The unbelievable cynicism of John Murtha's "slow bleed" plan to end the war in Iraq has not gone unnoticed by the Washington Post. The editorial board excoriates Murtha in no uncertain terms not just for his plan to elevate the Democrats on the backs of the troops in Iraq, but also for his ignorance on Iraq (via Instapundit):
Mr. Murtha has a different idea. He would stop the surge by crudely hamstringing the ability of military commanders to deploy troops. In an interview carried Thursday by the Web site MoveCongress.org, Mr. Murtha said he would attach language to a war funding bill that would prohibit the redeployment of units that have been at home for less than a year, stop the extension of tours beyond 12 months, and prohibit units from shipping out if they do not train with all of their equipment. His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to "stop the surge." So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill -- an action Congress is clearly empowered to take -- rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. "What we are saying will be very hard to find fault with," he said.
Mr. Murtha's cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive civilian casualties." He says he wants to force the administration to "bulldoze" the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants to "get our troops out of the Green Zone" because "they are living in Saddam Hussein's palace"; could he be unaware that the zone's primary occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?
It would be nice to believe that Mr. Murtha does not represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party or the thinking of its leadership. Yet when asked about Mr. Murtha's remarks Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered her support. Does Ms. Pelosi really believe that the debate she orchestrated this week was not "the real vote"? If the answer is yes, she is maneuvering her party in a way that can only do it harm.
Has John Murtha ever been anything more than incoherent on Iraq? He talks loudly but says next to nothing other than reiterate the need to declare defeat and bug out of Iraq. He can't even get his facts straight despite having spent the better part of two years making himself the leading Democratic voice on the war. Even the Washington Post can't help but notice that this Emperor has no clothes.
Despite this, Pelosi insists on following his leadership on Iraq policy. The Democrats have made the case yet again why they cannot be trusted with national security. They use bad information, faulty logic, and underhanded tactics to exploit it for partisan political purposes. John Murtha represents everything that is wrong with the Democrats on this debate. They are ill-informed and incoherent, unable to formulate a plan for victory but willing to sabotage American efforts anyway.
It's going to be a long two years.