Dems Offer Up Pullout Plans….But to Where?
The Democrats in the House and Senate are expected to debate fresh, new Iraq withdrawal plans next week.
The Senate bill requires a “phased redeployment” of forces from Iraq with the goal of a complete withdrawal of combat troops by March 2008.
“The troops should not be policing a civil war,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said at a press conference to announce his chamber’s plan.
That’s a familiar refrain. OK, what about Speaker Pelosi?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her chamber’s measure, which accelerates the timetable for a pullout if the administration fails to certify that Iraq has met certain benchmarks for progress, will be attached to the nearly $100 billion in supplemental spending that President Bush is seeking this year for fighting in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
“Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan,” the California Democrat said.
The House bill calls for U.S. troops to start pulling out of Iraq by March 2008 and complete the withdrawal within 180 days, or by September — less than two months before the elections for president, the House and a third of the Senate.
Did you catch that? “Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan.”No mention of bringing the troops home. Does this mean the troops won’t be coming home? Are they going to go to Afghanistan? Maybe.
The bill also shifts more resources into the war in Afghanistan, where Democrats say the real war on terrorism should be fought to prevent the resurgence of the radical Islamic Taliban movement and the al-Qaeda terrorist network that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
“This bill takes giant steps toward putting resources into that war, a war that is unfinished and nearly forgotten by the administration,” Pelosi said in announcing the proposed legislation…
[Rep. David R.] Obey said the House bill “will essentially redirect more of our resources to the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, fighting the right war in the right place against the people who attacked us and who are giving al-Qaeda sanctuary.”
Don’t get me wrong, I support their committment to fighting the Taliban. But does the anti-war Democratic base know about this?