Third Party & Independents: Archives

March 24, 2007

House Democrats Using Troops As Political Pawns

Yesterday the U.S. House passed the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veteran’s Health, and Iraq Accountability Act by a 218 to 212 vote, largely among party lines. The bill authorizes more funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but most importantly sets a September 2008 deadline for withdrawing troops.

I am all for a troop withdrawal, and have believed that we should do so for some time. However looking at the deadline that House Democrats set in this bill it becomes obvious they are playing politics.

A September 2008 deadline would conveniently place the full withdrawal approximately six weeks before the election, which is just when a majority of Americans are beginning to really pay attention to the election. This is obviously not a coincidence, this is what these people do for a living. They know that this date would be extremely beneficial to them in the 2008 election, as it would be fresh in the minds of Americans that the Democrats just brought the troops home at election time.

I am all for a full troop withdrawal, but the date should not be set just for the political gain of one party. A withdrawal by the beginning of 2008 or May of 2008, or at any other time would show a true commitment to our troops and not just the selfishness of one party trying to use the troops to win votes. Of course even if this bill does pass the Senate it will undoubtedly be vetoed by Bush, however the blatant political posturing that is inherent in this bill shows the true colors of the Democrats.

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200703/POL20070323b.html

Posted by Richard Rhodes at March 24, 2007 04:27 PM
Comments
Comment #213507

R. R.
I AGREE WHOLE HEARTIDLY.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 05:38 PM
Comment #213511

What a complete crock, Richard Rhodes. Using the troops as political pawns is what the GOP been doing for FOUR years in Iraq with absolutely no end in sight — until now. This bill is going to take care of our troops and give them exactly what they need both in Iraq, and here at home. It’s also going to stop the insane spending on this war that has been taking place with zero accountability. Bush has burned through all the money he was given and then some, and if he wants more as Murtha says:
“He’s Going To Have To Deal With Us”

Dealing with us means setting a time frame to get our troops home and end this war, making sure our troops are no longer overextended, insufficiently trained, and treated like crap after they’ve been wounded, and making sure that every one of our tax dollars is now being accounted for.
You center column folks want to pick on a party that has been using our troops and the American people like pawns? You need only to look at the GOP.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 06:25 PM
Comment #213516

Richard,

Adrienne appears to have a problem with being criticized. Apparently she thinks it is perfectly acceptable for her party to perform actions that are wrong and indicative of big party politics simply because the Republicans were worse at it. As if those two parties are the only choices available.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, we do not live in the past and we do identify and monitor the abuses of power by those with power.

So far this congress has shown us that they are no better than the Republicans in that they will spend our hard earned money for bribes and payoffs while using the people they suggest that they are helping for political points.

If they wanted to get the troops out, they should have worked to do it now, not conveniently a few weeks before the 2008 presidential elections. How many troops will die and how many Iraqis will die during that time? And the worst part is that they know that this bill will be vetoed and they do not have the votes to override that veto, so they could have used any date for the troop withdrawal. That they had to use bribery and the political pressure of Moveon.org just to get their own congressmen to vote on the bill is further telling.

In addition, they are not going to vote on a budget that reduces the debt or deficit, it is just slightly lower than the one President Bush offered up.

It appears that we are suppose to fall down and praise the Democrats who are apparently only slightly less worthless than the Republicans. Instead of rightfully pointing out when they are acting like horses asses.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2007 06:40 PM
Comment #213517

Well said Rhinehold.

To Adrienne:
You said: “What a complete crock, Richard Rhodes. Using the troops as political pawns is what the GOP been doing for FOUR years in Iraq with absolutely no end in sight — until now.”

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because the GOP has used the troops previously does not give your party any right to do it now.

Later you said: “Dealing with us means setting a time frame to get our troops home and end this war”

You obviously did not fully read my article in it I state: “I am all for a full troop withdrawal, but the date should not be set just for the political gain of one party. A withdrawal by the beginning of 2008 or May of 2008, or at any other time would show a true commitment to our troops and not just the selfishness of one party trying to use the troops to win votes.”

My point again is that by putting the date six weeks before the election is obviously done for political reasons. If the date were any other date it would be much more credible.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 24, 2007 06:47 PM
Comment #213520

You guys are focusing on that date in order to diss the Dems. That’s fine, we’re used to you cynically crapping all over us for everything. Meanwhile, what you don’t seem to grasp is that if this bill passes in the Senate it would force them to bring a great many of our troops home NOW, because it forces Bushco to allow the military to follow it’s own guidelines about troop rotations and leave home and preparatory training before they are sent over to Iraq.
Since Bush needs the money, he HAS to work with US now — and that means treating our troops with a measure of respect.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 07:07 PM
Comment #213522

Adrienne
Bush is going to veto it if it hits his desk. So you don’t accomplish nothing. There are not enough votes to override either.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 07:20 PM
Comment #213523

adrienne

“making sure our troops are no longer overextended, insufficiently trained,”

if i might quote you. what a crock. my son in law is a marine and i’m familiar with the training they undergo. as far as i’m concerned they are the best trained fighters in the world. to say they are undertrained is a bold faced lie, and an insult.

