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Senate backs Iraq withdrawal date
April 26, 2007 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Senate backs Iraq withdrawal date The US Senate has voted to approve a bill which requires US troops to be withdrawn from Iraq within 11 months.
posted by chunking express (133 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Now it's a veto time.
posted by chunking express at 11:16 AM on April 26, 2007


.
posted by pruner at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2007


We knew it would pass. We know it will be vetoed. This news is everywhere and is common knowledge. What's there to discuss in this post other than restating everyone's already established beliefs on the Iraq question?
posted by dios at 11:19 AM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks for letting us all know you have nothing to say. Another way to do that is to just say nothing.
posted by chunking express at 11:21 AM on April 26, 2007 [18 favorites]


We knew it would pass. We know it will be vetoed. This news is everywhere and is common knowledge. What's there to discuss in this post other than restating everyone's already established beliefs on the Iraq question?

The fact that we're winning.
posted by delmoi at 11:21 AM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


We need to wait until all the facts are in!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


crap post [NOT CRAPIST]
posted by found missing at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2007


Gets my vote. Let's get the hell out. So what, you gonna call me a traitor too?
posted by nofundy at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2007


The purpose of this is to make the republicans keep voting to with the wildly unpopular president. The more they do, the tighter the noose will be in the 08 congressional elections. It may make 06 look like a dress rehearsal.
posted by mullingitover at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2007


This is a serious question: why is Bush going to veto it? The withdrawal provisions are not binding. The only thing Bush really has to object to in this bill is that it is evidence of Nancy Pelosi waving her dick.

Even if those provisions were binding, he could sign it with one of his cute signing statements along the lines of "I will interpret this bill to mean the opposite of what it says."
posted by adamrice at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2007


Huh, mullingitover, I've not heard that logic before. Anyone know of any decent rundowns of this approach? Sounds interesting.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:29 AM on April 26, 2007


This is a serious question: why is Bush going to veto it? The withdrawal provisions are not binding. The only thing Bush really has to object to in this bill is that it is evidence of Nancy Pelosi waving her dick.

Bush will have to go back for more funding in... March of '08. At which point the democrats will have a much better excuse to cut funding, and at which point (unless the war turns around) the president will be even less powerful and more isolated.
posted by delmoi at 11:30 AM on April 26, 2007


Previous thread.

dios: We know it will be vetoed.

Actually, I'm curious whether Bush will actually veto it or not. Will he really deny funding to the troops? Can he successfully blame the lack of funding on Congress?

adamrice: This is a serious question: why is Bush going to veto it? The withdrawal provisions are not binding.

He's already threatened many times that he plans to veto it. It'll be hard for him to back down at this point.
posted by russilwvong at 11:32 AM on April 26, 2007


robocop is bleeding writes "Huh, mullingitover, I've not heard that logic before. Anyone know of any decent rundowns of this approach? Sounds interesting."


Um...
But Democratic strategists also believe that repeated votes on the war will allow the party to expand its congressional majorities in next year's elections by continuing to link GOP lawmakers with the president and his war policies.

"It bewilders me why these Republicans have tied themselves so closely to this president…. God bless them," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Yeah.
posted by mullingitover at 11:34 AM on April 26, 2007


Awwww, that's so cute, he's gonna pop his veto-cherry.
posted by Talanvor at 11:34 AM on April 26, 2007


Yeah, I'm not 100% sure he'll veto either. That could be tough talk to try to get the Dems to back down. Remember how Rumsfeld was W's bestest friend 4evar and evar and was NEVERNEVERNEVER going anywhere?
posted by DU at 11:35 AM on April 26, 2007


adamrice: "The 51-46 vote was largely along party lines, and like House passage of the same bill a day earlier, fell far short of the two-thirds margin needed to overturn the president's threatened veto. Nevertheless, the legislation is the first binding challenge on the war that Democrats have managed to send to Bush since they reclaimed control of both houses of Congress in January."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2007


Talanvor: there's one previous case of Bush vetoing a bill, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act last July.
posted by russilwvong at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2007


I really don't see how Bush can't veto it now... after all his shit-talking.
posted by pruner at 11:38 AM on April 26, 2007


Oh crap! Bad html. Sorry, folks. Try this.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2007


Not seeing how Bush can consistently apply past actions and statements is not a good predictor of his future actions.
posted by DU at 11:40 AM on April 26, 2007


Cool. In all the Showdown!!! drumb-banging I see on local news in the morning, this had not even occured to me. Thanks!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:41 AM on April 26, 2007


The important point here is that the public - that is, the voters - are being fed the line that the Democrats want to deny the troops the funds they need to fight their war. So the message is that the poor troops will be sent over there to fight without proper equipment or protection. This is what we are hearing over and over again on the news shows. It is patently untrue of course but the real message is not being delivered to the voters that this bill does not deny the troops anything they need. It simplly sets a time liimit on how long these will be provided. It does not in any manner say that this cannot be rethought nearer the end of that period. But hardly anyone has been allowed to know that.
posted by donfactor at 11:42 AM on April 26, 2007


I see this as great political strategy. Make Bush veto the bill. Make him show the American people that he is so in denial about the situation that he will veto legislation that is very much in alignment with the populace. I think this is a perfect example of what Pelosi means when she says Bush must be held "accountable."
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2007


Fuzzy Monster, the end date of March 31, 2008 is non-binding.

donfactor: The important point here is that the public - that is, the voters - are being fed the line that the Democrats want to deny the troops the funds they need to fight their war.

