Joe Lieberman said earlier this week that “For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented. But it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity.” A word to the Congress-ever heard of keeping your problems in-house? In this age of instant proliferation of information, this may be too much to ask. But Lieberman has a point. The carping about the war that permeates the media and now the Congress is ineffectual except to showcase for the world our disunity and haplessness in a time of near-crisis. Capitol Hill is very much the epicenter of the political world, and as such, the messages it sends to the world on behalf of the American people carry much weight. The Congress would do well to remember this.
It is undeniable that the Iraq venture is a mess, and presents almost the perfect Catch-22 scenario. The first response to such a situation is finger-pointing. This catharsis is soon followed by a move to develop a solution-ideally, that is. But in our case, the finger-pointing stage, inaugurated over two years ago, persists. The Iraqi Study Group was a useless exercise–a brief pause in the action. The anti-war faction has, in this past few years, developed no feasible alternatives to the President’s [perhaps deservedly] much-maligned “Stay the Course” approach.
Today, America finds itself in a situation where the winning strategy is elusive, but essential. In the meantime, through the valiant yet largely unsung efforts of tens of thousands of American soldiers, the nation is at least treading water in Iraq. They face a the worst sort of enemy- a guerilla bound to destroy America or die trying. In the face of this, the clear message America is sending from it shores is that the majority disapprove of its President, and a great many would prefer to pull out of Iraq and declare defeat. This is a clear message of weakness. It is also a clear message to American troops that most Americans and their elected officials are ready to say the 3,000 troops that have died and many thousands more who suffered severe injury did so in vain.
America should demand of its elected officials that after years of anti-war rhetoric it is high time they do their part to end the grand display of national disunity and shut up until they can provide some useful alternatives.