- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
While the news out of Iraq continues to improve, even before all the additional troops get there, Murtha et al., are doing everything they can to ensure failure. Perhaps he's been underestimated, in that he does have a very clear idea of what the military is and isn't capable of, depending on politics. I can't help but wonder if his vision on the politics is as clear? It took over 2 decades for the country to pull out of the problems with Vietnam, I don't think we have that long to deal with national therapy:
Only if one ignores our constitutional scheme. The president, not Congress, is the commander in chief. Congress was never meant to, nor is it suited to, direct tactical military decisions, as Murtha seeks to do with his restrictions.
Arguably, his maneuver will be the most blatant congressional intrusion on the presidents war-making powers in the nations history. Congress choked off the Vietnam War in the 1970s, but only after U.S. ground troops were mostly already out of the country and chiefly as a matter of cutting off aid to South Vietnam.
Just as disturbing is Murthas 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 dont see this distinction, since they simply believe the war is irretrievably lost. But they still pay laughably unserious lip service to the notion of success. Murtha says theres no military solution in Iraq, that we can win in Iraq only through the political process as if it has no effect on the political process whether Shia militias are murdering Sunnis unchecked or laying low to avoid the surge. In a howler, he maintains that if we leave, al Qaedas going to disappear. Maybe if we spread pixie dust and close our eyes?
President Bush will have no choice but to reject the Murtha restrictions should they reach his desk. But a veto is problematic. As Murtha points out, a veto means that Bush doesnt get the continued funding for the war. He might have to sign the bill, take the funding and ignore the restrictions as an unconstitutional trespass on his powers. In that event, a cry to impeach him will go up from the increasingly powerful antiwar Left.
The result of the Democrats clever gambit could be a constitutional implosion from which no one certainly not the country will emerge a winner.