Posted by: dbs at March 24, 2007 07:20 PM
Comment #213524

Our politicians are playing political football and our troops are dieing. Just business as usual for Congress. And it pisses me off to no end.
Our politicians, and in this case the Democrats, have no more respect of our troops than to play games with the lives of our troops for political gain.
Everyone one of the morons that voted for this outrage needs to be impeached immediately if not sooner. They’ve proved themselves completely unfit to to be dogcatchers much less in congress.
Let’s send a very strong message to our elected idiots in 08 and kick everyone of them out.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR THIS KIND OF CRAP. And shame on anyone defending it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 24, 2007 07:22 PM
Comment #213525

Richard,
Baloney. This bill represents a compromise. Many want the war to end immediately. Some want to give the surge a chance to work, and others want to stay in Iraq indefinitely. As they say, the perfect is the enemy of the good. This is politics, Richard. This bill is a good compromise. Pelosi did an awesome job of negotiating the passage of a very controversial piece of legislation. It gives supporters of the war ample opportunity to implement a successful strategy, while giving those who want a withdrawal an end in sight. And that is an eminently fair approach.

Would an earlier withdrawal date be less “political”? Perhaps. But nothing is stopping Republicans from demanding an earlier withdrawal date. Pushing it beyond January or May gives them more time, and as distasteful as I may find the compromise, I recognize it gives supporters of the war the maximal chance of making good.

I believe the Senate will pass this bill, unless of course there is a filibuster. And of course, Bush may veto the bill. But if that happens, the end will come sooner rather than later. No bill, no $, and that is the end.

Posted by: phx8 at March 24, 2007 07:29 PM
Comment #213527

dbs:
“my son in law is a marine and i’m familiar with the training they undergo. as far as i’m concerned they are the best trained fighters in the world. to say they are undertrained is a bold faced lie, and an insult.”

It is not a lie, nor is it an insult, it’s simply the awful truth. Perhaps some of you Bushco-supporting armchair-warriors haven’t heard about this, but it’s time to become better informed before calling other people liars:

Corners cut in rush to add troops
Shorter training time, lack of equipment hurt readiness, experts say

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 07:53 PM
Comment #213529

Richard Rhodes

You know full well that this bill is just posturing to eventually obtain a bill that will actually get the job done. The dems know that if it somehow gets thru the senate Bush will veto it. Then they will go thru the process again of course. Perhaps the date will be pushed up or even back. Do you really believe that an earlier date would be more or as acceptable? At some point Bush and the senate repubs are going to have to meet some sort of compromise or there will no longer be any money for Bush’s precious failure. I personally see the date as giving Bush as long as possible to set things right in Iraq before, thankfully we will finally have a new and hopefully credible president.

This is what the american people want. You have to give the dems credit for thier persistence in the matter. After all with such a narrow margin in the senate there is only so much that can be done in the wake of republican obstructionism. The dems have given the repubs oppurtunities to join in on a credible exit strategy and they have blocked each attempt thus far. You tell us what other options do the dems have in this matter? Personally I say bring them home right now. But I can gaurantee you there are no republicans and probably only a few dems in favor of that.

Posted by: ILdem at March 24, 2007 07:57 PM
Comment #213533

ILdem

At some point Bush and the senate repubs are going to have to meet some sort of compromise or there will no longer be any money for Bush’s precious failure.

So your saying the Democrats don’t care if our troops have the supplies to keep them alive just so they can have their way. Once money is cut off because Pelosi is so stupid that she’s willing to put our troops at a bigger risk just to get a Bush our troops are really going to start dieing over there.
I know y’all will say that no commander will send troops into battle without the supplies they need. And you’ll be right.
And no money for supplies will force a withdrawal of the troops. But how the hell are they going to defend themselves with out supplies until they can leave? And they will be attacked once the enemy finds out that they can’t defend themselves. And don’t tell me that Bush will withdraw them before that happens. He aint got the brains to do that.
But evidently Dumb Butt Pelosi and the morons that voted for this treasonous bill don’t care about that. Just as long as they get their Dummyrat President.
And y’all want to say that Bush is an idiot.
Sheeeesh!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 24, 2007 08:12 PM
Comment #213534

adrienne

“Perhaps some of you Bushco-supporting armchair-warriors haven’t heard about this, but it’s time to become better informed before calling other people liars:”

i get my information from those who are actually doing the job. iv’e actually talked to these marines, so i’m sorry but i’ll have to side with them, as opposed to some biased journalism from the sf chronicle. BTW i don’t put much creedence in the ny times, or the la times either. i find most of thier stories to be editorialized, and slanted to the left.

how does disageeing with you on your assertion make me an arm chair warrior? you know nothing about me. i have family and friends involved in this thing and because i stick up for them i’m uninformed. imagine that.

