Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rep. Murtha's Back in the News

Most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year because the Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth," Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record) told a civic group.
Just how exactly is the Army broken or worn out? Murtha doesn't quite say but the AP article has the following information:
Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver, spokesman for the Pennsylvania National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, said "there are some deployment concerns."

Cleaver said some guard units had to leave equipment in Iraq when they returned to the United States, which could cause training problems here.

But Cleaver also said most of the 2,100 Guard troops now deployed with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team can't be sent back to Iraq for a second tour of duty anyway, because of regulations that limit redeployment.
So that doesn't exactly suggest that the Army is broken or living hand to mouth. It suggests that the military is efficiently using its limited resources.

And speaking of Living hand to mouth? Again, Rep. Murtha doesn't quite say how this is the case. It's simply his opinion, however informed or uninformed it may be.

And unless the Constitution of the US has been changed lately (and it hasn't), it's Congress' job to make sure that the Army is properly funded to provide for the common Defense (Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 1 and Clause 12). So, if there is a problem, it's up to Murtha and his colleagues in Congress to make sure that the military is properly funded so that it has the proper levels of equipment and supplies. As we've seen in the past, Congress hasn't exactly been on top of making sure that appropriations for military equipment get done or making sure that the Pentagon is doing their job. That's called a failure of oversight.

And for all their talk, none of the Democrats have actually come up with a plan for Iraq, unless you consider cutting and running a policy (and even some Democrats shy away from that).

There are folks who think that Murtha's right, including Pam Spaulding, but can anyone on the Left actually point to a single fact that supports Murtha's claim? I have a few facts that undermine Murtha's claims, including the high reelistment rate among all the service branches. Obviously the folks that are doing the fighting think that things are going far better than Murtha does. And they've got the first-hand information to back up their assertion. So does Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) who disagrees with Murtha and his supporters. Is Lieberman drinking the Bush kool-aid? I don't think so.

Wuzzadem sums up the media's positon, and that of the Left in general.

In a related note, Ace wonders how the heck a terrorist tried to smuggle 20 tons of what are apparently VX chemical munitions into Jordan from Syria, especially considering that Syria never produced VX. Good question. Maybe we should be looking at Iraq and the actions of those involved in the time between 9/11/2001 and the recommencement of full military action against Iraq in 2003.

Multilinked to [and updated often]: Don Surber, bRight and Early, Newsbusters (who notes all the media attention on Murtha but the paucity on Lieberman's speech), Basil's Blog

Jeff Goldstein offers his take, and it isn't pretty for the Democratic party leadership.

UPDATE 12/3/2005:
Cross posted to Wizbang

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