This morning on Meet the Cuomo aide, Tim Russert's guest was firebrand Congressman and Congressional Cowardice Caucus Chairman, John Murtha. In addition to reiterating his invocation of the Clinton evacuation from Somalia in 1993 as the example the US should follow in Iraq, he described his plan to take out Zarqawi from bases outside of Iraq.
Russert played an interesting quote from Karl Rove to the effect that: if we bailed out of Iraq to leave it in shambles, what Persian Gulf nation would paint a target on its back by allowing us to operate from their soil with the implicit acceptance that if things went bad for them, the US would turn tail and run? Following that assertion, Russert queried Murtha on just how we could have taken out Zarqawi under such conditions. Without missing a beat Murtha accepted Rove's premise by claiming that the entire Zarqawi operation could have been run out of... Okinawa. Yeah, that's right, Okinawa. The basis of this claim is that Zarqawi was bombed (ostensibly from aircraft that could have come from outside Iraq) and therefore why not just pull chalks and slink back to Oki where we could comfortably launch bombing missions at will.
Of course this ignores the six week 24/7 Taskforce 145 "Unblinking Eye" intelligence and surveillance operation that led to having a Delta SR team with eyes on target and designating it with a laser. Apparently Murtha thinks that somebody called 1-800-ZARQAWI with 10 digit grid coordinates and voila! an F-16 launches from Okinawa and 10-12 hours later... poof, no more Zarqawi. Let's take a look at that infiltration shall we?
The straight yellow line extending across the middle of China and Iran is the distance from Okinawa to Baghdad as the crow flies which is approximately 4200 nautical miles. Obviously, the Chinese and the Iranians wouldn't be cool with that, but let's just roll with it. The max combat range for the F-16 with external fuel tanks and 2000 lbs of ordnance is 740 nautical miles so that's like a minimum of SIX midair refuelings in EACH direction.
This little display is hardly worth putting together, but I did it to demostrate that this man is dangerously deluded and not at all serious about an issue of critical national security significance. He is out there in the MSM just winging it and not being called to account whatsoever for statements that are so outlandish and absurd that they defy all attempts at comprehension.
The other interesting thing about this guy is that he is literally the only Democrat in Congress that has actually put forward ANY kind of alternative military strategy in Iraq. This is prescient to the controversary surrounding Ann Coulter's book Godless, where she contends that the liberals try to put forward spokesman who are in some way unassailable so that their assertions cannot be argued against. As an ex-Marine Colonel, Murtha is probably the senior military veteran in the Democratic Caucus which somehow earns him a pass on his ridiculous military proclamations. Since Murtha has been greenlighted to take the lead in Democratic military strategery, their plans should be subjected to the same scrutiny as the ones that are in currently in effect.
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.
If somebody can grab the video clip from this morning's Meet the Press and put it in the comments, that would be fantastic. I don't know where to find that stuff.