Every member of Congress agrees that we must continue to support our troops and give them the resources and support they need. And every member of Congress should know that we can do that while at the same time ending funding for a failed military mission. That was clearly understood in October 1993, when 76 senators voted for an amendment, offered by Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, to end funding for the military mission in Somalia effective March 31, 1994, with limited exceptions.
None of those 76 senators, who include the current Republican leader and whip, acted to jeopardize the safety and security of U.S. troops in Somalia. All of them recognized that Congress had the power and the responsibility to bring our military operations in Somalia to a close, by establishing a date after which funds would be terminated.[emphasis mine]
So how could one possibly rationalize those 2 actions?
There is one way: what the Republicans are tacitly telling us (and George W. Bush is openly admitting) is that Bush cannot be trusted to protect the troops as Commander-in-Chief. You see, Congress felt comfortable that it could strip the Clinton Administration of war funding with the full confidence that the Commander-in-Chief would then order a safe and orderly redeployment with the time he has remaining. There was no question that the troops would be no less safe and secure if Congress defunded the conflict.
The Bush Administration, however, is so craven and callous and stubborn that, if Congress tries to defund the war in Iraq, there's a significant chance that Bush will just keep them there anyway and watch them run out of bullets, essentially playing chicken with soldiers' lives. It's more dangerous for Congress to strip the funds from the Iraq War because Bush cannot be trusted to act in good faith.