Legislating defeat

Joe Lieberman:

Two months ago, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm one of our most decorated generals, David Petraeus, to take command in Iraq. Gen. Petraeus promised a fundamental overhaul of U.S. strategy — with a new plan that would at last correct the many mistakes we have made in this long and difficult war.

Since taking command, Gen. Petraeus has been true to his word. The result? Sectarian violence is down in Baghdad. The radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has fled. The Mahdi Army, which terrorized Baghdad last year, appears to be splintering. And the Iraqi government — its spine stiffened thanks to our renewed support — is taking the critical steps for political reconciliation.

Amazingly, however, just at the moment things are at last beginning to look up in Iraq, a narrow majority in Congress has decided that it's time to force our military to retreat. Rather than supporting Gen. Petraeus, they are threatening to strip him of the troops he says he needs and sabotage his strategy.

This is outrageous.

The deadline for retreat that Congress wants to impose is both arbitrary and inflexible. American troops would be forced to begin withdrawing regardless of conditions in Iraq, regardless of the recommendations of our military commanders, and regardless of what impact a hasty retreat would have on America's security and credibility — in short, regardless of reality.

...
Lieberman is the one guy who could do something about this travesty, by knocking the Democrats out of control of the Senate. I know this issue is important to him and he is right on the issue. He should therefore make the tough choice of backing Mitch McConnell to be Speaker of the house. It is our best chance of stopping this travesty.

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