Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dying to not have to return to Baghdad?

So the Democrats actually managed to stick together on this new "emergency" war spending bill with the withdrawal language included and get it passed. Pelosi & Co. needed 218 votes and amazingly they got 218 votes. Very impressive, particularly when you think of how fractious the Democrats are at the best of times. Naturally, there were some sweeteners thrown in, a little pork here and there, to induce the skittish to adhere to party discipline, but measured by GOP standards it is an almost pristine piece of legislation.

Of course, W. hit the roof and accused the Dems of "political theater." He then proceeded to put on his own political puppet theater holding a press conference with military family members providing a backdrop. Do they just have these people on call or did Rove do his own head count and expect disaster? In any case, the clock is running and the pentagon needs its war fix, so W. says, "Congress needs to send me a clean bill that I can sign without delay. I expect Congress to do its duty and fund out troops."

That's rich, coming from a guy who has sat around for 4 years and let Rummy get away with short changing the troops from biscuits to bullets. 'You're doing a heckuva job Rummy!' Under the Decider's tenure families of troops have had to pony up the bucks for body armor, GIs became dumpster divers looking for hunks of metal to strap to their unarmored vehicles and when they get injured they come home to lousy military hospitals.

He's got some nerve lecturing the Congress on what they need to do, as if they work for him. That's what he may be used to in the past, but there's a new sheriff in town and it's called the will of the American people. And, again, how many times did W. use the word "partisan?" Didn't his good buddy Tom DeLay write a whole book about the virtues of partisanship? When he had a compliant rubber stamp Congress, Karl Rove's partisan terror tactics were business as usual, now that its coming back to slap him on the ass, he's all of a sudden concerned about doing the "people's work."

This guy and his bunch of incompetents have had four years to get Iraq straight and they've fubar'd it up from A to Z. His solution is more of the same, doubling down with this new surge plan, which has as much chance of working as all the previous surges did. We hear a lot about dazzling successes and positive signs that this time it will really work, but in the last week the mayor of Sadr City was almost killed for collaborating with US troops, an Iraqi deputy prime minister was almost blown to smithereens and while Nuri al-Maliki was trying to show UN general sectretary Ban Ki Moon how safe Baghdad was, a Katusha rocket almost blew both of them to the moon. It's the same old story, what the White House says and what's actually happening on the ground.

Pretty much this is the choice facing us; cut the political support for the war now or expect many more years of more of the same. Do we want in ten years' time to have today's 8 year-olds echoing Staff Sgt. Brian Mancini, 28, 4th Brigade's 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, in Baghdad who joked to a WaPo correspondent: "If I die in Iraq this time, I don't have to worry about coming back again?"


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