Now this is what I'm talking about
. Time for them to show they've got the reins of this government.
Senate Democratic leaders intend to unveil a plan next week to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing the war in Iraq in favor of narrower authority that restricts the military's role and begins withdrawals of combat troops.
"We gave the president that power to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and, if necessary, to depose Saddam Hussein," Biden said of the 2002 resolution in a speech last week before the Brookings Institution. "The WMD was not there. Saddam Hussein is no longer there. The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq."
Biden and Levin are drafting language to present to their colleagues when the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, following a week-long recess.
The new framework would set a goal for withdrawing combat brigades by March 31, 2008, the same timetable established by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. Once the combat phase ends, troops would be restricted to assisting Iraqis with training, border security and counterterrorism.
The embarrassing thing about all this is how Murtha's perfectly reasonable idea of having troops be combat ready has been used to paint him as some kind of micromanaging traitor.
Murtha, chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee and a leading critic of the war, had intended to fully fund Bush's $100 billion war request for the remainder of this fiscal year. But under his plan, those funds could be spent only to deploy combat troops deemed fully rested, trained and equipped.
After nearly four years of combat, most military units would not be able to meet those standards. Although the war would be fully funded, the policy would prevent some of the 21,500 additional combat troops from being deployed, and some troops already in Iraq would have to be sent home.
Several Democratic aides say the Iraq funding bill, due for a vote the week of March 12, may contain some of Murtha's demands for more training and better equipment for combat troops. But the proposals that set the toughest requirements are likely to drop out, such as a demand that troops be trained on and deployed with the combat equipment they will use in Iraq.
More important, the legislation may include a waiver that the president or defense secretary could invoke to deploy troops who are not fully combat-ready, Democratic aides said. That way, the commander in chief's hands would not be tied.
But under such a bill the president would have to publicly acknowledge that he is deploying troops with less than a year's rest from combat, that he is extending combat tours of troops in Iraq, or that he is sending units into battle without full training in counterinsurgency or urban warfare, the aides said.
My only question is, how can the Republicans get away with attacking Murtha when all he's asked is that the troops be trained on their equipment, trained on their mission, fully combat ready, and given time to rest between deployments? Perhaps it's because Murtha has inadvertently pointed out that if you really do
support the troops, that means more than a yellow ribbon on your SUV?
Labels: Democrats, Iraq