Monday, November 21, 2005

DovBear vs. Truth

DovBear copied a piece from the DemocraticUnderground today. Sadly, however, both the DU piece and DovBear are rewriting history, claiming that the Republican resolution in the House (which was rejected 403-3) to carry out Senator Murtha's plans was not the same as what he actually said.

So, decide for yourself: The Republican Resolution -

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that
the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces
in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Murtha's website has the press conference where he detailed his plan:
MURTHA: I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid-December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice: The United States will immediately redeploy -- immediately redeploy.

No schedule which can be changed, nothing that's controlled by the Iraqis, this is an immediate redeployment of our American forces because they have become the target.
My plan calls for immediate redeployment of U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces to create a quick reaction force in the region, to create an over-the-horizon presence of Marines, and to diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.
The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It's time to bring the troops home.
Setting an exit strategy with some kind of event-driven plan doesn't work, because they always find an excuse not to get them out.

QUESTION: Mr. Murtha, you say that -- your first point about bringing them home, consistent with the safety of U.S. forces. You know about these matters. What is your sense as to how long that would be?

MURTHA: I think that you get them out of there in six months. I think that we could do it -- you have to do it in a very consistent way, but I think six months would be a reasonable time to get them out of there.
We've done our job militarily. It's time for us to get out.
QUESTION: So you're effectively saying that this war should end, beginning as soon as possible and that all these troops can be brought home within six months, or that's your hope.

MURTHA: I say, they could be brought back -- I'm saying, within -- the safety of the troops. But I project it could be six months.

QUESTION: Six months to start it or six months to have them all back?

MURTHA: I think, in six months, you could have them all back.

Immediate redeployment; troops all home within six months, limited only by the practicality of doing so in a safe fashion... Does that sound like a request for immediate withdrawal? Presumably, immediate termination would not require that every US soldier run to the border to get out - it means taking them all out as soon as possible in a safe fashion.

Instapundit pointed out Discriminations' dissection of this. A key point he makes is the differentiation between the news reports before the Republican resolution and the Times' change immediately following.

For example, here is the lede of the NYT article by Eric Schmitt that appeared, according to a Google News search, about 12:30 PM Friday afternoon:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 - The partisan furor over the Iraq war ratcheted up sharply on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as an influential House Democrat on military matters called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops and Republicans escalated their attacks against the Bush administration's critics. [Emphasis added]
Here is the lede of the version of the Schmitt article that appeared about 7:30PM Friday night:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 - House Republicans are attempting to split the ranks of the Democrats tonight by offering a resolution to withdraw American troops from Iraq immediately. The Republican-controlled House is expected to defeat the measure in a vote that the Republicans hope will leave the Democrats in disarray.
So, you may well ask, what's the problem? The "newspaper of record" says, initially, that Rep. Murtha proposed "immediate withdrawal" and in a following version that the Republicans, albeit with the motive of splitting the ranks of the Democrats (how dare they!), offered a resolution "to withdraw American troops from Iraq immediately." But an evening of Democrats howling foul changed the tone of Schmitt's next version, which according to Google news appeared about 10:30PM Friday night. Here is the description of the partisan conflict that appears there:
The battle on Friday came as Democrats accused Republicans of pulling a political stunt by moving toward a vote on a symbolic alternative to the resolution that Mr. Murtha offered on Thursday, calling for the swift withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Democrats said the ploy distorted the meaning of Mr. Murtha's measure and left little time for meaningful debate. [Emphasis added]
So, after an evening of Democrats accusing Republicans of "a cheap political stunt and a personal attack," the New York Times description of Murtha's proposal shifted from "immediate withdrawal" to "swift withdrawal."

Sigh. If the next excuse is "having them all home in six months is not the same as immediate withdrawal", I think I'm going to go nuts. Try to explain to me what the "practicable" difference is.


  1. if it was the exact same thing they would have passed the original resolution and would have wasted 3 days and taxpayer money doing nothing but blasting the democrats for believing the same faulty intelligence that the republicans used to fool everyone.

  2. Ezzie, you're an idiot. Instead of taking a quote from an interview, why don't you post Murtha original resolution?

    Then you can see for yourself how different it is from what the GOP put forward.

    Jeez, this is stupid even by your low standards.

    (Discriminations had a problem with how the TImes chose to describe the resolution, which is fine. But that doesn't change the fact that Murtha's original resolution was very different from the resolution the GOP put up for a vote. Very different.)

  3. If you really had a point Ezzie, you would do what I did. You would post the original resolution and the GOP resolution and let the people compare.

    But instead, you put up this whole, long-winded post in which you never actually bother to share the original Murtha resolution.

    Why not?

    What are you trying to hide?

    * Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

    * Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.

    * Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

    * Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

    * Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

    See the differences? Wasn't that simple?

  4. Finally, if it was the exact same thing, why did they change it? Why didn't thet vote on it immidiately? Hello? Anybody home?

  5. DB - That's stupid. Murtha's press conference was to explain his resolution. How can you understand it otherwise?!

    Discriminations actually posted both - I was noting the important points.

    And the point is that even the left understood Murtha to mean "immediate" withdrawal - I didn't see him or anyone else taking issue with that interpretation. Until the Republicans pointed it out, of course.

  6. Better way of saying it: The GOP resolution was no different in spirit from the one Murtha wrote. To suggest otherwise is sheer idiocy.

  7. again if it is "sheer idiocy" then why the heck did they not just pass murtha's resolution in the first place without first abusing taxpayer money to run a smear campaign discrediting it just to pass wha tyou call the "exact same thing" which clearly it is not?

  8. Without rhetoric, show me how it's "clearly" different. Explain a way in which his resolution (can anyone find a copy in the House, btw? I can't - I'm not sure why it's not in the clerk's records...) would have produced different results from the GOP's. Explain why nobody spoke up and questioned the Times' and every other major news outlet's reporting of his resolution as requesting "immediate withdrawal". Only after the GOP made the Democrats, particularly Murtha, out to be fools was his statement made to look as if it meant something else - though it clearly does not.

  9. The following comment also appears on the corresponding comment section of DovBear's blog. -ZV


    Easy: to emphasize that, when it comes to good policy, Murtha's proposed resolution to withdraw in six months is synonymous with an immediate withdrawal. Murtha's resolution invariably sends the message that America prefers to surrender and give the insurgents a victory rather than kill them.

    To call for ANY withdrawal -- either immediately, in six months, or in two years -- before the insurgents are defeated is equally foolish. It simply sends the message that the terrorists need only wait us out and that America lacks the will to destroy them. That will only encourage more terrorism, and send a message to Islamic extremists the world over that America is a paper tiger whose policies can be influenced with simply more suicide bombings. It is a recipe for more and greater terrorism.

    Changing the language of the resolution highlights the fallacy of talk of any withdrawal, and that is what the GOP leadership wanted to emphasize. Instead of asking, "Why change the language?," DovBear should attempt to answer, "Why exactly is it somehow more responsible to withdraw in six months (Murtha's proposal of when it would be 'practicable') than it is to withdraw 'immediately' (the GOP proposal)?" The answer is that it's not. They are both wrong-headed proposals, and for exactly the same reason. Changing the language highlights that fact.

    Withdrawal of forces from Iraq must be linked with progress on the ground in defeating the insurgents and building Iraqi security forces. Anything less will encourage, not reduce, terrorist outrages.

  10. Yes - excellent comment... I actually linked to it just now in a post above this one. Thank you.