Dems: We Gave You The Damn Money Now Listen

I dig the message Reid and Co. are pushing on the Iraq funds.

-- We Do Not Live in a Monarchy
-- Bush Refuses to Negotiate
-- Dems Refuse to Write the President a Blank Check

Democrats now have the leverage in discussions over war funding. After passing this bill, there's no absolutely no reason to feel pressure to pass a second watered-down bill. In fact, whatever legislation follows should have even more teeth.

Why? Because we already gave you the damn money once and you turned it down. Because Democrats refuse to give Bush a blank check to fight a civil war in Iraq. Because Bush refuses to talk seriously about changing strategy in Iraq. Because Republicans like Sens. Coleman, Sununu and Collins are watching their political careers self-destruct over their support for Bush's failing war policy.

Froomkin hits it in his collumn today writing, "yesterday's senate vote has put President Bush in a real bind."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/linkset/2005/04/11/LI2005041100879. html

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I am sure you thought of this: Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, et al.

February 8, 2007

To Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, et al.

I have had my eyes and ears glued to C-Span all this week hoping for an end to the deadlocked Warner-Levin proposal. This haggling back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, like a bunch of bad actors, makes very bad theater for all of America  and the rest of the world to see. Especially,with all the recent pep-talks by the President and both sides of the aisle how important bipartisanship and working together are.I think it's time for a change in how Congress does business.
In the meantime, I strongly support the following two (2) solutions to the problem, assuming Congress decides to go ahead with Bush's surge:

#1 Redeploy the needed troops from the military already serving in Iraq. Simply determine how many soldiers can be spared from each of the occupied areas. They would be best suited for this new assignment and hardly  missed at their present assignments. As an added incentive, offer these men extra combat pay.

#2 Isn't it high time that our friends in the area, such as Eqypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, etc., furnish the troops for for this expedition? Or, why hasn't the United Nations been asked to furnish the needed forces?x                                                                The majority of the American people voted against sending more troops to Iraq. Had the American people known what President Bush's intentions were before the Novemeber 7th elections, they would have retired many more Republicans.  

                                                                PoorBensJournnal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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who will/should the Dems appoint? [Poll]

The Dems have agreed to participate in the Bush's Iraq Advisory Group.  Initially, Pelosi and Reid rejected the idea because Bush insisted on choosing the democratic members who would constitute the group.  In exchange for allowing the Dems to choose the members of their delegation who would form the group, they agreed to participate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2007/01/30/AR2007013001085. html

This is a critical decision that will let us know how committed the leadership is the withdrawing from Iraq.  One question is whether Lieberman will be allowed by the Democratic leadership to be member of the group....interesting politics.

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Americans Deserve an Up or Down Vote on Kennedy's Legislation Against This Escalation

Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, January 10, 2007

To no-one's surprise, President Bush has announced his "new strategy": 20,000 more troops. To no-one's surprise, the November election has not changed Bush's underlying policy one whit. To no-one's surprise, he ignored the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, in particular, the call for diplomacy with Syria and Iran.

No new information was revealed.

Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Speaker Pelosi took an important first step when they pledged that the Senate and the House would vote on a resolution against this escalation. As the New York Times reported, "the resolutions would represent the most significant reconsideration of Congressional support for the war since it began."

But while it is tremendously important for Congress to go on the record against the escalation, Congress can't stop there. It cannot absolve itself of responsibility by merely passing a resolution.

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Reid and Pelosi in Letter to Bush: NO to Surge!

So on their second day in Power, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi send a letter to Bush basically warn him that his possible "strategy" of a troop surge for Iraq doesn't make sense considering that 1) It has been tried in the past and failed, and 2) it does nothing for the political solution that is needed to ensure the long-term stabilization of the country.

The key Paragraph of the letter:

Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed.  Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake.  They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq .  There is only a political solution.  Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain.  And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future.  We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.

The letter contains no threats, merely a message to warn the president of the their concerns before his big Iraq speech next week, explaining their "appreciation" for his consideration of their views.

Complete Text after the Jump.

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