Senate Democrats, joined by Arlen Specter, are exploring ways to block Bush’s surge. Feingold went further and introduced a bill to cut off funding to the entire Iraq occupation within six months, except for a few limited counterterrorism and training operations.
Mr. Specter read the results of a survey of service members conducted by The Military Times, which found that only 35 percent of respondents approved of Mr. Bush’s handling of the war. The senator suggested that in that light, the military might be “appreciative of questions being raised by Congress.”
Mr. Feingold insisted that his resolution would “not hurt our troops in any way” because they would all continue to be paid, supplied, equipped and trained as usual — just not in Iraq.
Of course, the New York Times tries to be a balanced newspaper regardless of the facts, so it quotes someone who says that,
Congress had made itself responsible for the deaths of the 1.7 million Cambodians estimated to have been slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge, by denying funds for President Nixon to wage war inside Cambodia.
What actually happened is that the US helped Prince Lon Nol overthrow the government in 1970 and establish an American puppet regime. The regime was unpopular enough that many people thought the Khmer Rouge would be a positive change; of course it wasn’t, but Pol Pot would’ve never come to power had the US left Norodom Sihanouk in power.
Then, in 1978, the communist government of Vietnam invaded Cambodia, deposed the Khmer Rouge, and installed a non-genocidal regime in its stead. Meanwhile, the US kept recognizing the Khmer Rouge, which was still terrorizing the country, as the legitimate government of Cambodia.
So blaming Congress for that is positively weird. It’s like blaming Congress for the ills of the Iraq War because it voted to approve it. Those members who voted for the war bear some responsibility, but the people who actually instigated the war and then butchered the occupation are primarily Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, rather than anyone in Congress.
It’s entirely possible that if the US withdraws, the Shi’as will commit genocide against the Sunnis. On the other hand, it’s equally likely that they will if the US doesn’t withdraw. A conclaved group of 150,000 or even 200,000 troops can’t do much in Iraq. At this stage even the 300,000 that the military recommended will probably be unable to stop the inevitable.