The House "Resolution" on Iraq; talk about arbitrary, please
By Lee Russ
Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 06:23 PM
Haven't been sick in a while? Miss that queasy sensation? I've got just the sickening you need: House Resolution 861 (it's 861 IH if you do an independent search on the Thomas locator). You can always check out the whole thing, but the meat & potatoes (the red herring & corn?) are the numbered items at the end:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;
(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;
(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and
(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.
Boy, do you think this is a real gutsy work, something that real patriots would produce? Something that really lays it on the line, the way the founding fathers did in seeking independence from England?
Take a real good look at the numbered items. numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 are classical political rhetoric; few people of sound mind could really object. That leaves 3 and 4. Maybe that's where this courageous statement really takes its stand? Nope.
Number 3 is where the slipperiness is. "...it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq." Right. Like anyone wants to set an "arbitrary" date. I know I've heard hundreds of people advocating that we put all the future dates in a hat and have a Boy Scout pick one.
But you know that this little detail is the real "gotcha" from the Repubs/Rethugs. The fact that no one wanted an arbitrary date will be omitted from the Republican smears in the run-up to the midterm election. It will get lost in the news reports. It will certainly be next to invisible/inaudible on Fox and the right wing blogs. "The Dems voted in favor of an arbitrary pullout date; they want to cut and run."
Number 4 is a not so subtle switcheroo: since when was it ever the mission in Iraq to "create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq?" Especially the "united" part. You think that's going to happen any time soon?
So get ready for the Karl "I'm unindicted" Rove campaign for 2006: every Dem who voted against the resolution will be loudly and continuously accused of (a) wanting to set an arbitrary date for withdrawal from Iraq, and (b) not wanting Iraq to be free, secure and united.
What a piece of unmitigated crap on stage in the political theater of the absurd. The jerk who introduced better hope there's no hell. The jerks who voted for it better hope there's no hell. The jerks who will manipulate it for political gain in the upcoming election better hope there's no hell.
The rest of us better hope we quickly find a way out of this hell.