Right, that's the line the White House is trying to take. But the Democrats can point out that Congress has approved the funds, it's Bush who's vetoing the bill.
posted by russilwvong at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2007


Rep. Patrick Murphy, who actually served in Iraq, gives a speech during the House debate on the Iraq spending bill.
posted by chunking express at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2007


L.A. Times
posted by acro at 11:46 AM on April 26, 2007


If Bush does pull the troops out, I expect that there will be some heavily reported deaths and atrocities in Iraq. The Republicans will then use say, "See what happens when we do what the Democrats want?" And then the Republican Presidential candidate -- if not Senate -- will be well on its way next fall.
posted by flarbuse at 11:46 AM on April 26, 2007


Actually, I'm curious whether Bush will actually veto it or not. Will he really deny funding to the troops? Can he successfully blame the lack of funding on Congress?

I expect (though hope otherwise) nothing less than a veto. In his eyes, I think to not veto at this point is to admit failure in the war. And, really, at this point, what else does Bush have left to loose?

The blame by Bush for a lack of funding will indeed be placed squarely on the shoulders of Democrats. He will (and I think has) say that the Democrats are the ones forcing him to cut spending by adding the withdrawal provision. "Look, the Democrats are cutting your funding by adding in the withdrawal provision! If they really supported the troops, they wouldn't have a) a timetable and b) give unfettered funding to the troops."
posted by jmd82 at 11:47 AM on April 26, 2007


"there will be some heavily reported deaths and atrocities in Iraq"

Um... don't you read the news?
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2007


Huh. I could have sworn I head that part was non-binding. Guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue!
posted by adamrice at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


* head=heard
posted by adamrice at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2007


Ah, russilwvong, you're right. Sorry, adamrice. I misread you.

A clear sign that I need to eat some lunch.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:49 AM on April 26, 2007


*grabs tube of glue, takes huff, passes tube to adamrice*
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:50 AM on April 26, 2007


... I expect that there will be some heavily reported deaths and atrocities in Iraq... And then the Republican Presidential candidate -- if not Senate -- will be well on its way next fall.

Because thus far American's have given a fuck how many Iraqis have died?
posted by chunking express at 11:50 AM on April 26, 2007


The blame by Bush for a lack of funding will indeed be placed squarely on the shoulders of Democrats.

If he were1 smart, he'd have negotiated some benchmarks and whatnot short of actual withdrawl. Then, when the benchmarks aren't met (either in reality or in the Mighty Wurlitzer of the Right Wing Noise Machine) he can point to the Ds has being bad managers and go back to doing what he wants.

Instead, he's playing right into the Ds hands by taking full ownership of the disaster. I can't wait to see what happens next (assuming the Ds don't blink--a big if, but they've been doing OK so far).

1 Note use of counterfactual conditional.
posted by DU at 11:51 AM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


And then the Republican Presidential candidate -- if not Senate -- will be well on its way next fall.

I worry about this...politically it would be better for the Democrats if we were still stuck in this quagmire in November 2008. But ending this war ASAP is the right thing to do. I'm willing to lose ground politically to save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2007


Thanks for letting us all know you have nothing to say. Another way to do that is to just say nothing.

Of course, it's a lot worse when you have nothing to say but insist on saying something anyway. Still, thanks for implicitly agreeing with dios. That was grand of you.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:53 AM on April 26, 2007


flarbuse writes "If Bush does pull the troops out, I expect that there will be some heavily reported deaths and atrocities in Iraq. The Republicans will then use say, 'See what happens when we do what the Democrats want?'"

This is true, because the US population has repeatedly shown that it is deeply concerned about Iraqi casualties.

Wait, what?
posted by mullingitover at 11:57 AM on April 26, 2007


Speaking of "withdrawal", "surge", "escalation", "troops movement" is a red herring. This all boils down to one thing:

"Are you going to deny your boss -- and yourself, in the form of yummy bonuses for the rest of your life once you leave office -- BILLIONS -- let me repeat, BILLIONS of dollars -- in the form of no-bid contracts for many, many years to come?"

