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Friday, March 09, 2007

Conflicting Plans for Failure

House and Senate Democrats have conflicting plans for US failure in Iraq. Even in the chambers though, there are divisions. Maxine Waters and her group of 75 want us out now, and want funding cut. Blue Dogs, especially those elected in November want a different approach, and Pelosi is basically backing Murtha's plan for defeat with a few modifications. The basics are strict guidelines for the Iraq government, any of which isn't met means a quick pull out, with a complete withdraw by September 2008.

The Senate plan wants us out by March 2008, and doesn't do much to fund the President's build up, while the House added $20 billion to the President's request. However, a bunch of that extra money goes to stuff completely unrelated to Iraq (big surprise there).

In fact, in a move reminiscent of the last Congress, Pelosi & Co. have tied agricultural support, the minimum wage, veterans health benefits and a multitude of other items into the Iraq Bill. The idea they need to tie so many diverse things into the package to get enough votes in their own party shows the weakness of their ideas.

The President himself has already said he's going to veto either of the proposals that come before him. The great thing about being a lame duck is that you can veto something "for the kids" and not have it bite you in the next election.

I don't know that either chamber can come up with a veto proof plan, based on Republican's in the Senate and a coalition of Blue Dogs and Republicans in the House. However, if they do, I'd say the President needs to offer a compromise date of July 2008 for the withdraw.

I pick that date for a purely political reason, the two nominees for the 2008 election will be known by then. When the inevitable chaos in the region ensues, the GOP will have plenty of time to assail whomever the Democratic nominee is (presumably Clinton or Obama) for their role in the deteriorating conditions there, the instability that will occur, and the new regional strength of Iran.

It would be interesting to see if Hillary started a new "if I knew then what I know now" campaign when chaos reigns in Iraq after a forced pullout she voted for.

For those thinking that a US pullout will turn into a kumbaya moment in Iraq, consider when the Taliban began taking over Afghanistan; after Russia withdrew and left a power vacuum in the country.

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