Murtha on Hardball

Following up today’s speech — I’m watching Congressman Jack Murtha on Hardball to get his response. I thought you might be interested, so I took notes. Quotations are approximate.

Murtha said that what the President presented today is not a plan. We went in with inadequate forces, then we didn’t have the appropriate people in the right places and we lost the support of the Iraqi people. 80 percent want us out.

The public wants direction. They want leadership, and they want honesty. We’re not getting honesty from this president .

Matthews says, the President says we should stay until the Iraqi military is trained enough to take over the fight.

He’s allowing Iraqis to set the timetable, says Murtha. They’re going to let us do the fighting, even though they said they want us out. If we don’t redeploy as I suggested we’re going to be there for 100 years. It’s not progressing. It’s not getting better. Let the Iraqi peple handle it themselves.

Bush is trying to tie what’s going on in Iraq to the worldwide network of terrorism, Murtha continued. But only 7 percent of the people fighting us in Iraq are al Qaeda.

Can you imagine if the French had stayed after the Revolution? We’d have run them out.

The number of casualties per day is increasing. We can’t win this militarily, because our military actions make enemies for us. All we get from this administration is rhetoric.

How long it will take to get an Iraqi army that can defend itself without our help?
asks Matthews.

25 years, says Murtha. From every measurment I can see we are not making progress.

Matthews thinks Bush’s new request of a $4.6 billion supplemental appropriation for Iraqi reconstruction is a trap for the Democrats, because if they vote for it they’ll be endorsing his Iraq policy but if they vote against it they’ll be accused of undermining the effort.

Murtha responds, They haven’t even spent the $18 billion we already appropriated for reconstruction, and some of that was used for the military. I can’t imagine what he wants the $4.6 billion for. They’ve only spent $9 billion.

Murtha dismissed the idea of any kind of trap. He believes the reconstruction spending is important, because it provides jobs for Iraqis.

Murtha points out that if troops numbers are reduced the troops remaining will still be a target. Supply convoys will still be vulnerable. It makes more sense, he says, to redeploy out of Iraq but retain troops nearby so that we can go back in if needed to go after al Qaeda or other terrorists who are a threat to us and our allies. But we need to get out of the fight between the Shia and the Sunnis in Iraq.

We still don’t have the kind of people we need, Murtha says. We don’t have translators, demolition experts, special forces, intelligence experts. We’re paying big money to recruit these people, and we still don’t have them. This effort has been so mishandled from the start. There are not enough troops to protect the Syrian border. This thing cannot be won militarily.

Matthews: Bush wants to stay with no time limits. But you’re saying we should gradually redeploy out of the country but maintain troops in the region to fight terrorism if we have to.

Murtha says that’s right. We need credibility, he says. This is a real war. People are getting killed. It’s time to admit we made a mistake. We need to repair our relations with the world. That’s what people are thirsting for.

Matthews: Do you trust the Cheney Rumsfeld crowd? On every pont they’ve been wrong about how this war would turn oujt. Do you trust them on the facts?

Murtha says, Just because they say it doesn’t make it so. Be truthful. I told them, it’ll backfire if you keep telling these stories. They aren’t being honest.

Is George Casey telling the truth? asks Matthews.

You know I deal with these guys all the time. I know how they feel. He said one of the problems in this insurgency is the occupation. We’ve become the enemy. He said one of our policies will be to start to withdraw.

Matthews: Bush said if any general needs more troops they only need to ask, and they’d get more troops.

Murtha: That’s not an honest statement. One general I talked to doesn’t have enough troops to protect the Syrian border. That’s one of our missions, and we don’t have enough troops.

These guys are sitting in theiir conditioned office saying stay the course. They aren’t out in the heat and the dirt. A very small portion of our citizens are making that sacrifice. In some ways it’s worse than Vietnam– we’re going to have a lot of people with post-traumatic stress.

Matthews brought up the news stories being written by Americans and planted in the Iraqi press.

This has been a problem from the start, Murtha said. The dishonesty of the people speaking for the administration.

What about support in Congress, Matthews asks.

Democrats sat behind me during the debate. Many Republicans come up to me privately and quietly. All of us want to find a solution.

6 thoughts on “Murtha on Hardball

  1. I’m thinking a political undersea earthquake is about to hit which will be followed by one big-ass tsunami.There is a limit to the amount of truth which can be hidden from the masses, thanks to cyberspace. And the Lord said” Fasten thy seatbelts…..”

  2. Until the American public is made to understand that our troops are fighting against the former Iraqi military and not against terrorists the admin can get away saying the same bullshit over and over. Saddam had about 200K well trained soldiers and about that many not so very well trained. Their former intelligence services provide the logistics and they know where all the ammo dumps are. It really will take years before the new Iraqi army can deal with the old one. And we should never forget it was that medal wearing idiot Bremmer who fired the old army and put them all out of work and paychecks. Possibly the worst decision made, after the one the idiots made deciding to invade in the first place.

  3. The thing I noticed about hardball were simpson’s comments about Bush’s speech today.When I watched bush, I thought it was “justme” but after listening to simpson I felt it even more: That speech was meant to tell us”Now look here, I am the boss and we are doing things my way”….like a parent would talk to children who were daring to question him…some think it was cute to see “leadership” and they give him approval because he scolded us none believers!
    Well ,,,that pisses me off ,,,as cheney would say”what a major league asshole”….How dare he address his employers like that??Did no one tell the little dictator he is suppose to be working FOR US??He wasn’t even man enough to admit he screwed up…he danced around the issue ,,and the had the nerve to blast the public for not sitting still in the waiting room..
    I would love to tell you where he can shove that 38 page load of crap the tax payers funded..have you read this rubbish? It is utter bullshit!
    We will stay until Iraq has a democracy???Are you friggin kidding me??IS HE PLANNING TO FUND THIS OUT OF HIS POCKET???Why didn’t he just say we are staying until pigs fly,,or hell freezes over?
    Then Simpson has the gull to say”He’s in it for the long haul,, this kid means business” …What the hell? Bush is on vacation all the damn time,,riding his bike like a child..he can’t be bothered to attend funerals or think about the people who will suffer so he can feel like a tough man who means business.
    And am I the only one sick of paying his way to USE the troops to make a speech?Is it not enough for these troops to be risking their life,? now they have to be used as propaganda tools?What next?, maybe he will have them clearing brush on his ranch?He uses troops because he KNOWS none will dare to step out of line lest they be is harder to punish regular people…
    If george bush is so friggin worried about democracy in Iraq I forone would be glad to excuse him from his duties here to go to Iraq and work on his pipe dream……..

  4. JustMe, I love your rants: “…am I the only one sick of paying his way to USE the troops to make a speech?”

    You can’t imagine how sick I got when he defiled the USS Abraham Lincoln to do his flyboy “Mission Accomplished” stunt. My jaw dropped, and continues to drop after each brazen act. And that was just the start.

    When the history of this country is written, it will be shown that it was during this administration, more than any other, when the republic became an empire, when the mindset of the president changed from being an employee of the people to being their ruler.

    Getting a Democrat (or somebody sane) into office won’t change things much if the country is bankrupted, and everyone is then dependent on the rich for survival. That’s their plan. That’s what aristocracy has always wanted.

  5. when the republic became an empire

    But the Shrub sure ain’t no Julius Caesar. For that matter, look what happened to Julius Caesar.

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