Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

To: ajolympian2004
Here is my take on Rep Murtha's fallacious comments, hereon Liberating Iraq blog:

Representative Murtha Holds a News Conference on the War in Iraq, the press listens. Calling him a 'hawk' because this Democrat is not a reflexive left-wing partisan, the press plays up his dissents like they do those of John McCain and others. But the real 'meat' is the same shallow defeatism that the anti-war left has been harping on for years.

MURTHA: And I started out by saying the war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion.

"Advertised" by whom? The perception of the war is 57% of Americans apparently now belive the lie that Bush 'misled' us all into war. This is interesting because even Murtha admits:

A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait. The military drew a line, a red line around Baghdad, and they said, "When U.S. forces cross that line, they will be attacked by the Iraqis with weapons of mass destruction." And I believed it and they believed it. But the U.S. forces -- the commander said they were prepared. They said they had well-trained forces with the appropriate protective gear. Now, let me tell you, we spend more money on intelligence than any -- than all the countries in the world put together, and more on intelligence than most country's GDP. And when they say, "It's a world intelligence failure," it's a U.S. intelligence failure. It's a U.S. failure, and it's a failure in the way the intelligence was used.

Ah, the intelligence was misused' because rather than wringing our hands over the reports, or demand the 19th UN resolution, we actually decided to overthrow a Government?

I am one who, while concerned about the WMDs, never thought that was the main issue. Saddam was and always will be the most dangerous thing we could possibly find in Iraq. No amount of toxins, chemicals or radioactive materials could compare with a single man who killed over one million human beings through his actions. It was Saddam Hussein himself and his regime who, in countless ways, was the real danger in the mideast.

The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq. But it's time for a change in direction.... Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk.

If they have 'done all they can' then we are in hopeless defeat or in already-gained victory. Which is it? If our 'military is suffering' then it is not a victory. But in recent actions in Al Anbar, while we lost 3 men, the terrorists lost 80 men. This is hardly defeat. And as long as we are trading blows with terrorists in remote corners of Iraq with such kill ratios, how is continuing to occupy Iraq as they rebuild Iraq security risking our country?

It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region.

It is evident that the Democratic party is putting partisanship over patriotism. It is also evident that we have achieved many unsung successes.

General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing: "The perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency."

This is a complete mis-statement and mis-representation of the situation, and the core problem with Rep Murtha's position. First: The U.S. troops are not the sole nor even the main target of the insurgency and terrorists in 2005. Over 200 Iraqi police and military security officers and soldiers have been killed in each month since March, rising up until the summer then falling back. A total of 2200 policemen have been killed. Similarly, the number of Iraqi civilians killed this year overall is over 5,000, with most killed in the summer. In contrast, the U.S. has had fewer than 700 killed this year.

Morever, the killers of the civilians, the policemen, the Iraqi and American soliders are increasingly the 'Jihadists' and the Al Qaeda-aligned terrorist network headed by Zarqawi. We now know that Baathists have funded the groups, and that their motivation is not because we are there per se, but because they are no longer the Government. They want to destroy Iraq if they cannot run it.

Here are some other things Casey said in September in testimony to Congress:

First he confidently pointed out how small the enemy really is, and how isolated from the Iraqi people they are: "Senator, what I said was even by our most pessimistic estimates of the insurgency we estimated it to be less than 1 10th of 1 percent of the overall population of Iraq. And I think that's still about right."

General Casey said this in June testimony: " Now, we hear a lot about violence in Iraq, so I thought it might be useful to consider what the insurgents and terrorists have not done in the past year. They have not been able to expand their support base across Iraq, nor have they attracted a broad following, largely because they offer no positive vision for the future of Iraq. They have not prevented the growth of Iraqi security forces, even with almost daily attacks. They have lost their safe haven in Fallujah, and they have not been able to reconstitute another one. They have also not sparked sectarian violence, although they work at it every day, so strong is the Iraqi commitment to something better. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, they have not stopped political and economic development in Iraq."

What Rep Murtha offers is a convenient lie, and a dangerous lie, about what really motivates the terrorists insurgency. He should know better. Jihadism runs deeper than imagined grievances against our actions in Iraq.

General Abizaid said on the same date: "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

General Abizaid also said this, anticipating the kind of proposal Rep Murtha makes:

In other words, the consequences of giving up before we win this thing are too grave.

