Mar 8, 2007

Democrats Say "Out in 2008," Historymike Yawns

Left: Member of the US 82nd Airborne Division in the Aadhimiya section of Baghdad, Iraq; photo by AP/Maya Alleruzzo

(Washington) House Democrats proposed legislation today that would mandate the removal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by August 2008, and that the timetable could be sooner if the Iraqis fail to reach certain benchmarks of progress.

The proposed bill stipulates that the Bush administration and the Iraqi government show progress in bringing stability to Iraq, including benchmarks on the training of Iraqi forces and the sharing of the country's oil revenue. If Congress determines that those conditions have not been satisfied, then a 180-day withdrawal of U.S. troops would begin, quite possibly as early as July 2007.

The proposal, of course, allows President Bush to "certify" that the conditions are being met, which then would force the Democratic-controlled Congress into a showdown with the administration if congressional leaders differed with the President's internal analysis.

While the bill would require the Pentagon to maintain its existing standards for equipping and training U.S. troops sent to Iraq - as well as providing time for them at home between tours of combat - the President would be allowed to issue waivers that exempt the administration from adhering to its own standards.

Moreover, the bill would be meaningless if - as it appears to this writer at this moment - the Middle East devolves into a wider regional war. How long, for example, will Israel remain on the sidelines with regard to Iran's nuclear program? The region is a powderkeg, and US forces are at the center of what could be the largest conflict in the history of the Middle East.

The result of the Murtha-led campaign, unfortunately, is a relatively toothless piece of feel-good legislation that serves only one purpose: to attempt to convince voters in 2008 that the Democrats are the party of results. Ultimately the President and the warhawks still call the shots, and troops will not return home any sooner with this insignificant, enervated shred of legislative fluff.


Anonymous said...

Mike!! You cynic!! Our leaders in Congress PROMISED the troops will come home!

--JD (sarcasm alert)

historymike said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
historymike said...


Yes, I am cynical that members of both parties are using this ugly war for political ends, while neither party seems truly committed to bringing home the troops before the United States gets sucked into an even more horrendous regional conflict.

John Spalding said...

Actually I posted about this too. Apparently there is 1.2 billion written into the legislation that will cover an offensive to head off a supposed "spring surge" from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Also, General Patraeus, our new Commander in Iraq has said that "military efforts" won't work unless there is a political effort made as well. Bringing all sides to the table to create a plan. There is a rebuilding and economic development part of this "democracy project" that has barely begun.

If we can't do that in our democracy, how can we do that with a democracy we are trying to help establish?

MP said...

And this new Congress was off to such a good start too.

Part of the problem, I think, is the latest spun fad of saying that wanting the troops to not "Finish the job" or that calling lives "wasted" is unpatriotic and unfeeling.

But these words are necessary to spur action. Not using these terms cause us to forget about the human cost of the war, and it keeps citizens and Congress alike at a "safe distance" from the war effort. This is not good enough.

Time to wake up. Nothing in Iraq is going to get better with or without U.S. troops, and an immediate withdrawal of our troops is needed before anymore lives are wasted.

Yeah, there, I said it. Lives are being wasted in Iraq. These soldiers did not die defending the U.S., they died for the cronies of President Bush. Call me unpatriotic and unfeeling or whatever, at least I want to see the most people possible LIVE. Does any Congressperson have any courage to do what's right?

Hooda Thunkit said...

It's just more "feel good" legislation.

Why don't those boobs in Washington do something constructive with their time???