Skip to comments.Murtha's got it wrong: We're winning in Iraq
Posted on 12/27/2005 5:10:43 AM PST by KeyLargo
Murtha's got it wrong: We're winning in Iraq
December 27, 2005
BY JOHN O'SULLIVAN
Five weeks ago a wave of hysteria swept through Washington. Suddenly the Washington establishment became convinced that the war in Iraq was lost. This conviction was sparked off by the speech of Rep. John Murtha, a crusty former Marine usually described as a conservative Democrat, who declared that U.S. policy in Iraq was "a flawed policy wrapped in an illusion" and called for "immediate redeployment" of U.S. troops.
The speech was like a match on a bonfire. Murtha was the lead story in newspapers and on network news programs. He was echoed first by columnists and, after a cautious period of watching the reaction, by his fellow Democrats. News analysts on all sides stressed the vital significance of what Murtha had said.
From the extreme left, Alex Cockburn confided that Murtha was merely retailing what four-star Pentagon generals believed to be the grim reality of failure in Iraq. On the right, Rod Dreher of National Review Online warned the GOP that this speech could be "a Cronkite moment" when the U.S. people decisively turned against the Iraq venture like the Tet offensive in Vietnam that Walter Cronkite famously (and, by the way, falsely) proclaimed to be an American defeat.
What had happened to provoke this general outburst of pessimism? Nothing on the ground in Iraq suggested a sudden turn to defeat. Indeed, attacks on U.S. troops had been declining. To be sure, murders of "softer targets" such as Iraqi civilians and policemen were continuing -- but they had not increased sharply. The political news was actually favorable: The once-dominant Sunni minority apparently intended to participate in the (then forthcoming) elections. Even Sunni insurgent leaders were turning against the "foreign" al-Qaida terrorists in their midst. And we now know that when Iraq's election was held only days later, there was a larger turnout (70 percent) than is usually the case in the United States itself.
Indeed, any dispassionate assessment of Iraq after three years of the liberation-cum-occupation must be far more favorable than not. Compare it to previous guerrilla wars and insurgencies at this point:
1. In the Malayan communist "emergency" -- generally regarded as one of the most successful post-war anti-guerrilla campaigns -- the British were losing after three years and had to revamp their entire strategy. (They did so successfully.)
2. In Vietnam, the three-year mid-point saw the Viet Cong's Tet offensive -- a U.S. victory obscured by defeatist anti-war reporting that led to a U.S. collapse on the home front and eventually to the destruction of America's Vietnamese allies.
3. In Iraq, the United States has midwifed a democratic political system, protected its citizens as they voted in three free elections, handed over sovereign power to an independent Iraqi government, and is now gradually reducing its military assistance to the civil power as Iraqi military and police forces replace Americans in maintaining order.
Were there serious mistakes in the last three years? Of course. Serious mistakes are inevitable in such major enterprises as war and revolution. Are there still major problems to be overcome? Naturally, since the establishment of democratic institutions -- difficult in ideal conditions such as the collapse of Soviet power in eastern Europe -- is doubly so in the aftermath of war and revolution.
But are we -- the U.S. armed forces and our Iraqi allies -- winning?
I put that question to a friend in the Army reserve, just returned from a year in the Sunni Triangle. He is a level-headed and sober observer, a historian by profession, who was working directly with Iraqis in tasks directly related to fighting the insurgency. His reply was unqualified: "Of course we are winning. We know it. The Iraqis know it. And al-Qaida knows it. The only people who apparently don't know it live in Washington."
If Iraq did not explain Washington's hysteria, what did? Well, one clue lies in how the speech was reported. Murtha was generally described as being a conservative Democrat and a supporter of the Iraq war. That description was essential to the prominence of the story. An anti-war speech from a pro-war conservative was a far stronger sign that America's support for the war was cracking than another criticism of Bush on Iraq from another partisan Democrat would have been.
But Murtha is a partisan Democrat. And just how moderate is he? As Newsweek's Howard Fineman pointed out, Murtha is a close associate of left-liberal Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, whose campaign for the leadership he had managed. As for being pro-war, Murtha had been anti-war for more than two years since calling for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation in September 2003.
So the initial reporting distorted and exaggerated the significance of Murtha's intervention, the media's first reactions largely amplified those exaggerations, and Washington's subsequent hysteria suggested to the world, including al-Qaida and the Sunni insurgents, that the United States was about to cut and run in Iraq.
This panic attack was eventually sedated by a number of factors -- the success of the Iraqi elections, the Bush administration's fight-back (that included five major speeches from the president), a poll conducted by a (presumably horrified) BBC showing most Iraqis were optimistic about their future, and the reaction of many U.S. troops who rejected Murtha's grim account of their situation. For now a calmer attitude on Iraq prevails.
But the Murtha episode was significant nonetheless. The sudden upsurge of support for U.S. withdrawal that he evoked took place at precisely the point that the United States was making important political and military gains. It showed fear certainly -- not fear of defeat, however, but fear of victory.
In other words, many Democrats, their media allies, and others in the permanent Washington establishment are defeatist. A defeatist is not just someone who thinks his side will lose. Sometimes a prediction of defeat is realistic. A defeatist is someone who, at some level, expects to lose, even wants to lose, seeing a quagmire in every oasis. His dissent is therefore tainted.
We are not supposed, of course, to criticize such dissent. No, we have to call it patriotism.
Yes, Murtha and the rest of the lib, white flag wavers are a bigger threat to our safety and security than Al-Qaeda.
As is evident from the traitorus acts of the MSM and the left.
"a U.S. victory obscured by defeatist anti-war reporting"
They are trying to do it again, but - NOT THIS TIME, msm, NOT THIS TIME!
