Tuesday, April 03, 2007


"If the president vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period."
--Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, yesterday. (AP, 04.02.2007)

Washington D.C.--This is another good gesture, but where's Hillary (or NOW for supporting her nomination for president)? Or Moveon.org? I noticed that John Kerry (D-Mass.) is supporting this bill, so he appears to have learned something from the 2004 and 2006 elections. And where is Chuck Schumer on this one? Certainly, we all expect that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will be on board. However, I believe this bill originates with its co-sponsor, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). It was already extant, but now the climate is right after the midterms and further disintegration of the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The public has spoken, and spoken loudly. It will speak much louder if there is an air war or open-incursions into Iran by the United States and her allies in the region.

As any novice could have predicted, the security conditions in Iraq were going to disintegrate after the Iraqi military and the Baathist bureaucracy were decommissioned, and that it would worsen into the civil war we have today. It has a casual analog in the Bosnian conflict, and with similar dynamics involving ethnicity and sectarianism. After botching that initial-period of an occupation, there's no fixing it. Coupled with this is the insurgency who are well-armed since most of the nation's arsenals were never secured in the early-days of the occupation. Granted, saying it was all botched from-the-start would be euphemistic, yet yesterday, we have Kissinger doing his usual Janus-faced commentary--no military-solution, but we have to stay there for "several-years." What's it going to be then, eh?

Mindful that they hold a shaky majority in Congress and that neither chamber has enough votes to override a presidential veto, Democrats are already thinking about the next step after Bush rejects their legislation. Reid said Monday that if that happens, he will join forces with Feingold, one of the party's most liberal members who has long called to end the war by denying funding for it. Reid has previously stopped short of embracing Feingold's position. When asked whether he would ever consider pulling funds for the troops, Reid said Congress would provide troops what they needed to be safe. Reid's latest proposal would give the president one year to get troops out, ending funding for combat operations after March 31, 2008. (AP, 04.02.2007)

In other words, if the president vetoes this bill, it will only prolong the funding and approval-process. The troops will get what they need for provisioning and to defend themselves, but there will be no approval of funding in April, or possibly even May for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into 2008. Funds will be cut, forget about this supplemental request of $124 billion (depending on who you ask). It's an interesting Mexican stand-off (not Gonzales), where the longer the GOP waits, the more it ensures it political-ruin from 2008-on. Their so-called monopoly on being "strong on security" is now long-dead, but they were they only ones who ever said it.

Nothing will improve in Iraq and Afghanistan, as we all know, and the voices that assure us that it would be "catastrophic" if there was a withdrawal don't know with any certainty that what they are saying is objectively-true. As a matter of fact, I believe they know it's an unknown. The thing is, what we do know is this: so long as we are in Iraq, the country is a magnet and a training-ground for Arab nationalist and Muslim extremism. So long as we occupy Iraq, with each-and-every day, we ensure that the next attacks on America are inevitable.

It was our foreign policy that brought us the events of September 11th, 2001, and what we have is a cycle of senseless violence without any acceptable aims. For Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Ny.), or her husband's administration, it has all been a part of a long-term plan to subdue and exploit Iraq. Now, they're eyeing Iran and Central Asia. There is a continuity from the Clinton years into the Bush II years, and nobody in Congress who says "I was fooled," can be trusted. We can be thankful that they wish to self-destruct so badly, just as the aristocracy of Europe did almost 100-years-ago. The trick is going to be how to limit the destruction to the political-class (the impeachment and the voting-out of an entire political generation) and their backers (technocrats, defense contractors, banking, industrialists, and so-on). President Bush had this exchange with a journalist earlier-today:

Q: When Congress has linked war funding with a timetable, you have argued micromanagement. When they've linked it to unrelated spending, you've argued pork barrel. But now there's talk from Harry Reid and others that if you veto this bill, they might come back and just simply cut off funding. Wouldn't that be a legitimate exercise of a congressional authority, which is the power of the purse?

BUSH: The—the Congress is exercising its legitimate authority as it sees fit right now. I just disagree with their decisions. I think setting an artificial timetable for withdrawal is a significant mistake. It is—it sends mixed signals and bad signals to the region and to the Iraqi citizens.
Listen, the Iraqis are wondering whether or not we're going to stay to help. People in America wonder whether or not they've got the political will to do the hard work. That's what Plante was asking about. In my conversations with President Maliki, he seems dedicated to doing that.

And we will continue to work with him to achieve those objectives. But they're wondering whether or not, you know, America is going to keep commitments. So when they hear withdrawal and timetables and, you know, it, rightly so, sends different kinds of signals.

The—it's interesting that Harry Reid—Leader Reid spoke out with a different option.
(AP/whitehouse.gov, 04.03.2007)

It doesn't appear that the president was briefed on this statement and proposal by Sens. Reid and Feingold. The president sounds stunned and frightened. He should be, his options are running-out rapidly, and the forces of law and order are converging on him and his administration. Even the time he has left is now being limited. Expect a very cooperative man, one we've never seen in this president, or his flunkies and hacks. It could only play-out like this: a group of ruthless criminals who could seize power, but couldn't wield it in any constructive sense.

Also expect Vice President Cheney to announce his resignation before December of this year (or early-2008), for "health-related reasons." He nearly did when the warrantless-wiretapping scandal broke in late-2005. Those of us on the Left can feel a little better, a big-step for Congress has been made. The antiwar message is becoming mainstream in D.C. .

"The President today asked the American people to trust him as he continues to follow the same failed strategy that has drawn our troops further into an intractable civil war. The President's policies have failed and his escalation endangers our troops and hurts our national security. Neither our troops nor the American people can afford this strategy any longer. "Democrats will send President Bush a bill that gives our troops the resources they need and a strategy in Iraq worthy of their sacrifices. If the President vetoes this bill he will have delayed funding for troops and kept in place his strategy for failure". (reid.senate.gov, 04.03.2007)

For those who ignore it, and try to prolong this war, they will pay the highest political-price--the end of their careers as representatives. The 2006 midterms were only-the-beginning of a wave that has melted voter apathy in America. One that was caused by Watergate, a cautionary lesson to the wise. The assertion that the system is flawed and riddled with corruption is correct. But non-participation makes it inevitable.

Reid's comments today: http://reid.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=271764&

AP last-night: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070402/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq

AP's transcript of today's White House press conference: