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NYT Ed: Democrats Find Their Voice

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:33 AM
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NYT Ed: Democrats Find Their Voice

Democrats Find Their Voice

Published: November 17, 2007

It has been two long months since Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, cowed Congressional Democrats into silence, championing President Bushs misguided course on the war. Were pleased to see that the effects of his briefing are finally wearing off. The bad news, as ever, is that Mr. Bush and his Republican allies continue to resist reason.

House Democrats distinguished themselves this week when they stood up to the White Houses latest military funding steamroller: approving only $50 million of the additional $196 million the president requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also set conditions on the funding, including demands that troops start coming home from Iraq within 30 days and that the withdrawal be completed by mid-December 2008.

Senate Democrats quickly brought the House plan to the floor. But, ever the spoilers, Republicans blocked it, as they have other attempts to rein in Mr. Bushs war-without-end in Iraq.

Predictably, the White House which always prefers fear-mongering to serious debate accused Democrats of undermining the troops. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates got into the act, threatening to direct the Army and Marine Corps to begin developing plans to lay off employees and terminate contracts next year unless Congress approves new funding within days.

Lawmakers, regardless of party, and the American people will always stand behind the brave men and women in the armed forces. Congress has already approved some $800 billion in funding since Sept. 11, 2001, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that hardly measures the full cost in blood and treasure. More than 800 troops have been killed in Iraq in 2007 alone, making it the deadliest year yet for the American military there.

There have been some advances since President Bush sought to salvage his misadventure by sending even more troops into Iraq. Violence has declined and Al Qaeda in Iraq is said to be weaker. But Mr. Bushs main argument for his escalation that it would create political space for Iraqis to work together and achieve national reconciliation has proved wrong.

Even Mr. Bushs generals know that these gains are unlikely to last. The Washington Posts Thomas Ricks reported this week that senior American commanders now see the intransigence of Iraqs Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the American effort in Iraq rather than Al Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. America cant want peace and democracy for Iraq more than the Iraqis.

Democrats say they will continue to push the president and his Republican allies to concede their failed war policy and change course. They must keep at it. Its far past time to begin a swift and orderly withdrawal of forces from Iraqs civil war and to refocus on Afghanistan, where Americas win over the Taliban and Al Qaeda is in danger of being reversed.
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:36 AM
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1. Great post. Now my question, who will stay? The freshmen senators
and will they be equipped to handle any shenanigans that might appear from the Right? This is going to be great if all works out according to plan but I'm still worried... Hope Harry has his turkey dinner right there in chambers..
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 08:40 AM
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2. threatening to direct the Army and Marine Corps to begin developing plans to lay off employees and t
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 08:41 AM by Toots
Threatening to hell it should be promises to. That is exactly what the Democrats want isn't it? Don't we want Contracts ended and Contractors sent packing and troops sent back home as well? What is this threatening BS. It is sort of like Brer Bear threatening to throw Brer Rabbit into the Briar Patch if you ask me...Oh please don't cut back on forces over in Iraq and whatever you do don't cut back on spending there Please Please Please....
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