"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Monday, December 04, 2006

Democrats who opposed the Iraq war were right -- and they're taking over Congressional Committees
Posted by Jill | 7:21 AM
The very same Democrats who have been excoriated by Republicans and by the press for the last four years have been shown to be positively prescient -- and they are the ones heading up the relevant committees in January:

Although given little public credit at the time, or since, many of the 126 House Democrats who spoke out and voted against the October 2002 resolution that gave President Bush authority to wage war against Iraq have turned out to be correct in their warnings about the problems a war would create.

With the Democrats taking over control of the House next January, the views that some voiced during two days of debate four years ago are worth recalling, since many of those lawmakers will move into positions of power. They include not only members of the new House leadership but also the incoming chairmen of the Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget and Judiciary committees and the Select Committee on Intelligence.

Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (S.C.), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, was one of several Democrats who predicted during the House floor debate that "the outcome after the conflict is actually going to be the hardest part, and it is far less certain." He credited his views in part to what he heard over breakfasts with retired generals Anthony C. Zinni and Joseph P. Hoar, both of whom had led the U.S. Army's Central Command -- a part of which is in Spratt's district.

"They made the point: We do not want to win this war, only to lose the peace and swell the ranks of terrorists who hate us," Spratt said.

Spratt recently looked back at his resolution, which would have required Bush to come back to Congress before launching an attack. It was defeated 270 to 158. He recalled that extended hearings were held before the Persian Gulf War but that nothing similar preceded the vote on the 2002 resolution. "I remember we talked this time about how we got to get answers before this train leaves the station," Spratt said.

The incoming Armed Services chairman, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), spoke in support of Spratt's amendment, stressing the need for "a plan for rebuilding of the Iraqi government and society, if the worst comes to pass and armed conflict is necessary."

Skelton had written Bush a month earlier, after a White House meeting, to say that "I have no doubt that our military would decisively defeat Iraq's forces and remove Saddam. But like the proverbial dog chasing the car down the road, we must consider what we would do after we caught it."

Skelton went on to note the "extreme difficulty of occupying Iraq with its history of autocratic rule, its balkanized ethnic tensions and its isolated economic system." He also warned that Bush's postwar strategy must "take seriously" the possibility that a replacement regime "might be rejected by the Iraqi people, leading to civil unrest and even anarchy."

Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), who will chair the Appropriations Committee, was among the group that organized the Democrats. He spoke then about poor preparation for postwar Iraq, a concern he developed after listening to State Department officials.


Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), who did not belong to a committee with national security jurisdiction, was among the lawmakers who talked on the House floor about what turned out to be the real issues in Iraq. She spoke of the "postwar challenges," saying that "there is no history of democratic government in Iraq," that its "economy and infrastructure is in ruins after years of war and sanctions" and that rebuilding would take "a great deal of money."

Baldwin four years ago asked questions that are being widely considered today: "Are we prepared to keep 100,000 or more troops in Iraq to maintain stability there? If we don't, will a new regime emerge? If we don't, will Iran become the dominant power in the Middle East? . . . If we don't, will Islamic fundamentalists take over Iraq?"

So "everyone" didn't believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq was an imminent threat. These Democrats were right, and the Republicans were wrong -- as were craven hack whores like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton who knew better -- and who voted for the war anyway. Those who caved in to political expediency, when their compatriots took the heat for taking the unpopular -- but accurate -- view, do not deserve to be taken seriously now. Let the so-called lesser lights of the Democratic party do their job, and let the presidential wannabes who continue to parse their votes to this day, shut the hell up.
Bookmark and Share