- The Filibuster Flip-Flop: multiple quotes from Republican members of the 109th US Congress stating their opposition to filibustering – a procedure whose value their remaining members in the 110th US Congress seem to have abruptly discovered and are now using with far more zeal than the Democrats ever did.
|1999-04-09, Houston Chronicle1:|
Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.
|1999-06-05, Scripps Howard/Seattle Post-Intelligencer1:|
I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.
|2000-10-03, debating Al Gore on the question "How would you go about, as president, deciding when it was in the national interest to use U.S. force? Generally.":|
Well, if it's in our vital national interests. And that means whether or not our territory -- our territory is threatened, our people could be harmed, whether or not our alliances -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force.
Secondly, whether or not the mission was clear, whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be.
Thirdly, whether or not we were prepared and trained to win, whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped.
And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy.
I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops.
The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation-building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders.
|Text not relevant to the immediate point has been greyed-out but left in place to clarify the context. It should be noted that Bush's later actions also contradict his statements about using force only if "our territory is threatened", "our alliances are threatened", "the mission was clear", "our forces were of high morale and high standing", and of being very guarded in his approach and not indulging in "nation-building".|
Bush's position in 2007, when he was defending his own lack of exit plan for Iraq:
|George W. Bush, 2007-04-23, Statement by the President on the War in Iraq:|
I believe artificial timetables of withdrawal would be a mistake. ... I will strongly reject an artificial timetable withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job.
|Dick Cheney, 2007-04-13, Vice President's Remarks to the Heritage Foundation:|
The ... attempt to micromanage our commanders is an unwise and perilous endeavor. It is impossible to argue that an unconditional timetable for retreat could serve the security interests of the United States or our friends in the region.
|White House press secretary Dana Perino, 2007-04-23, Press Briefing by Dana Perino, giving the official position in response to Senator Harry Reid's position on withdrawal:|
He’s also in denial that a surrender date he thinks is a good idea. It is not a good idea. It is defeat. It is a death sentence for the millions of Iraqis who voted for a constitution, who voted for a government, who voted for a free and democratic society.
The hypocrisy of changing his position to suit his needs, without apology or explanation, is compounded by the following facts:
- His extreme condemnations of those who use those same arguments (the 1999 criticisms of Clinton) to criticize his actions regarding Iraq.
- Bush has repeatedly overridden the advice of his top generals and forced the resignation of those who disagreed with him[?].
- The Balkan Intervention was a tremendous success, while the US invasion of Iraq has been an even more tremendous failure: Balkans vs. Iraq
Regarding the infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner:
|Russ Daggatt said:|
As you may recall, when the "Mission Accomplished" banner later proved to be an embarrassment, Bush tried to blame it on the ship's crew, claiming that the White House had nothing to do with it.
At a news conference on October 28, 2003, Bush said that the sign, "of course, was put up by the members of the USS Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff – they weren't that ingenious, by the way."
Later, the White House admitted that, in fact, they had the banner made up for the occasion. Typical of Bush to lie, evade responsibility and use those serving in the military as mere props to serve his own political agenda.]
|in Contrary Brin (quoted in main article), 2007-05-08|
Supporting the Troops
|debating Al Gore on the question "How would you go about, as president, deciding when it was in the national interest to use U.S. force? Generally.":|
Morale in today's military is too low. We're having trouble meeting recruiting goals. We met the goals this year, but in the previous years, we have not met recruiting goals. Some of our troops are not well-equipped. I believe we're overextended in too many places.
And, therefore, I want to rebuild the military power. It starts with a billion dollar pay raise for the men and women who wear the uniform, a billion dollars more than the president recently signed into law, to make sure our troops are well-housed and well-equipped; bonus plans to keep some of our high-skilled folks in the services; and a commander in chief who clearly sets the mission, and the mission is to fight and win war, and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.
There is a problem, and it's going to require a new commander in chief to rebuild the military power.
They said we could, even though we're the strongest military, that if we don't do something quickly, we don't have a clearer vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that. I'm going to rebuild our military power. It's one of the major priorities of my administration.
The US military is now far, far more overextended and short-changed than it was during the peak of deployment under Clinton, and yet Bush makes no apology for his earlier statements nor for going against this implied promise to the troops (that he would make sure they were always well cared-for).