February 26, 2007


The Choice on Iraq (JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, February 26, 2007, Opinion Journal)

Two months into the 110th Congress, Washington has never been more bitterly divided over our mission in Iraq. The Senate and House of Representatives are bracing for parliamentary trench warfare--trapped in an escalating dynamic of division and confrontation that will neither resolve the tough challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation against its terrorist enemies around the world.

What is remarkable about this state of affairs in Washington is just how removed it is from what is actually happening in Iraq. There, the battle of Baghdad is now under way. A new commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has taken command, having been confirmed by the Senate, 81-0, just a few weeks ago. And a new strategy is being put into action, with thousands of additional American soldiers streaming into the Iraqi capital.

Congress thus faces a choice in the weeks and months ahead. Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq--or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? What ultimately matters more to us: the real fight over there, or the political fight over here?

Come home, Joe.

Rice says Congress shouldn't micromanage war: Bush won't let himself be constrained, the secretary of State says. (Molly Hennessy-Fiske, February 26, 2007, LA Times)

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke out Sunday against efforts in Congress to limit the role of U.S. forces in Iraq, saying President Bush would not allow himself to be constrained by such a "micromanagement of military affairs."

Asked whether Bush would abide by a binding resolution, now being drafted by Democratic leaders, that would include the start of troop withdrawal from Iraq, Rice told "Fox News Sunday" such a measure would hinder his efforts to support the "flexibility of our commanders to do what they think they need to do on the ground."

"I can't imagine a circumstance in which it's a good thing that their flexibility is constrained by people sitting here in Washington, sitting in the Congress, trying to micromanage this war," Rice said.

Few in GOP want to bail out Dems on Iraq (ROBERT NOVAK, 2/26/07, Chicago Sun-Times)
As Congress returns this week from the year's first recess, authorization repeal is supposed to be attached to the bill containing homeland security recommendations by the 9/11 commission. But Sen. Norm Coleman, who has become prominent among Republican critics of Bush's war policy, told me from his home state of Minnesota that he would oppose the de-authorization and predicted no more than two Republican senators would vote for it.

One of those two Republican senators would have to be Chuck Hagel, who has fearlessly critiqued Bush war policy. But he told me from Nebraska that he would not be inclined to support repeal. If Hagel is lost, Democrats might fall short of the 50 senators necessary for passage, much less the 60 senators necessary to close off debate. [...]

After checking with anti-war Republicans on recess last week, I found that several who had favored a non-binding resolution rejecting Bush's policy are loath to give Democrats an Iraq-get-out-of-jail-free-card. An exception was Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, who indicated he might favor de-authorization but never would cut off funds. However, Coleman told me: "I don't see us going back and rewriting history." Similarly, Hagel said: "We are not going back and rewind every decision we made."

Without Joe Lieberman mightn't they even lose the vote?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 26, 2007 7:22 AM

How do you reconcile your love for Joe Lieberman with his love of abortion? I mean, the guy makes Peter Singer look like Lou Gots.

Posted by: Bryan at February 26, 2007 11:13 AM

Petraeus was "unanimously" confirmed 81-0? I know Tim Johnson's never going to vote again, but what's the excuse of the other 18? Would it be a correct assumption that any Dem with Presidential hopes didn't bother to vote?

Posted by: b at February 26, 2007 11:49 AM

Love? If I didn't hold him in contempt I wouldn't assume his loyalty so easily bought and his politics so malleable.

Posted by: oj [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2007 4:18 PM

He's not even worth the virtual ink being wasted on will he, won't he? Who cares.

Posted by: erp at February 26, 2007 5:07 PM