Finally! The Democrats have finally acted upon their mandate won in November. The country's most important issue, the war in Iraq, has divided many in our soil. Furthermore, and most importantly, it has been the cause of death for thousands of our troops and many more Iraqi civilians. The House of Representatives passed legislation setting a timetable for a troop pullout. It says that the troops must be home by September 2008 if Iraq doesn't meet certain requirements. There is no question that this is the correct action to be taken after four years of relentless fighting.
Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) had to say:
The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of this war. The American people see the reality of the war, the president does not.
Agreed! The White House has threatened a veto by the President. Democrats, nevertheless, grew some testicles and decided to face Bush with no fear. The administration has effectively lost touch with the reality of the Iraq War. Our current operations are no longer working (assuming they did work in the first place). Its imcompetence to plan a post-war Iraq led to the destruction of many American lives, and a dire situation where terrorism has flourished in Iraq. Osama Bin Laden is probably thanking Allah for Bush's war in Iraq!
As expected, this was a party-line vote. The legislation passed 218-212. Republicans were quick to argue that such a timeline would be an admission of failure. What they ignore is that, if it is indeed a failure, it is due to a Republican administration full of ineptitude and corruption!
Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) had this to say:
The stakes in Iraq are too high and the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families too great to be content with anything but success
I agree. The stakes in Iraq have been very high and the sacrifices made by our military have been enormous. However, if this is the case, why did the Pentagon and the White House pursue a war without adequate planning? Why were our soldiers rotting away in awful conditions at Walter Reed? It seems like the "idea" of the stakes and sacrifices is what Republicans like Blunt are worried about, not reality.
As my good friend BlackLabelAxe said, someone has to do something. Partisanship doesn't matter so much at this point. We have to get something done...quickly!
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer(D-Md) said:
The American public expects, the Congress of the United States, to do something, not simply to say 'yes' to failed policies, but to on their behalf, speak out and try to take us in a new direction.
I applaud Mr. Hoyer!
Hopefully the Iraqis will see this action as a kick in the ass. Perhaps this will force them to take action and defend their country. It is now their job to secure and stabilize Iraq. Of course, it is debatable whether it can be done, regardless of our presence there. Iraq would probably best function as three separate countries, but that's a debate for a different day.
Republicans, of course, claim that the legislation is full of pork, and it is. However, we must realize that pork is what "greases the wheels" in order for the vehicle to move. If pork is necessary to get this done, then so be it. I'd sure rather have a pork-laden legislation passed than continue to lose our troops in Iraq!