Saturday, November 19, 2005

In another major setback for Bush, a major democratic congressional supporter of the war has now called for a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. The congressman, John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, says the troops are demoralized and poorly equipped. He went on to describe Bush's war as "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

Unlike many of his fellow Democrats, Murtha has the credentials to speak out on military matters. He served in the marines, and received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star while in Vietnam. He later became the first Vietnam vet to be elected to Congress.

Republicans wasted no time in lashing out at Murtha. They predictably accused the Democrats of siding with terrorists. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said of Murtha's speech, "Murtha and Democratic leaders have adopted a policy of cut and run. They would prefer that the United States surrender to the terrorists who would harm innocent Americans."

Well, maybe so. But let's also keep in mind that there were no terrorists in Iraq until after the invasion.... And that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.... And that there were no Iraqis among the 19 hijackers.

Bush himself responded to Murtha's comments by calling politicians who dare question him and his policies "dishonest and reprehensible."

And Murtha had a wonderful response to that: "I like guys who got five deferments and [have] never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done." He was referring to the fact that Cheney did not serve in the military (he received a deferment), and that Bush was an Air National Guardsman who did not leave the United States during the Vietnam War.