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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Murtha's Latest Comment

More of the constant barrage of negative comments from democrats: speaking on Wednesday to a group of community and business leaders, Representative John Murtha, D-PA, called the U.S. Army “broken, worn out.”

While I respect Murtha for his service to our country, that service does not make him the final authority on all things military. On what basis does he conclude that the army is broken and worn out? Is it so just because he says it is?

When you listen to commanders in the field, you hear that morale is high. They do not, however, ignore the possibility that all the negativism on the home front could have a negative effect on the troops.

A recent Washington Times article addressed this very issue.

"They say morale is very high," said a senior Pentagon official of reports filed by commanders with Washington. "But they relate comments from troops asking, 'What the heck is going on back here' and why America isn't seeing the progress they are making or appreciating the mission the way those on the ground there do. My take is that they are wondering if America is still behind them."

Imagine ourselves, away from our families, putting our lives on the line every day, fighting for the freedom we believe in. Now imagine hearing, day after day, from the very people we are fighting for, that nothing good can come from what we are doing, that we are making the situation worse just by being there, that we are “broken, worn out.”

How can anyone believe that comments like Murtha’s latest are not doing great harm to the troops they claim to support?

3 Comments:

Blogger Champurrado said...

Alright, I'll bite. Can someone's comments really be the source of harm to young men and women trained to put themselves in harms way on behalf of their country? Should these warriors be coddled to protect them from opinions? Shouldn't soldiers be paying attention to IED's or RPG's instead?

I don't agree with the politicians' decisions to send American soldiers to Iraq. Thought it was a bad idea then, still think it's a bad idea now. But please don't confuse this with any irrational thoughts about bringing everyone home now. Having made the bed, as they say, the politicians are going to have to sleep there until they figure it out.

That Mr. Murtha spent a little time serving his country himself, first as a soldier, then as the first Viet Nam vet to be elected to congress entitles him to a fair amount of deference, no?

I'd like to think the troops appreciate any form of support they receive from back home, regardless of whether it's from someone who supports the Iraq war or someone who doesn't support the war but still recognizes the role of soldiers serving their country.

Some people can't hold both concepts at the same time and turn it into a you're with us or your against us based analysis - small minded if you ask me.

Don't underestimate the positive effects to US soldiers of those of us who support the troops but not the war.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Malott said...

Champurrado,
I heard General Tommy Franks on Fox News last night. He doesn't think the army is broken or worn out. The soldiers doing the fighting evidently don't think so either because they are re-enlisting. But most convincingly, Democrat Senator Lieberman just returned from Iraq and said we are succeeding in our efforts and should stay the course. Lieberman effectively torched his future with his fellow Democrats because he believes in what we're doing.

I appreciate Murtha's service, but I also appreciate the ambition of a politician. If the Democrats take the House next year he will no doubt be a committee chairman.

Servicemen and women probably understand politics, but when they hear from Democrats that "we can't win" and that "we went to war over a lie" ... I'm sure it doesn't warm their hearts.

More importantly, when Democrat Congressmen and Senators are saying we should abandon the new Iraqi government it encourages the terrorists to "hang in there."
Thats the way the anti-war movement of the 60's effected our enemy and Murtha should remember that.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Mr. Malott:

Leaving aside the possible slanted view presented by FOX, (Yes, you may now beat me over the noggin with the fact that I use the New York Times for my own slanted view), I have no doubt that most soldiers, old and young, may have the opinion that the battle can be won. Now, tell me what “battle” means in 2005 and tell me what the circumstances would be if we were to have “won.”

General Franks was a fine soldier. However, what he knows about personal fighting experience in this century would probably fit through the eye of a needle as it were. And really, if staying the course, as Mr. Lieberman says means sticking around in the desert waiting for the next casualty report, I gotta say, that sounds nuts to me.

I’m troubled by the uncertainties of the local Iraqi population; a population so foreign to most of us quarter-pounder eating Americans that we can hardly imagine what motivates them. Can you genuinely conjure up pictures of good little democratic Iraqi men and women falling into line and miming our form of government, our political ideals and our way of social interaction? Their history is so much deeper and troubling than our own. I just don’t see them coming around. I want to believe in the noble cause of staying the course until every last insurgent, terrorist, nasty guy is gone and all of the cooperating democratic minded people are united in a strong coexistence. Given what I see, what I read of the soldiers’ blogs, and yes, Fox News and Drudge, I just don’t see it happening.

Servicemen and women are heros, let’s be honest. I’m not over there and I take it neither are you. It’s going to hurt the feelings of these soldiers to hear people disagreeing with the foundation for their role over there, of course. They better get thick skin. It will worsen.

I’m also not a politician and I’m banking on there being a very, very dark and hot place for all of them when they leave this world for all the harm caused by their “good ideas.”

I’ve some personal experience with terrorists having made it through the World Trade center on the last train out on the morning of September 11, 2001. Are we going to be able to eliminate that type of threat through our efforts in Iraq? I suppose you and I will see. Realistically, I’m a glass half-full kind of person on that one.

9:43 AM  

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