House OKS troop withdrawal bill
The details for the curious:
The bill passed yesterday sets strict requirements for resting, training and equipping troops but would grant the president the authority to waive those restrictions, as long as he publicly justifies the waivers. The bill also establishes benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet: Create a program to disarm militias, reduce sectarian violence, ease rules that purged the government of all former Baath Party members and approve a law on sharing oil revenue.
Unless the Bush administration determines by July 1 that those benchmarks are being met, troops would begin coming home immediately, with a goal of completing those withdrawals by the end of the year. If benchmarks are being met, troops would begin coming home no later than Oct. 1, with a goal of completing the troop pullout by April 1.
After combat forces are withdrawn, some troops could remain to protect U.S. facilities and diplomats, pursue terrorist organizations, and train and equip Iraqi security forces.
As well, Congress killed some of the $20 billion in pork they had padded the legislation with. They should have killed it all, especially given that Bush's promised veto makes it moot. Pork greases the wheels of politics, but $20 billion is just obscene.
Iraq, politics, midtopia