On Pretreus Day, be sure to read the brave bipartisan (so it must be good) statement issued last week by a bunch of congresspeople:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner:
We ask that you, our leaders, work together to put an end to the political in-fighting over the war in Iraq and allow the House to unite behind a bipartisan strategy to stabilize the country and bring our troops home.
Since 2003, over 3,700 American military personnel have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and more than 25,000 have been injured. We have also spent over $400 billion in the course of this conflict. It is clear that the American people want a straightforward plan regarding our involvement and long-term interests in the region.
Next week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will submit a very important report to Congress regarding efforts to quell violence and reach political compromise in Iraq. While we are hopeful that their report will show progress, we should not wait any longer to come together in support of a responsible post-surge strategy to safely bring our troops home from Iraq.
It is absolutely crucial that we stabilize Iraq and transition the combat mission to the Iraqis. Any future legislative proposals considered in the House must reflect a bipartisan approach to this conflict. We ask that you join us in committing to a truly bipartisan dialogue on this issue immediately.
So the plan should be bipartisan (natch), straightforward, responsible and truly bipartisan. Because the reason Iraq isn't stable is because Congress hasn't agreed enough. And, oh yeah, throw in the Pony Proviso by requiring a stabilized Iraq. It's absolutely crucial!
Obviously this is a stunt meant to trick people into believing that their congresspeople are doing something, that they want out of Iraq and that they're searching for bipartisan (so they must be good!) solutions. It may even work. After the letter appeared in the press, a local peace organizer called me to ask if s/he should cancel the meeting his/her group had with one of the signatories since he was doing the right thing. My reply, after my brain stopped screaming, was "No. No. NoNoNoNoNo."
Where's the mention of the April 08 draw down that everyone knows has to happen no matter which congress members sign what letters? How many troops do they want coming home in April 08? Where's the definition of "stablized"? Where's the definition of "dialogue"? Where are any specifics at all?
I say all the congress members who signed this letter (for a start) should lose their seats for playing bipartisan games with our soldiers' lives.