Thursday, May 26, 2011

6 Vote Shy of Mission Accomplished

I was amazed to learn this evening that an amendment to a military appropriations bill in the House, HR 1540 offered by Congressman McGovern came to  within 6 votes of passage today.

And what was McGovern’s amendment?

It was an amendment to finally and once and for all end America’s military involvement in Afghanistan, and to bring our troops home.

It was an amendment that recognizes what we have all come to realize, that the goals for going into Afghanistan have all been met. The Taliban is out of power, al-Qaeda has but a handful of individuals in Afghanistan – certainly not enough to make much of an impact, and Osama bin Laden is now fish food.

Mission creep is what has kept us there. Constant redefinition of why we fight.

Afghanistan will always be what it was – a backward nation where warlords and corruption are the rule rather than the exception. Why fix something that has not worked since Alexander the Great tried his hand at taming this beast?

But we came within 6 votes of ending this whole mess. 6 votes.

Republicans mostly voted against the amendment, naturally. They had 8 Democrats voting with them. Ironically, Democrats who voted for the amendment had 26 Republican voting with them. And all we needed was 6 more votes.

12 congressmen, 6 on each side, declined to vote. One of them was Gabrielle Giffords who pretty much doesn’t vote on anything thanks to that maniac in Tucson. But some of the others were definitely in the room.

Oh, and how did my congressman, Pete Olson, vote on this? No of course.

Here is what I say. The next soldier who dies in Afghanistan, and I hope this doesn’t happen but I know it will, the next soldier who dies, well Pete Olson gets to be the person responsible for his death. Not the guy who built the IED, or buried it. Not the guy who pulled the trigger or launched the RPG. Not him. Not them.

Pete Olson gets to be blamed for that death.

No comments: