The bill that was voted on was one which the Republican majority put foward to put an end to the demand made by Rep. John Murtha. It was designed to read that troop withdrawal would have to be immediate, not phased over 6 months as Rep. Murtha had wanted. This is dirty politics, legal but dirty all the same.
Rep. John Murtha's Resolution appears below. Contrary to the Republican plan which was a non-binding proposal calling for the "immediate" withdrawal of the 160,000 US troops in Iraq that just offered up verbiage to gain political points. Murtha actually offered up a plan.
Whereas Congress and the American People have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to "promote the emergence of a democratic government";
Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U, S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;
Whereas more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;
Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;
Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency,
Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80% of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq;
Whereas polls also indicate that 45% of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified;
Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action;
Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:
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.
All of this was done after the Republicans had accused him of being a coward. The biggest Republican blowhard accusing him of being a coward was Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio whose only claim to fame was being part of Ohio's Right to Life Group. If anyone is a coward it would be people like AWOL Bush, 5 deferment Cheney, and any of the Republicans in Congress who found a way to stay out of the military during the Vietnam War but want our troops to fight and die for them.
Murtha is a decorated Vietnam Veteran with the Bronze Star with Combat"V", two Purple Hearts...so he was wounded at least twice...and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He served for 37 years in the Marines. He had come out of civilian life and volunteered for duty in Vietnam. I don't picture this man as a coward.
Hat-tip to Taylor Marsh at "The Antidote To Right Wing Talk", and to Marjorie Swanson from Kenosha, Wisconsin for information for this post.