Posted by: dbs at March 24, 2007 08:14 PM
Comment #213536

To those righties who think the dems are so terrible because of this bill I can only ask what did the repubs in the 109th and now the 110th do to help the troops, to stop the squandering of tax dollars, and to bring an end to this conflict. Just as we have to allow the surge time to work we must allow the dems time to get us out of this mess. After all they are a slim majority and must compromise to get things done. If your so proud of the job the repubs have been doing then whats your beef with Sept 08?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 08:20 PM
Comment #213538

Ron Brown and dbs
Well said.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 08:22 PM
Comment #213539

I just read a very thoughtful article about history. We have seen these sorts of things before. We probably cannot be defeated in Iraq, but we may well be defeated in Washington.

The strategies are similar on all sides.

Posted by: Jackj at March 24, 2007 08:24 PM
Comment #213541

j2t2
I don’t claim any party affiliation. So it wouldn’t matter to me if it were dem or rep who wrote this piece of trash they called a bill. When it comes to our troops, they should come first, then rep and dem can bikker all they want. But first give our troops what they need. Maybe all you armchair politicians ought to take a trip to Iraq and see first hand whats going on.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 08:32 PM
Comment #213542

dbs:
“i get my information from those who are actually doing the job. iv’e actually talked to these marines, so i’m sorry but i’ll have to side with them, as opposed to some biased journalism from the sf chronicle. BTW i don’t put much creedence in the ny times, or the la times either. i find most of thier stories to be editorialized, and slanted to the left.”

I see. So according to you, Lawrence Korb, who oversaw military manpower and logistics as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration and who is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information, the Pentagon and Pentagon surveys, Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, a centrist think tank in Arlington, Va., a survey conducted by the Defense Department Inspector General’s Office, Rep. Solomon Ortiz, who chairs the Readiness Subcommittee at the House Armed Services Committee, Lt. Col. Doug Crissman, commander of the brigade’s 2-7 infantry battalion, Marine Brig. Gen. Randolph Alles, head of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, the Army’s top supply officer in a reporat to the House Armed Services Committee, Carl Conetta, co-director of the Project on Defense Alternatives, and Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker aren’t doing their jobs, are folks all slanted to the left, and are basically full of sh*t. Got it.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 08:43 PM
Comment #213543

jackj,
I don’t read Commentary Magazine articles, they’re nothing but Neoconservative trash.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 08:52 PM
Comment #213544

j2t2
Gee the old the Republicans did it too argument. Wondered how long before this lame excuse was made.
I don’t excuse the Republicans for anything they did over the last 5 years. But they aint in power right now. And to quote y’all when the lame “The Democrats did it too” excuse was made by the Republicans. “That’s all in the past. It’s what’s going on now that counts.”
And y’all were right. And this is now. And the Democrats are screwing the pooch on this one. So yeah, you better believe I’m blaming them and holding them responsible for the lost lives this travesty will cost.
Fact is neither party cares about the troops. They just care about staying in or getting back in power.
The politicians on both side of the isle are playing political games with the lives of our troops. And the party faithful are defending it.
I wonder just how much those defending the actions that negatively effects our troops by either party really care about them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 24, 2007 08:52 PM
Comment #213546

jackj,
I don’t read Commentary Magazine articles, they’re nothing but Neoconservative trash.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 08:52 PM

And of course Conservative are all stupid because we don’t agree with ya. Right?
Give it a rest.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 24, 2007 09:02 PM
Comment #213549

Ron:
“And of course Conservative are all stupid because we don’t agree with ya. Right?”

Neoconservatives aren’t conservative. At all. And I’ve never said that true conservatives were stupid. Only the neocons, who in my opinion are demonstrably so.

“Give it a rest.”

Right back at you, Ron.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 24, 2007 09:11 PM
Comment #213552

KAP, what exactly does this bill take away from our troops that would cause you to say “But first give our trops what they need”?
Ron, you old Bushie you, I still see Clinton being blamed on occasion for ..well about everything,… so exactly what was it the repubs did that this bill takes away? Are the lost lives you refer to due to the US not withdrawing immediatly? What would you suggest this bill should do, considering the narrow majority the dems hold and the resistance from the repubs on this issue?
This has been a political war from the beginning the repubs used it to keep the CiC in office in 04 why would you think that at this stage it would change? Which party is supposed to stop playing politics first?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 09:16 PM
Comment #213553

j2t2
Like I said it’s a trash bill. Setting time tables before giving up the cash is pure BULLSH_T you know it and the dems in congress know it. The dems and reps couldn’t give a rats ass about the troops all they care about is their cushie job. Which in my opinion are all overpaid and underworked.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 09:32 PM
Comment #213555
I still see Clinton being blamed on occasion for ..well about everything

Not in this thread, in fact I think you’re the first person to bring him up. Why do such a thing if it’s not something that should be done?

Which party is supposed to stop playing politics first?

