Quote Of The Year?
-- Rep. John Murtha
Here's the story, from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Murtha today said he saw signs of military progress during a brief trip to Iraq last week, but he warned that Iraqis need to play a larger role in providing their own security and the Bush administration still must develop an exit strategy.
"I think the 'surge' is working," the Democrat said in a videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the president's decision to commit more than 20,000 additional combat troops this year. But the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves."
Violence has dropped significantly in recent months, but Mr. Murtha said he was most encouraged by changes in the once-volatile Anbar province, where locals have started working closely with U.S. forces to isolate insurgents linked to Al Qaeda.
He said Iraqis need to duplicate that success at the national level, but the central government in Baghdad is "dysfunctional."
Mr. Murtha's four day-trip took him to a Thanksgiving dinner with troops in Kuwait last Thursday, and he then made stops in Iraq, Turkey and Belgium.
The word "speechless" would come to mind, except that the word "but" keeps blocking it out.
The left lobe of the blogosphere is silent on Murtha's statement, as can be expected. Among the many blog links to the story on memeorandum, only Huffpost represents the Left, writing of the briefing, but fails to mention his assessment on the surge. Rather, the post describes what it calls a set-up for Dem capitulation on Iraq:
And soon enough, the Democratic bluff will be called. In response, they will posture, bluster and then - you can bet on it-- they will fold. For a harbinger of this dreary scenario, you need look no further than the briefing held Thursday by the powerful Democratic chief of the House subcommittee on military spending, Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha. "Congress wants to come up with an agreement," he said. "Leadership may be willing to compromise" on the time line for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
May be willing to compromise? Really? Insert your laugh track right here, please.
Compromising and capitulating are the only things the Democrats have been doing on this issue. Murtha's statement implies that some sort of deal can be reached with the Republicans in which a somewhat extended troop withdrawal timetable will be agreed upon. During his press conference, Murtha suggested that might be something like a two year calendar.
Interesting, isn't it, that the author, Marc Cooper, did not feel compelled to mention to his readers Murtha's assessment of the war's progress? The truth? You can't take the truth. Or something like that.