Sunday, April 01, 2007

# Posted 10:09 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WHO WILL GET THE BLAME? Congress and the President seem headed for a showdown. I think it's safe to say that Bush will veto any Iraq funding bill that includes a mandatory timeline. But then what?

There isn't much room for compromise on this subject. Either there will be a timeline or there will be an indefinite commitment. Either the President or the Democratic majority will have to knuckle under.

Or will some exotic compromise emerge that allows both sides to claim victory without resolving the issue? It wouldn't be unheard of.

But let's assume for a moment that there is no compromise. The result will be a massive blame game, with both sides accusing the either of cutting off funding for the troops. Who will win the war for public opinion?

A strong majority of Americans seems to loathe the idea of ever cutting off funding for troops already on the battlefield. Until now, most Democrats have insisted that taking away funding is something that they would never do. On the other hand, a strong majority of Americans loathes the war in Iraq.

If it comes to a showdown, I think the Democrats will be taking a much bigger risk. If they lose the showdown, they will have dramatically reinforced their reputation for being soft on defense. As bad as things are in Iraq, being soft on defense will still be a major liability for as long as there is a war on terror.

In contrast, if the President loses the showdown, it will just be one more drop in the bucket of his reputation for stubbornness.

So what do you think? If the funding is cut off, who will get the blame?


(14) opinions -- Add your opinion

We need someone to lead us properly and solve the issues that really matter to us. If President Bush or any other president really wants to protect our country from future terrorists, he or she should combat global poverty which is at the root of the problem. We don’t need to be in a war that benefits the businesses of Americans. We need to be helping the rest of the world in order to help ourselves which would really benefit the economy. We could actually be doing businesses with the past “poor” countries of this world.

Bush should win the battle with the Dems. Unless he can find a way to blast through the MSM smokescreen he will not.

Anon: Combat Global Poverty? Please! What is a poor country?

There is no lack of money for combatting global povety. There is a lack of will on the part of those governing the poor in poor countries.

Unless you advocate global colonialism by the likes of the UN you will never end the problem.
I think, pretty clearly, Bush will get the blame a. because he's already unpopular and b. because the Dems can honestly say - look the funding was right there - for all he could ever want and more - in the bill he just vetoed. Hell the bill they're sending him allows him to nix the timelines if he wants.
The Repugs will get the blame, for the same reason that you can make the sliiy statement that "a strong majority of Americans loathes the war in Iraq" whwn even the Dems own(ed) polls can't make that case. A majority of American certainly don't like the war, but "loathe" can be reserved only for the usual suspectsw who show up for the anti-war/global warming/capitalism/whatever protests.

That is, the "15 points" media will make sure that Bush is holding the bag.
When Bush vetoes their bill the Democrats will try to override the veto to get GOP senators on record as supporting an open ended commitment. When their attempt to override fails, they'll send him a clean bill that provides funding for three months. Three months from now they'll repeat the process, and they'll keep on repeating it. Eventually they'll either override the veto or they'll have a lot of Republican senators softened up for the 2008 elections.
I hope that when funding gets cut off, there will be a plan intact already leading up to the exit. The only way to go is to open up communication with the Middle East and Europe so that things will run more smoothly. It will be interesting to see if the Dems have enough forsight to plan a strategy rather than just stripping funds from the war to pork barrel their own initiatives. Why I support an exit strategy is because I would rather see the funds used where it is most needed and necessary:

From BorgenProject.org
Annual Cost of Improving the World
• $19 billion: Eliminates starvation and malnutrition globally.
• $12 billion: Provides education for every kid on earth.
• $15 billion: Provides access to water and sanitation.
• $23 billion: Reverses the spread of AIDS and Malaria.

The Cost in Perspective
• $522 billion: U.S. Military budget this year.
• $340 billion: Cost of Iraq War thus far.
Sources: World Bank, National Priorities Project
Gee, that's swell, Lyndsey! I just have a few questions - How much of that $12 billion for universal education goes to force protection, to prevent school bombings in places like Iraq? How much of all these projects is assumed to be siphoned off by third world despots, and what's to stop them from taking more? What has happened to the vastly larger sums of money directed at these same goals over the past 50 years?
just ignore bgates' petulant bluster lyndsey, that's what most of us do.
shush John P, or he'll call you an anti-semite.
I'm confused. Someone posts that all the world's problems can forever be solved for just $79 billion, and everyone jumps on the guy pointing out just how illogical that is??? The world already spends $80 billion a year on development aid, and has spent countless trillions. Yes, but I am sure that starvation will just go away for $19 billion. None of that will get siphoned off or anything.
Since no improvement is being made on the Iraq War, we need to spend our resources on other issues such as global poverty in order to discourage more terrorism and wars. According to the Borgen Project, in reality only .16% of our federal budget is spent on poverty reduction, the least among wealthy nations. We should let our representatives know that we want change.
I think it's safe to say that in the spring of 1943 Americans were tired of war, but few would have supported a politician who promised a full retreat by the end of 1944. But the country has changed. If the Democrats win the showdown, they will have cemented their reputation for being soft on defense. I'm not convinced that will be an electoral liability. There may be enough softheaded people who think all our problems will go away if we send money to the Saudi royal family and other such naifs who are forced by their poverty to support beheading innocents and bombing schools.

Whatever happens, Bush will be blamed. To paraphrase his favorite political philosopher, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without it being Bush's fault."
The 1943 analogy is appropriate.

Today's Democrats are not the same as those in 1943. The Dems in positions of power today are closet socialists. Socialists in the worst way.

Their foreign policy is designed to put the US dream back in the box and let out whatever fills the void.

It is either that or they are just playing politics with foreign policy.
We shouldn't come up with excuses for not helping. You can affect the world in small ways. Micro-finance is playing a major impact in helping women out of poverty. There are solutions beyond just giving money. There are institutions, albeit small ones, that help people make livings for themselves in sustainable ways without just giving the government money. Trying to eliminate poverty actually is a more attainable goal then establishing a stable Iraq. How's that for irony. Good job Lyndsey.
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