It’s obvious that neither the Republicans or the Democrats are capable of such a thing. That would require something called ‘integrity’. Members of both of those parties would have to go to a dictionary to learn the meaning of that word first before applying it I suppose…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2007 09:33 PM
Comment #213558

Just so Im not missing anything, doesnt this bill just continue funding for Afganistan and Iraq? Isnt that what the Administration wanted. How are the troops put at risk, as long as the bill continues its way through the Senate and to the Presidents desk and is signed into law there really should be no problem, what am I missing? Now I undertsand if the bill is veto’d then the responsibility for the troops would be on the Administration’s shoulders. But that is where the responsibility should be isnt it?
The American people have turned against this Administrations handling of Iraq, and rightfully so. The Congress after much wrangling has delivered to the American people what they have decided is best for this Country. I think the position this bill puts the Administration in should tell them that it is not King George it is President George and his administration is accountable to the people of this Country. He should sign this bill instead of calling it political theatre.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 09:59 PM
Comment #213560

j2t2
TIME TABLES THAT’S THE PROBLEM. Get rid of the Sept. 2008 deadline.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #213562

KAP, So the problem is the Congress did not rubberstamp Bushes folly? Here George here’s another blank check no strings attached, just keep spending it we will continue to write ‘em for you. And please George dont listen to us or the American people just keep those failed ideologies acoming..Is that the way you think it should go? Seems to me its the responsibility of Congress to watch where the money goes, cause if they dont they pay the price as we saw in the previous election.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 10:16 PM
Comment #213563

KAP
Timetables why should we get rid of the timetables? How long should we endure this burden? Stay the Course didnt work, The surge will be determined, this summer, to be effective or not, whats left? What are we there for? Either they can govern themselves or they cant.

Rhinehold
Integrity has to be a two way street now doesnt it?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 10:26 PM
Comment #213564

j2t2
I’m not rubber stamping anything. Go back and read I CLAIM NO PARTY AFFILIATION. WHEATHER DEM OR REP WROTE THE BILL IT’S PURE BULLSH_T WITH A TIMETABLE IN IT!!!!!!!!!! It should have been start a gradual pullout by Sept. 2008. That would have made more sence, Which I don’t think politicians have.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 10:30 PM
Comment #213568
Integrity has to be a two way street now doesnt it?

Um, no? You mean your personal integrity or your party’s integrity depends upon the integrity of others?

Seems like a completely stupid notion to me. Either you have integrity or you don’t. It is clear that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats do.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2007 10:44 PM
Comment #213569

KAP, I would guess the Congress is just a little tired of being so wishy washy with the whole thing. Either we can fix it or we cant. Either the Iraqi’s step up to the plate or they dont, lord knows they have had enough time.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 10:44 PM
Comment #213571

j2t2 Wishy washy is NORMAL for congress. It took awhile to get this country up and running in the beginning. Maybe in the near future Iraq will be able to step up to the plate and take over by themselves. But putting a date for full withdrawal NO, Gradual YES.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2007 11:02 PM
Comment #213572

j2t2

the dems control congress. they know the pres. will not sign the bill if the time table is in it. therefore when he vetos it, they will claim he refuses to fund the troops. whether you agree we need a timetable or not, this pure political posturing at the troops expense.

Posted by: dbs at March 24, 2007 11:05 PM
Comment #213576
I know y’all will say that no commander will send troops into battle without the supplies they need. And you’ll be right. Posted by: Ron Brown at March 24, 2007 08:12 PM

With the greatest of respect, Mr. Brown. I must disagree with this statement. I remember a President we had once. His name was George.. something. George W. Sumpin’


His troops didn’t have shit but they still stood behind him, this George W. sumtin’ guy. Nobody had to tell them anything either. They did it on their own. They volunteered just as our guys did.


To include a timeline dictating to the President what he must do with his military is outside the perview of the power of the congress.

It is not their job to direct the President and his military. The job of the congress is to provide the money or not. Period. Even if this bill passes our President can nullify this timetable with a, with a, with a signing statement!

Take the money and run Mr. President. Take the money and run with it.

Posted by: catastrophyinprogress at March 24, 2007 11:21 PM
Comment #213577

Rhinehold, I suppose all other parties have integrity, just not those parties actually involved in the debate?
It easier to have high moral character as a unaffiliated person, and a persons integrity is not dependant upon anothers character, but in politics I would think its more about name calling between the different factions than an actual complete lack of integrity. It seems to me those that complain of a lack of integrity by those on the opposing side of the issue are just avoiding the issue at hand.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 11:28 PM
Comment #213578

KAP, Yes it took time to get this Country up and running, and yes it will take time to get Iraq up and running. But shouldnt that be the responsibility of the Iraqi’s. I dont recall anyone coming here and disposing of our dictator then footing the bill for us and then protecting us while we were getting up and running. If we do it all for them when do you think they will do it on their own?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #213580

dbs, Perhaps W should reconsider his options. We are tired of his inept handling of this debacle. Should we not set a deadline, isnt that considered a good management technique that should serve to motivate our CiC. His stay the course option with the open bank has not brought the desired results, why should Bush be allowed to fail again and again without a deadline? without accountability? Would you run your business this way? He should have to face this decision and if he veto’s it …well shame on him.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 24, 2007 11:53 PM
Comment #213582

First, we aren’t going to see troops in Iraq not getting the money they need for equipment or other things. We’re simply not going to see them there. The train stops here, get off at this station. The president bears responsiblity if he keeps troops in harm’s way without the money to fund them.

