The Democrats Iraq problem
There is other bad news for Democrats on Iraq. It is no longer an issue in the districts of the Democrats who have made the war an issue. H'mmm apparently illegal immigration is a bigger issue.
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 surge in Iraq were "delusional."
"Well it's delusional to say the least," Murtha told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "As I said earlier, and you heard me say it, it's a failed policy wrapped in illusion. Nothing's gotten better. Incidents have increased. We have had more Americans killed in the last four months than any other period during the war."
Murtha added: "I don't acknowledge there has been any progress made. Maybe in Baghdad. But it just breaks out someplace else. We called for extra troops two years ago. We put money in for 30,000 troops. They haven't even been able to raise the 30,000 troops they have. So they have to break all their guidelines. But there's no progress being made."
Back on June 3, during an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Murtha bashed the White House for "making excuses" on Iraq.
"They [the White House] keep saying the news media is being negative," Murtha said. "They keep making excuses for the lack of progress. I've been hearing this month after month and I'm absolutely convinced right now the surge isn't working and I'm convinced that if they don't pay attention to what I'm saying and a lot of other members of Congress are saying they're going to have a disaster on their hands because the American public want the troops out of Iraq."
More Murtha comments from the same interview: "I'm absolutely convinced the first step to stability in Iraq is redeployment and what they're saying, when you look at the figure, the figures that you and I see, the figures that we use all the time, oil production below pre-war level, electricity below pre-war level, a couple of hours of electricity in Baghdad some days and 60 percent unemployment some parts of Iraq. I mean, there's no way you're going to have success."
And here's Murtha from an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" on April 29: "The progress that they talk about is not there. Any of the economic things that I've seen doesn't show any progress. We've had 330 people killed since the surge began. More people killed in the last four months that were killed at any other time during the war. Fifty-three percent increase in American deaths. And this White House keeps saying we're making progress."
Murtha even yelled at a reporter during a recent press conference, telling the reporter that the news coming out of the Pentagon regarding Iraq is not believable.
"They don't need to do the things — you're missing the point — because the Pentagon says it, you believe it?," Murtha yelled. "You believe what the Pentagon says? Huh? With all the things that they have told us, you believe what — I mean, go back and look — 'mission accomplished,' Al Qaeda connection, weapons of mass destruction, on and on and on, and you believe the Pentagon?"
This Rasmussen poll explains much of their problem. "In what may be just as significant a finding, only 24% of voters now believe the terrorists are winning. That’s down from 30% a month ago and represents the lowest level of pessimism recorded since 2004." The number who believe we are winning if 47%. These numbers reflect just the early response to our victory on Iraq. As more people come to realize how wrong the Democrats have been about the war this year, the more they are going to turn against those who invested in our defeat.