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January 24, 2007
Bloggers Have Resolutions, Too

The Senate has two competing resolutions under consideration that intend to criticize President Bush's new "surge" strategy, especially the increase of troops in Baghdad. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed the resolution authored by Chuck Hagel and Joe Biden, while John Warner, Susan Collins, and Ben Nelson will sponsor a "softer" resolution. Hugh Hewitt and NZ Bear held a blogger conference call earlier today, which I wanted to attend but could not, and have offered a resolution of their own:

Yesterday General Petraeus testified that the Biden/Warner resolutions and those like them encourage the enemy.

What does it mean, "to encourage the enemy?"

It means that the enemy gathers will and strength from the prospect of a collapsing political will to seek victory in Iraq and stability in the region.

With that additional strength and will the enemy redoubles and retriples efforts to kill American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

In short, it means that more Americans will die.

If there is ever an issue for which a filibuster is obviously called, it is such a resolution, especially in the aftermath of such testimony.

Either the Republicans believe General Petraeus, or they don't. These are not a "non-binding" resolutions in the sense that they have no consequences. Either of them will have terrible consequences.

Don't believe me. Believe General Petraeus.

I blogged about this earlier today, and while Petraeus wants to stay out of Senatorial politics, it appears that the Senate won't allow it. These efforts to issue finger-wagging resolutions reek of hypocrisy and opportunism. The Senate does not need to pass resolutions of either stripe in order to make their point. With the global media falling over themselves to give dissident politicians all the air time they can handle -- especially Republicans. Issuing "sense of the Senate" resolutions do exactly nothing. They may as well designate February as We Hate The Surge Month for all of the good any of these resolutions will do.

If Congress really wanted to stop the surge, they would defund the war. Congress has that power. However, that would force Representatives and Senators to come up with a different plan for keeping Iraq from collapsing into a failed state where terrorists can establish bases for global attacks. Instead, the Senators involved in these resolutions seem content to indulge in ankle-biting without bothering to provide any useful alternatives other than capitulation and defeat, and studiously ignore the leading American expert on counterinsurgency.

That's why I'm supporting the pledge. I am not going to go as far as some in saying that these resolutions and their sponsors are unpatriotic. I will go so far as to say they're utterly useless and a dangerous waste of time. General Petraeus is correct when he says that these kind of silly protests that refuse to provide constructive alternatives give our enemies hope that we lack the will to fight the war to completion. If the Senate really wants to wave the white flag in Iraq, then let them do it -- but do it honestly and take the responsibility for their actions.

UPDATE: Hugh interviewed Senator Norm Coleman earlier this evening on his show regarding the two resolutions. Coleman believes that the Warner resolution does not send the message that we have lost our will to fight back against the insurgents and foreign terrorists in Iraq. He points out that the Warner resolution includes language that specifies the dire consequences of an American failure of will in Iraq and supporting the continuing efforts in the country. Earlier today, his office sent out a release on this subject:

Sen. Norm Coleman, who has argued against a troop buildup in Baghdad, voted Wednesday against a non-binding resolution expressing disapproval of President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq [Hagel-Biden] ...

"The Iraqis don't have a blank check on American blood and treasure," Coleman said prior to a vote on his amendment. "Our patience is wearing thin, certainly with the public and the Congress. But I'm not prepared to have a resolution which says we will disregard the advice of our commanders on the ground, when they say they need something which may even mean an increase in a given area."

Coleman made the right call in voting against Hagel-Biden. However, he continues to defend the Warner resolution. I know Senator Coleman to be a principled supporter of the war on terror and the mission in Iraq (and a decent man), and so I trust that he firmly believes in what he's doing. However, Senator Coleman has to ask himself two questions: what will this resolution actually accomplish that moves us towards victory in Iraq, and what does the man whom he acknowledges as the most impressive military commander in his experience think about these bills? The answers to both should move Senator Coleman to withdraw his support for either resolution and work towards their defeat.

He did promise Hugh that he would confer with Petraeus before casting his vote.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 24, 2007 8:45 PM

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