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November 18, 2005 2:05 AM   Subscribe

"A flawed policy wrapped in an illusion." Thus Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) attacked the Bush administration's handing of the war in Iraq. Described by the AP as an "influential House Democrat who voted for the Iraq war," Murtha did indeed support H. J. RES. 114 of October 10, 2002. Today Murtha, a combat veteran of the Vietnam war and retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, concludes the war resolution was the result of "a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused." Murtha's comments come the day after Vice President Dick Cheney fought back at his critics: "The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history." Murtha appears ready to stand by his claim that he, and Congress, were misled.
posted by three blind mice (108 comments total)

 
Although I agree with some of his points, I think the piece he put up is pretty ropey and not entirely convincing, especially not acknowledging his own role in voting for going to war.

However, the White House counteroffensive sticks in my craw. Cheney stands in righteous indignation, shouting "I'm shocked, SHOCKED at these malicious allegations of spin!" Yeah, you've got a leg to stand on there, Dick. Cry me a river.
posted by LondonYank at 2:23 AM on November 18, 2005


> the war resolution was the result of "a U.S. intelligence failure and the
> way that intelligence was misused."

"We were just innocent sheep! We're not responsible!"
posted by jfuller at 2:31 AM on November 18, 2005


Statement by Scott McClellan:
"Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party. The eve of an historic democratic election in Iraq is not the time to surrender to the terrorists. After seeing his statement, we remain baffled -- nowhere does he explain how retreating from Iraq makes America safer."

Can't anyone voice dissent anymore? 65% of Americans dissapprove of Bush's handling of the war. 65% of America is now extreme liberal?

Remember when we had freedom of speech?
posted by sacrilicious at 2:49 AM on November 18, 2005


This kind of backbone could have been really useful... oh, about three years ago.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:51 AM on November 18, 2005


> ready to stand by his claim that he, and Congress, were misled.

"We, the United States House of Representatives, had fewer independent sources and less analytical ability than some mob weblog called Metafilter, which knew it was all hooey as soon as it came out of Bush's mouth. We were sheep, I tell you, sheep."
posted by jfuller at 2:52 AM on November 18, 2005


Funny how being a critic means you've lost your backbone.

I think the Dem's are being foolish for not openly accepting their culpability - entire nations refused to join the coalition of the kool-aid swilling because they could smell the bovine byproduct of a herd of politicows. The Dem's can hardly claimed to have been hoodwinked.

The politicians were not lied to. The people were.
posted by srboisvert at 2:52 AM on November 18, 2005


It would sound more convincing if he said, "I was scared to vote No, I wanted to be a patriot, I needed to keep my Congressional seat... etc. etc."

A lot of information was already out there about the stupidity of invading Iraq over WMD. These "Yes Voters" were not sucked in by bad intelligence alone, they were sucked in by their own narrow minded premature value judgments.

The scary thing: they vote on legislation all the time. Imagine how much crap gets through because these people have piss-poor researchers or they are just plain Political Hacks who cannot stand up for their constituents.
posted by gsb at 2:53 AM on November 18, 2005


> Can't anyone voice dissent anymore?

You mean, and not get dissed for it? Voice dissent and get no pushback? That's never been possible, and it certainly shouldn't be.
posted by jfuller at 2:54 AM on November 18, 2005


We were sheep, I tell you, sheep.

jesus christ, you're really desperate, desperate fucks these days -- is that the best you can do? "it's the Democrats' fault"?. Bill Clinton's fault? do you really understimate the American's public intelligence that much?

bah. guess that the zany "we're making progress in Iraq" mantra is quickly going out of fashion, drowning under that ocean of innocent blood. "we're making progress" was utter bullshit, but it was certainly more dignified than this "it's the Democrats' fault!" silly, cowardly whine.

one wonders what they'll dream of in the future. hey, here's a suggestion: try blaming Jimmy Carter next! he's, like, a liberal!
posted by matteo at 3:12 AM on November 18, 2005


So, when's the impeachment?
posted by Pseudonumb at 3:26 AM on November 18, 2005


Well, no, matteo: it's certainly true that the claim of many Democrats that they were lied to means nothing. Shit, I knew those motherfuckers were lying about weapons of mass destruction back in 2002 and I'm just some middle-class slob.

The resolution allowing Bush I's attack on Iraq didn't get nearly as many votes as Bush II's, and Hussein annexed a whole fucking country the first time.

Was it willfull insanity? Were they cowardly chickenshits? I don't know. What I do know is that every Democrat who authorized the use of force in Iraq this time around is either stupid, gullible, or both, and their hands are just as sticky with blood as the most black-hearted, pro-orphan, pro-evil Republican's.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:28 AM on November 18, 2005


jesus christ, you're really desperate, desperate fucks these days -- is that the best you can do? "it's the Democrats' fault"?. Bill Clinton's fault? do you really understimate the American's public intelligence that much?

Is it possible to underestimate?

You're forgetting that most of the Democrats also voted for the war. The funny thing about democracy is that with votes comes responsibility. The crazy thing is all that they would have to is say that they made a huge error in supporting a flawed war.
posted by srboisvert at 3:34 AM on November 18, 2005


But the Democratic Leadership was nowhere to be seen.

According to the Washington Post
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues at a closed meeting yesterday morning that she, too, would advocate an immediate troop withdrawal, according to several who attended. But by day's end, Pelosi -- a liberal who has sharply criticized Bush's handling of the war -- chose merely to praise Murtha and say he deserved to have "his day."
It's just his day, Leader Pelosi? Then on what day do you intend on leading the Democratic Party -- or this country? If in your opinion, Murtha's right, then get behind him and fight. If he's got it wrong, then tell us that.
But either way, we need a Democratic Leadership that leads on all days. And one that isn't too busy watching the direction the wind is blowing. And we need that leadership today.

The Washington Post continued:
Murtha's Democratic colleagues reacted warily to his remarks, while Republicans pounced [on Murtha]. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), head of the House Democrats' campaign effort, said, "Jack Murtha went out and spoke for Jack Murtha." As for Iraq policy, Emanuel added: "At the right time, we will have a position."
Well Rahm, when's the right time? When's the right time for the oldest political party in the nation to have "a position" on the biggest U.S. foreign policy mistake in three decades? How many more American boys have to die for a mistake before it's the "right time" for the Democratic Party to have "a position"?

(And if Rahm can't "hack it", I hear there's another ex-Marine who can "Hackett".)

Brave ex-Marine John Murtha stormed a beach today, and for speaking the truth took withering fire from the White House and was called a "cut and run" coward by Republican Speaker Hastert.

And while Murtha stormed the beach the Democratic "Leadership" can only dither behind the lines, telling Murtha -- and the country they purport to be ready to lead -- to wait for "the right time"?

"Take that beach for us John. Give us the cover of your thirty-year reputation as a conservative, pro-military hawk. And by and by, John, we'll be right behind, as soon as when the polls tell us it's safe."

