Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bush Takes Hostages

Yes, the title of this post is inflammatory and not strictly true...Dubya hasn't completely flipped out and is currently holding people at gunpoint in the Lincoln bedroom. Having said that, I can't readily think of another way to describe Bush's recent statements on the military funding bills that have passed the House and Senate:

"In a time of war, it's irresponsible for the Democratic leadership in Congress to delay for months on end while our troops in combat are waiting for the funds," Bush said in a Rose Garden news conference.

"The bottom line is this: Congress' failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines," Bush said. "Others could see their loved ones heading
back to the war sooner than they need to."*

Bush has elevated the standoff between Congress and the White House to a situation where the lives of U.S. troops and the well-being of their families are being used to browbeat Congress and the majority of Americans who support the ending of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. He is, in effect, holding our troops hostage with the intent of forcing Congress to comply with his will in regards to Iraq. Unless Congress provides funding on Bush's terms, he's threatening to keep them away from their families.
"Whatever option they choose, we hope they get home, get a bill, and get it to my desk," Bush said. "And if it has artificial timetables for withdrawal, or cuts off funding for our troops, or tells our generals how to run a war**, I'll veto it."
Dubya has the funding he's requested; his objections concern the strings attached...Congress, like a bank making a loan, has set conditions on the use of government funds. Unfortunately, too many years of a Republican majority has given Bush the impression that the U.S. Treasury is his personal piggy-bank and Congress is an issuer of blank checks...And it isn't, no matter what Andy Card says...Bush can't make up for bad policy by hiding behind our military.

*And this is different from extending tours and stop-lossing soldiers for the past few years exactly how?
**And this is different from telling Shinskei to bugger off after that General said that it would take "Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" to provide security in Iraq exactly how?