Where is Congress? Where is the outrage among the voters? And where are specific plans from the presidential candidates on ending the war?
Last year around this time the voters were looking ahead to a new House of Representatives and a new Senate that would be controlled by the Democrats. Many of the Democratic candidates ran on one key issue: being strongly against the war in Iraq.
Now, a year later the House and the Senate, both under Democratic leadership, have totally failed in any meaningful attempt to stop, shorten or fully debate American involvement in Iraq.
The House and the Senate have approval ratings nearly as low as President Bush. Why? The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate has not done anything to lessen American involvement in Iraq. In fact, there are more U.S. troops in Iraq now than there were a year ago.
So what is Congress doing these days? The House is debating whether or not Turkey was involved in genocide against Armenians--100 years ago. We actually have an ally in Turkey, one that returns our phone calls, and now, it seems, we are working really hard to alienate them. Turkey is thinking of invading northern Iraq--just what this war needs--another front. Why in the world is Congress wasting its time on trivial and meaningless resolutions condemning one of our few allies in the Muslim world when there is real work to do to try and end American military involvement in Iraq?
Where is the leadership in the House and the Senate? It appears to be missing. Do the American people know any more about why we are still in Iraq, why we went into Iraq in the first place and what exactly our mission is today in Iraq? Has Congress attempted to explain alternatives to the American public?
If the war is so terrible, as the Democratic leadership continues to say, then why not work every day to cut off funding for the war? Congress controls the purse strings of the federal government. Why do they keep approving more and more funding for this war that continues and continues without any coherent reason for continuing? What is the rationale for the war today?
As bad as Congress has been in doing nothing of substance to stop, shorten or seriously debate this war the presidential candidates of both parties are not providing much in the way of specific plans to stop U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
As mentioned in a previous column, the three leading Democratic presidential candidates cannot even say they will be totally out of Iraq by the end of their first term in office. Edwards, Obama and Clinton won't even tell the American voter that the war will end shortly after they would take office.
And, on the Republican side most of the leading candidates are saying we have to win in Iraq because we are in Iraq so therefore we cannot leave without a victory--whatever that might mean after so many years fighting over there.
Because there is no draft you do not see college students out protesting in the streets. Demonstrations that do take place around the country are half-hearted at best and do not show much serious resolve.
The war in Iraq will be continuing through this election campaign. The war in Iraq will continue as the candidates talk endlessly about the pros and cons of the war. The war in Iraq will continue if Congress sidesteps its responsibilities by not cutting off funding for the war as it is their power to do if they had the political will.
The war in Iraq will continue as not enough people are angry enough to be out in the streets protesting American military involvement in Baghdad.
The war in Iraq will continue because the bloggers who are supposedly making the Democratic presidential candidates more anti-war in their beliefs do not seem to have the power that they seem to think they have.
The war in Iraq will continue because the media is not discussing why America is still involved in this lengthy conflict with no end in sight and no rational reason for our still being there.
And, the war in Iraq will continue mainly because the Bush Administration will not look at any other alternatives. The president continues to say we are staying the course without discussing or considering any other course of action that might lead to a better outcome for the United States and for Iraq.
Where is the anger in the country over the war and where is the political will to end the war?
The war in Iraq continues. . .