As for Timetables? Who hear believes we can withdraw an army without setting some sort of dates? Who here thinks we can encourage Iraqis to stand on their own while we’re indefinitely there to back them up? Little brother isn’t going to toughen up and get serious until he realizes that his big brother’s heading off to college for real, that it’s final. Besides, Bush himself set a timetable on this surge, saying he wanted to see definitive results in six months.

Truth is, nothing about leaving will be done without risks. However, given our problems with readiness, staying is no better. We either choose to make an orderly withdrawal, or we choose to make a fiasco out of it. Let’s at least get one thing right.

CIP-
Congress declares war and controls appropriations. Unless Congress tells the president he can spend on the war, he can’t. If he doesn’t want to play by the rules, we can just impeach his ass. Bush does not get to make a signing statement and take the money and run. This is not a military dictatorship.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #213589

j2t2

regaurdless of weather you think the timetable for withdrawel is the right move. the troops hang in the balance, while the morons in these two parties play political chess games thier lives. BTW i’m a repub, but the liberatarian, or american independent party are looking better to me every day.

Posted by: dbs at March 25, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #213590

Bush isn’t going to veto it because it will never get to his desk.

The House leadership took so long in passing this because they had to twist so many arms, making all kinds of threats and promises, and then load the bill up with pork. It’s as good as DOA in the Senate.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 25, 2007 12:25 AM
Comment #213592

Stephen Daugherty: Yes an orderly withdrawal is a good idea, the point is that it is obvious that House Democrats chose September of 2008 because it would be advantageous to them politially speaking.

The sooner we can bring our troops home and end this fiasco the better, but you have to admit that the date of September of 2008 was certainly chosen for political reasons.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 25, 2007 12:29 AM
Comment #213596

Why do I have to admit that there are purely politcal reasons behind that, pray tell? What crucial bit of information would force that conclusion?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 25, 2007 12:42 AM
Comment #213598

This is not a military dictatorship. Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2007 11:56 PM

Yes, it is.
I don’t have to prove it with links to reporters who refuse to admit this.
It’s just a fact.

Posted by: catastrophyinprogress at March 25, 2007 12:49 AM
Comment #213599

Loyal O,
Will this bill be DOA in the Senate? A lot of people are already assessing votes & counting their fingers. I think the Senate will pass it.

Four years ago, the number of people who identified themselves as Republican or Democrat was roughly tied @ 43%. Today, it is 50 - 35 % in favor of the Dems. In the 2006 election, the Democrats lost zero seats to the Reps. It was a shutout, and the main issue was Iraq.

Bush will not be running in 2008, and he is so radioactive, no Republicans will allow themselves to be associated with him. But if Iraq is still on the table in 2008, Republicans risk being shutout again, and seeing Democratic supermajorities in the House & Senate, as well as a Dem in the White House.

The writing is on the wall. Now, if Republican politicians truly believed the situation in Iraq will be much better next year than it is today, then why in the world would they oppose a deadline? The fact is, Republicans suspect Iraq will be just as bad next year as it is today, maybe worse. There is no point in supporting Bush, and there is no benefit to Senators sticking to the party line. For many Republicans, that will mean unemployment in 2008.

Well, whether there is a vote or a filibuster or a veto, next week will be interesting, that is for sure.

Posted by: phx8 at March 25, 2007 12:54 AM
Comment #213601

You folks have been voting for the lesser of two evils for about since the 70’s.
(can’t prove that)

Think about the lesser of two evils now. I would rather have my evil then suffer someone elses.

Posted by: catastrophyinprogress at March 25, 2007 12:55 AM
Comment #213602

Stephen: You don’t. But it is right infront of you. It is obvious. This is what these people do, they maximize political gain. You cannot honestly tell me that they chose September 2008 by coincidence, it was chosen for political reasons.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 25, 2007 01:04 AM
Comment #213603

No it wasn’t! it was objective journalism at work.

Posted by: catastrphy in progress` at March 25, 2007 01:10 AM
Comment #213608

We have 300 million people. France has 62 million people.

We should expect some respect and then expect some respect.

That’s not too much to expect, is it?

Posted by: catastrophyinprogress at March 25, 2007 02:19 AM
Comment #213609

We have 300 million people. France has 62 million people.

We should expect some respect and then expect some respect.

That’s not too much to expect, is it?

Posted by: catastrophyinprogress at March 25, 2007 02:19 AM
Comment #213630

Richard Rhodes-
The reasonable timeframe often given for withdrawal is about a two year period. This is not that far from that. Do Democrats want credit for ending the war? I believe they do. But is that a problem? I can’t see why. We’re supposed to end the war. If we end it within Bush’s term in office, so much the better. This started with him, it should end with him, and getting that done before the election would manage that.

