The movement to immediately end the war in Iraq gained an unlikely spokesman last week: John Murtha, longtime Congressman from Pennsylvania, a ranking member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. A consistent hawk for the 33 years he’s spent in congress, Murtha is a decorated combat veteran with a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Murtha, who retired from the Marine Corps as a Colonel, served in both Korea and Viet Nam.
Murtha, who supported the war in Iraq initially, proposed a bill Thursday to immediately withdraw all American troops from Iraq.
According to Congressman Murtha, “The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region…”
“Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.”
Murtha’s plan called for:
1) To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
2) To create a quick reaction force in the region.
3) To create an over- the-horizon presence of Marines.
4) To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq
The proposal drew an extreme amount of heat in the House chambers.