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Another interesting apostate was Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. A twice Medal of Honor winner for action in the Phillipines and Latin Aamerica, who also wrote many counter insurgency manuals for the US military, became after his retirement an outspoken opponent of US intervention. He famously wrote a book titled War is a Racket and spoke in front of many left wing and front groups during the 30's. He destroyed his own reputation by claiming he had evidence of a right-wing coup plot against Roosevelt. And like many leftists today he was or at least associated with anti-Semites.

Murtha isn't saying anything he wasn't saying 12 months ago. That Nancy Pelosi and her allies in the MSM were pushing "Quagmire" and failure all summer to get us to this point is being ignored. All Murtha did was restate his position. The Murtha Bill is for immeadiate withdrawal. Saying it's not is a bald faced lie.

Just because you are a decorated Marine veterian and congressmam doesn't mean squat. You can still be wrong and Murtha, the MSM and all the TRANZIs pushing this stupidty are.

Bush has 2 problems. One, He failed to respond to this attack as soon as it started months ago. He didn't smack these people down and put them in their place. He let them run free spreading this BS. Two, He never educated the general public to understand the true nature of the enemy we are facing in the general WoT. We are in a real war. Only 15% of the population in the West understands this (I may be high in my estimate.) 100% of the Islamic world does ( don't think I am to high in this estimate.) Failure to clearly identify and explain the belief system and philosophy of our Adversaries is a failure.

Murtha is wrong.

Mac Arthur was right about Red-China when he suggested to bomb them into stone age after they attacked UN Forces in North Korea. Perhaps he foresaw Mao´s true intentions when he critized Roosevelt in 1944. FDR as well as Truman dedicated much more troops and material to the european theater which was not totally wrong of course, but a little more support for the pacific front might have changed some of the war results in Korea and China, who knows?
The difference between Murtha and Mac Arthur is that Mac Arthur was in charge of winning a war when he critized the presidents of his time, Murtha is a civilian who is jumping on the train of countless backbench democrats. Not even Hillary subscribes to his point of view

I am a decorated combat veteran whose service predates that of Murtha. I consider his suggestion to be disasterous. He would have us trade reasonably secure ground bases for the prospect of making a hot LZ attack into the arms of the enemy. He attacks civilian control of the military when he took the same oath I did, to obey that civilian control. The ultimate was when he wrapped himself in the bloody shirt and the flag. What did he buy with those 30 pieces of silver?

Evidently the Iraqi people agree with congressman Murtha. But their opinion has never counted.

@ Vic,

Considering how lopsided the results of the poll were with respect to certain questions (one answer stated that less than 1% of respondents thought the coalition was improving security), we really have to question its validity, accuracy and usefulness. This is especially true since the article admits that the results are quite different from other recent polls. So before you accuse others of cherrypicking data, please don't link to shady "secret" polls done in limited stretches of Iraq and claim that it represents the views of the entire Iraqi people. That is simply intellectually dishonest

War is an underinformed officer ordering a terrified private to attack an objective of dubious worth. As he pisses his pants, the private shoots something--anything, everything--moving in the distance. The side that fills its pants first, loses.

Iraq the Model On the Cairo conference and its final statement...

I trust elections way more that I trust such events sponsored by a dying league. If we want to improve our conditions then we (Iraqis) must first think well before making our choice this time.

I say it again, those who claim they speak for all or most Iraqis and that troops withdrawal is a public demand should enter the election and wait for the results and when he wins, then he will have the right to say so because only then, he would be representing the people.


Just to put things into perspective:

154 police officers died in the line of duty in the US in 2004.

In a six-year period, 1995-2000, officer deaths averaged 159 per year. In 2001, the year of the Sept. 11 attacks, 234 officers died in the line of duty.

Compare that to 2000 fallen soldiers over two years in a war zone.

