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Dems on Iraq: Now What? (Updates)
Posted by: McQ on Friday, November 30, 2007

Congressional Democrats risk looking like obstructionists on Iraq now that one of the staunchest anti-war critics in the House has declared "the surge is working".
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), one of the leading anti-war voices in the House Democratic Caucus, is back from a trip to Iraq and he now says the "surge is working." This could be a huge problem for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders, who are blocking approval of the full $200 billion being sought by President Bush for combat operations in Iraq in 2008.

Murtha's latest comments are also a stark reversal from what he said earlier in the year. The Pennsylvania Democrat, who chairs the powerful Defense subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, has previously stated that the surge "is not working" and the United States faced a military disaster in Iraq.
In fact, as you recall, he took Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon to task for saying it was working earlier in the year calling their assessment "an illusion" and making a point of the fact that they only spent 7 days there. Murtha's most recent trip was only 4 days, yet apparently it was enough for him to decide that the surge is working.

Even more to the point, he said this on June 3rd of this year, when Phase II of the surge (the kinetic portion) hadn't even begun:
"They [the White House] keep saying the news media is being negative," Murtha said. "They keep making excuses for the lack of progress. I've been hearing this month after month and I'm absolutely convinced right now the surge isn't working and I'm convinced that if they don't pay attention to what I'm saying and a lot of other members of Congress are saying they're going to have a disaster on their hands because the American public want the troops out of Iraq."
Given the progress he now admits, it seems a good thing they didn't listen to him. And it puts he and the Democratic leadership in Congress in a very tough position.
But Pelosi, who is scheduled to speak to a Democratic National Committee event in Virginia on Friday, will surely face tough questions from reporters regarding Murtha's statement on the surge.

"This could be a real headache for us," said one top House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Pelosi is going to be furious."
I'm sure. Because, you know, progress in Iraq would be a bad thing for Democrats, wouldn't it? Recall what Democratic Rep Jim Clyburn said earlier this year when talking about the report Gen Petreus was about to give to Congress. He said that a positive report would be "a real big problem for us." And now, with Murtha's pronouncement and the polls showing more and more Americans are beginning to believe progress is being made in Iraq, the Democratic leadership has a real dilemma on their hands.

The most interesting aspect of this admission by Murtha will be the reaction of the Leftosphere. The first shot has been fired by HuffPo:
Compromising and capitulating are the only things the Democrats have been doing on this issue. Murtha's statement implies that some sort of deal can be reached with the Republicans in which a somewhat extended troop withdrawal timetable will be agreed upon. During his press conference, Murtha suggested that might be something like a two year calendar.
And, as you can tell, they're not happy.

UPDATE: The expected happens. From Republican Whip Roy Blunt:
“With one of the Democrats’ leading war critics now saying the surge in Iraq is working, it’s difficult to understand why the majority continues to push an irresponsible withdrawal plan that jeopardizes critical support funding for our troops. It can’t be the facts on the ground that are influencing their decision-making: After all, our servicemen and women have made tremendous progress the past six months, with fewer attacks on our troops, greater security in historically insecure areas, and terrorist insurgents on the run.

“The stakes are too high for this Congress to remain idle on this critical funding bill. The Pentagon has continued to make clear the ongoing Democrats’ stranglehold over resources will force it to lay off staff, cut operations, and pare back the budgets of other departments. It’s time for the majority to stop playing games and deliver a well-deserved gift in time for Christmas to our men and women in uniform: a clean supplemental funding bill.”
Can't wait for the reaction to that.

UPDATE II: Methinks Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha may have had a little conversation since Murtha first claimed "the surge is working":
On Friday, however, Murtha's office moved to clarify his seemingly positive take on the surge, this time putting it in the context of renewed criticism of the administration.

"The military surge has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government," Murtha's statement read. "Unfortunately, the sacrifice of our troops has not been met by the Iraqi government and they have failed to capitalize on the political and diplomatic steps that the surge was designed to provide.

"The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable."
*thunk, thunk*

Sound like hollow rhetoric to you?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
you didn’t need to go all the way to HuffPo for that, Bruce: just look at how Erb and David S. have all but vanished in the past week or two: now they only appear to make snipping comments and disappear in order to avoid answering questions they don’t want to answer.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Murtha is a political survivor. He’s layeing his groundwork for a successful retreat over the horizon from the ’failed Iraq’ story come election time.

Recall, he also thought it would be a bad idea, and said so, to condemn Turkey for the Armenian genocide at the turn of the century because it would jeopardize our relations with Turkey (for no good reason).

I think he’s an opportunist of the first water, and it pleases me to no end that he’s willing to tip over their apple cart to preserve his own @ss.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
disappear in order to avoid answering questions they don’t want to answer
Uh, no. I have decided not to waste my time commenting here anymore b/c you all are hopeless. Scott Erb can be your Alan Colmes should he choose to. Have fun with the Circle Jerk.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
you all are hopeless.
No, you are the one that is hopeless. You have no hope that you can change our views to match your hopeless views on Iraq.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
And that’s the entire point: how do you debate with vitriol? There’s no genuine disagreement, it’s viewed through a prism of ’I’m right and the rest of you warmongers are worshoping at the altar of Bush!"

Yea, I wonder where he’s posting now? Kos or HuffPo?

Godspeed, DS.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
McQ writes:
progress in Iraq would be a bad thing for Democrats, wouldn’t it?
For all Democrats except the Clintons. They’ll take credit for it.

You say that Bill, just the other day, said that he was opposed to Iraq before he was for it? Well, next week, he’ll say that he was victorious in Iraq before he was defeated.*

It’s not for nothing that I’ve always said that Bill Clinton is the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral, but he’s flexible too, so he’s happy to be the corpse at every wedding and the bride at every funeral, as well.

