State Senate Calls for Iraq Withdrawl; Republicans Call it a Surrender to Al Qaeda

This post at Red County, made me laugh.  The vast majorty of the Americans do not support the war in Iraq and want us out.  Since the White House is writing General Petraeus’s surge report, other legislative bodies are starting to call for an end to the war and occupation of Iraq.  City councils across the nation have done so and now our own state Senate.

State Rep. Chuck DeVore, a retired Army reservist (and we at the LiberalOC thank you fot your service Assemblyman), titled his post about this measure “a surrender to Al Qaeda.”  There’s one problem with that.  Iraq did not attack the US on 9/11.  Al Qaeda was not in Iraq before the invasion and while they are there now, they are not present in any significant numbers.  

This quote is striking: I had no idea I was elected by the people of the 70th District to be the U.S. Secretary of Defense.  Or, was it U.S. Secretary of State?  The resolution also calls for “…diplomatic and nonmilitary assistance to promote peace and stability in Iraq and the Middle East.”

I didn’t know we’d be electing a hemp farming/nuclear power advocate.  Not sure how hemp farming helps the people of the 70th district. And the nuclear power debate has that pesky “what do we do with radioactive waste” element; can we bury it in Chuck’s backyard?

The insurgencuy is made up of Sunnis and former Baathist Party members who object to our continued occupation of Iraq. 

I would like Rep. DeVore and any Republican to admit that invading Iraq was a mistake.  I know they will say the military intelligence all pointed to WMDs, but if that was the case, why didn’t the French, the Germans or the Russians go along with us  in ths endeavor?  Why did they know there was nothing worth going to War for?

We are about two weeks away from the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  And I would like to leave Rep. DeVore with this from the Washington Post:

By Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, June 17, 2004; Page A01

The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.

Along with the contention that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials have often asserted that there were extensive ties between Hussein’s government and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network; earlier this year, Cheney said evidence of a link was “overwhelming.”

But the report of the commission’s staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but no cooperation. In yesterday’s hearing of the panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, a senior FBI official and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the finding.

The staff report said that bin Laden “explored possible cooperation with Iraq” while in Sudan through 1996, but that “Iraq apparently never responded” to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996, adding, “but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.”

The finding challenges a belief held by large numbers of Americans about al Qaeda’s ties to Hussein. According to a Harris poll in late April, a plurality of Americans, 49 percent to 36 percent, believe “clear evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda has been found.”

As recently as Monday, Cheney said in a speech that Hussein “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.” Bush, asked on Tuesday to verify or qualify that claim, defended it by pointing to Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has taken credit for a wave of attacks in Iraq.

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