It's simple, really.
posted by matteo at 12:00 PM on April 26, 2007


What Democrats voted no? Anyone gave a handy link? Fucking Liebermann's..
posted by HyperBlue at 12:00 PM on April 26, 2007


I'm bracing myself for the 2008 Jimmy Carter second term. Prepare for repeat of extreme shift to the left effect!
posted by buzzman at 12:05 PM on April 26, 2007


I realize you didn't quite say so, HyperBlue, but just for clarity: Lieberman isn't a Democrat. He's a Connecticut for Liebermanite (and I believe has been thrown out of his party).
posted by DU at 12:05 PM on April 26, 2007


Here you go, HyperBlue.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:06 PM on April 26, 2007


I am reminded of the Republican Congress v. Clinton budget bill battles of the mid 90s. IIRC, Clinton came out of that smelling of roses. I fear the same happens for Bush.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:08 PM on April 26, 2007


buzzman: why the graph of the prime rate?
posted by gagglezoomer at 12:10 PM on April 26, 2007


I have this friend who's on a university college faculty instructing freshman communications. He had a Marine company commander stop by to give a lecture to the class, complete with a picture-heavy PowerPoint presentation on how (presumably, from the students' appreciative comments afterward -- instructor shared w/ me) the occupying forces are making a positive difference in Iraq. I'm looking forward to getting the PowerPoint on CD.

I'd learned from the BBC4 documentary discussed here in the blue a while ago that it's really pretty hard for journos to tell what's going on outside the Green Zone: The Westerners can't exactly go boppin' around safely, and there are are very few (but very very brave) Iraqi journos.

So...when people have asked what I think, I tell 'em quite honestly that I don't feel like I know enough to say whether the occupation's improving anything; all I have are the 'blogs on one side and the conventional newsies on the other, mostly depicting a lot of horror and misery. I have no idea where the hell W is getting his intel or what I'll see on that Marine captain's PowerPoint.

On preview: If he's up to it at his age, I'd love to see Jimmy as a SecState starting 2009.
posted by pax digita at 12:12 PM on April 26, 2007


Filtering the D-Yeas and the R-Nays from the Senate listing:

Graham (R-SC), Not Voting
Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Not Voting
Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Smith (R-OR), Yea
posted by cillit bang at 12:15 PM on April 26, 2007


Lieberman (IDiot-CT), Nay
posted by found missing at 12:16 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain didn't vote?
posted by NationalKato at 12:17 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain didn't vote.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:20 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain didn't vote!
posted by found missing at 12:21 PM on April 26, 2007


Thanks, russilwvong. I'm surprised I missed that.
posted by Talanvor at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2007


Yeah... looking at the vote, if those Repubs had voted Yea and the two that didn't vote had not broken ranks, the bill wouldn't have gone through.
posted by Talanvor at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain may not be as dumb as he seems.
posted by mullingitover at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2007


Good on you, Oregon and Nebraska senators. Y'all took your sweet time coming around, but now that it's readily apparent that there's no salvaging this trainwreck of an administration, I don't mind seeing you trying to make political hay out of this clusterfuck.

Any other (R)'s up for re-election in '08 who might see the light when this comes back from a veto?
posted by Mayor West at 12:26 PM on April 26, 2007


Any word on McCain? Did he vote?

No way he missed on purpose to give himself wiggle room. His entire platform is to showboat his fellation of Bush.
posted by DU at 12:27 PM on April 26, 2007


*cough* DU scroll up *cough*
posted by eyeballkid at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


McCain did not vote, he's on the campaign trail to doom.

yeah, Alt-F. This is heavy heavy newsfilter. Should be removed
posted by edgeways at 12:33 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain didn't vote?
posted by NationalKato at 12:39 PM on April 26, 2007


gagglezoomer: I keep harping about an extreme shift because their is little economy in the states except for the war(s). When the shift is away from them, and all the mil contracts disappear (as when Carter cancelled the B-1, M-1, and the minuteman missile system), the floor will fall out from under our economy. Inflation, unemployment, and fuels will again skyrocket.

Iraq is a disaster. But what next? Veto or no, Iraq is as if we were trying to make a 51st state overseas.
posted by buzzman at 12:41 PM on April 26, 2007


for Pax Digita: bringing in a marine officer to offer up a defense of the political/military situation (war) in Iraq as a "lesson" in freshman communications strike me as rather odd. Is it a lesson in using PowerPoint, or how to support one side of a questionable public issue? Will there be offered a contrasting point of view?
posted by Postroad at 12:45 PM on April 26, 2007


pax digita wrote "He had a Marine company commander stop by to give a lecture to the class [...] the occupying forces are making a positive difference in Iraq."

...because we all know a Marine company commander wouldn't show anything but the honest truth, given the military's need to keep recruitment up and the expectation that one does not speak negatively about the commander in chief.

I'm not saying the Marine's presentation was BS. I'm just saying the pictures my brother showed me included a lot of comments like "This is XXX. He had half his face blown off a few days after I took this picture."

