Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options.It's worth reading the whole article.
Led by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and supported by several well-funded anti-war groups, the coalition's goal is to limit or sharply reduce the number of U.S. troops available for the Iraq conflict, rather than to openly cut off funding for the war itself.
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Murtha, the powerful chairman of the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, will seek to attach a provision to an upcoming $93 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan. It would restrict the deployment of troops to Iraq unless they meet certain levels adequate manpower, equipment and training to succeed in combat. That's a standard Murtha believes few of the units Bush intends to use for the surge would be able to meet.
In addition, Murtha, acting with the backing of the House Democratic leadership, will seek to limit the time and number of deployments by soldiers, Marines and National Guard units to Iraq, making it tougher for Pentagon officials to find the troops to replace units that are scheduled to rotate out of the country. Additional funding restrictions are also being considered by Murtha, such as prohibiting the creation of U.S. military bases inside Iraq, dismantling the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and closing the American detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
We'll get to see this strategy in action here in New York, as Republican Reps Randy Kuhl and Vito Fossella decide how they're going to vote. New York Republicans Tom Reynolds, Peter King and John McHugh have decided to vote for expanding American involvement in Iraq, while James Walsh is going to abandon his Republican colleagues and vote to oppose the Bush expansion plan. From Newsday:
Two of New York's Republican lawmakers stayed on the fence Tuesday as Congress began debating a resolution opposing a troop increase in Iraq - a measure that could have more sway over their political futures than on U.S. fighting forces.We'll let New York Rep Charlie Rangel have the last word:
"Today, you have to decide whether or not you want this war to continue, and how many people have to die . . . [the resolution opposing escalation] is not going to hurt our beloved warriors, it's going to help our country, it's going to help them."Right on.
What do you think? Ending the war is the important thing - is this plan the way to do it?
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