Skip to comments.Purple hearbreakers (James Webb barf alert)
Posted on 01/18/2006 12:41:31 PM PST by balch3Edited on 01/18/2006 12:45:51 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
IT should come as no surprise that an arch-conservative Web site is questioning whether Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has been critical of the war in Iraq, deserved the combat awards he received in Vietnam.
After all, in recent years extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles. This trend began with the ugly insinuations leveled at Senator John McCain during the 2000 Republican primaries and continued with the slurs against Senators Max Cleland and John Kerry, and now Mr. Murtha.
Military people past and present have good reason to wonder if the current administration truly values their service beyond its immediate effect on its battlefield of choice. The casting of suspicion and doubt about the actions of veterans who have run against President Bush or opposed his policies has been a constant theme of his career. This pattern of denigrating the service of those with whom they disagree risks cheapening the public's appreciation of what it means to serve, and in the long term may hurt the Republicans themselves.
This is an excerpt. Here's the link to the full article
Kind of different than this James webb writing:
"All Things Considered," Senator Kerry and the Swifties
24 August 2004
Webb was medically retired from the Marine Corps due to the injuries he received in Viet Nam. There's no question about the validity of his awards.
Having said that, he's all wet in his latest op-ed.
He made me sick and I'm convinced the Swift Boat Vetrans was all that stood between him the Presidency.
What are these people reading my mind? LOL
Just earlier I proposed starting a Purple BrokenHearts Club Band..........
I said before that these two moron journalists from CNS news have the political IQ of a chicken because they are throwing a life saver to the Left by moving the debate from Murtha treasonous statements about the Iraq war that have been killing the democrats on the national security issue to this meaningless issue about Murtha war record that will generate sympathy for him.
Didn't Ollie North once kick Webb's ass during a Naval Academy boxing match?
James Webb is an authentic American hero, and he is exactly right here.
He constantly goes back and forth.
During the Reagan years, he was hard right, after that, he flip flopped so many times, for no reason what so ever that I lost count.
I'm not sure who he backed in 2004, since he ripped the living hell out of both Bush and Kerry.
Part of me thinks he sees himself as some kind of underdog referee who has a need to be on the outside.
Either that, or after years and years, he is starting to figure out how to be media savvy (hint, bashing republicans works and gets attention, bashing dems does not).
I'm real tired of people operating under the assumpting that operatives are 'behind' this campaign.
It insinuates that none of us could possibly have a brain to ask if this is another Kerryesque re-do.
Which, precisely, I did, BEFORE CNS brought it up.
If the Democratic party had any integrity, questions wouldn't need to be asked.
extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles.
Disagree with the man if you wish, but his decorations were earned the hard way.
Break out the tinfoil hats...but can't you see the advantage of the Dems "breaking" this purple-heart story here on FR or on similar sites, with the intent we "talk about" it.
That's all we have to do is discuss it...we've fallen for their trap. Tthen they can slime us as the party of accusations. I don't remember anyone actually accusing him do you?
He is a war hero, but he is wrong here.
He has made a mistake and is in error.
Murtha doesn't deserve a free ride on this and he isn't getting one. One wonders what the difference is between questioning the circumstances of his service and the cottage industry in the MSM that grew up around questioning the circumstances of Bush's.
To me the real issue isn't whether Murtha's medals earned in Vietnam are legitimate. He served his country honorably as far as I am concerned.
The real issue is whether past service automatically insulates one from critisim for current acts? Murtha wants to raise the "war hero/ purple heart" shield whenever anyone questions his judgement or actions. Are we to believe that Murtha can say anything he wants, however outrageous, and not be subject to criticism or questioning for those statements simply because he is a war hero or was wounded!?!? By that standard, Duke Cunningham should be cleared of all charges and released immediately as he is a "war hero." But that is not the way our system works, unless of course, one is a democrat and can do no wrong or face no criticism.
While not justified in my opinion, I think Mr. Murtha opened himself up to the same treatment John Kerry received by hiding behind the "war hero/purple heart" shield rather than truly standing up and defending his statements.
"but what do we really know about the circumstances of HIS medals?"
Yes, we do. Don't slander a real American patriot, please. Just because he's not in step with Bushbots doesn't mean his wartime past is in question.
Yes he is an authentic American hero. Whether he is exactly right here is a matter of opinion, and I beleive most patriotic American conservatives are of the opinion that he is dead wrong here.
Do erratic tactics reveal an inability to govern under pressure? Ask Jack Kennedy, whose World War II exploits as the skipper of PT-109 began when his boat sank after colliding with a Japanese warship.<<
Yes, it does.
WW 3 did not happen in spite of JFK.
I think Webb is a rare commodity: a genuine American patriot.
Webb is a candy ass. His service in the war aside...he has made a recent career as an apologist.
Somewhere along the way, he has lost his nerve. And, he is no longer a rockribbed Reaganite.
Yes, and I agree with him that the response to Murtha's statements about Iraq is troubling: Opponents dig up "dirt" about his military record. Instead of answering him on the merits, they resort to trying to slime him. and the message goes out: don't criticize Bush, or your closet will be opened, too. That's Clinton tactics.
"I think Webb is a rare commodity: a genuine American patriot."
Why is changing one's mind suddenly a sign of weakness? Most normal people do it all the time.
Webb wrote: "...The greater worry is that their attack on Kerry's service may harm the very people the Swifties wish to protect, for their allegations have the potential to negate the service of everyone who was on the boats. If the young John Kerry were so able to manipulate the Navy's system that he unfairly collected five decorations, the system itself has no credibility, and all awards become meaningless..."
No. Not everyone was out gunning for decorations as JFNK was. Most guys just wanted to do their job and go home.
