As a parent of a deployed Iraqi Freedom soldier, this blog is dedicated to ousting
Congressman John Murtha from Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District.
Like Benedict Arnold, who was a soldier during the revolutionary war,
Congressman Murtha is a traitor, giving aid and comfort to the enemy through his
irresponsible, shameless rhetoric.He no longer deserves the title of U.S. Marine.
IT IS TIME TO GET JOHN MURTHA OUT OF OFFICE
Sunday, January 06, 2008
The man who will replace the lying gasbag...
My Name is William T. Russell. I am running for Congress against John Murtha as a Republican in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania in the November 2008 election.
I would like to introduce myself to you. I am a family man, a husband, as well as a father. I am also a small business owner and entrepreneur, as well as an American Soldier.
My wife, Kasia, is one of my heroes. For some strange reason, she saw fit to marry me eight years ago. She was born and raised in Poland where her father was one of the local leaders in the Solidarity movement against the communist government in the 1980s. We met and married while I was stationed in Germany. She moved to the US with me after we married, learned English and became a US Citizen. After surviving the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 (while six months pregnant with our son), she continued to raise our children by herself for 19 months while I was deployed to Kosovo and then Iraq.
Until August 31st of this year, I was a fulltime Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, stations at the Pentagon and a little over 2 years short of full, active duty retirement. Until March of 2007, Kasia and I were simply looking forward to finishing out my Army career and moving to southern or southwestern Pennsylvania. We have been attracted to this part of the country since our first visit to the state in 2000. We were attracted to the people and lifestyle of the state as well as its natural beauty. We recognize it is a great place to raise our children and I saw it as a great place to begin a second career in business after retiring from the Army.
But last March I had the opportunity to meet with some of our Wounded Warrors during their visit to the Pentagon. I have always been impressed by the spirit and good cheer of so many of these wounded heroes but also understand the sullen responses from some. Seeing these Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen with missing and shattered limbs, two with missing eyes and wounded faces, I found myself wiping away the teas as I walked back to my office. I was both saddened and angered that the sacrifices these brave service men and women, like the others I have served with in combat, make for this country and the thought of how they are betrayed by the actions of politicians such as John Murtha.
I grew up in the shadow of the US defeat in Vietnam. On an intellectual level, I have long understood that a war may be lost politically, in spite of military victories. But seeing those Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who have given so much to this nation, both enraged and saddened me. It also forced me to recognize that the United States is now engaged in a great political battle to determine whether this nation, founded in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, can maintain the political resolve in its fight against a totalitarian political system, cloaked in religion, which is dedicated to the destruction of our liberty. I believe I must stand up and make a difference in this fight and not wait for two more years until I retire.
Congressman Murtha’s actions have done more to lead us toward political defeat in this war than the enemy could ever hope to accomplish by their own devices. His calls for withdrawal of our forces and limiting the authority of the Commander-in-Chief in executing this war, plays directly into the hands of our enemy. He is undermining our Soldiers in the fight and encourages the enemy to kill or maim a few more of our Soldiers and kill large numbers of Iraqi civilians on a weekly basis.
The Islamic extremists, just like the communists in Vietnam, see his weakness of political resolve as the reason to keep fighting in spite of their military losses. He must be replaced with a candidate who understands the importance of an integrated political, military, and economic strategy that does not pit political ends against military and economic, but synchronizes and orchestrates them with the recognition of the imperative to achieve the victory that this war demands for the safety of our children and grandchildren.
Perhaps the best illustration of the importance of this issue is the story of US Marine Lance Corporal (L/CPL) Justin Sharratt, from Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania (part of the 12th district). For those not familiar with him, L/CPL Sharratt is an American Hero.On 19 November 2005, Justin’s convoy was attacked by an improvised explosive device (IED) killed his friend and squad mate L/CPL Miguel Terrazas.This ambush included not only the bomb but also sniping and rifle fire at the Marines as they secured and evacuated the wounded out of the vehicle in which L/CPL Terrazas had been killed.L/CPL Sharratt assisted in the security, recovery and offensive efforts to capture or kill the enemy combatants who initiated the complex ambush. When he moved into a building with some of his squad mates, Justin found himself in a close fight with four armed insurgents. When his machinegun jammed, he was forced to engage them with his 9mm pistol.
