Thursday, November 17, 2005

Murtha! Murtha! Murtha!

In case you missed it, Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Vietnam veteran and a longtime Democratic hawk, has just come out and demanded that Bush withdraw American troops from Iraq:
WASHINGTON - An influential House Democrat who voted for the Iraq war called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, another sign of growing unease in Congress about the conflict.

"It is time for a change in direction," said Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats. "Our military is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."

House Republicans assailed Murtha's position as one of abandonment and surrender, and accused Democrats of playing politics with the war. "They want us to retreat. They want us to wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists of the world," Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said in a statement.

Murtha estimated that all U.S. troops could be pulled out within six months. A decorated Vietnam veteran, he choked back tears during his remarks to reporters.

Murtha's comments came just two days after the Senate voted to approve a statement that 2006 "should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty" to create the conditions for the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces.

In recent days, President Bush and other top administration officials have lashed out at critics of the war and have accused Democrats of advocating a "cut and run" strategy that will only embolden the insurgency.

Vice President Dick Cheney jumped into the fray Wednesday by assailing Democrats who contend the Bush administration manipulated intelligence on Iraq, calling their criticism "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."

Murtha, a Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam, angrily shot back at Cheney: "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."

Referring to Bush, Murtha added: "I resent the fact, on Veterans Day, he criticized Democrats for criticizing them."
While I don't agree that an immediate withdrawal is the solution, I admire the hell out of this guy for being able to admit he was wrong, demanding accountability from the no-responsibility administration, and, most of all, for not taking one bit of Cheney's bully routine. Good for him.

I'm sure the Republicans have their usual reasoned response at the ready. We'll soon hear rumors that Congressman Murtha shat on an American flag during his time in Vietnam or that he once spoke kindly to a black child, and the Swift-Boating will be on. But in the meantime, well done.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video here.

10 comments:

Studiodave said...

What's with these democrats who get Purple Hearts? From Yahoo:

[Murtha]related several stories of visiting wounded troops, including one who was blinded and lost both his hands but had been denied a Purple Heart because friendly fire caused his injuries.

"I met with the commandant. I said, 'If you don't give him a Purple Heart, I'll give him one of mine.' And they gave him a Purple Heart," said Murtha, who has two.

(1) Look for the Swift Boaters to note they were life threatening enough.

(2) Democrats must not make good soldiers if they keep getting hit.

Otto Man said...

Listening to the video, I think the Democrats just found their voice for opposing the war. This guy sounds like Wilford Brimley, in tone and tenacity, and lays out a common-sense argument against the administration's case for war. He seems to be the real deal.

Studiodave said...

Where was he in 2004?

Otto Man said...

Did anyone get the "Brady Bunch" reference in the title? Too obscure? Did I violate the Dennis Miller Quotient?

Susie the Bear said...

No violation. Quite the opposite of obscurity, I think. "Martha, Martha, Martha!" is probably the only significant Brady Bunch quote I know (besides the lyrics to the theme song). I assume if it's prevalent enough to have stuck in my head, then plenty of others must know it as well. I bet most of us got the reference. Though I could be wrong.

Otto Man said...

Alright. Thanks for the pun reassurance.

Thrillhous said...

I totally missed the title thing.

Just listened to the clip of Murtha, and it was really moving. He's great; can't believe I've never heard of him before.

Check out Susie B's new image!

Otto Man said...

Next time, I'll use an obscure Scorpions song for the title, Thrillhous, and you'll be sure to get it.

ORF said...

I knew there was a reference in the title, but actually thought it had to do with MArtha Stewart, which didn't make sense. I bet if I'd said it out loud, it would have made sense.

Anyway, here's what I like: "Vice President Dick Cheney...call(ed) their criticism 'one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.'"

That's rich, Dick. Real rich.

S.W. Anderson said...

Sho' nuff, the Republican slimerators are pushing some kind of shady business deal or tie scandal story about Murtha, according to Howard Fineman on MSNBC Friday evening.

Sorry, but even if it's true Murtha's no Jack Abramoff, no Kenny Boy, etc.