As long as a September 2008 timeframe is workable, I don’t see the problem there. If it’s not, then we do it another way. As politically advantageous as it might be to end it by that date, if we need to pull out sooner or keep things going, that what we should do. The needs of our soldiers should take first priority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 25, 2007 01:24 PM
Comment #213644

j2t2
First I’m not a Bushie and never have been. Didn’t vote for him either time. And don’t agree with him about 80% of the time. O yeah, that 20% means I’m a Bushie right?
Bush asked for a clean appropriations bill with nothing attached to it. So what do the Democrats do? Attach a time table to it. They’re telling Bush to play ball with them their way or they’ll take their ball and go home.
What they’re hoping for, and just might get, is that Bush will veto the bill. Then they can say they were willing to fund the war but Bush vetoed the funding. And once again y’all will claim Bush don’t care about the troops. But what y’all will fail to mention is that the Democrats added something to the bill they pretty much knew would cause Bush to veto it so they proved they don’t care about the troops either.
I have to admit though, the Democrats have put Bush between a rock and a hard place on this. It’s damn if he vetoes and damn if he sighs. Either way the Democrats will get some political hay from it.
And that’s what pisses me off. They’re getting their political hay of the backs of our troops.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 25, 2007 02:06 PM
Comment #213651

S. D.
Yea reasonable time frame. Sept. 2008 is not a reasonable time frame.

Posted by: KAP at March 25, 2007 02:30 PM
Comment #213664

Ron Brown

So your saying the Democrats don’t care if our troops have the supplies to keep them alive just so they can have their way. Once money is cut off because Pelosi is so stupid that she’s willing to put our troops at a bigger risk just to get a Bush our troops are really going to start dieing over there.

The dems are doing their Job Ron. The american people have given them a mandate. Bush is being presented with a means to an end. That end will provide funding until it is met. Your evaluation is wrong. It is Bush and the republican senate who are cutting funding by refusing to accept an alternate strategy. You are failing to recognize that the repubs no longer run the show. They will have to get on the wagon or cause the troops to suffer the consequences. I guess it is all a matter of how one twists the intent of the words and who one views as the obstructionist party.

I know y’all will say that no commander will send troops into battle without the supplies they need. And you’ll be right.And no money for supplies will force a withdrawal of the troops. But how the hell are they going to defend themselves with out supplies until they can leave? And they will be attacked once the enemy finds out that they can’t defend themselves. And don’t tell me that Bush will withdraw them before that happens. He aint got the brains to do that.

Sheesh Ron, seems like a catch 22 to me. It is that lack of brains that has been the nemisis of this whole rotten affair. They are now being attacked each and every day to the tune of over 3200 dead to date. I can not give you an anserw to this question as I do not know it. You will have to put it to the Bush administration as it is their responsibility. Looks like they finally have some serious thinking to do. Assuming of course they have that capacity.

Posted by: ILdem at March 25, 2007 02:58 PM
Comment #213709

ILdem
Your right. The Dems are just doing their job. And that’s playing politics with the lives of our troops. The very same thing they spent the last 5 years of accusing the Reps of. But then I reckon it’s supposed to be OK to do it now because they’re in charge.
Got news for y’all. It was OK when the Reps were in charge. And it aint OK now.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 25, 2007 07:05 PM
Comment #213710

Whoops,
Should have been it wasn’t OK when the Reps were in charge. and it aint OK now.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 25, 2007 07:10 PM
Comment #213734

Ron Brown

You tell me what is the alternative. You are certainly welcome to call it politics or whatever you like. But it appears there is no easy anserw to this problem. The republicans are not exactly making this endeavor a cakewalk. They are apparently more than happy to sit back and draw on our tax dollars, and rake in the contracting wealth funded by our tax dollars while our sons, daughters, husbands wives and friends die for a cause that never should have been and shows no end in sight.

I was and still am a staunch supporter of strict ethics reform. I firmly feel it is the biggest obstacle to the process of good government. And yes I realize the dems are not perfect. But in comparison to the last congress they look like saints at this point in time. I am sorry Ron but I can not overlook, regardless of whatever politics may be involved, the fact that they are relentlessy pursuing a good cause. And to be honest if they do not make further headway with regards to cleaning up corruption in govt I will have no qualms about voting against anyone I feel is standing in the way regardless of party affiliation. As long as we are on the subject I think you should know that I find people who advocate for the regulation of corruption disgusting. IMO no degree of corruption should be permissable in government. And no I am not accusing you of the latter.

Posted by: ILdem at March 25, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #213736

Ron, for crying out loud if the Dems dont force troop withdrawl by Sep 08 then wouldnt you think that more troops would lose their lives by staying until hell freezes over? Yet you accuse the Dems of putting the troops in danger. Its always the dems fault. Just like a Bushie.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 25, 2007 11:01 PM
Comment #213748

I don’t see it as advantageous for the Dems to have the troops out before the election. If they were really Machiavellian about it, they would want the war to keep going on and hurting the Republicans.

