Yesterday, as Dana Perino, White House spokesperson, said "the House of Representatives voted for failure in Iraq, and the President will veto its bill." The legislation to which she refers mandates the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq beginning in October unless certain "benchmarks" are met that demonstrate that the presence of American troops, over the past four years, has succeeded in quelling sectarian strife. In addition to providing a first-ever timetable for removal, the bill also provides for an additional $95 billion for combat operations. Only from a country that juxtaposes a 30 second spot for Jenny Craig with one for Burger King would that kind of conceptual incongruity be plausible. And, a few hours ago, as expected, the Senate also approved the bill.
While nobody contends that having our soldiers pack up, and come home means an end to our presence in that war-battered country, merely an end to our military presence, and while some might argue that this is more a symbolic gesture than a strategic one, few can dispute the clear and cogent signal this sends to the American people that, yes, however partisan and divided, there are folks in Congress who are listening to us. But, how frustrating to think that those like Kucinich and Feingold who have, for some time now, called for cutting off war funds altogether must stand by and watch a "too little, too late" measure pass.
So, it is then that this lame duck president has managed to triumph in the very pit of defeat. And, rest assured, the appropriation of more funds to make war isn't the only victory this president may yet get to claim as his phoenix rising from the ashes of an itinerant war, one built on lies, false premises, and moribund greed.
While he may not have star power like another prominent Republican (the governor of California), this president may yet get to prove that he has veto power. Make no mistake, this is not your grandma's veto, this is not some flaccid, Viagra-sucking veto - this is a virile, meat-eating veto! This is the kind of veto that puts hair on one's chest, maybe even on Hillary's because if this President refuses to just say no to war, and give up his manic warrior ways, whoever occupies the Oval Office come 2009 may well find themselves sitting in the same dark, and dirty foxhole he has left behind. Indeed, who better than this President to show the wisdom of that age-old adage "there are no atheists in foxholes." Keep this in mind next Tuesday when watching a beaming Bush grin ear-to-ear during the inevitable photo-op in which he'll show his virile veto, as well as shoot down what may only be seen as minimalist, and modest efforts to rein in his unitary hyperactive divide and conquer global antics. But, let's not confuse star power with staying power.
It isn't bin Laden and al Qaeda the world needs to worry about as much as this administration's militaristic incontinence. Rest assured, long after names like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove are relegated to the tattered and moldy books of history, we as a civilization will still be paying for the misdeeds and misadventures of the past six years.