January 10, 2007

Catch of the Day, ‘What a Tangled Web’ Dept. — Pelosi Wanted More Troops in Iraq in 2004

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:41 pm

From Matt Naugle’s Rightometer at Human Events — Nancy Pelosi supported an increase in Iraq troop levels in 2004 in an interview with Tim Russert (link to Rush Limbaugh’s site will probably be gone shortly behind his subscriber firewall; Addendum — see UPDATE below; full text was found, so additional excerpted material is being provided; bolds are mine):

MR. RUSSERT: What would you do in Iraq today right now?

REP. PELOSI: What I would do and what I think our country must do in Iraq is take an assessment of where we are. And there has to be a leveling with the American people and with the Congress of the United States as to what is really actually happening there. It’s very hard to say what you would do. We need more troops on the ground. General…Shinseki said this from the start, when you make an appraisal about whether you’re going to war; you have to know what you need.

MR. RUSSERT: So you would put more American troops on the ground?

REP. PELOSI: What I’m saying to you, that we need more troops on the ground. I think it would be better if we could get them to be not American that we could appeal to our European allies, NATO…

MR. RUSSERT: But if they say no, would you put more American troops on the ground?

REP. PELOSI: The clear and present danger facing the United States is terrorism. We have to solidify; we have to stabilize the situation in Iraq. As Secretary of State [Colin Powell] has said, “You break it, you own it.” We have a responsibility now in Iraq And we have to get more troops on the ground. But when General Shinseki said we need 300,000 troops, Secretary Wolfowitz said “wildly off the mark,” because they knew a commitment of 300,000 troops would not be acceptable to the American people. So they went in with false assumptions about rose petals, not rocket-propelled grenades, and we’re in this fix now…

MR. RUSSERT: Would you send more American troops in order to stabilize the situation?

REP. PELOSI: Yes. And let me just say this, we must internationalize the situation. We cannot take no for an answer. We have to use our diplomacy to the fullest extent to get more international troops on the ground. And we have to truly internationalize and Iraqitize the situation.

“Internationalization” was a dumb argument then and it’s dumb now. Why? Well, there has been, and still is, an international coalition against the War on Terror. I think when a Democrat says “internationalize,” it means “if we don’t have France, it doesn’t count.” But (oops) France is in the War on Terror coalition. How “internationalized” do things need to be?

So I look forward to tonight’s Democratic response to President Bush’s speech demanding a stronger “surge” than he is advocating. What’s different now?


UPDATE: Just found a Google cache transcript of the entire interview whose original address was democraticleader.house.gov/ press/articles.cfm?pressReleaseID=590 — i.e., this was an officially released interview blessed by the party. The excerpt above can be found entirely within that document.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.



  1. Many people were calling for more troops 2 years ago and it wasn’t followed, hence helping to create the mess that is there right now. For the record, I think it’s going to take more than 21,500 troops to restore order to Baghdad unless a miracle happens and Iraqi troops perform better than before.

    However, I disagree with the statement that this is an “international coalition” given it states:

    To date, 21 nations have deployed more than 16,000 troops to the U.S. Central Command’s region of responsibility.

    While that is of course 16,000 less Americans being sent, if you compare that to the numbers of American troops that have been sent to Iraq during the same time period, it make meet the dictionary definition of a “coalition” but in reality it was and is a “super majority” of Americans who face the majority of the risks, the deaths as well as the costs.

    I’d also point out that there is not agreement within the Democratic Party on this issue, just as their is not agreement within the Republican Party on this issue. Take this article as one example.

    Comment by Lisa Renee — January 10, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  2. #1, I acknowledge that the coalition is US-dominated, but to hear the left tell it, we’re “going it alone,” which we aren’t. That’s a much bigger “exaggeration” than mine.

    I realize there’s not universal agreement in either party, but I’m surprised that Pelosi is among those who wanted more troops relatively early (though I think in truth it may have been posturing and something she’s never really wanted, which is an annoying habit of hers and many others).

    Glad you wrote, because I’ve been meaning to blogroll you, and just did (in Other Localities/State Lists).

    Comment by TBlumer — January 10, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

  3. Thanks, I’ve added you to mine as well. I understand those who do the whole “going it alone” argument and I agree with you that it’s not accurate. Just as it’s not accurate to give the impression that the majority of the troops, funding, etc., is born by anyone other than America. Before I focused more on local issues, I participated in national type discussion forums where the circular arguments over definitions would negate any real discussion. That gets frustrating after awhile.

    I also realize my position on the war is probably not one shared by many on the left, that’s okay too. We should have sent more troops in quite some time ago but we didn’t, so we are now at the point where something needs to be done or face the reality of what Iraq would become if we were to leave. It’s a difficult decision. I’d love to say bring the troops home now, but the next question that comes to mind is then what? How many Iraqis would die if we left immediately? What would happen to the middle east if Iraq basically becomes another Iran. While I don’t think it would become the terrorist nation that the President suggests since Islamic nations seem to have a pretty hard hand with dissenters, the Kurds who we already abandoned before would be in a horrible position as well as the Sunni which would create even more problems in the middle east as the nations with a Sunni majority are not going to sit by and allow that to happen, especially if the US leaves. I hope the President is right and that these 21,500 troops can accomplish this but I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Iraqi government or their military.

    Comment by Lisa Renee — January 11, 2007 @ 1:17 am

  4. #3, Thx for your thoughts. I think your assessment is very accurate, though I have a bit more hope that the Iraq government and military can and will muddle through. If Iraq’s economy improves enough, as it has been, it may turn out that participating in it looks more attractive than inflicting terror for some. What drives me nuts is that the people who want it to fail don’t care about any of the consequences you ID’d, and that they IMO control the reporting coming out of there.

    Somewhat related — One of the reasons there’s no econ development in Palestine, and no interest in it, is because those “leaders” realize that economic development would deter terror recruiting efforts. As long as the EU, US, and UN keep feeding that area money with no expectations or strings (and no accountability, which explains Arafat’s widow’s wealth), it won’t change.

    Comment by TBlumer — January 11, 2007 @ 1:29 am

  5. On Palestine? I’m not a fan of the way Israel has handled things but I totally 100% agree that the other middle eastern nations have not done anything to assist Palestine at the level they could because it is in their best interest to be able to point to the situation between Palestine and Israel as a way to take the focus off of their own internal issues. That’s been a personal pet peeve of mine because many of these middle eastern nations do have the financial resources to help Palsestine.

    Comment by Lisa Renee — January 11, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

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