Micromanagement of War By Congress Not The Ideal Solution

The House has passed a spending bill which sets a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq. True to form, George Bush responded dishonestly in trying to portray this as endangering the troops. As the bill provides funding until the troops are brought home there is zero validity to this charge. If anything, it might make them safer by making them appear less like a permanent occupying force, making them less a target as they are caught in the middle of a civil war. Ultimately, if the goal is protection of the troops the best way to do that is to get them out of Iraq.

Republicans will complain that micromanagement of a war by Congress is not a good idea. They are right. This is not the best way to handle a war, but we have no choice when faced with a President who has deceived Congress and the American people about the war, who manages the war in an incompetent manner, and who engages in a foreign policy which jeopardizes our national security. Congress has no choice but to step in, as was requested by the majority who voted the Republicans out in the midterm elections.

Ideally it would not be necessary for Congress to set a deadline and attempt to manage the war in this manner. The best approach would be to remove George Bush and Dick Cheney from office. As this is not politically feasible, the next best choice is to have Congress do everything possible to reduce the harm done by the worst President in US history.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    Jeff says:

    But Ron, aren’t you not only wrestling control away from Bush, but also the commanders on the ground like Petraeus? You’re right I have no trust in Bush’s ability to manage the war, but I do have trust in Petraeus. And right now he’s implementing his plan. Is it wise to pull the rug from under him, especially when there’s a few signs that maybe the current plan is having some success? If things were going worse, or if there was no sign at all of things changing I could agree. But there are a few signs. Although obviously not enough to determine a trend.

    Now let me clear. I think the Democrats provide a valuable service by holding the threat of withdrawal over the Iraqi government’s head. And I believe it’s that threat that has helped contribute to the small amount of political progress we saw last month. So while I don’t want the Democratic proposal to be signed into law, I don’t have a problem with the passing of the legislation. As long as we eventually get a supplemental that will fund the troops that don’t have other aspects of the Democratic proposal that I think would be detrimental to the current plan succeeding.

    Anyways, I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now, and respect you since you seem to be one of the few on either side who will either defend the other side when they should be defended, and criticize those on your side when they deserve criticism.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    “But Ron, aren’t you not only wrestling control away from Bush, but also the commanders on the ground like Petraeus?”

    Not at all. The commanders on the ground are supposed to be under civilian control. That’s the whole idea of a civilian President being Commander-in-Chief, and of Congress having oversight authority over the President.

    If you think that the threat of a withdrawal is good as long as the law isn’t passed, the situation should make you happy. It is doubtful that this would get through the Senate, and even more doubtful that there are enough votes in either house to override a veto.

    There are obviously problems with a deadline set by Congress regardless of which side one is on with respect to the war. Hopefully you are right that this threat of withdrawal will have a positive impact on the Iraqi government, but I fear that as long as it only being threatened but not passed it might not really affect the Iraqi government.

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