Friday, December 02, 2005

Murtha suggests Congress has failed the military'

TDA News Service

(Rochester) Representative John Murtha, infamous for his cut-and-run strategy for the War in Iraq, suggested yesterday that Congress is forcing the military out by starving it of resources.

Speaking to a civic group in his Pennsylvania district, Murtha noted the military is both "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth" and, as such, expects this condition will force "most U.S. troops" to "leave Iraq within a year" the AP reports. In more from the AP report:

Two weeks ago, Murtha created a storm of comment when he called for U.S. troops to leave Iraq now. The Democratic congressman spoke to a group of community and business leaders in Latrobe [PA] on Wednesday, the same day President Bush said troops would be withdrawn when they've achieved victory, not under an artificial deadline set by politicians.

Murtha predicted most troops will be out of Iraq within a year. [...]

"I admit I made a mistake when I voted for war," Murtha said. "I'm looking at the future of the United States military."

Murtha, a decorated Vietnam war veteran, said the Pennsylvania National Guard is "stretched so thin" that it won't be able to send fully equipped units to Iraq next year. Murtha predicted it will cost $50 billion to upgrade military equipment nationwide, but says the federal government is already reducing future purchases to save money. [...]
Some believe the latest remarks by Rep. Murtha are only indicative of an inarticulate politician with a poor grasp of the consequences of 'loyal opposition run amok' and point to Murtha's admitted mistake to vote for the war. Others wonder if this is a poorly disguised attempt at laying the groundwork for later claiming credit at being influential in foreign policy matters come election time and point to Murtha's assertion that his focus is the future of the military

In asking a typical man on the Internet his views of all this Murtha talk, Mike McConnell, who operates the blog Kokonutpundits and describes himself as a conservative Republican who looks for common sense in world of idiocy, offers, "We all owe him a debt of gratitude for serving. However, if he cannot keep consistent on keeping commitment to support the troops then he shouldn't be there. He even advocated to President Clinton that he needed to pull out troops in Somalia, which probably proved to be the tipping point for bin Laden when he saw that weakness."

However a small but growing minority are beginning to wonder if the present resource and manpower difficulties that AP reported Rep. Murtha as asserting yesterday, is the fault of Congress. Congress is intimately aware that, although it is the Executive Branch's responsibility to keep Congress appraised of needs required by policy; make requests based on those needs; and submits detail of those needs, the Legislative Branch is the initiator of all funding legislation.

It is this common understanding that now has people questioning why those in Congress with such a strong belief that the military is breaking down are not advocating additional funding legislation to provide the resources they deem the military lacks, even if it requires overriding Administration objections. Because they haven't, it exposes them to the accusation that their policy is to intentionally pull the rug out from under the President after so forcefully supporting him the removal of Saddam and making Iraq a bright spot of democracy in the Middle East.

Asked if this view has currency, McConnell responds, "Definitely, they made it harder on President Bush and more importantly hurt the moral of the troops by not giving them moral support in the first place by doubting their actions and results," but made clear that "It should read that nearly all of the Democrats and some RINOs have done the rug-pulling. Many Republicans still support the war and the efforts to rebuild Iraq."

Until the hues and cries of quagmire and withdrawal recede, these beliefs will only grow.

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