Monday, April 2, 2007

Obama Says Congress Will Fund Iraq War

The Associated Press headline last night screamed "Obama Says Congress Will Fund Iraq War:"

If President Bush vetoes an Iraq war spending bill as promised, Congress quickly will provide the money without the withdrawal timeline the White House objects to because no lawmaker "wants to play chicken with our troops," Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday.
Really? Like most things that seem too good to be true, don't take Obama's pollyannaish assessment at face value.

First, a little more of what Obama said in his AP interview:

"My expectation is that we will continue to try to ratchet up the pressure on the president to change course," the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think that we will see a majority of the Senate vote to cut off funding at this stage."

[. . .]

Given that Bush is determined to veto a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Congress has little realistic choice but to approve money for the war, Obama said.

Before we congratulate the Democrats for acting like grownups and providing the necessary funding to support our troops fighting the war, consider this AP article in which Senate Democrats vow to keep trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, even if President Bush vetoes legislation calling for a pullout.

The Senate attempt to legislate defeat, requires the Democrats' troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days, with a completion goal of March 31, 2008. The House attempt to legislate defeat, mandates that nearly all combat troops be withdrawn by September 1, 2008. These and other differences in the two bills must be reconciled before the legislation, which is supposed to provide the funding needed to support our troops fighting the war, can be sent to the president for his promised veto. This seemingly simple task has been delayed for weeks because Speaker Pelosi couldn't be bothered with appointing the House members who will meet with the Senate conferees because she found it more important to go and visit Syria, one of the original state sponsors of terrorism.

It has been 56 days since President Bush sent his request for the supplemental funding to Congress. When will Congress provide these critical funds to support our troops fighting the war? How many of the negative impacts of using money designated for training, repairs, and other readiness activities outlined by Secretary Gates will have to come to pass before the Democrats stop playing politics with war funding? If the Democrats truly think we should leave Iraq now, then they should saw so and refuse to fund the war.

Forcing the president to veto the war funding legislation, thereby delaying the war funding is simply part of the Democrats' slow bleed antiwar strategy. It is also part of the Democrats' 2008 campaign strategy to "wear down GOP support for President Bush," hoping to force a collapse of GOP support for the administration by fall. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Democrats, are confident that GOP support for the war will not last beyond the end of this year, when 21 Republican senators head into 2008 reelection campaigns.

From California Yankee.

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