May 22, 2006

Make Me Gag: Murtha Accepts JFK Profile in Courage Award

As I type this, I'm watching a CBS host interview Caroline Kennedy, Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha, and former Navy general counsel Alberto J. Mora about today's ceremony to award Congressman Murtha with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The interview is actually a love fest attacking the U.S. military--not individuals who broke rules, but the entire military. Look for extensive coverage of this by the main-stream media, which gets a "two-fer:" the first when the award was announced in March and today when the award is presented in a ceremony.

Here's a recap from Real Clear Politics that summarized at the time why Murtha won the award and why the choice seems contradictory to the award's purpose:

Profile in Courage? Not John Murtha (Excerpted)

In its announcement of this year's winners, the Foundation described its reasons for honoring Murtha: "Congressman Murtha... was recognized for the difficult and courageous decision of conscience he made in November, 2005, when he reversed his support for the Iraq war and called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the conflict. His... dissent also made him the target of withering political attacks and resulted in efforts by political opponents to discredit his Vietnam War decorations."

What the Foundation did not describe is how these reasons were consistent with President Kennedy's definition of courage. How did Murtha's opposition to a U.S. presence in Iraq contravene popular opinion? If opinion polls and press reports are to be believed, most Americans oppose the Iraq War.

Furthermore, how did Murtha's Iraq announcement threaten him with "the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men"? If anything, Murtha arguably benefited from his reversal. For one, he now stood with the vast majority of his fellow Democrats. And rather than bring him ignominy, his switch made him a prominent voice in the debate over Iraq. He was either a guest or a topic of all the Sunday morning talk shows.

A significantly better example of political courage is that shown by Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. In contrast to Murtha, Lieberman has been a consistent supporter of American efforts in Iraq. And in further contrast to Murtha, Lieberman has faced real consequences for this stand.

Is this the best that they can do with the award? I guess so, since politics to the left overrides honor.

Posted by Woody M. at May 22, 2006 08:20 AM | TrackBack

As far as Murtha's medals is concerned, from what I've read there are three versions, each more heroic than the first.

As far as 'profiles in courage' goes, he almost got the US into WW 3, except for his brother, it would have been an event. A woman committed suicide, and JFK took no responsibilit, JFK denied any affair even though everyone knew it was going on. He got us involved in Vietnam and said, it was only for advisor purposes,...This is the 'lefts' definition of courage, it take courage to lie, it takes courage to bash the troops, so in Murtha's case Lefts-courage is just a fancy name for sedition.

Posted by Mark at May 22, 2006 09:09 AM

Murtha clearly did this for political gain...just appealing to the masses. But, like the post says, the majority of Americans are against the war in Iraq.

Including myself, and I am a veteran of the Desert Shield / Desert Storm.

The problem with Murtha is also the problem with the Republican party right now- the majority of Americans are against the war. What to do?

So... We've got this great guy by the name of John McCain. War hero. Very intelligent. Diplomatic. Good man. Will he get elected? Probably not, because he supports the Iraqi war.

As conservatives, we need to ask ourselves, "Do we want to stay in power, or not?"

Bottom line: Supporting the Iraqi war isn't going to get anyone elected in the next election- Dem or Republican. The overwhelming majority do not support that war. This Marine is going to vote for whomever is against the Iraqi war in the next election.

If we want to take control of the presidential office again, we need a Republican that will step forward with an exit strategy. A fast, get-them-the-hell out of there exit strategy. We need someone to criticize the Iraqi war. That's who is going to win the next election. I don't care what party they represent. I'll bet my right arm. Any takers?

I wish McCain would change his tune and get himself elected. That's a President that I can support.

And again, before anyone criticizes my opinion of this war in this forum, I'm going to have to ask you if you've ever carried a gun in Iraq or seen your buddy's leg shot off. If not, you might want to hold off on spouting off on the war. It really irritates me when people who have never seen combat talk about the war like it's some kind of game. It's not. It's really bad. Boys are having limbs amputated right now as I type this...

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 10:23 AM

The terrorists will watch the elections carefully. If they see politicians win because they promised to get out quckly no matter what the cost, then the terrorists will hang on in hopes to outlast us. "Peace" candidates are fine if we're not at war. If we are at war, they just cost more lives by giving hope to the enemy and drawing out the conflict.

Posted by Woody at May 22, 2006 10:35 AM

But Woody... You seem to forget that Iraq never commited any terrorist acts against the United States.

As far as our actions in Afghanistan- all for it!

