February 16, 2007
Not A-Feared We're Gonna Lose...
The more success we have in our new strategic change of course in Iraq -- the more desperate the Democrats become to stop it in its tracks. The dynamic has become as crystal: the Democrats are not afraid we'll lose... they're frantic that we might somehow win.
Their entire political strategy is based upon the assumption that Iraq in 2008 will be even more a catastrophe than today (and they have very funny ideas of how bad it is today).
Thus, I am hardly shocked that the Democrats in Congress, perhaps stunned by the speed with which President Bush's new strategy appears to be bearing fruit, have gone back on their word... and now openly threaten to cut off funding to end the war, a tactic which only a couple, three weeks ago was dismissed by both Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 100%) and Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 100%) as Republican paranoia:
Democrats are challenging President Bush's power to wage war, contending they've found a way to block a troop increase in Iraq and prevent any pre-emptive invasion of Iran....
"This country needs a dramatic change of course in Iraq and it is the responsibility of this Congress to consummate that change," said Rep. John Murtha, who chairs the House panel that oversees military spending.
Murtha, D-Pa., is preparing legislation that would set strict conditions on combat deployments, including a year rest between combat tours; ultimately, the congressman says, his measure would make it impossible for Bush to maintain his planned deployment of a total of about 160,000 troops for months on end.
The Fox News "All-Stars" had a lively discussion of Rep. John Murtha's (D-PA, 100%) scheme on Brit Hume yesterday: The basic idea is to set up a series of "benchmarks" -- not for the Iraqis to achieve, not even for the soldiers and Marines to achieve in the field; the benchmarks are "readiness" and "rest" standards that American units must meet in order for the Commander in Chief to be allowed by Congress to send them to Iraq.
(And the scheme is probably an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.)
The standards are ludicrous. For example, units cannot be deployed to Iraq if they have been in the United States less than one year, no matter what. They cannot be deployed if they have not received some very high level of training. Troops' tours cannot be extended; stop-loss extensions are forbidden; equipment must be up to some impossible standard... and all these must be reported, certified by the president, and (presumably) agreed to by Congress before the president is allowed to deploy any troops.
To Iraq, that is; none of this nonsense on stilts would apply to units being deployed to Afghanistan.
In an interview on the website MoveCongress.org (in a passage now "sanitized" from the site), Murtha made his intentions clear -- and it's not simply to prevent the so-called "surge" in Iraq:
The Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense has begun consideration of the president’s $93 billion supplemental appropriations request for Iraq. Action on the request will be the first opportunity for the new Congress to exercise its “power-of-the-purse” over the Iraq war.
Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president’s foreign and national security policy. Chairman Murtha discusses these steps in a videotaped conversation with former Congressman Tom Andrews (D-ME), the National Director of the Win Without War coalition, sponsor of MoveCongress.org.
In the discussion on Special Report, Hume, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, and Nina Easton (no Mara yesterday) all agreed that the actual effect of the Murtha bill, if it were passed into law, would be to prevent reinforcements from arriving to relieve the augmented troop levels that will already be in country long before that point. They also all agreed that the bill has no chance at all of actually being enacted: It will never make it through the Senate and might not even pass the House, if the Republicans were to expose and attack it for what it really is.
Nina Easton thought it was good politics for the Democrats: They appear to be "pro-troops," looking out for their welfare, when in fact their real intent is to block the strategic change of course in Iraq. But both Fred and Mort, the "Beltway Boys," thought it would in fact turn out to be terrible politics for the Democrats, and I agree:
- Even many of those who oppose the troop increase (a small but necessary part of the change of course) will balk at the idea of cutting off funding after the troops have already arrived, which is what the Murtha scheme would do;
- This feeds directly into the traditional weakness of the Democrats on national defense, that they are so allergic to war that they actually prefer us to lose rather than win;
- Even those who won't go that far might still think it feckless for Congress to try to micromanage the exact level and location of future troop deployments;
- Since the FY 2007 budget is already appropriated, funding the DoD through September, President Bush can simply move funds from other DoD projects to fund the war; the Supreme Court has already ruled that this is within the Executive's authority; thus, Congress cannot cut off funds until at least October;
- But by October, the Democrats' worst fears may be realized: it may already be obvious that the new strategy is working, and working so well that even the big-box media cannot cover it up.
Thus, it's almost a given that the Murtha scheme is doomed to fail -- which will make it all the more likely that moderate Democrats in the House will defeat it, led by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD, 95%), who beat John Murtha out of that post and still bears ill will, and who has already come out against the Murtha scheme.
When the Democrats are unable to act on the supplementary budget request for the troops, they will have to scramble to accept it as is, without the Murtha scheme attached. This will humiliate and disempower Murtha within the Democratic caucus, relative to Hoyer.
What is most likely to happen then is that the frustrated Defeat Caucus in the House, having failed to enact the Murtha scheme, will push something even more radical... possibly a naked cut-off of funding to the troops in the field, essentially telling our soldiers and Marines in combat to "dry up and blow away."
