Apr 19 2007
As was expected the Democrats in Congress are slowly facing reality and caving on the Iraq War funding Bill. The first step wil be to try and weasle out of a date certain for withdrawl (the senate version) instead of the firmer date passed by the house.
On Capitol Hill, Democratic and Republican negotiators on the military spending portion of the $123 billion-plus measure (HR 1591) said after a brief meeting that they had resolved all but the thorniest of issues â€” the Iraq withdrawal language. And House Democrats began to acknowledge the likelihood that they will have to yield to the Senateâ€™s position on redeploying U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
James P. Moran, D-Va., who is a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, acknowledged that the conference committee would likely have to go with the Senateâ€™s less restrictive language that would set a â€œgoalâ€ of withdrawing troops by a particular date.
The House bill includes a binding requirement to withdraw the troops no later than the end of August 2008. The Senate would establish a non-binding â€œgoalâ€ of withdrawing U.S. troops by the end of March 2008.
But the House Bill only passed on the promise of strong withdrawl language. The powerful “Out of Iraq” caucus – 70 members strong – was opposed to the House Bill because it was not strong enough or soon enough. Yes, the March 08 date in the Senate Bill is sooner than the Aug 08 date in the House version, but there is NO requirement for withdrawl in the Senate version. So are anti-war Reps really anti-war or not? They balked – righfully from in their views – to ANY spending on the war effort. But now they will be fully funding the war and putting no real restrictions on it at all.
And now Bush has the Democrats in a place where he can get what he wants – no language that emboldens our enemies in Iraq. The Dems are stuck because they already passed the money once. So they cannot go back and say “never mind, screw the troops, let them suffer in battle”. But everyone knows there is no need to set as surrender date and let a single person die waiting on that date to come. War is not something you try on for a bit and see if you like it or you will win. The fact it takes lives is why you can never play this game of ambivalence. No one would conclude a Democrat or Republican is taking this seriously with with a halfway approach. Either surrender and pull the troops or support them and help them succeed.
Congress authorized this war. This is not just Bush’s war. And Democrats need to understand “Oops, I was wrong” is not what America will tolerate as a response to seeing their best and brightest killed and maimed. Democrats have no choice now. They have admitted many times they will fund the troops and now they are watering down the surrender language. If they can water it down then they can just remove the language. Alternatively, if the withdrawl language is so damn universally popular as the Dems claim, put it in a stand alone Bill and pass it on its own! There will be no hiding from the debate if the terms of surrender are in their own Bill. Dems claim this is the will of the people – well then they should have no problem passing a surrender Bill with veto-proof margins. Give Bush what he demands on the funds and then get to work prioving your claims America is ready to surrender. Just stop trying to have it all ways – that is lunacy and an insult to those who put their lives on the line to protect us.