Michael: Murtha Says, "IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME"Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania just put another stake in the heart of the Bush Iraq 'policy'. Murtha is a decorated veteran intelligence officer, who voted for the resolution considered authorization for Bush's war in Iraq.
He released a strong statement against the war today and sponsored legislation that will force the Administration to:
- To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
- To create a quick reaction force in the region.
- To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
- To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.
Murtha explained his move saying, "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion." Murtha said he was standing up because he had a constitutional and moral obligation to speak for the troops.
Just as Cindy Sheehan marked a turning point in public support for the Iraq war, Murtha represents a turning point in Congressional support for Bush's policy. With both former Democratic Presidents now openly criticizing the war, and even Brent Scowcroft, widely considered Bush I's catspaw on foriegn policy matters, criticizing Bush II's handling of the war, the angle of the slope of elite opinion is tilting against the Administration. The new tone of rancor in the Administration's defense of their Iraq policies, including unprecedented partisan attacks in Bush's Veterans' Day remarks, demostrates that they are decidedly on the defensive about Iraq.
In the Senate, John Warner (R - VA), led the charge to finally put some teeth in Congressional oversight of the war by requiring quarterly reports to the Senate. Though rightly considered by many to be too little too late, it indicates the growing dissatisfaction with the stinking albatross that Bush has hung around the necks of Congressional GOPers facing re-election next year.
These developments are very positive signs that consensus is forming to head for the door in Iraq, rather than settling in for more butchery and even deploying more troops in the Iraqi quagmire, as Senator McCain and others are still advocating.