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The Progressive

No Time for Compromise on Iraqi Withdrawal

Matthew Rothschild

The Democrats must stand strong against the current of compromise that is swirling around Washington concerning the funding of the Iraq War.After Bush's veto, there has already been lots of talk on Capitol Hill about crafting an acceptable bill.

But no bill is acceptable that continues funding for this war and this occupation.

The American people want out, the U.S. soldiers want out, and the Iraqis are demanding that we leave. A majority of Iraqis think it's acceptable to kill Americans there. We can't win that way.

Yet the Democrats are seriously contemplating a compromise on an already compromised bill. Now, rather than insist on a deadline for withdrawal that was fudge-able in the first place, they appear to be ready to settle for no deadline at all, just some unenforceable benchmarks for the Maliki government.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer expects a new bill to pass in the House in two weeks and to become law by Memorial Day. "We're not going to leave our troops in harm's way . . . without the resources they need," he said.

But resources for what?

For continuing the occupation?

Or for getting the hell out of there?

Nancy Pelosi wasn't exactly crystal clear in her statement on the President's veto. The Speaker said the original bill "honored and respected the wishes of the American people to have benchmarks, to have guidelines, to have standards for what is happening in Iraq."

Those weren't the wishes of the American people.

Their wishes were to bring the troops home within a year.

Now it looks like the Democratic leadership is going to cave even more.

Last week, in the context of Iraq, Harry Reid tipped his hand, saying, "I'm a legislator, and I believe legislating is the art of compromise."

There may be times to compromise.

But this is not one of them.

There is no art in continuing to pay for a foolish, bloody war.

The Democrats need to find the courage to withstand the slurs from Bush and Cheney and their parrots on Fox News and rightwing radio.

They need to defund the war. That is their moral duty, and they have the clear constitutional authority to do their duty. Not compromise.

Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine.

© 2007 The Progressive

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