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Murtha in Command
Posted by: Dale Franks on Monday, February 19, 2007

Bob Novak writes that Jack Murtha is taking over control of the US Policy on Iraq. At issue is something McQ has talked about.

Murtha wishes to require all units meet certain mandated readiness standards before deploying to Iraq. This is, as Murtha himself admits, is nothing more than an attempt to make it so difficult to meet the standards that no unit will be able to deploy to Iraq.

What we saw last week, with the Congressional vote on the surge, was merely prologue.
Murtha has made clear that the non-binding resolution, whose merely symbolic nature infuriates anti-war activists, was only the "first step." Murtha, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, did not hide the purpose of setting standards for training, equipping and resting troops: "They won't have the equipment, they don't have the training, and they won't be able to do the work."

When Murtha revealed the strategy, the House Republican staff quickly dispatched e-mails to GOP members that list Democrats who had campaigned last year against restricting support for troops in the field. The messages asked: "Will they side with Jack Murtha and their leadership in Washington, or with the promises they made to their voters?"

But only eight such Democrats, including six newcomers, were listed. Rep. Nick Lampson, who returned to Congress from Tom DeLay's conservative Texas district, had said (according to the Associated Press) that "he opposes withdrawing until the Iraqi army is capable of controlling the country." Lampson declined to talk to me when I said I wanted to ask him about Iraq. Freshman Rep. Brad Ellsworth won election to a swing district in Indiana by saying (according to the Evansville Courier & Press) that "he would not support any measures that would cut funding for forces in Iraq." Ellsworth said he was "too busy" to talk to me after I said the subject was Iraq.

It seems all but certain that Democrats will pass what Murtha frankly calls an attempt to prevent funding of the surge. Improbable though it may seem, blunt and brassy Jack Murtha is moving close to command over U.S. policy on Iraq.
I think that last sentence is wildly overblown. There is, I understand, another deliberative body in Washington called the Senate. Apparently, they have to approve any House policy that might pass Mr. Murtha's muster. Then, this fellow called "the president" apparently has to agree as well. If he doesn't, then two-thirds of the House and Senate are required to overcome that disagreement.

Jack Murtha wishes he was moving close to command over U.S. policy on Iraq." But that's not the way the system works.
 
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Well, granted that’s not the way its SUPPOSED to work.... and I hope you’re right... But Democrats have of late developed something of a knack for bending the system to do things it’s not supposed to.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
If not now, then in less than two years. Success in Iraq is impossible since the original mission is already a failure. Now it’s just about trying to find a face saving way out. But that desire to "save face" costs lives, especially since I don’t at all buy the claim that somehow things would get worse if we left. We’re not protecting anything but a few small areas now.

This conflict has severely limited America’s strength, prestige, and ability to act effectively in the world. History will no doubt remember it as one of the many failures caused by the arrogance of power, and the typical great power belief that military force can create political outcomes (and great power ignorance of the human cost involved in choosing war — organized killing and destruction — when not absolutely necessary.) Denying this is like denying global warming. You can find a small group who refuse to grasp reality. Sad.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
especially since I don’t at all buy the claim that somehow things would get worse if we left. We’re not protecting anything but a few small areas now.
I assume the first sentence is supposed to be supported by the second. The number of problems of simple logic with this are astounding, but I guess I have to start somewhere. I’ll start by pointing out that by that logic we might as well shut down hospitals, since only a small part of our population is getting treatment at any one time. I don’t see why one would buy the idea that this would lead to an increase in disease amongst the rest, or I must assume that is true if your logic holds.

Also, if it is only a few places that need our help, then the problem is far more manageable than your rhetoric implies on a regular basis, so we should probably just stay and finish the job if that is the case.

Moreover, if the problem is really severe in those few small areas, it certainly does not follow that the Iraqi government can handle the situation in those areas, though obviously your own testimony shows that they are doing fine in all those other areas. I am feeling better about this all the time! The situation is close to radically improving!

Or I could just point out that the two sentences produce what is formally referred to as a non sequiter.

failures caused by the arrogance of power

You use the term arrogance on a regular basis, and there is no doubt that arrogance was part of this administrations many failings. In fact that arrogance is of the same order as someone who claims that he knows with enough certainty what will happen after we leave that he can blithely dismiss concerns of what will happen to those in Iraq who are left behind with such a smug attitude of moral and intellectual superiority.

