Saturday, June 17, 2006

Iraq War debate over troop withdrawal

OK, some Democrats some spines. Murtha stood tall as the Iraq War debate raged in the House yesterday. Christy at FDL called the action as it unfolded:

Jack Murtha is, at the moment, kicking ass and taking names.  (And that link is to a short interview in Rolling Stone that is well worth a read.)  Murtha just let a young man from Texas have it for saying that "we" are doing the fighting — Murtha just reamed him out because the soldiers in the heat and the dust and facing IEDs and sniper fire and who the hells knows what else are the ones doing the fighting, not the pampered folks in the House.
Using this resolution to divide the nation on this issue — when our soldiers fighting over there deserve truth and honor and elected officials who will look this problem in the eye and honestly assess things.  If you get a chance, watch a bit of the debate.  And feel the hand of Karl Rove, manipulating the public by having his surrogates say things like "liberals are unpatriotic" or "Democrats don’t support the troops."  That’s bullshit.  And it is time that everyone stood up and said so.
In reaction, the shill machine pushed the button for the spin cycle to start characterizing the debate as splitting the Democrats over Iraq while pretending that Republicans were a united front. Ha! Not true. Same old spiel:
...the news outlets in question highlighted the Democratic infighting without noting that the Republicans are also divided over Bush's handling of the Iraq war. They made no mention of lawmakers such as Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) -- who has repeatedly criticized White House decisions regarding the war, most recently noting that the conflict is "helping bankrupt this country" -- or GOP Reps. Walter B. Jones Jr. (N.C.) and Ron Paul (TX), who both co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution last June that would have required Bush to submit a withdrawal plan by the end of 2005. Further, these news outlets could have mentioned Republican House members Wayne T. Gilchrest (MD) and Jim Leach (IA), who in April joined Jones and Paul in support of a Democratic resolution -- opposed by the GOP leadership -- calling for a full debate of the Iraq war.
Isn't that something? The propaganda mill, er, I mean, the national press ignored the conflicts among the GOP over Iraq. What is it about Iraq that makes the media so timid about telling the truth? Could it be the threat of losing WH access?

In the past, Hagel has been especially blunt about the failed Iraq policies of the Bush Administration saying that the war has destabilized the Mideast and resembled Vietnam:
Hagel scoffed at the idea that U.S. troops could be in Iraq four years from now at levels above 100,000, a contingency for which the Pentagon is preparing.
"We should start figuring out how we get out of there," Hagel said on "This Week" on ABC. "But with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."
Hagel said "stay the course" is not a policy. "By any standard, when you analyze 2 1/2 years in Iraq ... we're not winning," he said.
John Kerry had introduced a Senate resolution for a timetable to get out of Iraq. But Senate Republicans played politics, the kind that got us into Iraq:
In the Senate, Republicans also were looking to depict Democrats as soft on the war. But Democrats largely thwarted the effort.
GOP senators wanted to vote on wording recently drafted by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., calling for nearly all U.S. military people to be withdrawn from Iraq by the year's end. But Kerry surprised the Republicans by declining to offer the wording as an amendment to a defense authorization bill.
To force a debate and vote, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced Kerry's wording as his own, knowing that all Senate Republicans and most Democrats would vote against it. And in the end, the Senate voted 93-6 to reject the amendment. The six Democrats who voted against killing it were Kerry, Barbara Boxer of California, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., used the brief debate to say that a big withdrawal by Dec. 31 would amount to "cutting and running" and would prompt Iraq to renew its pursuit of "weapons of mass destruction."
Ha! Can you believe that Catkiller Frist is still playing the WMD card! How does he think Iraq will build a nuke when the country only has 9 or 10 hours a day of electricity--2.9 hours a day in Baghdad? What are they putting in the red Kool-Aid? Stupid powder with a dash of insincerity?
Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., replied that "two things don't exist in Iraq: weapons of mass destruction, and cutting and running."
A spokesman for Reid said that next week, Democrats would propose wording calling on Bush to "begin the phased redeployment of U.S. troops this year."
Yup, the fight has just begun. Republicans offer "stay the course," a disastrous non-plan that delivers more casualties and injuries everyday the U.S. remains in Iraq, while they lie about Democrats with the "cut and run" rhetoric. No, Sen. Catkiller, the word is redeployment, moving U.S. soldiers out of the fray in ready-t0-strike positions. But military strategy isn't Bush's strength as we know and have heard from many generals calling for Rummy to resign. The lack of progress in Iraq is, well, like the response to Katrina. Tristero entreats Democrats to remember:
Remember: Bush really is incompetent. And the American public sees it now.
Remember: Bush really has governed above the law. And the the American public understands that now.
Remember: Bush has bogged this nation down in an insane war. And the American public understands that now.
Remember: Bush does not have a genuine plan to deal with Iraq, nor is he capable of creating and implementing one. People are dying because he doesn't know what he's doing. And the American public understands that now.
Remember: Bush's supreme callousness and negligence led to the hiring of the incompetents in charge of FEMA during Katrina. And the American public knows it.
Remember: This is one helluva unpopular president. The American public has very good reasons for disliking him and his policies so intensely. They are all but begging you to stand up and refuse to go along with his incompetent, extremist, and unlawful behavior.
Stand up, spines, and get us out of Iraq. The majority of Americans support your position--Iraq was a mistake. Don't worry what the Republicans say about you. Stay focused on reality that Iraq was a colossal blunder and beat the crap out of the GOP's disingenuous attacks, all of which offer no solution and more bloodshed. Remind Americans what party and what president got us into this mess in the first place. Had enough of $3 per gallon gasoline? You ain't seen nothing yet.

How long before Bush will start hyping that we're turning the corner and Cheney will inform us that the insurgency is in its last throes? The jabbering will begin anew. And we'll end up where we started. Still stuck in Iraq. All the more reason for the spines to dig in and fight for what the people want.