By then, unless the liberal Democrats come to their senses somewhere in the middle and stop themselves, they will finally restore the natural distinction between Republicans who support victory in the war and Democrats who support only defeat, dishonor, and disaster. (The distinction had grown blurry with the small number of "white-flag Republicans" infesting the Congress.)
As always, the lizards are optimistic: I still bet on George W. Bush to keep up the good, very good fight in Iraq against both al-Qaeda and also the millenarian cult of Shiite death squads -- rather than betting on the antics of the defeatist Democrats in House and Senate. The fight is not just good for the GOP; it's vital for the future of Western civilization.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 16, 2007, at the time of 5:18 AM
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The following hissed in response by: hunter
I see this as similar tot he hysteria of the global warming promoters to act quickly. The GW promoters are desperate to enact policies *now* because over time enough of them know that the weather is simplynot going to cooperate to sustain belief in the believers.
The dhimmiecrats have to work hard to get us defeated now, because if we win, then what was all their carping about, anyway?
The following hissed in response by: XB234C
Everything the democrats do is geared toward defeat and perception as "perception is reality" in politics, they have successfully undermined public support for the war, yet claim their constant drumbeat of woe and despair does not harm troop morale. The television show "24" is said to be harmful to our troops on the ground yet the politician's pusillanimous behavior in Washington isn't. Gawd!!
The above hissed in response by: XB234C at February 16, 2007 7:25 AM
The following hissed in response by: Rovin
It appears the "SURGE" is working....
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The number of Iraqi civilians killed in Baghdad's sectarian violence fell drastically overnight, an Iraqi military official said Friday, crediting the joint U.S.-Iraqi security operation that began in force just days ago.
Iraqi army Brig. Gen. Qassim Moussawi, a spokesman for the Baghdad commander, said only 10 bodies had been reported by the morgue in the capital, compared to an average of 40 to 50 per day.
"This shows a big reduction in terror and killing operations in Baghdad," he said on Iraqi state television (link)
"The new surge in Baghdad and Anbar intended on making the lives of terrorists more difficult. It seems to have succeeded in the case of the two leaders of large terrorist organizations in its opening days. Moqtada al-Sadr took off for Iraq, and Masri finds himself in the hands of a government he hated.
What will Congress do now? David Petraeus has a huge scalp on his belt and his enemies are fleeing before him. Is this the time for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to demand passage of resolutions that claim that no victory is possible in Iraq?"
While borders are getting secured, insurgent leaders are being captured or on the run, and General Patraeus setting the table for a true stable Baghdad and Anbar------our cut and run defeatist party on the left is preparing to cut our own troops off at the knees-----morally, financially, and cowardly. While the Democrats think this tack is popular and will provide them with some political gain------I believe that the people of this nation would prefer a stable Iraq and (more importantly) a victory for our military. Our troops deserve our full support for victory not defeat.
Thank you Dafydd for another excellent post that will be linked to my post.
The above hissed in response by: Rovin at February 16, 2007 8:26 AM
The following hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn
It would be interesting to apply the proposed rules to past conflicts such as WWII. My supposition is that the effect desired by the dems now would have been achieved then. The upside is that the French would be speaking German. The down side is that the cold war would have looked like paradise compared to the world we would have faced in the 50's.
The above hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn at February 16, 2007 9:45 AM
The following hissed in response by: nk
Dafydd, I hope you are correct in your scenario about sane Democrats shooting down Murtha's scheme, because the only thing the President has vetoed in over six years is a stem-cell research bill (an issue which leads me to Orwellian thinking BTW). I do understand that House Republicans, and for that matter House Democrats, are nothing like their counterparts in the Senate (except maybe for the California caucus) and I do believe the President to be an honorable and sincere man but can you picture him signing the bill into law and saying "the people's elected representatives have spoken"?
The above hissed in response by: nk at February 16, 2007 9:47 AM
The following hissed in response by: MTF
Having spent my youth in Ohio I mourn the death of the GOP in Ohio, and today the grave stone will be placed by Steven La Tourette when he votes for Murtha and Pelosi. For any Ohioans in the group, here's his list of big contributers. Write them. Ask them not to give money to LaTourette.
The following hissed in response by: nk
Congressus loquitor est?
The above hissed in response by: nk at February 16, 2007 9:51 AM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
This is exactly why you should never vote Democrat, and what irks me most about them. They want us to pull out of Iraq. Fine. Make the logical case for a pull-out, then pass it in the Senate and House. If the President vetoes it, muster enough votes to override the veto. Done deal.
It is a sane, logical, and constitutional process.
If you cannot accomplish this via the sane logical path then stop wasting time with this.
The solution is not to lie, obfuscate, disparage, engage in meaningless symbolism, usurp the constitutional powers of the president, etc etc.
I notice most of the spending bills for 2007 have not been passed. How about getting to that instead?
The following hissed in response by: DrMalaka
What an amazing synopsis of the situation. I think everyone who is not in the defeatist camp keeps wondering if this is really as straight forward as it appears.
Is the defeatist left wing really trying to "undermine" (I use Murtha's own word here) our foreign policy to assure a victory for their party at the expense of a defeat for the United States.
What's in it for them? What will be left of this great country for them to rule?
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