Murtha on Iraq: ‘There’s Not Only No Progress, It’s Worse Than It Was Prewar’

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"Murtha on Iraq: ‘There’s Not Only No Progress, It’s Worse Than It Was Prewar’"

This morning, Jack Murtha appeared on CBS’ The Early Show to talk about the Iraq war. Murtha offered a sobering assessment:

[T]here’s not only no progress, it’s worse than it was prewar. this thing has been mishandled so badly. The American people needed to hear. we’re spending $450 billion on this war by the end of the year, $9 billion a month, and so we need to change course.

The facts appear to back Murtha up. Here’s a summary of key indicators, drawn from the Brookings Institute’s Iraq Index, using the most recent data available:

Pre-War Levels Now
Crude oil production 2.5 million barrels 2.14 million barrels [Apr. 2006]
Electricity 3,958 Megawatts 3,600 Megawatts [Apr. 2006]
People with access to potable water 12.9 million 8.25 million [Nov. 2005]
People with access to sewer system 6 million 5 million [Nov. 2005]

Full transcript:

CHEN: Congressman Murtha, your act of courage would be last fall when you spoke out against the war, after voting for it. Was that a difficult decision for you?

MURTHA: Well, they were irresponsive. And the thing that worried me, the troops – they went in with inadequate forces and inadequate equipment. Then in addition to that the army down the road was broken as far as I could see. And yet all the things they said were illusion. They said how much better it was getting and every progress report I saw was mischaracterized, misrepresented. So I felt an obligation to speak out in order to try to turn this thing around. The military won a victory. It was time to get out. As a matter of fact, these guys have done a marvelous job. The troops, you couldn’t ask for any more. But they’re caught in the middle of a civil war. I got a lot of criticism. I got lot a lot of people initially — as matter of fact — the war — over 50% of the people supported when I spoke out. And of course now it’s changed considerably. Because i think they wanted to hear exactly what has happened. Exactly whether there’s progress. And I said there’s not only no progress, it’s worse than it was prewar. This thing has been mishandled so badly. The American people needed to hear. We’re spending $450 billion on this war by the end of the year, $9 billion a month, and so we need to change course.

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