn't take it personally and start whining.

    Does it mean I agree with how he has handled other aspects of "the war on terror?"  No, it sure doesn't, but that's another issue.

    Like BTD, I tend to think that it won't be long before civil war subsumes this victory, and then there's the Afghanistan debacle - which I hear Obama will speak about tonight - so as big as this should be, it's going to be overshadowed by what we know are the ongoing problems in the region, and the serious problems we have here at home.

    But that's life in the White House; no one said it would be easy or fun.

    Yes (none / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:15:46 PM EST
    Bush did not want to end any war. Perpetual war is part of wingnut strategy.

    The only option for those people is winning, and that is not a possibility.


    Announcing (none / 0) (#56)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 05:07:12 AM EST
    that a war is over is not the same as ending a war and actually bringing the troops home.

    Really? (none / 0) (#57)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 01:06:47 PM EST
    Well announcing that we will not leave until we win is different from withdrawing troops on schedule, ending all combat action, and allowing a sovereign country to tell us that we are no longer needed.

    But if you think that Obama is doing the same thing as Bush, Pearle Wolfie....  you have it bad...

    Obama's Afghanistan effort, is a completely different story. It is telling that the GOP are calling for ending that war as they cannot support anything Obama either... lol

    Hilarious, the party of war (GOP) calling to end war because Obama is for it.....


    I give a little credit where it's do. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:11:57 PM EST
    We all know we should never have been there, but we can't get all the way out until we get part of the way out. I'll give Obama a little credit here, although there is still a long way to go.

    We know where the blame goes, mostly. I don't care who get's or takes credit.

    Save the money, save the lives.

    Gonna be hard (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:06:49 AM EST
    When Obama takes credit for the successes tonight in his primetime speech.

    jbindc is correct (none / 0) (#2)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:10:12 AM EST
    The die is already cast.

    For the third time in four days, Obama will hammer home a crucial message -- promise kept -- in an Oval Office speech to a war-weary nation, just hours after addressing troops at Fort Bliss, an Army post near El Paso, Texas. It's an important moment, highlighting Obama's role as commander in chief and allowing him to claim credit for ending the deeply unpopular, 7-year-old conflict he inherited from President George W. Bush.



    Indeed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:13:47 AM EST
    Promise kept. The GOP got us into the Iraq Debacle and Obama got us out of it.

    Boehner really is barking up the wrong tree here politically.


    Obama did follow the agreement negociated (none / 0) (#9)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:20:15 AM EST
    and signed by GWB.  IMHO, that's why the WH is floating out the message that Obama will be calling GWB today.

    They are floating out that message? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:34:37 AM EST
    Then they are idiots. Pure unadulterated incompetents.

    Haven't seen any such reports (none / 0) (#25)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:06:42 AM EST
    the closest being minor references by article authors.  

    Guess we'll just have to wait until tonight.


    The minor references weren't about (none / 0) (#54)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 05:01:40 PM EST
    whether Obama would make the call.  The references were about the GWB signed SOFA agreement.

    Call confirmed by Ben Rhodes, (none / 0) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 02:33:04 PM EST
    deputy national security adviser. link

    Yep (none / 0) (#52)
    by Yman on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 04:46:35 PM EST
    Is Obama (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:57:52 AM EST
    going to announce paying reparations to Iraqis for the destruction of their society?

    Already Taken Care Of (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:13:22 AM EST
    $8.7 billion in restitution money has been "distributed" off the books already by BushCo.

    Last I heard, Chalabi was distributing the money to all Iraqis harmed by US occupation. All they have to do is fill out a 20 page request form, and send it with a SASE to the Chalabi restitution fund. He has hired US contractors in order to process the mountains of paperwork, and after expenses, those applicants  who are deemed valid will get restitution.

    Of course there is quite a bit of fraud with these claims, but Chalabi has tremendous experience with that sort of thing, so we can trust him to sort it all out...


    Credit for ending (none / 0) (#8)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:19:39 AM EST
    the conflict and credit for winning it aren't the same thing.

    Nothing has really ended though (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:43:43 AM EST
    in a meaningful way.  U.S. soldiers will continue to fight and continue to die.

    Your comment is #10. And the (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    most realistic so far.  

    Sigh, the surge (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:10:29 AM EST
    was calling in the fire department to a conflagration...more a reaction than a strategic decision. By itself, wasn't the defining moment. It was a result of poor planning and execution from the onset, and the dominoes kept falling. As a matter of fact, there are still some teetering, in my humble opinion.

    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:14:56 AM EST
    Iraq will be in a civil war before the Obama Presidency ends imo.

    The question is how that plays. I think with shrugs.


    Success in getting us out of Iraq (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:12:50 AM EST
    is the success Obama will claim. He is hardly going to argue that the Iraq Debacle made sense. He ended the madness.

    Not sure what your point is.


    Other than that Chicago rally speech, (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:00:37 PM EST
    has Obama ever sd. Iraq war was a debacle?  If that's what he at least thought, why didn't he shut it down immed. upon becoming President?

    can't speak for the president (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CST on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:02:10 PM EST
    but I have always thought it was a debacle.  And I would never have "shut it down immediately".  That seems like a good way to get a lot of people killed.

    Sure, until (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:18:58 AM EST
    Something happens to one or more of the 50,000 troops left behind.  Of course, there's also still that little quagmire called "Afghanistan" (where apparently several soldiers were killed yesterday or Sunday").

    Looks and sounds like a "Mission Accomplished" moment to me.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:26:16 AM EST
    Mission Accomplished but an entirely different Mission.

    BushCo's Mission was to win the war in Iraq. Obama's Mission was to end the war in Iraq.

