After much contentious debate, both internally and publicly, House Democrats seem to have come to an agreement on legislation for the Iraq war. The current proposal would require that President Bush bring the troops home within six months, if Iraqi leaders fail to keep their promises to reduce the violence in the nation by that time. The Democratic plan would also include a proposal by Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) that prohibits the deployment of troops who haven’t had sufficient training, rest, or have already served more than one year in Iraq.

Under the Democratic plan, troops that fail to meet the rest and training criteria could only be deployed to Iraq only if President Bush waves these standards and reports to Congress each time.  “We’re going to report out” a war spending bill “that’s responsive to the will of the voters last November and brings our troops home as soon and safely as possible,” Rep. James Moran (D-VA) said. A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would only say that, “We have said we want to make sure our troops have all the training and equipment they need and that the Iraqi government must meet the benchmarks President Bush endorsed.” 

President Bush has already said that the Iraqis promised to meet certain goals and conditions when he offered to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. Under the Democratic plan, if the Iraqis fail to live up to their promises, then the troops will be brought home, with a few remaining behind to help train the Iraqi forces. The legislation would also require President Bush to get congressional approval before he launches any military operations against Iran. 

In my opinion, this is the correct move for the Democrats to be making. Cutting off funding to the troops, or trying to set a pull out date is just plain wrong. The proper thing to do always has been to base the deployment of troops on the Iraqi government succeeding in cutting down the violence. If the government of Iraq can’t get things under control, then it is probably best for U.S. troops to leave. My best guess is that President Bush will never agree to any part of this legislation, and the American troops will be stuck there for as long as he is in office. 

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