It's noteworthy that Murtha himself is rowing back furiously on his earlier comments at the moment, trying to peddle the lie that he never called for immediate withdrawal. That lie was nicely exploded in The Truth Laid Bear yesterday. When the Administration took him at his word and called for a vote on immediate withdrawal, the left screamed foul, claiming Murtha really meant withdrawal in six months, etc. Think the "pro-Bush" US mainstream media called them on this latest piece of blatant historical revisionism? Guess again. Meanwhile leftie US warbloggers like Andrew Sullivan, who were foaming at the mouth to stampede us into the war in the first place now spend all their time promoting the morale of the troops by bitching and moaning about the incompetence of the Administration in the tradition of MacArthur, apparently forgetting the homely truth that, when your nation is at war, it is advisable to concentrate some of your efforts on actually fighting the enemy. I guess that's consistent with Sullivan's earlier position that we could solve the problem of Administration incometence and win the war by putting someone in charge who famously collaborated with the enemy and did his level best to defeat his own country during the Vietnam conflict.

Aside to you Vietnam vets out there: we've seen all this before, haven't we? I think many of us who've been there before could see this coming. That's one of the reasons I opposed getting involved in Iraq in the first place. Too much to lose and too little to gain. I'm aware that's not the most generous of sentiments. Still I think Lincoln achieved a lot more with his pragmatism than a thousand John Browns could ever have accomplished with noble, heroic, and, ultimately, futile gestures.

Regardless of such afterthoughts, we are now at war, a great deal is at stake. In spite of all the whining and bitching of sunny day heroes like Andrew Sullivan, we can certainly still achieve victory in this war, in the same way that victories are always won, by national resolve and determination to see the battle through to the end. Failure of will is not the inevitable fate of democracies. In World War II the fate of France was not shared by Britain and the US. We certainly have the military means to win, and our enemy is far weaker and more vulnerable than he was in Vietnam. The question is, do we have the necessary resolve and determination. Bin Laden has very rationally argued that we do not, citing the examples of Vietnam, Somalia, and Beirut. We will see if he was right in the not too distant future. For the sake of the people of Iraq, I hope not.

We should certainly add Gen. McClellan of the Civil War to this list of war heroes who were wrong

As for Murtha - interesting information from Opinion Journal
In the Times of London, anti-Bush hysteric Andrew Sullivan lauds Rep. John Murtha:

"All you have to do is look at John Murtha to see what he represents. He's a white-haired, red-faced pro-war Democrat with a record of 37 years of service in the US Marines."

Democratic chairman Howard Dean cited the "37 years" figure in an e-mail to supporters last week too. It's true, in a sense, but misleading. It makes it sound as though Murtha was a career military man. In fact, according to his congressional biography, Murtha was on active duty for six years at most (1952-55 and 1966-67); the rest of the time, including some 16 of his nearly 32 years in the House, he was a reservist.

We don't mean to disparage Murtha's service, but why do the Democrats always seem to exaggerate these things? John Kerry* was a "war hero" for serving 120 days in Vietnam and earning an improbable number of medals. In 2002 pro-Saddam Rep. Jim McDermott claimed that he and then-Rep. David Bonior served in Vietnam. In fact, McDermott served as a naval psychiatrist and Bonior as an Air Force cook--both in California.

Let's honor the service of all veterans--including, by the way, those who wore the uniform of the Texas Air National Guard, and those who criticize John Kerry. But all this phony jingoism in the service of weakness on national security has us nostalgic for the days when the Democrats nominated an honest-to-goodness draft avoider for president.


And Helian - I would suggest success in Iraq is vitally important for the sake of the entire Western World ( see France )

Two thoughts,

Dugout Doug's thoughts were centered on Dougout Doug. He also wanted to cobalt the Yalu river (the radioactive cobalt).

I was also in Vietnam, albeit before Sen. sKerry, my mistake was that I didn't hit the gedunk stand for my purple hearts when he did.

