Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"There is no strategy. This is a ping-pong game with American lives."

By Michael J.W. Stickings

This is why it was so important for Democrats to take back Congress in November. From the AP: "In a calculated snub of President Bush, the Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee dismissed plans for a troop buildup in Iraq on Wednesday as 'not in the national interest' of the United States."

In other words, NO to the surge.

Bush asked for support, and specifically for more time, in yesterday's State of the Union, but Democrats have rightly said that his time is up.

This particular measure, which should go to the full Senate for a vote next week, is non-binding. Which means it's all bark and no bite. But some bark is better than no bark, and this bark could be followed with a bite: "Several of the panel's 11 Democrats said they favored stronger legislation to register their opposition to the war." And Committee Chair Joe Biden "said tougher measures were likely to follow".

Democrats rolled over in 2002. It's a bit too late, but at least they're not rolling over now.

The vote of the Committee was 12-9. It was a party-line vote, with one notable exception: the admirable Chuck Hagel, who once again showed he is his party's staunchest critic of the conduct of this disastrous war.

It was Hagel who said the words that are the title of this post. Speaking truth to power in response to the abuse of power, in opposition to a war that has taken so many lives and that has been so utterly devastating, he continues to be a voice of sanity in a time of madness. Here -- a must-watch -- are his remarks from earlier today (TPM Muckraker has the complete transcript here):

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