The battle for Ubaydi may be a less-well publicized repeat of the battle for Fallujah a year ago. The toll on terrorists is quite high, and the house-to-house combat must be as intense as was last year’s showdown.
This year, though, the Marines are fighting against a backdrop of increasingly bitter partisan debate over their mission, and even with an incredible demand from the Senate that the Administration explain its policies in Iraq. From the Washington Times:
The Senate is expected to vote today to demand that the Bush administration “explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq.”
Republican leaders are resisting Democrats’ call for the administration to provide a plan for withdrawal, but in agreeing that the administration must provide more information and a schedule for reaching full Iraqi sovereignty, they are joining Democrats in signaling that the White House and the Iraqi government must produce results in 2006.
I find it hard to believe that the Republican majority would indulge such theatrics at any time, but certainly not when the president is abroad. Majority Leader Frist must have abandoned his presidential hopes, because participating in what is surely going to be perceived as an attack on the president and the Administration’s handling of the GWOT –and there is no denying that this is what the Senate’s resolution will be understood to be– is the last way to impress the American voter of either party.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Frist said an important reason for the Republican proposal was to offer an alternative to the Democratic call for a withdrawal timetable. “The real objective was to get out of this timeline of cutting and running that the Democrats have in their amendment,” he said.
Mr. Warner said he decided to take the Democratic proposal and edit it to his satisfaction in an effort to find common ground between the parties on the issue.
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, said he saw the proposal as a potential “turning point” in Congressional deliberation over Iraq and related issues.
Here’s an idea: Instead of cowering before the Senate giants like Barbara Boxer and Dick Durbin, bring up the Democratic demand for a withdrawal, debate the war in full view of the country, and then vote the demand for retreat down.