The sooner we get the troops out of there, the better. My brother just got word that he will be re-deployed this fall (following months of new training in the States) for a period of at least a year. Thanks, George. Now my dad is going to be a nervous wreck again.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:50 PM on April 26, 2007


But how did McCain vote?
posted by pruner at 12:50 PM on April 26, 2007


I was just thinking; maybe we could bring invite a whole bunch of South Vietnamese people to Iraq, and THEY could stand up while we stood down. I mean, they didn't the first time, but now they've got experience, and really, who wouldn't want do-overs?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:51 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


This just in. McCain did not vote.
posted by jefbla at 12:51 PM on April 26, 2007


So.... is such a bill going to even be enforceable? It's not a stretch to see the deadline get pushed back with no consequences, or the forces simply converted to a "humanitarian" mission.
posted by hodyoaten at 12:54 PM on April 26, 2007


¡McCain no votó!
posted by eriko at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2007


This McCain... it vibrates?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:13 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain wanted to vote, but he was busy with your mother.
posted by found missing at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2007


hodyoaten, Congress controls the purse strings. Without money, they'll have to be withdrawn.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:21 PM on April 26, 2007


Just in!
posted by acro at 1:25 PM on April 26, 2007


Senator "Bullshit Express" McCain called for troop withdrawal from Haiti (transcript) and Somalia (transcript).
posted by kirkaracha at 1:25 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


This all would've been over a long time ago if we would've just given all our war funding in to individual Iraqis. Maybe in the form of buying their guns at 5x market value, then destroying the guns. Think about it:

Money spent on Iraq war so far: $383 billion
Number of Iraqis: 26 million (and dropping)

So at this point we could've just paid every Iraqi man, woman, and child $14,730 and we'd be in the same financial position. The difference would be that we'd actually be winning the war on terror if we did this. Terrorism is caused by poverty.

The median per capita household income for the first half of 2004 was 207,000 Dinars (US$144). The difference would be that at least 62,000 more Iraqi civilians and 3,334 US soldiers would still be alive right now.
posted by mullingitover at 1:30 PM on April 26, 2007 [9 favorites]


Awwww, that's so cute, he's gonna pop his veto-cherry.

Talanvor, Bush popped his... ahem... "veto-cherry" in 2006 on the stem-cell bill.

In addition to the political strategy mentioned above I think it's very telling of this president that this will only be his second (and possibly last) veto.

He'll go down in history as the president who thought that stem cells have a right to life... US Solders and Iraqi civilians... meh... not so much.
posted by wfrgms at 1:32 PM on April 26, 2007


It's about time we left, we won the dang war 4 years ago, amirite?
posted by Mister_A at 1:33 PM on April 26, 2007


Wow, acro! Tomorrow's news today, although Thursday April 27, 2007 may not happen.
A note on the yea of Gordon Smith (R-OR): While it is possible that Senator Smith has been learning at the feet of Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), local opinion seems to see a desperate attempt to save his seat with a sudden U-turn against his party.
posted by Cranberry at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2007


Oh, and chunking, the "withdrawl" tag is brilliant! Cuz Bush has teh drawl!
posted by Mister_A at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2007


In related news: U.S. Commander Petraeus Says Conditions in Iraq Likely to Get Harder Before Improving.

How many freakin' times are we going to hear that? The Bush administration and previous commanders have trotted that line out so many times before. Waa-waa-waa.
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on April 26, 2007


Wow, kirkaracha. So he's actually in favor of "surrendering", "handing victory to the terrorists", and "cutting and running" sometimes, right?
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:40 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain goes to Senate floor and demands that America withdraw its troops now

... from Haiti.

... from Somalia.

Watch the videos -- zing!
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on April 26, 2007


On non-preview -- what kirkaracha said.
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on April 26, 2007


mullingitover, I've long thought it's be more direct and cheaper if the US simply paid off dictators and despots to leave. "Here, take a billion dollars and a tropical island, enjoy your retirement"
posted by edgeways at 1:56 PM on April 26, 2007


Cranberry, it's ok, we printed a correction yesterday.
posted by acro at 1:56 PM on April 26, 2007


McCain didn't vote. I can't wait to see what Rich Little does with this.
posted by found missing at 2:00 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush will veto. But the calculus is not at all obvious -- as I mentioned elsewhere, spinning the headline "BUSH VETOES WAR FUNDING" into "BUSH VETOES WAR FUNDING BILL WHICH HAD NON-BINDING PROVISIONS HE GOT ALL PISSY-PANTSED ABOUT" is going to be tough, even for a master like Rove.
posted by bardic at 2:05 PM on April 26, 2007


Rich Little doesn't care. He sits on his mountain and laughs.