The Democratic Leadership is nowhere to be seen.

This is leadership? If this is the leadership the Democratic Party offers America, we deserve to stay a minority party.

John Murtha in his speech characterized the war in Iraq as "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion" and went on, "[t]he American public is way ahead of the members of Congress."

Both of those truths seem to apply equally well to our Democratic Party's congressional leadership.
posted by orthogonality at 3:40 AM on November 18, 2005


So, when's the impeachment?

Exactly! This political posturing is worthless. "Oh, I didn't know it was gonna be this bad or I wouldn't have said yes!" Bull. Fucking. Shit. You worthless, spineless sea urchin. Go scroll through MetaFilter in 2002 and see all the posts on Bush's cherry-picked intelligence. If we knew it was bullshit, surely a fucking Congressman might have heard something through the grapevine? Something to at least give some fucking pause before sending your country's servicemen off to war?

They're just setting the stage for 2006/8 when they can go before their constituants and say, "You hate the war? Me too! I've always hated the war! Look at my record: in 2005 I opposed the war 27 times! Yep, quite a record!"

If they really want to do something worthwhile and, more to the point, current, they can impeach this sad sack of shit for his crimes against his country. You can't distance yourself from something with your own goddamned name signed to it. What you can do is learn from your mistakes and fucking fix them.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:40 AM on November 18, 2005


Many of us opposed the war despite whatever claims the White House made about Iraq, be they true or not. Even if you believed Bush on WMDs etcetera (I did not feel qualified enough to judge), Iraq was obviously not a threat to America, or anyone else for that matter. Nothing had changed in the last 2 or 10 years (pre-2002), to make an invasion of Iraq anything less than absurd in conception, especially considering the mess that was still being cleaned up in Afghanistan.

So yes, the Democrats were accomplices in this crime. Anyone who thinks that electing a Democratic government will solve the USA's problems is really fucking naive. But I'm pretty sure the criminals themselves are a worse option.
posted by mek at 3:45 AM on November 18, 2005


I heard some of this yesterday on Radio 4 when driving home. He was certainly very fired up but I can't help thinking that it's a bandwagon jump now that the US populace are starting to turn against the war. It might have been good if he had engaged his critical faculties before giving his approval in the first place.

However, it was very funny when he had his pop at Cheney’s 5 draft deferments. I've not seen that bit transcribed anywhere but when I heard it on the drive home I did let out a whoop.
posted by bouncebounce at 3:48 AM on November 18, 2005


It turns out that one of the original critics of the war was...Cheney. (via)
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1992, Cheney said: “If we’d gone to Baghdad and got rid of Saddam Hussein — assuming we could have found him — we’d have had to put a lot of forces in and run him to ground someplace…Then you’ve got to put a new government in his place, and then you’re faced with the question of what kind of government are you going to establish in Iraq? Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shia government or a Sunni government?” Mr. Cheney continued. “How many forces are you going to have to leave there to keep it propped up, how many casualties are you going to take through the course of this operation?” [New York Times, 12/16/03]
He was very prescient, it seems; now if he'd only get around to answering those questions.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:57 AM on November 18, 2005


> If they really want to do something worthwhile and, more to the point, current, they
> can impeach this sad sack of shit for his crimes against his country. You can't distance
> yourself from something with your own goddamned name signed to it.

Well, there you go. They can't put the President on trial without also and simultaneously putting themselves on trial. And their only possible defense is He told us what to think, so we did. If three fourths of Congress had been caught getting plo chops in the Rotunda, do you think they would have impeached Clinton for doing the same in the Oval Office? I doubt it, said the Walrus. This won't happen.
posted by jfuller at 3:58 AM on November 18, 2005


mek, I'll agree, but let me add to that. Anyone who thinks that Democratic Party is a left-wing party is really fucking naïve, as well. The Dems are the center-right party and getting more right wing all the time.

Someone in the Democratic Party needs to start standing up for what's right because it's right, not because it's popular. Otherwise, they're no better than the other guys. It's really wearing thin on my to say "we're not as bad as the other guys" and expect to get my vote. Well, they'll still get my vote, but I won't be happy about voting for them.
posted by psmealey at 4:01 AM on November 18, 2005


Purge the Vichy Democrats.
posted by warbaby at 4:04 AM on November 18, 2005


> The Dems are the center-right party and getting more right wing all the time.

Hey, cool. Maybe I'll be able to vote for one in my lifetime. Who wants to be the first to channel Strom Thurmond?
posted by jfuller at 4:20 AM on November 18, 2005


They can't put the President on trial without also and simultaneously putting themselves on trial.

They supported a war that was bolstered by cherry-picked intelligence from the Bush administration. Could be worse. Personally, I think the big trump card you're going to see played a lot is Section 3 (b) (1) of the declaration:

"the President shall [...] make available [...] his determination that--
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq;


...under the section titled "PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION".
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:45 AM on November 18, 2005


I was appalled at this nation's response to 9/11 - We immediately went to Afghanistan, and while everyone cried for blood, I was thinking "Halliburton oil pipeline".
Pipeline accomplished, we cheered for fabricated reasons to invade another country that we'd had a stranglehold on since 1991. The rest of the world said no, but here in America, it was unilateral support, fueled by anger, fear, nationalism, etc.
Now, finally, that 63% of the nation disapproves, I'm even more appalled that when any of these elementary facts come before any judging body, elected people claim ignorance.
Patriotic appeasement was rampant, led by an angry, ignorant nation.
I hate Democrats for not standing up to the Republicans, and I hate Republicans for bullying Democrats into submission.
I especially hate that I'm not a smart person, yet I saw all of this coming, and I can't be the only one, which must mean we are a nation led by weaklings who refuse to call bullshit on anything. Iraq is an oil venture. There are evil dictators (that we didn't help rise to power) in plenty of other countries in the world, but they don't have resources we need...

So I'm calling bullshit. I guess I get voted out.
*throwing up a little in my mouth*
posted by hypersloth at 4:57 AM on November 18, 2005


< / rant>
posted by hypersloth at 5:09 AM on November 18, 2005


I liked best when Murtha responded to Cheney by pointing out his five deferments on the draft. I wish he'd say the same thing about Bush.

And orthogonality is correct, what's evident more than anything from this is the abject cowardice of the Dems. Quite aside from the lack of honesty about the votes that mattered, the fact that they won't stand with Murtha shows that they're worthless as principaled people.
posted by OmieWise at 5:17 AM on November 18, 2005


srboisvert: I think the Dem's are being foolish for not openly accepting their culpability - entire nations refused to join the coalition of the kool-aid swilling because they could smell the bovine byproduct of a herd of politicows. The Dem's can hardly claimed to have been hoodwinked.

