• This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," February 17, 2007.

    PAUL GIGOT, HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," Congress' vote of no confidence. What message does the Democrats' war resolution send to the troops? And what about our enemies?

    Plus, from stalwart hawk to get-out-fast, we'll examine Hillary Clinton's turn to the left on Iraq.

    And a dubious deal with North Korea, after decades of broken promises, is Kim Jong Il really ready to give up his nuclear ambitions?

    Those topics, plus our weekly "Hits and Misses," but first, these headlines.



    REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: Friday's vote will signal whether the House has heard the American people. No more blank checks for President Bush on Iraq.

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO: Will we retreat and leave the fight for another generation? These are the questions with historic implications that will be answered this week.


    GIGOT: Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

    Congress spent the week debating a Democratic resolution on Iraq that purported to support troops while opposing the president's call for additional forces. Though the resolution was non-binding, the message it sent was clear.

    Joining the panel this week, "Wall Street Journal" Columnist and Deputy Editor Dan Henninger, Deputy Editor Melanie Kirkpatrick, Editorial Board Member Rob Pollock and Columnist Bret Stephens.

    Dan, you spent the week listening to the debate. If Iraqis and G.I.s in Baghdad were also listening, what would they conclude?

    DAN HENNINGER, WJH COLUMNIST AND DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, you know, Paul, I have exchanged e-mails in conversation with some of the officers in Iraq. And I have asked them that question, what do you think about what goes on in Washington? Most of them say, you know, I am out here in Anbar Province trying to do my job and Washington strikes me as kind of an abstraction.

    And I think if they would look at what went on in the House — they are voting on a non-binding resolution right? Yet one Democrat after another came forth and said we support our troops and we support their families.

    And I think the troops in Iraq would probably say, you know, Congressman, I don't really need your sympathy. What I need to know is, when I am out there on the front line, are you going to be standing here beside me or be behind me pulling on my backpack. They want more clarity.

    GIGOT: What about the Iraqis? Are the Iraqis going to make any judgments about where America stands from this debate, Rob?

    ROB POLLOCK, WSJ EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: Of course. They pay very close attention. Iraq has a vibrant free press, hundred of newspapers, lots of television channels. They know exactly what is going on.

    BRET STEPHENS, WSJ COLUMNIST: In fact, I interviewed an Iraqi liberal politician by the name of Mithou Alusie (ph) a couple of weeks ago in Washington. And I asked him about the debate. And on the one hand he said it is nice to see the democratic process — how the democratic process works.