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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cut, Cut, Run, Run . . .

Cross-posted from Faultline USA

Call me crazy, but I come from the school of common sense ethics and logic that says . . . You don’t say “We love and support our troops” while at the same time yanking the rug out from beneath their feet.

But then, what does common sense, ethics, or logic have to do with most Democrats and a growing number of Republicans in Congress today?

All the Democrats, with the exception of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., are almost unanimous in their opposition to Bush’s war plans.

Congress is currently considering several cut and run solutions to prevent Bush’s 21,500 troop increase: a nonbinding anti-war resolution, proposals to cut off funds for the Iraq war, and/or a cap on the number of troops in Iraq.

Democratic presidential hopeful (let’s hope not), Sen. Barack Obama, has introduced a bill to bring combat forces out of Iraq by the spring of 2008. The bill would also cap troop levels in Iraq at around 130-thousand (the level before Bush announced he'd send additional U-S forces to the region.)

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, has sponsored a bill that would call for troops to come home in 180 days and allow for a minimum number of forces to be left behind to hunt down terrorists and train Iraqi security forces.Will the GOP continue to splinter in the U.S. Congress?

Will the GOP continue to splinter in the U.S. Congress?

Many Republicans fear that consequences of the Iraq war will hurt their election prospects for years to come.

Here’s a little Reminder!!! Nearly half the Democratic members of Congress voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002, and the political consequences could tarnish individuals from both parties.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), supports a non-binding resolution opposing Bush's troop "surge."

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ex-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a challenge to Bush, "I would respectfully suggest to the President that he is not the sole `decider, . . . The decider is a shared and joint responsibility'"

Former White House lawyer, Brad Berenson, who served as White House associate counsel for most of Bush's first term, stated "I think the constitutional scheme does give Congress broad authority to terminate a war."

Specter and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., have asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for the White House's views on Congress' war powers.

James Pinkerton, a former aide to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush said: "In times of war, the instinct is to trust dad more than mom, and the Republicans have benefited from that, . . .But if dad keeps wrecking the car, then there may be reason to change.''

Will the military splinter over Iraq?

Navy Adm. William Fallon, Bush's nominee to head the U.S. Central Command, said at his Senate confirmation hearing that “time for finding solutions in Iraq is running out.” As head of U.S. Central Command, Fallon would have overall responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the lefty AP, Fallon said, "What we have been doing has not been working," he said. "We have got to be doing, it seems to me, something different." He did not say what might change under his command.

"I believe the situation in Iraq can be turned around, but time is short," Fallon told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Reuters reported that Fallon also said, "The likelihood that Iraq is suddenly going to turn into something that looks close to what we enjoy here in this country is going to be a long time coming."

Under the Constitution, lawmakers have the ability to declare war and fund military operations, while the president has control of military forces.

But presidents also can veto legislation and Bush likely has enough support in Congress on Iraq to withstand any veto override attempts.

Congress has not issued an official declaration of war since World War II!!!

Have Americans gone completely daffy???

An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month -- which found 70 percent of Americans disapproved of Bush's handling of the war -- found that a majority trust Democrats to best keep the country safe from terrorists. The same survey asked respondents to say whom they trusted to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq. Sixty percent said Democrats, and 33 percent said Bush.

Fox conducted a poll on January 16-17, 2007, asking "Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed?" . . . 51 percent of the poll participants who identified themselves as Democrats responded, "Yes," and 34 percent responded, "No," while 15 percent answered, "Don't know."

The latest CNN poll (1/19-21/07) found 61 percent support for a Congress voting "to block the government from spending money to send more troops to Iraq." A recent Newsweek poll (1/17-18/07) showed the public evenly split on the question of cutting off funding.

News Sources:

Cross-posted from Faultline USA