When the dust had settled last November and the Democrats had taken control of congress I was happy. The people had spoken against the status quo and against the war in Iraq. Change was coming through the good ole American electoral process.
I was also a bit wary then and it seems, sadly, that I was right.
Many posts ago I wrote of my fear that it really didn’t matter who had the reins, Dems or Repubs, nothing would really change and that if the Democrats were in power the biggest fear was an implosion of the party.
Which brings me to this story from the Washington Post.
I’m not going to debate the qualities of Rep. Murtha, that’s been done to death in many other places and mediums and is irrelevant to the real problem; the Democrats complete failure to address the reason the majority of Americans put them in control: stopping the conflict in Iraq.
I understand its not an easy task, but don’t you think theyshould at least try? Murtha puts forward a well thought-out piece of legislation that can’t be reasonably described as “anti-troop” by any but the most insane Hannity in the right wing world. From the Washington Post story:
“To be sent to battle, troops would have to have had a year’s rest between combat tours. Soldiers in Iraq could not have their tours extended beyond a year there. And the Pentagon’s “stop-loss” policy, which prevents some officers from leaving the military when their service obligations are up, would end. Troops would have to be trained in counterinsurgency and urban warfare and be sent overseas with the equipment they used in training.”
That seems pretty damn reasonable. It addresses many of the issues that the soldiers themselves are unhappy about and stops the useless “surge” in its tracks. So what do other Dems have to say about it? Again from the Washington Post:
“Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired Navy admiral who was propelled into politics by the Iraq war, said Murtha could still salvage elements of his strategy, but Sestak, an outspoken war opponent, is “a bit wary” of a proposal that would influence military operations.”
“A bit wary” are you , Rep. Sestak? I’m guessing the soldiers about to go over there on this suicide escalation are a bit f*#king wary, too. Here’s another from the WaPo story:
“If this is going to be legislation that’s crafted in such a way that holds back resources from our troops, that is a non-starter, an absolute non-starter,” declared Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), a leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats.
Holds back resources? By resting our troops, training them and sending them over with the right equipment? Jim, what the hell are you talking about? Hedge much?
Non-binding resolutions. In-fighting for what can only be politically motivated reasons. It’s all bullshit and too reminiscent of the do-nothing Republicans we the people just kicked out.
Here’s a clue for the Dem majority from a long time supporter: You were put there to do many things, but one thing is obviously the most important to the American majority. Stop the Iraq war any way you can, politics be damned. Cut the funding and deal with the fallout knowing you saved thousands of lives. This is beyond holding on to your power in Washington. The people have spoken. Get off your asses and do what we put you there to do.
Update: Just to prove my point here is another story from The Washington Post showing a new poll with the majority of Americans supporting a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq and against the “surge.”
Update the Second: I know the links aren’t working and I’m not savvy enough to figure out why. The stories can be found at www.washingtonpost.com.