Terrorists? I think we should execute their mothers and children on TV and broadcast it all over the world. That'd make 'em think twice. Sure, you'll be a matyr for Allah, but we are going to execute your children on international television. So go ahead and do it!

This has nothing to do with terrorism. This is the war in Iraq I am talking about.

You remember: Weapons of Mass Destruction and 9/11, which they had nothing to do with.

I am not proposing a peace candidate by any means. In fact, I think we should get out of Iraq and invade the country that actually provided the most terrorists- Saudi Arabia.

Ahhh... But that wouldn't sit too well with Bandar Bush, as the royal family likes to call Dubya.

Terrorists? I'm with you my friend. I wasn't saying we need a "peace president." I am saying we need a president who realizes that there were never any WMDs and that Iraq was never involved in 9/11. Let's concentrate on terrorists. Let's go where the terrorists are...which isn't Iraq.

Has everyone forgotten about Osama Bin Laden? I still want to kill his ass, but in his last state of the union, George Bush never mentioned his name ONE TIME. (Because George took all of our military for an unnecessary war instead of rooting out terrorists.) Of course, he mentioned medical malpractice 8 times (yes, I counted). Yeah...that's whats wrong with this country- too much medical malpractive lawsuits.

What a joke.

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 10:48 AM

Sorry to ramble... But I just want to clarify- I was joking when I said that we should execute their children on television, although I do think that would be effective.

But I want to clarify- I am STRONGLY against the Iraqi War, but I am not against the war on terrorism. I am all for it.

It's just a damn shame our troops are stretched so thin in Iraq, so we can't continue our war on terror.

I think you're right- the terrorists will be watching our election. And I think John McCain should get up there and say, "we are going to pull our troops out of Iraq and start sending them where the terrorists are."

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 10:55 AM

Mike, why we went into Iraq and why we stay are two different issues. We can't rewind time. Since we are there and since terrorists are there, too, blowing up citizens every week, we need to stay in place until those thugs are killed or captured. Let's not repeat the mistake of SE Asia where we pulled out and left the citizens to be murdered by the communists.

Maybe the U.S. needs to quit fighting a conventional war and learn to use guerrilla warfare against those who use it against us.

Posted by Woody at May 22, 2006 12:15 PM

You're saying the Vietnam War didn't last as long as you would have hoped?

Now, I'm 35 years old, so I wasn't around for that war, but all I know is that we fought for years and years and a week after we pulled out, the communists took over. Kinda funny when you think about it.

And...much like this war, we were told that we had to fight in Vietnam to "prevent the spread of communism."

Well, communism quickly succeeded after we left and it turned out it was all bullshit. There was no "threat" to us regarding the Vietnamese. Here we are, safe and sound, long after abandoning the Vietnamese to that oh-so-dangerous communist threat. Years and years of death and dying and then- bam, a week after we leave, the whole country goes commie.

As far as citizens being murdered in Vietnam or Iraq...I've got a whole list of countries where citizens are murdered. If the Iraqis want to kill each other- let them. We don't bother with any other country that does it...but all of a sudden, we're heroes when it comes to Iraq. (The same people referred to as "towel heads" on this very blog by its very readers.) So...we don't like so-called towel heads; we post racist cartoons about them, but we need to stay there to protect them? Wait, very confused now...I wish everyone could get their stories straight. Just keep changing the story as needed I guess.

We can't turn back time to undo Dubya's Colossal Screw-Up, but we don't have to stick around either.

When this war is questioned, then all of a sudden, we are these compassionate people who want to save all of the Muslims (that everyone on this board seems to dislike so much). Before it was to get WMDs. Then, it switched to "terrorism". After that turned out to be bullshit, now we are on some kind of mission of compassion. Man oh man, is that crap. Just grasping at straws now.

It's just backpeddling to try to make a bad president look good...but the Bush Admin is having a meltdown right now, so all the spin in the world couldn't save the Grand Old Party now. Bush done screwed it up for everybody.

This isn't just my opinion. Apparently, according to the latest gallop pole, I am speaking for 45% of all Republicans polled.

George Dubya is turning Republicans against their own party. He is a detriment. He is guaranteeing a win for the Dems in the next election and we still support him?

Not I. I think he should resign for the good of the party. Put a real man in there. Someone who doesn't set a record for presidential vacation time and can speak proper English and the whole sha-bang.

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 03:31 PM

How about the LBJ Profile In Idiocy Award?

