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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kline's Take on the ISG Report

In my previous post, I chided Kline for ranting about a purely symbolic proposal to reinstitute the draft when there were more important things, like the ISG report, to talk about. Well, Kline hasn't written an 800-word screed about it, but he's now made a few public statements.

To start with let's consider the commission's recommendation that the U.S. work with Iran and Syria to find a diplomatic solution. When Coleen Rowley made the same suggestion in the campaign's sole televised debate, Kline responded with:

Oh please, Coleen. You're going to get Iran and Syria to come on board in agreement with the United States? You cannot solve these world problems with pixie dust.

When the ISG made the exact same recommendation, Kline responded thusly:

"We don't want to be in the business of making a deal with Syria and Iran," he said. "I'm not optimistic about that."

I'll give Kline credit. At least his position hasn't changed, even though his attitude (condescending toward his campaign opponent, respectful toward his "good friend", "hero" and "political mentor" James Baker) has.

Additionally, Kline had this to say:

Meanwhile, Kline, whose son, Army Maj. John David Kline, returned this fall from a one-year tour of Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, said the report confirmed that goal of a democratic, peaceful Iraq remains critical and that a quick pullout would be bad for the region and the U.S.

Kline also was glad to see the group reject the idea of dividing the country into ethnic regions and the idea of sending more U.S. troops.

He backed the basic message of the group that the one thing the U.S. cannot do is more of the same. "They said, if we don't do something, that's bad," Kline said.

If Kline backs the notion that the U.S. cannot do more of the same, that's a flip-flop from his position 3 months ago, when Hometown Source newspapers reported Kline's position as "stay the course". And Kline's claim that the report states "that a quick pullout would be bad for the region and the U.S." stands in direct opposition to the following passage from the report's executive summary:

The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.

The summary also states that "The United States must not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq," which directly contradicts the position Kline took during the campaign.

Like the Democrats did to the Republicans in the recent election, this report delivers "a thumpin'" to Kline's position on Iraq. Yet he makes a grasp for vindication by insisting that the report confirms the goal of a democratic, peaceful Iraq.

The goal has never been in question, congressman. What all sane people have repeatedly questioned have been your means of attaining it. And in this report, your good friend, hero and mentor has publicly stated that your means of attaining it are dead wrong.


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