Go to the Troops
Make the Veto More than Just the Stroke of a Pen
By Mark I Posted in Spotlight Blogs | War — Comments (14) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
This week, nine brave US soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division were killed in a bombing at their forward base in Baquba, Iraq. Today, Congress will vote on an Iraq War Supplemental that, if enacted, would guarantee that those nine troops, and the roughly 3,200 others who have given the full measure of devotion in Iraq, have died in vain. Congress will vote to begin the slow march towards defeat in Iraq today when it votes to begin troop withdrawals by October first of this year with the goal of completing them by April first of next year.
Thankfully, the bill will never become law. President Bush has promised a veto and he has the votes in both chambers of Congress to sustain it. But fighting off this attempt to Congressionally envelop the troops is not enough. The president must make a dramatic statement in doing so. I can think of no greater way for him to show his support for the men and women bravely serving in Iraq than to veto this bill in their presence, say at Fort Bragg, NC, home to the 82nd Airborne and to all nine troops killed on Monday.
In setting their timelines, Democrats in Congress claim that they are protecting the troops from abusive use by an out of touch Administration pursuing a failed policy. They are doing no such thing. Democrats are cynically trying to secure political advantage for themselves under the guise of resucing the troops from their mission. Instead they will only secure defeat for America in Iraq and a victory for the enemies of freedom everywhere in the world.
The president needs to make it clear to the American people that this act by Congress would be harmful to the troops serving in Iraq and devestating to the morale of those here at home. Some of those stationed in places like Fort Bragg may be asked to go to Iraq in the time before the mandated withdrawal dates in a kind of macabre competetion not to be, "the last man to die for a mistake." If Congress truly wanted to protect the troops, it would restrain its own impulse to resuce them and let them complete their mission.
President Bush has been given a golden opportunity to show the American people just what the troops themselves think of such meddling in their mission by Congress. The president should take that opportunity and go to the troops. This is not the time for a South Lawn, Roosevelt Room, or even an Oval Office ceremony. The president needs to take this bill where it belongs, to the troops it is going to harm, and let them have their way with it.