Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Democrats in House Pass War Funding Bill With Mandatory Troop Withdrawal Deadline

Technorati Tags: , , ,

The House of Representatives has finally done it: They have passed a bill tying war funding to a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq:

The $124.2 billion bill would fund the war, among other things, but demand troop withdrawals begin on Oct. 1 or sooner if the Iraqi government does not meet certain benchmarks. The bill sets a nonbinding goal of completing the troop pull out by April 1, 2008, allowing for forces conducting certain noncombat missions, such as attacking terrorist networks or training Iraqi forces, to remain.
House and Senate appropriators agreed to the legislation earlier this week. The Senate was expected to clear the measure Thursday, sending it to the president.

While Bush was confident the bill would ultimately fail because Democrats lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, he kept up pressure on lawmakers. On the same day as the House vote, the president dispatched his Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus, and other senior defense officials to Capitol Hill to make his case: Additional forces recently sent to Iraq are yielding mixed results and the strategy needs more time to work.

Emphasis mine in that last sentence, which, when translated from doubletalk to straight talk, reads, "Additional forces recently sent to Iraq have failed to quell violence and stabilize the country in the time we committed to, so we want to take an indefinite amount of additional time to keep on pretending that we can win if we just never admit that we've already lost."

Of course, Pres. Bush continues to play it as if it's the Democrats who are refusing to face reality, by sending him a bill he "can't" sign. He does that because he is constitutionally incapable of handling the reality that the war is militarily unwinnable and that a majority of Americans agree with the Democrats and not with him:

As the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House clash over an Iraq spending bill, with President Bush vowing to veto it because it contains withdrawal deadlines, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a solid majority of Americans side with the Democrats.

In addition, a nearly equal number believe that victory in Iraq isn't possible, and about only one in eight think the war has improved in the three months since Bush called for a troop increase there.

"They don't see the surge working," says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. Instead, they are saying "we need to get out."
The poll — which was taken of 1,004 adults from April 20-23, and which has an overall margin of error of 3.1 percentage points — comes as Congress considers an supplemental spending bill that would begin withdrawing troops from Iraq no later than Oct. 1, with the goal of having all combat troops leave by March 2008. The legislation hits the House floor on Wednesday, and heads to the Senate on Thursday.

Bush opposes the bill and has threatened to veto it. "They know I'm going to veto a bill containing these provisions, and they know that my veto will be sustained," the president said on Tuesday. "But instead of fashioning a bill I could sign, the Democratic leaders chose to further delay funding our troops, and they chose to make a political statement. That's their right. But it is wrong for our troops and it's wrong for our country."

Yet the poll shows that 56 percent say they agree more with the Democrats in Congress who want to set a deadline for troop withdrawal, versus the 37 percent who say they agree with Bush that there shouldn't be a deadline.

What's more, 55 percent believe that victory in Iraq isn't possible. And 49 percent say the situation in Iraq has gotten worse in the last three months since Bush announced his so-called troop surge. Thirty-seven percent say the situation has stayed about the same, and just 12 percent think it has improved.

No comments: