August 1, 2007

Democrats To Wait Until September For Surrender Bill

Apparently the Democrats have resolved to wait until September to offer a withdrawal bill -- and John Murtha stomped off the floor when he learned about their plans. He had planned to offer a bill which would have required withdrawal to start within 60 days but not demand an end date, and the anti-war faction balked:

A proposal by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) for the House to vote on withdrawal from Iraq without a timetable has been nixed, several lawmakers and aides said.

The opposition of the Progressive Caucus also apparently doomed a proposal by Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.) demanding a redeployment plan from President Bush. The measure will not get a vote this week.

Progressive Caucus lawmakers met Tuesday morning and agreed they would not support any Iraq measure that does not include a firm timetable for withdrawal. ...

“We don’t want to see any retreat,” a Progressive Caucus member, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), said.

That kicks the withdrawal debate ahead to September, when Gen. David Petraeus is to issue a report on the success of President Bush’s “surge” plan. Many Republican lawmakers have said they will re-evaluate their support of Bush’s strategy based on the report.

They don't want to see any retreat? Oh, the irony. They want no surrender on their plans for a full and unconditional surrender on the battlefield. Does the Progressive Caucus take lessons in cluelessness?

The Democrats simply don't have the votes to proceed with the full-surrender plan, not even to get a majority in the House. They certainly don't have the votes in the Senate to get past a cloture test, and that means neither chamber could override a veto. It would only be another in a series of wasted efforts that keep Congress from accomplishing anything else, which the Democratic leadership has belatedly recognized as a problem in the 110th.

Moreover, their support for a complete bug-out has lessened, as the New York Times poll showed last week. Disapproval for the war dropped 10 points over the last two months. A majority still says we should have left Iraq alone, but it's down to 51% now -- and if the change in tactics and improvement in Iraq continues, those numbers may drop lower still.

The split in the Democratic caucus appears to have left them with little choice but to wait for the report from David Petraeus and the Iraqi command in September as first planned. If Petraeus shows real progress in securing Iraq and building a ground-up unity in Baghdad and the western provinces, they may have little choice but to give him even more time than that.


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Comments (30)

Posted by sanssoucy | August 1, 2007 7:11 AM

I'm not holding my breath waiting for anyone in the MSM to start referring to Iraq as "Bush's increasingly popular war."

Posted by NoDonkey | August 1, 2007 7:25 AM

A victory in Iraq would destroy America's two main enemies - Al Qaeda and the absolutely worthless Democrat Party.

Posted by KauaiBoy | August 1, 2007 7:41 AM

Time to remind the jackasses that the President has sole authority to prosecute the war and protect the interests of this country---a task to which he was re-elected in 2004 in spite of a general dissatisfaction with being at war. The president is given this power because such matters of importance do not need to be subject to the whims of piss-ants in congress who were only elected by a small and statistically insignificant portion of the population to represent their local interests. Neither Murtha, Reid, Pelosi etc would be elected in a national election and none of the aspiring candidates have been given that mandate (other than in their own heads). Hopefully after stomping out, Murtha held his breath till he turned blue and vowed not to eat until he gets his way.

Posted by Jan | August 1, 2007 7:45 AM

Murtha - What reprehensible behavior. He is such a coward. The clueess MSM brag about his marine service which only shows their ignorance of our military. Murtha is a total disgrace to all other Marines.

Note - the "Progressive" label is being used to replace the "liberal" label b/c liberal started being recognized for what it is today - socialism. I suggest that any time someone uses the term "progressive", they include the word "socialist" in parentheses - we need to keep the public informed of the real meaning of things.

Posted by crossdotcurve | August 1, 2007 7:50 AM

Well we have three new Vacation Gold Star Mothers today:

I wonder how those families will feel with a permanently empty chair around the holiday dinner table, knowing that their son/brother was killed providing "political breathing space" for a government...that was on vacation.

Posted by FedUp | August 1, 2007 7:52 AM

I am ashamed to admit that Murtha, the Blowhard, is from my state. I believe the only reason that he keeps getting reelected is because of the very generous pork that he doles out. Where would he be without it! He is a disgrace to our state, our armed forces and our country. I suggest a long walk off a very short pier!

Posted by MarkJ | August 1, 2007 8:17 AM

"I wonder how those families will feel with a permanently empty chair around the holiday dinner table, knowing that their son/brother was killed providing "political breathing space" for a government...that was on vacation."

