Today marks two years from the day that Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) boldly called for a timetable for redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq. “The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion,” Murtha said, adding that his call for withdrawal was motivated by deep concern for the state of the military:
This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering. Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our obligation to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.
Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.
On Nov. 17, 2005, House Republicans hastily forced a vote to bring the troops home, sensing a political opportunity to isolate Murtha. The measure to begin immediate withdrawal was rejected 403-3. But events in Iraq over the past two years have vindicated Murtha’s wisdom. Just this week, a majority of the House voted to pass a bill that largely reflects Murtha’s original call for redeployment.
The Gavel offers some metrics to assess how the situation in Iraq has changed in the past two years: