House passes anti-"surge" resolution -- now what?

Story here. How (if at all) will the Admin respond to this? And what can anti-war members of Congress do next?

Bush will do nothing. If it were binding, he’d just ignore it with a signing statement.

What do you think?

There seems to be a direct connection (depending who you ask) between “supporting the troops” and “finishing the mission”. I fail to see this connection. “Supporting the troops”, in its purest form means “bringing them home and out of harm’s way and thanking them for their work”. In it’s smallest, most particulate form, I’d say that “supporting the troops” means “making sure they’re equipped and taken care of so they can perform their duty”. I have a VERY hard time connecting “support our troops” to “make them stay in a foreign land where they’re not wanted for longer amounts of time”.

Congress and the House will pull the purse strings shut. They have to. They must. There will be MUCH (in)fighting. It won’t be pretty, but it must be done, and for multiple reasons.

The Senate failed again to open debate on the bill. Republicans wouldn’t end debate and the anti-surge people only got 56 votes when they needed 60. The cloture vote got more support this time, so I wonder if it might not move to a vote if they tried again. The public isn’t going to be happy that Congress can’t even manage to take action on a nonbinding resolution.

It was gutless posturing. A non-binding resolution is by definition weightless. If they believe something, then they should introduce legislation that will actively move the meter in the direction they think it should move. Take a real stand.

As to what anti-surge people can do next - either try to get this to a Senate vote one more time to get the pro-surge voters on record, or start making the case to the public, HARD, that some people won’t even bring it to a vote. They’d need some time before they can build up the public support to de-fund the war, and even in the face of public anger and these resolutions, I’m sure the administration would otherwise be glad to stall until January '09.

Every time cloture is defeated even on a non-binding resolution, though, that’s one more vote that Republicans up in 2008 have to justify to their constituents; while that won’t be so hard for Pat Roberts, Norm Coleman and John McCain (who wasn’t even there for the vote) are going to have their hands full.

Public support is there, but a lot of Congressmen know that people will spin defunding as ‘not supporting the troops’.

I do think McCain made a major error by skipping this vote. Remember how Republicans got on Kerry (and Edwards) in 2004 for missing a lot of votes while they were campaigning?

Still, the democrats managed to pry seven senators free of the Bush Cartel this time, whereas last week they only managed two. Makes you wonder what next week will bring, don’t it?

What can they do next? They can continue the process of destroying any credibility they once had on defense, and set themselves back to their status immediately after the Vietnam war.

How long ago was it that the Democrats and liberals on this board were complaining that Bush wasn’t listening to his generals? Fast forward to today, when General Abizaid, the architect of the ‘surge’ strategy, is overwhelmingly confirmed to lead the war, while his very own strategy is then undermined by the house. Guess we’re not listening to the Generals any more, huh?

As for ‘supporting the troops’, Democratic hero John Murtha is now trying to do an end-run around the president by cutting off funds for training, armor, and weapons to the soldiers in Iraq. That sure is supporting them, huh?

If the Democrats want to be taken seriously, they could have started by opposing General Abizaid’s nomination and supporting a General who’s plan was to pull the troops out of Iraq - if they could find one. At least then their cut and run strategy would match the military plan. Instead, they’ve tacitly approved the plan, but are now feverishly working to ensure that it will fail by attempting to cut support for the plan out from under the military.

If security once again becomes America’s main issue (say, if there’s another major terrorist attack), the Democrats have handed the Republicans all sorts of rhetorical fodder to show that they are fundamentally unserious about defense.

If the Democrats want to be taken seriously, they could start by describing, in detail, their plan for what America will do after the pullout. If they think the U.S. can pull out of Iraq without a wide-scale disaster in the Middle East, they should lay out their thinking in public forum and explain why that outcome is preferable to leaving hte U.S. in Iraq. If they think that a pullout can be achieved without disaster, they should explain why. If they think the troops should be pulled out so they can be deployed elsewhere, they should explain where they would deploy them.

Instead, I’m seeing the same head-in-the-sand approach that we saw in Vietnam, where the Democrats not only achieved a U.S. unilitareral withdrawal, but then reneged on their promise to continue providing military support to the South Vietnamese government - with disastrous results that are still being felt today.

What’s really going on is that the Democrats are trying to straddle a fine line between supporting the base’s desire for peace at any cost, while trying to maintain their credibility as being pro-military and strong on defense. That’s not going to work.

“If the Democrats want to be taken seriously”, huh? :rolleyes: By whom? The American mainstream they represent and who just put them in to power to do exactly what they’re doing now, or just by the partisan blogs you confine yourself to? Come on now.

A staunch veteran of the swiftboat and WMD wars, telling anybody else about how to be taken seriously. :smiley:

Maybe McCain will show up for the next vote. Anybody see any reports about how he’s answering questions about why he’s in Iowa today?

This resolution, nonbinding though it is, still has enormous *psychological * importance, especially for the Republicans whose previous fear of opposing this administration in any way made them a minority. Some already now see it’s safe to vote their consciences, some no doubt are voting with the polls, but it’s begun. The ones who’ve come around no longer need fear retaliation, and the still-frightened others will now see that. A dam burst starts with a small crack and a trickle, now we’re seeing a steady flow beginning. There’s no way to reverse it now. The only thing left to discuss is the timing and details of our withdrawal from this hopeless mess.