Thorin, I disagree.
The only reason, and I mean the ONLY reason Murtha got any space at all is because he presents himself (and is presented by others) as an unimpeachable source of combat wisdom which lends him credibility.
Because his actions and words have both direct and indirect deleterious effects on the conduct of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as such may increase both the loss of life and the quantity of blood shed by our military, it is not only right, but necessary to debunk him if indeed he is a phony.
The exact same thing was true with John Kerry, and is true now with Murtha.
While I believe that conservatives may overkill "swiftboating" as a tactic to discredit the guys like Murtha, I am also bothered by Mr. Webb's attempt to link "Republicans" (as opposed to a few conservative Web sites) with the questions about Murtha's Purple Hearts. Neither the MSM nor Mr. Webb would ever insinuate that the DNC was behind the George W. Bush MIA from the Air National Guard story (even though Mary Mapes gave her Democrat buddy a heads up on that story), but Mr. Webb will tar all "Republicans" with the same brush, even if the President, Mr. Cheney and the RNC Chairman all have nothing but (undeserved) praise for Murtha.
Actually the Dems have been desperately working 24/7 to undermine the President's credibility on military issues. He immediately raised active duty pay massively, increased the VA budget 40 percent and fixed problems he inherited. They work nonstop to make sure he gets ZERO credit for those acheivements.
IRT to Murtha and the Dems...there has been no bigger travesty committed then overwhelming voting to send the military into conflict, then undermining the conflict. They are aiding the enemy and causing more US deaths.
Murtha has the typical DNC service path.. a short tour in a combat zone padding his resume, return to the US and immediately run for political office.
He Purple Heart wounds were to his face...anybody see scars?
Kerry and Murtha have 5 hearts between them with zero visible affects. All he has to do is open his record up to verify his claims.
Webb earned the reputation as being one of the best Marine combat commanders in Vietnam, and no one has done more than James Webb to rehabilitate the public image of Vietnam vets. I don't necessarily agree with him on every issue, but I am confident that he is motivated by love of country and of those who have served America, and not the petty self-promotion that motivates 99% of all politicians.
We know the routine.
I understand your point, but I think you are forgetting that Murtha keeps posing as a military hero. Moreover, whether or not it's his fault, the MSM plays that angle every time they mention him. So it becomes a public issue. You can't permit one side to raise an issue and not allow the other side to talk about it too.
If you are a politician, then you are in public life. If you make an issue of your military service, then that's open to public criticism too. That's very much in contrast to President Bush, who never made a big issue of his National Guard Service. Only his enemies did.
Hmmm. Kinda makes you wonder why they don't. /s
And that's exactly the way the discussion should be framed. Confront people directly on the strength of their arguments, not indirectly with snipy attacks on their service to this country. Even though Kerry was shameless with his "band of brothers" traveling show, the "swift boaters" were out of line - in trying to degrade Kerry's service, they were also attacking the honorable service of others.
I disagree with a previous poster that the "swift boaters" were what prevented a Kerry presidency - KERRY HIMSELF prevented a Kerry presidency. Even his old friend Fritz Hollings lamented that Kerry's positions were so nebulous that "I couldn't see anything there.."
The lameness of their political views are plenty enough to beat them - no one should have to stoop to dishonoring ANYONE's service.
Murtha's fault is allowing himself to be a puppet for his Democrat masters.
Read this and then see what you think. Pay particular attention to the comments by Don Bailey, fellow Democrat from Pennsylvania.
If the RATS want to make this an issue, they will be seriously hurt.
Citation: The Navy Cross is awarded to First Lieutenant James H. Webb, Jr., United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Go ahead and post Murtha's awards/citations so we can debate those too.
I would prefer to let veterans have their own personal legacy about their wartime experiences, whatever it is to them, and never want to question them. As far as I am concerned, a vet can make up whatever stories they want to, and I am not going to question them.
In my opinion, what happens with people like Murtha and Kerry is that they use their wartime legacy to fight political battles in wartime, and I believe it is harmful to my country. If their wartime experience is their currency, and they are buying the downfall of our country with that currency, then they should be challenged on that currency.
I'm not talking about what he did in 1969. His bravery then speaks for itself.
However, his citation for bravery then doesn't give him carte blanc to become some sort of apologist for the very conservatives who served with him during the Reagan years.
Yes, he has become a candy ass. And, yes, Oliver North kicked his ass in the ring.
This is exactly what Webb described, attacks by political opponents of Murtha's. I don't see any criticism of Murtha's service by any disinterested person, nor do I see any criticism of Murtha by anyone who served with him in Vietnam.
What he did in 1969 does give him carte blanche not to be called a "candy ass" by anyone, ever.
Odd how that Citation is readily available and Murtha's are locked away in the vault.
John Murtha has made his military service part and parcel of his credibility. His commentary on the Iraq war is relevant only because he can claim "war hero" status. It is entirely proper to examine that claim thoroughly. If it withstands the scrutiny, then he deserves the accolades. If not, then we've done the world a service by exposing a fraud.
Webb either does not understand or simply ignores the fact that during Vietnam, the Air National Guard, of which Bush was a member, was not necessarily the "safe haven" that the Army National Guard was at that time. Many Air Guard units were called to active duty, (officers & enlisted) as well as individual pilots being activated and assigned for duty in combat. It mattered more what types of aircraft they were certified in flying than the fact that they were "weekend warriors." And unlike the Army Guard of that era, the Air Guard was required by the Dept. of the Air Force to be at combat readiness at all time and many units, including Bush's interceptor squadron, participated in daily air patrols intercepting Soviet aircraft approaching US air space. It was an active duty job preformed by part time pilots.