Murtha Again Taking the Lead on Iraq:
"When we asked about the likelihood of the president sending additional troops to Iraq, Murtha was adamant. 'The only way you can have a troop surge,' he told us, 'is to extend the tours of people whose tours have already been extended, or to send back people who have just gotten back home.' He explained at length how our military forces are already stretched to the breaking point, with our strategic reserve so depleted we are unprepared to face any additional threats to the country. So does that mean there will be no surge? Murtha offered us a 'with Bush anything is possible' look, then said: 'Money is the only way we can stop it for sure.'
To this end, Murtha, the incoming Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, is planning to hold wide-ranging hearings, starting January 17th, that will focus on the depleted state of our military readiness , as well as contractor corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal is to turn the spotlight on how drained the military has become, and on how any talk of a troop surge is utterly irresponsible (as well as strategically misguided). 'The public,' he said repeatedly, 'is already ahead of us on all this.
He says he wants to 'fence the funding,' denying the president the resources to escalate the war, instead using the money to take care of the soldiers as we bring them home from Iraq 'as soon as we can.'"
Murtha will deny the stupid politicians the McCain/Lieberman option of sending more targets to Iraq.