O wait that's Crom.
posted by Mister_A at 2:06 PM on April 26, 2007


I don't know why folks are referring to the withdrawal provisions are non-binding; they look pretty binding, to me. The linked BBC article does refer to an earlier non-binding resolution, and it does point out that the passed bill "does not explicitly demand [the troops'] removal," but it doesn't say this is a non-binding measure.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:06 PM on April 26, 2007


U.S. troop deaths climbing in Iraq, with over 80 Americans killed every month since December, "the longest period of sustained heavy casualties since U.S. troops entered Iraq in March 2003." This month has also seen 11 British military personnel killed, the highest in a month since May 2006 (the average since last may was 2.1 per month).

U.S. Commander Petraeus Says Conditions in Iraq Likely to Get Harder Before Improving.

As Chief Wiggum said when he got his tie caught in the Kwik-E-Mart hot dog roller, "Oh boy, this is going to get worse before it gets better."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2007


Bardic, the headline is:
Bush 'will veto Iraq deadline'
Iraq pullout nearer Bush veto
(above are actual headlines from the AP)

Even the NY Times is saying:
Senate passes Iraq war bill requiring Pullout

I would love to see the headline Bush vetos war funding, but it ain't happening.
posted by Crash at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2007


The Mod is having second thoughts about sending Prince Harry out to Basra due to mounting casualties kirkaracha.
posted by Abiezer at 2:17 PM on April 26, 2007


Crash, you're absolutely right. I still think this is a good first step though. When Bush lobs this back to Congress, hopefully people will start to realize that this is only the second time he's used the veto power.

(Funny how that "librul" media constantly fawns over President Pissy-Pants, even at this late stage.)
posted by bardic at 2:19 PM on April 26, 2007


Doubts About Doomsday:
One senior administration official with extensive knowledge of the region, who didn't want to be identified discussing sensitive policy matters, tells NEWSWEEK that the chances of a regional war in Iraq are low in the event of a U.S. withdrawal. When asked if a regional war would break out, the official said: "Possibly, not probably. It's more likely that other powers would support their favorite militias, as they're doing already."

The senior official said the genocidal bloodbath that Sen. John McCain outlined recently was also unlikely, pointing to the militias' ability to secure their own neighborhoods after the attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra in early 2006. (The official's main concern: the Iraqi government's failure to unify the nation and address the root cause of sectarian conflict. "Both the Sunni and Shia are too afraid of each other," the official said.)

Bush's argument that Al Qaeda will use Iraq as a safe haven to plot new 9/11-style attacks if the United States pulls out is problematic, too. Osama bin Laden already has a safe haven to plot new attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Gen. Michael Hayden, the CIA director, told senators last year that the border area of Pakistan was a "physical safe haven" that Al Qaeda used as a base to attack Afghanistan. That area is also the likely home of bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, General Hayden added.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:23 PM on April 26, 2007


Then again, "Saudi Will Intervene in Iraq if US Withdraws -- aide"

Don't get me wrong -- it's obvious that the best short- and long-term move for the US would be to declare victory and leave asap. But there will be consequences. Ultimately though, Iraq is going to be a Shia state with strong ties to Iran, another Shia state. The question is, do we let it happen now or put if off with thousands of more US lives and billions of dollars? You can't fight gravity.
posted by bardic at 2:34 PM on April 26, 2007


Postroad, et al.,

I dunno -- I think the Marine officer in question was related to one of my friend's students, and my friend (himself a career sailor once upon a time) thought he'd have some interesting "there I was" things to say to his students that they might not hear elsewhere. I suppose if people are really that interested and if the captain gives permission, I could find somewhere that'd let me upload the PowerPoint and maybe reprint the students' responses. I know better than to assume a priori whether this was or wasn't a rah-rah speech or a recruiting pitch -- probably more like a "this is what's going well, this is what kinds of hassles we have" sort of thing.

(However: I don't feel like getting in touch with the Marine officer nor going the trouble of posting stuff just so people can rag on him, though -- if you want to take verbal shots at O-3s, go find your own and have a great time. I think he lost people over there and wouldn't appreciate anonymous rudeness. Grow a pair and take on your would-be antagonists face-to-face, but don't be Web-based cowards about it.)

My friend isn't rabidly pro- or anti- Iraq war nor notably a Bush supporter -- in fact, he's pretty much a realist in the War on (some) Drugs, on gay rights, and on special-education issues for college students -- but he *is* a military supporter. I know that despite my opposition to Iraq, I could've sat through the presentation, listened politely, and not blamed a random Marine company commander for NCA's decisions. Probably the main question I'd've liked to ask is why it is that the Marine Corps seems "get" counterinsurgency better than the Army (Special Forces excepted, of course). Pontificating at this guy would've just embarrassed him, my friend and probably others, not really made me feel better, and maybe pi$$ed him off to no useful end -- it's not like this guy was Lt. William Calley or something similar, from what I can gather.

(I hope y'all will excuse a far more lengthy than intended derail in a pretty timely and interesting NewsFilter thread.)
posted by pax digita at 2:56 PM on April 26, 2007


MrMoonPie: I don't know why folks are referring to the withdrawal provisions as non-binding; they look pretty binding, to me.

