"I believe we've done everything we can do. I believe we have become the enemy. And I'll tell you this: The Iraqis are not going to do the fighting unless we turn it over to them. They're going to let us continue." (Rep. John Murtha, November 17 interview)
In his interview with Margaret Warner on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Rep. John Murtha, cited three major reasons for immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
1. US forces have become the enemy and are the target.
My post of November 18th shows how flawed that reasoning is. The vast majority of people killed by the terrorist insurgency in Iraq have been Iraqis--not US forces. It is Iraqis who are the main target of the terrorists, not US forces.
2. Unless we pull out, the Iraqi forces will never assume responsibility for their own defense. (see opening quotation)
The refutation of point 2 ties in with point 1. If it were you (remember that the terrorists have specifically targeted Iraqi military and police), your family, and your friends who were being killed by terrorists, would you slack off? Because Iraqi forces have so much to gain personally from taking out the terrorists, they will come up to speed as rapidly as possible. They need help to do this--not pressure. Rep. Murtha apparently has a low view of Iraqis. If US troops are willing to risk their lives for Iraqis, how much more are Iraqi troops willing to risk their lives for their families and countrymen? But, the mainstream media doesn't report on their actions or heroism--or the actions or herorism of Coalition forces. The Multi-National Force - Iraq site is a good place to get more balanced news on Iraq.
3. Our being in Iraq is the reason for the terrorism there. There was no terrorism before we went in.
Rep. Murtha forgets about Saddam's terrorism--something the Kurds, lots of Shiites, and even some Sunnis do not forget.
But, in terms of the terrorism Murtha is talking about, it has long been the President's argument that we are fighting terrorism in Iraq so we won't have to fight it here in the US and suffer the consequences we did on 9/11. Our being in Iraq did not create terrorism. But, it is forcing the terrorists to focus their attacks and face a military force rather than their usual soft civilian targets. So, that terrorists are in Iraq where our troops are, is a good thing.