Little good comes when Congress grabs control of American foreign policy and war-fighting strategies from the hands of a scandal-weakened White House. Of course it is always possible that there are 51 forward-leaning, shrewd, patriotic, non-partisan senators assembled to make the tough, unpopular call to push on for victory, no matter how hard and long the struggle. (Giggle.) But it is vastly more likely that less noble instincts beat in the breasts of the several senators assembled.
Monday, for the first time, the foul odor of the Vietnam War denouement wafted through the Senate Chamber during the debate on Iraq. The Democrats called for "estimated dates for the phased redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq … " Phased redeployment was the maneuver the French executed in June 1940, in the days preceding the German occupation of Paris. Phased redeployment is what the Vietnamese boat people did as they swam for their lives away from their homeland.
The Republican Senate leadership, sensing they might lose enough Republican senators (six or more) to let the Democratic amendment pass, decided to quibble with rather than oppose the infamous document.
So they scratched out the explicit timeline to desertion and added fine sounding phrases, such as calling for the president to provide more information and a schedule for reaching full Iraqi sovereignty.
No bureaucratic euphemism can cleanse the air of the stench of defeatism.
To figure out where this is all leading, look to the intents of the moving parties, not merely the malleable words being used by them. The Democratic senators, who are the vital, winning force in the Senate on this matter, are opposed to the Iraqi war for either principled or unprincipled reasons -- depending on the senator. Some, probably many, simply want to humiliate President Bush by denying him success -- and then reap the electoral bonanza that will likely follow. I'm sure there are some senators who sincerely believe retreat and defeat is in the best interest of our country. But principled or unprincipled, their objective is the same: Getting out of Iraq is more important to them, than staying and succeeding.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.