Sunday, November 20, 2005

Rep. Murtha Complains Again

Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) has been much in the news the past week. Today, he was on Meet the Press, where he re-iterated his concerns with the progress in Iraq, amplifying what he said in his press conference on Thursday, 17 Nov.
MR. RUSSERT: Congressman, according to our military experts, there are only 700 Iraqi troops who are fully independent and combat ready. (ed. Rumsfeld disputes this statistic.) That being the case, if we withdraw our troops quickly from Iraq, won't the Iraqi citizens be overwhelmed by the al-Qaeda and Saddam loyalists? Are the Iraqis capable of defending themselves without the U.S.?

REP. MURTHA: Tim, I'm absolutely convinced that we're making no progress at all, and I've been complaining for two years that there's an overly optimistic--an illusionary process going on here. They keep trying to measure Iraqi troops by our standards. They don't need to meet our standard. And until we turn it over to the Iraqis, we're going to continue to do the fighting. Our young men and women are going to continue to suffer.

No progress at all? That's not what embedded blogger Michael Yon reported on 4 Oct about the Battle for Mosul:
It bears repeating that the Coalition IS winning in Mosul. Here’s why: while the enemy commander Abu Zayd was hiding in and around Mosul, and complaining about his fellow terrorists squandering money on phones and cars, American and Iraqi commanders were physically fighting alongside their men, instilling confidence in the mission, sharing the risks. ...

[T]he Coalition simply has superior leaders, and they are mentoring the best Iraqi leaders, and the results are transparent.
Other good news stories include:
And finally, Same Ole' Different Day writes in Out of Iraq? (via Mudville Gazette):
I am here to tell you that everyday we are winning over the hearts of the people of Iraq. If you could see the smiling faces that I have seen you would know that we are making a difference in this country. I volunteered for the military, no one made me sign on that dotted line. Let me stay here and finish what we have started Mr. Murtha.

P.S. Don Surber has more links, but says End The MIssion Creep: Bring Them Home. I commented, "I don't think that being in a new phase of operations equates with mission creep. The end of active combat operations just meant the start of winning the peace. And that process is progressing faster in Afghanistan and Iraq than, say, Kosovo under the tender occupation of the UN. As the ground game changes, so do the units deployed."

Update: I edited down the quote from Michael Yon for copyright reasons. Go read the whole dispatch.