John Boehner and the Republican Party's hypocracy on "mandatory surrender dates"
Dave Harding over at Progress Ohio had a great blog post this week about how hypocritical John Boehner was in the House debate regarding the supplemental military funding bill. Here's what the House Majority Leader said this week:
"We can look it up and we can walk out. We can walk out on Iraq just like we did in Lebanon, just like we did in Vietnam, just like we did in Somalia and we will leave chaos in our wake." (emphasis added.)
As David pointed out, John Boehner apparently was in favor of "mandatory surrender dates" before he was against him as he voted multiple times to speed up the timetable to bring the troops home from Somalia (House Roll Call Vote #179, 5/22/93 and House Roll Call Vote #555, 11/9/93) and voted against funding the war effort there. (House Roll Call Vote #188, 5/26/93).
In other words the House Minority Leader, the Congressional leader of the Republican Party voted to force the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief, to withdraw troops from active combat earlier than the President thought was necessary on more than one occasion, and actually voted not to fund combat operations. ALL IN A MILITARY OPERATION WHERE ONLY 43 U.S. SERVICE PERSONNEL WERE KILLED IN COMBAT.
The day before, national bloggers and Eric at Plunderbund found CSPAN clips of Senator John McCain arguing to end the use of troops in Haiti. As Senator McCain said at the time about Haiti:
"Mr. President, our mission in Somali is over. It is time to come home. Our mission in Somali was to feed a million starving Somali who needed to be fed. It was not an open-ended commitment. It was not a commission of nation building, not warlord hunting, or any of the other extraneous activities which we
"In my view that does not mean as soon as order is restored to Haiti. It does not mean as soon as democracy is flourishing in Haiti. It does not mean as soon as we have established a viable nation in Haiti. As soon as possible means as soon we can get out of Haiti without losing any American lives.seem to have been engaged in."
Now that was to end U.S. military involvement where only four (yes, you read that right FOUR, U.S. military service personnel were killed in combat.)
So what else did Republicans say then that they are now calling treasonous now?
How about this quote from a Florida Congressman on Haiti?:You Reap What You Sow (House of Representatives-October 13, 1993)
Mr. Speaker, the events unfolding in Haiti bear out the ancient truth that you reap what you sow. The Clinton Administration is reaping in Haiti and Somalia what it sowed by eschewing experienced advice and by failing to utilize appropriate intelligence mechanisms thatt have been previously available. President Clinton and his advisers did not do their homework well. The Clinton Administration needs to understand that the solution to Haiti lies with the Haitians in Haiti. It should not involve sending U.S. troops, especially inadequately armed troops, into the middle of a brutal ongoing civil war."
And just who was the Florida Congressman? Why none other that Porter Goss, former Bush II Director of the CIA who apparently never saw any parellels between what he said about Haiti and Iraq.
Here what a Congressman from Wyoming (no, not Cheney) said about the Republican's position on Somila at the time:
"Back on April 1, 1992, this is the Republican policy committee: 'U.S. Forces in Somalia have fulfilled the mission. Therefore, President Clinton should bring the troops home.'
. . . We said just last week: 'Republicans reject isolationism; however, we believe the United States should not take on broad peacekeeping role that is dangerously open-ended.'
U.S. Congressman Thomas (WY-R) Congressional Record 10/12/1993 Page: H7674.
REPUBLICANS AGAINST THE SURGE ... IN SOMALIA.
None other than from Dan Burton (R-Indiana), the subpoena happy former chair of the House Committee on Reform & Oversight on Somlia:
"Well, on May 5, Mr. Speaker, the President welcomed our troops home. He declared that the mission was accomplished and that everything was fine, except they expanded our mission into nation building. They cut our troop strength from 28,000 to 4,000, left our troops exposed and expanded the mission.
Now, Mr. Speaker, they are sending in 1,700 more troops. That is just a little bit. I say, if you're going to do it, go in and get the job done, but sending a few more in is a recipe for disaster like we faced in Beirut. Nobody knows what our policy is in Somalia."
Congressman Dan Burton- Oct. 12, 1993. Congression Record, Page H 7677.
Congresswomen Deborah Pryce:
"The Clinton doctrine in Somalia is muddled at best. Our mission has expanded, but our force has contracted. Our military is now expected to chase down a Somali warlord, build a nation, and establish a brand new democracy in that strife-torn land . . . In April, Republicans passed a resolution recommending the immediate withdraw of our troops from this operation. Instead, the President chose to stay, with no clearly defined mission.
Congressman John Linder from Georgia on Somalia:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my extreme concern for what I see as an escalation of the United States' involvement in Somalia. In the wake of mounting United States casualities, President Clinton has called for an increased military presence in Somalia without clearly defining the purpose of continued United States involvement.
Mr. Speaker, it appears that the mission of the United States in Somalia has evolved into something that was never intended when the peacekeeping force arrived 10 months ago. Somewhere along the way, the Clinton administration changed the intent of operations in Somalia . . . Consequently, American troops are constantly at risk and, most unfortunately, some have indeed made the ultimate sacrifice.
It is inconceiveable to me how we can continue military operations in a foreign country without a specific goal, without clear cut rule of engagement, and without plans for eventually ceasing operations.
Mr. Speaker, the originals goals have been met. Those who have served have served nobly. But, now it is time to get American military personnel out of Somalia.
And completing the circle, John Boehner protesting the House majority in thwarting his caucus' attempt to have a vote to withdrawal troops from Haiti:
"Why can we not have an honest debate? Why cannot Members come to the floor of this House, the people's House, and debate a resolution where they can offer amendments, where we can change language and where the people's will can be discussed and the people's will can be presented back to the people and the President?
So not only has House Minority Leader John Boehner voted for mandatory timetables to withdraw troops, voted not to fund troops in hostilities, and has supported Congress' role in representing the people's will for matter at war by passing binding legislation. And he's not alone in Congress for calling what he did in Somalia and Haiti "surrender" when it's offered in Iraq.
John Boehner, has no creditibility to blast Demcrats for passing the legislation they did last week. He, and other prominent members of his party, pushed similar legislation regarding military operations with far less U.S. service casualities.