Charles Krauthammer is right. What else is new?
Some excerpts from his column on the Congressional efforts to micromanage the Iraq War.
Congress has the power to [force a withdrawal] by cutting off the funds. But Democrats will not, because it is politically dangerous. Instead, they are seeking other ways, clever ways. The House is pursuing a method, developed by Murtha and deemed “ingenious” by antiwar activist Tom Andrews of Win Without War, to impose a conditional cutoff of funds, ostensibly in the name of protecting the troops. Unless the troops are given the precise equipment, training and amount of rest Murtha stipulates — no funds.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, Murtha is not disingenuous enough to have concealed the real motives for these ostensibly pro-readiness, pro-troops conditions. He has chosen conditions he knows are impossible to meet — “We have analyzed this and we have come to the conclusion that it can’t be done'' — in order to make the continued prosecution of the war very difficult, if not impossible, for the commanders in the field.
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[Sen. Carl] Levin [D-Mich.] has a different idea — change the original October 2002 authorization. “We’ll be looking at modification of that authorization in order to limit the mission of American troops to a support mission instead of a combat mission,” says Levin. “That is very different from cutting off funds.”
. . . There is something exceedingly strange about authorizing the use of force — except for combat. That is an oxymoron. Changing the language of authorization means — if it means anything — that [Gen. David] Petraeus will have to surround himself with lawyers who will tell him, every time he wants to deploy a unit, whether he is ordering a legal “support” mission or an illegal “combat” mission.
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Slowly bleeding our forces by defunding what our commanders think they need to win (the House approach) or rewording the authorization of the use of force so that lawyers decide what operations are to be launched (the Senate approach) is no way to fight a war. It is no way to end a war. It is a way to complicate the war and make it inherently unwinnable — and to shirk the political responsibility for doing so.