Interesting development in the Iraq debate

Looks like the GOP is trying to force a vote on pulling out of Iraq. At least, that's what it says in big red flashing letters on Drudge Report (officially the ugliest site ever that I visit every hour on the hour):

The GOP leadership decided to act little more than 24 hours after Rep. Jack Murtha, a hawkish Democrat with close ties to the military, said the time had come to pull out the troops. By forcing the issue to a vote, Republicans placed many Democrats in a politically unappealing position - whether to side with Murtha and expose themselves to attacks from the White House and congressional Republicans, or whether to oppose him and risk angering the voters that polls show want an end to the conflict.

I gotta say... at this point, if Democrats are still scared of Bush, they need to just have their dicks cut off. Seriously, how can they lose now?

Of course, I'm looking at the issue as somebody who wants to do what he thinks is best for this country, not somebody who wants to preserve his party's power to wage elective war. But still. C'mon. Can we not even trust the major parties to work in their own petty, short-sighted, political self-interest?

The House move comes just days after the GOP-controlled Senate defeated a Democratic push for Bush to lay out a timetable for withdrawal. Spotlighting mushrooming questions from both parties about the war, though, the chamber then approved a statement that 2006 should be a significant year in which conditions are created for the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces.

"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency," Murtha, a longtime hawk on foreign and military affairs issues, said Thursday. "They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

"Here on the ground, our job is not done," said Col. James Brown, commander of the 56th Brigade Combat Team, when asked about Murtha's comments during a weekly briefing that American field commanders routinely give to Pentagon reporters.

Speaking from a U.S. logistics base at Balad, north of Baghdad, two days before his scheduled return to Texas, Brown said: "We have to finish the job that we began here. It's important for the security of this nation."

Well, to be honest, Col. Brown, your job sucks. The local metro police have an important job to do, too, such as preventing crime and catching crackheads, but I don't expect infinite resources to be poured into that. 'Course, that's what you get when you count on politicians to make the world a happy fairy land of magic and wonder.

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Written on Friday, November 18, 2005