Posted In Govt.

Murtha Unaware of Consequences

Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) is calling for an immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. All the talk about Iraq deadlines and withdrawal dates recently must have the white flag industry here in the U.S. in a frenzy.

Murtha isn’t just some generic liberal hippie douche bag speaking of what he doesn’t know. Murtha served as a Marine and he’s a combat veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam. He’s served our country more than most people ever will.

The comments by the Pennsylvania lawmaker, who has spent three decades in the House, hold particular weight because he is close to many military commanders and has enormous credibility with his colleagues on defense issues. He voted for the war in 2002, and remains the top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Now, being such a highly respected member of the defense community, I’d expect him to put some thought into the consequences of our leaving Iraq immediately. Maybe he’s perfectly aware of possible consequences, but if he was I don’t think he’d have made that speech.

How would the troops serving in Iraq feel if we left immediately and in 3 months there’s another Saddam in place? Or even worse, one of the various radical muslim groups could take total control of the country. In either case, say buh-bye to the Kurds as an ethnic group.

Democrats will keep on pressuring the Bush administration to set deadlines until we’re totally out of Iraq. The entire world is in for a hell of a trip when democrats take control of congress and the white house again. I just hope they’re bright enough to realize what they’ve done shortly after they decide to let the islamo-nutjobs reign free. This isn’t a war in Iraq, it’s a war against an idea that growing numbers of muslims worldwide adhere to. That’s it, no way around it. I realize that it’ll take four or five different administrations before some democrats will acknowledge that.

I’m not sure we need to worry about these speeches encouraging the likes of Bin Laden and Zarqawi. I think we should worry more about this sort of thing getting really popular among Democrats and those who oppose the war on terror. Hopefully it won’t encourage the other lefties to really start whining and actually get something done in terms of some sort of troop pullout.

James Joyner of Outside The Beltway has a freakin huge post about Murtha’s speech. He’s got clips from major news outlets. He’s got clips from bloggers. Probably won’t get much better than his post if you’re looking for a roundup.

Professor Bainbridge thinks Iraq is a huge mistake and that leaving now would only compound that error. I can relate to that mentality somewhat though. I’ve come to the conclusion for myself though that going into Iraq was for the good of everyone. Waiting would have just provided more opportunity for attacks in the U.S. If we’re successful in establishing a totally self-contained, self-supported democracy in Iraq, it’ll be a key country in attacking radical muslim terrorists throughout the middle east.

Confederate Yankee has an update stating that Murtha said pretty much the same thing last year. Well, these statements are more likely to encourage a possibly damaging upheaval from Democrats. Maybe they’ll take a hostage. heh.

Brian over at Iowa Voice is noticing this theme too:

Seems like a theme of late, really. A so-called “party leader” comes out and says we must withdraw from Iraq “NOW!”, or face certain defeat. It must have been Representative John Murtha’s turn with the memo

Oh, and Mudville Gazette says the numbers Murtha used in his speech are misleading, sorta:

There have indeed been over 15,500 wounded. But of those, 8375 returned to duty within 72 hours – so although those wounds weren’t funny perhaps those wounds weren’t quite serious either. Still, 7347 troops have been wounded severely enough to require over 72 hours recuperation.

A lot of unscrupulous types who just want to pretend to “support the troops” ignore these facts in favor of the less correct (and more impressive) claim that 15,500 troops have been seriously wounded, or maimed, or mutilated. The real numbers are big enough – I just can’t understand why some feel the need to pad them.

Others currently blogging on this subject:
The Mahablog
Lorie Byrd @ Michelle Malkin
California Conservative
Don Surber
The Counterterrorism Blog
Blogs for Bush
Sister Toldjah
A Blog for All

Again, the key here is simply the fact that the war is against an idea, not Iraq or any specific geographic location.

Oh, in a related update, Dr. Rusty Shackleford is back to blogging. I think he doesn’t remember the nation being so “wobbly” a couple months ago. The amount of wobbly is the same, it’s just being screamed now, where it was shouted previously.

Well, now what?

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  • Great blog here & thanks for linking to my CalCon post.

    I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly with you that Murtha isn’t “just some generic liberal hippie douche bag speaking of what he doesn’t know.” Still, that doesn’t qualify him as a military expert, either.

    He hasn’t been charged with developing a war plan for even a minor skirmish in Iraq. He didn’t offer a single instance to point to why we need to get out of Iraq. He couldn’t say this to the military now serving in Iraq without getting booed off the stage.

    In short, his views don’t represent those of the vast majority of the military serving in Iraq & I hope (and I know) they never will.

  • john ryan

    I think the figure of 7300 wounded is not accurate. That is only 3.5 times the rate of KIA.Here is a link to Stars and Stripes that says that 20,000 were treated at a hospital in Germany. Understating the amount of wounded does a grave disservice to all in uniform.

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  • Bryan M. Chesmer

    I have a question for everyone.

    What more can be accomplished with the continued presence in Iraq at the current troop levels?

    Also, what’s your view of when the Iraqis will be able to handle things on their own?

    Note: To left & right extremists – I would like some civilized discussion on this, not the same old rhetoric from either side 😉

    Thanks in advance to all who respond!

  • The continued troop presence in Iraq will help ensure a totally self contained democracy. Iraq hasn’t even voted on a permenant government yet. That’ll happen in a little less than a month.

    Talking about leaving before they’ve even got a permenant government in place is insane. The job isn’t done, it’s that simple.

  • I think that Congressman Murtha is “aware” of a lot more than you guys are giving him credit for.

    He supported the Iraq war (and from what I’ve seen, I don’t see any evidence that his support was insincere), and now, like many pro-war Democrats and pro-war Republicans, he is having second thoughts. Barry Campbell’s comment post is appropriate.

    However, regarding the issue of our current policy in Iraq, the arguments that people are making, in favor of the liberal internationalism that our government is engaged in, in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc… – those are statist arguments… the same kind that liberals made against the 1996 welfare reform bill, and the same kind that Al Gore and the liberal Democrats made against George W. Bush in 2000, regarding now-President Bush’s desire to withdraw troops from foreign operations, and end nation-building. The liberal internationalist foreign policy agenda in Iraq needs to end, and we need to pursue the more conservative foreign policy that George W. Bush initially got elected upon.