The New York Times, in “G.O.P. Tries to Split Democrats With Vote on Iraq War, “says that the vote is not expected “before 8 p.m.” (I’ll be flipping back and forth between the House (C-Span) and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.) Meanwhile:

You can view video of Rep. John Murtha’s remarks on MSNBC.

You can make yourself sick by reading, via Crooks & Liars (quoting from Roll Call) that GOP lawmakers are floating an ethics probe of Murtha. “Republican lawmakers say that ties between Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and his brother’s lobbying firm, KSA Consulting, may warrant investigation by the House ethics committee.”

You can laugh over Jane Hamsher’s send-up of Rep. Jean Schmidt.

And you can read Christopher Dickey, in “The Terrorist Temptation,” who writes for Newsweek that:

[t]he Bush administration is so accustomed to torturing the truth, it can’t face the facts. Murtha’s outburst on Iraq has shown it is time to stop deluding ourselves. …

Dickey talked with Wolfowitz, who told him that the mistake was not training the Iraqis immediately to take over. Dickey retorts, “So the big mistake in Mesopotamia, it would seem, was not following the grand plans of the best and the brightest who took us to war there in 2003. Others failed, not they …”

But there’s no reason the rest of us should delude ourselves, which is one reason, I suspect, that Democratic Congressman John Murtha, a retired Marine colonel and long-time friend of the U.S. military on the Hill, spoke yesterday with such unfettered outrage. In some of the sound bites heard on the news, he seemed to be out of control. He was not and is not. His full statement, which I’ve posted on The Shadowland Journal is as well reasoned as it is passionate. The war in Iraq, he said, “is a flawed policy wrapped in an illusion.” Unlike Wolfowitz, who once went before Congress without even bothering to check how many Americans had died at his instigation, Murtha makes frequent visits to Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals to talk to the maimed survivors of this conflict. Says the congressman: “What demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.”

Murtha makes a point that ought to be obvious, but that this administration constantly struggles to obscure: “Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.” Meanwhile “our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects have been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year.” …. Read all (It’s very good.)

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