I think the September 2008 deadline is an honest attempt to reconcile the demands of the various wings of the Democratic party with the reality of a closely divided Congress.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 26, 2007 06:55 AM
Comment #213751

Ron Brown-
A clean appropriations bill, right? Do me a favor: research the other appropriations bills Bush has signed into law over the past few years of his administration and see how many truly clean ones he’s passed. Then we’ll know whether his problem is with “pork” or with the fact that we’re telling him he’s going to outlast the war whose failure he intended to defer to the next presidency.

As for the pork, the real question is this: How much funding for what the troops need is being deprived from them? This is an important question for me because pork from the Republican congress’ earlier spending bills was being taken out of money for the troop’s vehicles, equipment and their maintenance. In terms of what’s been added on top, how much has been earmarked, and how much is simply additional appropriations for the troops. Then, considering whatever earmarks, how many are gimmees, and how many would not be considered pork, as they address needs that are in the public’s actual interest (such as immunizations)

KAP-
Would you be willing to elaborate on why not, and clarify whether you think withdrawal is a bad idea, or whether it’s the actual length of the withdrawal you dislike.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2007 08:04 AM
Comment #213783

ILdem,j2t2,Stephen
I’m not objecting to the Sep 08 deadline so much as I am the Democrats attaching it to the appropriations bill. Bush will either have to veto it to avoid having a dead line, which is going to insure that the troops don’t get the supplies they need. Or he’ll have to sign it and except the deadline.
I could care about Bush, or the Democrats getting brownie points with the voters. And could also care less if Bush loses this one and the Democrats win. In fact either way Bush goes they win.
The only thing I care about is our troops. And the politics I’ve been seeing played with their lives over the last few years is totally unacceptable.
I wish I knew a solution to the situation. And the fact is that neither party has a solution of any kind. And the fact is neither party are even trying to find a solution. Both parties are playing politics with our troops lives for their own gain. And our troops are dieing. And none of y’all seem to care as long as the Democrats aren’t criticized in any way.
If any of y’all actually think the Democrats are really concerned about our troops after this farces I would suggest a reality check for ya. The only thing they care about is retaining control of Congress and getting control of the White House in 08.
If the Democrats really care about getting our troops out of Iraq and saving their lives, why didn’t they just pass a separate bill requiring the withdrawal of our troops by whatever date they want and send it to Bush? He’d either have to sign it or veto it and the Democrats would still win and have their political hay and the troops would still have funding.
It would be a win (our troops), lose (Bush), win (The Dems) for all involved.

A clean appropriations bill, right? Do me a favor: research the other appropriations bills Bush has signed into law over the past few years of his administration and see how many truly clean ones he’s passed.

I don’t need to research other appropriation bills. I can tell ya the answer to that without it.
ABSLOUTLY NONE!
But Bush did ask for one and the Democrats have proved their incapable of passing one. I know, the Republicans are too. But I didn’t hear Bushing asking the Democrats for one. He playing politics with our troops too.
And the fact that he asked for a clean appropriation bill knowing the Democrats wouldn’t give him one shows how little regard he that has for our troops. But we already knew that by the way he’s been running the war.


Posted by: Ron Brown at March 26, 2007 01:56 PM
Comment #213811

To my fellow liberals who support the recently passed war funding bill in the House:

If you agree that it was wrong to go into Iraq from the beginning, why continue to do, and fund, wrong actions? Would it not be better to end inappropriate acts now rather than later? It seems to me that, regardless of how quickly we leave, there are certain inalienable truths about Iraq.
1. We must engage in a political solution in Iraq. Because,
2. at some point, our military must leave.
3. When it does, a regional conflict will ensue. And,
4. having created this situation, WE must be prepared to bear the burden of the inevitable repercussions.

I welcome your thoughts.

Posted by: jrb at March 26, 2007 04:48 PM
Comment #213838

Ron Brown-
I made my point about clean appropriations bills to make a point about Bush’s motivation. Bush did not police his own party’s use of appropriations, so his call for a clean appropriations bill is largely political, especially if you realize that by clean, he probably means clean of any calls for withdrawal.

As for that, I’d say this: The congress is exercising its powers of the purse. No soldier is going to be deprived of what they need, unless Bush orders the soldiers there without the funding. This “don’t deprive the soldiers” argument is a fallacious piece of emotional blackmail.

It’s just the GOP’s way of once again using the troops as human shields for their asinine policies, which is about the most abominable part of this war. Don’t criticize us for the screw-ups, because you’ll let down the troops!