Our democracy wouldn't work very well if half of the legislative branch disagreed with the executive branch on principle. They took the "facts" as they were presented and voted. As we're seeing recently, when it was shown that those facts were unreliable, people began withdrawing their support.

We at Metafilter had the pleasure of referring to political blogs, the media and the government for our prewar intelligence. Those in Congress, I'd argue, had to give the greatest weight to what government agencies were telling them, because that's what those agencies are there for... and if those agencies misled Congress, then there'd be greater consequences.

Don't forget -- before the war begin, there was still some conception that the Bush administration couldn't possibly insert evil thing here. As we know now, such conception was foolish at best.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:19 AM on November 18, 2005


There is more joy in heaven for one sinner who repents than for a thousand just men.

Rep. Murtha has broken free of the gravity of the institution of which he is a life member and has acknowledged the continuing madness of Operation Iraqi Fuq'p. Those of us who were smart enough to have seen the bullshit of the BushCabal for what it was should welcome those who were once taken in by it. John Murtha represents millions of Americans who wanted so much to believe that our Government would not lie to us so grievously but who know now that it did.

Regardless of how stupid it may have been for the US to have done what it did in the Days of Shock and Awe, it is essential that we stop doing it as rapidly as possible. Only with the support--however belated--of Congress can that occur.
posted by rdone at 5:50 AM on November 18, 2005


Folks, it all comes down to this: the current political structure of this country is simply not sound, the two party system is caving in on itself, and we don't have any alternative lined up. The current administration are guilty of serious war crimes, and while the MetaFilter crowd displays a decent level of awareness and inteligence about the political reality we live, sadly, this is not the state of the American population at large. Folks have been watching too much TV, and it's time to pay the piper.

Empires fall hard, and never go down without a fight, and it's gonna get ugly before it gets any better.

Optimism is so damned difficult to muster these days.
posted by dbiedny at 5:55 AM on November 18, 2005


Wasn't there a call for UN participation early on in the occupation? I realize it was not accepted because the UN wanted a high level of (total?) control...but isn't that what the Dems should be asking for? Withdraw our troops to be replaced by UN peacekeepers.
posted by tvjunkie at 5:58 AM on November 18, 2005


History will remember neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney kindly.
posted by clevershark at 6:06 AM on November 18, 2005


I'm afraid of how many lessons history will teach about our present day.
posted by hypersloth at 6:10 AM on November 18, 2005


clevershark writes "History will remember neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney kindly."

It depends which history. US history will probably give them a pretty big pass. Perhaps that's just my pessimism talking, but Nixon and Johnson, not to mention Andrew Jackson, aren't as reviled as one might hope.
posted by OmieWise at 6:11 AM on November 18, 2005


I think the Iraq was is a great undertaking, but that is almost beside the point here. You have a slew of pathetic politicians trying to pretend they were not for the war when they were, based on the same intelligence the President used to decide the war was just and proper. And then you have a similar set of politicians arguing that, somehow, cutting and running is better than stabilizing the place before pulling out.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:12 AM on November 18, 2005


If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted.

posted by ParisParamus at 11:57 AM EST on April 29


You have no credibility.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:18 AM on November 18, 2005


I think the Iraq was is a great undertaking, but that is almost beside the point here. You have a slew of pathetic politicians trying to pretend they were not for the war when they were, based on the same intelligence the President used to decide the war was just and proper. And then you have a similar set of politicians arguing that, somehow, cutting and running is better than stabilizing the place before pulling out.

You have ably repeated this week's formulated GOP talking points, thank you
posted by poppo at 6:23 AM on November 18, 2005


We are still in the middle of a long, long story. We have become an occupying power using military force, torture, and now chemical weapons to oppress a populace under the guise of freedom and democracy.

Bush's justification is now, "Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein." But that remains to be seen. The old regime, while oppressive, was secular and allowed for a certain degree of warped lawfulness. What type of Iraqi government can we expect to grow from this kind of a foundation? What kind of freedom can you force on a people?
posted by sacrilicious at 6:27 AM on November 18, 2005


The LA Times story has the best details on Murtha:

In a 30-minute news conference, Murtha repeatedly told stories about wounded troops. He spoke of a Seabee, paralyzed from the neck down, surrounded by his wife, mother and three children, all crying because he would be immobile for the rest of his life; of the father of a wounded marine, himself a veteran, who asked the congressman's help to bring a second son home from the war; of a soldier who lost both hands to shrapnel from a "bomblet" dropped by U.S. troops.

That soldier's mother complained that her son was ineligible for a Purple Heart because the device was "friendly."

Murtha, choking up, recounted that he met with military officials. "I said, 'If you don't give him a Purple Heart, I'll give him one of mine.' And they gave him a Purple Heart."
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:33 AM on November 18, 2005


Anti-war Democrat makes anti-war speech... nation trembles.

News at 11.
posted by fet at 6:41 AM on November 18, 2005


PP: You have a slew of pathetic politicians trying to pretend they were not for the war when they were, based on the same intelligence the President used to decide the war was just and proper.

*cough*

(Thanks amberglow)
posted by kableh at 6:42 AM on November 18, 2005


fet, he's the biggest hawk in the Democratic party. Pay attention.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:51 AM on November 18, 2005


At the risk of death-by-flame, I ask ye, Mefites - isn't it true that the original resolution did NOT specifically authorize force so much as it allowed Bush to threaten force? In other words, Congress did not declare war, they were hoodwinked into believing that the resolution was the only way to implement a policy of "inspections with teeth" - Hey, Iraq, let the inspectors in or else we are ready to go to war, in fact Congress has already given a certain level of approval.

Now, with hindsight, it's easy to see that BushCo was planning on going to war all along, and the Dems are left flapping in the wind - they didn't REALLY vote FOR war, but the truth is far more subtle than can fit into a 15 second soundbite.

(Don't get me wrong, I think the Dems by and large suffer from a great morality deficit, but mostly they got played BUT GOOD by a bunch of oil-addicted Repubs. Probably the LAST thing anyone in all of this cares about is what is good for the Iraqis.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 6:53 AM on November 18, 2005


The resolution was portrayed as merely allowing Bush to threaten, but no Dem can hide behind the idea that they were hoodwinked: it was abundantly clear Bush was going to war.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:00 AM on November 18, 2005


One thing about Rep. Murtha that I haven't seen in the recent news yet is that he has been visiting our wounded troops weekly at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I reported this last year in Wired in a story about a new kind of battlefield anesthesia pioneered in Iraq and funded by Murtha.

Bloviating dickwads from Cheney and McClellan on down should hide their heads in shame. This man walks the talk.
posted by digaman at 7:01 AM on November 18, 2005


By biggest hawk, you mean he's been saying since 2003 that the war is unwinnable?
posted by fet at 7:02 AM on November 18, 2005


He said in May 2004 that "the direction has got be changed or it is unwinnable." A little different, no?
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:04 AM on November 18, 2005


fingers_of_fire: I've heard that rationale explaining how Dem reps were 'hoodwinked' into going to war, but everybody and their dog knew that Bush was planning on going to Iraq. Claiming now that they had no idea what they were voting for is a crock of shit, basically.