    Perhaps you also believe, like some of our right wing friends here, that we also won the Viet-Nam war.


    Let's not start a fight (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:33:54 AM EST
    I sort of did myself and I shouldn't have.

    Suffice it to say that I do not see how any objective observer could see this as a bad moment for Obama. It is clearly a good moment for him.

    Boehner's strategy is clearly stupid imo.


    OK (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:01:39 AM EST
    I can understand anarchists, socialists, marxists, and those who have long rejected the Democrats and Republicans equating  Bush=Obama, but those who fervently supported Hillary and now repeatedly claim Obama=Bush come off as WATBs without any principles, imo.

    Ah, there it is (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:02:58 AM EST
    I spoke too soon.

    Meh (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:32:38 AM EST
    You really do find it hard to be objective about Obama don't you?

    Whether you agree with how he handled this or not, clearly this is a a good political moment for Obama.


    You assume (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:54:10 AM EST
    That most people are paying as close attention to this kind of stuff as you are.  As soon as the first "non combat soldier" (a huge misnomer) gets hurt or killed, people will be asking, "Wait, I thought we were done in Iraq?"

    Seriously - you think people are going to differentiate between "combat troops" and "non combat troops"?

    Obama will make a pretty speech tonight that most people won't watch or read about, and those that do will forget about as soon as it's over.  Congratulations to him.

    As for squeaks - he's just showing his penchant for throwing in insts wrapped in topics not germane to the topic.  We're all used to it now as his M.O. to start a fight.  Only surprised he didn't mention you-know-who.


    Heh ... no kidding (none / 0) (#53)
    by Yman on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 04:49:11 PM EST
    Check again.

    ... just can't help himself.


    there was an interesting (none / 0) (#15)
    by CST on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:35:47 AM EST
    interview on the Colbert Report a few days ago with Richard Engle the NBC reporter who "broke" the end of the mission.  He was talking somewhat about the 50,000 troops left behind and the actual logistical differences between combat troops and training troops.

    The difference being that combat troops are trained to perform missions where they go in, and attack a house or a village or whomever.  The remaining troops are not trained to do this and will not be doing this, but training the iraqi troops who are.  They will still be in harms way from attacks, but they will no longer be initiating them.

    I'm sure a lot (if not all) of those combat troops will be going to Afghanistan.

    Another interesting part of the interview was when he discussed the level of press interest and how it had changed over time.  He got the "Scoop" to be with the last combat brigade because no one else wanted the job basically and almost all the press was gone already.


    The remaining brigades are combat (none / 0) (#16)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:47:03 AM EST
    brigades but with some additional training and new unit designations.

    They will be able to both defend themselves AND conduct offensive operations if needed.

    Combat Brigades Still In Iraq, Just Renamed


    Pretty much the same thing they've (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:54:03 AM EST
    been doing since the last Status of Forces Agreement was signed.

    Yup (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:41:21 AM EST
    the key difference being (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:53:42 AM EST
    "If they are attacked, however, rest assured there will be combat"

    as opposed to being out, on the attack.  I didn't see any mention anywhere of offensive operations.


    The first time the Iraqi security forces (none / 0) (#21)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 10:58:35 AM EST
    go on a mission that is beyond their capabilities and/or get their butts handed to them, the fine line between self-defense and offensive ops will disappear.

    Doubt it (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:37:36 AM EST
    Sad and true (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:40:22 AM EST
    I think that you are right on BTD (none / 0) (#49)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:43:57 PM EST
    The President gets to claim credit for acting in getting us out (or, at least, dedicated combat troop drawdown at this point). The war began on W's watch; and, it is ending on Obama's watch.

    My husband & I have been having a sidebar about the words used with/addressing the troops. He says to listen for the word "honorable."  Withdrawing in a "responsible way." An interesting conundrum. (I will be very curious how it is suggestively tied to Afghanistan? A promise made, a promise kept....?)


    There are some words that will come back (none / 0) (#50)
    by BTAL on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 01:05:29 PM EST
    to challenge him, and it isn't just from the right.

    Today at Ft. Bliss, his said (my emphasis):

    "There's still a lot of work that we've got to do," he says. "But the fact of the matter is that because of the extraordinary service that all of you have done and so many people here at Fort Bliss have done, Iraq has an opportunity to create a better future for itself, and America is more secure."

    Even before he left DC today, David Corn was already making the dig.

    I asked Gibbs about an apparent contradiction in Obama's position. When he was campaigning for the presidency in 2007, he said, without uncertainty, that the Iraq war had rendered the United States less safe:

        I don't believe that we are safer now than we were after 9/11 because we have made a series of terrible decisions in our foreign policy. We went into Iraq, a war that we should have never authorized and should not have been waged. It has fanned the flames of anti-American sentiment. It has, more importantly, allowed us to neglect the situation in Afghanistan.

    Yet last week, Obama cut a video thanking GIs who had served in Iraq, or are serving there now, saying that their work has "made America safer." Which is it? Was the United States safer or not safer due to the Bush-Cheney war? As an opponent of the war, Obama had an unambiguous stance. Now, as commander in chief, he understandably does not want to say that American GIs sacrificed -- and were sacrificed -- in vain. So he praises the soldiers for an achievement he does not, or did not, believe was real. Such rhetorical gymnastics, even if necessary, do not make for a clear message. In reply to my question, Gibbs said he would have to review the president's remarks in the video -- a classic press secretary dodge.

    Republicanobama (none / 0) (#55)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 05:05:05 AM EST
    The simple truth is that Obama proclaimed that the surge had "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams". He even said it on FOX as I recall.

    That is in itself a victory for republicans and the crappola that they consistently peddle. If Obama and the like buy into it, we have no place to go. And he has.