Saturday, February 17, 2007

Murtha the Wrong Man to Lead Iraq Strategy

Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post are criticizing Rep. John Murtha’s approach to stopping the Iraq surge. Marc Schulman at Donklephant has the synopses. Both newspapers conclude that Murtha, who has Speaker Pelosi’s support, is playing a cynical political game to achieve an end to the surge when he should be addressing the issue head-on.

I agree. And I am distraught by the power given the increasingly demagogic Murtha. I naively thought that when Steny Hoyer beat out Murtha for Majority Leader that the Democrats would minimize the Pennsylvania representative’s voice. Instead, Murtha is being permitted to develop the Democratic Iraq strategy.

I shouldn’t say strategy. It’s more of a game plan – as in he’s treating the situation like a game with trick maneuvers and purposeful obfuscation. As the Post notes:

[Murtha’s] aim . . . is not to improve readiness but to “stop the surge.” So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill — an action Congress is clearly empowered to take — rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. “What we are saying will be very hard to find fault with,” he said.

Simply put: Murtha doesn’t want to be accused on not supporting the troops … even though he thinks the mission is wrong and that the troops are doomed to failure.

This is no way to handle Iraq. We’ve just gone through years of the Republicans disguising intentions through complicated political maneuvers and misleading rhetoric. And now Pelosi is going to stand by and let Murtha feed us more of the same, albeit focused on different aims?

I’m tired of congressional disingenuousness. Very tired.

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