FEAR OF WITHDRAWAL - LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE
Late last night I watched the House of Representatives debate the war and then vote on an "immediate withdrawal" resolution that was disingenously introduced by the Republican leadership. Having been stung by the Rep. John Murtha call for a planned withdrawal, the Repubs thought they'd go one step better and challenge the Dems to vote on an immediate withdrawal. In the end the vote was 403-3 to defeat the resolution, as both Repubs and Dems alike spoke out against it. The three Dems who did vote for an immediate withdrawal should be remembered - Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA).
Some of the key things that came out during the debate were that there is a growing number of troops, both in Iraq and in the military hospitals in the U.S. after being wounded, that are speaking out about the war. Another is the growing talk about the military falling apart as they are stretched beyond the breaking point. And finally, even with all the massive amount of money the Pentagon has been receiving for the war, they are now saying it is not enough money and that they will need a huge amount more to replace equipment that is falling apart as a result of the war. Where will the money come from?
The Dems are slowly creeping up, and I stress the word slowly, on supporting a planned withdrawal. But even Murtha's plan just calls for a pullout of troops into Kuwait so they can quickly be redeployed if things don't go well after we left Iraq. In addition the Murtha plan calls for a rapid-deployment force to do quick preemptive strikes back into Iraq whenever necessary so in the end the war would continue - the difference being that we'd do it from a bit of a distance. No real solution. The peace movement should not grab onto this sinking ship of a plan.
Rep. Murtha said during the debate last night that his phone calls were coming in at a rate of 4-1 in favor of a withdrawal. He said the American people are ahead of the politicians. About that he is right. Unfortunately only 3 members of the House reflected that in their vote last night on the withdrawal resolution.