Maintaining the rage, John Murtha says the US Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth":
Murtha predicted most troops will be out of Iraq within a year.What's important to note here is that Murtha is speaking on behalf of senior military officers who know they would lose their jobs if they said the same things. Murtha's Pennsylvania district includes Latrobe - 'nuff said?
"I predict he'll make it look like we're staying the course," Murtha said, referring to Bush. "Staying the course is not a policy."
Murtha, 73, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, expressed pessimism about Iraq's stability and said the Iraqis know who the insurgents are, but don't always share that information with U.S. troops. He said a civil war is likely because of ongoing factionalism among Sunni Arabs, and Kurds and Shiites.
He also said he was wrong to vote to support the war.
"I admit I made a mistake when I voted for war," Murtha said. "I'm looking at the future of the United States military."
Murtha, a decorated Vietnam war veteran, said the Pennsylvania National Guard is "stretched so thin" that it won't be able to send fully equipped units to Iraq next year. Murtha predicted it will cost $50 billion to upgrade military equipment nationwide, but says the federal government is already reducing future purchases to save money.
More importantly, Murtha's calls have now been picked up by Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader:
"We should follow the lead of Congressman John Murtha, who has put forth a plan to make American safer, to make our military stronger and to make Iraq more stable," Pelosi said. "That is what the American people and our troops deserve."
... Pelosi said she wouldn't call for a party caucus position on the plan by the Pennsylvania Democrat because "a vote on the war is an individual vote."
Nevertheless, she said, "I believe that a majority of our caucus clearly supports Mr. Murtha."