Skip to comments.Reid: Bush must learn to compromise on Iraq
Posted on 04/05/2007 5:42:33 PM PDT by mdittmar
RENO, Nev. (AP) - President Bush would be to blame, not the Democrat-controlled Congress, if he vetoes a supplemental spending bill for U.S. troops because he has rejected repeated invitations to discuss a compromise, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.
"I'm a legislator, I know how to compromise. He doesn't. That's what he's got to learn," Reid, D-Nev., told The Associated Press.
"Compromise is not a bad word. I think it's been real hard for him to understand he can't do what he did before we had a new Congress in town," Reid said. "He's going to have to learn to deal with it."
Reid made the remarks after he met with a mixed reception at a veterans hospital where he took his plea for troop withdrawals by next fall and called the war in Iraq the "worst foreign policy blunder" in U.S. history.
"The training wheels have to come off and Iraq has got to police it's own civil war. We should not be policing a civil war," Reid told about 80 veterans, doctors and others at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Reno.
"People say if we leave Iraq it's going to be chaos," he said. "It's chaos right now. So whenever we leave, whether it is six days from now or six months from now - we know we'll be out of there in 20 months because that is when Bush is out of office - it is going to be chaos."
Two of the half-dozen or more skeptics in the audience offered pointed criticism of Reid, including one who said the senator's "irresponsible statements" are undermining U.S. troops.
"You are using this as a political football. It's not acceptable," said John Edwards, a veteran and member of a local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, whose national organization has called for Congress to approve funding for the Iraq war without what it called "an arbitrary withdrawal timeline."
Reid said he agrees the nation must make sure U.S. troops have "not died in vain in Iraq."
"Conversely, we have to tell it how it is. We can't paint a picture that doesn't exist," he said.
"Before we invaded, there was not a single terrorist in Iraq. I recognize Saddam Hussein was an evil man and I'm glad he's gone. But invading Iraq did not help the situation. It made it worse."
Reid said earlier he will propose legislation to cut off funds for combat operations, and provide money for only three missions: targeted counterterrorism operations, training and equipping the Iraqi security forces, and to provide security for U.S. personnel and infrastructure.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized the strategy Wednesday, saying such limits could pull troops from Baghdad neighborhoods, which have been the focus of the latest military buildup in Iraq.
"One real possibility is, if we abandon some of these areas and withdraw into the countryside or whatever to do these targeted missions, that you could have a fairly significant ethnic cleansing inside Baghdad or in Iraq more broadly," Gates said.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., is among those who argue Congress has no business "micromanaging this war."
"Our troops are in Iraq fighting an enemy that wants to destroy our way of life, and setting a date for withdrawal would undermine our commanders," he said last week. "Victory is our only option."
Reid spoke and answered questions for about an hour and toured the VA facility.
"I say let's get out of there. Let's understand this war can only be won politically, diplomatically and economically."
Reid said Democrats continue to try to work with the president to avoid a second veto he has promised if another version of a supplemental spending bill has a timetable for withdrawing troops.
"If he does that, he's cutting off the funds to troops. We're not cutting off the funds to troops," Reid said.
"The president is a partner with us on what we do in Iraq whether he wants to be or not. We need to work with him and he needs to work with us."
Bush: Reid must learn to STFU on Iraq.
Petitions to sign:
If you haven’t seen this yet:
A campaign by active-duty troops asking Congress to drop plans for a withdrawal from Iraq. Lt. Jason Nichols, a 33-year-old naval projects officer who has been in Baghdad since mid-January, said the goal is to keep lawmakers focused on letting the military finish its mission in Iraq, and not prematurely declare failure
Harry might want to talk to the Kurds, he might get a different view.
There is no compromise between win or lose in war. There is no middle ground, no moderation, no mediation when an enemy wants to literally cut your head off and sublimate the remaining populace into utter submission of freedom, liberty and independence.
BTW, the rip off of New Sheriff in Town [”new Congress in town”] isn't working. You have to be a man to get away with that line. You don’t qualify.
Liberal compromise = LOSE
“People say if we leave Iraq it’s going to be chaos,” he said. “It’s chaos right now. So whenever we leave, whether it is six days from now or six months from now - we know we’ll be out of there in 20 months because that is when Bush is out of office - it is going to be chaos.”
What a moron.
When are they going to indict this guy?
Reid is so full of it. Why should Bush Compromise at all anyway? He’s got to votes in both houses to sustain the veto that’s coming. The Democrats call for compromise is the true sign of their weak hand. The passed legislation, the Pelosi trip, etc., were all done to pacify the nutroots. What’s the feedback from them if Reid & Pelosi fail to accomplish surrender ASAP??
Gotta love his call for compromise - he’s in the losing position.
Compromising by liberals is what brought us 911. They are in bed with the enemies of our nation, no doubt about it.
He'd be in jail with Pelosi, Feingold, Durbin and the whole weasly bunch.
There was not one terrorist in Iraq before the war??
Hmmmm, I will bet there was at least ONE in the whole country.
I guess Iraq was the only country in the world that had no terrorists or any Al Queda. What a buffoon!
I can’t believe he really expects to have his words respected when he makes the assertion that “there were NO terrorists in Iraq until the US invaded.”
Also..to take that surrender message to a VA HOSPITAL?? How brain dead would one have to be to take that kind of message to veterans???
The President should occupy the halls of congress with a Battalion of Marines and throw each and every one of these clueless wonders in prison.
It’s a hard time for anyone who loves and believes in this country and wants to protect it.
The Harry and Nancy show feel powerful, and we feel powerless. It’s a hard time.
I know...hard and scary.
Just finished reading David Limbaugh’s book “Bankrupt” and that describes them all.