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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Murtha Makes His Case

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha, a 37-year Marine Corps veteran who has endorsed Coleen, laid out in detail today his reasons for wanting to change course in Iraq:

  • In September, 776 U.S troops were wounded in Iraq, the highest monthly toll in more than two years.
  • Over the past year, the number of attacks against U.S. personnel has doubled, rising from 400 to more than 800 per week.
  • Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, recently acknowledged that sectarian violence has replaced the insurgency as the single biggest threat to Iraq.
  • In the past two months, 6,000 Iraqis died, more than in the first year of the war.
  • Last week, electricity output averaged 2.4 hours per day in Baghdad and 10.4 hours nationwide -- 7 percent less than in the same period in 2005.
  • A Sept. 27 World Public Opinion poll indicated that 91 percent of Iraqi Sunnis and 74 percent of Iraqi Shiites want the Iraqi government to ask U.S.-led forces to withdraw within a year. Ninety-seven percent of Sunnis and 82 percent of Shiites said that the U.S. military presence is "provoking more conflict than it is preventing." And Iraqi support for attacks against U.S.-led forces has increased sharply over the past few months, from 47 percent to 61 percent.

Now, Karl Rove may call me a defeatist, but can anyone living in the real world deny that these statistics are heading in the wrong direction? Yet despite this bleak record of performance, the president continues to stand by his team of failed architects, preferring to prop them up instead of demanding accountability.

Democrats are fighting a war on two fronts: One is combating the spin and intimidation that defines this administration. The other is fighting to change course, to do things better, to substitute smart, disciplined strategy for dogma and denial in Iraq.

That's not defeatism. That's our duty.

Murtha also asks:

We are seeing an astonishing and unprecedented parade of retired U.S. generals calling for a new direction in Iraq. These are voices of bravery, experience, conscience and loyalty. These are men who have been taught to look coldly and objectively at the facts of bloodshed. Can they all be wrong? How about the 15 intelligence agencies that recently offered the opinion that this war has not made us safer? Are they all defeatists? Are they to be ignored?

John Kline believes the answer is yes. Coleen Rowley believes the answer is no. It's really that simple.

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