Bob Geiger has another good post. Condoleeza Rice is slated to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. Some of the committee members: Russ Feingold, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel. I believe it's fair to say that the atmosphere in that hearing may be tense.
Geiger also posts a joint response by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer, and Richard Durbin to last night's Bush speech:
"Last November, the American people delivered a strong message of no confidence in the President's Iraq policy and clearly expressed their desire for a new direction. The President had an opportunity tonight to demonstrate that he understood the depth of the concern in the country, make a long overdue course correction, and articulate a clear mission for our engagement in Iraq. Instead, he chose to escalate our involvement in Iraq's civil war by proposing a substantial increase in the number of our forces there. This proposal endangers our national security by placing additional burdens on our already over-extended military thereby making it even more difficult to respond to other crises.
"While we all want to see a stable and peaceful Iraq, many current and former senior military leaders have made clear that sending more American combat troops does not advance that goal. Our troops have performed the difficult missions given to them in Iraq with great courage. The Congress and the American people will continue to support them and provide them with every resource they need. But our military forces deserve a policy commensurate with the sacrifices they have been asked to make. Regrettably, the President has not provided that tonight.
"Rather than escalating our involvement in Iraq by sending additional troops, we believe that a plan for the way forward in Iraq requires these elements:
-- Shifting greater responsibility to the Iraqis for their security and transitioning the principal mission of our forces from combat to training, logistics, force protection, and counter terrorism operations;
-- Beginning the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months; and;
-- Implementing an aggressive diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, which reflects the continuing obligation of the international community to help stabilize Iraq and which assists the Iraqis in achieving a sustainable political settlement, including by amending their constitution.
"Iraqi political leaders will not take the necessary steps to achieve a political resolution to the sectarian problems in their country until they understand that the U.S. commitment is not open-ended. Escalating our military involvement in Iraq sends precisely the wrong message and we oppose it.
"In the days ahead, Congress will exercise its Constitutional responsibilities by giving the President's latest proposal the scrutiny our troops and the American people expect. We will demand answers to the tough questions that have not been asked or answered to date. The American people want a change of course in Iraq. We intend to keep pressing President Bush to provide it."
The American people are queuing up even as we speak to take to the streets tonight. I believe the collective message goes something like this.
The war in Iraq is not something that has evolved as "a mistake." It was totally wrong and patently immoral from the get-go.
The war in Iraq was rooted in secrecy and deception, conceived and executed by the most secretive and deceptive U.S. administration in modern history. The American people and our military were sold a lethal bill of goods. And even though many did not buy, the administration forged ahead anyway.
The war in Iraq has morphed into something more deadly and twisted than even its opponents imagined.
The war in Iraq has killed, maimed and otherwise disabled thousands upon thousands of Americans and Iraqis.
The war in Iraq has a very clear beginning and no clear ending.
The war in Iraq cannot possibly bring "victory" by any definition.
The war in Iraq has not, will not, cannot be equated to winning the Global War on Terrorism.
The war in Iraq and America's military involvement there must end. Providing more U.S. military personnel is like adding logs to a raging fire. It is human sacrifice to no good end.
The finances and military might of the United States of America are severely over-extended. It is time to end the reckless policy of "spend and deploy."
The Bush administration continues to disregard the wishes of the voters they serve, the generals who are in the trenches, and the Iraqi government. We are told that dissent undermines the lofty goals of this administration. On the contrary, until the November 7 election and, to some extent, beyond to the present time, dissent is the only check that has not been decimated by this administration. If we keep silence, we are complicit in the carnage.
Click on this link to find out where citizens who will not be silenced are gathering tonight and tomorrow to speak truth to power abusers.