Crap is crap
With this White House, and with this Republican minority, it is safe to say that a standoff with the Administration would have meant that our troops would be left in harm's way, only now with even less funding to back them up.
Bullshit. I don't buy it in the least. It has been a Republican talking point that this debate is about "funding the troops". The minute you allowed them to frame it this way you were guaranteed to lose this battle, for exactly the reasons so ably demonstrated in your post: you don't want to "look" like you are harming the troops so you vote to spend the money that will continue put the troops in harms way.
I don't for a second believe that there was nothing you could do but allow this travesty to go forward. For one thing, you could have rejected the Presidents frame from the beginning and loudly and repeatedly asserted that you were having a debate about "funding Bush's war". If that was the debate you forced then you might have had a chance of peeling off more Republicans. You certainly would have won the public relations battle.
Don't bullshit us by telling us that you had no choice in this matter. You did. You chose to adopt the Republican frame on Iraq and now you are paying the price for it.
Don't like it? You know exactly what you can do about it.
In the meantime, don't try to tell me that your shit doesn't stink.