Iraq on the installment plan

President Bush is about to ask Congress for another $50 billion to keep fighting the war in Iraq. He is betting — almost certainly correctly — that the Democrats will give him a rough time over the money, probably try to attach timetables for withdrawal to the bill and ultimately give in and pass it.

It could likely be a replay of this spring when the president won passage of a $123 billion war-fighting bill to fund his “surge.” When the Democratic Congress insisted on attaching a timetable to the bill, Bush successfully vetoed it. As long as the Democrats are unable to muster the two-thirds majority to override his veto, Bush can continue to fight the war his way — but not indefinitely.

In September, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, is to give his much-awaited report on the progress of the war, and both he and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are to testify before the House and Senate.

In trying to build support for the surge, the White House portrayed the Petraeus report as the final word on whether the war in Iraq was worth pursuing, and, if so, how that could be done more successfully than efforts to date.

Lately, the White House has been downplaying the significance of that report. Instead, Bush has been projecting robust optimism about the course of the war to friendly audiences. “There are unmistakable signs that our strategy is achieving the objective we set out. The momentum is now on our side,” he told the American Legion.

Not everybody shares his optimism. His own National Intelligence Estimate found that Iraq’s leaders “remain unable to govern effectively,” and there is a growing chorus in Congress for the ouster of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. And he continues to suffer defections among his own Republicans, the latest being Virginia Sen. John Warner, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, who called for a symbolic withdrawal of 5,000 troops before Christmas.

Bush has proclaimed turning points before, by one count at least six times going back to June 2004, when the war was just over a year old and he proclaimed the impending appointment of an interim government “a turning point.”

One of these days he might be right, but time is running out.


  1. Caine

    Bush has nothing to worry about! He’ll get his money! Sure, the dems will grumble a little, but that’ll be it! They will bend to his will, again, and he will get what he wants, again!!

    What they need to do, is not back down. They need to stop the funding on this insane war! Bring our soldiers home. NOW!! They have more than paid the price for BushCo’s profits!!

    But they won’t. Watch and see. Bush will get every penny of the $50 Billion he wants. It wouldn’t surprise me if they even throw in a few extra billion for good measure…again!!!

  2. bryan mcclellan

    The pavement is costly and there are no turning points on the Highway to Hell.Stock up on diapers,it’s going to be a long ride.All exit ramps are closed.

  3. VietnamVet

    I have posted this elsewhere, but it seems to fit well here also:

    Yes, and what has been wasted could have fixed social security for years to come, if not the rest of this century, and a dozen other programs that are going unfunded because of Mr. Bush’s war! And, what Mr. Bush wants to do is continue funding this war of choice on credit! Yes, increase the national debit by so many more billions of dollars. That’s just what the Republicans have been doing every since Reagan started that financial fiasco called “trickle down.” Look at the state of our national debt and who has caused the bulk of it here:

    If you look at this site, you can see that is/has been the Republicans, starting with Reagan, that are responsible for the vast increase in our debt, Bush 1, and now this warmonger of president continued on the same course. If you do not believe this National Debt is affecting our financial well being, consider:

    1. It is, in part, responsible for the loss of value of the US dollar against other world currencies, especially the European Euro; 45+% in only the last five years.

    2. Other nations fleeing from the US dollar as a hedge currency hasten the decline in value.

    3. Potential increase in the price of oil when oil producing countries start pricing oil in Euros, rather than dollars. (A couple have already done so, and others are considering doing so.)

    4. Some holders of our national debt are NOT our friends, China for example, and if they start calling in the debt, it could cause financial ruin for this nation.

    5. Last, but certainly not least, Bush is mortgaging the future of our greandchildren and maybe even their grandchildren’s, due to this idiotic war!

    “We owe Japan $714.9 billion; China, $191.1 billion; the United
    Kingdom, $152.5 billion; the Caribbean Banking Center, $76.2 billion;
    Korea, $69.3 billion; OPEC nations, and we wonder by gasoline is so
    high, OPEC nations, we have borrowed as a Nation $66.6 billion from
    them. The list goes on and on. In fact, we have borrowed, this
    administration has borrowed more money from foreign governments and
    foreign banks in less than 5 years than the previous 42 Presidents

    You can see more at:


    As long as there is money to steal and launder. The opium crop is fantastic this year.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  5. Boots

    Turnabout is fair play. How about doing to him what he does to the States that ask for money. Like Louisiana for money to repair the levees so they could withstand a Cat 5 hurricane. Tell him, so Georgie you want $50 billion dollars? Here’s $2 million, have a blast. And start bring the troops home.