Skip to comments.Senator LEVIN says Bush offered"to cut and run" in Iraq.(Senate floor)
Posted on 04/30/2004 6:27:48 AM PDT by OXENinFLA
Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, in the midst of the ongoing upsurge of the violence in Iraq, President Bush has offered two options for the United States. The first option is to stay the course; the second option is to cut and run. That is a false choice between staying the course and cutting and running. It is too typical of the black and white approach that this administration has repeatedly and unwisely taken.
(When has Pres. Bush EVER we would "cut and run"?)
For example, saying ``you are either with us or against us'' is a black and white choice--the stark choice the President laid down to allies. Well, it may make you feel good to say that, but it needlessly offends those who are certainly not hostile to the United States but may be unwilling to affirmatively endorse all of our actions.
In addition to the President's stark two options--staying the course or cutting and running--there is a third way, and that is to correct the course we are on. The administration has belatedly begun this process, but there is much to be done, and it is much harder and more difficult because of the administration's stubborn insistence that no mistakes were made and its refusal to learn the lessons that need to be learned from those mistakes.
For instance, after holding the United Nations at arm's length, the administration is now belatedly working with the U.N., asking them to help identify an entity to whom sovereignty could be restored by June 30--an entity which needs to have the confidence and credibility of the Iraqi people. I hope this will be the start of a true partnership at the U.N. in fostering Iraq's political and economic development.
The administration has decided to retain some troops in Iraq that were scheduled to leave, despite the fact that the administration disparaged General Shinseki when he foretold the need for more troops for the stability phase.
[Page: S4630] GPO's PDF
The administration decided to modify its policy on de-Baathification and reinstate about 11,000 teachers and hundreds of professors and is reportedly looking to reinstate others whose skills and support are needed for Iraq's development. I hope this revision is seen for what it is--acknowledgement that we went too far, acknowledgement that we made a mistake. I hope it will also include the removal of Ahmed Chalabi as the head of the de-Baathification program, as well. He is the wrong person for the job for a lot of reasons.
While not reversing the mistaken decision to disband the Iraqi Army, the administration's decision to bring back some military officers who were not high Baathists to help guide the new Iraqi Army and other security forces is a practical first step--very late. We only have a few thousand in the Iraqi Army who are now trained but long overdue.
One other mistake was perhaps the biggest mistake of all, in my judgment. Our uniformed military leadership was largely excluded from the planning for the potentially violent aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. The civilians in the Pentagon who were put in charge projected rose-colored scenarios in their planning for the aftermath: Our troops would be greeted with embraces and flowers. It would be a cakewalk.
Had our uniformed military leadership been more deeply involved in that planning, it would have been very different, as our military plans for worst case scenarios. The worst case scenario is what turned out to be the case. But uniformed military were all but left out of the planning for the post-Saddam period. General Tommy Franks, the now retired commander of Central Command who planned the other phases of the operation, confirmed that to me and to Senator Warner a few weeks ago.
On the matter of planning, I realize the administration is committed to the June 30 date for the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty. But I hope that commitment will not prevent it from planning for other options in the event Mr. Brahimi is not successful in identifying a credible entity to whom sovereignty can be restored by that date.
If we have a chance of succeeding and bringing stability and democracy to Iraq, it will mean learning from our mistakes, not denying them and not ignoring them.
I yield the floor.
IMO this is big, LEVIN is part of the senior Democrats, and if this is the type of Doublespeak and out-right lies about Pres. Bush they(the dems) are going to use against Pres. Bush this must be pointed out NOW and refuted and rebutted by the right.
Nothing, my point on this is Levin is saying " the second option[Pres. Bush said] is to cut and run[in Iraq]."
To my memory Bush has NEVER said that.
BINGO, and now the left is trying to get the American people to think that it was[an option].
No, what he said was "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."
Levin, Kennedy, et al, have reached an all new level of dementia.
Q Thank you, sir. Will Saddam's capture accelerate the timetable for pulling U.S. troops out, and increase the likelihood of getting more foreign troops involved?
THE PRESIDENT: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We're just going to stay the course. And it's very important for the Iraqi people to know that. I've expressed that to Rend; I've told that to the Iraqi citizens with whom I have met on a regular basis.
I tell them two things: one, you can count on America remaining until the job is done. And it's important for them to hear that, because there will probably be some that will continue to test our will. They'll try to kill in hopes that we will flee. And the citizens of Iraq need to know we will stay the course.
I also tell them that now is a chance to seize the opportunity and show the world that which this government believes, and that is, you're plenty capable of governing yourself. And the level of the troops in Iraq will depend upon the security situation on the ground and those decisions will be made by our commanders. I have not changed my philosophy of how a President ought to act during wartime, which is to set the strategy, lay out the goals and empower the military people -- both civilian and uniform -- to make the decisions necessary to achieve the objective. And they will make those recommendations about troop levels and what is necessary.