And if a YouTube showed up tomorrow with Bill forcing a black woman to fellate him, Hillary’s people would say it only shows how much stronger a president she would make. "See what she’s already put up with."

Read this, and then contemplate that the Clintons are well ahead of the postmodernist reconfiguration of "rationality" described therein. That article is merely about some homocentric academic fantasy forcing itself onto reality. In the Clinton configuration, reality is whatever they say it is, just like truth.

——
* You might think I’m exaggerating to make a point, but the Clintons have already tried this, and I’m confident that they’ll run out another variant should Iraq continue to improve. When it became clear that we were not finding big WMD caches in Iraq after removig the Hussein regime, it was either Begala or Stephanopoulos who rolled out the "that’s because Clinton got them all during Operation Desert Fox in 1998." That didn’t exactly catch on at the time, probably because it was just a trial balloon, but there are plenty of people who would be ready to believe it. The Clinton formula for taking credit for success in Iraq will probably, this time, involve convincing "antiwar" Democrats that it was their efforts that turned the war around.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Have fun with the Circle Jerk.
I shall label this "People’s Exhibit A"...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
you all are hopeless.
No, you are the one that is hopeless. You have no hope that you can change our views to match your hopeless views on Iraq.
You all will miss me when I’m gone....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
... you all are hopeless.
Not quite working out as you expected it too, is it David? And that makes us hopeless?

Heh ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You all will miss me when I’m gone....
Gone, but still reading.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
He’s layeing his groundwork for a successful retreat over the horizon from the ’failed Iraq’ story come election time.
Come on looker, you’re better than that...

He’s layeing his groundwork for a successful REDEPLOYMENT over the horizon from the ’failed Iraq’ story come election time.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I think he’s an opportunist of the first water, and it pleases me to no end that he’s willing to tip over their apple cart to preserve his own @ss.
Hey, Erb - does this kind of comment count as a personal attack? Or is it an astute observation by one person regarding the bias and agenda of another? Care to comment or have you bailed out like DS?
Have fun with the Circle Jerk.
No doubt the Kos Kidz or the HuffPo folks will be more accomodating for you, DS. By the way, they expect you to bring your own crackers!

Oh, and as an aside for Erb - about Sanchez? STILL WAITING!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Meanwhile, journalists say the media is painting too rosey a picture of Iraq
I guess it is not only the media that is painting that picture. Are you going to take Murtha to task for that Erb?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Uh, no. I have decided not to waste my time commenting here anymore b/c you all are hopeless.
Yep. We are as hopeless as the war in Iraq . . .

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So does this mean that Murtha will have to give back that Profiles in Courage award ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I have decided not to waste my time commenting here anymore
then leave for godsakes. You have been singing that song for so long that I long for McQ to boot your butt out the saloon job.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Not quite working out as you expected it too, is it David? And that makes us hopeless?
Heh ...
Since the Great McQ has deigned to speak to me as I walk out the door, I will return the courtesy. But only with two brief points:

1. The Surge has done nothing to promote national reconciliation, which was the reason for it in the first place (purportedly). AQ was not in Iraq before we "broke" it, and the Iraqis have temporarily decided that we are less bad than AQ, and that, therefore, they decided to kill AQ instead of us. We have graciously armed to the teeth the Sunni Tribesmen who, until very recently, were trying to kill our soldiers. Now that AQ is suppressed and there has been no national reconciliation, just who do you think the Iraqis will turn against next? Iraq is a disaster of epic proportions. Mark my words: If we don’t get out now, we will find ourselves in hell.

2. McQ: On a personal note, you have disappointed me terribly. Much more than Greenwald ever did because I actually did think you were an honorable man.

Now, please, continue with the Circle Jerk.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Dave when you leave, you LEAVE...don’t keep sticking your head back int he door or are we going to be treated with coninual, "And ANOTHER thing...." Also, you missed an opportunity to leave with the truly excellent, "Good Day, Sir."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The Surge has done nothing to promote national reconciliation, which was the reason for it in the first place (purportedly).
nakedly disengenuous... the man’s completely unarmed, people. Move along...
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
2. McQ: On a personal note, you have disappointed me terribly. Much more than Greenwald ever did because I actually did think you were an honorable man.
McQ, are you gonna be okay, or do we need to confiscate your belt and bootlaces?
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
The Surge has done nothing to promote national reconciliation ...
But it sure does help set it up, doesn’t it? And of course if we keep our focus tightly grouped at only the national level, we can ignore the reconciliation that is taking place at the local and regional level (and thinking people figure will eventually pressure the government into doing so at a national level).
McQ, are you gonna be okay, or do we need to confiscate your belt and bootlaces?
Is this the same guy who keeps saying he’s not going to waste his time around here because we’re all "hopeless" and is leaving?

Ah, yes.
... as I walk out the door ...
For the fifteenth or twentieth time.
2. McQ: On a personal note, you have disappointed me terribly. Much more than Greenwald ever did because I actually did think you were an honorable man.
Given some of your comments here I’ve never thought that of you, David. Now please, finally, shuffle off to whatever miserable hole you call home and let your DNA cry itself to sleep.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
How long do I have to stay in Hell to accurately determine that it is hot?
 
Written By: Borax Johnson
URL: http://
Regarding the last update: Even if it is backpeddling, you gotta admit that having Murtha sound more like Jon than David or Mkultra is still partial progress.

Maybe the next step is having Murtha sound more like Jon on subjects where Jon is right! :)

Hey, it’s OK to dream.
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://

 
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