Accept culpability for what you've done. Admit that you were blowing with the political winds, and say your mea culpas. Don't try to claim that you're stupid or easily duped, as easy as it is for most of us to believe about our elected representatives.
posted by fet at 7:05 AM on November 18, 2005


fet, since when does "hawk" mean "championing an ineptly managed war launched on false pretenses"?

Even most fans of military intervention have standards, you know.
posted by digaman at 7:08 AM on November 18, 2005


CunningLinguist:

NY Times, 9/17/03

The Democrat, Representative John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, a decorated Vietnam veteran, said that he had been misled into voting for the war by incorrect information from top administration officials and that the president had also been misled.


He's been sounding the same noise for years. I just don't see why this is a big deal.
posted by fet at 7:08 AM on November 18, 2005


You have no credibility.

That's never stopped PP from posting anything and I suspect it won't matter to him, even now.

I'm sure he'll just defend himself by saying, "Well, the WMD could have been moved to Syria. We must attack Syria!"
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 7:17 AM on November 18, 2005


He no longer believes the president was misled. The buck's got to stop somewhere.
posted by sacrilicious at 7:17 AM on November 18, 2005


Actually, we will be attacking Syria soon, unless its regime implodes from within.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:18 AM on November 18, 2005


We and what army?
posted by sacrilicious at 7:19 AM on November 18, 2005


/walks into a bar/
posted by bardic at 7:20 AM on November 18, 2005


Show me your combat medals, fet, and let's talk about the number of times you've visited wounded soldiers, compared to Murtha. Then I'll be happy to consider your statements signal instead of "noise." Being not full of shit is "the big deal."
posted by digaman at 7:26 AM on November 18, 2005


No, he's right - if Murtha had been saying this is unwinnable and we should pull out all along, it wouldn't be a big deal. But he has gone from strong support to a slowly growing critique of how the war has been waged and the information it was based on, to yesterday's pullout recommendation, which is a big deal because even the liberal wing of the party isn't urging that.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:31 AM on November 18, 2005


Claiming now that they had no idea what they were voting for is a crock of shit, basically.

I don't think that is true. This was in the middle of an attempt at national bipartisainship and trust for the President. It may have been misused, but when the President repeatedly said he would only go to war as a last resort and the majority of the nation believes him (around 70%) how can you not vote for his resolution? Who really would have expected him to just kick the inspectors out just as they were actually showing progress? Honestly, I still don't understand why he was so impatient about the whole thing and I have the benefit of hindsight.

I don't think most of the Dems were voting in favor of war. They were voting to show the UN that they were serious and to show Saddam that we have a big stick to punish him with if he acted up.
posted by aburd at 7:37 AM on November 18, 2005


It basically comes down to this: everyone was wrong. Every politician.

Let's face it, they all blew it. But just because both the Democrats and the Republicans were wrong, it doesn't mean that we have to stay.

But, like most politicians, they are only able to keep one thought in their heads at one time.

"We were against the war, but we voted for it anyways, so we should pull out."

"The war is necessary now, as it was then."

You voted for it, you got it. But it doesn't mean that the young men fighting the war have to keep dying.

I don't give a flying fuck who's fault it was; I just want our troops home, defending us, and being safe. I don't want them fighting a pointless war.

If we pull out now, those 2000 soliders will have died in vain. But they died in vain even if we don't pull out. We don't dishonor their memory by leaving Iraq; we dishonor their memory by continuing to vote for the idiots, both Republican and Democrat, that killed them.
posted by benjh at 7:41 AM on November 18, 2005


jesus christ, you're really desperate, desperate fucks these days -- is that the best you can do? "it's the Democrats' fault"?. Bill Clinton's fault? do you really understimate the American's public intelligence that much?

Of course it's the democrats fault. They had a majority vote in the senate, and even if one or two democrats had decided to vote with the republicans they could have filibustered the war. But that's not what happened, instead a majority of democrats in the senate voted for war, and we got the disgusting spectacle of Tom Daschle standing on the Whitehouse lawn with the president announcing the war.

Dick Cheney is mostly a liar, but democrats are trying to rewrite history, and change things to make them less culpable. They were culpable. If the democrats had taken a principled stand on the war, and (except Lieberman and a few other dem neocons) they'd be in a much better position today, and maybe the war would not have happened.

Bush was prepared to go to war without congressional approval, on the argument that the 1991 authorization for desert storm was adequate for sending troops. (Which it probably was. The war had never ended; we just had a decade long cease fire)
posted by delmoi at 7:47 AM on November 18, 2005


You have a slew of pathetic politicians trying to pretend they were not for the war when they were, based on the same intelligence the President used to decide the war was just and proper.

ParisParamus echoing the GOP-approved sound bite.

From HJ Res 114: Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

What Congress saw was evidence that:

Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons, and

an advanced nuclear weapons development program.

This was presented by the administration as a "slam dunk" case - as refected in the wording of the resolution.

What Congress did not see was the equally compelling evidence that suggested the case was far from a slam dunk.

What Congress did not see was that patience - and not a rush to war - was the course of action indicated by the totality of the evidence.

What Congress saw was a "sexed-up" cherry-picked. mega-hyped, excerpts of the intelligence that pointed to invasion as the only choice of action.
posted by three blind mice at 7:48 AM on November 18, 2005


I was appalled at this nation's response to 9/11 - We immediately went to Afghanistan, and while everyone cried for blood, I was thinking "Halliburton oil pipeline".,

You do know the difference between 'Halliburton' and 'Unocal', right? I mean, if you can't even get the most basic facts right, why bother having an opinion?
posted by delmoi at 7:53 AM on November 18, 2005


That soldier's mother complained that her son was ineligible for a Purple Heart because the device was "friendly."

Murtha, choking up, recounted that he met with military officials. "I said, 'If you don't give him a Purple Heart, I'll give him one of mine.' And they gave him a Purple Heart."


Since when does friendly fire disqualify you from getting a purple heart? I thought you got one for any injury, even falling off a truck or something like that...
posted by delmoi at 7:58 AM on November 18, 2005


What Congress saw was evidence that:

Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons, and

an advanced nuclear weapons development program.

This was presented by the administration as a "slam dunk" case - as refected in the wording of the resolution.


Oh, whatever. Only a retard would have bought that crap. Do you want to vote for a retard? I don't.
posted by delmoi at 8:15 AM on November 18, 2005


Actually, we will be attacking Syria soon, unless its regime implodes from within.

You know, agree with him or not, there was a time when Paris used to at least try to sound articulate and well informed, but he's done nothing but spout Orwellian nonsense for the better part of the past year. Is it possible that his previous pledge, the lack of WMDs and the resulting cognitive dissonance cause his main circuit board to overload?
posted by psmealey at 8:33 AM on November 18, 2005


Oh, whatever. Only a retard would have bought that crap.
Well, a retard who wants to stay in office due to overwhelming public support for the president.

When the administration spews lines like "You are either with us or with the terrorists", you think any politician wants to be viewed as with the terrorists? Now mind you, only a retard would've bought that crap, but such is the American public....
posted by blastrid at 8:40 AM on November 18, 2005


Oh, whatever. Only a retard would have bought that crap. Do you want to vote for a retard? I don't.

I know it is popular to discredit the President, but his position does carry quite a bit of credibility... or it did before this. And when the most powerful man in the world, who supposedly has the best information available to anyone in the world, tells you that X is true you are probably going to believe that X is true, unless you have a very solid reason not to. Would you really vote for someone who didn't believe the person with access to the best information available?

Honestly, the reality of the situation sounds so unlikely that I still have trouble believing it is true. Does it sound logical that the President fell victim to the influence of a conspiracy built by war-mongering idealists who thought blowing up a stable but ruthless dictatorship would be key to saving the world? This reality sounds like a bad novel. Presented with the two choices, I would probably vote with Hilary and almost-President Kerry.
posted by aburd at 8:50 AM on November 18, 2005


It's moot---we'll never leave as long as Bush is in office. They equate leaving with losing, and there's still enormous profit being made, no matter how many die on all sides. ...“Of the $3.9 billion a month that the administration is spending on military operations in Iraq, up to one-third may go to contractors who provide food, housing and other services, some military budget experts said. A spokesman for the Pentagon said today that the military could not provide an estimate of the breakdown. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:55 AM on November 18, 2005


To my ears, it sounds like the entire debate over Murtha's comments is completely misdirected.

Murtha isn't focuing on history (nevermind "rewriting" it.). Neither is he talking about his vote on the force resolution.

He's talking about where we are right now, and what's on the horizon, and what we can do about it. Murtha is presenting a plan which addresses his concerns. His concerns are borne of vast experience and studious attention, and visits to the region, and much time spent with soldiers and Martines who've seen combat there.

Read his comments -- he addresses the sustainability of our military, damage to the budget, and security concerns.

The man stands up, says what he believes is wrong (using quantified data on reconstruction, oil production, unemployment, quality of life concerns in Iraq, etc) and presents a constructive plan to fix it (send a signal to the Sunnis that the US will not be an occupying force, seeking a political rather than military solution, create a rapid Marine force over the horizon, etc)...and all anyone wants to do is debate the same old crap. Over and over and over again.

There's certainly enough braintime devoted to "how the f*ck did we arrive at this juncture" and I'm among those who've spent a lot of time asking that question. But Murtha's asking a different (and arguably more productive) question..."where are we now, and what should we do from here?"

Sheesh. Can we (Americans) discuss the merits of something for once, instead of focusing on the person who has the idea, the history of that person, the political back and forth, all this nonstop bullsh*t? Iraq has gone from bad. to worse, to disastrous, to a complete debacle -- while both sides are too busy playing "gotcha" and "flip-flopper" games.

Murtha's thoughts and plans on the matter are a damn sight more realistic and prescient than anything I've seen from either party on this matter. Enough echo chamber and infighting...what the hell is the plan? If someone on either side has something to compete with Murtha's plan, or to enhance it or modify it...out with it already. By all means, let's hear some ideas.

This current debate in America is childish. Bush is a liar and Murtha's just like Michael Moore. Great. I'm in f*cking awe of both sides, and not the deeply impressed kind of awe either.

Jon Stewart described the discourse in America perfectly (he was talking about Cable "News" but it's pretty appropriate here too...he said something to the effect of: watching the American media discourse and debate is like watching five year olds play soccer...one kid kicks the ball downfield and every kid on both teams mindlessly chases after it.
posted by edverb at 9:16 AM on November 18, 2005


Personally, the only real blame will lay with the voters. The political ideology we have in Washington is the direct result of American complacency. If the Democratic party can rouse enough dissatisfaction with the voting majority to affect change for the better, I don't have an issue with them denying their own culpability now.

As for history, I will always be sure to inform my children, their friends, and their grandchildren, of how despicable the Bush Administration was in my earlier days. I fully expect the Bush Administration to be ranked up there with Grant's.
posted by Atreides at 9:22 AM on November 18, 2005


When the administration spews lines like "You are either with us or with the terrorists", you think any politician wants to be viewed as with the terrorists?

This is exactly it. Mr Bush quickly cast the argument in these terms: his imperious "Yer either with us or agin us."

And he was saying this to the entire international community as well. The man with his finger on the nuclear WMD button was saying his mind was made up, he was going to war, and nothing anyone said or did was going to change his mind. His only interest at that point was in identifying 'friends' and 'enemies'. He did this very effectively and the dems had no way of counteracting that spin. They, like everyone in the world, had a choice all right. They had to chose between being either friends or enemies of America as defined by GWB.

I think history will not be kind to GWB either and this may well be his defining act, this simple-minded "shut up and do what I say or be America's enemy" message to the world.
posted by scheptech at 9:27 AM on November 18, 2005


Can we (Americans) discuss the merits of something for once, instead of focusing on the person who has the idea, the history of that person, the political back and forth, all this nonstop bullsh*t?

It's hard to get perspective. Seems like we're living in some golden age of the ad hominem. It's all part of relativism imo. The thinking is everyone has their own reality so to understand what's being said, you need to know who's doing the saying. Then you can decide if what they're saying is correct.
posted by scheptech at 9:32 AM on November 18, 2005


I think history will not be kind to GWB

Ummm, I'm not sure history will necessarily discriminate between GWB and the American public that voted him in - twice. And the American public that voted him in also unfortunately includes the 45% of you lazy bastards who couldn't even be bothered to fucking vote in 2000. Apathy counts as a vote. You got the leadership you deserved. History will judge you as a nation, not just by your administration. It may not be fair, but that's life.
posted by slatternus at 9:38 AM on November 18, 2005


Murtha's thoughts and plans on the matter are a damn sight more realistic and prescient than anything I've seen from either party on this matter. Enough echo chamber and infighting...what the hell is the plan?
People have been saying what he said for years now, and have been ignored and attacked for years now. People were questioning them about what the plans are for ages now, and get no answer except for "stay the course" "you're with us or against us" "no timetable" "you're aiding and abetting"---none of this is new, and they're not listening to him--or anyone. Murtha just joined the majority of Americans--until those prosecuting this debacle start listening as well there's nothing to say. Not one person in the administration, even if they personally believe Murtha or the rest of us, will admit it. It's not an echo chamber to speak of their tragic hubris and bullheadedness, and nasty response--it's exactly the whole problem in a nutshell.
posted by amberglow at 9:38 AM on November 18, 2005


I hear you Scheptech, it's frustrating as hell.

