Saturday, November 19, 2005

Someday, Murtha will be proven right 

Lawmakers Reject Immediate Iraq Withdrawal
You know what is really dumb about this?
If Republicans HAD used Murtha's motion, THEN the Democrats would really have found themselves in a quandry. But no, the Republicans had to get cute and write their own motion, which the Democrats then had no problem voting against.
Murtha's motion read:
Whereas [etc etc for seven 'whereas' clauses] . . . Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:
Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.
Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.
Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
The GOP motion read:
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.
Even Murtha himself could and did vote against this.
Sorta backfired, didn't it, especially because the one soundbite which will live in infamy from the debate was Jean Schmidt calling Murtha a coward and then having to retract it.
Of course, personally I wanted to see Murtha's motion pass. And someday it will.
Right after the debate, after all the republican pontificating about how the US has to "stay the course" and "win" in Irag, came this story:
The top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq . . . Gen. George Casey submitted the plan to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It includes numerous options and recommends that brigades -- usually made up of about 2,000 soldiers each -- begin pulling out of Iraq early next year.
And the US media may finally have jumped the shark. They may not be playing along anymore. Today in a very thoughtful piece on Kos, Hunter wrote:
When the only weapon the White House is capable of using is to impugn the very patriotism and Americanness of their opponents, what happens if the reactions to that attack change? What happens if the press decides that dissent is, after all, patriotic? And is it happening, just the twinges, because of the utter collapse of the poll numbers, because of the Plame indictment(s?), because of the continuing quagmire of the war, because of the 2,000 deaths mark, because of the other Republican investigations and indictments, seemingly raining down like hailstones anywhere Abramoff has brushed up against the woodwork of power, and/or simply because of the continuing Republican political schtick that works so well for dismissing a minority, but considerably less well when you are calling sixty percent of the country traitors for not dancing to the tune? . . . accountability is now a majority position in America. Accusing the American people of treason for demanding it is not simply cowardly -- it is also being met with decidedly more organized hostility than in previous Republican "campaigns" against the American citizenry.
I also think that the media is simply tired of being told that they have to play along to get along. The tipping point may well have been Bob Woodward and his 18 months of lies about the Plame investigation. OK, Judy Miller nobody in the working press had much respect for as a reporter anyway, not after all her discredited WMD 'scoops' and all the queening it around Iraq. But the dream of uncovering another Watergate has been a motivating force for 20-somethings to get into journalism for the last 35 years. So to see Watergate hero Bob Woodward pulling a Miller, destroying his journalistic reputation, ducking and weaving, apologizing and denying, all so that he can continue to help some self-important poohbah in the Bush administration cover up the illegal leak of a CIA agent's identity, well, this may have finally hit the US media's collective gag reflex. Now, when someone in the White House or the Pentagon or the State Department implies they aren't on the right team anymore if they don't spin the coverage, they will remember 'Boob' Woodward and how the mighty have fallen.

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