Under normal conditions, a Senate committee vote on a non-binding resolution would not be the simultaneous front page story on the BBC, China Daily and Al Jazeera English. But these are not normal circumstances.
In defiance of expert advice from the Iraq Study Group and in opposition to at least one interpretation of the mid-term election results, the president is increasing the number of American troops in Iraq. In response, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a non-binding resolution saying the president's plan was "not in the national interest." One Republican and all 11 Democratic committee members voted for the measure which now goes to the full Senate.
While the president holds most of the cards in controlling U.S. foreign policy, the Congress is not without power. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said, "This Congress was never meant to be a rubber stamp. Read the Constitution. The Congress has the power to declare war. And on multiple occasions, we used our power to end conflicts."
Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney says Congress "won't stop us."
The rest of the world is about to get a crash course in high-stakes U.S. Constitutional politics.