Everywhere I go to read commentary on Murtha's speech...I'm pulling my damn hair out (and that's probably not a good thing, as I don't have enough left to spare any)...It's like debating with a g*ddamned conditioned response at this point. Pick any medium.

For once since this sick debacle began...can anyone stop finding faults, and start finding remedies? Anyone?

I'm with Murtha. I don't care how he voted yesterday, what's done is done. I care how he votes tomorrow. Same for Hagel and McCain and Grassley and Graham and Specter and Lieberman, and any Republicans in the House too. Show me the plan. Show me you're thinking about the problems, and have some kind of f*cking answers other than the failed course we're on.

Would one of our "leaders" kindly lead, already?

If not Murtha's plan, why not, and what instead? And if they say "stay the course" I'm gonna...I'm gonna...dammit I'm gonna throw bunches of thinning hair right into their morning coffee. And they won't like it.

On preview: Amberglow, as Murtha said, the American people are way ahead of the Congress...but this viewpoint (and a realistic plan to execute it) have not had a militarily credible champion until now. America wasn't ready for this until now anyway. If this viewpoint were widely shared 18 months ago, we'd be debating the merits of President Kucinich -- we're not. America wasn't ready then...they are now.
posted by edverb at 9:42 AM on November 18, 2005


psmealey writes "Well, they'll still get my vote, but I won't be happy about voting for them."

And nothing will change, you've got to get over the hump of voting for a party/candidate that might win and start voting for people who would do what you want. if 15% of the the US voted libertarian or green they would have a serious effect even if not one of the candidates got in.

CunningLinguist writes "That soldier's mother complained that her son was ineligible for a Purple Heart because the device was 'friendly.'"

WTF USA! What the hell is the rational behind that?
posted by Mitheral at 9:46 AM on November 18, 2005


There have been militarily credible champions for ages now--try Shinsheki and the other Pentagon folks who had to actually leave their jobs because they warned. Try the other vets in and out of Congress who spoke out. Try whole groups of retired military generals and above who spoke out. I could go on for ages--not one was listened to, and he won't be either. The administration is not listening. Jesus himself could come down and speak about it, and he'd get attacked too.

Removal from office is the only way to get thru to them now. They already spoke of the 04 election as their "accountability moment". They do not feel accountable to any of us--not Congressmen nor the majority of Americans.
posted by amberglow at 9:49 AM on November 18, 2005


The only benefit to Murtha's statements is that the majority of Americans against this horrible debacle will grow--and that is important, but it won't stop any of this.
posted by amberglow at 9:51 AM on November 18, 2005


slatternus writes "You got the leadership you deserved."

Oh please. Is it the leadership the world deserves too?
posted by OmieWise at 9:54 AM on November 18, 2005


Dudes, the fact is, the world's not interested in listening to Americans excuses any more. "We were tricked! We were misled! There's no blood on MY hands, I didn't vote for Bush"

Whatever. The fact remains, you guys have yourselves a serious fucking mess down there. We'll believe you're serious about fixing it, WHEN you've fixed it.
posted by slatternus at 9:57 AM on November 18, 2005


History will remember neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney kindly. -- Clevershark
The United States is a government Of the People, By the People, and For the People. All of these facts were available to us before the 2004 elections. And we re-elected him anyway.

As Bush said, he had his accountability moment. Now we are all to blame for this debacle.

History will not remember the United States kindly, at least in its latter years. We will be used, assuming the concept of schools and history survives, as a scary example of just how fast a nation can fall to ruin, if the people stop paying attention to what the government is doing.
posted by Malor at 9:58 AM on November 18, 2005


There have been militarily credible champions for ages now--try Shinsheki and the other Pentagon folks who had to actually leave their jobs because they warned. Try the other vets in and out of Congress who spoke out. Try whole groups of retired military generals and above who spoke out. I could go on for ages--not one was listened to, and he won't be either. The administration is not listening. Jesus himself could come down and speak about it, and he'd get attacked too.

Well, not to quibble, but Shinseki didn't advise against...he advised several hundred thousand troops. The retired generals and diplomats and intel officers and War College professors have all been ignored, true...but who in Congress with Murtha's bona fides has called for immediate withdrawal?

They've done a lot of sniping (Dems), and a lot of spinning (Repubs)...but very few have presented a concrete plan for withdrawal. Feingold called for a timeline a few months ago and in so doing changed the terms of debate.

Murtha's call is a whole new ballgame, one which should be discussed on it's merits, because it's viable.

To re-direct the debate into blamestorming and fingerpointing, I feel, serves only the neo-con idiots who's only plan is "stay the course" offered with a heaping side of platitudes and insults to our intelligence.
posted by edverb at 10:14 AM on November 18, 2005


As Bush said, he had his accountability moment. Now we are all to blame for this debacle.

Malor I deeply disagree with that statement or, the way they say in the elite circles, thats bullshit.

Only 122,293,332 people voted in the U.S. 2004 presidential elections out of a possible 217,767,000 voters. Bush got
only 62,040,610 votes so there you have it, we should thank the non voters and the Bush voters , not ALL of the +- 300 million inhabitants of U.S.
posted by elpapacito at 10:20 AM on November 18, 2005


"based on the same intelligence the President used to decide the war was just and proper."

PP, you're a liar, plain and simple.
posted by 2sheets at 10:20 AM on November 18, 2005


benjh writes "I don't want them fighting a pointless war."

It's not pointless, the VP is making some serious bank.

scheptech writes "his imperious 'Yer either with us or agin us.'

"And he was saying this to the entire international community as well. "


Which didn't play well up here at all. It turned a lot of undecideds against the US.
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on November 18, 2005


Malor: "The United States is a government Of the People, By the People, and For the People. All of these facts were available to us before the 2004 elections. And we re-elected him anyway."

Yeah, I suppose if by "facts" being "available" to the "public" you mean a systematic programming of misinformation (not to mention outright fear-mongering) through every single channel available to the administration - then I'd have to agree with you. Honestly, I cannot stand to hear things get boiled down to lines like this - we voted for it, we deserve it - as if we have a snowballs chance in hell of ever making waves in politics. Give me a fucking break.

The system of politics is designed to protect its insularity and corporate backscratching, and as time has passed it has only become more entrenched. The ideal America that I was taught about didn't intend for this to be the end result, and any human being with an ounce of honesty in his soul would agree.

I'm not excusing those who didn't vote or were generally apathetic, nor am I excusing the legions of the public goaded into a fetal position by GOP talking points. The system was bad enough as it is, but this administration has taken it to the Nth degree of fanatical bullshit (Patriot Act, rate of classifying pertinent intelligence/documents, DieBold Vote "Delivery", Etc, Ad Infinitum). This is beyond resting on the shoulders of Americans - the system was broken and anemic, now it's well beyond the point of being bled dry.
posted by prostyle at 10:27 AM on November 18, 2005


slatternus writes "Whatever. The fact remains, you guys have yourselves a serious fucking mess down there. We'll believe you're serious about fixing it, WHEN you've fixed it."

