Sunday, January 28, 2007

Does the Senate really “Support the Troops”?

Early this past week, the Senate Foerign Relations Committee voted 12-9 to send a message to President Bush. With 140,000 plus troops in Iraq and 21,000 more expected to be on the way, the Committee wants the full Senate to tell the President he is doing the wrong thing. This news comes the same week the Senate unanimously approved the Presidents pick to command all forces in Iraq, Lt. General David Petraeus.

During questioning by both Republicans and Democrats this week, General Petraeus predicted that a move by the Senate to send a non-binding resolution to the President would not help US forces and would help the enemy. The vote to send the measure to the full Senate was along party lines with one exception. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska also voted to give help to the enemy.

I have heard many Conservative commentators accuse the Democratic Party of being actively invested in the defeat of America. It is weeks like this that make me believe they are right. How can anyone “Support the Troops” but also vote to send a clear vote of no-confidence to them. A “non-binding” resolution telling the President he is doing the wrong thing would do just that. It will be a clear message that our Senate doesn’t support the President, doesn’t support the war, and doesn’t support our troops.

The Constitution gives President Bush the ability to conduct a war. The Congress does not get to vote on the Presidents strategy and tactics. The President has respectfully asked the Congress for their support for his change in policy. He is not required to do this. The only power Congress has in this is budgetary. None of the Senators or Representatives in Congress get a vote on his policy in Iraq. If the Congress truly believes President Bush is doing the wrong thing, then they need to stop asking for autographs at the State of the Union, and start trying to change the budget.

I have argued time and time again that our enemies in the Middle East are very aware of how our national politics are going. Admiral Fallon has argued that our enemies know how to use the internet as a weapon against our troops. It would appear that the Senate knows how to use weapons against our troops and the President. I cannot understand how the Congress can believe that our enemies won’t use this to their fullest advantage. What does the Congress expect our troops to think as they hear this news? Besides the message that our troops are failing and shouldn’t be there, the Congress is going to tell them, “We don’t think you need any help.” Is that really what Congress means when they claim to support the troops?

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