Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Another politician criticizes U.S. troops in Iraq

From the Boston Globe:

"Yes, the foreign forces are part of the problem and right now we are trying to have them as part of the solution."

John Kerry? No. Ted Kennedy? No.

Ghazi al-Yawer, Interim President of Iraq

Strikingly familiar to this statement by Ted Kennedy:

"The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution"

On balance, al-Yawer said it would be "nonsense" to withdraw troops at this time and Kennedy's statemments were more vitriolic attack than honest criticism. Despite that, it is this one statement, "part of the problem, not the solution", that drew a lot of ire from the Right, including here at Yankee Madmen.

In this environment, you get people like Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard who writes that Ted Kennedy "suggested that, in Iraq, American troops are a bigger problem than terrorists." He did no such thing, and if that's the conclusion you draw from his remarks, then apply the same standard to al-Yawer. Barnes then calls for a "clear delineation of what's permissible and what's out of bounds in dissent on Iraq," to come from the White House.

I've said before, who is the White House to censure Congress? For an administration that talks about "strict constructionism", they might do well to remember that the executive branch is Article II for a reason. It's lamentable that Congress has become the tool of the Presidency, not just this administration, but every one since Roosevelt.

John McCain has repeatedly criticized the handling of the war, calling for more troops and the replacement of the Secretary of Defense. Granted, he doesn't use the dour tone of John Kerry or the attack language of Kennedy, but his dissent going to be "out-of-bounds" too?

It's time for Congress to retake the national agenda, especially on Social Security. There is talk that the President will not sign a reform package that doesn't include private accounts. That's nonsense - then you're not committed to reform, you're committed to privatization. Let the committees and the CBO work out the right steps to shore up the plan. Let the best ideas rise out of the debate to form the strategy and then send it the President for signature. If he balks, he's the obstructionist. Maybe they'll be private accounts, maybe there won't. We might see a benefit decrease or a tax increase, but no matter what, the law will have originated from the law-making body in the U.S., as it was meant to be done.


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