Pelosi endorses Murtha for majority leader

What better way to assuage fears about Democrats being too dovish and anti-military than to back America’s foremost spokesman for cut and run — who once famously pronounced Haditha a case of murder “in cold blood” while the investigation was still ongoing?

We’re off to a good bipartisan start here:

“Your strong voice for national security, the war on terror and Iraq provides genuine leadership for our party, and I count on you to continue to lead on these vital issues,” Pelosi wrote Murtha Sunday in a letter obtained by The Hill. “For this and for all you have done for Democrats in the past and especially this last year, I am pleased to support your candidacy for majority leader for the 110th Congress.”…

“Nancy told me some time ago that she would personally support Jack. I respect her decision as the two are very close,” Hoyer said in a statement. “I am grateful for the support I have from my colleagues, and have the majority of the caucus supporting me. I look forward to working with Speaker Pelosi as Majority Leader.”…

One Democrat supporting Hoyer, who asked to remain anonymous, said the letter signaled desperation in the Murtha camp.

“It appears to me that Murtha had to pull Nancy forward because he was behind in votes,” the Democrat said. “This is not a surprise he was very important to her. [But] it’s a secret ballot and Steny has a lot of diverse support.”

I’ve got video of Dean-o and Reid from this morning’s gab shows talking about Vietnam and reviving the Reed-Levin “cut and jog” plan. Standby for the update. While you’re waiting, read Alaa: “Democrat or republican, America has no option but to find a way to win this war. All real Americans must be as sure of that as all real Iraqis.”

Update: We had recording problems this morning so we didn’t get Carl Levin telling George Stephanopoulos that withdrawal should begin in four to six months. We did, however, get Dean on Fox News Sunday and Harry Reid on Face the Nation; neither one of them is proposing a timetable, although Reid does sound warm to Levin’s idea — if the generals agree.

He also wants a regional conference involving Syria and, presumably, Iran. And you know what? He just might get one. Says Moran:

The Iranians don’t only want us defeated. They want the US humiliated. Any negotiations with the mullahs will be long, drawn out, and designed to show the world how powerless we are to affect events in the region. In the meantime, our soldiers will continue to die, the Iraqi government will continue to dither, and the body count of civilians will spiral upwards.

Phased withdrawal my ass. If we have decided to bug out, let’s leave as quickly as possible. If victory is not to be had at any price then it is immoral to keep our men and women in harms way simply to appease domestic sensibilities. Yes Iraq will devolve into madness and chaos. We can deal with that situation in the context of the War on Terror. Asking someone to put their life on the line for no reason save assuaging the consciences of politicians is stupid.

And Steyn, the pessimist di tutti pessimists:

[W]e’re in a very dark place right now. It has been a long time since America unambiguously won a war, and to choose to lose Iraq would be an act of such parochial self-indulgence that the American moment would not endure, and would not deserve to…

“These Colors Don’t Run” is a fine T-shirt slogan, but in reality these colors have spent 40 years running from the jungles of Southeast Asia, the helicopters in the Persian desert, the streets of Mogadishu. … To add the sands of Mesopotamia to the list will be an act of weakness from which America will never recover.

Update: Dean and Reid won’t propose a timetable. Will Tony Blair?

Update: IraqPundit considers four options. Reed-Levin is not his favorite:

Withdrawing U.S. troops as quickly as possible while leaving security concerns to the Iraqi government, an option favored by such newly empowered Democrats as Sen. Carl Levin, would almost certainly lead to unmitigated disaster. It’s easy to wag one’s senatorial finger in Maliki’s ineffectual face. But what about the Iraqi civilians who are at his mercy? A U.S. that abandons Iraqis to religious butchers would be finished in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.