Posted by LASunsett at May 22, 2006 03:52 PM

I don't get it.

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 03:57 PM

Lyndon Baines Johnson, he was the idiot president after Kennedy.

Posted by LASunsett at May 22, 2006 04:40 PM

No... I know who LBJ is; I just didn't get what you were saying...or what it was in relation to exactly. Something I posted, or something else?

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 04:58 PM


It was in repsonse to the main post. Murtha getting the JFK Profile in Courage Award.

Posted by LASunsett at May 22, 2006 07:21 PM

Mike, I appreciate your feelings, but my having lived during the whole episode of Viet Nam gives me pretty good insight into the parallels of withdrawing prematurely from there and Iraq. There were debates about the "domino theory" in S.E. Asia, which turned out to be true, and millions were senselessly killed when the communists took over in Viet Nam and Cambodia. Forget why we went into Iraq (even though I am certain that Hussein had WMD), but concern yourself now with what will happen if we leave without seeing this finished. We need to protect the people there who want freedom, and you might be surprised ten years from now when you find out that Iraq was the catalyst for democracy throughout the middle east. Try to judge this with reason rather than emotion.

Posted by Woody at May 22, 2006 07:39 PM

Hey Woody- thanks for the response. You are older than me, so I respect your opinion about Vietnam- I'll drop that subject. I wasn't there. All I know is what I read in the history books.

My area of expertise is the Middle East. I spent much time there.

As far as Iraq is concerned, the people there had freedom! They really did! I live in Arizona, but I was born and raised in Detroit. I don't know if you know this, but Michigan has the highest population of Iraqis living in the United States. But I digress...

One Iraqi kid that I went to college with actually works for me now. Came out to Arizona to work for me when he graduated 2 years later.

He's Catholic. So is his mom and dad. I've met his parents, who left Iraq to come and live here. Had them over for dinner at my house. In Iraq, they explained to me that it was a secular nation and that you could find mosques, Catholic churchs and synagogues all throughout Baghdad.

His father owned a business in Iraq and drove a Mercedes when they lived there. They showed me pictures of a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood. Catholics! In Iraq! I bet this will come as a surprise to many readers. Saddam can't be that bad if he allows Christians to practice their faith. (They came here about 25 years ago and opened a fish market.)

Detroit is FULL of Catholic Iraqis. They call themselves Chaldeans or Chaldaens. Not sure of the spelling but it's Kal-Dee-Ans.

Anyway, the bottom line was that Iraq was pretty much a free country. You just couldn't say shit about Saddam Hussein... If you did, they would kill you.

Our current America is similar. I've voiced my disrespect for our current administration and people have gotten violent with me in heated arguments. (One guy took a swing at me and I'm pretty sure he had to be hospitalized that night. All because I said I didn't like President Bush. I hope it was worth it for the poor guy.)

Ask an Iraqi- I've spoken to many here and when I was in the Gulf. For the most part, they lived comfortable lives and everything was peaceful except for those who spoke against their government.

But, on paper, Saddam was a good leader. I mean, not as far as we are concerned, but he didn't run a third world country. People owned businesses, practiced Christianity and lived in beautiful cities. Baghdad ain't no Afghanistan, trust me. Beautiful restaurants, theatres and CHURCHES. Great food.

Terrorists? Yeah. Now. Iraq was never a terrorist base BEFORE now. We caused terrorists to enter Iraq from OTHER countries and practive their evil wrongdoings.

Remember, that first American that was beheaded (and I'm sorry I can't remember his name), was beheaded by Egyptians who were in Iraq.

We attracted terrorists to a country that had none.

But if we are going to attack a country just because they kill anyone who speaks out against their mean old ruler, why don't we invade China or give Korea a shot?

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 08:15 PM

Oh... By the way, my friend's name is Elvis. That's the best part. His parents, without any "freedom" in Iraq, listened to Elvis Presley albums and loved The King. So they named their baby Elvis when he was born and BAPTISED in Iraq. True story.

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 08:18 PM

Mike, fortunately for your friends they were not among the thousands of Kurds gassed to death by Hussein. They also weren't among the tens of thousands of soldiers that Hussein had killed in wars against us and Iran.

I would like to see the standard of living in Iraq in just two years from now compared to what existed before. It has to improve, for one reason, because resources won't be going to French and Russian bribes.

On the terrorists, they have always been in Iraq. In fact, they found shelter there. One reason that you didn't hear anything from them is because they got what they wanted. I rather keep them occupied in Iraq and Afganistan than in the U.S.