I've been visiting our wounded troops in Bethesda and Walter Reed, as some of you know, almost every week since the beginning of the war. And what demoralizes them is not the criticism. What demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace.

Much of our ground equipment is worn out. And I've told the CEOs of big companies, "You better get in the business of rehabilitating equipment because we're not going to be able to buy any new equipment because the money's not going to be there." George Washington said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace."

The best way to have peace is to win wars, to prove that threats we make will be credible. Bin Laden's scorn for the U.S. increased when he saw the U.S. withdraw from Somalia after the 'Blackhawk down' incident, and it is certain that this central battle in the war on terror will decide if global terrorism lasts mere years or many decades.

Pretending that we cannot afford to win a war but can afford to lose it through unilateral withdrawal is ludicrous. Our Federal Government spends over $2.4 trillion a year, and over $400 billion on the military. We can afford to win this war and prepare for the next one, and Rep Murtha should support defense funding accordingly.

I voted against every tax cut. Every tax cut I voted against. My wife says, "You shouldn't say that."

You shouldn't. Really. Those tax cuts have helped the economy and created jobs, and those Democrat policies would have left this country worse off.

And the college campuses always ask me about a draft. "Are you for a draft?" I say, "Yes, there's only two of us who voted for it, so you don't have to worry too much about it." The burden of this war has not been shared equally. The military and their families are shouldering the burden.

Ah, another bad idea he likes. So he wants us to lose the current war, raise taxes, force kids into an army but not send them anywhere, and spend a lot of money on weapons but never use them. I'd ask how he got elected with such a nutty set of beliefs but then I remember he is a Democrat.

Our military has been fighting this war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, captured or killed his closest associates, but the war continues to intensify.

If "Our military has accomplished its mission" How is that consistent with a "it's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion". The policy was to accomplish certain goals. He admits many goals were met. If we have accomplished many of them, then his criticisms are self-contradictory! Of course he mentions nothing about other key accomplishments: The political progress in getting an assembly elected, a Constitution written and a Constitution affirmed in a vote of 10 million Iraqis.

Our troops deserve a lot of credit. They have sacrificed a lot to win these milestones towards victory. The one thing lacking, the crucial lacking element, is the measure of stability in Iraq to say that peace is at hand. Those 2,000 lost young men and women represent some of the finest people in our nation.

Yet Rep Murtha does them little credit to use them as props for saying: "Deaths and injuries are growing, and over 2,079 of confirmed American deaths, over 15,500 have been seriously injured -- half of them returned to duty -- and it's estimated over 50,000 will suffer from what I call battle fatigue. And there have been reports at least 30,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed."

NO kidding. He almost talks as if there was a war on or something. Yet, so many errors, even here: "are growing"? False, Iraqi deaths have declined since the summer. U.S. soldier casualties are at lower rates than late last year, and are as high as they are mainly because our military is aggressively chasing the terrorists out of two-bit towns in al-Anbar province. Most indicators are of a weakened insurgency since the summer.

We've now received two reports. So I've just come from Iraq and I've looked at the next report. I'm disturbed by the findings in the key indicator areas.

I am disturbed by his bias and selective reporting:

Oil production and energy production are below prewar level. You remember they said that was going to pay for the war, and it's below prewar level.

Iraq earned an estimated $18.2 billion in oil export revenues during 2004, and is getting high revenues in 2005. The insurgents have attacked oil pipelines and infrastructure and cut off about 500,000 barrels a day of production through sabotage of infrastructure. From January through October, production averaged 1.8 million barrels a day: Attacks on oil costing Iraq at least $28 million a day

Lamenting this misses the point that - financially - due to high oil prices, this is still $30 billion dollars, far more than was collected in 2003 or 2004. Next year, as security improves, the amount of oil will increase.

On electricity, output is above pre-war levels.

Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent.

It takes a Democrat to shed tears over the grave damage of unspent Government money.

And I said on the floor of the House, when they passed the $87 billion, the $18 billion was the most important part of it because you've got to get people back to work; you've got electricity; you've got to get water. Unemployment is 60 percent. Now, they tell you in the United States it's less than that. So it may be 40 percent. But in Iraq, they told me it's 60 percent, when I was there. Clean water is scarce and they only spent $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects.

