Wednesday, 14 February 2007

A House divided (on Iraq)

Finally it looks as if Congress will have intelligent discourse over Iraq, or am I just becoming a tad optimist considering its recent track record on such issues.

This time it's the House of Representative debating the war, though the partisanship seems just as serious as it was in the other house of the American legislature.

The House plunged into a heated, partisan debate yesterday on President Bush's war policy, with Democrats challenging lawmakers to take a stand against the deployment of more troops to Iraq while Republicans accused their political foes of emboldening the enemy with their symbolic resolution.

Democrats won control of Congress last fall in a political backlash against Bush's Iraq policy, and yesterday they decried a war they said was illegitimately launched and has been badly managed, with devastating consequences. They were helped by three newly elected Democratic lawmakers who were propelled into politics by their military experience in Iraq.

"We stand together to tell this administration that we are against the escalation, and to say with one voice that Congress will no longer be a blank check to the president's failed policies," said freshman Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), who was a captain with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad. "The president's plan to send more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war in Iraq is wrong."

Republicans focused on loftier themes, warning darkly about ceding Iraq to Islamic radicals who are bent on destroying not only the Middle East but also the American way of life. "We are engaged in a global war now for our very way of life," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). "And every drop of blood that's been spilled in defense of liberty and freedom from the American Revolution to this very moment is for nothing if we're unwilling to stand up and fight this threat."
Rep. Boehner is unbelievably ignorant to think Iraq is — or ever was — about the ominous terrorist threat this administration has been spilling out rhetoric about and exploiting the fears of the American people for political gain since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I wish we were over this whole argument over what defines and makes an 'American'. Boehner is attempting to attach patriotism and scaremongering on how the evil outsiders want to take away our happy lives. The battle for liberty and maintaining a free way of life in the United States is more about Congress checking the president and doing their job than President Bush acting against the advice of the vast majority of the public and of experts in his Iraq policy.

As readers of this blog know I judge politicians on their actions rather than their party or political labels. That being said, most of Rep. Patrick Murphy's arguments couldn't be more on track and rational. A pat on the back for the freshman congressperson. One problem with his statement: What about the Iraqis dying from the civil war? The blood is on American hands from starting the war and poor policy decisions that followed. As far as some of the introduced resolutions go, how does supporting a highly criticized troop plan concocted by a presidential administration that has already failed its country liken to 'supporting the troops'?

The Iraqi government is serious in their actions taken to improve the security situation in Baghdad; will the United States government be serious also in their debate over what the right moves to make to help Iraq? Considering all this partisan muck and symbolic, meaningless, purely showy-political resolutions wasting everyone's time, not nearly enough is Congress doing their job to help the US and Iraq.

And the Democrats taking control of Congress was supposed to help how?

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