GOP Calls for Murtha Vote; US Ally Talks of Partial Pullout

Following Rep. John Murtha's bold call for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the White House and its allies went into full attack mode. In the House, Republicans believe that they have found the perfect antidote for the questions raised by Murtha -- holding a quick vote on his policy without allowing time to debate what it really means for the country. (You can watch the ongoing debate currently on the floor of the House or read about the "quick vote" strategy here.)

But Murtha is not the only one talking about significant reduction of troops in Iraq. The AP's military reporter Robert Burns reports today that one of America's most important strategic allies -- a country whose leaders have met with President Bush within the past few days -- is seriously considering the withdrawal of many of its troops from Iraq.

In a blow to the Bush administration, South Korean defense officials say they are seeking to reduce their troop contribution in Iraq -- the second-largest among U.S. coalition partners -- by nearly one-third next year.

Pentagon officials, however, said the South Korean government has not notified them of any plan to change their troop presence in Iraq. President Bush's national security adviser said the president has been assured that South Korea, like the United States, will reduce troop levels only when there has been enough progress on the political and security fronts in Iraq.

Still, the talk Friday of scaling back South Korea's troop presence comes at an awkward juncture for Bush, under pressure from Democrats in Congress to find a way out of the Iraq war amid fading public support.

It also highlights the uncertain future of the American-led coalition mission in Iraq, where an unrelenting insurgency is complicating efforts to establish a permanent and democratic government, restore the country's decrepit infrastructure and develop a national army and police force capable of defeating the rebels.

The security situation in Iraq is not improving. The South Koreans see this. John Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran, sees this. Tragically, the numbers continue to bear this out. And if the only reaction Republicans have is cheap parliamentary tactics aimed at short term partisan gain, that's their loss, because the American people are not stupid. They know the difference between real policy proposals and shenanigans aimed at undercutting opposition. More importantly, they know what they want of their leaders -- a majority of Americans want to see America withdraw from Iraq within the next twelve months, according to Gallup. So unless the Republicans get serious about the US policy towards Iraq -- and stop playing partisan games -- they're going to have a very tough time next fall.

Tags: World (all tags)

Comments

28 Comments

Vote "No Confidence" in Bush leadership
Democrats should all vote in favro of Murtha's resolution and just prior to voting each of them should stand up and state for the record that they consider this vote to be a "No Confidence" vote in the Iraq War leadership of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Steven Hadley, Condilezza Rice, and George Bush.

The Republicans want to force a vote so that they can frame the Democrats? Fine. Re-write the frame. This one is simple.

Vote No Confidence in the ability of this administration to find a solution to the Iraq problem they have created.

by Andrew C White 2005-11-18 11:48AM | 0 recs
Jean Schmidt is a scary lady
she just reported a message from an Ohio State Representative to Rep. Murtha: "cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

the Chair took down her words, which is apparently a bad thing.

by johnny longtorso 2005-11-18 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Jean Schmidt is a scary lady
Schmidt asked for her words to be withdrawn.
by Jonathan Singer 2005-11-18 12:33PM | 0 recs
oy vey...
Dems should vote no on the Hunter resolution.

TIMETABLE, not IMMEDIATE PULLOUT.

by kydem 2005-11-18 12:33PM | 0 recs
don't fall for cheap political stunt
Dems should boycot vote call press conference they should let everybody know that this has no chance of passing. the Repbulcians are not interested in any sort of compromise or consensus they are only interested in using the war to make themselves look strong and Dems weak.
by phillip x 2005-11-18 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: don't fall for cheap political stunt
The bill is not even the Murtha bill. It calls for the immediate withdraw of troops immediately while the Murtha bill calls for withdraw within 6 months while laying out a strategy that is beneficial to our young men and women.

Also, Jean Schmidt is a evil bitch.

by LA Democrat 2005-11-18 01:13PM | 0 recs
easy math
B. Clinton and the Dems = 1 lie, no American dead

Bush and the Republicans = lots of deception, 2000+ Americans dead...  and this shows they're still not ready to start letting the dying stop.

Now, which of those crowds would you prefer to be "in charge" in America?

by tive 2005-11-18 01:15PM | 0 recs
It's Not Murtha's Resolution...
Therefore, the Dems should, if not abstain, just walk out. Then get the MSM to present what Murtha's actual resolution said and let people compare it to the repubs jury-rigged version.
by blogus 2005-11-18 01:21PM | 0 recs
Why are you talking sense?
Do you actually believe that Pelosi could understand you?
by Paul Goodman 2005-11-18 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Why are you talking sense?
My mistake. Using good sense and taking appropriate actions has no place in politics.
by blogus 2005-11-18 11:53PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Not Murtha's Resolution...
They were already preparing the talking points about "cut and run Democrats cut and run from Congress, evading a vote on the war."  A vote against the resolution en masse was the best course.  It made it seem like a trivial ploy, rather than something more substantial.
by arenwin 2005-11-19 05:00AM | 0 recs
Wrong premise
Like other commenters have noted above this post is based on the wrong premise. The Republicans wrote a new resolution based on what they wanted Murtha's amendment to say and are now trying to get everyone to vote on it. They are calling it the Murtha resolution because when it fails (and it will) then the Dems and Murtha will look like the bad guys. This IS NOT the Murtha resolution. We cannot allow the Republicans to call it that. We cannot allow the media to call it that. And we most certainly cannot allow ourselves to call it that.

I AGREE with the Murtha resolution. I DISAGREE with the Hunter resolution that the Republicans are calling the Murtha resolution.

by ltsply2 2005-11-18 01:46PM | 0 recs
What has to be done......
The Republicans voted in favor of bringing up the resolution.  They will probably vote against it on the final vote....The Democrats should be on the air tomorrow with an ad in each of the Republicans districts  "Rep X just voted in favor of a resolution that the US cut and run.  Then Rep X voted against it.  John Murtha and the Democrats have a plan for a sensible Iraq policy.  Rep X and George Bush have a cartoon.  Get serious, elect Democrats.  Our men an women in uniform deserve it."
by Eli Rabett 2005-11-18 03:10PM | 0 recs
Republicans, the gift that keeps on giving
The question is how will this play outside of Congress, and not in Washington. My 2 cents- not very well. I think next year come Nov 8th, if they keep doing these things- we are going to be sending a lot of thank  you cards to the Republicans for taking 30 years to build up a majority, and 5 to destroy it.
by bruh21 2005-11-18 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans, the gift that keeps on giving
I agree.  Pundits keep saying that the Dems are confused and don't have a coherent stance on Iraq.  Well, we seem pretty united tonight.  The GOP, by thse actions, are uniting us.  They are scewing themselves.  Let them keep it up.
by jgarcia 2005-11-18 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans, the gift that keeps on giving
Even forgetting our unity- this is coming across as a political ploy- they must really be desperate to pull this. Who do they possibly think this will help them with? Their base? Ours? I mean seriously- we are going to vote no or abstain because it's a bad bill and I doubt the democratic base will care, but the Republican base- now that's a different story. I think this was a BIG mistake for the Republican leadership to do this because it demoralizes their base- not ours.
by bruh21 2005-11-18 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans, the gift that keeps on giving
It turns out this was JD Hayworth's idea.  No, I'm not making that up.  No wonder it backfired.  I am shocked at how stupid the leadership is for listening to JD dumbfuck Hayworth.  This is funny, does it get any better than this?  lol
by jgarcia 2005-11-18 05:30PM | 0 recs
My LTE for the day
I was absolutely disgusted by Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt's hateful remarks towards Democratic Rep.  John Murtha. Ms. Schmidt in essence called Murtha a "coward!" John Murtha is a decorated Vietnam Veteran and yet Jean Schmidt, who hasn't been in the military, is insulting his courage! This reminds me of the cowardly Republican attack on Vietnam Vet John Kerry, whose purple hearts, bronze star and silver star speak for themselves regarding his courage and leadership. And it reminds me of the attacks the Republicans made on the patriotism of Vietnam Vet Max Cleland of Georgia, who have his limbs for America. This seems to be a pattern of Republican attacks on brave, deocorated Vietnam Veterans and I for one despise the Republicans for their lack of appreciation of these men's sacrifices.

Why do the Republicans hate Vietnam Vets so much? When so few of the current Republican leadership have served, how do they DARE to question the loyalty of people like Kerry, Cleland and Murtha, all of whom served their country bravely and have been decorated for their service. The Republican attacks on Vietnam Vets MUST stop! America should be proud of our Vets, not insult them the way the Republicans have been doing.  I demand that Bush and the entire Republican party apologize for their disgusting attacks on Vietnam Vets. Their partisanship is inexcusible. Honor our vets regardless of party! Stop attacking American vets!

by mole333 2005-11-18 04:58PM | 0 recs
ABSTAIN!!!
All Democrats should refuse to vote for or against this shit.
by NCDem 2005-11-18 05:39PM | 0 recs
BRAVO TO MURTHA!!!
MURTHA is fighting the great fight. I wish there were more John Murtha in the world. Fight on Murtha!
by LA Democrat 2005-11-18 05:58PM | 0 recs
I'm watching the vote right now...
And thus far 3 people have voted for the resolution(2 Democrats, 1 Republican) and 295 have voted against it.
by indydem72 2005-11-18 06:11PM | 0 recs
Just heard my congressman Sam Johnson..
And sometimes I wish he'd retire and go to a an old folks home. This man is so gaddam full of himself he makes it seem like he's the only person to have fought in Vietnam. This is the same Sam Johnson who sat idly by when George Bush's minions kept insinuating that John McCain was mentally unstable spending 5 yrs as  POW in Communist Vietnam. What a gaddam hypocrite
by dantata 2005-11-18 06:12PM | 0 recs
Oh by the way,
Iraq is not Vietnam. I am sorry they feel bad about us "cutting and running" from Vietnam when we we're on the cusp of victory there (my ass). But Iraq is not Vietnam. Al Qaeda will not take control of Iraq as the. VC did Vietnam. The shiites will slaughter the sunnis, but what is that to us? The shiites will still pump oil. The shiites will at least try to get Iraq back on its feet. Iraq will never be a threat to us. Terrorism in general is not a threat to us. Only when you combine the will of the terrorists to kill, with the power of a state to hand off nukes are we threatened. Who has nukes? Iran. Pakistan. North Korea. Uzbekistan. We have fought a war over nukes in a country with no nukes. We continue to fight a war over nukes in a country that will never be able to build nukes.

Tell Sam that Vietnam is over, and the reason why we are losing Iraq is that we are using it to fight Vietnam.

by Paul Goodman 2005-11-18 06:57PM | 0 recs
should help with the media...
The nearly unanimous vote amongst Democrats against this sham of a resolution that I expect to see should help challenge the standard cut-and-paste text that the wire servies have been using to describe this debate.  They've been repeatedly reprinting the talking point - pushed by Bush - that a call for a timetable = a call for immediate withdrawal ("cut and run.")  Chris has pointed out this problem with respect to polling questions, as well.

By making this resolution so absurd - nothing like Murtha's original at all, describing a straw man position that almost no one supports - I think they've done us a tremendous favor.

The power of a straw man is you never give your opponent the opportunity to clearly state "I'm not him."  If Democrats do a good job with the post-vote spin, this can actually be helpful.  Everytime they say, "you want to cut and run," we say, "No, we voted against that, it's on the record.  What we want is a timetable."

by arenwin 2005-11-18 06:23PM | 0 recs
I'm not sure which Rep. but a Democratic
Member had to remind the congress that they where voteing on the hunter's Resolution not Mr. Murthas. After some Republican members attacked Murtha saying not to vote on the Murtha Resolution.
by Liberal 2005-11-18 07:20PM | 0 recs
DNC
http://democrats.org/page/petition/shameonthem

Link from DNC blog to send Murtha a note of appreciation for standing up and speaking out on the war.

by oakland 2005-11-19 02:19AM | 0 recs
Fooling All of The People All of The Time
"The security situation in Iraq is not improving. The South Koreans see this. John Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran, sees this. Tragically, the numbers continue to bear this out. And if the only reaction Republicans have is cheap parliamentary tactics aimed at short term partisan gain, that's their loss, because the American people are not stupid."

YES THEY ARE -- EVEN WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COVER UP AND SPIN GAME, THE EVIDENCE WAS THERE IN 2004, AND THEY STILL VOTED FOR BUSH.

by jfrankesq 2005-11-19 03:05AM | 0 recs
Iraq pll-out
While all this is goingon CNN reports that our geneals in Iraq are submitting pull-out plans to Rummy. What is going on?  
by Big Red 2005-11-19 07:12AM | 0 recs

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