After criticizing Karl Rove’s “fat backside,” Murtha put forth his fat-headed Okinawa plan:
MR. RUSSERT: You say redeploy. Again, Mr. Rove challenges that comment.
Let’s listen and give you again a chance to respond to the White House.
MR. ROVE: Congressman Murtha said, “Let’s redeploy them immediately to another country in the Middle East. Let’s get out of Iraq and go to another country.” My question is, what country would take us? What country would say after the United States cut and run from Iraq, what country in the Middle East would say, “Yeah. Paint a big target on our back and then you’ll cut and run on us.” What country would say that? What country would accept our troops?
MR. RUSSERT: What’s your response?
REP. MURTHA: There’s many countries understand the importance of stability in the Middle East. This is an international problem. We, we use 20 million barrels of oil a day. China’s the second largest user. All these countries understand you need stability for the energy supply that’s available in the Middle East. So there’s many, many countries.
MR. RUSSERT: Who?
REP. MURTHA: Kuwait’s one that will take us. Qatar, we already have bases in Qatar. So Bahrain. All those countries are willing to take the United States. Now, Saudi Arabia won’t because they wanted us out of there in the first place. So—and we don’t have to be right there. We can go to Okinawa. We, we don’t have—we can redeploy there almost instantly. So that’s not—that’s, that’s a fallacy. That, that’s just a statement to rial up people to support a failed policy wrapped in illusion.
MR. RUSSERT: But it’d be tough to have a timely response from Okinawa.
REP. MURTHA: Well, it—you know, they—when I say Okinawa, I, I’m saying troops in Okinawa. When I say a timely response, you know, our fighters can fly from Okinawa very quickly. And—and—when they don’t know we’re coming. There’s no question about it. And, and where those airplanes won’t—came from I can’t tell you, but, but I’ll tell you one thing, it doesn’t take very long for them to get in with cruise missiles or with, with fighter aircraft or, or attack aircraft, it doesn’t take any time at all. So we, we have done—this one particular operation, to say that that couldn’t have done, done—it was done from the outside, for heaven’s sakes.
Bloggers are snorting:
Bryan Preston: “The man is a lunatic.”
Tom Maguire: “Let’s set Rep. Murtha’s new redeployment strategy for Iraq to music.”
Froggy at Blackfive:
The Okinawa Option should be plastered all over the DNC in the 2006 elections, and we’ll see how long the Dems are willing to stand behind this kind of irresponsible and unserious policy from a man who has clearly become intoxicated with his own notoriety.
More: Media Blog has Murtha’s endorsement of the Somalia “strategy” on The Situation Room.
Reader Wake sends this 2003 reminder of how Okinawa feels about US troop presence…
Okinawa governor demands U.S. troops leave
TOKYO (AP) — Okinawa’s governor demanded U.S. forces leave the southern island, as residents marked the 58th anniversary Monday of the final land battle of World War II between U.S. and Japanese forces.
“We ask that the United States and Japan boost efforts to relocate U.S. bases from Okinawa and revise the U.S.-Japan security pact,” Keiichi Inamine said in a speech.
Nearly half of the 53,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan are on Okinawa, and Inamine said their presence remains a huge burden for residents. Inamine has repeatedly called for U.S. troop reductions there and made it a central part of his re-election campaign last year.
And this from 2005:
The United States and Japan agreed Saturday to step up military cooperation and substantially reduce the number of Marines on the strategically important southern island of Okinawa. The agreement calls for the phased withdrawal of 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam, a move that is expected to take six years.
There are 14,460 Marines in Japan, the largest Marine contingent based overseas. Nearly all are located on Okinawa, ideally situated for dealing with potential problems in the Pacific, such as a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Okinawans have long complained of crime ,crowding and noise associated with the Marine bases.
The agreement came after talks involving Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Japanese Defense Minister Yoshinori Ono and Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura.
Rumsfeld said at a joint news conference at the Defense Department the United States and Japan “agreed to findings and recommendations to strengthen the alliance and reduce the impact of the U.S. military on local communities.”
Where to now, Rep. Murtha?
NYTimes coverage here.