It's On

The Senate voted to end the war.
The Senate approved a spending measure with a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, setting up a showdown with President George W. Bush, who has vowed to veto any congressional demands to end the war.

The $122 billion emergency spending legislation funds military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and provides money for domestic needs such as relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The proposal calls for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq to begin 120 days after final passage of the measure, with a goal of having most forces withdrawn by March 31, 2008. The Senate, during debate on the war-funding measure March 27, voted 50-48 to retain the withdrawal timeline. The entire measure was passed today 51-47.

Democrats have been ratcheting up pressure on Bush to change strategy in Iraq since winning control of both chambers of Congress in the November election.

``We have given the American people what they want, and now it's up to the president,'' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. ``He has a responsibility to sign this bill.''
Of course he won't. Bush's war on rationality will continue with his second veto ever. The first, you'll recall, continued the federal government's "funding restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research." And now Bush has this. Fox News will be happy to report the talking point that it's all just posturing to make Bush deny funding for the troops. Well, the bottom line is, he will. Supporting the troops is less important to this president than ending a failed policy. He screwed up and he can't admit it.

It's the same mistake, really. Bush made his Solomon choice of cutting the stem cell issue in half, which pleased nobody, and yet he persisted. Iraq is the same thing. Nobody in Iraq appears to be happy with the American presence. The Sunnis are in the fight of their lives, the Shiites are biding their time, and the Kurds are ready to break loose and start inciting separatist violence in Turkey. And Bush definitely doesn't want all that feces-meet-rotary-device endgame on his watch.

But why shouldn't it be? If anybody should have the "You break it, you buy it" sign pointed out to them, it's this president. And that's the political motivation behind the President's stance. It's as nakedly political as anything else in Washington. But we're used to to Bush condemning others for his own vices. It's one of the things that remind me how human the man is. Nevertheless, the failure of the Iraqi occupation is the direct result of Bush's policies and decisions. If there's to be an violent civil war, it belongs to Bush.

There will be a violent civil war if we leave, won't there?

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