Saturday, February 03, 2007

Senate Needs to Put-Up or Shut-Up

This week the Senate continued to waste time discussing non-binding resolutions in a hope that the President would change his mind about Iraq. President Bush knows that he doesn’t have the backing of Congress and he is aware the war in Iraq is unpopular. However, many of the same Senators that want to pass a non-binding resolution were wishing “God’s Speed” to General Petraeus after confirming him unanimously a week ago. Now they don’t want the General to have the tools he told them he needed to win the war.

Months ago these Senators were telling the President, “Stay the course is not an option!” The President changed his cabinet, changed commanders in Iraq, is sending more troops to Iraq, and is providing economic and political answers for problems in the Middle East. That isn’t “stay the course”. However, because the President’s last name is Bush, the Senate wants him to abandon Iraq. They want our troops to leave. If our troops leave, the United States will be forced to face a military loss and will have to question its standing as the world’s lone superpower.

If the Senate truly believes the President is doing the wrong thing, the only constitutional power they have is budgetary. They can basically “de-fund” the troops. This would definitely bring a close to the Iraq war, though probably not an end most Americans would want. There would be catastrophic consequences, but if the Senate believes this is the way to go, then they should do the job they were elected to do.

If this is a political stunt, then the Senate is simply giving ammunition to our enemy. Al-Queda and other terrorist organizations have shown time and time again they pay close attention to our news and politics. They have also shown they know how to use the internet as a weapon. A resolution telling the President he doesn’t have the support of the country will play over and over and over in the Middle East. It will also appear on numerous jihad websites within minute of the Senate passing it.

The Senate needs to make an important decision: Are they willing to risk the future of the country in order to make a President look bad? If they are, then they can pursue the non-binding resolution and tell the troops they are on their own. If they aren’t, then they need to put this behind them and get on with doing the jobs they were elected to do.


Aurelius said...

It is undisputed that simply turning around and marching home from Iraq would leave Iraq a anarchic mess, and this would leave the Middle East massively unbalanced and therefore unpredictable, and leave America at a low-point in its international standing that may even rival the withdrawal from Vietnam.
But the war is four years old, and there is little to suggest that any other outcome was likely to have been possible, certainly not in the last 2 years.
So apart from delaying the end result, what would supporting the current administration's plans do?
In essence, they haven't displayed any credible ability to plan for four years. What's changed?

Andy D said...

Thanks for the comment Aurelius. I think there are a few points you need to keep in mind when thinking of your question. First, the administration won the initial war with relative ease. We removed a tyrant, have a democratically elected government, and have citizens voting in higher proportions than here in the US.

Second, “insurgencies” typically take time to defeat. Because of the nature of insurgencies, historically they take eight to eleven years to defeat. We have only been in Iraq for four. Captured Al-Queda documents have shown that they are stuck in a mess. They can’t leave Iraq as long as the US is there, and unless the congress turns on the country, Al-Queda can’t defeat the US either.

The President has a new plan with a different direction. This is what all of his detractors were screaming for last year. Now you really have two choices. America can withdrawal from Iraq, which you and I have both said would be disastrous, or you can give the President’s plan a chance to work. I am praying that the nation gives the plan a chance, and that it works.