November 30th, 2007
10:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Murtha clarifies surge remarks

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Following a headline-grabbing uproar, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, moved swiftly Friday to clarify earlier remarks that seemed to suggest the Iraq surge policy was working.

The surge, he said in a statement, “has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government,’’ but so far the Iraqi government has “failed to capitalize on the political and diplomatic steps that the surge was designed to provide.”

“The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable,” said the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

Murtha, who recently returned from a trip to Iraq, told reporters Thursday that the "surge is working." The statement stunned his colleagues – Democratic leadership, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, is currently blocking approval of full funding requested by the Bush administration for combat operations in Iraq next year without a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal.

Murtha’s comments seemed to represent a dramatic shift from his views earlier this year, when he said the surge was not working, and warned of looming disaster for U.S. military forces in Iraq. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer earlier this summer that the president's views on the success of the surge in Iraq were "delusional."

“Nothing's gotten better. Incidents have increased,” he told Blitzer. “We have had more Americans killed in the last four months than any other period during the war."

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Jack Heim Fort Worth, TX

    John Murtha. What a disgrace to the Marine Corps, and as a Congressman, pitiful. He came from the same school as John Kerry on "How to get a Purple Heart in three easy lessons". Just like John, Purple Hearts awarded, no overnight hospital stay required. My Father, a Sgt. USMC, WWII was wounded twice, shot in the hip when outflanked by the enemy, shrapnel from a hand grenade. Either case, band-aid or ace bandage, wouldn't help. His Purple Hearts, none. Didn't apply for them. His commanding officer never turned in the reports. My Dad didn't care. Murtha’s comment that "we cannot win militarily in Iraq"; it’s not consistent with The Marine Line of Thinking. So to the real subject, like trusting Congressman Murtha because he needs to clarify his comments? Forget it.

    December 1, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  2. Frank Virginia Beach VA

    Murtha's finding Pelosi's panties are too tight for him and he's trying to extricate himself.

    December 1, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  3. Willy, Chesapeake, VA

    Murtha you need to say I am Sorry to the Troops and then resign!

    December 1, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  4. Alice, VA

    I find the Democrats constant complaint that the Iraqi Govt is disfunctional to be ironic, since it appears the same is true of our own more mature Govt. Perhaps, we as Americans can learn something from the Iraqi grassroots reconciliation that appears to be taking place. Who knows, perhaps constructive change for Iraq will occur from the ground up rather than from the top down. Maybe, we as Americans, from both sides of the aisle, should take note.

    December 1, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. LeftyLoosey

    I'm here..., just know better than to fight against the obvious.

    December 1, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Angeleno, Los Angeles California

    "We don't want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud..."

    "The war will take six days, six weeks, I don't think six months..."

    "This war will be paid in full by Iraqi oil...."

    Don't you wingnuts ever get tired of the lies??? Do you not mind that BILLIONS of $$$ are being spent to rebuild Iraqi, while U.S. infrastructures, schools, etc. are neglected?

    Saying the "surge" is working, because it's reducing violence but the Iraqi govenment is no closer to becoming stabilized is like your mechanic saying he's fixed your water pump, but your car still doesn't work. Come on down and pick your car up!(Oh, and the bill is $500.00)

    December 1, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. David MTL Ca

    The Surge is working? then how come it has been the deadliest of times for American troops?
    Bush has turned the world against America remember they will have the NWO either by consent or by conquest
    Perhaps America will be conquered they tried the nice way and Americans objected now they will elect Rude E jewliani to make war with China and russia at a time when America is least capable to defend itself

    I can see it coming a short war with a few nukes fired and Jewliani proclaiming they won
    bye bye constitution bye bye America
    the NWO has spoken

    December 2, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By David MTL Ca : December 2, 2007 12:21 pm

    Congrats David, as a frequent poster for a long period of time, I believe your posting may be the stupidest and most bigoted that I have seen.

    I am not even a Rudy supporter and I hope that by remarking on your moronic and smallminded post that I do not encourage you to respond or post again, EVER.

    December 2, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  9. Georg Felis, Wamego KS

    In totally unrelated news, Nancy Pelosi released several members of Murtha’s family from a concrete basement cell…

    December 5, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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