I suppose I ought to be happy that the House has passed a non-binding Measure Opposing Troop Surge.
But. It seems clearer each day that there is no serious strategy for victory in Iran — however defined (and it usually isn't defined by those who shout for it most loudly). There is no serious plan for how we will staff the conflict other than extending the rotation of troops who have suffered enough. There is no serious plan even for equipping the troops on the ground, many of whom are being deployed without the armor that might protect their vehicles against IEDs and the like.
There is, at last, some sort of plan in the next budget for paying to replace the equipment this war is chewing up. The contractors will be OK; if only we had equally good plans for the soldiers and families being chewed up by this war. Not to mention the Iraqis.
Otherwise, what planning we find in the White House seems to be about rattling sabers at Iran and hoping they take the bait, allowing massive air strikes in retaliation. This is the sort of planning you expect from drug addicts scheming for a new fix.
In this atmosphere, the House of Representatives has labored hard. Members debated for 44 hours and 55 minutes. Over the past four days, a total of 393 Members spoke on the House Floor: 221 Democrats, and 172 Republicans. And then they voted. And now we have a totally precatory resolution aimed at the surge that doesn't even condemn the war, and doesn't address the Iran situation.
The radio said “Bush suffers a major political defeat.” Let me tell you how much that defeat matters: while the House was debating today, the Pentagon shipped off another 1,000 troops.
I understand the argument that this is a first step in a long campaign. Members who voted for this will see that they are not struck dead by lightening and this will embolden them.
Wee, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
And, yes, it could be even worse: the Senate tomorrow will vote on whether it can even vote on a similar, equally precatory, resolution. UPDATE: And may not even pass the resolution with the 60 votes needed to allow debate.
I'm so excited and heartened I can't hardly stand it.