I doubt that those who are breathlessly proclaiming HR 1591 a surrender have ever actually read the bill. If they had they might be interested to see this:
(e) After the conclusion of the redeployment specified in subsections (b) and (c), the Secretary of Defense may not deploy or maintain members of the Armed Forces in Iraq for any purpose other than the following:
(1) Protecting American diplomatic facilities and American citizens, including members of the United States Armed Forces.(2) Serving in roles consistent with customary diplomatic positions.(3) Engaging in targeted special actions limited in duration and scope to killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach.(4) Training and equipping members of the Iraqi Security Forces.
So let's see. HR 1591 is supposed to be a total surrender to Al Qaeda if we believe the propaganda of the right. If we look at the fine print, however, we see that it will still allow a large number of US troops to remain in Iraq.
First of all, defending our Taj-Mahal sized embassy (which is the largest embassy anywhere, ever) in the Green Zone will certainly require a sizable force. Training Iraqi military and police could easily require 20-30,000 troops alone.
Then, there's the loophole through which George Bush could ram a mack truck: killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach. All Bush has to do is declare that the Iraqi terrorists have global reach and he can keep whatever forces are necessary there to combat them. Or, he can declare that they are all effectively members of Al Qaeda based on some nebulous, loose alliances that they have formed in the past.
So you see, HR 1591 really isn't a call for surrender at all. It's trying to force a small baby step in the direction of reducing our forces there. It doesn't come anywhere close to requiring a full withdrawal and it certainly does not merit the amount of vilification that it has received on the right. It's the anti-war left that should really be disappointed with this bill because it doesn't even come close to ending our involvement in Iraq.
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