John al-Murtha is truly now Bozo the Clown. If this Okinawa crap does not remove his unwarranted reputation as a military sage then nothing will.....
(1) Okinawa is not only 4500 miles away "as the crow flies" but there's the inconvenient fact that the vastness of China falls in the middle of that - so in reality planes have to go completely around the Asian continent, probably close to 8000 miles (since it's rather unlikely that even friendlier India would want US military flights overhead).
(2) The US is in the midst of an agreed upon multi-year plan to slash the number of Marines based in Okinawa in half, since it has been a huge political problem with Japan's government to deal with local opposition to our bases. The idea that we could suddenly decide ("unilaterally" it appears) to trash that agreement and pour 100,000 or more troops in there, plus entire air wings, simply does not meet the "laugh test."
(3) Okinawa is not just "over the horizon" for rapid deployment purposes, it is almost 1/3 of the way around the globe (when you take account of the circuitous route that planes and ships would have to follow). The idea that a major redeployment of forces from Iraq to Okinawa could occur at all, or that it could continue to support security on the ground in Iraq in any major way, is simply laughable.
That's not to say that we can't always deploy some limited "rapid response" forces from anywhere in the world to Iraq, but the idea of using Okinawa bases to address the strategic and operational issues in Iraq is what is just plain silly.
Murtha deserves to be flayed for his Okinawa proposal, for it shows that he has no understanding of the issues involved and no plausible ideas about what to do next.
Regarding our bases in Okinawa, when will we have an exit strategery to withdraw? Hostilities from WW2 have been over for more than 60 years, isn't it about time we brought our troops home?