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    15 June 2006

    Some thoughts on the so-called Iraq debate in the House

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    The House today, at the request of concerned Republican and Democratic law makers will host a 10 hour debate on the Iraq war. The issue should be accountability, strategy, and oversight but the House majority leadership is bypassing honest debate for political posturing and to reestablish the connection between Iraq and the Global War on Terror - a connection that only surfaced after the 2003 invasion and occupation. While the Democratic Party has healthy debate - which unfortunately includes the specter of immediate withdrawal - on the war in Iraq. Republican leadership seek to divide and deceive, in effect damaging our democracy and security as well as alienating well-intentioned, open-minded Republicans.

    The debate guidelines presented by the majority House leadership (disclosed yesterday at ThinkProgress.org) seek to exploit 9/11 (which is completely unrelated to the Iraq war), attack critics without presenting facts, and offering utopian assessments, goals, and predictions. The debate will not be a debate but an attempt to mislead Americans for political purposes. "The rules of debate will not allow the resolution to be amended, nor will alternative resolutions be allowed on the floor for a vote." writes WaPo.

    This pander and propaganda is not being well received by the Democrats - as expected - nor Republicans - which is refreshing.
    "I can't help but feel through eyes of a combat-wounded Marine in Vietnam, if someone was shot, you tried to save his life. . . . While you were in combat, you had a sense of urgency to end the slaughter, and around here we don't have that sense of urgency," said Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (Md.), a usually soft-spoken Republican who has urged his leaders to challenge the White House on Iraq. "To me, the administration does not act like there's a war going on. The Congress certainly doesn't act like there's a war going on. If you're raising money to keep the majority, if you're thinking about gay marriage, if you're doing all this other peripheral stuff, what does that say to the guy who's about ready to drive over a land mine?"
    Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), who supports the war, called the resolution "strategically nebulous and morally obtuse." [link]

    Democrats should make brief statements about their feelings and let the Republicans gush over this unpopular, misled, and misguided war, then simply leave. Consenting Republicans should do the same. The appropriate time for legitimate debate will come. It is up to the Republicans if it will be timely, or too late.

    Posted by Geoff

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