Bush’s Slow Bleed

On the same day that Joe Biden writes in the Boston Globe in favor of repealing the 2002 war resolution, Julie Hirschfeld Davis of the Associated Press reports that Dems are backing away from the idea. Or maybe they’re just postponing it. Or not.

However, later in the article, Hirschfeld Davis claims that a rift has developed between Jack Murtha and Nancy Pelosi over plans to use congressional spending powers to force a change in Iraq policy. But a closer look reveals that Hirschfeld Davis is suffering a rift between her keyboarding fingers and her brain. HD writes,

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn’t support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress’ spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: “I don’t see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops.”

Asked whether the standards should be tied to a $100 billion supplemental war spending measure _ as Murtha has proposed _ Pelosi demurred, saying it was up to the panel that drafts funding bills.

HD of the AP is comparing apples to oranges and coming up with spinach. To understand where Pelosi and Murtha are coming from, check out what Lolita Baldor (who would name a kid “Lolita”?) reports for the Associated Press

Strained by the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that the U.S. military won’t be able to quickly and fully respond to yet another crisis, according to a new report to Congress.

The assessment, done by the nation’s top military officer, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents a worsening from a year ago, when that risk was rated as moderate.

The report is classified, but on Monday senior defense officials, speaking on condition on anonymity, confirmed the decline in overall military readiness. And a report that accompanied Pace’s review concluded that while the Pentagon is working to improve its warfighting abilities, it “may take several years to reduce risk to acceptable levels.”

Just one more indicator that Bush’s Folly is making us more, not less, vulnerable. Anyway, Nancy Pelosi just issued this statement:

“This unacceptable state of readiness affected our military long before President Bush ordered an escalation of the Iraq war in January, but the escalation is making it worse.

“The harmful effects on the readiness crisis of the President’s escalation plan are just beginning to be seen. Two Army brigades scheduled to go to Iraq in the spring will do so without completing their normal training cycles and without all of the equipment required to do their jobs. We should not be sending troops to Baghdad unless they are fully trained and fully equipped. We already owe a great deal to our troops, and we do them a disservice by putting them in dangerous situations without being fully prepared.”

What Pelosi says it not at all at odds with what Jack Murtha has proposed. To the contrary; as David Sirota explains, Murtha’s plan also supports troop readiness. Although you wouldn’t know that from reading the “mainstream” media. Quoting the Washington Post:

To be sent to battle, troops would have to have had a year’s rest between combat tours. Soldiers in Iraq could not have their tours extended beyond a year there. And the Pentagon’s ‘stop-loss’ policy, which prevents some officers from leaving the military when their service obligations are up, would end. Troops would have to be trained in counterinsurgency and urban warfare and be sent overseas with the equipment they used in training.

Hmm, you might be saying. I thought Murtha’s plan was all about de-funding the war; what the Republicans are calling a “slow bleed.” In fact, “slow bleed” is what the Bush Administration is doing to our military, and Jack Murtha is trying to stop the bleeding.

What Murtha proposed was tying war funding to readiness. According to the WaPo article by Jonathan Weisman and Lyndsey Layton linked above, Murtha “botched” this proposal.

The plan was bold: By tying President Bush’s $100 billion war request to strict standards of troop safety and readiness, Democrats believed they could grab hold of Iraq war policy while forcing Republicans to defend sending troops into battle without the necessary training or equipment.

But a botched launch by the plan’s author, Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), has united Republicans and divided Democrats, sending the latter back to the drawing board just a week before scheduled legislative action, a score of House Democratic lawmakers said last week.

For the life of me I can’t figure out what it was Murtha “botched.” After wading through several paragraphs reeking with hysteria, it appears that Murtha’s only “flub” was that he announced the plan on a web site associated with Moveon.org. After which all of Washington came down with the vapors.


Anyway, since Weisman and Layton announced that the Dems are rifting, our gal Hirschfeld Davis picks up the cry:

The developments on both sides of the Capitol reflected a new level of disarray in Democratic ranks on Iraq. Swept into power by voters clamoring for an end to the war, Democrats have seen their efforts falter under a reality more complicated than they found on the campaign trail.

Hirschfeld Davis doesn’t mention that most of the “complications” are being manufactured by the Right Wing Echo Chamber. The fact is, you have to go to leftie web sites to get a clear, non-hysterical explanation of what Murtha proposed. The MSM is just recycling rightie talking points and declaring the plan “botched” and the Dems “divided”; the usual narrative, in other words.

6 thoughts on “Bush’s Slow Bleed

  1. Yes: the “more complicated” “reality” is the one created by our valiant Free Press who continue to peddle the notion of an “anti-war left.” They are wedded to this fiction of a fringe group among Democratic voters who support withdrawal from Iraq and whom the party must placate even while carefully courting the vast “middle-way” folks who want to stay the course. In fact, the latest Pew poll shows that the “anti-war left” comprises the following members of the lunatic fringe:

    Democrats: 74%
    Independents: 55%
    Republicans: 23%

    That’s a mighty big fringe. I understand why the 3 in 4 Republicans who still want to keep troops in Iraq would deny theirs is a minority view. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out why our nation’s “brave” journalists cling to that same lie!

  2. Another aspect that has to be looked at is the toll that repeated deployments is taking on the military families. Relationships once formed are not self-sustaining and repeated prolonged absences strain even the best of relationships. People have needs that can’t be met or filled long distance.

    Bush is actually doing America a favor..He’s working the kinks out of the all volunteer system of the American military.

  3. Bush is doing us a favor, is he?

    Somebody ought to tell Wall Street…

    The DJI is dropping like shit from a sick ox…

    (As my Daddy would have said)

  4. Hold your noses, the disinformation coming from the MSM is rotting into an awful stench. Something I also smell is the acrid shameful scent of some so-called centrist beltway Democrats colluding to allow the disinformation……else why do we not hear our beltway Dems, loud and clear through press statements, shouting out the truth of Murtha’s plan?

  5. It’s been clear for a long time that the Republicans are embarked on a campaign to discredit Dems. (Rather than attacking policies, they attack the individual.) Pelosi has been called a fading phenomenon, a fly-by-night who’s spent her glory in the 100 hours and is about to fade into oblivion. The media love it because they thrive on failure, death, and dissing women. I doubt that it’s any more profound – in the media case – than what will “sell soap.”

    As far as the Dems go, it’s about time that they realize that the attention span of most of us is about 10 minutes. If you don’t want a “story” to take old, you’ve got to get out there like now and refute it. I don’t know whether they’ve always been so after- the-fact but for the last not so few years it’s become a pattern – and a very dangerous one. Repubs are going to throw out this crap non-stop but only if they can get away with it, and the way things are going they are getting away with it.

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