Murtha: Civil war

Claims of civil war have been thrown about for months now. It is... it isn't... not yet... soon... maybe next Tuesday... since forever...

Rep. John Murtha, who made headlines -- and some enemies -- last month by standing up on the House floor and making the case for a phased and strategic withdrawal (not, as was charged, an immediate one), revisits the point. In a blog.

"93 percent of those fighting in Iraq are Iraqis. A very small percentage of the fighting is being done by foreign fighters. Our troops are caught in between the fighting. 80 percent of Iraqis want us out of there and 45 percent think it is justified to kill American troops."

These are compelling factors, to be sure, but the more convincing argument for the damage we're causing, the futility of the Bush doctrine in Iraq, is that every step toward anything resembling democracy is actually a step toward theocracy and increased division -- and thus, away from democracy. You see the problem.

"Iraqis went to the polls in droves on December 15th and rejected the secular, pro-democracy candidates and those who the Administration in Washington propped up... According to General Vines, the top operational commander in Iraq, 'the vote is reported to be primarily along sectarian lines, which is not particularly heartening.' The new government he said 'must be a government by and for Iraqis, not sects.'"
Before we lionize Murtha, as some in the comments section over the Huffington Post have done, it should be noted that while this courageous effort should be lauded and supported, it would've been nice if he'd used his considerable hawkish clout to make this point beforehand, when those opposed to war made this exact same argument. But still...

Murtha ends with this call: "It is time to re-deploy our troops and to re-focus our attention on the real threats posed by global terrorism." (HuffPost)

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