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November 17, 2005

Rep. Murtha calls for immediate withdrawal

-- by Gary Boatwright

SF Chronicle

"The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a former Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam and the senior Democrat on the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees military spending.

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised,'' said Murtha, who in October 2002 voted for the resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action to oust Saddam Hussein. "It's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of the members of Congress.''

CNN

"The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a former Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam and the senior Democrat on the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees military spending.

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised,'' said Murtha, who in October 2002 voted for the resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action to oust Saddam Hussein. "It's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of the members of Congress.''

[Update: Transcript of a Q & A following Murtha's statement.

On CNN, Murtha also slammed Cheney for having five deferments, but attacking critics of a failed policy. Murtha slammed Bush for attacking his critics on Veterans Day.

This could be a Walter Cronkite moment for Bush's war. Dennis Hastert is saddened by Murtha's remarks. Poor baby.

Posted by Gary Boatwright at November 17, 2005 12:46 PM

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Comments

Have you heard the expression, White man's burden? That's the racist game we've been playing, isn't it? You know, like the British in India. Iraq doesn't need us bringing the Bush version of "democracy" to them -- especially while he's busy destroying the American version of democracy here. Murtha's right. We have no business in Iraq, and we should get out of there.

Posted by: MJ at November 17, 2005 1:50 PM

If you were to make it all the way through Hastert's song of sadness over Murtha's remarks, you can't help but notice that he did not once refer to any rationale (current or otherwise) offered by the administration for our involvement in Iraq. No mention of WMD, Saddam, democracy, freedom. What have we? SEPTEMBER 11, 2001!!!! OSAMA!!! Terrorists!!! 3000 dead!!!
These cretins never stop. And to have a fat chickenhawk like Hastert denigrate a man who served and actually put his ass on the line for his nation is beyond the pale. This bastard must go.

Posted by: AreBe at November 17, 2005 3:07 PM

So, Dave, now that a genuine demo has come out for expeditious withdrawal, what's the STF position? Gonna go with Murtha or with the majority of chickenshit demos? Choose.

Posted by: Anonymous at November 17, 2005 5:44 PM

Damn comment system. It was me asking you that impolite question.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 17, 2005 5:45 PM

I just love it.
About time a REAL veteran called Cheney publicly on his FIVE DEFERMENTS. Cheney is a COWARD and unfit to be anywhere near the White House. Anything he says is automatically irrelevant.

Hats off to Congressman Murtha - standing up to this crowd of black-hearted neocon terrorists is an act of REAL courage and a sign of a REAL Patriot.

Posted by: doog [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 17, 2005 8:10 PM

I'll write something about that. What SHOULD happen is the UN takes over for us and brings in about a million peacekeepers. That isn't what Bush will ever allow.

I think the forces there are still keeping the lid on something that would get tremendously worse if we left. Bush is the big roadblock to everything. The things that should happen just can't happen with Bush there. And it's also the reason that nothing we say is what is going to happen. Bush is going to do what he is doing and there is nothing that any of us can do about it except hope that real "grown ups" get in a position of control of this situation. Any adults will immediately call in the UN.

But Bush is also the obstacle to just leaving, so that isn't going to happen either. If it DOES, he can blame the Dems for it, now.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 17, 2005 9:08 PM

I'm not sure things can get much worse than they are at this moment. We're sitting in the middle of a civil war between the Sunni and Shiites, testing our weapons systems on them. Like the use of white phosphorous which is much worse than Napalm. It's impossible to identify who's the "enemy" so we just blow everyone up and increase the rage on both sides. Because of the recent report of "official" Iraqi government torture of its prisoners, the battle between Shiites and Sunnis is only going to get more intense, no matter whether we're there, the UN is there, or God himself steps down from heaven. The upcoming elections aren't going to solve anything, and neither will establishing an essentially Shiite government whether we call it legitimate or not. That will simply guarantee an even hotter civil war. I think we've created such a mess there isn't anything anybody can do, and we should get out of there because we're just making things worse. There's no point pretending we're serving as peacekeepers at this point. What peace? What right do we have to take sides in a civil war? That just guarantees that we're somebody's enemy.

Posted by: MJ at November 18, 2005 7:49 AM

Thank You Rep John Murtha -You show the republicans -and show the world that we need to get out of Iraq -We all know -without the right directions -orders -plans -No war good ? I am just very happy to hear You come out -and tell it like it is -that takes guts , be proud of self - Everytime someone -someOne criticises you what you say-you know it truth ?

