Just got this email from a reader, who received it from John Edwards. The Silky Pony evidently got Murta’s memo:
President Bush’s disastrous plan to escalate the war is no longer just a plan: it’s a reality.
While the Senate was tied up in knots, President Bush extended tours of duty for thousands of our troops, transferred new brigades into the Middle East and ordered more soldiers into Baghdad: The surge has begun.
Bush has escalated the war – now we must escalate our efforts to stop it. Congress must force a change of course by capping funding to stop the surge and mandate a phased troop withdrawal within 12-18 months. We don’t need endless debate; we don’t need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war. Only Congress has the power to do it, and only you can make Congress act.
Please take a minute today to call your senators and representatives. Ask them to take real, binding action to block the escalation and bring our troops home. Please call the capital switchboard right now at:
Last month I called for Congress to stop the president’s escalation before it began, and nearly 100,000 Americans have since added their name to that call. But now we need to go beyond addressing Bush’s latest misstep and use all the power we have to bring this conflict to a close.
So today, I announced a comprehensive proposal to enact my plan to end the war and I’d like to share the key points with you. I believe Congress must:
* Stop the escalation and force an immediate withdrawal by using funding caps to restrict the total number of troops in Iraq to 100,000, which would require an immediate drawdown of 40,000-50,000 combat troops without stranding or underfunding a single soldier still in Iraq. Any troops beyond the 100,000 level should be redeployed immediately.
* Block the deployment of troops that do not meet readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped. American Tax dollars must be used to prepare and supply our troops, not escalate the war. It is simply wrong to send our troops into harm’s way without all the training and equipment they need.
* Make it clear that President Bush is conducting this war without authorization. The 2002 authorization did not give Bush the power to use U.S. troops to police a civil war. President Bush exceeded his authority long ago. He now needs to end the war and ask Congress for new authority to manage the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence and to help Iraq achieve stability.
* Require a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq within the next 12-18 months without leaving behind any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.
Today, all of us who believe this war is wrong have a profound obligation to speak out. We are still in the early days of an historic new Congress and real change is still possible–even under this president.
But history teaches it will not be the politicians or the pundits who drive the real change – only the people themselves can do that. So let’s get busy.
Please call the Capitol switchboard and ask to speak to your senators and representatives today: (202) 224- 3121
It’s the second bullet point that gives away where Edwards is–“readiness” is now a tool to be used against the surge. “Readiness” is the center of Murtha’s strategy as outlined yesterday. Never mind that the troops we saw leading the way into the surge were elements of the 82 Airborne, the force that’s nearly always the tip of the spear on any US operation. And never mind that Edwards and Murtha and the rest of them know that. They’re all people who opposed the acquisition of advanced weapons systems for years and years, and only now that we’re actually involved in a war does “readiness” to fight become their chief argument–against fighting that war. “Readiness” for what–the attack on Iran that’ll never happen, and which they’re already opposing? Or is it just more readiness to fly the Speaker of the House and her entourage around the country?
Then there’s the “Bush has no authorization to fight this war” argument. It’s idiotic and dishonest. What was he supposed to do after the Golden Mosque bombing a year ago–just throw up his hands and say “Well, ok. Zarqawi’s boys pulled off a coup there. Time to bring our troops home.” Edwards’ line of reasoning on the war authorization he voted for is risible.
It’s easy for the likes of the Silky Pony to slam the president and a war gone south when they’re allowed to just ignore all of the history that led up to and is packed into that war. It’s easier for the likes of Murtha, who’ll never ever be president, to do everything he can to destroy the commander in chief’s ability to perform his wartime duties and responsibilities. It’s easy for the critics to just pretend that Saddam never had WMDs even though there are trials going on in Iraq right now about his use of WMDs, and it’s easy for those same critics to just pretend that Iran hasn’t been a thorn in Iraq when it has, for more than a year. It’s easy for all of them.
On the ground in Iraq, nothing is easy at all, and the Democrats, the nutroots and the media are making a tough job impossible. Which is of course their goal and has been all along.
Once we’ve retreated, and I think the trajectory we’re on now all but demands it, and once the bloodbath is over and a new round of monsters have taken control of Iraq, it will be just as easy for all of them to pretend that they had no role in any of it. And depending on which party happens to be in power when we have to go back into Iraq again, it will be equally easy for them to either support the action or denounce it.
Most of them voted for or supported the war when it started. They turned their backs on the president and more importantly the troops when it got tough. They will have condemned good Iraqis to their deaths to win an all-important victory over a lame duck president they’ve loathed from day one. They will have slowly bled the US military to death. They will have made mincemeat of the idea that America is a reliable ally and a steady force for freedom against jihad and chaos. They will have handed the terrorists and the mullahs a milestone victory and a new base of operations to export the global jihad. And they won’t lose a second’s sleep over any of it.