Ruppersberger: Pull back troops from Iraq's cities
by bob allen
Just back from his most recent trip to Iraq, 2nd District U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger has presented a plan that would pull U.S. and coalition forces out of Baghdad and other urban areas of the war-torn Middle Eastern nation.
Ruppersberger calls his proposal the Perimeter Plan for Iraq. He formally proposed it earlier this month in a memo to fellow U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat representing Pennsylvania who has been one of Congress's most vocal opponents of the war. Ruppersberger said he has also presented his plan in person to President Bush on two occasions.
"It's really getting a lot of play," said Ruppersberger, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence who has visited Iraq four times. "Jack Murtha has met with me, and he approves it, though unlike his plan it is not 'date certain'. He said this was the right first step to a gradual troop draw-down."
What good is having our troops in Iraq if they're not where they are needed?
It's much akin to deploying troops to New Orleans but having them stationed in Gulf Port til the rioting quiets down. Yet the brilliant military strategist Murtha asserts:
..."it's not a bad idea .... I think Dutch has some good points."
Ruppersberger (btw--anyone heard about him before this?) tries to further impress his new found mentor, Murtha.
"We have the best training and technology, yet we are fighting the insurgents on their level and losing every day," said Ruppersberger, citing the large number of U.S soldiers killed in urban areas by improvised explosive devices favored by the insurgents.Ruppersberger goes on, parroting the Murtha line:
Besides providing a first step for the gradual pullout of U.S. forces, Ruppersberger said, the plan would send a message to the Iraqi people by lowering the U.S. military's profile.
"This would say to the Iraqi people that they now have a government capable of providing for their security," said Ruppersberger, a second-term congressman who was not a member at the time Congress approved the Iraq invasion. "I think it would also calm down the insurgency, because many Iraqis still see the U.S. as invaders," he said.
Err.. Mr. Ruppersberger, we at Murtha Must Go! (and others) would beg to differ. Time will come when the United States troops will stand down in Iraq and let the local government, military and law enforcement officials take over. But it will be on the Iraqi's and the Commander in Chief's timetable, not yours or Congressman Murtha's. Our success in Iraq is not a playtoy to be manipulated so as to provide a favorable outcome for your candidacy or for your party. It is a mission that will not be accomplished until it is accomplished.
From the Iraq Victory Plan (yes, there is one, Mr. Murtha)...
- Our Victory Strategy Is (and Must Be) Conditions Based
- With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a date certain.
- No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one.
- But lack of a timetable does not mean our posture in Iraq (both military and civilian) will remain static over time. As conditions change, our posture will change.
- We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience.
- While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may organize.
- Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete.
Then again, tough shit.