Man, I'm glad I'm not German, or South African, or British, or French, or Japanese, or Spanish, or Dutch.....

The collective guilt would be too much to bear.
posted by OmieWise at 10:49 AM on November 18, 2005


The resolution allowing Bush I's attack on Iraq didn't get nearly as many votes as Bush II's, and Hussein annexed a whole fucking country the first time.
The big difference between our current president and his father is that the first President Bush put off the debate over the Persian Gulf War until after the 1990 midterm elections. The result was one of most substantive and honest foreign policy debates Congress has ever seen, and a unified nation. The first President Bush was scrupulous about keeping petty partisanship out of the discussion.

The current President Bush did the opposite. He pressured Congress for a vote before the 2002 election, and the war resolution passed in October.
Teddy Roosevelt:
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
When he signed the resolution, President Bush said that going into battle was "a last resort" and:
With this resolution, Congress has now authorized the use of force. I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary.
No one voted to go to war.

The New York Review of Books' June 2005"The Secret Way to War" reviewed the runup to the war and notes that, according to the Downing Street Memos, Bush had already decided on going to war by July 2002.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:50 AM on November 18, 2005


Which didn't play well up here at all. It turned a lot of undecideds against the US.

It didn't play well anywhere and turned world-wide sympathy into world-wide disappointment and questioning about relationships with the United States. It's the best indicator of the foolishness of the whole approach and attitude, and I believe will be remembered as the beginning of the end for Mr Bush's credibility as a leader. It was exactly the wrong thing to do. With the exception of the Brits and Spain, every single nation on the planet declined to join America on this one because a) they figured it was a bad idea, and b) as independent nations they couldn't accept Mr Bush's absolutist unilateral terms.

Remember when we used to complain that the war was "pre-emptive". We thought that was bad. Turns out he wasn't even pre-empting anything. Just decided to go to war. The most disturbing part of this is neither near-unanimous world opinion, nor the American political system of checks and balances itself prevented a president from going to war when he chose to.
posted by scheptech at 10:59 AM on November 18, 2005


I know it is popular to discredit the President, but his position does carry quite a bit of credibility... or it did before this. And when the most powerful man in the world, who supposedly has the best information available to anyone in the world, tells you that X is true you are probably going to believe that X is true, unless you have a very solid reason not to.

Right, that's totaly resonable. As we all know, the more honest you are, the more wealthy and powerful you become. It only stands to reason, then, that the most powerful person would also be the most honest, and that anything they say ought to be given great heed.
posted by delmoi at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2005


edverb, I'm with you wholeheartedly that a brand new discussion beginning with the facts on the ground today would be the best thing that could happen, and I agree that Murtha's speech is the closest anyone inside the Beltway's come to that sort of talk yet.

Alas, I've pretty much given up hope that the current political climate in the US can facilitate the kind of discussion you're advocating. And the mealy-mouthed, we-stand-for-nothing-that-hasn't-been-focus-grouped response of Murtha's Democratic colleagues in Congress does little to make me think otherwise.
posted by gompa at 11:58 AM on November 18, 2005


Richard Clarke Debunks “Same Intelligence” Myth
"If anyone can say definitively whether Congress receives the 'same intelligence' as the White House on the most sensitive national security issues, it is long-time U.S. intelligence czar Richard Clarke.

He set the record straight on the popular White House talking point last night on the Daily Show, pointing out that Bush officials had access to reams of raw prewar intelligence data that Congress never saw nor had the opportunity to verify:
'What happened was that Congress got the finished intelligence that said these things. They didn’t see all the details. … They don’t get the raw information. They don’t get the [forged documents purportedly showing Iraq sought uranium in Africa]; they get the answer, you know — "the uranium going from…" — but they don’t get the information that it’s based on.'"
posted by ericb at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2005


Murtha's call is a whole new ballgame, one which should be discussed on it's merits, because it's viable.

It's not viable so long as the people implementing all this are not listening. Not Cheney, not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not Rice, not anyone who actually is in charge of all of it. They do not care what Murtha or any of us think.
posted by amberglow at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2005


Metafilter: Likably lefty.

I get a kick out of the “everyone knew” statements.
There is only one way to really know and that’s primary evidence. You went there and saw yourself or someone who works for you went there and reported back.
I don’t know how many of you work for the state department, but for the most part U.S. citizens just got the news. Perhaps some of it was primary, but those folks weren’t working for the U.S. government and the conclusions drawn - however accurate they ultimately proved - were not something a prudent legislator would base policy on.

The President is the head of the executive branch. He controls the apparatus of the intelligence gathering community. He gets the knowlege from the primary sources. It’s his job to then make his case to the legislature. They expect him to give them enough and proper information to make a reasonable decision.
If that knowlege was not presented in a fully factual manner than he has attempted to influence policy and has overstepped the bounds of his office. At the least.

That is how the system is supposed to work and how it should work. If our legislators and executives were constantly suspicious of each others’ true motives - systemic not political motives - than no work would get done because there would be no cooperation.
Until this point in history the United States government has operated under the assumption that the system itself would not be co-opted. It was not anticipated that one entire branch of the government would simply stop cooperating and a second branch would allow it.

Whether one is in favor or against the war there can be no justification in circumventing the proper channels or giving the matter due consideration and diligence before sending men to war. None.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:06 PM on November 18, 2005


In essence: I don’t buy the “legislators should have known” argument.
Of course the “legislators should have had more balls in opposition” I buy, it’s one more reason why I’m not a Democrat either.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:10 PM on November 18, 2005


Smedleyman writes "I get a kick out of the “everyone knew” statements. "

I didn't know there weren't any WMD in Iraq. I didn't think it was likely but then again I only to talk to the CIA over the bugs on my phone line. However the UN inspectors didn't think there was any appreciable material and no evidence was put forth by the administration refuting that to any degree.

Once the invasion began I figured there must be WMD that the US knew about that Saddam had managed to keep hidden. I figured the US knew they were going to able to point to stockpiles of chemical weapons or nuclear precursors within weeks of invading because they had sold/given them to Saddam back when he was their buddy and they hadn't turned up destroyed. At which point all would be forgiven and Bush would be declared the greatest president since Kennedy or something. That the USA would invade a sovereign nation for what now seems to be payback and resource control wasn't something I wanted to believe. Especially when North Korea was getting a free ride.
posted by Mitheral at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2005


if 15% of the the US voted libertarian or green they would have a serious effect even if not one of the candidates got in.

