Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Making the War Unwinnable

Rich Lowry draws the same conclusion from Congressman Murtha’s “slow bleed” anti-war strategy as I did, not that I can claim any great insight, as it’s the only conclusion possible. Lowry describes Murtha’s deceits in National Review Online.

Rep. Murtha, who cannot seem to help himself any more in matters of subtle politics, than he can keep himself or his friends from slurping loudly at the public till, let slip his ulterior motives in a webcast for MoveCongress.org. His Grand Plan involves making a phony show of support for the troops, pretending to continue to let the military fight, but by every means possible to strip away any capability for the military to actually conduct the fight.

As Lowry describes:
Murtha repeatedly says in the webcast that his proposals are meant to “protect” the troops. But he is frank about the not-so-ulterior motive of keeping more troops from heading to Iraq, explaining that “they won’t be able to do the work.” Because his provisions can be sold as guaranteeing the readiness and quality-of-life of the troops, Murtha believes that they “will be very hard to find fault with.”
Here’s why Murtha and his cohorts have crafted their war strategy this particular way:
Just as disturbing is Murtha’s cynical reliance on failure in Iraq as a political strategy. The plan aptly has been described by Politico.com as a “slow-bleed” antiwar strategy. The surge is the best chance of turning the war around. By hampering it, Democrats will ensure that the war continues to fail, and thus that domestic political support for it plummets to the point where Democrats feel safe in defunding it. The subconscious logic of their position on the war has thus taken a subtle turn. It used to be that the war had to end because it was a failure; now it must fail so that it can end.

Democrats don’t see this distinction, since they simply believe the war is irretrievably lost.
Murtha believes – or wants us to believe – that there’s “no military solution in Iraq,” because there’s no real terrorist threat in Iraq. If we leave, Al Qaeda disappears. This would sound pretty astonishing, coming from a government representative, but from the same man who thought we could base a Middle East “quick reaction force” in Okinawa, it’s all of a stripe. He defines “beclowning.”

“It must fail so that it can end.” So the Democrats believe. So that they can “win,” though America must lose. It’s a sacrifice they’re prepared to have us all make on their behalf.

National Review pointed out some other Congressional anti-war idiocy, Senator Carl Levin’s attempts to reauthorize force with so many constraints and obstacles as to make the authorization a de-authorization in disguise:
From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:
—On the Democrats and the War—

KRAUTHAMMER: [Sen. Carl Levin] wants to reauthorize the use of force with a new resolution, but it would exclude combat missions. Think about that. Use of force, but it doesn't allow combat. It's an oxymoron; it's intended to make it impossible to conduct the war. Imagine, you'd have to have lawyers around General Petraeus in Baghdad every time he sends out a troop on patrol to decide if it's in a legal support function or if it's an illegal combat mission.

Look, some Democrats think the war is lost. If you think that, the honorable answer is to end the war and Congress has the power to cut off the funds tomorrow. What the Democrats are doing instead is to make the war unwinnable.

Levin would do it with a ridiculous amendment which would authorize force but not combat, and Murtha, in the House, would do it by, as he said, making it impossible for Petraeus to have the troop reinforcements and the command authority to win. So, if you want to end the war, end it, but don't make it unwinnable, which is what various Democratic amendments and propositions are all about.
Making the war unwinnable. That’s the Democrat intent.

Support the troops. Let them win.

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