Democrat Representative John Murtha’s call today for an immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq amounts to calling for an unconditional surrender by the United States in the War on Terrorism.
As any observer minimally knowledgeable about the current situation in Iraq knows, to pull out American forces now would leave the Iraqi populace highly vulnerable to massive terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda insurgents, and possibly even worse, a bloody civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. Still worse, however, would be the symbolic victory of the terrorists. It would show the Islamists and the rest of the world that the greatest power in the free world can be scared off by cowardly terrorist attacks. It would show the terrorists that the United States has lost its backbone, and it would thereby encourage the Al-Zarqawis and the Bin Ladens to step up their attacks in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and almost certainly in America.
The AP quotes Murtha as saying, “"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," and "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."
That Rep. Murtha is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran and a supposed political hawk is irrelevant. His statements today are a slap in the face to the American soldiers, sailors and Marines fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Just as surely as Rep. Murtha served his country honorably in Vietnam, he is serving his country dishonorably today by making such blatantly reckless and false statements. The facts are indisputable: far more Iraqi’s, both military and civilian, have been attacked and killed by the terrorists than American troops. Our troops are not the primary target nor the primary catalyst for the violence. The primary targets are the Iraqi’s who want to have a free and peaceful society. And the primary catalysts are the terrorists themselves.
Murtha also raised a canard that has been used by anti-Bush fanatics since the beginning of the Iraq war. He said, "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there," sarcastically referring to Republicans who support the war, but have not served in the military. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done." To suggest, as Murtha does, that Americans who have not served in the military should not criticize the policies of those, such as himself, who have, is ridiculous. Career military officers can, and frequently do, make strategic blunders that result in tremendous loss of soldier’s lives; while civilians can, and frequently do, provide valuable insights and worthwhile strategies for the military to follow. In fact, our Founding Fathers were wise enough on this subject that they chose to make a civilian, the President, the Commander-in-Chief of America’s military.
Moreover, not only has the Bush Administration NOT said or implied that the current Iraqi war strategy should not be criticized; but rather, Bush and his top advisors have gone out of their way to point out that they are open to criticism. As the President said today in S. Korea, “It’s patriotic to disagree with the President. It doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions in playing politics, and that is exactly what is taking place in America.” It is thus ridiculous and dishonest for Murtha and other Democrats to suggest that Bush and company think that those criticizing Administration war policies are unpatriotic or have no moral right to speak out.
What is unpatriotic and immoral, however, are the reprehensible lies and hypocrisy of those on the political Left who are trying to convince the American public that the Bush Administration lied and twisted intelligence about Iraqi WMD’s in the time leading up to the war, when most of the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Europe believed that Saddam did possess WMD’s. There are absolutely no rational grounds for the Left to stand on in making such charges. The overwhelming majority of the intelligence at that time pointed to Iraqi possession of WMD’s. Thus, it would have been completely irresponsible for the President NOT to have ordered the attack on Iraq given this intelligence combined with the history of deception and support of terrorism by Saddam Hussein’s regime. But now, when the Administration tries to fight back against these critics, they conveniently try to change the subject, e.g., Democratic Senate Minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who said today, "Instead of giving our troops a plan for success or answering the serious questions of the American people, they've decided to start up the [Karl] Rove/Cheney attack machine in an effort to restore their diminishing credibility and raise their sinking poll numbers,"and "We need a commander in chief, not a campaigner in chief. We need leadership from the White House, not more white-washing of the very serious issues confronting us in Iraq.".
As presidential counselor Dan Bartlett said while traveling with the President today, "There's a bright line there that the Democrats have crossed. They have no facts on their side.”