First: Iraq's economy has grown strongly:"GDP growth was estimated at 54 percent in 2004. This year is also expected to be strong, with GDP growth predicted at 34 percent. Iraq's "New Dinar" currency, introduced in 2003, has been performing strongly, appreciating by about 25 percent against the dollar in the past two years." Daily Star

Second, when the UN looked at unemployment in Iraq, they counted it at 20%. Maybe it is higher than an offical count, but the assumptions given above are based on no real data, just pessimistic assumptions.

Clear water is "scarce", compared to what? It reminds me of the "Afghanistan remains third world country". What does he expect? A shopping mall in every village? An SUV in every garage?

Here's a few facts from latest State Dept. weekly report: UN/UNICEF rehabbed water and sanitation in 368 schools, several hundred more on the drawing boards. PCO complete 96 water treatment projects and 105 more in progress.

One new report on a new water treatment plant says: "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region South District (GRS) has quality assurance responsibilities on 14 water treatment units and three water pipeline projects that will increase that drinkable water flow within the Najaf area. ... 28,109 people who are able to be served by one unit. Multiply that times 14 plants and these units can serve 393,926 people. And that is a substantial gain for the people of Najaf.”

Now that is just one project, helping hundreds of thousands. Add in water treatment plants in dozens of cities, and you have progress. At the time of transition to sovereignty June 2004, there were just over 200 reconstruction projects started. Today, there are over 2,700 projects started, valued at $6.4 billion. More than 1,600 projects are finished, with a value of $1.8 billion.

And, most importantly -- this is the most important point -- incidents have increased from 150 a week to over 700 in the last year.

This would be important, if it were true. Actually, the numbers were much higher at earlier times. There are fewer incidents now than in 2004.

Instead of attacks going down over a time when we had additional more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revolution at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled.

What?!?! A "revolution"?!?! Is he mad?!?! There was no revolution. There were some incidents in Abu Graib. They occured in 2003. They were exposed in 2004. They were exposed after the violence ramped up in late March and early April 2004. That violence was the direct result of a deliberate strategy of the insurgents to ruin the one-year anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein. As a consequence, we had a battle of Fallujah I. That battle left Fallujah in the hands of the "Fallujah Brigade", a strategy of co-option that failed and led to the need for the 2nd battle of Fallujah, where the insurgent were driven out of Fallujah. Simultaneously, al-Sadr made his war with America for a time. Abu Ghraib had nothing to do with these events, except for giving propaganda points to drive unpopularity of the occupation. However, the insurgency itself was operating prior to those events and had a plan to ramp up attacks anyway.

You look at the timeline. You'll see one per day average before Abu Ghraib. After Abu Ghraib, you'll see two a day -- two killed per day because of the dramatic impact that Abu Ghraib had on what we were doing.

This completely simplifies and mis-represents the real ebb and flow of the battle for Iraq during this low-level insurgency. One example: Mosul. Last December, 2004, was the high water mark for the insurgency in Mosul, after fleeing Fallujah, many came to Mosul and created havoc. Police stations were overrun, the police officers fled, and the military had to be called in repeatedly. The insurgents were able to bring 50 or more men to gun battles to face U.S. forces. They drew blood in many cases, but kill ratios were extreme and in our favor.

No more. Mosul has a much lower level of activity.

Another case, consider this: "While the fighting has been sporadic, commanders on the ground have characterized the operation as some of the heaviest since Operation Steel Curtain began. Intelligence reports indicate that the strong resistance to the Iraqi and coalition push into the city is due in large part to the fact that terrorists believe they are trapped and have nowhere else to go."

This sounds no different than Fallujah in November 2004, Samarra last fall; no different from Ramadi earlier, or Baghdad neighborhoods in May that got ringed by Iraqi troops. What is different is the place: Ubaydi, a two-bit town near the Syrian border. We have kicked terrorist butt from Mosul to Tikrit to Baghdad to Karbela to Fallujah. And now, this year, we have been fighting up and down the Euphrates rat lines. We are grinding the terrorists there into dust, and they are in some of their last outposts.

"Officials suspect that many of terrorists now fighting in Ubaydi fled from Husaybah and Karabilah, the first two cities secured by Iraqi and coalition Forces at the beginning of the operation."

Now look at the map. There are no more towns left in Iraq!

And the State Department reported in 2004, right before they quit putting reports out, that indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.

