Friday, February 02, 2007

The Feingold Bill
What Will Peter Welch Do?

“By passing my legislation, Congress can respond to the will of the American people and force the President to safely bring our forces out of Iraq. “With the President set on pursuing his failed policies in Iraq, Congress has the duty to stand up and use its power to stop him. If Congress doesn’t stop this war, it’s not because it doesn’t have the power -- it’s because it doesn’t have the will.”

The above quote is from Senator Russ Feingold’s explination of his recently introduced Senate Bill. The purpose of this bill is explicit: Use the Congressional power of the purse, and bring our troops safely out of Iraq within six months following passage of the bill.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this, and I still have not come up with the answer. The deepest feeling part of me says: End it now. Bring them home.

It goes without saying that I feel that George W. Bush should go down in posterity as the President who committed the single worst strategic blunder in all of our history.

At the same time, now that he has gotten us there, what is the best way to exit the field? I’m not going to go in to my thought process now…if you want to know more, you can read a blog entry called “Checkmate” and the comments that followed the next day…I posted that back in October, and I still haven’t found any answers.

But that’s not really the point right now…the point is…what we should do? J.D. Ryan, author of the blog “Five Before Chaos” knows what he is going to do. And he knows what he’d like you to do.

Senator Leahy (our Vermont Senator, for any of you reading out of Vermont) is already on board. I haven’t heard the news yet, but I’d bet a quarter that Senator Sanders will be along any minute now. So the Vermont delegation to the U.S. Senate is covered.

A similar resolution has been introduced in the U.S. house…the question is…what will our new U.S. Congressman Peter Welch do?

Here’s J.D. Ryan:

Anyways, as we hear all the talk of Welch not going far enough, etc. , here's how to put him to the test. Call his VT office at 888-605-7270 or his Washington office at 202 225-4115 and tell them that you want Welch to publicly express support of Feingold's bill, and that 'symbolic resolutions' are meaningless, and don't go far enough. And remember, be nice.

I’ve enjoyed sparring with J.D Ryan over at Green Mountain Daily and on his own blog. I encourage you to check out Five Before Chaos and look for him over on GMD.

I think that I’m leaning toward calling Welch myself…and if, unlike me, you are unburdened with the “Hamlet Syndrome of the Centrist” and KNOW what you should do…then by all means, DO IT. Call or email your Senators and Congressmen.

What to know how? Here’s a great place to start:
A Handy Little Tool, built at taxpayer expense, just for you.

The Senate is here:


J.D. Ryan said...

Ooops.. please delete that last comment, I accidentally pasted something in there by accident.

But thanks for the plug, Hamlet> Let's hope we see Welch sign on as a cosponsor shortly.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had the answer, although I'm not sure anyone in power would listen if I did. But my thoughts are such: now that we've made an unstable disaster in the middle east, we need to stabilize it. I think there is some progress by having our military in Iraq. Here's a snippet from this morning's USA Today, which everyone except me gets in front of their door every morning, here at the Kahler Grand Hotel and Bobbi's Temporary Residence:

A major U.S. intelligence report released last Friday said that Iraqi security forces lack the training, equipment and skills necessary to replace U.S. troops. The National Intelligence Estimate said that, if U.S. troops were withdrawn in the next 12 to 18 months, "this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq."

[Seth Reimers] said he notices improvements and cannot correct every transgression he sees. Before a foot patrol got underway, the Iraqi battalion sergeant major, the top enlisted man, was hustling to get the Iraqi troops prepared when it was clear they were running late. In the past, only Iraqi officers had exercised any leadership. Reimers noted that non-commissioned officers were now taking initiative. "They feel like they're letting us down if they're not ready," Reimers said, watching him scramble after his troops. "That's more progress."

One advantage of placing an entire U.S. battalion with an Iraqi unit is that the Americans can plug the gaps left by Iraq's Defense Ministry. Instead of waiting on the ministry, the Americans fixed the Iraqi Humvees. The U.S. government has paid for new barracks on the Iraqi base here.