Jay Reding.com

Article II, What Article II?

Someone should remind John Murtha (D-PA) that he’s not the Commander in Chief of the US military, as he’s on a one-man mission to force the US to surrender in Iraq. Not only is it borderline treason to attempt to deliberately hamper the mission of our troops abroad, but Murtha is essentially attempting to wrest control of the war powers placed deliberately in the hands of the Executive by the Founding Fathers.

Even The Washington Post, the nominal voice of the Washington establishment has taken Murtha out to the woodshed for his overreach:

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?

The idea that a member of Congress representing one district should be able to steer the course of American military policy is abhorrent to the Constitution. Congress does have the power of the purse, but with that power comes the responsibility to use it wisely.

What Congressional Democrats are essentially doing is selling our troops short, and it is absolutely reprehensible.

What makes it even more reprehensible is that Congress doesn’t have the integrity to even admit the reality of what the radical left is trying to do — Murtha is forced to play games with the lives of our troops in order to ensure failure in Iraq.

The purpose of this is to destroy the Bush Administration — the reality is that a failure in Iraq would create a humanitarian disaster of nightmare scale, set a precedent that would be deeply destructive to the American military, and also ensure that future Presidents — Democrat or Republican — can see their ability to conduct American military policy sacrificed on the altar of political expediency at any time.

What is happening now presents a serious crisis to the American system of government, and the blindly partisan Democrats are too focused on their own petty political interests to understand the ramifications of their actions. Indeed, Rep. Murtha seems to be dangerously uninformed about the situation in Iraq. Is he truly so foolish as to believe that Iraq would be better off were the US to leave?

The future of this country cannot be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency — and Murtha must be reigned in before his crusade ends up undermining US policy for years to come.

6 responses to “Article II, What Article II?”

  1. Mark says:

    Your full-on hysteria about the “radical left” (i.e. the 60+% of the population who opposes Bush’s troop surge) is so 2003….right along with scolding the media about “not talking about the good things going on in Iraq”. The only audience left for your message is to busy listening to Hannity reminding us that “victory is right around the corner” to be surfing the web.

  2. Jay Reding says:

    So, do you think that America would really be better off if we were out of Iraq?

    What happens then? Are we better off with a country that is utterly destabilized and has become a base for terrorism across the region? Would the problems in Iraq stay confined in Iraq or would they spread out across the entire Middle East? What would happen to regimes like Jordan? What would happen with Iran?

    How would al-Qaeda react? Would they see this as a victory? Would that victory then become another clarion call for jihadis in the same way that the American defeat at Mogadishu was?

    See, Democrats don’t want to even think about those questions, which is why we don’t have a single answer to any of them. Because if the Democrats had to think about something more than the unimportant political horsehit like your comment above, they’d have to face the reality that there’s something bigger going on out there. We can’t afford to lose in Iraq, and the costs of losing make the current situation look like an absolute picnic. All the Democrats keep doing is blaming Bush.

    The Democrats had damned well better grow up in a hurry, or things are going to get a hell of a lot worse. All your comment was is more political crap. This is a hell of a lot bigger than another stupid little partisan pissing match. How about putting down the nice little DNC pom-poms and wake up to the fact that losing in Iraq means more than just Bush losing.

  3. Mark says:

    What’s with the half-italic post?

    I guess I’m not convinced that an all-out Middle Eastern war would be any more likely to break out in Iraq if we left than it was before we invaded. Hussein had a floundering nation in decline and it would have been a cinch for the much stronger armies of Iran (Shiites) and Saudi Arabia (Sunnis) to invade Iraq at any point between 1995 and 2002 to instigate this regionwide civil war you’re convinced would come to fruition if America left Iraq in a similar state to what it was in five years ago.

    And spare me with the “Democrats don’t want to even think about these questions” when it was mostly Democrats (and a few knowledgeable Republicans who actually have experience in successful wartime diplomacy) who warned you guys of the secterian civil war you would ignite if you toppled Saddam Hussein….to which your team responded that you’d be greeted with flowers on the streets of Baghdad.

    There are no good solutions to clean up the nightmare your heroes needlessly created. Pretending that people like yourself who have been wrong about every single course this war has taken have a monopoly on all the answers from this point on does not raise your stock. You’re clinging to this premise of a regional meltdown in the Middle East assuredly following American departure from Iraq is a desperation talking point that may or may not have merit, but it will be the same talking point you’ll be using 10 years from now to justify the next “troop surge” vital to “save the fragile state of blossoming democracy in Iraq”. Regardless of what my position on the issue (or Jack Murtha’s) may be, the American people are not gonna stand for your scare tactics indefinitely, and I think you realize that they’ll have to if you’re gonna keep the shell game in Iraq alive.

    Point fingers all you wish, but we’ll be leaving Iraq within the next 18 months, and it’s unlikely it’ll be better off then than now. Rather than wasting time blaming your political rivals (and a fast-rising tide of members of your own political team) for the inevitable outcome of withdrawal from Iraq, your time would be better spent thinking up a more serious plan of reversing the current disastrous course there.

  4. Jay Reding says:

    I guess I’m not convinced that an all-out Middle Eastern war would be any more likely to break out in Iraq if we left than it was before we invaded. Hussein had a floundering nation in decline and it would have been a cinch for the much stronger armies of Iran (Shiites) and Saudi Arabia (Sunnis) to invade Iraq at any point between 1995 and 2002 to instigate this regionwide civil war you’re convinced would come to fruition if America left Iraq in a similar state to what it was in five years ago.