Here is poor ol Harry making a fool of himself again:
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you directly, because the president says the congressional leaders were briefed repeatedly over these four years. You've been the Senate minority leader for several years. Were you ever briefed on this?
REID: The president can't pass the buck on this one. This is his program. He's commander in chief. But commander in chief does not, I don't think, trump the Bill of Rights, and that's what this -- Congress has not been involved in setting up this program. This is totally a program of the president and the vice president of the United States.
Pelosi says I remember it differently
Three elections in Iraq; Saddam on trial; al-Qaeda clearly weakened - - - - Murtha and his buddies over at the Pentagon have just lost their war. The Secretary of Defense has a new broom and I suspect is using it
Speaking of crusty, look for old crusty to raise her ugly head soon.
He's nothing but a has-been hollow man that is working for our defeat and subjection to Islamofascism as far as I'm concerned. He needs to be indicted and imprisoned for sedition while we are at war, and YES, there is a Resolution giving Pres. Bush all the authority needed for this war, it is a DECLARATION of WAR. It is past time to start holding these people accountable. But alas, we won't, heck, Condi Rice called Islam a religion of peace and LOVE! Oh yes, I feel the love, don't you?
The difference between 1968, post-Tet, and now, is right before your eyes. Free Republic, thank God for Jim Robinson, is now a bulwark against the left wing that did not exist in 1968. Then, Walter Cronkite and his ilk had free rein to undermine and sabotage the war effort in SEA, turning an oblivious country against not only the war, but the US military personnel serving in theater. There was no forum to confront and contradict the likes of a traitorous John Kerry and the Winter Soldiers who did so much to hurt SEA veterans. Free Republic provides information, analysis, and rebuttal to the anti-American MSM, standing fast for America.
murtha is a french style coward.
Jack Murtha - From Abscam To Amscray
"Serving in the military, even being wounded in combat, doesnt afford you a lifetime pass. (Cf. John Kerry.)
I thank and honor Mr. Murtha for his past military service. Just as he should thank and honor our current troops, rather than stab them in the back by giving our enemy the hope we will surrender even after we have won.
By the way, ABSCAM is a scandal you hardly ever see trotted out nowadays. If you do see some remembrance of it, it is very rare to see any description of the party affiliation of those involved.
Of course we know why. The perps (one Senator, six Representatives.) were all but one Democrats. Oddly enough, the lone Republican, Richard Kelly, is the one we always hear about as sticking $25,000 down his pants.
Some sites, like the laughable "History Channel" (owned by Disney) even go so far as to claim that Senator Williams was a Republican. That is a lie. He was a Democrat. In fact, he was the first Democrat from New Jersey to be re-elected for four terms.
Indeed, note how how the chart makes it look like one of the culprits is now Roves attorney. In actuality, Luskin was in charge of the Department Of Justices sting.
Meanwhile they left off Frank Thompson (D), who actually served jail time.
And lest we forget, it was our one party MEDIA that ended the ABSCAM operation. The FBI was using a townhouse rented from a Washington Post reporter.
The reporter feeling a kinship with the Dem criminals, and spilled the beans, putting an end to the sting before anymore of his DNC pals were snagged.
Photograph of individuals caught on tape.
You have to wonder which Arab Sheik crossed Murthas palm with silver this time?"
My Enemy's Enemy by George Crile
It was only the beginning of the extraordinary maneuvers Wilson had to make to push this bill through a highly reluctant Congress. By then even his most reliable ally, John Murtha, the chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, wanted to end the CIA program. Murtha was appalled at reports of the mujahideen's drug trafficking, but in the end he stood with Charlie, and his support guaranteed the bill's passage in the House. It was passed in the Senate that fall. The secret appropriation was hidden in the $298 billion Defense bill for fiscal year 1992. When it was presented for a vote, no one but the interested few noticed the $200 million earmarked for the Afghans.
He then did a big favor for then-Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.). The chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee at the time, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), had been caught in the FBI's ABSCAM sting operation in which an agent disguised as a Saudi sheik offered members of Congress large cash bribes. O'Neill put Wilson on the Ethics Committee to save Murtha, which he did. In return, O'Neill assigned Wilson to the defense appropriations subcommittee and made him a life member of the governing board of the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, where he delighted in taking his young dates.
Rep. John Murtha (PA)(1981) H. REP. NO. 97-1004, 97th Cong., 1st Sess., at 6 (1983) Bribery and conspiracy Preliminary inquiry voted (May 28, 1981); dismissed (July 28, 1981) (Special Counsel resigned) Resolutions to investigate (Oct. 2, 1980 and March 4, 1981) Rep. John Murtha (PA)(1981)
H. REP. NO. 97-1004, 97th Cong., 1st Sess., at 6 (1983)
Bribery and conspiracy
Preliminary inquiry voted (May 28, 1981); dismissed (July 28, 1981) (Special Counsel resigned)
Resolutions to investigate (Oct. 2, 1980 and March 4, 1981)
ABSCAM Investigation; recused from ABSCAM-related investigations (member of Standards Comm.)
One big difference between Iraq and Viet Nam is that in the latter, the communist enemy had NORTH Viet Nam. The Viet Cong was utterly destroyed but the communists still had North Vietnam from which to carry out the war. The Iraq terrosrists don't have their equivalent of North Vietnam to carry on. They are being killed off with no major replacements.
>>>There is somebody orchestrating this whole pro-terrorism dance, someone well funded and willing to spend it.
George Soros, Media Connections - Bump List
This thread started off with Media connections; but the bump list has more. A bit of history too.
Personally, I can't believe that a Marine would be such a baby....What in the world ever happened to "Gung-Ho?"
bump for publicity
Soros was a Marine?? When?