Saturday, August 05, 2006

"Off base?" Since when is the truth "Off base"?

It would appear that some PA newspapers will go to any length to protect their darling, John Murtha.

Up to and including not only calling a spade a spade, but calling anything a spade!

This from the Towanda, PA Daily & Sunday Review:
Sherwood off base with ugly criticism of opponent’s backer

Republican Congressman Don Sherwood’s rebuke of his Democratic colleague, Rep. John Murtha — who, in the Scranton area Thursday, renewed his criticism of President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war — was an uncalled-for low blow.

In a statement released by his campaign, Mr. Sherwood, R-Tunkhannock Township, said Mr. Murtha’s criticism of the war gives hope to terrorists and their allies who “want us to walk away from the fight.” He added, “The message of despair voiced by Jack Murtha is not the message I’ve heard from Pennsylvanians who have fought in Iraq.”
Again--the truth. Off base? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I think Don Sherwood hit a bloody grand slam with that statement. And yes, sometimes the truth is ugly.

Here's more from this Murtha resuscitation piece:
An unapologetic lightning rod in the national debate over Iraq, Mr. Murtha used a luncheon fundraiser for Mr. Sherwood’s opponent in the November election, Chris Carney, to reiterate his position that President Bush and his backers in Congress mishandled and mischaracterized the war and need to be held accountable.

Pushing for the election of more Democrats to the House, which is controlled by Republicans, the 16-term Johnstown Democrat also said he would do his best to see that Mr. Carney lands a seat on the House Appropriations Committee if he defeats Mr. Sherwood, who currently holds a seat on that powerful committee. (I direct your attention here--ed.)

But, it was Mr. Murtha’s criticism of the president, not his backing of Mr. Carney, that drew Mr. Sherwood’s ire. “There is nobody who talks to the military more than I do,” Mr. Murtha said, “and they are all saying the same thing — this war cannot be won militarily.” (I direct your attention here--ed)
You know, I'd certainly like to see the list of folks in the military that Murtha regularly talks to, and, if there actually is a list, to do some corroborating between what they actually tell Murtha and what Murtha says that they say. Murtha has yet to provide that list. Has ANYONE in the MSM asked him to do so, or do they merely accept all of his drivel as gospel?
Mr. Murtha, who has been calling for a pullout of troops from Iraq since last fall, may or may not be right. But his opinion, decidedly informed, is his opinion, and he has every right to express it.
Yes, he has every right to express an opinion. But he has NO right to be shielded from just criticism of his ill-formed, irresponsible, and seditous rhetoric.
Indeed, he should be praised for having the courage to stand up at a time when few others in government would.
First of all, no other elected U.S. official had the brazen disregard for our troops, their safety, and their mission to go so far as to give aid and comfort to their enemies. Second, I wouldn't call it courage. The term courage should be applied to soldiers who are currently in harms way, selflessly performing their noble mission despite the dangers involved. Far from being courageous, Mr. Murtha's actions and rhetoric were and are the product of shameless, Machiavellian, and ruthless political ambitions--which he will stop at nothing to attain--even if it entails throwing fellow Marines under the bus as a means to his ends:
Should Democrats take control of the House in November, Murtha has said he will run for majority leader and most likely will seek to cash in all of his political "chits."
(Apparently, among other things, those "chits" include freely and unfairly tarnishing the image of fellow Marines, not to mention giving aid and comfort to their enemy.)

The puff piece editorial continues:
That’s why we think it was irresponsible of Rep. Sherwood to accuse Rep. Murtha, a decorated Marine officer who served in Vietnam, of giving hope to terrorists and their allies for expressing what many saw as a thoughtful view on a pressing issue that can only benefit from increased public debate.
Question: What was so "thoughtful" about Murtha's call for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, back in November of 2005? What was so "thoughtful" about Murtha's assertion that they should be re-deployed to, of all places, Okinawa?

Remember Murtha's "coming out" party on November 17, 2005?:

Murtha: 'U.S. Cannot Accomplish Anything Further in Iraq Militarily; It is Time to Bring the Troops Home'

And what has happened since that statement on 17 November, 2005? Only another in a series of three free and high turnout elections that was certified and internationally-endorsed, which established a permanent government in much less a time frame than it took to establish our own here in the U.S.! Not to mention the offing of a major, bloodthirsty dirtball terrorist icon. If one needs to see progress that our men and women in uniform are making everyday in Iraq, one needs only to check here. Often.

All this has been and continues to be accomplished BECAUSE we are there militarily. If Murtha had had his way, Zarqawi would still be alive, and the progress made through free elections and the installation of a permanent, Iraqi-elected government probably would never have occurred. But then again, Murtha is no stranger to wanting to leave those we fight for high and dry-- with disastrous short- and long-term results (Does Murtha's proud record of his role in policy in Lebanon and Somalia ring a bell?).
In fact, the war is going poorly and Americans in general, polls show, do not approve of the president’s handling of it. What’s more, two of the Pentagon’s most senior generals told Congress on Thursday that the surge in sectarian violence in Baghdad in recent weeks raises the possibility of Iraq descending into civil war.

“I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it,” Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, said, adding that the top priority in Iraq is to secure the capital, where factional violence has surged in recent weeks despite efforts by the new Iraqi government to stop the fighting. President Bush last week approved an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad.

The commanders’ concessions about the threat of a civil war came just three months before congressional elections in which Bush administration policy in Iraq looms as a defining issue, especially in light of growing opposition at home.

So, we cut and run when the going gets tough? Did we cut and run from Iwo Jima? Did we cut and run after Normandy? After Midway?

If Murtha was around then and had his way, we would most likely today be practicing the goose step, the Jews would be more or less extinct, and your Aunt Martha and Uncle Bob may well have ended up as a bar of soap and lampshade ensemble in some commandant's quarters. I guess we can thank GOD that Murtha (and his other fellow travellers) weren't in a position of power then. And the fact should not be ignored that Murtha had the moxie to actually accept an award from a group that gave over $600,000 to our soldiers' enemies in Fallujah, and who label our soldiers "killers".

Mr. Sherwood, of course, also is entitled to his own opinion. But, it sounds as though he is the one who is off base, not Mr. Murtha. In any event, the words he chose and the tone of his attack on Mr. Murtha raise an undeserved ugly specter, which is most unfortunate.
A parting question for the editorial staff at the Review:

Where was the Daily and Sunday Review when Murtha chose his tone and words when he, without evidence, and without even so much as a hint of due process, rushed out to label fellow Marines "cold blooded" killers?

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