Friday, February 16, 2007

House Passes Iraq Resolution and Other News

Seventeen Republicans joined the Democrats in a nonbinding resolution opposing Bush's troop surge (which can't be a troop surge since our allies are still pulling out troops—hmm, maybe our allies see something Bush doesn't). The vote was 246-186 in favor of the resolution. That means 57% of the House voted for the resolution. It is likely the pressure on Bush and the Republicans will be increasing in the coming months.

Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly links to a story that Iraqis are already using machine shops to make Explosively Formed Penetrators of the kind the administration says the Iranians are making. If Iraqi insurgents are making them, why would they have to get them from the Iranians? It sounds more like a black market item that other groups are acquiring. It is a fact that Bush's credibility isn't worth much these days and any attempt on the part of his administration to try and justify war with Iran must be viewed with extreme skepticism. Bush is a right wing Republican authoritarian and authoritarians are notorious for trying to blame others when their schemes don't turn out the way they thought they would.

As we all know, President Bush plays political games and one of those games is to pretend that Democrats don't support the troops. This is an odd claim on Bush's part since the single biggest blunder in Iraq was not sending enough troops to get the job done in the first place thus exposing our soldiers to four years of war. That's not protecting the troops—that's reckless incompetence. Mary of The Left Coaster says John Murtha will soon have a bill to hold Bush accountable and to make sure the president really does support the troops:
Murtha's bill will end the stopgap procedures, end the extensions of deployments, and end the deployment of troops without sufficient training, equipment or time between deployments. Furthermore the bill will close Abu Ghraib, reduce the number of contractors that can be used, change the rules so the contractors who are used have to be more accountable to the American public, defund permanent bases in Iraq, etc. It addresses all those policies that Bush has fostered that has created such a mess in Iraq.

It's irresponsible that a president would send troops to Iraq without the proper training and equipment but that is what Bush has been doing. These days, the American people, the Iraqis and the world don't have much faith in George W. Bush. Bush compounds his own problems (and inevitably our problems) by not being straight with the American people and by continuing to play dangerous political games instead of engaging in diplomacy or using common sense.

It's also irresponsible for right wing Republicans to keep defending a war that isn't doing much for the United States and that was sold under false pretenses. It's shameful that right wing Republicans in Congress have voted for tax cuts for the wealthy while underfunding our troops and not holding Bush accounting for fraud, corruption and waste in the money that was used for reconstruction in Iraq. The Republicans will peddle their story in the coming months and years as they did with Vietnam but Americans are catching on and they no longer see today's Republicans offering much to the American people except war, fear and grief.

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