Friday, February 23, 2007

Biden Hits the Brakes

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) championed a DOA House proposal to make additional funding for the Iraq war dependent on strict troop-readiness standards, which on the surface might seem to be a good idea. But that proposal met stiff resistance.... from both sides of the aisle.... largely because it puts in place risky inflexibilities.

And, the recent "non-binding" resolutions are viewed by the public as a tiptoeingly-tepid approach.... the public wants "binding" action.... want to stop the runaway Bush/Cheney war machine.

So.... here comes the brakeman in the form of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D-DE) who is seeking to repeal 2002 war authorization.... "We gave the president that power to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and, if necessary, to depose Saddam Hussein, " Biden said of the 2002 resolution in a speech last week before the Brookings Institution. "The WMD was not there. Saddam Hussein is no longer there. The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq." (WaPo)

Biden and Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-MI) are drafting language to present to the Senate when they reconvene Tuesday that will set a goal for withdrawing combat brigades by March 31, 2008 as recommended by the Iraq Study Group.

Once the combat phase ends, troops would be restricted to assisting Iraqis with training, border security and counterterrorism. This resolution will go directly to the Senate floor for action, possibly as an amendment to a homeland security bill scheduled for debate next week.

At the same time, Murtha's ideas will no be dismissed out-of-hand. The Iraq funding bill due for vote in the House the week of March 12 would require the president to publicly reveal that he is deploying unrested, under-trained or under-equipped troops, or extending combat tours of troops already in Iraq.

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem like he should already have been forced to publicly come clean about troop and equipment readiness before deployment.

Of course, that didn't happen because the previous GOP-majority Houses abdicated their oversite roles, allowing the Bush/Cheney administration to lay waste to lives, treasure and our world standing.

As Congress puts the brakes on an arrogant reckless Bush, hopefully they also vow.... "Never again."

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