I just watched a 2 1/2 hour long meeeting recorded from C-SPAN, which I learned about from here: American Foreign Policy, Part Deux. It was an opportunity for Representative Murtha to explain and discuss a proposal he's made to withdraw from Iraq. The Republicans and Neocons have been jumping all over him, calling him a coward, unpatriotic, etc (note: he served in two wars, in the Marines, and has a ream of medals to show for his service). The action towards Rep. Murtha is just following the prior pattern when anybody dares to say the slightest thing against the Administration, that out of the woodwork comes various kinds of attacks and most especially to question the patriotism of the person who made the criticism.
Are so insecure that they can't stand a little scrutiny and criticism ...??
Anyway, here is what Karen Kwiatkowski has to say about the C-SPAN show:
A lot of Americans are waking up to this Part One, as the recent standing room only town meeting co-hosted by Virginia Democrat Jim Moran and Pennsylvania Republican Jack Murtha. Watch the video. It is shock television at its best, courtesy C-span. Murtha and Moran say they want troops out soonest, and both insist we are not building permanent military bases in Iraq. Like I say, it's shock TV - see for yourself!
(The video is linked above -- you will need the Real Video player to view it)
They held a "town hall" meeting that was jam-packed, where they turned away more people than could actually attend the event, etc. It was a very spirited event from what I can tell via the recording.
Rep. Murtha's suggestion is that we should withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq NOW. That we should let the Iraq government take over. That we should keep U.S. troops in the vicinity (e.g. Kuwait), I suppose so that troops are easily redeployed if the situation were to flare up.
I'm not so sure that's a good idea. Much as I am angry over the war in the first place, at how unnecessary it is, how it is a distraction from the real problem, how the administration lied to the world and the American people in order to launch the war, that withdrawing would leave a power vacuum that would simply result in a civil war as the different factions compete with each other to grab all the power. At least, that's what I am afraid of. Which just leaves me highly conflicted because we have no ethical, legal, or moral right to be in Iraq doing what we are doing.
Rep. Murtha also talked at length on the corruption (e.g. "no-bid" contracts which simply means the U.S. is being ripped off by defense contractors) and the horribly underfunded Veterans Administration (paid for by the tax cuts).
Many times the questions were "When are we going to Impeach the President". It was enlightening to hear both Rep. Murtha and Morin basically agree with the sentiment. It's basically been proved that the President and all the Presidents People lied us into this war, that it was premeditated back to 1992 (at least), that it has been horribly mismanaged, that the insurgency that is killing so many U.S. and Iraq people is directly attributable to the mismanagement, that the administration is criminally culpable in this, and that it is a reprehensible situation. Both of the Representatives basically agreed with this, but they kept saying how Impeachment was basically impossible.
They pointed to an investigatory hearing held by Rep. Conyers meant to explore the same issue. He just barely got approval to hold that hearing, in the first place, and the space he was given to hold it was in the basement. Relegated to the basement. See, the practical fact is that the Administrations party controls the Congress, and so long as the leadership is as it is, there is practically zero chance of Impeachment.
What Rep. Morin kept returning to is that we, the people, the ones for whom this most perfect union of a government exists, it is we who need to organize. The solution is in the ballot box, and it is in organizing the democracy for which we stand to stand up and take back the reins of government.