November 15, 2005

Republican Senate Keystone Kops?

Uh, m'kay. Here is what Senators Frist and Warner called for yesterday:

On the Iraq resolutions, the Democratic and Republican proposals say that "2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq."

The plan also seeks to put pressure on the Iraqis to find ways to resolve their internal political turmoil, saying the "administration should tell the leaders of all groups and political parties in Iraq that they need to make the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency."

The White House is also directed "to explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq."

And here is what Dubya said yesterday:

As we pursue the terrorists, we have a strategy to go forward. Our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so they can defend their people and take the fight to the enemy. And we're making steady progress. With every passing month, more and more Iraqi forces are standing up, and the Iraqi military is gaining new capabilities and new confidence. At the time of our Fallujah operations just a year ago, there were only a few Iraqi army battalions in combat. Today, there are nearly 90 Iraqi army battalions fighting the terrorists alongside our forces. American and Iraqi troops are conducting major assaults to clear out enemy fighters in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. Iraqi police and security forces are helping clear the terrorists from their strongholds, hold on to the areas we've cleared, and prevent the enemy from returning.

Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. And when our commanders on the ground tell me that the Iraqi forces can defend their freedom, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned.

And the second part of our strategy is a political strategy. Iraqis are making inspiring progress toward building a democracy. A month ago, millions of Iraqis turned out to vote for a constitution that guarantees fundamental freedoms and lays the foundation for a lasting democracy. In a few weeks, Iraqis will vote again, to choose a fully constitutional government to lead them for the next four years. This country is making amazing progress from the days of being under the thumb of a brutal tyrant. In two-and-a-half years, they've gone from tyranny, to an election for a transitional government, to the ratification of a constitution, to the election of a free government. It's amazing progress when you think about it.

The Iraqi people are proving their determination to build a future founded on democracy and peace. And the United States of America will help them succeed.

And the difference is........what, exactly?

Well, actually there is a difference. The President is saying more or less the same thing he's been saying all along - and which he needs to say much more often, frankly. The only other suggestion I would make is a heavier emphasis on the results that are being achieved.

The Senate Republicans, on the other hand, are trying to tack politically. I suppose the theory is that they will take the wind out of the Donk demand for hard withdrawal deadlines without drifting too far away from Dubya's course. The result, however, looks like panicky me-too-ism, which the Donks and the MSM will certainly try to spin to their advantage.

UPDATE: Bryon Preston, holding down the fort for Michelle Malkin, agrees that with friends like these, Dubya really doesn't need enemies.

UPDATE DEUX: On the other hand, at least the Senate knocked down Carl Levin's withdrawal timetable proposal. And big Yips! to Holy Joe Lieberman, who gets it.

UPDATE TROIS: Rachel is relieved but not much impressed.

Posted by Robert at November 15, 2005 11:28 AM | TrackBack