Both the House of Representatives and the US Senate have approved a $122 billion funding bill for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill links specific progress in Iraq to gradual troop withdrawal.
The majority of America's Congressional representatives have spoken and in a democracy, the majority rules. Yet President George W. Bush has said he will veto any bill containing a proviso that troops be withdrawn by a certain date. He's the one whose ill-advised actions got us into Iraq in the first place and four years later, the situation worsens by the day. So why does Mr. Bush think any significant improvements will occur during the remainder of his term? It's looking more and more as though he's desperately clutching at straws - and that the next president will have to clean up his mess.
The House and Senate have agreed to appropriate the funds requested by the president, as well as ensure that troops have the protective gear and equipment they need before going into Iraq. So why does the president persist in his assertion that those who oppose him are being disloyal to the troops? Congress is giving Bush everything he asks for - in return they're asking that real progress in Iraq be measured by specific dates and that the Iraqi government cooperates; otherwise our troops begin to pull out. The president, for whom accountability seems to be a foreign concept, wants a blank check to spend whatever he wants. Congress is saying he can have the money needed for troops already in play, but he doesn't get carte blanche.
It appears the two-thirds majority required to override a presidential veto does not exist, either in the House or the Senate. Party leaders must choose whether to abandon the troop withdrawal deadline, claiming they have made their stand against a war opposed by a majority of Americans. Or, they can continue to challenge the president's plan, but risk being tarred with White House claims that those who don't agree with the president are undermining the US mission in Iraq. What's your view?