On Tuesday, the Senate passed a resolution calling for regular reports and pushing for a handover to Iraqi primacy. The vote was 79-19. The argument on the right was that this would send a terrible signal to Iraq that we’re going to cut and run. On Thursday Rep. Murtha proposed immediate withdrawal. On Friday, the House voted on an immediate withdrawal resolution sponsored by the GOP that was stark in its simplicity “the deployment of United States forces be terminated immediately.” The measure failed 403-3.
Amazingly nobody, not the left or the right, seems to be analyzing this in terms of what this message sends to the people of Iraq. It’s all inside baseball, chickenhawk v cut & run, and US patriotism. Where concerns about what they’ll think in Iraq are brought up at all, it’s about our own troops in Iraq and how they’ll react. This doesn’t scan, not in the least.
What we should be worried about is the guy on the bubble, torn between joining up for the police or the Iraqi army and staying on the sideline. What will he make of these events? Did the Senate action dismay him? Did the House action buoy his spirits? Will the new week see him decide to join the long line of applicants or not? We should deeply care about that. Our chattering classes seem to have abdicated the only real, serious question that matters. Inside baseball, for them, is so much more entertaining.