Don't forget what a destablizing force Hussein was in the mideast. He invaded other countries and set the oil wells on fire when he had to retreat. There's no telling what else he would have done if given half a chance--which he almost got with the U.N. refusing to deal with him.

Anyway, when we invaded I didn't understand it or actively support it, but I didn't oppose it for the simple reason that I figured that someone at a higher level than me had more information. Not all of that information proved to be false, as many on the left would have you believe from their repeated chants. But, that only matters now from a historical perspective, as we have to deal now with what we have. I think we better stick it out for the sake of the new government and until they can control things themselves. Then, let's do a better job with the next world disturbance.

Posted by Woody at May 22, 2006 09:56 PM

Good points.

Posted by mike at May 22, 2006 11:54 PM

For Jack the traitor Murtha to get this award, after constantly denigrating our troops, shows that dog crap is more valuable than this award, or the recipient.
He has lost the respect of the vast majority of Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, past and present.
He has gained the respect of terrorists.

Posted by Ben USN (Ret) at May 23, 2006 12:24 AM

It's kinda ironic.
A reward for courage, presented by people who don't understand the meaning of the word.
The should've given it to one of the countless, unsung Heroes of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Posted by Ben USN (Ret) at May 23, 2006 01:01 AM

Presenting Jack Murtha with the "Profile in Courage" award is ridiculous (what did he risk, really?) and cheapens the status and value of the award. Here is the description of the award (from Wikipedia) and what it is meant to acknowledge:

"The Profile in Courage Award is an award given to someone who displays the type of courage that John F. Kennedy described in his book of the same name. It is given to individuals (often elected officials) who, by acting in accord with their conscience, risked their careers or lives by pursuing a larger vision of the national, state or local interest in opposition to popular opinion or pressure from constituents or other local interests."

Now, I would agree with commenters above who point out that Murtha, in recommending abandonment and surrender in Iraq, did not put his career or life at risk by following his conscience. Given the popularity of the war in Iraq he was more clearly acting to enhance his career.

As for cheapening the award, well, Jack Murtha, in line with public opinion, calls for us to abandon Iraq - how does that compare with the acts of a couple of other recipients: the NYPD and NYFD for their acts during and following 9/11.

Profile in Courage, indeed.

Posted by too many steves at May 23, 2006 06:28 AM

Seems Mike has his facts bassackwards, In January 1973, the Nixon administration negotiated a truce between Hanoi and Saigon, known as the Paris Peace accords. The war was over and our ally would be safe as long as the agreement was enforced. The U.S. retained three trump cards to play if the communists North violated the truce and invaded South Vietnam: 1.To Keep Haiphong Harbor mined, 2. Furnish military and economic aid to South Vietnam or, 3. resume bombing.

In the most dishonorable chapter of the nations history, the Democrat Congress led the United States to double-cross and ally. Using hysteria over watergate as cover Democrats openly turned their backs on South Vietnam....Congressional Democrats refused to appropriate any aid for South vietnam The South Vietnamese valiantly held off the NVA for almost two years. By 1975 the situation was desperate. Ford was a weak republican president and repeatedly pleaded with the Democrat congress to honor its agreement, it would not and this refusal was led by Massachussetts favorite son , Ted Kennedy,... Hence with the fall of Siagon came Durbins Pol Pot, and the prediction by Hanoi John Kerry, that if a communist takeover were to happen, only a few people would be killed( His televised debate with Swift boat commander John O'neill on national TV),... he was wrong by a couple of million. This by the way is the Kennedy legacy, Vietnam and the murder of Millions of innocent people.

This did not happen over night or in the span of two weeks. It took the democrats time to undermine their own country, in the Kennedy tradition, The Kennedys got us into that war and then turned around and stuck it their own country.

We gave it all we had and then to have kennedy successor LBJ , quit on us when the going got rough is typical of the Democrats. I came home in 1967 after a tour from Cam Lo to khe sanh, we were spit on and trashed by the likes of the same people giving Murtha the award he is a disgrace.

The War in Iraq, was never about WMD, the plans and congressional approval and the UN approval were already in place when the State of the Union address took place where the first mention of WMD came into context of the speech. Saddam supported the terrorists. Their was no freedom in Iraq with Saddam as the leader of that country. To say people in Iraq had freedom in Iraq during the reign of Saddam is tantamont to saying that the Jews had the same freedom under Hitler, it is patently rediculous.

