Friday, February 16, 2007

Non-Binding = Gutless

There's so much I want to say about the House's passage of the stupid, moronic, completely useless, utterly self-defeating "non-binding resolution" against the surge in Iraq.

Whoops, that summed it up.

However, lest you seek a more articulate explanation for why this might be the dumbest idea ever championed by Nancy Pelosi (and we all know there's plenty of competition), here's Rudy Guiliani on Larry King...
GUILIANI: The nonbinding resolution thing gets me more than are you for it or against it. I have tremendous respect for the people who feel that we either made a mistake going to war, who voted against the war, who now have come to the conclusion, changed their minds, they have every right to that, that it’s wrong, you should, in a dynamic situation, keep questioning. What I don’t like is the idea of a nonbinding resolution.

KING: Because?

GIULIANI: Because there’s no decision.

KING: But it’s a statement.

GIULIANI: Yes, but that’s what you do. That’s what Tim Russert does and that’s what Rush Limbaugh does. That’s what you guys do, you make comments. We pay them to make decisions, not just to make comments. We pay them to decide. The United States Congress does declarations, the war…

KING: So if you feel that way, withhold funds and that’s the way you feel?

GIULIANI: The ones I think have a better understanding of what their responsibility is and are willing to take a risk are the ones who are saying we’ve got to hold back the funds, we’ve got to vote against the war or we’re for the war. And maybe it’s because I ran a government and I tend to be a decisive person. I like decisions. And I think one of the things wrong with Washington is they don’t want to make tough decisions anymore.
And lest you think this critique is only coming from the center-right, let's see what another moderate has the guts to say. Joe Lieberman, the floor is yours...
“Whatever our opinion of this war or its conduct, it is in no one’s interest to stumble into a debilitating confrontation between our two great branches of government over war powers. The potential for a constitutional crisis here and now is real, with congressional interventions, presidential vetoes, and Supreme Court decisions. If there was ever a moment for nonpartisan cooperation to agree on a process that will respect both our personal opinions about this war and our nation’s interests over the long term, this is it.

We need to step back from the brink and reason together, as Scripture urges us to do, about how we will proceed to express our disagreements about this war.”

Senator Lieberman argued that the non binding resolution, “proposes nothing. It contains no plan for victory or retreat... It is a strategy of “no,” while our soldiers are saying, “yes, sir” to their commanding officers as they go forward into battle.”
Finally, here's the Wall Street Journal, with possibly the best explanation for why this abominable measure isn't worthy of our nation and especially our troops...
The motion at issue is plainly dishonest, in that exquisitely Congressional way of trying to have it both ways. The resolution purports to "support" the troops even as it disapproves of their mission. It praises their "bravery," while opposing the additional forces that both President Bush and General David Petreaus, the new commanding general in Iraq, say are vital to accomplishing that mission. And it claims to want to "protect" the troops even as its practical impact will be to encourage Iraqi insurgents to believe that every roadside bomb brings them closer to their goal.

As for how "the troops" themselves feel, we refer readers to Richard Engel's recent story on NBC News quoting Specialist Tyler Johnson in Iraq: "People are dying here. You know what I'm saying . . . You may [say] 'oh we support the troops.' So you're not supporting what they do. What they's [sic] here to sweat for, what we bleed for and we die for." Added another soldier: "If they don't think we're doing a good job, everything we've done here is all in vain." In other words, the troops themselves realize that the first part of the resolution is empty posturing, while the second is deeply immoral.

All the more so because if Congress feels so strongly about the troops, it arguably has the power to start removing them from harm's way by voting to cut off the funds they need to operate in Iraq. But that would make Congress responsible for what followed--whether those consequences are Americans killed in retreat, or ethnic cleansing in Baghdad, or the toppling of the elected Maliki government by radical Shiite or military forces. The one result Congress fears above all is being accountable.

We aren't prone to quoting the young John Kerry, but this week's vote reminds us of the comment the antiwar veteran told another cut-and-run Congress in the early 1970s: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" The difference this time is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha expect men and women to keep dying for something they say is a mistake but also don't have the political courage to help end.

...A newly confirmed commander is about to lead 20,000 American soldiers on a dangerous and difficult mission to secure Baghdad, risking their lives for their country. And the message their elected Representatives will send them off to battle with is a vote declaring their inevitable defeat.
As Instapundit noted, 17 Republicans voted for this measure, which passed the House 246-182, while two Democrats had the courage to buck their party (or maybe consider their country's and their party's long-term best interest). To the rest of the Democrats in the House, along with those 17 Republicans, you're not worthy of the men and women fighting in Iraq. You're not worthy of this great country. You're spineless political operatives without the courage to make decisions. Either you chose to go along with this measure even though you wanted to defund the surge, or you chose to issue a political cover-your-ass memo because you don't have the guts to vote to defund the war.

History will judge you harshly, no matter what the outcome in Iraq.


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