Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Democratic leadership in Congress wants to force Bush to change "a course that is leading to defeat" in the nearly four-year-old war.But former Faux NewsBoy and intellectual colossus of the Bush junta Tony Snow demurs:
"If someone wants to call that tying the hands instead of changing the policy, yeah -- the president needs a check and a balance," said Levin, who voted against the 2002 resolution. "This president hasn't had one."
Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said senators are working on a draft of a binding resolution that would replace the 2002 authorization. It would set a March 2008 goal for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops and limit the mission of remaining units to training and supporting Iraqi troops and hunting al Qaeda terrorists.
The White House said it does not want Congress to micromanage U.S. commanders in Iraq by limiting the 2002 resolution that authorized President Bush to invade that country, as Democratic senators have proposed.Supposing that a war were actually necessary (which this one isn't), I concede that it's clear that the "running" of such a war by a committee of elected legislators would be a very bad idea. But then, we'd be thinking of a constitutionally declared state of war against a particular nation-state -- such wars as are traditionally terminated by some form of surrender by one of the nation-states involved. We wouldn't be talking about the sort of jackass derby in which criminality and barbaric cruelty vie with stupidity to see who wins, such as the US is currently conducting in the Middle East. The Congress (and I mean both Major Brands, now that some elephants are making antiwar noises) should simply and cleanly and completely cut off all funding for the US military in any and all Mideastern locations on a definite (and close) date: say, 30 days from the date of passage of the cutoff. Instead, they're jockeying for position, against the Bushies and against each other, for favorable positioning in the final blamefest that will follow the US withdrawal (or, to be honest, defeat). Any concern that these people might have for the lives and limbs of either ordinary Iraqis, Afghans, and Iranians or American legionaries is dwarfed by their overriding concern about their own political futures.
"I've not heard anybody say that they want to amend the resolution so nothing will change," White House spokesman Tony Snow said Monday.
"Instead, amending that language seems to be a device by which members of Congress themselves would try to get involved in micromanaging the activities of military officials."
May they all be visited by very bad dreams indeed.