The Gulf war ended with a truce, and that UN resolutions, two of them( UN resolutions 687 and 689) could cause the resumption of hostilities if Saddam violated those two UN resolutions, that was the basis for the invasion of Iraq, the subsequent violation of the truce and violation of one UN resolution after another, to enforce the toothless power of the UN.

Posted by Mark at May 23, 2006 07:11 AM

Mark- if the war in Iraq was "never about WMD", why does every single American I know think that it was?

Why do I remember sitting on the couch with my wife when President Bush was on TV saying that we were going into Iraq because they had WMD and that they tried to "kill his dad." I turned to my wife and said, "Iraq?!? Iraq? Are you kidding me? What did they do? None of those guys (9/11 terrorists) were from Iraq! None of them!" I remember that moment like it happened hours ago. I told my wife, "They had better find those WMDs, or we are going to look very f-ing stupid." Shit, Rumsfield even said, and I'll quote him directly, ""We know where they [WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." His exact words. They KNOW where the WMD's are. Ha! Lies! Lies! Lies! They didn't KNOW anything...obviously.

Also, our own government's investigation into this little farce, found that Iraq was NOT involved in 9/11 and when many "Saddam" experts were interviewed at the start of the war- Hell, even on FOX- they said that "terrorism wasn't his style at all."

To compare Saddam Hussein to Hitler is a bit much. Actually, Saddam allowed Jews to practice their religion in peace. Pretty good for the islamofascist that he is painted to be. I'm Catholic and he allowed my people to live in peace. He could give a shit. Let's not forget about him capturing and then releasing American civilians without doing them any harm whatsoever, during my war. Remember when he rubbed that little American kids head on TV and smiled at the cameras? That kid got send home, well fed and unharmed.

Also, he managed to elude us for quite a long time, considering how much "intelligence" we had. That means all of these Iraqi people- who supposedly hate him so much- were hiding him.

Yes, yes, I realize that he did terrible things to the Kurds and so forth- but what do we care? There is genocide going on in Africa right now (really, much more Hitler-like than Saddam) and nobody gives a shit. You can't be anti-genocidal maniac when it suits you...and then, let it go at other times. We either have these values or we don't.

Like I said, I just know that Detroit is FILLED with Iraqis, who came here on their own. They weren't forced to stay. They were allowed to leave their country and come here.

Now don't think I am praising Saddam by any means. I know he was an evil man...but I think George Dubya is an evil man, who is in bed with the terrorist-rich Saudis.

But Saddam did run an efficient country; they had the lowest count of AIDS infestations in the middle east (AIDS? Off to prison with you); people had food and nice roads and even decent cars. Now, it's all rubble. When food sanctions were causing people to starve, he ordered that anyone who steals food will be shot by firing squad. Uh...a little extreme by our standards, but it pretty much put a stop to food-stealing. The man was a prick, but hey, who isn't? I think George Dubya deserves the same title. What happened to our fight against Osama? Why hasn't it been mentioned? Has everyone already forgotten about 9/11? What about those Americans? Why doesn't Dubya EVER mention that guys name anymore? I guess I will:

Osama, Osama, Osama. Listen up Mr. President. We are still waiting. Why don't you mention his name anymore Mr. President?

My problem with this is that we have bred hatred in Iraq. We've never seen an Iraqi terrorist on our soil, but it wouldn't surprise me if we did soon. We added to the problem.

Posted by mike1971 at May 23, 2006 09:15 AM

This war is, in fact, one whose aims and purposes make it hard to understand how anyone who is a supporter of human rights, or who believes in freedom, could be against it. In four years, the president has liberated nearly 50 million people in two Islamic countries. He has stopped the filling of mass graves and closed down the torture chamnbers of an oppressive regime. He has encouraged the Iraqis and the people of Afghanistan to begin a political process that will give them rights, they have not enjoyed in 5,000 years.. How can one not support the war.

The authorization for the use of force in Iraq that the president sought and obtained on October 16, 2002 has 23 clauses. These clauses spell out the rationale for the war. Among the 23 clauses, however, there are only two that even mention stockpiles of WMD. In other words, the possession of WMD by Saddam could hardly have been the rationale for the war. What the resolution did stress in 12 separate clauses wer the 16 UN resolutions that Saddam had ignored or defied.

These Security Council resolutions were more that mere expression of UN opinion, The first two of them 687 and 689 provided terms of the truce in the first Gulf War. Saddam have invaded two countries.. Iran and then Kuwait and used chemical weapons on his own people.

