Hawkish Democrat says we should pull out of Iraq
Some interesting paragraphs of note:
"It is time for a change in direction," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats. "Our military is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."
In recent days, President Bush and other top administration officials have lashed out at critics of the war and have accused Democrats of advocating a "cut and run" strategy that will only embolden the insurgency.
Vice President Dick Cheney jumped into the fray Wednesday by assailing Democrats who contend the Bush administration manipulated intelligence on Iraq, calling their criticism "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."
Murtha, a Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam, angrily shot back at Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
Referring to Bush, Murtha added: "I resent the fact, on Veterans Day, he criticized Democrats for criticizing them."
Murtha voted to give the president authority to use force against Saddam Hussein in 2002 but in recent months has grown increasingly troubled with the direction of the war and with the Bush administration's handling of it.
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Murtha said.
Here is a transcript of the press conference.