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Thursday, July 12, 2007


House votes for eventual partial withdrawal

It certainly doesn't represent what I want, and I don't think it represents what most of the American people want, and I don't think they really have the courage of their convictions in the sense of backing it up (e.g., by refusing to vote more funds for the war when the time comes), but nevertheless today's vote is significant:
The Iraqi government is achieving only spotty military and political progress, the Bush administration conceded Thursday in an assessment that war critics quickly seized on as confirmation of their dire warnings. Within hours, the House voted to withdraw U.S. troops by spring.

A few hours after Bush's remarks, Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.
Why, despite my reservations, do I say this is significant? Because the world is as much about perception as reality, and the vote is billed as "House votes to withdraw troops" and while that may be a false perception, it still reinforces the idea of a real withdrawal in the minds of the public. Yes, you can argue the other way as well (this just deceives the public into thinking the vote was for withdrawal, when it wasn't), but I don't see it that way.

I'd love to see the actual text of the bill, but it's not online as I write this. Not that it matters. Because it isn't going to pass the Senate anyway. Which cynics will say is one reason the House voted for it. :-)

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