Give me a break. I think the troops would much prefer Robust debate to poor policy. If the American people walk on eggshells everytime a politician pulls the “support the soldiers” card, we are going to get conned into a lot more wars that our common sense, if we let it operate, would have us refuse. That’s just cowardly, in my opinion. America shouldn’t blindly invest the lives of our soldiers in just any war for just any reason.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2007 08:44 PM
Comment #213857

Stephen
When did I stick up for the Republicans? Do you really think Bush wouldn’t pull a trick like ordering the troops out without funds? Remember, y’all are the ones that insist he’s an idiot that can’t get nothing right. Now your going to give him credit for having some sense?
The Republicans are just as guilty as the Democrats when it comes to playing politics with our troops. The difference is y’all want to defend the Democrats for it while condemning the Republicans.
And you better believe I don’t want our troops denied what they need just so our politicians can play politics with there lives. If that emotional then so be it. But at least I’m not defending a bunch of idiot politicians that want to deny them for their political gain.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 26, 2007 09:49 PM
Comment #213876

Ron, Instead of sticking up for the repubs and this Administration check out what they are doing to the wounded vets returning from Iraq. Check out the story of Jon Town at the Nation or at www. iava.org then come talk about backing this Administration because they dont play politics with the troops.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 26, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #213883

Ron Brown-
Playing politics. It’s all equal, isn’t it? No distinctions. It’s easy to say it’s all equal. It’s easy to say that one party’s no different than the other.

First, I would tell you that we weren’t looking for just any troop increase, but one to get the forces to the levels needed to win the war. Things have gotten so bad, that short of a draft, we’re not getting those numbers.

Both Bush’s stinginess in increasing the ranks of our military to sufficient levels and the his policy failures in dealing with security and the recovery of critical infrastructure in Iraq have ensured that.

They have also had a critical effect on morale. By dismissing dissenters’ concerns, he lost the opportunity to address them and prevent the diffusion of their opinion into the consensus. In short, he proved his critics right by failing to prosecute the war properly.

This is the reality behind the problems Bush has on the war. You and others want to claim it’s a media problem, or a guts problem, but really it’s a problem in convincing people that further pursuit of Bush’s policies will be fruitful, concerns that are backed by basic logistical and military concerns.

It’s easy for those supporting Bush’s policy or this war to believe that everybody else is just a weakling on the matter. It flatters sensiblities long cultivated in conservative circles where people go in circles talking about how cowardly and treasonous Democrats and liberals are.

The hard truth is that conservative have done that for so long that they’ve become lax and inexperienced at actual policy analysis. They’ve become reactionary, which means doing equally and oppositely everything that the other side does. International law? Reject it because they love it. Nation-building? Reject it because they love it. UN Sanctions? Reject it, etc.

War as a last resort? Reject it. Counterterrorism as a priority, before 9/11 makes terrorism a problem? Reject it. al-Qaeda as transnational instead of state supported? Reject it.

The Republicans have rejected their way into a corner, and Iraq as a failure is built almost exclusively on a thorough rejection of policies the Republicans consider stained by liberalism.

What has all that rejection brought you? Failure. Not because we’re especially right, but because you’re approaching things from a standpoint of politics and not practical policy. Making good policy often means forgetting political distinctions when they get in the way of doing things right.

The Republicans fail now because they never let themselves forget politics in shaping policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2007 12:04 AM
Comment #213911

j2t2
If you’ll read my post you’ll see I’m not sticking up for anyone. Like I’ve said several times already, both sides a guilty of playing politics with our troops.
And I know how our wounded are being treated. Most likely better than you. I have a Nephew that was severely wounded in Iraq. While he received very good medical care, he being given very poor and sometimes pretty lousy treatment otherwise.
Most of it is the fault of the VA. He’s paralyzed from the waist down and has lost one leg because of is injuries. But the VA is dragging their feet on his disability, vocational rehab, and other benefits due him.
While this has been typical of the VA sense at least Vietnam you can bet your bottom dollar I hold Bush responsible for this. He should’ve been making sure that needed improvements were being made, and he hasn’t even tried.

Stephen
Your right about Republicans and Bush but wrong about Conservatives. Neither the Republicans or Bush and his crowd are now or ever been Conservatives. And it’s doubtful they ever will be.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 27, 2007 08:43 AM
Comment #214254

Could you imagine the Congress telling FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, or Reagan, “Here’s some money for your war, but you better win it by (fill in the blank)? This Congress is made up of a bunch of arrogant, childish SOB’s, if you ask me. Nothing but belligerent fools!
I think it’s time for Bush to veto the bill, and for the other Republicans in Congress to show some backbone and start saying, “We told you so!” Democrats are insistent upon the defeat of the U.S. and our military, leaving them high and dry while demanding, of all things, raises of their own in this bill. Their arrogance is staggering.

JD

Posted by: JD at March 29, 2007 12:46 AM
Comment #214263

The troubling aspect of the Democrats’ actions is that they know the President will not sign the bill. The Administration has told them that money is running out now. They have enough funding to last through April. However, the Democrats have said that the Pentagon has war-time powers to shift funds from other accounts to keep the Iraq war funded until June. I asked on the liberal side, “Is it wise for Democrats to force the Pentagon to shift funds from other accounts earmarked for other military purposes just to continue the quibbling with the President attempting to gain political headlines? Was it not the Democrats who accused the President of spreading the military too thin for the last four years, hurting our readiness in other areas of the world? Sounds like that is exactly what they are now doing with the Peantagon resources and its accounts!

JD

Posted by: JD at March 29, 2007 02:12 AM
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