News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Congress did its job; Bush now responsible

Now that Congress agrees on a bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush must do what is in the best interests of our men and women serving there.

Mr. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and others have for the past four years portrayed Democrats and like-minded Republicans as "soft on terror" and questioned the patriotism of those who oppose the war in Iraq, which, it turns out, had nothing to do with 9/11, weapons of mass destruction or al-Qaida. Nonetheless, Congress has composed a bill to provide $90 billion for the wars there and in Afghanistan and to improve conditions at our nation's crumbling military medical facilities. The legislation should clear both houses by week's end.

But Congress refuses to give Mr. Bush a blank check. The legislation will insist on reports of measurable progress in Iraq and the start of troop redeployment by Oct. 1.

Mr. Bush has vowed to veto any bill that includes a timetable for withdrawal.

He should think twice before doing so.

In spite of the mismanagement of the war, the cost in human lives and the lack of progress after more than four years, Congress has fulfilled its duty to provide funding. In fact, the bill provides more money than Mr. Bush requested.

If Mr. Bush vetoes the legislation, he will certainly try to put the blame on Congress. But no matter how the president spins it, the fact will remain that he, not Congress, rejected the war-funding bill.

What an anti-American, soft-on-terror thing to do.

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