Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Bush Veto Avoids Accountability and Harms Troops

Both Houses of Congress have passed an emergency supplemental appropriations bill that contains benchmarks and goals for progress in Iraq as well as a timetable for redeployment of American troops in Iraq. This is about accountability that has so far been lacking in the Bush administration's execution of the Iraq War.

George Bush's threat to veto this accountability is embarrassing. It sends a message to the world that his policy is to sustain a failed war policy that is further increasing instability in the region. It also signals to the nascent Iraqi government that we will prop them up, regardless of their unwillingness to assume responsibility for their own country.

It should further be said that the benchmarks and goals contained in the bill were originally suggested by Bush's own Department of Defense. Democratic Leadership simply placed those suggestions into law.

To veto the supplemental would serve only to avoid this accountability. For the past six years, George Bush has not had a Congress that was willing to hold him accountable for anything. Thankfully, the Democratic Congress has lived up to its responsibility to do what the Republican-led Congress wouldn't.

If Bush vetoes this bill, it will deny much needed funding to the troops. The military would not be able to afford to deploy new troops, effectively extending the already-extended tours of the men and women currently in Iraq. He should be mindful of this before acting grossly irresponsible and using his veto power.

Those of us on the Left should repeat this argument as often as possible. To repeat in much simpler terms, a veto avoids accountability and harms our troops.

Here is a video of Speaker Pelosi's comments on the bill, the Iraq Accountability Act. For good measure, I'm also going to include what I think are two more amazing speeches. The second one is Representative Jack Murtha, who is a veteran and largely responsible for moving us so far in the right direction on Iraq policy. The third is Freshman Representative Patrick Murphy. Patrick is a fantastic guy and continues to make me proud with the way he is conducting himself in office.




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