Monday, February 26, 2007


John Murtha's Proposal

I really like and admire John Murtha's proposal. He proposes requiring the Defense Department to provide proper equipment, including body armor; proper training, including combatting insurgency; and proper rotation schedules to provide rest and recuperation for veterans of the war. His proposal does not call for an end to the war. However, forcing the Republican Party and the public to think and talk about his proposal and, for pro-war Republicans to try to refute it, brings home to all of us the big "elephant in the room."

Regarding the question of "winning" in Iraq, examining the implications of Murtha's proposal shows us that we do not at present have the resources to "win." We don't have nearly enough troops that we can field and provide with proper facilities, training, and rest. Regarding President Bush's proposed "surge" of only 21,000 additional troops, no one believes that it will be enough. The best thing that can be said for it is, "give it a chance. It just might work."

Naturally, supporters of the administration's decision to escalate the scale of the war are aghast that Murtha's proposal might actually be passed. Bush would have to veto it. He would then become the target of accusations of "not supporting the troops." The truth is, the "surge" can be accomplished only by lengthening tours of duty in Iraq and shortening the rest and retraining time of the troops sent home. The surge will wear out our Army and degrade its effectiveness.

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