Whew! Thank God that’s over!
The mighty wind you hear coming from Washington today is the huge sigh of relief from Democratic leaders, glad that they can now drop all the political posturing about ending the war in Iraq and get back on board with the imperial program. With the crushing defeat yesterday of what was purported to be a bill to “end” the war, Senate Majority Leader Harry “Give ‘Em Mild Heck” Reid moved quickly to give the Dear Leader all the money he needs to keep feeding the Babylonian inferno with the dead bodies of Iraqi citizens and American soldiers.
In fact, the bill in question, the Feingold Plan, would not have actually ended the illegal occupation of Iraq — God forbid! However, it would have curtailed the extent of the war crime to some degree — withdrawing “combat forces” but keeping troops in Iraq for “counterterrorism” (and aren’t we constantly told that all the Iraqi insurgents are “terrorists”?) and “training Iraqi forces” and protecting the fortress embassy being constructed in the heart of Baghdad. But even this slight slackening of the garrote would not have taken effect until April 2008 — or after 10 more months of savage “surging” by Bush and his sectarian death-squadding allies. (Such as this kind of thing.)
In any case, it was well known that the bill was dead on arrival and had no chance of passing; that’s precisely why the Democratic leaders put it up for consideration. It was a PR exercise to give political cover to those Democrats whose ambitions have forced them to at least nod toward the “consent of the governed,” as clearly expressed in the anti-war vote last year. But now that the stunt is over, it’s back to bipartisan business. As the New York Times reports:
After the vote, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader and a co-sponsor of the Feingold plan, said he was committed to delivering legislation acceptable to Mr. Bush by the end of next week. He conceded that the compromise was likely to disappoint war opponents who had pushed Congress to set a pull-out date…
In the end, the only proposal to pass the Senate [with overwhelming Democratic support] was a resolution by Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, senior Republican on the Appropriations Committee, which urged Congress to provide about $95 billion sought by the president for the war before Memorial Day.