House Democrats pushed through a $50 billion (euro34 billion) Iraq war bill that would require President George W. Bush to start bringing troops home in coming weeks with a goal of ending combat by December 2008.The Democrats are pandering to the anti-war members of their base at the expense of our Troops who are currently deployed in the field. This isn't just an Iraq spending bill; it's an Afghanistan spending bill as well. Keep that in mind as the Democrats babble on incessantly about Iraq, because this will hurt our Troops outside of Iraq, as well.
The legislation, passed 218-203 on Wednesday night, was largely a symbolic jab at Bush, who already has begun reducing force levels but opposes a congressionally mandated timetable on the war. And while the measure was unlikely to pass in the Senate — let alone overcome a presidential veto — Democrats said they wanted voters to know they were not giving up. [...]
Hours before the scheduled vote, the White House dispatched Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on Iraq.
In one closed-door meeting, Gates urged a group of senators not to support the bill. He said the same lawmakers who criticized Pentagon civilians for previously ignoring the advice of its uniformed generals were asking him to ignore them now, according to an official who attended the meeting. The official requested anonymity because the meeting was private. [...]
It is expected that if the measure fails in the Senate, Democrats will not consider Bush's war spending request until next year. Democrats say the military will not need the money until then and the Pentagon can transfer money from less urgent accounts or from spending set aside for the last three months of this year.
The Pentagon says moving money around is a bureaucratic nightmare that costs more in the long run. And if taken to the extreme, the military would eventually have to freeze contracts or lay off civilian workers to ensure troops in combat have what they need.
The Democrats (with only a few exceptions) don't care, though. Our Troops aren't as important to them as is their perception in the eyes of the anti-war groups. The Troops are succeeding, and the Democrats refuse to see it. They'd rather pull the rug out from under deployed members of the military than to allow any success to continue during the current Bush administration.
I question the love and devotion that the Democrats have for this nation, and I question the support that they claim to have for the military that defends it. And if the Troops don't get another funding bill from the Democratic led Congress until next year, I hope that every issue that arises due to funding problems is itemized and broadcast to the American public as issues created by Nancy Pelosi's and Harry Reid's partisan refusal to support our Troops in the field. And if deaths are tied to those issues, then the blood is on the hands of those who voted for this bill, and of the leadership that refused to offer another funding bill so that they could make a statement to our society's lowest common denominator.
Here's the roll call, in case you would like to give your representative an earful if they voted against the bill, or possibly an atta-boy if they voted against it (keeping in mind, though, that Kucinich and Stark voted against it because they didn't think that it went far enough).
I truly hope that our Troops remain safe and that progress continues, regardless of the efforts of most Democratic politicians to effect change to the contrary.
USMC 9971 OUT