It actually wouldn't have any effect at all. In our corrupt winner take all system, only a two party system is feasible. 15% gets you nothing but some matching federal funds. It doesn't get you any seats in the house, or any real voice to set a party platform.

The only prayer a third party has is if there is an insurrection or schism within one of the two parties, otherwise, we'll continue to see self-styled renegade 3rd party candidates like Perot who ultimately stand for nothing, or 3rd party candidates like Nader, who are totally irrelevant.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 12:53 PM on November 18, 2005


It's not viable so long as the people implementing all this are not listening. Not Cheney, not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not Rice, not anyone who actually is in charge of all of it. They do not care what Murtha or any of us think.

Oh, but they do, in their own childish way. To the extent they can turn it into a petulant, petty little argument, they do. The house GOP is currently mulling over putting a "Murtha cut-and-run" resolution to a floor vote, of course I'm certain it won't be the one actually authored by Murtha, but their own poisoned version.

All I'm saying Amberglow is that this misdirection of the debate is like a nation getting trolled. The powers that be don't want to discuss the pros and cons of an Iraq plan, they don't want debate, they only want to keep up their stupid foodfight, with the purpose of derailing substantive discussion. And yeah, I know...I'm as idealistic and unrealistic as the so-called leaders are petulant and trollish. How silly of us...asking for solutions instead of bickering...why that's something real leaders do. I think you and I are coming from the same place -- I'm just hoping the Dems have the intestinal fortitude to get behind Murtha and raise the discourse, and that's something we should all encourage, coming from any side of the debate.
posted by edverb at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2005


Right, that's totaly resonable. As we all know, the more honest you are, the more wealthy and powerful you become. It only stands to reason, then, that the most powerful person would also be the most honest, and that anything they say ought to be given great heed.

I just don't think it is as simple as saying, "politicians are all dishonest scum". Sure that rule is pretty much always true, but I feel like I should be able to trust that they aren't going to move recklessly when it involves war. I don't think it was unreasonable at that time to think the President was deserving of good faith when speaking about using our military. Considering he was making such specific and bold accusations, it just seemed so unreasonable to assume someone in his position would be able to back none of it up with concrete information. Frankly I am still blown away that he didn't have a single piece of information in his case for war that was based on provable facts.
posted by aburd at 1:03 PM on November 18, 2005


Holy Shit...(via CNN)

Here we go folks...
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 1:10 PM on November 18, 2005


That's a really smart move by the GOP. I doubt the Dems have what it takes to vote solidly on the issue, and it's a sticky wicket anyway, and then the votes can be trotted out in the face of ongoing criticism.
posted by OmieWise at 1:21 PM on November 18, 2005


Yep...they won't be voting on Murtha's Resolution:
Murtha Resolution To Redeploy U.S. Forces from Iraq:
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 17, 2005

MR. MURTHA introduced the following joint resolution, which was referred to the Committee on _______

Whereas Congress and the American People have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to "promote the emergence of a democratic government";

Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U, S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;

Whereas more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;

Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency,

Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80% of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq;

Whereas polls also indicate that 45% of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified;

Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action;

Therefore be it

I) Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in

2. Congress assembled,

3. That:

4. Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is

5. hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable

6. date.

7. Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines

8. shall be deployed in the region.

9. Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq

10. through diplomacy.
They be voting on this:
H.Res. __

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.
Amazing how "earliest practicable date" becomes "terminated immediately"...these GOP tools put words in Murtha's mouth and ask people to vote on that, instead of what he actually said.

It's childish crap.
posted by edverb at 1:22 PM on November 18, 2005


Yep...they won't be voting on Murtha's Resolution:

Actually more info on the new Resolution proposed by the GOP has been leaked:

Whereas Republicans believe every child shall receive a puppy for Christmas.

Whereas Democrats agree inviting Al Qaeda over for Thanksgiving dinner will win hearts and minds in Iraq.

Whereas Democrats hate our troops and hate freedom.

Resolved, That it is from this moment forward the Republicans are the dopest, freshest thing since sliced bread. And they love freedom.

posted by mr.curmudgeon at 1:43 PM on November 18, 2005


Amazing how the House GOP confirmed everything I said about their childnishness just hours after I posted it.

They're allergic to honest debate.
posted by edverb at 2:09 PM on November 18, 2005


If we pull out now, those 2000 soliders will have died in vain. But they died in vain even if we don't pull out. We don't dishonor their memory by leaving Iraq; we dishonor their memory by continuing to vote for the idiots, both Republican and Democrat, that killed them.

If we don't pull out now the next 2000 soldiers to die, will have died in vain as well.
posted by bshort at 2:35 PM on November 18, 2005


"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

". . .We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? . . . We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission - to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning."

- John "I Used To Have A Spine" Kerry, 1971

[apologies for the long quote, but it seemed apropos]
posted by gompa at 2:49 PM on November 18, 2005


How to contact Congressman Murtha:
Web Form
202-225-2065 / telephone
202-225-5709/ facsimile
posted by ericb at 4:02 PM on November 18, 2005


Well, either you’re for or against the war. If you’re for it (you think) we should stay. If you’re against it, you’re against it in principle or by circumstance. If you’re against it by principle, you’re probably not going to be convinced to stay. If you’re against it under the circumstances which have come about (graft, corruption, lies, etc. etc. ad nauseum) it’s possible to make a case that we should stay because the objective - not the various ones given lipservice by the administration - to stabilize Iraq and have a democracy there is a reasonable one.
The only reason to support withdrawal as soon as practically possible, but under any future circumstance, is because you don’t believe the objective will be achieved.
Reasons for that last bit vary widely and those putting forth that argument are castigated as pessimistic or anti-patriotic or downright treasonous (support the president in a time of war dammit!).

I believe in the objective. I want to believe the objective can be achieved in the near future. I do not believe however it can be done by this administration.
So I’d support withdrawal. If only out of recognition of how poorly the war was prosecuted apart from other considerations.

And precisely because of the kind of political contrarian bullshit backstabbing that is going on without regard to our men in the field. I would certainly dab the Dems with a swab of that blame, but the vast majority must be mopped onto the small minority of vocal Republicans doing this kind of crap (and to a degree others for letting them get away with it) and destroying all confidence in the leadership.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on November 18, 2005


delmoi writes
"You do know the difference between "Halliburton" and "Unocal", right? I mean, if you can't even get the most basic facts right, why bother having an opinion?"


I sure do! I also know that Halliburton was in line to build the pipeline for Unocal. So if you can't even get the "most basic facts" right, why bother slamming my opinion??

Besides, I could've named any company; the whole cabinet is big oil, and "structure is strategy in slow motion."
posted by hypersloth at 8:25 PM on November 18, 2005


Tommy Gnosis writes "It actually wouldn't have any effect at all."

A 15% vote for the greens or libs in a district would pull the dem or gop canidate off the centre in pursuit of those 15%.
posted by Mitheral at 6:43 AM on November 19, 2005


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