Thursday, September 6, 2007

Assessment Of Benchmarks - Sovereign Government of Iraq

To nobody's surprise, the Democrats are downplaying the success of the "Surge". This is especially necessary because, much to the Liberals chagrin, the "Iraq Troop Surge" is working. The Washington Times quotes Dick Durbin (D-IL), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) discounting a report which has yet to be delivered.(Dems already discount war report)
"The Bush report?" Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said when asked about the upcoming report from Gen. Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq.

"We know what is going to be in it. It's clear. I think the president's trip over to Iraq makes it very obvious," the Illinois Democrat said. "I expect the Bush report to say, 'The surge is working. Let's have more of the same.' "

The top Democrats — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California — also referred to the general's briefing as the "Bush report."
These quotes should not surprise anyone. But this remark by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), is laughable.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Gen. Petraeus' report was potentially compromised by the White House's involvement in drafting it. [emphasis mine]
Either the Representative doesn't read the legislation on which he votes, has a memory even shorter than his ... or he is playing Politics. I suspect the latter.

Let's go for a short ride in the "Way Back" machine. The reason the Congress is being briefed on the Iraq Benchmarks is because they passed the law requiring the briefing. Section 1314 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 110-28) states that
[T]he President is to submit to Congress two reports assessing the status of each of the 18 benchmarks contained in the Act and declaring whether, in the President’s judgment, satisfactory progress is being achieved with respect to those 18 benchmarks. [emphasis mine]
Therefore to say the report is compromised by the White House's involvement is ridiculous. Returning to the Washington Times article, note this paragraph.
The congressionally mandated report from the administration, which will be delivered in two parts by Gen. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker, is expected to show some U.S. military advances, but limited progress from the fledgling Iraqi government toward ending sectarian fighting.
It will be prepared in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Defense; Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq; the United States Ambassador to Iraq; and the Commander of United States Central Command, consistent with Section 1314(b)(2)(B) of the Act.

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