HR 861 is a sham. The Republicans put up a bill full of platitudes, allowing no proposed amendments.
And hidden in the middle of the platitudes is this tidbit:
…it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq…
In other words, this bill is a yes/no vote on whether to allow Mister Bush--and his succesor--to keep our troops in Iraq forever.
The whole morning, watching on C-SPAN, I kept wondering how to describe what I was feeling. It came to me. It was like watching my country being assimilated by the Borg.
This isn't a debate on Iraq. It's an orchestrated GOP election campaign circus.
Back from the grocery store just in time to see Murtha speak.
At last. Somebody actually using hard data to measure the ineffectiveness of the effort in Iraq. Hopefully, his speech will be up on his web site. "Rhetoric does not answer the problem," he says. Amen Brother Murtha.
Henry Hyde (R Illinois) follows Murtha. It takes him less than 30 seconds to conjure visions of mushroom clouds, and drones on for roughly ten minutes in praise of Mister Bush.
There's something about Murtha being followed by Hyde that pretty much says for me what America's upcoming election is about--the bluff and honest versus the serpentine.
Hyde finishes his spiel and Murtha comes back to the floor. Iraq has gone on longer than World War I, longer than the Korean Conflict, he says, and reiterates that the metrics belie administration claims of "progress" in Iraq.
Ike Skelton (D Missouri) makes a great point about eating our "military seed corn" in Iraq. I haven't heard it put that way before, but I've long said that one of the greatest tragedies regarding Iraq is that we're grinding our force into hourglass fill in a contest that has little if anything to do with our national security. What happens in two or three years if we really need the military power that we squandered in Iraq?
As Jack Murtha says, China, Russia, Iran, and most of the rest of the world are perfectly happy to see us stay in Iraq until we're powerless to meaningfully engage militarily anywhere else in the world.
Duncan Hunter's at the plate, giving a lecture on how it was okay to have disbanded the Iraqi Army, and lending his expertise on military command, control and discipline. He's also giving a "support the troops" pitch, comparing Iraq to World War II.
Murtha gets up, God bless him, and slaps Hunter down for confusing the difference between supporting the troops and supporting the policy.
Henry Waxman (D California) give a good account of contractor fraud in Iraq. Bravo, he brought up David Brooks, the contractor who sold faulty body armor to the Army and Marines. "We're squandering money on Halliburton at the same time we don't have enough money to protect our troop."
Peter Hoekstra (R Michigan) makes flatulent noise about "the first war of the information age." Yeah. Like information didn't exist, or wasn't an essential part of war, before the World Wide Web existed.
These rubber stamp Republicans are blithering idiots.
How much longer are we going to let them lead us over the cliff?