Dear crossdotcurve,

Gee, if I didn't know you better I'd say you were actually talking about our wonderful, underachieving Democratic Congress. Shucks, most of them are already on "permanent vacation" mentally.

By the way, I just heard a breaking news report this morning that Barack Obama now wants us to invade......Pakistan. If this is true, can we look forward to the spectacle of your head exploding in the very near future?

Posted by Rovin | August 1, 2007 8:18 AM

"If victory in Iraq was oversold at the outset, there are now signs that defeat is likewise being oversold today" -- Thomas Sowell

Despite the actual positive progress (unfiltered) on the ground in Iraq in recent months, the "we hate the military crowd" on the left are saying that anything positive David Petraeus reports in September will be politically motivated. Again, this is a sad commentary that the defeatist are more concerned about their political positions than the possible success in creating stability in Iraq:

"The most obvious answer is that Senator Reid feared that the surge would turn out not to be a failure — and the Democrats had bet everything, including their chances in the 2008 elections, on an American defeat in Iraq.

"Senator Reid had to preempt defeat before General Petraeus could report progress. The Majority Leader’s failure to get the Senate to do that suggests that not enough others were convinced that declaring failure now was the right political strategy." --- TS

O’Hanlon and Pollack's recent report in the NYT's showing "some serious progress" has got the defeatocrats running for cover.

“Today,” they report, “morale is high” among American troops and “civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began.”

Expect the next suicide bomber to get extensive front page coverage and the attacks on the General to continue. While the Iraqis believe they have too much to lose, so does the democratic party.

Posted by Les Nessman | August 1, 2007 8:28 AM

I've noticed a lot of stories in the MSM predicting a positive report from Petraeus. The MSM and Dems seem to be pushing this.

Watch for a big build-up for this report; then when the actual report comes out in September and it's not 100% positive, the Dems and MSM will say "Aha! Things are worse than we were led to believe! We must pull out NOW!"

Posted by bulbasaur | August 1, 2007 8:42 AM

This development has created a potential new energy source for America.

The massive force generated when the nutroot heads explode must be harnessed and used for the war effort.

Posted by Darren | August 1, 2007 9:33 AM

Murtha only wants withdrawal without a timetable? What a wimp. We need withdrawal WITH a timetable. The question is victory versus defeat. The question is, "Should we have gone to war?" If the answer is "no," as I believe it is, then the only legitimate action we can take is to immediately and unconditionally get out of their and get our troops home where they belong--defending America. What happens in Iraq is fundamentally not our concern (even if we did wrongly get things flared up over there). And it just so happens a complete and immediate withdrawal would also have the added benefit of getting rid of a major 'call to arms' the Islamic radical use to recruit new members to their ranks and convince them to attack Americans.

Posted by doc | August 1, 2007 10:03 AM

Has Lardass apologized yet to the Haditha marines?

Posted by FedUp | August 1, 2007 11:24 AM

So Darren, are you planning on apologizing to the families of our troops who have given their all for the cause? Whether or not we should have gone to war is a moot point. We did! We're there and we should finish it! You are wrong that what happens in the Middle East is not our problem. That is so very short-sighted. Do you, for one shining moment, think that if we pull out, that the Islamic fanatics won't follow us home? Doesn't retreat send the wrong signal to the rest of the world. Do you think that any of our allies (real and so-called) would ever trust us again.

Before you get on your righteous high horse, I come from a long line of service men who have served in war, including my sons and everyone of them believed in our country and did what they believe to be the right thing.

You are entitled to your opinion, but in mine, you are a moron!

Posted by MarkW | August 1, 2007 11:41 AM

Even if I were to agree with your ridiculous opinion, I would still have to point out that it makes no sense.

The world of today is not the world of 2003.
We ARE in Iraq, and we have to deal with that fact.

Your position is the mental equivalent of saying:
I should not have started this fire, therefore I should stop fighting it.

Posted by Darren | August 1, 2007 11:53 AM

No, I don't plan to apologize to anyone. I didn't send them (and myself) to war. It's the President and those in Congress who voted for war that need to apologize.

A moot point? We're there and we should finish it? Let's expand this reasoning to its logical conclusion. Say the government suddenly sends a team of guys to your house to shoot you and your family to death for no reason. They're standing there with their load rifles pointing at you and finger on the trigger. They are clearly wrong. Are you suggesting they should nevertheless stay and 'finish the job'? Or do you think (as I'm sure you do) that they should stop immediately and leave?