Arrogant?
Success in Iraq is impossible
Yeah, there is a lot of arrogance in this world. Of course you are awfully fond of a view of the world where answers are settled and the enlightened Erb knows which things can be so labeled. Pot meet kettle.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
There is, I understand, another deliberative body in Washington called the Senate. Apparently, they have to approve any House policy that might pass Mr. Murtha’s muster.
Paging Joe Lieberman....paging Joe Lieberman....
You can find a small group who refuse to grasp reality. Sad.
I agree Erb, but it’s not our fault you’re stuck in the academia Ivory tower and don’t have a clue besides what your idealogical echo chamber sounds....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Denying this is like denying global warming.
Well, yes it is, and thank you for noticing.
The Denial of nonsense is after all, one of the first signs of sanity.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
"Success in Iraq is impossible since the original mission is already a failure." Has Sadaam, like Elvis, been seen walking around one of his palaces? If I understand it correctly, Regime Change - authored originally by the Clinton Administration, was the original mission and you say it is already a failure.

And according to your own words, "We’re not protecting anything but a few small areas now." That sounds like success in the rest of the country. So, according to your logic, all we need to do is pacify "a few small areas" in order to finish the job. Sounds like just the thing for a surge kind of operation.

Poor Scotty ERB, you’ve been drinking the KoolAid again. And the purple flavor this time!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"We’re not protecting anything but a few small areas now."
No no - this is Dien Bien Phu speak, we’re down to Beatrice and Gabrielle now!
You guys just don’t read the communiques correctly, we’re doomed, doomed. Sadr is so confident he’s gone on an Iranian cruise around the gulf instead of staying in the country!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The mission in Iraq was not just to remove Saddam. If that were the case then why the heck are we still there!?

The goal was to have a stable American ally, willing to house permanent military bases (thus we shut down ours in Saudi Arabia), recognizing Israel, paying for reconstruction with oil revenues, assuring stable oil flows, and pressuring Syria and Iran to change. The cost of the war was supposed to be low, and the belief was that stability would come quickly.

Moreover, the goal was to eliminate alleged WMD stockpiles, and end WMD programs (which now even the White House admits didn’t exist).


Getting rid of Saddam was hardly the mission. Indeed, when he was really dangerous we supported him! We only got rid of him when he was a defanged tiger, a shadow of the tyrant he used to be.

And to say that there is success in the rest of the country with all the violence and killing day in and day outs, 90 widows at least every month, massive kidnapping and casualties, well, YOU are the one in the koolaid. The US isn’t protecting these civilians. Sheesh. Deal with reality!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
So, Scotty, by your way of thinking we are losing in Iraq or have already lost. Is that it?

So according to your logic the Insurgency has won. A movement that holds no ground, has no political agenda and their only goal is to drive us out and by doing so - they win.

Is that it?

How’s the purple KoolAid, little boy?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Oh and Scotty, accoding to the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of Force against Iraq, the goal was "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."

You wanna point out the failures based upon that? Have some more KoolAid!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
So, Scotty, by your way of thinking we are losing in Iraq or have already lost. Is that it?
No, we won the war. The big government social engineering experiment of trying to alter their culture and make them a stable western style democracy is the thing that can’t work.

So according to your logic the Insurgency has won.


No, the insurgency can’t win, and isn’t in fact the main problem. Sectarian violence is the real problem.
Oh and Scotty, accoding to the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of Force against Iraq, the goal was "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."

You wanna point out the failures based upon that?
Sure — turns out Iraq wasn’t a threat to our national security, it’s cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, so far about 4000 lives (counting contractors), has weakened us immensely, created virulent anti-Americanism world wide, and has caused us to be seen as weak. We are not feared, we are not respected. Quite a failure, I’d say! Of course, you deleted the real goals and quoted some political resolution. You know that the real goals weren’t achieved. You know it’s a failure. Try to deny reality, boy, but reality bites. Hard.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Funny, I thought we wee talking about Congress and the Democrats strategy that would result in losing the war. I quoted from the resolution - passed by Congress - stating the goals of the war and you say I just "quoted some political resolution".

Congress set the goals for the use of force and now are puting together a funding strategy that would counter their own words and defeat the goals as stated by Congress. Because what could come of this strategy is that Iraq could, notice I did not way would, become once again a "threat posed by Iraq". So long as we are there, Iraq cannot become such a threat. A government has been established and when it becomes self-reliant, we can avoid the potential of that threat and leave.

Go back to your KoolAid, little boy!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Congress set the goals for the use of force and now are puting together a funding strategy that would counter their own words and defeat the goals as stated by Congress. Because what could come of this strategy is that Iraq could, notice I did not way would, become once again a "threat posed by Iraq". So long as we are there, Iraq cannot become such a threat. A government has been established and when it becomes self-reliant, we can avoid the potential of that threat and leave.
Nope, that’s not the case at all. I think you’re having trouble grasping reality. Perhaps a nice glass of koolaid would help.

The US can’t "win" in Iraq. The US already won the war, the current effort is an impossible experiment in big government social engineering of a political culture. It isn’t going to work. Wake up.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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