This should be the motto of every politician concerning the War on Terror, which, like it or not, does include the action of democratizing Iraq. Even if you think that the war was wrong, Bush lied, Al-Quada wasn’t connected with Saddam, who had nothing to do with 9/11; Al-Qaeda is there and so are we. So we might as well stay and fight and, before we leave, make sure that the country is capable of not only self governance, but also capable of fighting and defeating the terrorists that reside within its borders.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives got themselves worked into a lather because hawkish Democrat John Murtha, a 37-year Marine veteran, in a public statement which echoed the statements of many other House Democrats, called for the IMMEDIATE withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Here is a quote from the statement:
“Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. Troops are the common enemy of the sunni’s, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis”.
This looks like the same classic “Cut and Run” solution that ensured the Viet Nahm war would be lost. I am bothered by the defeatist tone of the whole statement. If we are the “Primary Targets” than why are the insurgence purposefully killing so many more Shia than Americans. And you want to base military policy on poling numbers from the war zone? That’s insane. I don’t think the Germans or Italians were happy to have us in country during World War II either.
“I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control”.
“I believe”??? I don’t want belief. I want proof. We also believed that the Vietnamese would be OK after we skipped town. Why would the violence stop just because we are no longer in Iraq. The sunni’s want there power back, Al-Qaeda wants a new home, and our absence now would only leave the Iraqi government in a weak and vulnerable condition.
And no, I am not calling Murtha unpatriotic or what-ever; I am expressing my reasons why I think his proposal is wrong.
Getting back to congress, the legislation Murtha subsequently introduced did not offer an immediate pull-out, but offered a six month troop reduction schedule instead. It was a classic bait and switch, say one thing and propose another. The Murtha bill never would have passed, but had his resolution been voted on, it would have split along party lines. By voting for the Murtha bill, Democrats would have a way of nullifying their vote authorizing the war three years ago, for which they are still held to account by their very vocal anti-war base. The Republicans finally saw a way to call the Democrat’s bluff. The House Republicans shelved Murtha’s proposal and authored a substitute that read more closely to the statements Murtha had made the previous day. God I love politics. Unfortunately, during the debate that accompanied the new resolution, newbie Republican Jean Schmidt read a statement given to her by a Marine colonel currently on active duty in Iraq, in which he expressed that anyone who favored the “Cut and Run” solution was a “coward”. Of coarse that was immediately interpreted as a slap at Murtha, the former marine. Pandemonium ensued, but no fist fights broke out. Even though the Dems are peeved that the Republicans pulled their own bait and switch, I think we all can claim so victory here.
WIN #1: By rewriting the resolution into a “Cut and Run” proposal, the Republicans turned it into a political poison pill, and got the posturing Democrats to AGAIN vote to support the war.
WIN #2: Though they almost all voted “NO” on the rewritten resolution, Democrats do have an out as they are screaming that the resolution they had to vote on has different language than the Murtha bill. It was political trickery at its worst, and therefore this vote doesn’t count.
PS. To Democrats:
Sure it was sneaky and underhanded, but, hey, what do you expect. That’s Politics! And don’t give me that “They’re Horrible! They’re Playing Politics with the War” business. Both side have been playing that game for quite some time now.
PS. Three Dems did vote yes to cut and run, God rest their souls. They’re probably in safe districts.
WIN #3: So much of modern warfare is all about public relations. If the congress would have voted on Murtha’s original bill, because so many Dems would have voted for it, it would have been reported / spun around the world as a sign that the American people have lost patience in the war. That would have been a BIG, BIG win for the insurgence, fueling their fires even further and creating a greater “catalyst for violence” than our presence ever could. It would be interpreted as an acknowledgement that “WE LOST THE WAR”. Public opinion is the more powerful weapon for insurgents in the type of guerrilla war we are fighting. Don’t believe me? Believe HIM. And HIM.