The Commissar has just complained that the Democrats don’t do enough to stop the war on Iraq. Pelosi listened and made it clear that there would be “No more blank checks.” The resolution that’s about to pass Congress is non-binding, but Pelosi’s hinting that more substantial resolutions will follow.
“A vote of disapproval will set the stage for additional Iraq legislation, which will be coming to the House floor,” said Speaker Pelosi of California, who underscored the significance of the debate by delivering the first speech.
“In a few weeks, the war in Iraq will enter its fifth year, causing thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of casualties, costing hundreds of billions of dollars and damaging the standing of the United States in the international community. And there is no end in sight,” she said.
The Republican response is the standard “Support the troops” trope, which holds that exercising any kind of dissenting speech in wartime is hurtful. Four years ago, the Republicans could at least boldly accuse people of treason; today, the best they can do is have a Vietnam vet cry in front of a camera when talking about how he first learned of anti-war protests while in captivity.
The Feingold resolution cutting off funding for the war is not gaining any traction yet, but it may once the Democrats pass their non-binding resolution and start looking for real action. This resolution is very much like the Portuguese abortion referendum: while not legally binding, it will provide the Democrats with the political capital necessary to block the surge more vigorously.
Meanwhile, the occupation of Iraq is becoming increasingly desperate. The latest gambit is a 72-hour border closure with Syria and Iran, whose primary purpose is probably letting Bush segue to an attack on Syria and Iran. Ostensibly it’s supposed to provide the extra 20,000 troops with breathing room, but if the US were serious about it, it would close the border indefinitely.