These resolutions instructed Saddam to disarm and to end his programs to develop WMD. Violating them was a legal basis for sesuming the war. The other fourteen (14) resolutions wer failed attempts to enforce the first two. That is the Gulf War truce, This why the U.S. went to war in 2003: To enforce the truce in the first Gulf war and beyound that the authority of the UN and international law.

How do we know that Saddam had programs for developing weapons of Mass Destruction ? Because he had gassed the Kurds. Because his own brother-in-law who was in charge of his nuclear weapons program defected and told us he did. Because we sent UN inspectors into Iraq under the UN Resolutions and they located his weapons of Mass Destruction and destroyed the ones they found. The UN resolutions backed by the armed power of the United states were necessary and had partially worked. Not reported in MSM is the fact that the WMD went to Syria with the help of the Soviets. They were there.

As far as the Iraqi people hating us you can believe what has been reported or you can dig deeper and find out the truth.

As far as an insurgent force not being there before the war, it has been proven that
Saddam had offered areas in Iraq for Al Queda training, he even put on his (Iraqi flag) the symbol for the terrorists.

You think insurgents are new to warfare, after Germany surrendered there were the Warewolfs, a planned offshoot from the SS which was supposed to disrupt the allies and continue the war. One big difference, when the allies caught a terrorists in 1945-46 they shot the bastard. Today we are not allowed to do that.

You can defend Saddam all you want, he in a smaller way was Hitler incarnate, Hitler loved childred too,... rubbed his head, c'mon give me a break, you don't think that was for show, for prime time USA ? Hopefully, he will be found guilty and hung promptly.

They will get Osama, gauaranteed..

As far as the Military being spread thin, ... excuse me how in the hell did we fight WW 2, we fought a war in Italy, the Dessert, in the Pacific, and Europe, the U-boat menace, the Jap Navy in the pacific, and in Alaska almost all four theaters at the same time ... spread too thin, you are not aware of what this country is capable of...we built ships, Victory ships with American engineering they launched a ship every 25 days, we built tanks at such a rate made the Third Reich look like a third world country, and planes , we supplied the soviet union with all the planes they needed and our Army Air corps, and the Navy.

Wake up you're rooting for the wrong side.

Posted by Mark at May 23, 2006 11:47 AM

I'll give Murtha's award the same level of respect that I continue to give John Kerry's Purple Hearts. How does nada, zip, nil sound?

Posted by Vulgorilla at May 23, 2006 12:59 PM

I only said the military was spread thin because that's what our own government is saying. Shall I find some links? You don't know that soldiers have been moved from fighting terrorists in Afghanistan to getting their asses blown up from IEDs in Iraq?

I am a supporter of human rights...but as I mentioned- and you didn't address- we selectively choose which human rights we select to protect.

As far as the Iraqi people hating left your position unclear. Do you think they like us or hate us? They do not want us there anymore, just as we wouldn't want a bunch of Iraqis over here "liberating" us from our shitty leader.

Please don't tell me I'm "rooting" for the wrong side. I'm rooting to get our boys back home safe. That's the only thing I'm rooting for. I think that's a good thing to root for.

They will get Osama? I hope your "guarantee" is right. I just wonder why our President doesn't talk about it anymore?

Why didn't he mention Osama one time in our last state of the union address? Not important enough a speech? We don't deserve to know? Which is it?

I know when he rubbed that kids head, he did it for show! Of course. The point is that the kid got home safe and well fed, as stated. Saddam could have cut his little head off.

Posted by mike1971 at May 23, 2006 01:44 PM

Questions for Mike w/o having read all your posts...might be off the subject, but...

I'm a combat vet. Vietnam '66 and '67 with the 25th Div in Cu Chi and Tay Ninh,. And yes, I've carried a rifle in the kind of actions you describe, so what does this mean? Are you hinting at the Chickenhawk argument. What moral authority do we gain by being combat veterans?

Second, all three of my sons are involved in this war. Two with the 101st and one with the 10th Mountain in Afghanistan. I know the risks. Does that mean anything? Do I have more credibility on the issue?

Three, where's the evidence that a majority of Americans disagree with the Iraq War? Do they diasgree with the war or its execution? You seem to know.

Fourth, if you support the "war on terrorism", just what IS the war on terrorism.? Terrorism isn't an entity; the Cold War wasn't a War on Tyrrany, it was a war against global communism. Because you disagree with the Iraq War, for whatever reason, and agree with the war on terror ends in kind of glibness that doesn't mean much to me. What's the danger? What are we fighting?

