03 April 2007

The hawks are playing chicken

The House and Senate have each passed a bill that provides yet more money to fight the war in Iraq.  Both bills include a requirement to end military involvement in Iraq by sometime next year.  The votes were mostly along party lines—Democrats support the exit deadlines enough to provide more funding for an unpopular war while Republicans refuse the deadlines on principle.  Bush promises to veto any bill with a deadline (but as usual when he does the right thing, he'll be doing it for the wrong reasons).  Barack Obama has said that Congress will pass war funding without an exit deadline if Bush vetoes.  So really this is a game of chicken, with Bush willing to gamble the money he wants for the war and Democrats openly willing to blink first and give Bush what he wants.  Republican Ron Paul voted against the House bill not because it has an exit deadline but because it has war funding, and he'll vote against the next one for the same reason.  It's a shame the Democrats aren't similarly principled on this issue.  Congress is holding all the cards and essentially deciding to fold.

Many conservatives see the bills as a surrender to "the terrorists" and a stab in the back of the American military, as reflected in the political cartoons of Michael Ramirez.  (I recently received a pro-war e-mail forward that included his cartoons from 11 January, 8 February, 20 February and 9 March).  There's a clear perception of "us" (our heroic soldiers) and "them" ("terrorists" who are fighting us and would love for us to "surrender".)  But I agree with Tim Lee that the fighting going on in Iraq is mostly among Iraqis.  I think we should get over this blind nationalism, admit that our Iraq policy has been a disaster and completely withdraw militarily from Iraq as soon as possible, and I'm not the only one.  It's no perfect solution, but it's the noblest option available.  First do no (more) harm.

2 Comments:

At 06 April, 2007 19:11, Anonymous Cletus said...

Will Ron Paul get the LP nomination for 2008?

 
At 06 April, 2007 22:54, Blogger Rob said...

Well, he's looking into running for the Republican nomination.  If he doesn't win it, Libertarians will try to draft him for the LP ticket, but I don't think he'd accept.  He can do more good by staying in Congress than by losing a presidential election.

 

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