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This is quite interesting to me. Yesterday on Meet the Depressed, Carl Levin, Democrat Senator from Michigan, was the guest of Tim Russert, and one of Russert’s questions to Carl Levin was: “Senator Levin, if in fact we withdrew most of the troops by March of ’08, which is your goal, and all-out civil war broke out, complete, total chaos in Iraq, what do you do then?”
LEVIN: What they say is, that pulling the troops out will lead to a civil war whereas as a matter of fact that’s the direction we’re heading with all of our troops in and more troops coming in. That’s the path we’re on is towards an all-out civil war and chaos. It’s now a haven for terrorists. It wasn’t before we attacked Iraq, but it now is. There are now five to 6,000 Al-Qaeda people in Iraq. There weren’t any, or there were just a handful prior to the war. Now they’re there, because of the policies of this administration.
RUSH: Wait a second! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Are we’re talking about civil war here or are we talking about war with terrorists? There’s going to be an all-out…? I thought the Murtha plan said if we get out, Al-Qaeda will leave. Sounds like Levin is saying the same thing. So essentially what we have here is Russert to Carl Levin: “But what if civil war breaks out?” Do they have any idea how uninformed and irresponsible and simplistic this is, and how dangerous it is? There is no civil war in the north in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. There is no civil war in the south in the Basra area. This is a chairman of a committee! Does he realize there’s more to Iraq than what you see on TV news within, say, 50 kilometers of Baghdad? Baghdad is not Iraq, any more than Washington DC, is America!
What goes on in Baghdad stays in Baghdad unless we cut-and-run, and then it might spread to the whole country. If we do pull out of there, there might be a civil war in the whole country. I wouldn’t even call it a civil war. I would just call it Al-Qaeda would run in there and do their best to take over the whole place, and probably have some sort of a power sharing deal with Iran, but this isn’t funny. This is irresponsible on the part of Senator Levin here. He gets a question about civil war and says our being there is what’s causing the civil war? Then he goes on to say there are five to 6,000 Al-Qaeda people in Iraq? They’re fighting us! If it’s a civil war, they’re fighting each other. This is nonsense, folks. It’s pure nonsense. These are the people that own defeat. Make no mistake about it. Their ownership of defeat is increasing.

As I say, the Washington Post with a story this week on how upset the Democrats are with Murtha. In fact, here’s the headline: “Murtha Stumbles on Iraq Funding Curbs — The plan was bold: By tying President Bush’s $100 billion war request to strict standards of troop safety and readiness, Democrats believed they could grab hold of Iraq war policy while forcing Republicans to defend sending troops into battle without the necessary training or equipment. But a botched launch by the plan’s author, U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha (Pennsylvania), has united Republicans and divided Democrats, sending the latter back to the drawing board just a week before scheduled legislative action,” and the source here — this is a Washington Post story — is a bunch of Democratic lawmakers.
“‘If this is going to be legislation that’s crafted in such a way that holds back resources from our troops, that is a non-starter, an absolute non-starter,’ declared Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), a leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the House of Representatives…. Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired Navy admiral who was propelled into politics by the Iraq war, said Murtha could still salvage elements of his strategy, but Sestak, an outspoken war opponent, is ‘a bit wary’ of a proposal that would influence military operations. ‘I was recently in the military, and I have to speak from that experience.'” He can be as political as he can. He’s a freshman. He’s a nobody. But he’s very guardedly here trying to say that this is utterly disastrous, Murtha’s plan. So what happened was Murtha announces this. He goes to this far-left website, MoveCongress.org, which is part of the MoveOn.org bunch, and announces the “slow bleed,” which is no reinforcements. No new equipment, no this, no that, basically hamstringing the Bush administration’s ability as commander-in-chief to wage war.
It would not be possible, by the way. This would not stand constitutional muster, but they’re still going to try it, as Schumer said last week: they’re going to continue to paper the administration with resolution after resolution after resolution so they can happily recreate the same scenario as Vietnam. So Murtha announces his plan before the President’s Week recess, and then he didn’t talk any more about it. “Democratic leaders failed to step into the vacuum, and Republicans relentlessly attacked a plan they called a strategy to slowly bleed the war of troops and funds. By the end of the recess, Murtha’s once promising strategy was in tatters. Tom Andrews, a former House member and antiwar activist who helped Murtha with his Internet rollout, fumed: ‘The issue to me is, what is the state of the backbone of the Democratic Party? How will they respond to this counterattack? Republicans are throwing touchdown passes on this because the Democrats aren’t even on the field.'”
It also says here that Pelosi endorsed the plan and concept but she never got the details from Murtha. “The plan surfaced Feb. 15,” on this website, MoveCongress.org. So even Pelosi was sandbagged on this. Now, this guy Tom Andrews, former House member, anti-war activist, talks about how the Republicans are throwing touchdown passes because the Democrats aren’t even on the playing field. What he’s talking about is that no Democrat spoke up to back Murtha and the “slow bleed” plan. Senate Democrats got on board in their own way with their threats of continuing resolutions and so forth, and you’ve heard Carl Levin on Meet the Press with his misguided and irresponsible view of all this.

But the reason why the Democrats didn’t “step forward to fill the vacuum” is that I don’t think any of them have the guts! They’ve got the guts to talk, folks. They’ve got the guts to bellyache and moan and whine, and they’ve got the guts to offer a bunch of nonbinding resolutions. But when it comes to actually putting teeth into what they want to do, i.e., pull troops out of there, they don’t have the guts to do it. The simplest way to do it would be, cut funding. They don’t have the guts to even introduce that legislation. So you have to wonder, what is their real desire here? I would not doubt that they want to really get troops out of there, but I think even more than that, they just want to continue to harass the administration as part of the party’s campaign for the White House, leading up to 2008. One more Carl Levin bite. Russert’s question is this: “Vice President Cheney talked about Democrats this way. ‘I think, in fact, if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we’ll do is validate the Al-Qaeda strategy. The Al-Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people, try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home and then they’ll win because we quit.’ Is your proposal in effect, Senator Levin, embracing the Al-Qaeda strategy?”
LEVIN: Vice President Cheney’s credibility, uh, is pretty close to zero. He’s the one who said that the insurgency was in its last throws. He’s the one who hyped the intelligence before the war. So I don’t think that his comments carry an awful lot of weight with the American people. I think he’s wrong with Al-Qaeda. I think Al-Qaeda likes us in Iraq. I think when we’re in Iraq, a Western occupation of a Muslim country for four years-plus now, Al-Qaeda, I believe, has the target that they want, has the propaganda that they want and it plays right into their hands. So I disagree with this analysis, but he doesn’t have much credibility left, in any event.
RUSH: Al-Qaeda wants us in Iraq? I’ve never heard ’em say that! I’ve heard just the opposite, that they want us out of there. Al-Qaeda wants us in Iraq? We’re the target they want? They have the propaganda that they want? It plays right into their hands? How did they have that propaganda, Senator? Could it be through people like you? Could it be through people in the Drive-By Media? Could it be that you are the facilitators of their propaganda? You sound more like you’re sympathetic to their cause and their desires than you are to the United States’ interests in this sector! It’s amazing.

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