On a deadly day in Iraq, Bush vetoes War Spending Bill

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Bush vetoed the bill citing a "rigid and artificial" deadline. The supplemental spending bill demanded troops start to leave Iraq by Oct. 1. Bush said the bill would "demoralize the Iraqis and send them and the world a terrible message: “America will not keep its commitments.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had this to say:

"The President may be content with keeping our troops mired in the middle of an open-ended civil war, but we are not; and neither are most Americans.

"A bipartisan majority of Congress sent the President a bill to fully fund our troops and change the mission in Iraq. The president refused to sign it. That is his right, but now he has an obligation to explain his plan to responsibly end this war.

"In the coming days we will continue to reach out to the President. And we hope Congressional Republicans who have remained silent through this debate will work with us as well.

"But if the President thinks that by vetoing this bill, he will stop us from working to change the direction of this war, he is mistaken."

I don't usually read Foreign Affairs, but someone gave me this recent article by Bruce Ridel. If you have 15 extra minutes, read it. It is the single most compelling argument why the US must shift resources from Iraq. Here's the summary:

By rushing into Iraq instead of finishing off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Washington has unwittingly helped its enemies: al Qaeda has more bases, more partners, and more followers today than it did on the eve of 9/11. Now the group is working to set up networks in the Middle East and Africa -- and may even try to lure the United States into a war with Iran. Washington must focus on attacking al Qaeda's leaders and ideas and altering the local conditions in which they thrive.

But by far the most salacious story in Washington is the "Beltway Madam" and her supposedly illustrious stable of DC power brokers. ABC News is naming names on Friday.

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