Democrat says Bush moving towards early withdrawal of US troops in Iraq We won't lose in Iraq, but if, and that's a big If we did, it's with the help of the democrats. 12-04-2005, 20h00 WASHINGTON (AFP) http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=82650 US soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment wait for their comrades to move forward into a street during a night raid for suspected activities, in a restive neighborhood south of Baghdad, Iraq, early 26 November 2005. The US lawmaker who unleashed a heated debate with his call for a US troop pullout of Iraq said that he believed President George W. Bush's administration was moving towards his point of view. (AFP/File) The US lawmaker who unleashed a heated debate with his call for a US troop pullout of Iraq said that he believed President George W. Bush's administration was moving towards his point of view. "I think this administration is coming around," said Democratic Representative John Murtha, a staunchly pro-military former marine, speaking on ABC television's "This Week" program. "I see the signals that they're starting to realize that the military has done everything it can do. The military has accomplished its mission," he said. Murtha, who had strongly supported the decision to invade Iraq, lobbed a political bombshell last month by saying the time had come for US forces to quit Iraq. Last week, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, further stunned the Washington political establishment by endorsing Murtha's call. Murtha said that the US military presence was helping to feed a violent insurgency. "The insurgency will be reduced if we get out of there," said Murtha, who has called for withdrawing the US contingent over a six month period. With a growing number of US voters questioning the US presence in Iraq, the Bush administration has started to speak openly about plans to reduce the number of troops in Iraq over the next year. A top administration official told ABC that the White House had always been committed to pulling out US troops in a timely fashion. "Everybody, in the end of the day, wants a stable Iraq with the coalition forces back home. That's what Iraqis want. It's what we want," said Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to the president, said on the same program. "The question is how you get there." Hadley argued against an immediate withdrawal, saying it would play into the hands of terrorists who want to secure Iraq as a base for operations. Hadley said the administration is eyeing "adjustments in the forces ... and ultimately reductions in the number of troops that need to be there." He repeated Bush's stance that US troops would be scaled back as Iraqi security forces are trained and ready to assume authority. Another prominent Democrat, Senator Joseph Biden, said that the number of troops should be reduced gradually but that more attention should be focused on securing a political settlement that reassures Iraq's Sunni minority. "There has to be some concessions on the part of the Shia, some concessions on the part of the Kurds to get buy-in from the Sunnis. And that is the number one overwhelming requirement," Biden told CNN's "Late Edition." Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who was defeated by Bush in last year's election, said that the White House had to recognize that the presence of US soldiers was providing ammunition to the insurgency and holding back political progress. The US-led occupation "delays the willingness and ability of the Iraqis to stand up for themselves," Kerry told CBS "Face the Nation." Kerry said the size of the US force should be reduced over the next 12 months. "And our troops could redeploy, pull back into a more garrisoned rear position. They don't need to leave totally," Kerry said. Republican Senator John McCain said that the Bush administration had mismanaged important aspects of the war but said the mission was important and needed to be carried out without a "premature withdrawal." "Serious mistakes are made in every war. Serious mistakes were made in this one, but I really believe that there is progress being made, that we can be guardedly optimistic, but I think we have to understand that it's very, very tough and hard." According to a commentator writing in The Washington Post, public opinion had now turned definitively against the war. "The problem is that many Americans see no stakes in Iraq sufficient to justify the military effort and diplomatic cost," wrote Jonathan Rauch, a guest scholar at a Washington think tank, the Brookings Institution.