Last night I sat transfixed to C-SPAN. The House of Representatives was debating a resolution which called for an immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. The resolution itself was a bit of stunt by Rep. Duncan Hunter. I think the idea was "Hey these Democrats keep talking about pulling the troops out but if they really mean it let's make them vote on it and put their money where their mouth is."
The catalyst to the resolution were the words of troop "redeployment" from Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha. Before yesterday I had never heard of Jack Murtha. I joked with some calling him Jack Mothra the Representative from Monster Island.
Watching the proceedings those first couple of hours left me with one lasting impression, "None of these people have any idea on how to speak in public." If any of you watched it last night - you know just what I'm talking about.
It got good near the end when Jack Murtha and some of the more senior members of Congress had the chance to speak their peace. As I said above - before yesterday I had never of Murtha but after last night I was left with a deep and I'm sure lasting respect for Jack Murtha. He's just doing his damnedest for our men and women in uniform.
That said - I disagree with Jack Murtha on this issue and I can tell you exactly why.
Last night a Rep. from the Republican side of the House spoke about American military men fighting far from home for a country they had never been to before when the US invaded the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Jack Murtha pointed out that the difference was that the folks in charge of the invasion of Europe had a plan. Here's where my main point of disagreement with Jack Murtha arises.
Yes we had a plan to invade Europe via the beaches of Normandy but that plan was never made public. Eisenhower didn't come over and consult with Congress about his "plan". That would have been ridiculous.
And to make clear - the Allied plan for the war was to win. That was the goal but how to get there was constantly changing. That's why we ended up with Field Marshall Montgomery's disastrous Market Garden Plan to invade Holland. Montgomery was simply able to convince enough people to use his "plan of action" next on the road to victory.
Our plan in Iraq is to win and by win I mean leave Iraq a stable representative democratically elected government. Until we reach that "stable" point - our troops aren't going anywhere. Eisenhower never worked off artificial time-tables and neither should our commanders in Iraq.
Last fall John Kerry promised that he'd withdraw the troops during his first term as President. He was rightly ridiculed for setting an artificial timetable that would do nothing but allow the terrorists to sit back and whack 'em when the first four years were drawing to a close.
I saw on Instapundit where Larry Kudlow wrote:
It [the resolution] is not serious. It demeans the House. It totally politicizes the debate. It is a ploy and a rather weak one at that. . . .I differ on this point. The 403-3 vote last night against immediate withdrawal does send an important message and not just to our troops but also to the people of Iraq. Have we forgotten how the Kurds suffered after we suddenly withdrew from Iraq the last time? If we have forgotten - you can be sure that the Kurds and the other people of Iraq have not. Last night's overwhelming vote against immediate troop withdrawal sends a very important message to the people of Iraq. Asking for a non-political, non-partisan debate on the issue by Congress would be asking too much. Didn't Kudlow watch the first couple of hours worth of speakers?
Why not state the resolution in the affirmative? " We pledge to deploy troops in Iraq until the mission of liberation, freedom and democracy is satisfactorily completed." And why not seek to gain as much bi-partisan political support as possible? This would truly help the mission, and the troops.
One final note - is there a person in Congress more worthy of our respect and admiration than Representative Sam Johnson of Texas? If there is I'd like to know who it is?