Fifth. It's clear that Iraq was, as another pundit put it, anarchy masquerading as a tyranny, and there is also reason to suppose terrorist groups were running around the place, disorganized or not. But that's not the point. Iraq was dynamic, the world is dynamic, and the No Fly Zones, the number of troops and air power required to enforce them were a dead end. What was the alternative?

That's just for starters.

Posted by Rhod at May 23, 2006 04:15 PM

Oh yeah, Mike.

Just curious that you're conclusion about "no WMD's in Iraq" is based on your circle of associates, where everyone thinks the war was about WMD's. Is this proof of anything?

Moreover, I like your charming defense of the Hussein regime for its efficiency. Maybe it's just me, but anything seen through a microscope will suggest meanings which don't apply to the whole. But that's just me.

Since we're on the subject, if you don't like the Lite Wilsonianism of George Bush...and it has problems, how much more favorable was the Realism of previous administrations. What was the long-term prognosis for Iraq under Hussein?

I'm particularly interested in your assumption that Saddam Hussein was particularly well-liked among Iraqis. If true, the Shi'a militias and the current despair of the Sunnis, who are on the receiving end of the revenge generated by the well-loved Saddam, is truly inexplicable. In fact, it makes no sense at all, but perhaps you have another explanation. What is it?

Posted by Rhod at May 23, 2006 04:56 PM


You said, what the democrat talking points have been for 18 months now.

So you are a supporter of human rights, what about the rights of the innocent 3000 + Americans who were slaughtered for no other reason that they went to work, what about their 'Human Rights', what about the human rights of the 300,000 kurds that were slaughtered by Saddam. What about the human rights of the people kidnapped and had their heads sliced off, by gutless fu*king cowards like zarcowey.

Your side has the whole world confused, you talk about human rights and make a big stink about Abu Grabass prison, that is exactly what is was 'grabass', torture and violation of human rights like the beheadings you people never seem to talk about.

This is a war, and you want the US to play fair while the rest of the enemy carves up its captors.

As I said you and Durbin, Kennedy and Kerry are all in the same boat, you are rooting for the other side. You not so much, at least not as publically as the those slug in washington are, but they are constantly bashing the President, giving aid and comfort to the enemy via global satillite ,,.. don't think for one minute that they are not listening.

You want our boys to come home ? How about we win the damn war first then come home. Or would you rather the United States lost that war.

Why didn't the President mention Osama who knows he doesn't confide in me for his briefings, but you can believe they are looking for that coward too. But I know this aside from his "immigration policies" He has been true to his word, and he said straight up if you are with the terrorists then we are coming after you. President Bush has not "Quit" on the American troops like the democrat Lyndon Johnson did, he did not cower in a corner and run at the first sign of trouble, like Bill "BJ" Clinton did.

Speaking of Clinton , he had three chances to get Osama on a platter, why didn't he take him. No guts... Probably like all the leftist-commie pinheads, he has no b*lls.

The kid went home well fed and alive, well what do you expect that loser to do,. For G-d sakes use your head the kid was a pawn, in the world chess game of foreign policy. As if that is suppose to mean something, you got to be kidding.

Posted by Mark at May 23, 2006 04:57 PM

Some wonder why we go after a tyrant/murderer in one country and not another.

How about this: What, indeed, should be the United States' relations with the rest of the world? Should we go after ALL really bad guys? On the other hand, should we (as really dim Lefties shriek) repect the "cultures" of all and look away at all the horror they do? Should we count on the UN to solve the worlds' problems? What has been their track record?

Do we have enough money to solve all the world's problems? Or should we be entirely self-serving?

Another point: Who has heard of "the fog of war"? Right. No one knows before conflicts all the facts. Plans are made based on "best guess" scenarios which are driven by intelligence...which is, sadly, always faulty. Saying all that, if we wait for proof beyond a shadow of a doubt on the world stage, we shall never take action...and others probably will.
In an imperfect world, which is often moving at lightning speed....we have to decide what to do and then do it. Example from the home front. The city government of New Orleans and the state government of Lousiana...waited. They didn't get everyone out....when they had pretty good intell. They gambled and lost. This happens in military operations and diplomatic encounters also.

Finally, shame on us for deserting our South Vietnamese allies. Right, much of their government was corrupt, however, they were never the butchers that the People's Democratic Republic of Vietnam were (note that many lies can you get in one line?). We should not cut and run. Is war really awful? Yes. It is so awful the decent people want to shrink from it. Remember, our enemies are counting on that very fact.

