As we all know, Congressman Murtha is a decorated Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam. Most of his service was in the Reserves but that shouldn’t matter. He rose to the rank of full Colonel and surely had the requisite training along the way. After all, the Marine Corps doesn’t hand out the rank of Colonel for simply hanging around for 37 years.
As a Marine Colonel he knows the importance of planning and the many pitfalls inherent in having too rigid a plan. The unofficial motto of the Marine Corps is “Semper Gumby”, “Always Flexible”.
Therefore I am sure that his plan for “immediate redeployment” has been well thought out and the possible consequences weighed.
But, just as he is calling for President Bush to explain his strategy, the Congressman needs to explain his, and explain his reasoning on several points.
Via Betsy Newmark, I found this column by Clifford May that asks some of those questions.
The Shia of Iraq would turn to Iran’s mullahs for protection against both al-Qaeda and the Baathists. To whom else could they turn? If what followed was an Iranian anschluss – annexation – of southern Iraq, will you have a plan to deal with that contingency?
Iraqis who “collaborated” with us would undoubtedly face execution – perhaps tens of thousands of would be killed for revenge or just to send a message. I guess Congress could offer a resolution condemning such behavior.
Thousands, perhaps millions of Iraqis would no doubt flee the country. Should the U.S. accept them as refugees? Or turn them away?
In many other countries where al-Qaeda has been applying pressure — Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand to name just a few – three things would now be clear: (1) It is dangerous to be allied with the U.S.; (2) it is futile to resist al-Qaeda; and (3) bin Laden and Saddam were correct in predicting that if you bloody Americans, they will always turn tail and run.