Friday, November 16, 2007

Cut-and-Run Lives at the Old Grey Lady!

Unlike the editors of the Los Angeles Times, who at least recognized victory in Iraq before calling for a precipitous withrawal, the boys in the editorial office at the New York Times just can't seem to shake their relentless cut-and-run ideology:

It has been two long months since Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, cowed Congressional Democrats into silence, championing President Bush’s misguided course on the war. We’re pleased to see that the effects of his briefing are finally wearing off. The bad news, as ever, is that Mr. Bush and his Republican allies continue to resist reason.

House Democrats distinguished themselves this week when they stood up to the White House’s latest military funding steamroller: approving only $50 million of the additional $196 million the president requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also set conditions on the funding, including demands that troops start coming home from Iraq within 30 days and that the withdrawal be completed by mid-December 2008.

Senate Democrats quickly brought the House plan to the floor. But, ever the spoilers, Republicans blocked it, as they have other attempts to rein in Mr. Bush’s war-without-end in Iraq.

Predictably, the White House — which always prefers fear-mongering to serious debate — accused Democrats of undermining the troops. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates got into the act, threatening to direct the Army and Marine Corps to begin developing plans to lay off employees and terminate contracts next year unless Congress approves new funding within days.

Lawmakers, regardless of party, and the American people will always stand behind the brave men and women in the armed forces. Congress has already approved some $800 billion in funding since Sept. 11, 2001, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that hardly measures the full cost in blood and treasure. More than 800 troops have been killed in Iraq in 2007 alone, making it the deadliest year yet for the American military there.

There have been some advances since President Bush sought to salvage his misadventure by sending even more troops into Iraq. Violence has declined and Al Qaeda in Iraq is said to be weaker. But Mr. Bush’s main argument for his escalation — that it would create political space for Iraqis to work together and achieve national reconciliation — has proved wrong.

Even Mr. Bush’s generals know that these gains are unlikely to last. The Washington Post’s Thomas Ricks reported this week that senior American commanders now see the intransigence of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the American effort in Iraq — rather than Al Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. America can’t want peace and democracy for Iraq more than the Iraqis.

Democrats say they will continue to push the president and his Republican allies to concede their failed war policy and change course. They must keep at it. It’s far past time to begin a swift and orderly withdrawal of forces from Iraq’s civil war and to refocus on Afghanistan, where America’s win over the Taliban and Al Qaeda is in danger of being reversed.
House Democrats distinguished themselves with their depressingly ill-considered antiwar withdrawal bill?

That's supposed to be funny, right? Maybe some of the comedy writers' on strike stopped-in over at the Old Grey Lady to liven the place up!