I know, that’s not anything new; anti-war leftists have been undermining this country’s military for a long time now. Today, however, the great Mark Steyn has piece in today’s Chicago Tribune that illustrates this point very well:
Meanwhile, the punk cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has decided that discretion is the better part of mullahs and has temporarily relocated to Iran. That’s right: The biggest troublemaker in Iraq is no longer in Iraq. It may be that his Persian vacation is only to marry a cousin or two and consult with the A-list ayatollahs, but the Mookster has always had highly sensitive antennae when it comes to his own physical security — he likes being the guy who urges martyrdom on others rather than being just another schmuck who takes one for the team. So the fact that urgent business requires him to be out of town for the Big Surge is revealing at the very least of how American objectives in Iraq are not at the mercy of forces beyond their control; U.S. military and political muscle can shape conditions on the ground — if they can demonstrate they’re serious about doing so.
Which these days is a pretty big “if.” Reporting the sudden relocation, the New York Times decided — in nothing flat — that it was yet another disastrous setback. In Iraq, no news is good news, and Sadr news is badder news:
”With the new American offensive in Baghdad still in its early days, American commanders have focused operations in the eastern part of the city, a predominantly Shiite area that has long been the Mahdi Army’s power base.
”If Mr. Sadr had indeed fled, his absence would create a vacuum that could allow even more radical elements of the Shiite group to take power.”
As my National Review colleague Rich Lowry marveled: ”So now we need to keep Sadr in Iraq because he’s such a stabilizing influence!” Of course! As Hillaire Belloc wrote, ”Always keep a hold of Nurse/For fear of finding something worse” — and, even when Nurse Sadr is blowing up the kids in the nursery every day, it’s best to cling to her blood-drenched apron strings because the next nurse will be an even bigger psycho. America is a big helpless baby who’s blundered into a war zone he can never hope to understand.
And on top of the Times’ constant negativity, Mark also comments on Democrat Jack Murtha’s new plan to undermine the war:
Nevertheless, in the capital city of the most powerful nation on the planet, the political class spent last week trying to craft a bipartisan defeat strategy, and they might yet pull it off. Consider this extraordinary report from the Washington Post:
“Democratic leaders have rallied around a strategy that would fully fund the president’s $100 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but would limit his ability to use the money. . . . The plan is aimed at tamping down calls from the Democrats’ liberal wing for Congress to simply end funding for the war.
“The Murtha plan, based on existing military guidelines, includes a stipulation that Army troops who have already served in Iraq must be granted two years at home before an additional deployment. . . . The idea is to slowly choke off the war by stopping the deployment of troops from units that have been badly degraded by four years of combat.”
So “the Murtha plan” is to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don’t have to share the blame for the defeat. But of course he’s a great American! He’s a patriot! He supports the troops! He doesn’t support them in the mission, but he’d like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years.
The Democrats are engaged in a war of their own against the Republicans, President Bush, and the military. As Mark notes, they are trying to create the situation in which America fails in Iraq but in such a way that they not only avoid becoming collateral damage but also benefit from it politically in 2008. For Murtha and his ilk, it’s party over country.
Update: Ian at Hot Air has the video of Brit Hume telling the cold, hard truth about Murtha. Here’s the transcript:
HUME: That sound bite from John Murtha suggests that it’s time a few things be said about him. Even the “Washington Post” noted he didn’t seem particularly well informed about what’s going on over there, to say the least. Look, this man has tremendous cachet among House Democrats, but he is not — this guy is long past the day when he had anything but the foggiest awareness of what the heck is going on in the world.
And that sound bite is naivete at large, and the man is an absolute fountain of such talk, and the fact that he has ascended to the position he has in the eyes of the Democrats in the House and perhaps Democrats around the country tells you a lot about how much they know or care about what’s really going on over there.
WILLIAMS: He’s chairman of the subcommittee, House Appropriations. He’ll have a lot to say about what Mara was just discussing
HUME: A lot of it will be …
Update II: And Brit is not the only one who is finally speaking the truth about Jack Murtha. The Washington Post also criticized Murtha for his plan:
REP. JOHN MURTHA (D-Pa.) has a message for anyone who spent the week following the House of Representatives’ marathon debate on Iraq: You’ve been distracted by a sideshow. “We have to be careful that people don’t think this is the vote,” the 74-year-old congressman said of the House’s 246-182 decision in favor of a resolution disapproving of President Bush’s troop surge. “The real vote will come on the legislation we’re putting together.” That would be Mr. Murtha’s plan to “stop the surge” and “force a redeployment” of U.S. forces from Iraq while ducking the responsibility that should come with such a radical step.
Mr. Murtha has a different idea. He would stop the surge by crudely hamstringing the ability of military commanders to deploy troops. In an interview carried Thursday by the Web site MoveCongress.org, Mr. Murtha said he would attach language to a war funding bill that would prohibit the redeployment of units that have been at home for less than a year, stop the extension of tours beyond 12 months, and prohibit units from shipping out if they do not train with all of their equipment. His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to “stop the surge.” So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill — an action Congress is clearly empowered to take — rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. “What we are saying will be very hard to find fault with,” he said.
So Murtha admits that his plan is all about politics. He doesn’t give a damn about our troops, our military, or our country. And the WaPo also hits Murtha for his ignorance about what’s really going on in Iraq.
Mr. Murtha’s cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq “would be more stable with us out of there,” in spite of the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce “massive civilian casualties.” He says he wants to force the administration to “bulldoze” the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants to “get our troops out of the Green Zone” because “they are living in Saddam Hussein’s palace”; could he be unaware that the zone’s primary occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?
This man has no business even being in Congress let alone the chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
Update III: I highly recommend reading Investor’s Business Daily‘s editorial about Murtha. Here are the last few paragraphs that get straight to the point:
We’d have to go back to Benedict Arnold to find Americans as eager as Murtha & Co. to see an American defeat on the battlefield.
They are working on the game plan of al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In October 2005, Zawahiri outlined al-Qaida’s plan in a letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, late head of al-Qaida in Iraq:
“The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority . . . over as much territory as you can spread its power in Iraq . . . in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans.”
John Murtha and his perfidious friends are working on creating that void and completing Zawahiri’s first stage. They are the appeasers Churchill warned about who hope that by feeding the Islamofascist tiger, it will eat us last.