Today's Washington Post contains the headline, "April Toll is Highest of '07 for U.S. Troops". More than 100 Americans have been killed in the past month. This brings the death toll, the ultimate cost for this "War of Failed Leadership" closer to the 3500 mark then ever before.
Meanwhile, the headline in the Washington Times today reads, "Democrats conceding on war bill". Here's an excerpt:
Democratic leaders in Congress are slowly backing down from a standoff with the White House over tying war funding to a troop-withdrawal timetable, saying they can use other bills to confront President Bush on Iraq.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is courting Republican support for compromise war-funding legislation to follow Mr. Bush's promised veto this week of a $124 billion bill that would start a pullout as soon as July.
Senior Democratic aides say that although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not similarly talking to Republicans about a post-veto agreement, she privately acknowledges that eventually the "money will get to the troops without timetables."
Here is a recent Washington Post article that tells us, according to a Post/ABC News poll, that Americans overwhelmingly trust Democrats in Congress to do the right thing on Iraq, edging out Bush by 25%. That's a HUGE margin. Democrats have the support of the American people on this issue.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD WE CEDE THIS ISSUE TO GEORGE BUSH. It would be an abdication of the trust placed in the Democratic Congress by voters nationwide in November 2006. It would also be an abandonment of the responsibility we have to our troops.
Here is an excerpt of an email from a friend in South Carolina whose son is in Iraq. He is organizing a grassroots effort to show that the American people care about our troops since there apparently aren't enough people in Washington that are willing to use the power of Congress to show them that they care.
"I just received word from my son Joshua that his unit's tour of duty in Iraq is being extended to November--they were originally scheduled to come home in July. Needless to say, the soldiers are depressed and upset at this news. I am sincerely asking that everyone who can help do at least one shoebox, and get their family members and friends to do one also. In December we sent 45, lets break 100 this time. Besides getting the news of their extension, 4 men in his unit were killed in action the week before Easter. Let's send love and support from the lowcountry."
Democrats in Congress need to coalesce around a shared goal of truly changing course in Iraq. You have the support and confidence of the American people. George Bush does not. If you show solidarity on this issue, you will win in the court of public opinion.
Send him the SAME BILL again. Repeat over and over that you are funding the troops and bringing them home. That's the mandate you were given in November. It's what the people want. It's what the troops want. Do not succumb to a President whose approval rating has been stuck in the low 30's for as long as we can remember.
STAND UP. DO NOT BACK DOWN. MAKE US PROUD.