More on Democrats and Iraq

The debate over the Democrats approach to the war rages on amongst the left.

One hand you have William Greider, who in The Nation, hails the legislation as historic.

Take a deep breath. The nation has arrived at an extraordinary political moment. The Congress is about to instruct the President he should withdraw from the ongoing war. Yes, I know the fine print in the House and Senate versions has lots of wiggle room. But the congressional action is still breathtaking when you think about it, possibly without historic precedent.

I assumed it would take many months and numerous failed efforts for the new Democratic majority to reach this juncture. When House leaders kept softening their terms, I even thought it might be a good thing for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lose the first time around. She would then be assailed by outraged Americans and get the message: stiffen up, this is not business as usual. I was mistaken. Many of the final details are disappointing, but the message has been delivered and received--get out of Iraq. It will rule politics until the American exit actually occurs.

But what Greider calls "wiggle room" others call outright capitulation -- "a complete farce."

From Joshua Frank's latest essay:

Having been one of the unfortunate geeks who actually read the bill, I can tell you only one thing -- it’s a complete farce.

In order for troops to come home the Bushies would have to confirm whether or not “progress” had been made in Iraq, not Congress. So with more money in hand and sole authority on deciding whether or not the war in going as planned, the White House, even if Bush signed the bill, would never have to end the thing. The proposal wasn’t a compromise as many have claimed, but a dagger in the heart of all those of us who want to bring this war to a screeching halt.

As I noted several days ago, reasonable people can be conflicted on how to approach the legislative end of this issue. But it is quite clear that the Iraq supplemental bill, even if it were to survive as it stands, does not and will not serve to end the war. Knowing this, those of us who oppose the continuation of this criminally misguided occupation would be wise to continue to pressure our representatives.