Semper Fidelis

P.S. I also served in an infantry company in Vietnam...which doesn't make me necessarily an expert on anything....nor does my thirty two years service in the Marine Corps. Certainly, a lifetime of study of military history and visiting battlefields, cemetaries and museums doesn't give me blinding insight. However, I do note that what most Americans know about their own military, military science and international relations is, to be very polite, is very damn little.

Posted by tad at May 23, 2006 05:53 PM

This has been a GREAT thread, and is exactly why I started this blog in the first place.

Remember to keep your comments to each other honorable and avoid ad hominim attacks on each other. There are multiple reasons why we believe the way we do, respect the others reasons even as you disagree with them. If you need help, please read my Rules For Commenting

I'm proud of you all!

Posted by GM Roper at May 23, 2006 07:04 PM

Both Mark and Tad have pointed out the fallacy in claiming that one action is faulty or unjust if it isn't applied in every similar or identical case. To wit, the Iraq War is a moral and strategic inconsistency when we have other, similar or worse, enemies upon whom we are not waging war. We support the Saudis while fighting insurgents who are less subversive, overall, in other regions. It goes on and on.

The Left frequently uses our support for Iraq against Iran as a measure of this hypocrisy, when it made perfect Realpolitik sense. We also allied ourselves with Iran as far back as the Truman administration to frustrate Soviet aims in the Gulf.

We still don't fully understand the complete strategic picture in re the Iraq War. There is limited open discussion of the possibilities because the pundit class is petrified in its leftist orientations, so the cold, dead memes of "no WMD's", "Bush lied", "no terrorists in Iraq" has seized the engine.

Iraq was descending into chaos toward the end of the Hussein regime, and my guess is that stability of any kind, even warfare, was preferable to a rapid unwinding of the country. Then there's the flypaper strategy. There's more. Someday we'll know.

Posted by Rhod at May 23, 2006 07:40 PM

My Congresswoman, Jean Schmidt, criticized Murtha early on and caught some flack for it. I am happily voting for her in the next election.

Murtha most likely is pandering for votes and whomever gives the award is helping him.

The discussion between Mike and Woody is great. I'm 55 and lived through that era but did not serve, had a draft lottery number of 318 (no one forgets thier draft lottery number). I don't feel the comparison of Vietnam and Iraq is a good one. Vietnam was a lesson is how not to fight a war. Iraq is going much better.

I wan't crazy about attacking Iraq but now that we're in there it would be highly irresponsible and most likely cause tremendous future problems for US to "cut and run."

Posted by DADvocate at May 24, 2006 08:35 AM

Thanks, 318, from number 182.

Do you want to see a mind trick of mine that would amaze David Blaine? Now, concentrate on your birthdate. Okay, you were born on...wait a minute, I'm getting strong signals. Okay, you were born on October 27, 1951, which was a Saturday. You share the birthdate with K.K. Downing Jr., who is founding member of the heavy metal band Judas Priest. Am I right?


To return to the sujbect, I appreciate the input and responses of Mike. We come from different generations and see things from different perspectives because of that and because of the different experiences that we had to face during the critical times in our lives. He's being honest about what he sees, as am I. But, we have different reactions.

I suspect that when I'm seventy, that I may have learned some things that I don't realize even now. Growing old has the benefit of gaining wisdom as long as one leaves your mind open.

Posted by Woody at May 24, 2006 09:12 AM

Oops, I did a typo. 328 not 318. I remember I was really nervous because my birthday (April 25) had come up 351 the year before and I didn't think that would happen two years in a row. My older sister's boyfriend and two other friends had already been killed in Vietnam which made the possibilities very real.

Posted by DADvocate at May 24, 2006 10:18 AM

Swami can not predict from bad information. Believe it or not, my 182 was high enough, because the war was winding down when my student deferment was up. I would not have been enthusiastic fighting in a conflict against a foreign enemy when a bigger enemy, the left, was attacking the military at home. The left says that it saves lives by condemning war, but they cost more by giving hope to the enemy who extends it.

Posted by Woody at May 24, 2006 10:54 AM

mike: I'm not convinced that you're right about an anti-war candidate having an advantage over a pro-war candidate. The elections aren't until '08. We could already be drawn way down in Iraq by then. In fact, it's likely.

Posted by Oyster at May 25, 2006 08:52 AM

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