It appears that the end date of March 31, 2008 is non-binding. In the text of the bill, it's described as a "goal."
(c) If the President makes the determinations specified in subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall commence the redeployment of the Armed Forces from Iraq not later than October 1, 2007, with a goal of completing such redeployment within 180 days.

posted by russilwvong at 2:56 PM on April 26, 2007


pax digita: I've been hearing on NPR and elsewhere that the Uniform Code of Military Justice limits what people in the military are permitted to say about political issues, including criticism of the war. That might be relevant in the situation to which you refer.
posted by found missing at 3:02 PM on April 26, 2007


Understood, found missing. I 'spect that because this is somebody my friend respects -- and therefore I do as well -- he'd be "critical" only in the sense of "this is what we tried and learned didn't work, and how we do things now." Counterinsurgency is a constantly shifting tactical landscape.
posted by pax digita at 3:22 PM on April 26, 2007


Quick history lesson for me since I'm at work and don't have time to research [and I suck]: has any US President previously been forced by Congress through restrictions on funding to remove in-theater troops before he wanted to?

If so, was it portrayed as "not funding the troops", as if they were all gonna be stuck over there with no more bullets and no way home? Like they're all gonna have to get together and chip in some cash so they can keep on fightin'?

If so, was such portrayal successful?
posted by BaxterG4 at 3:29 PM on April 26, 2007


Does anyone out there honestly believe this is about not funding "the troops" exclusively? That's what the republican attack dogs are spewing, sure. But even they can't believe that's what it is about. We know, they know, the media knows, its about the decision to pull out of Iraq now or stay the course.

So then why isn't that the dialogue? Do we feel better spewing talking points at one another? There is money (pretend money to be sure, but money) sitting in a bill waiting to be used to "support the troops". But whether we bring the troops home, or send them the supplies they need, the troops are still supported.

Its so obvious, and yet they continue with the doublespeak. Who are they fooling? Themselves? And Dems are no better. I don't see them deflecting the argument. Don't fucking answer it. For once, I'd like to see someone say "this has nothing to do with supporting the troops. Let's get to the real meat of the issue and discuss ending this silly war.

Hell, I think that's why we're in this mess. Dems have been trying to argue against red herrings and strawmen instead of demanding a rational debate. And until they're ready to say "That's not the issue at hand" they're never going to get anywhere.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:51 PM on April 26, 2007


101st!
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 4:58 PM on April 26, 2007


"We are one signature away from ending the Iraq War."
posted by EarBucket at 5:06 PM on April 26, 2007


Any way to rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002?
That’d pretty much pull the plug on the whole “the troops/money” schtick. What’s unstated there in the first place - with ‘the dems’ taking money from the troops - is that somehow the president has the right to prosecute a war without congressional approval.
That just ain’t so.
The power to make war - constitutionally - resides with the congress. Granted presidents have argued they can do the whole police action thing without congress, and that’s gone on mostly because it hasn’t been really challenged. And the supreme court really hasn’t been heard on the war powers resolution either.
And the founders were pretty adamant about the chief exec not deciding when/where/how to go to war.

And it’s abundantly evident why.

So this money for the troops crap should stop right there. Congress makes war. The president (being the executive) executes it. They want the troops out, then the president can go fuck himself. There’s no other way it should be.
Otherwise there is no check on the executive branch and extraordinarially limited civilian control over the military. That’s a sure path to tyrrany.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's a great way of putting it. So sad.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2007


Mission Accomplished!
posted by furtive at 6:00 PM on April 26, 2007


Harry's Song:
I am the very model of the modern liberal senator,
Betraying U.S. Soldiers for Islamo-fascists sinister;

I’ll sell out for George Soros scorning those who fight and die for me,
And when I get in trouble Chucky Schumer’s there to lie for me.

My chips are on Al Qaida, no, I do not care to hedge my bet,
While others mourn when soldiers die, I calculate the seats I’ll get.

Though this treasonous behavior thwarts description save in metaphor--
Like damning of the SCOTUS for upholding laws you voted for.

I used to play the moderate but let me say those days are through.
I’ll cut the troops off at the knees because Pelosi tells me to.

That’s why in matters treasonous, unprincipled and sinister,
I am the very model of a modern liberal senator.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:12 PM on April 26, 2007


Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home.
-- President George W. Bush, "Mission Accomplished" speech,* May 1, 2003

* He didn't actually say, "mission accomplished" in this speech, but three months later he said, "America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:28 PM on April 26, 2007


Steven C. Den Beste writes "[a pastebomb implying that senator Reid is treasonous for wishing to end US involvement in the Iraqi civil war]"

I find it fascinating that conservatives cheerlead so loudly for a pointless foreign entanglement such as this one. It shows that the sides taken in this conflict are not about ideology, but a sports fan-like mentality; blindly cheering the team on, no matter what.
posted by mullingitover at 6:28 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


May 1, 2003: "Major Combat Operations in Iraq have ended." -- two new videos: 1, 2.

