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By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of ThadeusandWeez.com
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From NYTime.com:

November 18, 2005
Rapid Pullout From Iraq Urged by Key Democrat
By ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 - The partisan furor over the Iraq war ratcheted up sharply on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as an influential House Democrat on military matters called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops and Republicans escalated their attacks against the Bush administration's critics.

Representative John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Vietnam combat veteran who voted for the Iraq war, said that after more than two years of combat, American forces had united a disparate array of insurgents in a seemingly endless cycle of violence that was impeding Iraq's progress toward stability and self-governance. He said the 153,000 American troops in Iraq should be pulled out within six months.

"Our military has done everything that has been asked of them. It is time to bring them home," Mr. Murtha said, at times choking back tears. Mr. Murtha's proposal, which goes well beyond the phased withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq that other moderate Democrats have proposed, stunned many Republicans who quickly held their own news conference to criticize the plan.

..."Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency," said Mr. Murtha, who visited Iraq in late August. "We have become a catalyst for the violence."

If approved by the House and Senate, Mr. Murtha's resolution would force the president to withdraw United States troops "at the earliest practicable date," which he said could be six months. Under his plan, the Pentagon would retain a quick-reaction force in the region, as well as marines within a few sailing days.

...In a speech on Wednesday night, Vice President Dick Cheney said senators who had suggested that the administration had manipulated the intelligence were making "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."

...When asked about Mr. Cheney's remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Murtha replied sarcastically: "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."

In the Vietnam era, Mr. Cheney had five deferments and did not serve in the military.

...[President Bush, in South Korea, continued on Friday to be questioned by reporters about the debate over Iraq. His press secretary issued an unusually blistering statement responding to Mr. Murtha's call for a pullout, declaring that the Democrat was "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party." Page A16.]

11.18.05

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