The House late Wednesday passed a $50 billion Iraq funding bill that sets a “goal” to withdraw U.S. forces by December 2008, but House Minority Leader John Boehner said Democrats were “putting politics before accomplishment” because such a bill would never survive President Bush’s veto. (The Politico)
What the commentators said
Without a firm withdrawl date President Bush will just “let Iraq drift until he leaves office,” said John Podesta, Lawrence J. Korb, and Brian Katulis in The Washington Post (free registration). It’s true his “surge” strategy has reduced casualties in some areas, but the “massive sectarian cleansing” that came in the bargain hasn’t put warring sects any closer to national reconciliation.
There are signs that Iraq’s Sunni Arabs are forsaking al Qaida terrorists, said David B. Rivkin Jr. in the Los Angeles Times (free registration). The sight of “Sunnis making common cause with the United States military” against Islamist terrorists must “send shivers down Osama bin Laden’s spine,” and that alone is “well worth the cost of perseverence in Iraq.“
The war isn’t our only problem in Iraq, said Robert Novak in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Americans are no good at nation-building,” and Iraq has little chance of peace unless “Bush gets interested in building the rule of law” there.