Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration’s options.
If they do what they’re apparently planning to do, “slow bleed” will be a very apt description. Those doing the bleeding, slowly, will be US troops.
Led by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and supported by several well-funded anti-war groups, the coalition’s goal is to limit or sharply reduce the number of U.S. troops available for the Iraq conflict, rather than to openly cut off funding for the war itself.
This is the strategy of a corrupt, dishonorable man. Yes, I realize I’m talking about a former Marine. I’m also talking about the unindicted co-conspirator of Abscam. I’m talking about the coot who thinks we can fight a war in Iraq from Okinawa. I’m talking about a man who is a tool for various subversive anti-war groups.
And who are these well-funded groups with whom Murtha is working? Are they International ANSWER, the Stalinist hardliners who have been patiently building the anti-war movement since 9-12-01? That’s a question Murtha must answer. Who besides the blame-America-first Win Without War Coalition is he working with?
As described by participants, the goal is crafted to circumvent the biggest political vulnerability of the anti-war movement — the accusation that it is willing to abandon troops in the field. That fear is why many Democrats have remained timid in challenging Bush, even as public support for the president and his Iraq policies have plunged.
As I said, dishonorable. If you oppose the war and truly want us out of Iraq, put your own name on the line and move to cut funding. Put your name on your policy. If, as Barack Obama said, you think we’re wasting lives in this war, then the honorable thing to do is to stop that waste immediately. Put your name on your policy as well as its outcome. Not conduct a “slow bleed” strategy that is the political equivalent of the strategy that the terrorists and insurgents have themselves deployed on the ground. We have truly reached a new low in this country when the Speaker of the House and her favorite henchman are running a strategy that will definitely get American troops killed for a war they lack the courage to stop in their own names.
Here’s how Murtha’s Terrorist Assistance Program will work:
Murtha, the powerful chairman of the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, will seek to attach a provision to an upcoming $93 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan. It would restrict the deployment of troops to Iraq unless they meet certain levels adequate manpower, equipment and training to succeed in combat. That’s a standard Murtha believes few of the units Bush intends to use for the surge would be able to meet.
In addition, Murtha, acting with the backing of the House Democratic leadership, will seek to limit the time and number of deployments by soldiers, Marines and National Guard units to Iraq, making it tougher for Pentagon officials to find the troops to replace units that are scheduled to rotate out of the country. Additional funding restrictions are also being considered by Murtha, such as prohibiting the creation of U.S. military bases inside Iraq, dismantling the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and closing the American detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“There’s a D-Day coming in here, and it’s going to start with the supplemental and finish with the ’08 [defense] budget,” said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, who chairs the Air and Land Forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
D-Day…what a name to toss out there. D-Day was an open frontal assault against an entrenched enemy that deserved destruction. Here, a Democrat is deploying a D-Day analogy against a sitting president that the Democrats have been undermining since he took office, even during war. What a disgrace.
Pelosi and other top Democrats are not yet prepared for an open battle with the White House over ending funding for the war
Because they are dishonorable cowards.
and they are wary of Republican claims that Democratic leaders would endanger the welfare of U.S. troops.
Like making it impossible to deploy enough troops to win the war?
What a disgrace. It seems that Democrats like Murtha fear the surge in Iraq just as much as Mookie al-Sadr does, and for the same reason: It might work. And like Mookie, the Democrats will engage in sneak attacks designed to destroy the country’s warfighting capability. Words fail me in expressing my outrage at this Murtha-Pelosi strategy. It’s the end game for people whose care for the troops only extends to having enough troops to chauffeur them around the country. Their slow bleed strategy means American defeat if it succeeds, and they know it. That’s the whole point of it.
(h/t Instapundit, who calls the strategy “surrender without responsibility.” That should be the Democrats’ new motto.)
Update (AP): Eleven Republicans have signed on to the slow bleed.