    Except for the part where the Saudis had no interest in doing so, and the Iranians already had their bloody and pointless war with Iraq…

    And spare me with the “Democrats don’t want to even think about these questions” when it was mostly Democrats (and a few knowledgeable Republicans who actually have experience in successful wartime diplomacy) who warned you guys of the secterian civil war you would ignite if you toppled Saddam Hussein….to which your team responded that you’d be greeted with flowers on the streets of Baghdad.

    Which, coincidentally, we were, at least at first. The fact is that very few if any Democrats warned of any such thing, and only then on the same principle as a stopped clock being right twice a day. Sectarian civil war was not inevitable at the time of the removal of Saddam Hussein, nor is it now. This current war stems largely from our failure to neutralize Moqtada al-Sadr in 2004 when we had the chance. Our decision then was a justified one, and we did not want to enlarge the conflict we were in, but it was a mistake in hindsight nevertheless.

    There are no good solutions to clean up the nightmare your heroes needlessly created. Pretending that people like yourself who have been wrong about every single course this war has taken have a monopoly on all the answers from this point on does not raise your stock. You’re clinging to this premise of a regional meltdown in the Middle East assuredly following American departure from Iraq is a desperation talking point that may or may not have merit, but it will be the same talking point you’ll be using 10 years from now to justify the next “troop surge” vital to “save the fragile state of blossoming democracy in Iraq”. Regardless of what my position on the issue (or Jack Murtha’s) may be, the American people are not gonna stand for your scare tactics indefinitely, and I think you realize that they’ll have to if you’re gonna keep the shell game in Iraq alive.

    Which doesn’t even come close to answering the questions. You speak of a regional meltdown as though it were some invented fear. Do you really believe that an American withdrawal from Iraq would be a good thing? That the situation would get better without someone to force all the sides to a political rather than a military solution? That Iran doesn’t have an acute interest in tearing Iraq apart.

    It’s all pissant politics to you. You really don’t give two shits about the politics of the Middle East. Hell, I doubt you even know the difference between Sunni and Shi’a. It’s all about winning elections here in the United States.

    This isn’t football. This isn’t about your “team” winning. If America goes down in Iraq we all lose. You’d think that the Democrats would have enough integrity to think of their country before their party, but sadly the real sectarian civil war might as well be in Washington rather than Baghdad.

    Point fingers all you wish, but we’ll be leaving Iraq within the next 18 months, and it’s unlikely it’ll be better off then than now. Rather than wasting time blaming your political rivals (and a fast-rising tide of members of your own political team) for the inevitable outcome of withdrawal from Iraq, your time would be better spent thinking up a more serious plan of reversing the current disastrous course there.

    That’s what’s being done — and the Democratic Party is trying to make sure it fails — despite the fact that it’s the plan that they suggested when it was politically convenient to do so.

  5. Mark says:

    “The fact is that very few if any Democrats warned of any such thing,”

    You’re actually right here. It was much more likely to see Republicans with successful military backgrounds (James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell) questioning the logic of invading Iraq…..and advocating timelines for withdrawal today. Considering that these Republicans actually guided us through a successful war in the same part of the world, I value their opinions much more than the blowhards screeching about regional civil war erupting in Iraq as soon as America leaves.

    And you didn’t answer my question about why these same ethnic forces didn’t seize the opportunity to ignite a regional civil war in Iraq in the 1990s are so sure to do so today. Iraq was being sanctioned into starvation. The morale of its people was gone, leaving them bitterly angry and easy prey for jihadists. Saddam’s army was weakened to the point of irrelevance. If the Sunnis and Shiites throughout the Middle East didn’t take the opportunity to overthrow a weak Iraqi government in 2001, why would they be any more likely to overthrow a weak Iraqi government in 2007?

    “Hell, I doubt you even know the difference between Sunni and Shi’a”

    An ironic accusation from a guy whose political bedfellows’ ignorance of the ethnic hostilities in ancient Mesopotamia drove them to not strategize about the war’s aftermath beyond those two hours worth of street dancing when Saddam’s statue was toppled in downtown Baghdad.

    “That’s what’s being done — and the Democratic Party is trying to make sure it fails — despite the fact that it’s the plan that they suggested when it was politically convenient to do so.”

    Yes, many Democrats did support a surge….and have since backtraced. Part of it is opportunism….but part of it is the fact that a surge of only 20,000 troops is unlikely to produce the needed stability, particularly with Britain now on the way out. I said months earlier on here that if the troop presence were to be tripled, we may be able to get a handle on things, but infusing only 20,000 additional troops to referee a civil war seems incredibly unlikely to work.

  6. Jay Reding says:

    And you didn’t answer my question about why these same ethnic forces didn’t seize the opportunity to ignite a regional civil war in Iraq in the 1990s are so sure to do so today. Iraq was being sanctioned into starvation. The morale of its people was gone, leaving them bitterly angry and easy prey for jihadists. Saddam’s army was weakened to the point of irrelevance. If the Sunnis and Shiites throughout the Middle East didn’t take the opportunity to overthrow a weak Iraqi government in 2001, why would they be any more likely to overthrow a weak Iraqi government in 2007?

    Because Saddam wasn’t all that weak. He still could brutalize his people into submission, and was very good at doing so. There was very little chance that Saddam would have been organically removed from power by the Iraqi people or it would have happened before we did it.

    The fall of Hussein created a power vacuum that was never truly filled, and now the Iraqi government is being forced by events to finally clean house. It should have happened a long time ago, but as I wrote just before the war the process of democratizing Iraq was always going to be a long-term process and it wouldn’t be an easy one.