The Iraq-war debate - don't follow the money

The debate over whether the United States should begin withdrawing combat troops from Iraq or remain indefinitely in the middle of a bloody civil war will be center stage in the 110th Congress over the next few weeks. Based on the votes in the House and Senate on the recent supplemental bill for funding the war effort, Democrats have come down squarely on the side of getting our military men and women out of the Iraq quagmire, while Republicans are generally assuming their usual, rubber-stamping position of going along with George W. Bush's deadly stay-the-course strategy.

And while political strategists and the corporate media may try to frame the debate in complex narratives on the proper U.S. policy, it's really so remarkably simple that most of the children in my son's fourth-grade class could probably understand it.

It's clear both sides want to fund the troops and nobody, on either side of the Congressional aisle, has suggested leaving troops wanting for the arms, equipment and other supplies they need while stuck in Iraq -- other than the chronic shortage of those supplies that the troops have always realized under the Bush administration.

So the argument over who is or is not "cutting off funding" for the troops is utter nonsense. Bush requested money to continue the war and the Democratic Congress, mindful of the impact on the troops, gave him exactly what he asked for, while throwing in some extra money to care for Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Done and done.

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