House passes Nonbinding AntiSurge Resolution by A Vote of 246-182
As expected, and largely along party lines the U.S. passed a nonbinding resolution supporting the troops, but critical of the surge of 21,500 U.S. troops and additional support staff to better secure Iraq. 229 Democrats and just 16 Republicans voted to support the nonbinding resolution. Just 2 Democrats and 180 Republicans voted against the resolution. 2 Democrats and 4 Republicans did not vote.
While it is a fact that a wide majority of Americans have become critical of this war, still the Baghdad surge does represent a specific security mission to control the number of car bombings and violence level in Baghdad and does not differ much with any of the other 15 UN peacekeeping missions in the world troublespots. With the report that radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may have fled to Iran recently as a result of this security crackdown and surge, and some violence levels in Baghdad down slightly as a result of this new security crackdown, it might be said that this specific policing action may be having some slight results. However this is not to say that all the problems in Iraq, including political or the growing sectarian divisions and hatred are advancing at all. In fact the car bombing by a Sunni Al Qaeda associated organization in Iran yesterday is a sure sign that the sectarian violence of Iraq is extending beyond it's borders. Further, any past moves to better areas of Iraq have always been met with insurgents better adopting to the American efforts. Time will tell the relative success of thses new security measures in Baghdad.
Even if the new security measures and U.S. troop surge help the security situation in Baghdad somewhat, the Bush Administration should refrain from claiming any real measure of success overall in Iraq. The policies of this administration have greatly destabilized both Iraq and the MidEast region in general, and sectarian violence still is a great danger to widen this conflict into a regional one, involving both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Undoubtably the Bush Administration may attempt to claim some credit if the new security measures and the surge better secure just the city of Baghdad. But how to leave the MidEast in as good of a condition as it was before the 2003 war is a far more vexing issue.