Oh, I see. Global terrorism increases at the same time as our war, therefore global terrorism increases *because* we are at war?

I said over a year ago now, the military and the administration agrees now that Iraq cannot be won militarily. I said two year ago, "The key to progress in Iraq is Iraqitize, internationalize and energize."

First, the military and administration have of course NOT said that we cannot win this war militarily, and emphatically have said the opposite. Look at the words of General Abizaid, or the recent comments of President Bush. Rep Murtha has dissembled by failing to note that the administration and any observer knows that Iraq cannot be won only by military means. And the blowhard Representative's statements of the obvious are exactly what the Bush administration has been saying for at least 18 months.

What do you call a fool who criticizes the administration for not doing what they are manifestly doing, then proposes to do exactly what they are already doing.

Iraqitize - never mind the Constitution, the assembly, the Iraqi Government, the training of forces - let's talk about what is happening every day in Iraq, like this Iraqi-lead cordon-and-search operation in Baghdad:

Of course, this was a joint operation. Most Iraqi operations they are doing on their own.

I believe and I have concluded the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress. Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces, and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, the Saddamists and the foreign jihadists. And let me tell you, they haven't captured any in this latest activity, so this idea that they're coming in from outside, we still think there's only 7 percent.

Wow, so much defeatist nonsense, where to begin.

It is false that U.S. troops are the primary target; the sad body count numbers indicate that Iraqi civilians are the primary terrorist target.

It is false that "U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis", that is a slur against Sunnis as well against U.S. troops. We are treating Sunnis well, and most Sunnis do not support the insurgents. Civilian tips have been essential in this war and the tips only get better.

And the comment 'they haven't captured any in the latest activity' fails to note the many, many cases of foreign jihadists being captured or killed. Consider this:

So, Rep Murtha is wrong on two counts. First, we are capturing terrorists in this operation, and second many of them are foreign fighters.

Why is Rep Murtha insistent on this fallacy of no foreign fighters? Because if the source or ongoing impetus of the insurgency is foreign, then it puts as a lie the concept that the insurgency is due to native resentment of an 'occupation'. The insurgency is paid for by baathists, the bombs are blown up by Jihadists. None of them are patriots for Iraq. But the real Iraqi patrioats are the ones supporting the Iraqi Government and the movement towards Iraqi democracy. Whether they like U.S. troops in Iraq or not, they and most Iraqis see the necessity of it until Iraq can defend herself.

I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted -- this is a British poll reported in the Washington Times -- over 80 percent of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition forces and about 45 percent of Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified.

I dont trust biased-worded polls that can mean anything and nothing at once, and I've already debunked my share of "opposed to presense" polls that translate into "dont leave yet but dont hang around". Here is a poll that can be trusted: Iraqis affirmed the Iraqi Constitution by 3 to 1 vote in October. 10 million Iraqis were in that poll. It showed clearly what Iraqis do want. They want to have a Federal democratic country where they can enjoy more freedom than any other people in the mideast.

This nonsense that it takes our withdrawal to get Iraqis "incentivized to take control" mises the big picture: Iraqis are now in control of their own country. If the Iraqi Government elected in December wants the U.S. forces to leave, we will leave. It will be the decision of the new, sovereign Government of Iraq.

And that is the bottom-line fallacy of Rep Murtha. He and the Democrats are caught in some time-warp, as if we are still in May 2004, and we are running a colony and the insurgent are 'freedom fighters'... we've been through that, done that, over that! Iraq is now an emerging democracy, and in December will pick its first permanent Government. Iraq will be master of her own destiny, for good or ill, then. I hope for good. And I hope it will finally seal the fate of the terrorists so completely that we understand the need to patiently complete the mission. I hope it will finally enable our own military to declare victory and hand off more responsibility to the Iraqi security forces themselves.

When our troops do leave Iraq, let us not go skulking or defensive or abashed. Let us leave proudly, knowing that we destroyed a dictatorship and secured freedom for a people and helped build a democratic nation in the midst of the Arab world. America and especially our military should be proud of Liberating Iraq, and I hope one day Americans will think of this with pride.

12 posted on 11/17/2005 10:48:27 PM PST by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]


To: WOSG

Pretending that we cannot afford to win a war but can afford to lose it through unilateral withdrawal is ludicrous.

(and disasterous)

Bump.


41 posted on 11/18/2005 4:41:10 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article


FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson