Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Response to America on HR 1591, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill

I made the mistake of listening to the House debate on HR 1591 the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill. I was horrified listening to both the arguments of Murtha and Pelosi, as well as the largely ineffectual response of Republicans, who largely responded with no emotion or animation, and who failed to attack Murtha and Peleosi on any of the reasonable grounds afforded by this horrendous legislation. What follows is the Republican Response to Murtha and Pelosi that I wish I had heard.

To Congressman Murtha and Speaker Pelosi, let me begin by saying I question your patriotism. This unconscionable charade in which you have engaged to buy votes and to twist arms establishes two facts. One, you have no interest in an open debate about Iraq focused upon what is best for America. Two, your motivation is to achieve a partisan political victory over George Bush now and over the Republicans in 2008. You are not patriots, Congressman Mutha and Speaker Pelosi, you are craven, partisan political animals of the most vile stripe.

You both have presented many arguments on the floor today, and I will look at them one by one. But let me ask you a critical question first. General David Petraeus was sent to Iraq with a mandate to engage in a new strategy – the surge. Prior to General Petraeus, our commanders in the field sought to “minimize our footprint” in Iraq. We can all agree that strategy was unsuccessful. That strategy resulted in a rise in violence, and the animation of Shia violence in response to the horrid attacks by Al Qaeda in Iraq and others.

But General Petraeus’s strategy of the surge is a 180 degree change from our prior strategy. Now, our soldiers are being sent into small posts throughout Baghdad, supporting or supported by Iraqi troops in each instance. That strategy began over a month ago, and without even half the U.S. troops yet in place, by every measure, it is having a significant impact in quelling the violence.

Why then would you refuse to allow General Petraeus to give testimony to the House prior to this vote? I do not understand why we were denied his critical inuput – unless of course it is that you do not wish to confuse the ground truth in Iraq with your own lies - and I choose that word with great care - to the American people on the floor of this House about the effects of the surge on violence in Iraq.

The same can be said of a briefing on the political situation in Iraq at this point in time. Prime Minister Maliki’s nascent government, only near one year old today, is making incredibly significant strides while under tremendous pressure. You would not allow the State Department to brief the House on advances by the Maliki government in the days leading up to this vote. Again, there can be only one reason. You do not wish to allow reality to throw its light upon your own lies to the American people on the floor of this House.

And one last over-arching question. General Petraeus has said, time and again, that we will know by the end of the summer the effect of his strategy, the surge. Why are you in such a rush to place constraints on our Commander in Chief that will insure that troops are not reinforced and the full effect of the surge will not be felt? The truth of course is that you do not want it to succeed. If it did, your entire partisan political future would be destroyed. You have gone beyond rooting for defeat, and now seek to legislate it. I will say again, Congressman Murtha and Speaker Pelosi, you are not patriots, you are partisan political vermin.

Congress of course has the absolute right to propose legislation to remove the authorization for the use of force in Iraq. You also have the right to cut off all funding for the war in Iraq. That is where the powers of Congress end. But you lack the political courage of any convictions to take those acts. Indeed, I think it clear you have no convictions, only naked ambition. You play games that can only endanger our troops in combat and give aid and comfort to radical Islamists world wide.

And in that regard, Congressman Murtha, you sir are a disingenuous son of a bitch. Rarely have I seen an act so cynical in its inception as your plan to prevent units inside the USA from deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan unless they are rated as fully mission capable.

Sir, while that certainly sounds reasonable on its face, please tell the American people the truth about how the military readiness rating system works. Please tell the American people, sir that your constraints have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of whether our soldiers are actually sent into Iraq or Afghanistan fully combat ready, but everything to do with your gaming the system.

