Skip to comments.Chickenhawk talk is unAmerican..Murtha's astonishing lack of knowledge
Posted on 11/19/2005 12:11:07 PM PST by smoothsailing
Chicken-hawk talk is unAmerican -- Murtha's astonishing lack of knowledge
Warner Todd Huston
November 19, 2005
On November 17th, Representative John Murtha (D, PA) called for the USA to prove that Osama bin Laden is right with his contention that Americans are cowards. He proposed that the US immediately pull its troops from Iraq.
Shocking as it may seem, Murtha was not only in the US military himself, but he served during the Vietnam War. Earning a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, you'd think he would know better than to propose that we turn tail and run from battle today. Especially when, after having done so in 1975 at the end of our involvement in Vietnam, so many millions of the Vietnamese people were slaughtered with even more imprisoned by the Communists we left unopposed. And it happened just as anti-Communists here then warned, just as Conservatives warn that a pull out of Iraq would doom many to unnecessary death today. It is one of the few true parallels between Vietnam and Iraq.
Apparently, however, Murtha is not very well informed about history, even that through which he lived.
But, certainly there is room for a discussion of policy or for debate on our direction in war. We can all agree on that. We can also all agree that President Bush has made mistakes in his prosecution of the war. Every president has made his share of mistakes in war. From Washington, to Lincoln, to Bush the elder, not every decision made was the perfect one to be sure.
Much ink has been spilled about Murtha's ill-advised ideas. The House of Representatives is this week debating his proposal (a pull out was defeated in the House on the 18th by a 403 to 3 vote), and the Blogs are a buzz with excoriation and praise of this man from Pennsylvania. He is certainly getting his "15 minutes."
Others will take on the efficacy of his idea and Murtha's proposal will get all the attention due it. But there are a few questions that need raising about the man himself and one of the avenues of attack he employed to advocate for his proposal.
Firstly, why is he even doing this?
If Murtha were a younger man, I'd wonder if he had presidential ambitions as a McGovernesque representative of the extreme left. But for a man in his 70s he is far to old for such ideas. And he certainly can't imagine he could possibly be a "leader" of his Party by the same token. If you actually heard his nearly incoherent, rambling replies to an interviewer after his proposal for cutting and running from Iraq was unveiled, one could easily be excused for imagining that he is a bit past his prime.
No, we have to assume he is not just cynically attempting to claim the limelight but that he truly believes this hogwash. We can doubt his good sense, his knowledge of history, and his sanity, but we cannot doubt his veracity.
So, we have to hand it to him. His standing on his principle is admirable. But we don't have to admire either the idea nor are we obligated to award him unquestioning authority because of the fact that he served in the military, even in a time of war.
And this brings me to that previously mentioned ridiculous avenue of attack he used during his moment in the sun. And it is something that rears its ugly head so often when politicians are talking things military that it is truly tiresome.
Here was Murtha's reply to a question posed to him about Vice-President Cheney's attacks against the Democrats' dangerous demagoguery of why Bush brought us to war:
"I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. 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."
This begs the question for Representative Murtha, though, of his own service. He did not serve "there" in Iraq, so should he be discussing it? Should he have anything at all to say about Iraq? By Murtha's own "logic" he is qualified to speak of Vietnam because he was "there," after all. But, how is he qualified to speak of Iraq using his own criteria?
But, the whole claim that one should never discuss matters military unless they have served in the military themselves is the worst red-herring, most spurious straw-man argument in all of American politics. Not only that, but it is truly an anti-American argument to make. One that goes so against everything we have ever stood for, everything that our Founders held dear, that it boggles the mind.
One of the most terrifying fears for the Founders was that a military dictatorship would befall a post revolutionary America. It had happened so many times in the past after revolutions in other countries that our Forefathers took great pains to try and prevent it from happening here.
This is why the country does not have a military man "in" the government by design. It's why we are strictly governed by civilian authorities. It is why the President is the commander in chief and is responsible for the big decisions on military policy. It is also why only Congress can formally declare war. It is why we must separately present the budget for the military apart from other appropriations and budgets to be approved annually and why it is not necessarily just an automatic part of our financial appropriations.
All these provisions that distance the exercise of power away from military hands were provisions that the Founders insisted upon to keep the military from becoming a danger to Constitutional government, to keep the US army from being used to overtake power in coups like so many banana republics.
In case Representative Murtha was not aware, we also have a democracy and a free and open society. That means any citizen may not only discuss and advocate for their point of view (forming Hamilton and Madison's dreaded "factions"), but may become a leader and personally guide public policy from Congress despite their service, or lack thereof, in the country's armed forces.
In fact, the Founders had INSISTED that civilians be in a position to guide public policy despite their lack of service in the armed forces. They did not want a junta ruling the country from the ranks of the US military.
They feared military strongman politics and they designed a system to stop it.
