The surrender-deadline bill has now passed the Senate, and it took everything the Dems had to make it so, including a lot of votes bought through pork. It’s unconscionable, it’s terribly wrong, and it’s demoralizing to our troops, to our allies, and to our nation.
While the defeato-crats own the lion’s share of the blame and the coverage on this, it’s time to look at what Republicans did to oppose this.
The blank space represents … nothing. Senator McCain, Arizona wasn’t even present for the vote.
The Republicans, who witnessed the power of the Filibuster in the previous congress seem to have forgotten that such a thing exists. The margin on this vote is narrow, and a simple filibuster would have stopped it at any time.
In other words, BOTH PARTIES are playing politics with our troops lives, the Iraqi’s future, and with the war on terrorism. It’s always a painful thing to tag a blog post with both “Politics” and “War”.
Jerry Pournelle has some thoughts on this as well:
Beware the fury of the Legions. The Congress is about to bring an army home. Over time the legends of what happened will grow. They were able to convince the army that it was defeated in Viet Nam, when it wasn’t; but that was the hollow army, not the nearly invincible Legions we have today.
We started this. We brought Saddam down. We disbanded the Iraqi Army, so that there was no central authority other than our own. This was done deliberately. Now we are pulling out, blaming the Iraqis for their problems. If this were part of a new policy of minding our own business, restoring the Republic and allowing the world to take care of itself, it might be comprehensible, but it is not: the very people who wanted to intervene in Bosnia, who put our troops into Somalia and then did not support them and eventually ran (telling Bin Laden what he had suspected all along) will be in charge of this withdrawal and of the army they bring home. They are still interventionists albeit rather stingy and politically sensitive interventionists. They are still the people who ask, seriously, what is the good of this splendid army if you can’t use it to go Do Good all over the world.
Bush meant well, but history will never forgive him for starting a war with no idea of what to do next. This was compounded by sending in an incompetent proconsul (who subsequently got the Medal of Freedom).
And Republicans and Democrats are now playing political games. Both seem to consider the soldiers as pawns.