Murtha Waves The White Flag
I have never been in combat. I served in the army, but never heard a shot fired in anger. If you require a person to have first hand knowledge of what it's like to get shot in order to comment on the war then read no farther.
I am stating this clearly to separate myself from the Rep. John Murtha and several milbloggers I will link to later. Murtha's comments yesterday are doing a terrible disservice to the men and women fighting in Iraq. In fact the wording of his denouncement of the war, which he voted for, is so out of the ordinary for this decorated Vietnam Marine veteran that I have to wonder if he has not had some type of memory lapse.
In the CNN report Murtha said, the Bush administration's management of the conflict "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," and said the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is "uniting the enemy against us." (Watch Murtha's take on 'flawed policy wrapped in illusion' -- 8:11) "It's time to bring the troops home," he said, noting that a withdrawal would take about six months to complete.
Murtha was a Marine colonel, a rank not easily attained. He served in Vietnam and could not have been all that happy with the likes of Jane Fonda and others who openly called the war a mistake lobbied hard for its ending.
So what in the world is Murtha doing making comments akin to what John Kerry did after his Vietnam experience ended? He has to know that any statement coming from a US government official will be used as fodder for the terrorist propaganda machine. He is yanking the carpet right out from under our guys on the front lines.
According to every media report on Murtha that I've read, he has always been a strong advocate of the military. He distincly did not pull a Kerry and stab his fellow veteran's in the back. This makes his commentary even more powerful in our enemies hands. I can understand if he feels the war is not going according to plan, no war ever does, but why not work behind the scenes to get the troops home. By doing the opposite he is giving the terrorists more reason to hold on longer, to fight harder and kill more soldiers and Marines.
I suppose he feels going public will make events happen quicker.
I personally do not advocate a quick exit at this stage of the war. If we leave with Iraq in a state of chaos then all the troops will have died in vain. Creating a stable Iraq will save lives down the road, with or with WMD ever having been found.
I think Rep. Murtha has lost touch with those in the military. Those writing Mil blogs do not paint a rosey picture of what is happening in Iraq, but they also show that much good is being done, and also being ignored by the main stream media. Check out blog for some more on this angle.
Murtha took VP Cheney to task as a person who avoided military service, yet sends people off to war. ( I wonder what his opinion on fellow Dem Clinton is?) While I personally feel this is a semi-justified comment, the point of the matter is civilians control our military. Many high government officials have not served in the military nor should they be required to do so.