Reporter To Perino: Bush Said "'Operations Are Over'...I Don't Even Know Why You're Still Arguing About That".
posted by ericb at 6:34 PM on April 26, 2007


Harry's Song

Majority of Americans Agree With Harry Reid -- Victory is Not Possible in Iraq.
posted by ericb at 6:42 PM on April 26, 2007


flarbuse writes "If Bush does pull the troops out, I expect that there will be some heavily reported deaths and atrocities in Iraq. The Republicans will then use say, 'See what happens when we do what the Democrats want?'"

This is true, because the US population has repeatedly shown that it is deeply concerned about Iraqi casualties.


The US population has repeatedly shown that it is not interested in facts. Talking points which support their already entrenched political viewpoint, however, are gold.
posted by dreamsign at 6:48 PM on April 26, 2007


"These [NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll] numbers [PDF], along with others from the poll that for instance show the public backing the Democrats over President Bush on the issue of Iraq by a similar 56 percent to 37 percent margin, quite clearly indicate that regardless of the bluster by the Bush administration and its allies inside the Beltway (both within Congress and in the conservative media) Americans just aren't buying the spin out of the White House any longer.

In some ways this points to an even greater problem for the Bush administration than just the battle over Sen. Reid's rhetoric. While the President and his proxies feel the necessity to engage the Democrats over the issue of Iraq, both because they believe it to be important on both policy and political levels but also because they believe they must do so for the President to remain relevant, every moment the White House spends talking about Iraq is a moment in which it is playing into the Democrats' hands. Certainly there are not a wealth of issues that the President can speak to that will improve his fortunes and those of his party, but one would think that he would be able to find at least one better for him and the GOP than Iraq. Then again, perhaps 36 or 37 percent is the best George W. Bush and the Republican Party are aspiring for these days..."*
posted by ericb at 6:48 PM on April 26, 2007


Harry's Song:

Veto or no veto, when the Dittoheads are reduced to literal schoolyard taunts - the Andrew "Dice" Clay circle of intellectual hell, if you will - then it's not such a bad day. And maybe there's some hope left for the Republic, after all.
posted by gompa at 6:49 PM on April 26, 2007


Another poll released today -- CBS News Poll: Most Back Congress In Iraq Showdown.
posted by ericb at 6:55 PM on April 26, 2007


And all of this White House bluster is occuring at a very low-point for Bush.

Bush Approval Rating Falls to 28%, Lowest Level So Far, in Harris Poll.
posted by ericb at 6:55 PM on April 26, 2007


Also released today -- the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey:
"Fifty-seven percent (57%) of American voters now favor either an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq (37%) or a firm deadline for their withdrawal (20%). The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 35% of voters are opposed to both of these options for ending the war....Underlying these attitudes is pessimism about the War itself. Just 29% of American voters believe the troop surge launched earlier this year has made things better in Iraq. Twice as many, 61%, believe the surge has either made things worse (43%) or had no impact (18%). A separate survey found that just 33% believe history will judge the U.S. mission in Iraq a success. Fifty percent (50%) believe it will be viewed as a failure."
posted by ericb at 7:00 PM on April 26, 2007


Look, at least Steve didn't make a video of himself cheerleading in a schoolgirl outfit like serious journalist Michelle Malkin, so at least thank him for showing restraint in his unhinged babble.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:19 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Harry's Song:

Here's a song, Stevie:

R - Chuck Hagel - Yea
R - Gordon Smith - Yea

Looking forward to hearing you open your big, fat mouth about how Republican hawks are terrorists, too.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:28 PM on April 26, 2007


Look, at least Steve didn't make a video of himself cheerleading in a schoolgirl outfit like serious journalist Michelle Malkin

That we know of...
posted by homunculus at 8:31 PM on April 26, 2007


wake me up when the democrats are actually willing to shut the government down over this

because THAT'S what it's going to take

anything else is just pandering to the anti-war crowd ... "oh, yes, we kept voting for a time table, and that mean nasty man kept voting us down" ... (and bush could easily shuffle the money around to support the troops)

no ... if the troops don't come home, we don't have a budget, the government shuts down ... THAT'S what people who were serious about ending this war would do

do the dems have the guts?

do they really want to end it?

i'm not holding my breath
posted by pyramid termite at 8:50 PM on April 26, 2007


pyramid termite: this isn't a budget bill, it's an emergency appropriations bill.
posted by russilwvong at 9:14 PM on April 26, 2007


i know that ... which is why i'm not impressed by it

bush isn't going to pay attention until ALL the chips are on the table
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 PM on April 26, 2007


Riverbend on The Great Wall of Segregation...
posted by homunculus at 10:49 PM on April 26, 2007


I like how in the beginning of this thread, it says that we have nothing to discuss here.

