MUST READ - IMMEDIATE IRAQ PULL OUT "VOTE" FORCED THROUGH
NOV 18 2005
Murtha - said the time had come to pull out the troops.
It would establish a quick reaction force and a nearby presence of Marines in the region.
THIS LAST STATEMENT TELLS US IN PROPHECY THEY WILL BE POSITIONED IN SAUDI ARABIA BECAUSE WHEN THE ARMIES SURROUND
JERUSALEM THEY WILL BE DRAWN OUT AND COME FROM ACROSS JORDAN TO HELP ISRAEL BUT WILL BE TURNED BACK Jeremiah 50:44 - 46
Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her:
House Republicans maneuvered for swift rejection Friday of any notion of immediately pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, sparking a nasty, sometimes personal debate over the war and a Democratic lawmaker's own call for withdrawal.
Furious Democrats accused the GOP of orchestrating a political stunt, leaving little time for debate and changing the meaning of a withdrawal resolution offered by Democratic Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania.
For those reasons, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent word to the rank and file to vote with the Republicans against immediate withdrawal of American troops.
Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said of the nonbinding resolution, "We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will not retreat."
Democrats went to the House floor to denounce the quick vote before Congress left Washington for two weeks.
"This is a personal attack on one of the best members, one of the most respected members of this House and it is outrageous," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record), R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, responded: "This is not a stunt. This is not an attack on an individual. This is a legitimate question."
GOP leaders decided to act little more than 24 hours after 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 criticism, or to oppose him and risk angering the voters that polls show want an end to the conflict.
Murtha offered a resolution that would force the president to withdraw the nearly 160,000 troops in Iraq "at the earliest practicable date."
It would establish a quick reaction force and a nearby presence of Marines in the region. It also said the U.S. must pursue stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
But House Republicans planned to put to a vote and reject their own resolution that simply said: "It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately."
With stinging rhetoric, Democrats criticized the GOP alternative. They said House Republican leaders killed Murtha's thoughtful approach.
The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.
"He asked me to send Congress a message stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.
Democrats booed and shouted her down causing the House to come to a standstill.
Rep. Harold Ford (news, bio, voting record), D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that it was an uncalled for personal attack. "You guys are pathetic. Pathetic," yelled Rep. Marty Meehan (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass.
Most Republicans oppose Murtha's call for withdrawal, and some Democrats also have been reluctant to back his position.
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 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.
A growing number of House members and senators, looking ahead to off year elections next November, are publicly worrying about a quagmire in Iraq.
They have been staking out new positions on a war that is increasingly unpopular with the American public, has resulted in more than 2,000 U.S. military deaths and has cost more than $200 billion.
"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency," Murtha 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."
A U.S. field commander in Iraq countered the position of the congressman who usually backs the Pentagon.
"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 give to Pentagon reporters.
Republicans chastised Murtha for advocating what they called a strategy of surrender and abandonment. Democrats defended him as a patriot, even as many declined to back his view.
"I won't stand for the swift boating of Jack Murtha," said Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004. Also a Vietnam veteran, Kerry was dogged during the campaign by a group called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who challenged his war record.
As a Vietnam veteran and top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Murtha carries more credibility with his colleagues on the issue than a number of other Democrats who have opposed the war from the start.
With a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, Murtha retired from the Marine Corps reserves as a colonel in 1990 after 37 years as a Marine, only a few years longer than he's been in Congress. Elected in 1974, Murtha has become known as an authority on national security whose advice was sought out by Republican and Democratic administrations alike.
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