Murtha: Bush ‘Delusional’ About Iraq Progress

Posted on  

"Murtha: Bush ‘Delusional’ About Iraq Progress"

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) — whose call for immediate redeployment in Nov. 2005 helped propel a national dialogue about withdrawal — said on CNN yesterday that Bush’s claims of progress are “delusional, to say the least”:

Nothing has gotten better. Incidents have increased. We’ve had more Americans killed in the last four months than any other period during the war. More Iraqis have been killed. Incidents are up. Unemployment is still 40 percent to 60 percent. Oil production is below prewar level. And this — this rhetoric about the constitution and the changes — they say, well, they’re making changes. There’s no changes that have been made.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/07/murthadelusional.320.240.flv]

Murtha said he sees “more and more people coming around. I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been that we’re going to start redeployment before long.”

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Murtha how he would respond to the administration’s claims that a withdrawal would embolden al Qaeda to take over Iraq and establish a home base from which to attack America. “They see us as occupiers and they fire up the Sunnis and Shias,” Murtha responded. “As soon as we leave, the Shias and the Sunnis will get rid of Al Qaeda, because they’re such a small group.”

He added the administration has continued “to say for four -and-a-half years there’s progress. So why would I believe that there’s going to be chaos just because they say it?”

Transcript:

BLITZER: All right, what do you say to the president?

MURTHA: Well, it’s delusional, to say the least. As I said earlier, and you heard me say, it’s a failed policy wrapped in illusion. Nothing has gotten better. Incidents have increased. We’ve had more Americans killed in the last four months than any other period during the war. More Iraqis have been killed. Incidents are up. Unemployment is still 40 percent to 60 percent. Oil production is below prewar level. And this — this rhetoric about the constitution and the changes — they say, well, they’re making changes. There’s no changes that have been made. They haven’t done the thing that’s necessary in order to satisfy the Sunnis.

So our troops are caught in a civil war. As I’ve said over and over again, It can’t be won militarily. There can only be a diplomatic effort. And I think this surge is a perfect example where we aren’t making any progress and we’ve got to start to redeploy the troops as quickly as possible. […]

Now, I see more and more people coming around. I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been that we’re going to start redeployment before long. The problem we’ve had, Wolf, and the thing that’s happened that’s so — hurting the troops so badly is they extend these people and break all of the rules and guidelines they have because they haven’t been able to raise the number of forces that they have. […]

BLITZER: Well, the president says if you do that, if the U.S. were to simply withdraw, as bad as the situation is now, it would be a whole lot worse, not only for the Iraqis, but for the entire region. And he also raises the specter of Al Qaeda having a base there from which to attack America.

MURTHA: Well, first of all, let me say there’s more Al Qaeda because we’re in Iraq. That’s the incentive for the Iraqis — for the al Qaeda. They see us as occupiers and they fire up the Sunnis and Shias. As soon as we leave, the Shias and the Sunnis will get rid of Al Qaeda, because they’re such a small group. They actually incentivize them.

So, because the president and the White House says that we’re going to have chaos, it doesn’t mean we’re going to. Heaven’s sakes, the Iraqis want us out of there. They think we’re occupiers. And they said there’s weapons of mass destruction. They said there’s an al Qaeda connection. They continue to say for four -and-a-half years there’s progress.

So why would I believe that there’s going to be chaos just because they say it?

« »

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.