On Monday, Murtha is to be awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston for his bold pronouncement that U.S. troops should be pulled out of Iraq, a statement many say helped change the public debate over the war, because of Murtha's past as a Democratic hawk and retired Marines Reserves colonel who enjoyed easy access to presidents.
I'd further note that saying what the lunatic kook fringe wants to hear instead of sticking to the facts is the definition of unseriousness, if not cowardice. If you aren't running in a statewide race, then being the lunatic fringe's advocate isn't that difficult.
The AP's 'article' mentions Murtha giving President Reagan advice that they needed more troops in Beirut but it doesn't mention what Murtha told President Clinton about the fight in Somalia so I'll tell you:
After terrorists attacked U.S. troops in Mogadishu, Somalia 12 years ago, anti-Iraq war Democrat, Rep. John Murtha urged then-President Clinton to begin a complete pullout of U.S. troops from the region.
Clinton took the advice and ordered the withdrawal - a decision that Osama bin Laden would later credit with emboldening his terrorist fighters and encouraging him to mount further attacks against the U.S.
"Our welcome has been worn out," Rep Murtha told NBC's "Today" show in Sept. 1993, a month after 4 U.S. Military Police had been killed in Somalia by a remote-detonated land mine.
The Pennsylvania Democrat announced that President Clinton had been "listening to our suggestions. And I think you'll see him move those troops out very quickly."
Two weeks later, after 18 U.S. Rangers were killed in the battle of Mogadishu, Murtha visited U.S. forces in Somalia.
Upon his return he proclaimed to the world that the Mogadishu defeat had a devastating impact on the Rangers' morale.
"They're subdued compared to normal morale of elite forces," Murtha said. "Obviously, it was a very difficult battle. A lot of Somalis were killed, but it was a brutal battle." Murtha said the U.S. had to no choice but to pull out now, explaining, "There's no military solution. Some of them will tell you [that] to get [warlord Mohamed Farrah] Aidid is the solution. I don't agree with that."
The comments were eerily similar to Murtha's assessment of U.S involvement in Iraq last week, when he declared, "the U.S. cannot accomplish anything further militarily. It is time to bring [the troops] home."
As for his statement that "the Mogadishu defeat had a devastating effect on the Rangers' morale", I'd just say that that's totally explainable. If the President had ignored your calls for more military forces, then you had 18 of your partners murdered by a Third World warlord, you'd feel betrayed, too.
From what I can tell, Murtha's military service was honorable. Since the early 90's, though, his advice on military matters is suspect at best. His statements that "Our soldiers are living hand to mouth" and his accusation that Marines killed innocent Iraqi civilians before the investigation is finished is proof of his playing politics with the military.
That shouldn't be confused with courage.
In receiving the prestigious moonbat ideologically-hijacked JFK Profile in Courage Award (heh--giving a "courage award" to a surrender monkey!!--anyone else see any irony in that?) Murtha stated,
But if Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives in November as Murtha predicts will happen, the Republican administration better be prepared to answer tough questions about the war, he said.
"It will be a stunning thing to them, and then the investigations will start,'' Murtha said. (emphasis added)
And he's so hell-bent on and drooling over the prospects of this that he's prepared to undermine the mission and lives of our soldiers to do it.