Surprise, surprise. President Bush made good on his promise to veto Congress’s bill to require timetables for withdrawing American troops from Iraq. Of course, that wasn’t the only thing the bill did. With this veto, there’s no funding going to the troops at all, which, ironically, was the original intent of the bill. With no funding for American troops, Iraqis would have more reason to get their own forces in order so they can start taking care of their own business.
It goes without saying that Democrats have come under criticism for the bill and their promise to make an attempt to overturn Bush’s veto. Unsuprisingly, they’ve been attacked for “supporting” terrorists by limiting the ability of American troops to…do what? Take care of the Iraqis? Pardon me for dropping into rant-mode here, but weren’t we there to liberate them from Saddam and his disappearing WMDs? Why, then, are we still there? It seems to me that the longer we stay, the less pressure the Iraqi government has to actually take care of itself. Why bother training police and army (who would probably desert anyways) if the good ol’ Americans are there to kill the bad guys?
Come on, our men and women aren’t there to babysit Iraq. They were there to finally depose Saddam, an act that was 10 years late anyways. The longer they stay in that glorified sandbox, the better the chances that an IED or insurgent sniper will get them. Now, I’m not saying we should pull them out immediately, since that would result in the collapse of Iraq into complete civil war and anarchy (as if it’s not halfway there already), but putting major pressure on the Iraqi government to do their own dirty business would be the best course of action. We can’t stay there forever. The realistic course of action would be to slowly phase our troops out while forcing the Iraqis, if necessary, to police themselves.
Will this do any good? Well, if Vietnam is any indicator, no, it won’t do a thing. We did the same thing in Vietnam that we’re doing today, and things ultimately fell apart. The South Vietnamese were too dependent on American troops to really get their own forces up to snuff. The North Vietnamese were too determined and too numerous for us to outlast, which led to our hurried retreat and the unification of Vietnam under the Communist flag. Ironically, Vietnam is a fairly close economic ally with the United States today, so perhaps allowing Iraq to fall apart wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
At any rate, Congress is merely reflecting the opinions of the American people when it condemns this war and tries to bring the troops home. The majority of Americans think this war is already lost, so perhaps our president and his party should listen instead of stubbornly doing what they want. This is a democracy, after all. Let’s keep it that way.