Commitment With(out) Consequences

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told defense reporters in Washington Tuesday he thinks President Bush, in his address to the nation tonight, will characterize the new war on terror policy as a “change in course.” The senator sides with the Iraq Study Group and countless analysts who believe there must be specific consequences to motivate the Iraqis into action. Levin doubts the President’s speech will include such consequences. He questions whether the President will “put some teeth behind his words.” As for what lawmakers could do to apply pressure to the Bush Administration, Levin said Congress needs 51 votes on a bi-partisan resolution or amendment with the message: “We have got to force Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country. We can’t save them from themselves.”