And yes, I do happen to think that pulling out of Iraq and all other Muslim-dominated countries would do a great deal to reduce the desire of the terrorists to harm us. I don't think we should do it as a matter of 'appeasement' but simply because it's the right thing to do to have American troops at home where they can be with their families and defend the country. Isn't it funny how doing the right thing could also serve to make us safer throughout the world?

And just so you know, I served in Afghanistan--and I think we should get out of there, too.

Posted by KauaiBoy | August 1, 2007 12:29 PM


Thanks for your service to the country. I don't care about whether you agree or not with the war, only that as a good soldier you followed orders. Your examples are somewhat convoluted but I'll only ask how American soldiers would have protected us from those who would fly planes into civilian structures. In case you forget, we are delivering payback and if it is perceived as terrorism, the better for it to work against those who would use terror as a tool against us.

Posted by FedUp | August 1, 2007 12:44 PM

I also thank you for your service. I don't wish war on anyone, but I still stand by my belief that we should finish what we started. If we had stayed and finished Desert Storm, (my son served there) it is my opinion that we wouldn't be fighting this one. Once again, it's the politicians who stick their noses into the military's business and MUCK IT UP!

I do think your example is illogical, but then... we've already covered that.

Posted by Darren | August 1, 2007 1:11 PM

"Your examples are somewhat convoluted..."

Which examples? And how are they convoluted?

"...but I'll only ask how American soldiers would have protected us from those who would fly planes into civilian structures. In case you forget, we are delivering payback... "

No, we're not. I'm sure you know that Iraq has nothing to do with responding to 9/11. That's what Afghanistan was--and even there we're more concerned with fighting the ill-conceived War on Drugs than finding bin Laden and crew. What we're doing is engaging in tit-for-tat with irrational, primitive, religious fanatics--that's a recipe for perpetual war and perpetual infringement of our freedom at home.

"...and if it is perceived as terrorism, the better for it to work against those who would use terror as a tool against us."

An eye for an eye? Since when has that solved anything? These people have been attacking us since the '90s, and one of their chief complaints is our stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, and our support for Israel. But here's the thing: those are things we shouldn't be doing ANYWAY. A free society does not keep military forces in other countries or provide aid to other countries. If we just followed the basic rules of a free society, we'd eliminate the major reasons the radicals have for hating us.

Posted by Darren | August 1, 2007 1:19 PM

"Once again, it's the politicians who stick their noses into the military's business and MUCK IT UP!"

Now obviously I'm opposed to the existence of government period. But if you're going to have a government, the least you can do is stick to a limited constitutional government like our Founders intended to set up. The military is ALWAYS subordinate to the civilian government in a free society. It's the politicians' jobs to "stick their noses into the military's business." That is a basic principle of American constitutionalism and one that is made very clear to those of us who have served in the military (or taken a basic political science course).

"I do think your example is illogical, but then... we've already covered that."

No, we didn't.

Posted by FedUp | August 1, 2007 1:49 PM

Darren, it not the job of the politicians to tell the military how to run a war. It is their job to declare and fund it. The strategy is the job of the military. I think the politicians proved this point in Viet Nam and all succeeding wars. There are Viet vets in my immediate family, so please don't imply that i have no clue as to what is going on here!

As far as your other statements - let's not confuse what SHOULD be with WHAT IS! Our government has perverted what the Founding Father's intended. We move on....

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 1, 2007 3:15 PM

Darren, shipmate.

Do you think that just because you say you served in Afghanistan...that your opinion is any more valid than any one else's...?

My "uncle" fought the Nazi in Europe. Whenever he got fired up (usually after a bottle of Jack) he told me we shouldn't have been in that one either...was he "right" just because he served?

His point, by the way, was that we should have let the Nazi and the Commies fight it out...who do you think would have won that one? We could have stayed home and not lost all his buddies on D day…Would we have been any worse off? Maybe we would have fought the "cold war" against the Nazi instead of the Dhimmi Commies...

Just because you say you served doesn’t give you a pass.

Posted by filistro | August 1, 2007 4:25 PM

Devilishly clever, those Dems!

They'll play rope-a-dope, spin this out, drag their feet... and watch the Lemming Party follow Bush-Cheney over a cliff and into oblivion.

Dems just need to somehow keep this war going into '08 while car bombs rip up the streets, 3 US soldiers die every day and the "government" in Baghdad continues to fracture. If they can do that, no Republican will be elected anywhere except a handful of southern states.

Hillary Clinton will have the White House and a veto-proof senate.

Heckuva job, guys.

