Murtha must be a Republican Mole

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Murtha must be a Republican Mole

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:41 pm

With his Admiral Stockdale "caught in the headlights" repetition and his sudden affection for the TV cameras, he's doing a great service for the Republicans. They couldn't buy this kind of help in sinking the Dems chances in the fall.

Iraq and Congress
The Murtha withdrawal policy is a counsel of defeat.

Monday, June 19, 2006 12:01 a.m.

American and Iraqi forces are on the offensive once again, deploying around the terrorist stronghold of Ramadi and beginning a drive to bring order to Baghdad. This is welcome news, not least because it underscores how wrong and defeatist Congressman Jack Murtha and his Democratic colleagues are in demanding an immediate U.S. withdrawal in Iraq.

With a new Iraq government finally in place, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi dead, now would be the worst time to tell Iraqis they are on their own. This is the moment to capitalize on this recent run of good news to show the Iraqi public, Sunnis and Shiites both, that the insurgency cannot win. If this requires more American troops and more offensive operations for some months to come, then that is what the Bush Administration should now consider.

It's in this context that last week's votes on Iraq in Congress are so important. President Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad did a lot to assure Iraqis about U.S. resolve. But the free Iraqi media have also made Iraqis acutely aware of debates in the Congress, especially with the American media trumpeting Mr. Murtha's demands for a U.S. retreat and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi describing the war as a "grotesque mistake."

So it was a good idea for Republican leaders to put Democrats on record and see if they really had the courage of their antiwar convictions. On Friday, the House voted 256 to 153 to approve a nonbinding resolution acknowledging Iraq as a central front in the war on terror and asserting that "it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment" of troops. The 153 votes for retreat included three Republicans.

Over in the Senate, meanwhile, former Democratic standard bearer John Kerry was embarrassed Thursday when Republican Mitch McConnell offered for a vote on the floor the text of a withdrawal resolution that Mr. Kerry had been promoting. Democrats cried foul and helped reject the resolution by 93-6. But the vote was useful for exposing Democrats who say the U.S. should leave Iraq but don't want to be responsible for the consequences of their proposal.

The votes were also useful in exposing the kind of policy that the Kerry-Murtha Democrats would pursue if they retake Congress in November. Some three-fourths of House Democrats have now put themselves on record as favoring precipitous withdrawal. This is a policy that even their own potential 2008 standard bearer, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has said is not a smart strategy. And it is surely an issue that voters should be aware of as they head for the polls.

The most clever get-out-now supporters claim a U.S. withdrawal timetable will give Iraqis a greater incentive to defend themselves. But the incentive that Iraqis really need is the assurance that if they assist their new democracy they won't be joining the losing side. That has hardly been clear so far, especially in Sunni strongholds where the Coalition hasn't been able to provide security.

As Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said when he stopped by our office last week, Baathist intimidation is still very strong. He also told us that, in a discussion among Iraqi politicians shortly before he left Baghdad last week for a trip to the U.N., Sunni leaders were the most vocal that a withdrawal timetable not be set. They know their own constituents have the most to fear from the thugs.

At the same time, putting down the Sunni insurgency will also reassure the Shiites that they don't need their own militias for self-protection. Mr. Murtha claims that Iraqis are "fighting with each other and our troops are caught in between" as targets. But by withdrawing before the Sunni insurgency is defeated, the U.S. would only make a real civil war more likely.

As for Mr. Murtha's proposal that U.S. forces should redeploy to some nearby part of the Middle East, this is merely a disguise for what everyone would understand was a defeat in Iraq. Anyone who doubts it should merely listen to Mr. Murtha, who said again yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press that "We can't win a war like this." It's more accurate to say that our troops have a harder time winning a war with political leaders as inconstant as Mr. Murtha, who voted to commit U.S. troops but now lacks the will to finish the job.

Which brings us back to the Bush Administration and the current opportunity in Iraq. President Bush has himself sometimes sounded as if he too is eager to draw down U.S. forces, and within the Army there is also a strong desire to come home. However, neither Republicans nor Army officers will get any political relief from a withdrawal unless the Iraq project is seen as successful. What frustrates Americans is taking casualties in an endless deployment without a strategy for victory. The only politically winning path to withdrawal is to help the new government provide security by beating the insurgency.

Iraq is different from Vietnam in many ways, but its main similarity is that any defeat won't be inflicted on the battlefield. The U.S. won big military victories at least twice in Vietnam, in the 1968 Tet offensive and the 1972 bombing campaign, only to squander them because of defeatism in Washington. The U.S. has sacrificed too much already in Iraq to withdraw just when victory once again looks possible.

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Re: Murtha must be a Republican Mole

Post by Haydnseek » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:50 am

Corlyss_D wrote:With his Admiral Stockdale "caught in the headlights" repetition and his sudden affection for the TV cameras, he's doing a great service for the Republicans. They couldn't buy this kind of help in sinking the Dems chances in the fall.

Yes, I don't believe he is playing well at all. I know you read the thread on the Civil War Era Democrat Clement Larid Vallandigham ("The First Modern Democrat?") He opposed the war and blamed Lincoln and the Repulicans for it, he called for an end to hostilities while the North had the advantage and victory was in sight, and he managed to accidently shoot himself to death while attempting to prove a point. His shade haunts them today.

To read about another Repulican who is getting all the help he could ask for from the Democrats read this: ... =110008539
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler


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