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Monday, November 21, 2005 

And About This Murtha Guy

U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a key Democrat on military issues, on Monday defended his call to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, saying he was reflecting Americans' sentiment.

"The public turned against this war before I said it," Murtha said. "The public is emotionally tied into finding a solution to this thing, and that's what I hope this administration is going to find out."

Murtha, 73, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said he has received support from the public since calling for the troop pullout on Thursday. He said he has gotten e-mails from World War II veterans and parents of American soldiers in Iraq.

Murtha noted that his great-grandfather served in the Civil War, his father and three uncles in World War II, and that he and his brothers were Marines. Murtha said western Pennsylvania, where his district is located, is a "hotbed of patriotism and they've lost confidence in this effort."

He said Iraqis must take control of their own destiny. […] Murtha said he believes President Bush needs to realize how citizens feel about the war.

Running the risk of sounding partisan for the right, I have to completely disagree with Murtha’s presentation, if not his logic. He is now trying to repaint his words from 18 Nov: "It's time to bring them home" or as far back as September 16, 2003, when he called for the immediate firing of President Bush’s defense leadership team. Or in May of 2004 when he was saying "We cannot prevail in this war as it is going today.”

Also note, that Murtha is claiming large marjority support by voters, yet a resolution calling for immediate troop withdrawal was offered by Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who acknowledged he had no intention of voting for it. It was rejected 403-3. This move was intended to make those, including Murtha, who vocally claim to support this, either go on record and defy their voters, or quit blowing smoke.

I agree that a more firm timetable needs to be put in place. I agree that the Iraqis need to begin taking a more active role in the security of their own country. But I do not agree that we should pull out now, and I do not agree that there is even a sizable portion of Americans that honestly think we should.

I see this as political posturing by a member of Congress, pushing an ideal (or agenda?) that he has held since the days of Clinton in Somalia. He is firmly against aggressive and/or active foreign policy, but now wants to shroud it in non-support for this war. It is an opportunistic move to take advantage of a situation. This was meant to counter Bush’s political assault on the “lied about WMD” crowd, but has turned into a Trojan horse for the Democrats, bringing to light their empty support for impossible causes.

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