My take on Murtha: I'm repulsed. Yes, the country abandoned its soldiers in Vietnam, to our everlasting shame, and it appears that Murtha was one of the victims. However, being a victim does not excuse vengence, and this is how this comes across -- he got it done to him, so now he wants to do it to someone else to "get even". That the "someone else" consists largely of soldiers who weren't even born yet when Saigon fell in 1974 does not seem to make any difference to the Rep. It's like something else that we've discussed here before -- latter-day German citizens, who weren't born yet when WWII ended, being blamed for the actions of the Nazis.

(And actually, now, even the flimsy pretext may be out the window. If the info I have is right, it seems that Murtha's last year of active duty was in 1967; that was before the anti-war movement really got going in the U.S.)

The one other thing I want to mention here is: I think this should the end of people claiming moral superiority on an issue based on their previous experience with that issue. Despite his previous service, Murtha's stance was morally wrong. He himself obviously realized it the moment that he was challenged to back it up with a vote (brilliant move by the House Republicans, BTW). His Vietnam experience didn't give him any better insight than, well, me.

@CousinDave: "The one other thing I want to mention here is: I think this should the end of people claiming moral superiority on an issue based on their previous experience with that issue."

It SHOULD be the end of it, but it won't be. The left has only one playbook, and they keep performing the same old tricks decade after decade. I'm afraid we won't see the end of this tactic until the political scene is completely purged of my generation :(.

Hello all,
As many of you know, I live and breathe inside the beltway. Sometimes I am constrained from commenting here because of that.

However, it is now just starting to leak out, so I am not revealing anything.

Google "John Murtha+KSA Consulting".

KSA Consulting is Murtha's brother's lobbying firm.

Just my contribution to the Murtha 'perspective'.

Apologies for the cynicism.

How did Murtha get a reputation as a Hawk? There is nothing new in his latest position he was saying the same things after Mogadishu
Did Murtha Urge Retreat From Somalia?

@Dan Kauffman
>>How did Murtha get a reputation as a Hawk?


Career military. Just like Wesley Clarke. The American MSM can't get it's head around the idea that soldiers can be politicians. Unless they're talking about Napoleon.

In which case they fawn all over deVillepin. The Poet.

Have you ever wondered why there hasn't been one biography of Eisenhower worth the powder to blow it to hell? It's all about how his personality just made all the Allied generals get along.

Nobody notes the aspect of his personality in evidence when the Germans signed surrender. That hard-ass contempt was at odds with 'Ike'. The American MSM would rather speculate about his relationship with Kay Summersby.

As much as I despise the European media, the American media is no better. Lazy. Scandal-driven. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did more to corrupt the role of media in American public life in my lifetime than any other entity except Walter Cronkite.


What about the book by Stephen Ambrose? Was it different that the others?

Most reputable biographies on Eisenhower rarely mention Kay Summersby at all. Geoffrey Perret's Eisehower notes that the General on several occassions acted or spoke contrary to his mainstream image as solely a political leader. At the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge Eisenhower remarked that now the US and the UK could kill even more Germans because of the concentration of troops in the Ardennes salient. He kept offensive operations going in the Huertgen Forest simply to pin the Germans down and to kill as many as possible through attrition. He famously asked American troops to kill all Germans as the quickest way to end the war. If people see him as some sort of khaki-clad bureaucrat then that is their mistake.

NEVER AGAIN! Says Congressman
take a Congressman who wanted us to pull out of Iraq a year and half ago, advised Clinton to pull out of Somalia, and suddenly it is Top newsworthy that NOW he still wants us out of Iraq and we have breathless coverage that "Democratic Hawk" changes position on Iraq? What Hawk? What Change?

Now Congressman Sam Johnson, gets up and says the complete opposite and do you THINK you are going to hear about it?

“I know what it’s like to be far from home – serving your country – risking your life – and hearing that America doesn't care about you… Your Congress doesn't't’t care about you. Your Congress just cut all funding for your war. They’re packing up and going home – and leaving you here.

“When I was a POW, I was scared to death when our Congress talked about pulling the plug that I would be left there forever"

Just as the dems continuing to harp on Bush's Guard service brought the Swift Boat vets out, perhaps we need to look closer at Murtha's service. Anyone know more than dates?

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