Rep. John Murtha, a longtime Democratic hawk, calls Thursday for an immediate pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq. Full Story

Murtha's Background:
Age: 73
Home: Johnstown, Pa.
Military: Marine Corps, 1952-55; 1966-67; Marine Corps Reserves, 1955-66, 1967-90
Medals: Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts
U.S. House: 1974-present; First Vietnam vet elected

It is baffling that [Rep. Murtha] is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party. The eve of an historic democratic election in Iraq is not the time to surrender to the terrorists."
-- Scott McClellan, White House press secretary


''It is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American people.''
-- President Bush, Nov. 14

(Nov. 18) - Every week, Rep. John Murtha makes the rounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to stand at the bedside of soldiers wounded in Iraq.On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Democrat could stand by no more. Belying his reputation as one of Congress' most hawkish members, Murtha called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."I feel very passionate about this," Murtha said in an emotional interview hours after his remarks. "I see a kid blown apart, and it breaks my heart."Democrats have long assailed President Bush's Iraq policy. But this is the top Democrat on the House panel that pays for Pentagon programs, a former Marine who was the first Vietnam veteran to serve in Congress and one of the most influential members of his party on military matters."It's a turning point in the growing opposition to the war," said Rep. John Conyers, a liberal Democrat from Michigan. He said Murtha's time in military hospital wards "had a profound impact on him, and he's finally come to the point where he cannot rationalize us staying over there any longer."Murtha voted to authorize the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He voted with 80 other House Democrats to give Bush the authority to use military force against Saddam Hussein in 2002. But his doubts about the administration's handling of the war have steadily mounted.In September 2003, he stood with liberal House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to criticize the Pentagon as stinting on equipment and body armor for the troops. In May 2004, Murtha warned his party that the war was unwinnable unless more U.S. and coalition forces were sent to Iraq.But his call to pull out rises above a growing chorus of lawmakers questioning the war. It comes days after a Senate vote calling on Iraqis to take the lead on security and the Bush administration to make its exit strategy clear.Republicans lashed out. Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio called Murtha "highly irresponsible."Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., suggested that Murtha spoke out in hopes he'll become chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee if Democrats regain control of the House. "He is conflicted between his ideals as a Marine and as an American and the anti-war crowd that dominates his party," said Buyer, an Army reservist. "He has to play against his principles, and it must eat him inside."Murtha says all that's eating him is seeing troops killed and injured because they lack armored Humvees and body armor. "This is not political to me," he said.The media-shy congressman rarely speaks from the House chamber or gives interviews. But he still holds court regularly.Reuters"I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there... I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
-- Rep. John Murtha, refering to Vice President Cheney's Vietnam War deferments
"People line up to seek his counsel," said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., who says no one dares sit in the last seat in the last row in the House chamber area known as "the Pennsylvania corner." That seat belongs to Murtha.Murtha's military credentials, including two Purple Hearts for wounds in Vietnam, mean that "when he says something in regards to defense, people listen," Doyle said. "Unlike some of the people on the Republican side, he's seen bullets."Murtha is "not a lightning rod. He's not divisive," says Terry Madonna, a political scientist who runs the Keystone Poll of Pennsylvania politics. "It provides a lot of cover for Democrats who wanted to call for a pullout earlier but ... were unwilling to do so."Is the White House right to attack Rep. Murtha? No, his background gives him credibility 76% Yes, Murtha is motivated by politics 24% Is the White House smart to attack Rep. Murtha? No, it gives his stance more publicity 74% Yes, he could sway public opinion 26% Total Votes: 69,331 Do you think the White House misled the public in its case for war? Yes 74% No 26% Total Votes: 63,550 Those remarks stirred angry responses from Democrats, who accused Bush of questioning their patriotism. At a news conference in South Korea on Thursday, Bush denied he was challenging the patriotism of his critics, but reasserted his initial criticism.It is "patriotic as heck to disagree with the president," Bush said. "It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions and playing politics."{ bush says "that the politicians -shouldnt talk politics -but what is he doing ? bush says , that they are use their positions and play politics -that exactly what bush is doing ?dont he sound like a hyprocrite -like a person saying , dont do this -but he is doing it lol so it do as I say -but dont do as i do lol }

Posted by: cheri at November 19, 2005 4:50 AM

I watched Murtha's speech and found it refreshingly straight forward and honest. I have always repected Murtha but I must admit that after listening to him the other night that I feel he should run for President. The very sad thing about his speech was that I did not see any support from fellow democrats. There was a rather long line of repubs, taking turns, denouncing what Murtha said but not one dem to support him. This is what is wrong with the democratic party....a lack of unity. The repubs support each other even when someone is very obviously wrong while the dems show little to no support when someone has the courage to speak the truth. How sad. How do they expect to win any presidential election (even one that is not fixed) when they keep showing the public that they lack the courage to speak in support of one who is defending the values of what the democratic party is supposed to stand for. Maybe it's long past time for a third party that can run on true family values such as decent medical care, decent wages, money for education, a free press and, most important, a re-vamping of our voting system which would include the elimination of the electorial college as well as the elimination of privately manufactured voting machines whose software is owned and controlled by the manufacturer and all voting machines that do not leave a paper trail. The "election" of 2000 was a sham that was taken out of the hands of the voters and placed in the hands of the courts. The vote of 2004 has already been found to be invalid by the GAO (which is STILL not being discussed by the corporate news media). We need some in power who can see how our country is becoming less a democracy. We need someone who has the courage to stand up against the GOP and not be intimidated by their bullying tactics. We need someone with the Murtha's courage and experience.

Posted by: banjopuk [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 8:02 AM

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