It doesn't sound like much of a strategy. Frankly it scares the hell out of me that Mr. President is so twisted stiff about Iraq that he'll risk breaking the Army and leaving our country unable to respond to any threats to our national security and/or vital interests elsewhere in the world.
For a little over 20 minutes Wednesday night, Bush is to explain why a gradual buildup of about 20,000 additional U.S. troops, along with other steps expected to include pumping $1 billion into Iraq's economy, is the answer for a more than 3 1/2-year-old war that has only gotten deadlier with no end in sight.
The administration plans to expand an existing program to decentralize reconstruction efforts. Ten units known as Provincial Reconstruction Teams will be expanded to 19, with the additional units based in Baghdad and in Anbar province, seats of most of the worst violence. The teams, under State Department control, will administer some of the economic aid, including an effort to provide small loans to start or expand businesses.
Senator Ted Kennedy says that Congress should vote on this troop surge.
“The president’s speech must be the beginning – not the end – of a new national discussion of our policy in Iraq,” Kennedy said. “Congress must have a genuine debate over the wisdom of the president’s plan. Let us hear the arguments for it and against it. Then let us vote on it in the light of day.”
Asked whether the supplemental spending request would provide a vehicle for his legislative proposal, Kennedy replied, “The horse will be out of the barn by the time we get there.” Although the request is expected to reach Capitol Hill next month, Congress typically spends months working on such spending proposals. Kennedy said immediate action is needed to forestall the troop surge.
With our nation perhaps more vulnerable and unprepared for foreign (non-nuclear) threats since perhaps World War I, maybe such a vote would be a good idea. The President has the Constitutional responsibility to conduct foreign policy, but when he endangers the entire nation in pursuit of an escalation of a failed policy, it's in our national interest to try to avoid that.
If the President persists in spilling our national blood, treasure -- and yes, international political and moral capital -- in the middle of Iraq's civil war (or "sectarian violence," take your pick), then perhaps impeachment should be seriously considered by the don't-rock-the-boat-too-much Democrats.
(For the record, I believe that if Bill Clinton could be impeached for lying about fellatio, George W. Bush can and should be impeached for lying about Iraq and leading America into a quagmire. I don't think it will happen, but if Bush further risks our national security by over-extending our military even more, then we all should be asking, "Why not?!")
"No Surge" icon is from these T-Shirts. Very clever.