Justin and the other members of his unit were facing an enemy who fights by a different set of rules in which there is no such thing as atrocities when committed for their cause.This enemy hides behind civilians in order to protect themselves and to create propaganda opportunities by accusing Americans of atrocities when innocents are caught in the crossfire.The enemy does this because they are seeking to create My Lai type incidents for propaganda use on the Arab street as well as the anti-war movement in the US.Innocents were caught in the cross fire in the heat of combat that day.But those who were identified were safe guarded and protected by the Marines.
No one reading this account would argue that Justin and his family deserve our deepest thanks for his actions that day at a town called Haditha.
Congressman Murtha’s thanks to Justin and his comrades for their risks and sacrifice was to publicly accused them of “cold-blooded murder” of innocent civilians.
By publicly stating that the US Marines committed murder and denying that there was a firefight and roadside bomb (specifically, the bomb which killed L/CPL Terrazas), United States Congressman John Murtha endorsed the enemy’s propaganda effort and confirmed in the minds of millions of Arabs, as well as many Americans, that US Marines had committed atrocities against Arab civilians as an extension of US Policy.
By making such inflammatory statements of guilt against the bravest of Americans when the investigation had just begun, Congressman Murtha not only denied the Marines the rights that he and his colleagues so adamantly want to bestow on the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, he helped the enemy fabricate a lie which has done more damage to our efforts in this war than any other politician.
Mr Murtha not only threw a local hero under the bus for political expediency, he helped the terrorists create a lie that has been repeated by Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations for recruiting purposes throughout the Arab World.It has also been repeated by Code Pink, KOS and other anti-war elements in their effort to undermine the US efforts in the Middle East.
I am entering this race because I believe it is imperative to our nation’s security and its future. The small economic sacrifice of leaving a secure, well-paying job, two years short of a guaranteed pension with health care for life, is nothing in comparison to the sacrifices of our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who are on extended tours in active contact with an enemy and who are being undermined by politicians who are too corrupt, cowardly, or incompetent to recognize the nature of the war we are in. Surrender on the political, military, and economic fronts is not an option.
When I was looking at moving here to start a business career after retiring from the military, I knew that it was economically challenged area. But after moving here due to the imperatives of our national security, I have come to recognize the depth of the economic crisis facing this area also. Its economic future is at stake.
To Mr Murtha’s credit, he has attempted to protect the jobs of this community with Congressional earmarks for a long time. But in trying to protect the economic past, we have lost sight of some economic realities and the future. The end results of the last 30 years of directed congressional spending has not produced the intended results.
After many years of congressional earmarks, southwestern Pennsylvania’s greatest export is young college graduates. Young people looking to start their careers believe they must travel to other areas to start their careers. This region has lost approximately 59,000 people in the last two years.I have heard stories of churches that are conducting 40 funerals for every baptism. While I recognize this region as a great place to raise my children, I want my children to grow up and see this as a great place to raise their children.
We must build an embraceable future for our children to raise their children.In order to do so, we must establish the national security framework to allow for our economic growth. Our economic growth must spring from a resurgence of market driven small businesses – we must relight the spark of entrepreneurial fire and raise the next generation of entrepreneurs.We must build businesses which derive their purpose and profits from the demands of the market in keeping with the laws of supply and demand.
The United States economy is booming (in spite of what we constantly see in the press). There is no reason for southwestern Pennsylvania to not share in our national prosperity. We have great resources and people. We can leverage our empty buildings, available housing, and wealth of natural beauty to build an economy that is attractive to future college graduates to begin their careers and to raise their families.
To help accomplish this, I have already started working with entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to build businesses which are market driven, have applications outside the defense industry and not dependent on congressionally directed budgets. These are the people who will build our economy. I believe the role of government is to establish the framework for growth (provide security, law enforcement, laws to safeguard fair business and contract enforcement, and road networks and certain levels of infrastructure) and to allow the spirit of entrepreneurialism to grow and bear fruit.
It is not the role of government to substitute for the forces of the free market. Excessive government involvement in the market produces a continual cycle of dependence, drives out naturally developing small businesses, and suppresses the development of new industries.
But I am also entering this race with the recognition that I am the out of town kid who wants to join the local team which has some long time players. I hope the communities of the 12th District will welcome a new and unknown player who would like to try out for the team. Throughout this campaign, I will be visiting with people of every county and township in this district to listen and learn so that I can better understand how this team functions. The economic ideas, plans, and solutions that become part of this campaign must answer to the needs of the communities in the district.
I hope the people of the 12th District are willing to consider this career Army transplant who grew up as an Air Force brat and has lived in 11 different states and seven foreign countries. I believe I have a unique background as a soldier, small businessman, and student of international relations to help build an embraceable future for our children and their families.