Posted by filistro | August 1, 2007 5:21 PM

Wait a minute... for the Senate to be "veto-proof", it would have to be in the hands of the party other than the President's, wouldn't it?

Or do I need more coffee, too?

Anyhow, you get my drift. The Republicans are being played on this one. Make no mistake, it's a long-term plan... and it's working.

Posted by Thomas Jackson | August 1, 2007 10:34 PM


Guess you demonstrate what relativism and moonbattery have done to the country. Applying your standards to 1941 what would responding to Pearl Haqrbor have solved. Wasn't Hitler correct on decalring war on us since FDR stationed troops in Ideland and what democracy would do that, not to mention in the Carribbean and Bermeuda.

I guess its time for you to haul up the French battle flag and just collaborate. After you surrender, oops I mean after you've embraced the dark side. Sharia anyone?

Posted by Darren | August 2, 2007 10:43 AM

I did not mention my service to try to 'get a pass' (I'm confident my arguments are internally consistent and stand on their own merits). I mentioned it in response to someone apparent implication that I must not have served. And no, I don't think we should have gotten into WWII. FDR goaded the Japanese into attacking us, and thus he got us into someone else's war under false pretenses. I know our involvement in WWII has been an integral part of our identity for the past 60 years or so, but it's important to take a step back and try to look at it objectively.

Posted by Darren | August 2, 2007 10:48 AM

Sorry, MarkW--I didn't see your response to me yesterday until just now:

"The world of today is not the world of 2003.
We ARE in Iraq, and we have to deal with that fact.

Your position is the mental equivalent of saying:
I should not have started this fire, therefore I should stop fighting it."

No, look more carefully. My position is equivalent of saying: I should not have started this fire, therefore I should stop feeding its flames.

Posted by Darren | August 2, 2007 11:05 AM


I try not to respond to personal attacks, so I'll just respond to the legitimate part of your comment.

As I just mentioned above, I don't believe we should have entered WWII (at least not unless a foreign country had come and launched an unprovoked attack on America (Pearl Harbor doesn't count since FDR intentionally provoked it)--and even then the proper response isn't necessarily full scale war. I'm not a big fan of a lot of the stuff found in religious texts like the Bible, but the 'turn the other cheek tactic' is sometimes extremely good at creating a sense that the one being attacked is very powerful.

And no, we shouldn't have had troops stationed over there--that was certainly inconsistent with the actions of a free society.

But moreover, you also have to take into account the different dynamics involved in conflicts with religious extremists as compared to conflicts with (somewhat) rational state actors. Organized state actors intent on conquest can sometimes be deterred through force or threat of force (even though other options are usually more effective and cheaper). The same does not apply to, say, al Qaida.

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 2, 2007 2:48 PM

...if you really did join the military...did you do it before or after you came to the cynical conclusions you spouted off above? After all, the goals/objectives of the US Gov’s use of military power have changed little (if at all) in your lifetime....or did you join for the same reason Jon Cary did: filler for a resume?

Could it be that you are a “true believer” and that you intended to use your superior, internally consistent arguments to change the system and create utopia?

As a fellow cynic, I hope you forgive me for tiring easily when wading through the same old troll babble. It’s getting so you can’t roll over and break wind without a troll coming out of the woodwork claiming to be a “military genius”…when his only claim to fame is that he’s a wannabe who got his expertise from one too many readings of “Black Hawk Down”. Yawn.

Posted by Darren | August 3, 2007 9:21 AM

"...if you really did join the military...did you do it before or after you came to the cynical conclusions you spouted off above?"

Before. I was young (17), stupid, and hardcore conservative. I didn't have a good understanding of things like freedom, coercion, aggression, etc. I didn't know the history of U.S. military entanglements around the world. And I certainly didn't foresee serving under a President who would start an unprovoked war against a petty tyrant.

By the way, no need for the attitude and flaming. We're all adults here.

Posted by SteveJ | August 3, 2007 11:26 PM

Darren, appreciate your comments.

Despite what a number of people say, there were a number of tactical withdrawals during World War II. In fact, the tactical withdrawals helped produce overall victory. The commanders had the wisdom to realize they had made a mistake.

Since our troops do not have a mission in Iraq, they cannot be "defeated" nor can they achieve "victory".

Bush will go to great lengths to avoid responsiblity for the sectarian bloodshed he has unleashed, including blaming "terrorists" who are only too glad to take the credit.

I don't remember a previous President disseminating enemy propaganda like this.