The Tank publishes Joe Lieberman’s floor statement. Here’s a tidbit:
I have great respect for my friend from Nevada. I believe he has offered this proposal in good faith, and therefore want to take it up in good faith, and examine its arguments and ideas carefully and in depth, for this is a very serious discussion for our country.
In his speech Monday, the Majority Leader described the several steps that this new strategy for Iraq would entail. Its first step, he said, is to “transition the U.S. mission away from policing a civil war—to training and equipping Iraqi security forces, protecting U.S. forces, and conducting targeted counter-terror operations.”
I ask my colleagues to take a step back for a moment and consider this plan.
When we say that U.S. troops shouldn’t be “policing a civil war,” that their operations should be restricted to this narrow list of missions, what does this actually mean?
To begin with, it means that our troops will not be allowed to protect the Iraqi people from the insurgents and militias who are trying to terrorize and kill them. Instead of restoring basic security, which General Petraeus has argued should be the central focus of any counterinsurgency campaign, it means our soldiers would instead be ordered, by force of this proposed law, not to stop the sectarian violence happening all around them—no matter how vicious or horrific it becomes.
In short, it means telling our troops to deliberately and consciously turn their backs on ethnic cleansing, to turn their backs on the slaughter of innocent civilians—men, women, and children singled out and killed on the basis of their religion alone. It means turning our backs on the policies that led us to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the principles that today lead many of us to call for intervention in Darfur.
This makes no moral sense at all.
It also makes no strategic or military sense either.
Michael Yon’s latest dispatch is up with many trademark vivid photos, like this one, giving you an up-close look at the soldiers and the surge:
Yon’s caption: “Combat soldiers can sleep anywhere: leaning curled in hallway steps , with bricks as pillows. With practically nobody here to tell the stories of their hard work, sacrifice and heartening professionalism, we have left our soldiers behind in this war.”
Yon to broadcast a reality show from Iraq:
Michael Yon, the acclaimed independent photo journalist and war correspondent currently embedded in Iraq covering the “surge” has signed an exclusive deal with Peace River Company LLC and Extant Media to produce a verite television series that will film his war zone dispatches from Iraq.
This television vehicle, tentatively titled “Michael Yon: Dispatches/Iraq”, will bring a new dimension to Yon’s sometimes brutal blog accounts and vivid images as he covers the life and death struggle of the soldiers and citizens of this war torn country. Yon is one of the only journalists to brave the streets of Baghdad beyond the protected Green Zone and bring unfiltered war accounts to the American public…
13 episodes are planned.
Meanwhile, the tireless J.D. Johannes reports from Iraq:
48 hours without sleep.
24 hours without food.
6 hours with little water.
It was the most successful mission I had ever been on. Insurgencies are not beat with hammer and anvil clearing operations. They are not beat with presence patrols conducted from the confines of humvees that resemble bank vaults or Bradly fighting vehicles or Strykers.
Insurgencies are beat with a piece of paper: A Census Form…