I think we found a few things...
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:07 AM on April 27, 2007


Entire Senate Democratic Caucus rebut Broder's attack on Harry Reid

"Yesterday, David Broder launched a bizarre, bitter, partisan attack on Harry Reid about which John wrote:
David Broder, like much of Washington journalism, and much of the country, fell for the Republicans' lies over the past six-plus years. Broder drank the Kool-Aid, kicked Lucy's football, and came running when George Bush cried 'wolf.' And now, rather than slinking away with a terminal case of professional humiliation, Broder is still fighting the last war. No, not the war in Iraq. George Bush's other war. The war against the truth.
Today, every single Democratic Senator signed a letter to the editor of the Washington Post rebutting Broder and praising their leader."
posted by ericb at 6:03 AM on April 27, 2007


the Andrew "Dice" Clay circle of intellectual hell, if you will

Hickory dickory dock,
We're kickin some ass in Iraq...

where's beeswacky when you need him??
posted by LordSludge at 6:54 AM on April 27, 2007


New York Times: Bush Eases Tone on Iraq Spending Bill
posted by russilwvong at 2:11 PM on April 27, 2007


“I’m sorry it’s come to this,” Mr. Bush said. “But nevertheless, it is what it is, and it’ll be vetoed, and my veto will be sustained.” He went on to say, “I invite the leaders of the House and Senate, both parties, to come down, you know, soon after my veto, so we can discuss a way forward.”

Way forward. WAY FORWARD. This phrase. Where. Oh right. Search whitehouse.gov by keyword

Results for: way forward


Document count: way (8731) forward (6750) way forward (465)

10498 results found, top 500 sorted by relevance

posted by acro at 6:42 PM on April 27, 2007


This phrase.

Let's revisit others:
"We'll stand up when they stand down."

"Things will get worse, before they get better."

"If we withdraw before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here/home."

"We're making steady progress...A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it's very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course."
The Current Republican Talking Point: "Harry Reid and the Majority of Congress are Cowards, Wimps and Terrorist Sympathizers.

Yet a Majority of Americans think the folly of Iraq is indeed a "lost cause".
posted by ericb at 8:04 PM on April 27, 2007


Experts: Iraq will be worse for U.S. than Vietnam
“‘As fighting in Iraq enters its fifth year, an increasing number of experts in foreign policy and national strategy are arguing that the biggest difference may be that the Iraq war will inflict greater damage to U.S. interests than Vietnam did.’

‘It makes Vietnam look like a cakewalk,’ said retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, a veteran of the Vietnam War. The domino theory that nations across Southeast Asia would go communist was not fulfilled, he noted, but with Iraq, ‘worst-case scenarios are the most likely thing to happen.’

Iraq is worse than Vietnam ‘in so many ways,’ agreed Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., a retired Army officer and author of one of the most respected studies of the U.S. military’s failure in Vietnam. ‘We knew what we were getting into in Vietnam. We didn’t here.’

Also, President Richard M. Nixon used diplomacy with China and the Soviet Union to exploit the split between them and so minimize the fallout of Vietnam. By contrast, Krepinevich said, the Bush administration has ‘magnified’ the problems of Iraq by neglecting public diplomacy in the Muslim world and by not developing an energy policy to reduce the significance of Middle Eastern oil.”
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on April 29, 2007


Bush vetoes troop withdrawal bill (AP)
posted by minda25 at 3:15 PM on May 1, 2007


LA Times:
If Bush follows through on his veto threat, senior Democratic lawmakers have said they will pass an emergency funding bill that does not include the withdrawal timelines the president has complained so vociferously about.

Such a measure, however, almost certainly would include readiness standards for the strained military. It would also outline benchmarks the Iraqi government must meet to demonstrate progress in reconciling differences between the country's sectarian communities.
It looks like the next major confrontation will be in September:
Democratic and Republican members of Congress already are focusing on September as their next major decision point on the war — planning hearings to debate Petraeus' findings and, in the Democrats' case, promising new attempts to force Bush to withdraw troops.

By September, the troop buildup will have been underway for more than six months. Unless there is dramatic improvement in Iraq, public support for the war will probably have eroded further. And by September, skittish Republicans will be four months closer to starting their reelection campaigns.

....GOP leaders warn that they will need dramatic evidence of progress — something that has been in short supply in Iraq — to maintain support for the war.

"We need to get some better results from Iraq both politically, economically and militarily, and that needs to happen in the foreseeable future," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a Bush administration loyalist.

Several moderate Republicans have warned that they are preparing to switch sides unless the troop "surge" shows results.

"If the president's new strategy does not demonstrate significant results by August, then Congress should consider all options — including a redefinition of our mission and a gradual but significant withdrawal of our troops next year," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who last week voted against the withdrawal bill.
posted by russilwvong at 5:16 PM on May 1, 2007


So how exactly does the war machine not run out of money now? I don't see the democrats holding out on the matter.
posted by chunking express at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2007


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