This resolution is a necessary first step,. And, ya know, it doesn’t much matter that it’s nonbinding. If it had been binding, the Boy in the Bubble would simply have attached another signing statement saying no, it isn’t, on account of his unitary-executive “responsibilities”, and then ignored it.

With whom are they losing credibility? I thought a significant majority of Americans agreed that the surge was a bad idea.

Petraeus himself doesn’t believe it can work - you might recall that he proposed one combat soldier per 50 people, and this surge doesn’t even come close to that ratio - and he’s in charge over there.

I agree with you about that. Then again, that’s true for the entire public debate on Iraq. Nobody in public office is comfortable with the realities, which involve either staying in the middle of a worsening conflict or leaving and watching a disaster.

I guess ‘credibility on defense’ means throwing more lives and money into a lost cause. Isn’t this BS getting a bit old?

Do we want to listen to today’s Abizaid, or December’s Abizaid? Which one do you think was more likely to be speaking his mind while he felt he could still influence a decision not yet made, and which do you think was following orders already laid down?

Cite?? Just the other day it was reported that he and Pelosi were getting behind an Iraq funding resolution that would require that the troops must get their training and equipment, in order for the war to receive funding.

Maybe you were reading some Freeper site that lied about Murtha’s proposal.

It’s rather hard to find generals who are going to come out for exactly the opposite of the policy they’ve been given orders to implement.

But why should the Dems have opposed Abizaid’s nomination? A mere seven weeks ago, he spoke out against the surge, in no uncertain terms.

This is a pile of Koolaid-drinking bullshit. By your standards, the only way the Dems could have avoided ‘tacitly approving’ the surge would have been to not approve any active-duty general. Be real.

We’ll let the Koolaid Party have its rhetoric. The Dems are serious about actual policy. We’re gonna wind down this war, with what limited tools we’ve got, because it’s the right thing to do. Things have gone from passable to bad to worse to horrible while we’ve been there, and at times, we’ve had more troops in Iraq than we will if the surge is fully implemented. There’s zero reason to believe this will work, 3,100 reasons to believe it will only cost the lives of hundreds more of our troops, and all to no avail.

Why should all the burden be on the Dems? How come the GOP doesn’t have to explain why doing the same thing, over and over again, should finally yield a different result?

Here’s mine:

  1. Things are getting worse in Iraq even with us there. Have been for years, will continue as long as we stay. No reason to believe otherwise.

  2. Things may get worse faster if we leave. What of it? How many troops must die in order to keep Iraq from being the hellhole in 2008 that it would otherwise not be until 2009?

  3. We can prevent direct military intervention in Iraq by other countries after our departure with an over-the-horizon force. Massed military movements are easy to bomb.

  4. There’a already a Sunni-Shi’ite proxy war in Iraq; it’s not like our withdrawal will cause that. But at least we can stop arming and training the Shi’a side in this war.

This is too full of bullshit to fully refute here without hijacking the thread. Feeling up to another end-of-Vietnam thread? I’m sure we just had one of these not too long ago.

Bullshit like this sure isn’t going to work for the war apologists. Maybe they should read Jesus on the art of war: “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.”

We can’t ‘win’ this one without a lot more troops, a LOT more troops. Shinseki’s 400,000 would probably be insufficient at this point, because things are far worse now than they were anticipated to be immediately after the war as we were preparing for it. We don’t have half that many to spare. So we might as well stop bullshitting ourselves, and get out of the middle of this civil war.

I have great faith that most of the American people understand this. So I’m willing to take my chances with their judgment.

And even if they don’t see things that way, you know what? It’s more important to be right on this war, than to win a bullshit PR battle over who was right about it. I don’t think the Dems should sacrifice more troops in order to win elections. After all, I’ve been upset enough that the GOP has followed that path.

Well, they’re caught in a cleft stick there, aren’t they? Congress does not clearly (arguably, but not clearly) have the authority to say, “The troops must start shipping home by such-and-such a date and all of them must be withdrawn by thus-and-so a date.” The only thing they can really control here is the money – and they can’t very well cut the funding while the troops are still in the field . . . so . . .

Why couldn’t they? If they truly believe that will save lives by forcing the president’s hand, why wouldn’t they?

:confused: After the Vietnam War, the Dems’ status was better than the Pubs’ – have you forgotten? Even WRT defense – the Dems got us into 'Nam, but the Pubs kept us there long after it was clear the war was unwinnable.

:dubious: Abizaid is in charge now only because Bush fired or reassigned every general who wouldn’t tell him exactly what he wanted to hear, which did not include the truth. In case you’ve forgotten, and there hasn’t been all that much time in which to forget.

:confused: “Still being felt today”? Vietnam is better off now than it has been in all its history. And almost certainly better off than it would have been if South Vietnam had survived two or three years longer. In case you’ve forgotten . . .

Because they don’t have the votes in the Senate. Yet. By this time next year, the “surge” will be exposed as an expensive mistake, public outrage against the war will be louder, and more Republicans will fear the looming 2008 election. The war will be defunded in the spring or summer of 2008.

One of the nice things about these debates and votes, is that the Republicans are using up the arguments they might employ as dead-enders after the surge fails. There’s been a lot of ridiculous material coming out of the mouths of these congressmen, the sort of stuff that doesn’t live too long in the light of day. It’s good to see the bad guys waste their ammo on targets that don’t really matter.