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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Friday, February 2, 2007

What he said.

Democratic senator Russ Feingold on what Congress should be doing about Dubya's 'surge' in Iraq:

Congress is gearing up for a big Iraq debate next week. The Senate will take up the John Warner-Carl Levin resolution, which some are portraying as an important, symbolic rebuke of the president's Iraq policy. Symbols can be powerful, but only if they have substance behind them. Read the fine print of the resolution itself, and you will find that it is not a rebuke at all. In parts, it reads like a reauthorization of the war, rejecting troop redeployment and specifically authorizing "vigorous operations" in part of Iraq. This resolution isn't a symbolic rebuke of the president; instead it symbolizes a Congress that is too timid to challenge the president's failed Iraq policy.

Under the guise of constructive criticism, this resolution signs off on the president's policy of maintaining military operations in Iraq indefinitely. While a resolution like this might have been all you could expect from a Republican Congress, it hardly seems like the product of a Congress under new Democratic leadership.

After voters registered their opposition to the war last November, the new Congress was supposed to offer dramatic change. Instead, less than a month into this Congress, some members in both parties have rallied around a resolution that endorses the catastrophic status quo in Iraq....

Instead of allowing the president's failed policy to continue, Congress can and should use its power of the purse to end our involvement in the Iraq war, safely redeploying the troops while ensuring that important counterterrorism missions are still carried out.

We should be coming up with a strategy for post-occupation Iraq and the region that is squarely within the context of the global fight against al-Qaida. That means replacing a massive, unsustainable and unlimited military mission with a long-term strategy for mitigating the mess left behind by this war. With such a strategy, we can redirect substantially more resources and attention to the fight against al-Qaida and other international terrorist organizations.

While bipartisanship is a worthy goal, and symbols have their value, this resolution sacrifices far too much in the name of symbolism and compromise. As long as this president goes unchecked by Congress, our troops will remain needlessly at risk, and our national security will be compromised. This resolution fails to check the president, or to change his disastrous Iraq policy. It essentially authorizes the failed strategy that the American people rejected in November. For the sake of our troops, and for our national security, Congress should take real, binding steps to challenge the president's policy and bring our troops out of Iraq.

You can read the rest of Feingold's comments here. And if you want to keep the Senate from rubber-stamping Dubya's plan to send yet more troops to Iraq, call or write your senators and tell them to support Feingold's Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007 instead of the Warner-Levin Resolution.

Via Salon. [Paid sub or ad view req'd.]

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