Too cowardly to take an open stand insisting upon American defeat and withdrawal, which might have political consequences, the democrat leadership in the House of Representatives has devised a strategy in which John Murtha, now Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Committee, will bring to bear the same low cunning which served him so well during theAbscam investigation, when he declined to accept a bribe (while being taped) “at this point.”
At this point, Murtha will not try to defund the US military effort in Iraq, he will simply attach a variety of restrictions on spending and troop deployments, threatening Republicans with a complete cutoff of funds if they try to oppose such restrictions.
The Politico reports:
new restrictions on how the president can deploy combat forces from the United States to Iraq, allow combat veterans to have at least one year stateside before returning to the frontlines and prevent the Pentagon from keeping soldiers and Marines already in Iraq in uniform after their enlistments expire.
“This vote will limit the options of the president and should stop the surge,” Murtha predicted of next month’s floor fight over the wartime supplemental appropriation. “We’re trying to force redeployment [of troops outside Iraq], not by taking money away but by redirecting it.”
Murtha is not pushing a total cutoff of funds for the war in Iraq…
The strategy being employed by Murtha and other House Democratic leaders would force Bush and Republican congressional leaders to accept the new troop restrictions, or face the possibility the supplemental spending bill would falter, thus cutting off all funding for the war.
Democrats are betting that Bush and the Republicans won’t take that risk and will go along with the Democratic proposals. And Republican leaders are not taking Murtha’s threats lightly.