I was reading Jon Fleischman’s Flash Report post on Rep. Doolittle’s clarified comments regardig the Iraq War. You can read them here.
Jon’s lead goes like this:
Because it is sometimes hard to discern what any Republican says about things when viewed through the filter of the main stream (liberal) media, here is some information from the office of Congressman John Doolittle making clear his position on the War in Iraq.
In other words, even when these Republicans are quoted accurately in two separate scenarios, they are allowed to amend their statements and positions later with the blame them being shifted to the (liberal) MSM. Hate to break it to you Jon, the MSM isn’t nearly as liberal as you think. I wonder if he’d allow Democrats to revise statements accordingly?
The SacBee reported on July 6:
Rep. John Doolittle, questioning whether the Iraq war is worth the continued loss of American lives, said Thursday that U.S. troops should be pulled back from the front lines “as soon as possible” and the fighting should be turned over to Iraqi forces.
Doolittle’s remarks, made at a town hall meeting in Rocklin and expanded upon later in a meeting with The Bee’s editorial board, underscored a growing shift among Republican lawmakers away from the Iraq policies of President Bush.
In this case, the criticism came from an archconservative Republican who had campaigned with Bush and long repeated the president’s refrain that Iraq is a central front in the war on terror.
But Thursday, Doolittle characterized the war as a “quagmire” and said America should soon step back to a training and advisory role for Iraqi forces.
“We’ve got to get off the front lines as soon as possible,” Doolittle told a gathering at the Rocklin City Hall chambers. “And in my mind, that means something like the end of the year. We just can’t continue to tolerate these kinds of losses.”
Doolittle added in an interview: “I don’t want to keep having our people dying on the front lines. I am increasingly convinced that we never are going to succeed in actually ending people dying (in Iraq). I think it’s going to be a constant conflict … and if that is going to happen … it needs to be the Iraqis dying and not the Americans.”
Doolittle’s comments come after Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, issued a blunt declaration June 25 that Bush’s Iraq plan isn’t working and called for withdrawing most American forces.
“My belief is that the majority of my colleagues on the Republican side have become skeptical of all of this,” Doolittle told The Bee’s editorial board. “And that’s a big change.”
Doolittle reiterated his position that he opposes setting a timetable to withdraw forces from Iraq. But he said the United States should fall back to serving as “teachers and trainers” working “to get the Iraqi government up to the point where it runs its own military, its own border patrol and its own police forces.”
In his most strident criticism of the Iraq conflict, Doolittle said colleagues in Congress — including an increasing number of Republicans — believe the war “is something different than we believed it to be. And we’re gravely at risk by constantly having our troops exposed.”
Doolittle predicted that the anticipated September report by Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, will indicate that a long-term U.S. presence is needed despite the recent troop surge.
But he said Congress’ patience is running out.
“If the report comes out and says we need another five years, they (U.S. forces) don’t have another five years,” Doolittle said. “They don’t have five years to get the Iraqi government up and running. They need to do that in a matter of months.”
But Doolittle’s “do-over” on the Flash Report must mean Dick Cheney offered to take him hunting; from the Flash Report republishing an official statement:
Congressman Doolittle has been a strong supporter of the war on terror and has not changed his position on the need for US military action in Afghanistan or Iraq. The Congressman fully supports the mission of our troops. Congressman Doolittle wants to see the Iraqi government become responsible for their own country more quickly. This situation is not a matter of being at odds with the President. In fact, Congressman Doolittle is sure the President would like to see the same result.
We must face reality. Iraq is a region in the world where we are not necessarily going to see peace and tranquility or true democracy any time soon. We have to look at defining success as establishing an Iraqi government that can maintain its own military, police and border security functions so that our troops can move off the front lines into the background in more of a support role. The Congressman is also very clear on the fact that he does not favor setting a timetable for withdrawal, something in which both he and the President fully concur.
The Congressman also indicated that he will refrain from making a firm decision on the future of US forces in Iraq until after Gen. David H. Petraeus’ report in September. The Congressman publicly supported the troop build up and believes it is working.
Since the surge isn’t working and the Congressman is facing a federal investigation, one wonders…is Doolittle trying to queue up his own presidential pardon, should the investigation result in an indictment or conviction?