Sir, please tell the American people that the readiness system is based on three factors, people, training and equipment, and that to be C-1 ready, units have to be at 90% or above in all three areas. Please tell the American people that our troops will almost never be C-1 on the date of deployment overseas because they do not take their heavy equipment, but rather fall in on that equipment when they arrive in Kuwait. And further, once in Kuwait, our troops not only pick up their equipment, but are given a few weeks to acclimate and conduct all necessary training not otherwise conducted in the U.S. Most importantly, Sir, as you explain this to the American people, please identify for them the number of units that, in the past four years, we have sent from Kuwait into combat areas in Iraq or Afghanistan that have been rated less then C-1, fully mission capable. Do be honest sir. That number is precisely 0. You truly are one disingenuous son of a bitch, sir.

Congressman Murtha and Speaker Pelosi, I heard you argue today that we have to bring our forces home because they are stretched too thin to be able to respond to other wholly theoretical threats – ones that you do not name - at places in the world likewise unnamed. To take that argument to its logical conclusion, we should never commit troops anywhere in the world because, in such an event, they might be needed elsewhere at some time during the deployment. Two, tell me anywhere in the world where Democrats, at least those led by you, Congressman Murtha and Speaker Pelosi, will ever engage a threat. Do we need to pull out of Iraq to be ready to wage war on Iran? What horse manure. The only logical answer to this straw man of an arugment you posit is to expand the size of our Armed Forces. And surprise, an expansion of our Armed Forces has already been approved by Congress. Why is it that you fail to mention that in your argument.

You also complain loudly of a supposed inability of our troops to train on their equipment because of shortfalls inside the United States. That is an easy one to solve. I know where, today, there is an extra 21 billion dollars just waiting to be spent on solving military equipment shortfalls. That would certainly be patriotic. Hmmm, sorry, I forgot for a moment, those funds are earmarked by you for combat peanut storage and the stategic spinach reserve.

Mr. Murtha, you wish to take from the Commander and Chief, as well as the generals on the ground, the decision to leave troops in combat areas beyond one year, or to deploy them without a year of rest in the United States. Those sir, are command decisions to be made by our military and our Commander in Chief based on multiple factors. You sir, would restrict the ability of our commanders to make those decisions simply to insure that we are unable to reinforce our forces in Iraq, and further that our troops are continuously drawn down, regardless of the ground truth or necessity. I would ask, Sir, who died and left you Commander in Chief, since those powers you are legislating seem clearly to be plenary powers of the President as Commander and Chief under Article 2 of the Constitution. If you are unfamiliar with that document, we can provide you a copy.

Speaker Pelosi, you and Congressman Murtha claim that the real fight against terrorism is in Agfhanistan. I believe, Speaker Pelosi, you said today, and I quote, “The War in Iraq is separate from the war on terror.” Just how incredibly stupid do you think we are. Whatever validity that argument had in 2003, it stands every piece of intelligence we have had since directly on its head. How many times do bin Laden and al Zawahiri have to say explicitly that the fight in Iraq is the most important fight for al Qaeda and radical Islam world wide before you credit them with honesty. Your denial of this fact clearly shows that you are willing to say anything, no matter how outrageous, in order to achieve your partisan political victory at whatever the cost to the country.

And Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha, the one point I did not here from you today was any discussion of the ramifications of our retreat you our legislating from Iraq. What effect will that have on our national security? What effect will that have on the world wide growth of radical Islam and there already preexisting belief that America has no resolve? What effect will that have far into the future for countries who consider whether to ally with us? And, more immediately, what will be the effect in Iraq, where the CIA recently stated in a brief that, following a retreat, the situation in Iraq would degenerate into true chaos? Please note that when I say true chaos, I am not referring your partisan description of Iraq today as being in chaos, but the real thing, with al Qaeda, Iran, and a host of others vying for control. Those are by far the most important questions that need to be asked and answered for the benefit of our country. But then again, the benefit of our country is not your most important concern, is it?

I could go on and on with each specific point that you raised, but it would be simply more of the same. In the end, I watched you, Speaker Pelosi, appear in a press briefing after the vote, all smiles, and claiming with pride that you have taken a giant leap towards ending the war. Yes you have. And the manner in which you have done so says everything we as Americans need to know about you and your compatriot, Jack Murtha. You are not patriotic Americans. You are cynical, disingenuous political vermin, no more.

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