Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken Democratic critic of the Iraq war, said in remarks to be aired on Sunday that voter pressure in the November congressional election could force President George W. Bush to pull U.S. forces from Iraq.Another way to put it is that the successes in Iraq are going to be such that the US can afford to bring some number of troops home - and the troop rotations will reflect that success in that new deployments will be put on hold. Murtha is simply playing politics (as he has from the get-go).
"I think the vast majority will be out by the end of the year and I'm hopeful it will be sooner than that," Murtha, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, told the CBS "60 Minutes" show.
The Pennsylvania Democrat said mounting pressure from voters tired of the war could affect this year's midterm election and force Bush to devise a plan to pull U.S. troops from Iraq.
The thing Murtha doesn't quite get is that Bush hasn't exactly gone with the polls on the Iraq issue at any single point. He's done what he thought was right, the polls be damned. And Bush's Middle East strategy has paid dividends that the Democrats can't afford to deny, but deny they do. The Democrats love to talk about how Bush upset the status quo in the Middle East as though that was a bad thing. When 50 years of status quo and accepting totalitarian dictators to act out against their neighbors, plot, scheme and harbor international terrorist groups, and do so on the basis of sitting on top of a pool of oil, something has got to give.
The situation Murtha says also doesn't reflect what is going on with neighboring Iran, which is on the cusp of obtaining nuclear weapons that threaten not only the region, but US political, economic, and military interests in the region. Having troops in Iraq can act as a jump point for action against Iran should the need arise and efforts to get Iran to eliminate its nuclear program via diplomacy fail.
Of course, all efforts to that effect have already failed and we're now hearing that the matter will be referred to the Security Council for action. As in a harshly worded resolution. Or 15. And Iran will laugh itself silly as their scientists continue their deadly serious work on obtaining the nuclear materials necessary to build nuclear weapons.