Rep. John Murtha, one of the most vociferous opponents of the Iraq War is now saying that the surge is working:
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), one of the leading anti-war voices in the House Democratic Caucus, is back from a trip to Iraq and he now says the “surge is working.” This could be a huge problem for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders, who are blocking approval of the full $200 billion being sought by President Bush for combat operations in Iraq in 2008.
Murtha’s latest comments are also a stark reversal from what he said earlier in the year. The Pennsylvania Democrat, who chairs the powerful Defense subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, has previously stated that the surge “is not working” and the United States faced a military disaster in Iraq.
Murtha told CNN on July 12, following a Bush speech, that the president’s views on the success of [the] surge in Iraq were “delusional.”
Apparently it’s no longer as “delusional” as it once was. The reality on the ground in Iraq has now reached a point where it’s no longer deniable. This puts the Democrats in a bind: they’ve argued all year that the “surge” was doomed to failure, that Iraq was going to collapse into civil war, and that the only thing we could do was go home. Now, all those predictions have proven to be wrong—the “surge” did work, violence is down, and Iraqi refugees are returning to home.
Of course, the narrative has already changed that the “real” goal of the surge was to get the Iraqi government to make political concessions rather than simply laying the groundwork for those concessions to be possible. However, that’s a transparent attempt to try and ignore the very real progress that’s been made: and the more obvious that progress becomes, the harder it is to change the subject—especially when the word “quagmire” was used so capriciously.
It will be interesting to see what Rep. Pelosi’s reaction will be as more members of the House start backing away from the defeat-at-any-price coalition, it’s going to be harder and harder to play political games over war funding. When even John “Redeploy to Okinawa” Murtha is forced to admit that the military goals of the surge are being met, it’s clear that the line that the surge was a failure and it’s “delusional” to think that it could work just won’t fly anymore.