Last week’s Congressional debates – and votes – on nonbinding resolutions condemning a key component of President Bush’s “new way forward” in Iraq sent a dangerous message to America’s soldiers and her enemies about the will of America’s government to prosecute the war on terror.
Under new Democratic leadership, the House and Senate have both been increasingly vocal about their desire to derail the US efforts in Iraq. Whether out of the desire to “save the lives of future American soldiers,” or simply out of the longing defeat and disgrace President Bush, attempts to hamstring current operations, and to prevent flexibility and adjustment in strategy going forward, have moved to front and center on Congressional Democrats’ agendae.
This process began with the introduction, first in the Senate and then in the House, of non-binding resolutions condemning the President’s troop surge. The House version passed, 246-182. Seventeen Republicans voted with the majority; two Democrats, including Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia, broke ranks with their leadership and voted against this damaging legislation. In the Senate, the resolution fell four votes short of the 60 required for cloture. Seven Republicans voted for the legislation condemning the President’s planned troop “surge,” and, unlike in the House, no Democrats broke ranks to vote against. Despite the legislative defeat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed a “symbolic victory in the fight over the Iraq War.”
The fact that these resolutions are non-binding has caused many supporters to argue that there is no harm being done, either to the war effort or to troop, and say that these resolutions simply serve to send a message to the President that Congress disapproves of his handling of the war, and will be watching him closely from here on out.
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