In addition, Murtha should have it brought to his attention that past service does not assure unassailable knowledge of policy nor does it somehow bestow good sense. Benedict Arnold served the USA in the Revolutionary army as a general, but after that whole betraying our country to the British incident no one would imagine he would be a good one to ask about war policy thereafter. God forbid a man as vain and self-promoting as General George A. Custer would have become president in 1776 as he planned to do. And as good a soldier as he was, few would want as profane and unpredictable a man as General George Patton leading in Congress, either. And we shouldn't have to mention the relief many feel that John Kerry is not now sitting in Bush's place.
And who can forget that some of our greatest leaders never served a day in the military? Even in the age of Revolutionaries, many of our Founders did not don a uniform in the struggle.
Representative Murtha should be told that military service does not equate to sound leadership in all things, nor should military leadership be viewed as a sole qualification for policy creation, either.
The next time you hear a politician use the fact that they served to attack someone who hasn't, no matter what side he is on, please remember how truly un-American that person is acting.
© Copyright 2005 by Warner Todd Huston
murtha : Pay attention
You have been hanging around to long with cut and run hanoi kerry
The Brothers and Sisters on The Wall know what you have done.
And before you complain about me, I was there also.
There is no need to impeach Hanoi Kerry from the US Senate
He is there illegally!
For those who "forgot" what Hanoi Kerry
did in the past read on and learn the truth.
Hanoi Kerry was still a USNR officer while he:
gave false hearsay testimony to Congress
negotiated with the enemy
helped the US lose a war
abetted in the deaths of millions
created a hostile environment for all servicemen
Why is Kerry still in the US Senate?
This is in violation of
U.S. Constitution Amendment 14 Sec 3
And the FBI has proof of his treason.
Hanoi Kerry Timeline of a traitor
includes FBI files
Kerry and Julia traveled to Paris, France and met with Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of Vietnam (PRG), the political wing of the Vietcong, and other Viet Cong and Communist Vietnamese representatives to the Paris peace talks, a trip he now calls a "fact-finding" mission.
(U.S. code 18 U.S.C. 953, declares it illegal for a U.S. citizen to go abroad and negotiate with a foreign power.)
a) A person charged with absence without leave or missing movement in time of war,
or with any offense punishable by death,
may be tried at any time without limitation.
904. ART. 104. AIDING THE ENEMY
Any person who--
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or [protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly; shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.
Isn't it great that Murtha lives in a nation where you can vote against yourself. Let's hear it for the current King of Flip-Flop!
One wonders what Murtha thought of the former President, Clinton?
This is from RonDog's group.
You guys are veterans....I listened to Murthas four points and they are indefensible, aren't they?
Here are his points and my take on how they translate:
The Honorable John Murthas Plan
To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces
Translation: Success in Iraq is getting too close for comfort for my anti-victory democrat party and we cant allow GWB have a victory in his legacy!
To create a quick reaction force in the region
Translation: US troops are face to face with the enemy in Iraq with our side positioned for every strategic advantage. This is too easy for our side! In order to be less arrogant, we must move our troops to an adjoining country so the terrorists have a fair chance to chose battles and battlefields.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines
Translation: Lets use the failed strategy of sitting our Marines just over the horizon just cause it was a disaster in Lebanon we should ignore history & take a chance with their lives that the terrorists wont bomb their barracks again.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq
Translation: The UN and especially super diplomats like the French know way more than we do about security and stability .just think how GWB would squirm if he had to follow a UN security battle plan for every fight involving the US military (think Somalia) and the French know a thing or two about stability, just think what a talking point for the next election we democrats could construe if there were french style terrorist riots in the USit would be like having 1,000 Katrinas to blame on the republicans!
Kerry's Dukakis moment in the sun...
"I listened to Murthas four points and they are indefensible, aren't they?
Here are his points and my take on how they translate:"
I submit that as usual many elements are not drilled into peoples minds of the facts that should often be pressed to exonerate an individual.
This crap about GWB not serving is simply ridiculus. Any day he took off over the gulf coast he could have had to bail out due to a flame out, and perhaps not be recovered alive.
As for Murtha, it is sad. Being a Marine who served his country in combat to have to end on such a note. I strongly suspect to many ill adviced white wristed creeps have got hold of him, and have dimmed his once sharp mind as he served in Intel/Counter Intel with our Marine Corps. I'll stand at attention and salute him for his service with the Marine Corps., and feel sorry for his present condition.
perhaps Murtha is a mole, a Manchurian candidate set to turn at the right time?
I'd like to know the answer to that one as well.
I certainly don't remember Murtha making a big fuss about immediate withdrawal from Bosnia.
Yeah, imagine. I'm always amazed at how many Americans seem content to have the politicians running the military in times of war as if even a remote number have all the details to make the tactical and strategic decisions and even if they did that they'd know what the hell to do with the info. The Congress should just shut their pie holes and let the military do what it does.
Murtha's an undisicplined slob. Just look at the guy. He looks a shade off of what Kennedy looks like. We all know how disciplined a lifestyle Uncle Ted has lived. His, and Murtha's, corpuscled heads both look as if they're ready to explode.
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