The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Murtha trying to salvage his investment with moon-battery

Before Rep. John Murtha hatched a plan with Nanci Pelosi to spearhead the call for troops to come home, from what I read he had a lot going well for him; especially a good reputation. Now here at the tail end of his career he seems to have been talked into "taking one for the team". I am sure it was sold to him that he would get a lot of media glory and possibly go down in history as a great peacemaker and the one that dealt the final blow to the Bush Administration. In the first days it looked like he just might do that. Fortunately, the GOP grew a spine and pulled their now famous "stunt" which effectively broke Murtha's momentum which has yet to recover. In fact as a martial artist uses the weight and force of his attacker against him, the Bush Administration has taken that attempt at momentum and turned it to his advanatage.

With his momentum in pieces and Bush's support numbers rising, Murtha sees his gambit shifting to the losing column. Instead of retiring from Congress gracefully, he is now in risk of becoming a laughingstock. Sure the media and far left still think he is wonderful, but they thought that of Cindy Sheehan, too. Sheehan is swiftly making the shift to quack and laughingstock and Murtha should take a hint from that sad affair.

I don't know if Murtha is speaking for himself or if Nanci Pelosi has arranged for him to have handlers, but his latest comments make me think the latter is a possibility. Murtha claims 'the Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth" '. So now he has to insult our troops by making up lies about them. Everyone I have heard coming back from Iraq has had nothing but good to say about our troops. This was an obvious and clear attempt to demoralize them during time of war and is disgusting if not treasonous.

Murtha then seeing that Bush already sees next year as possible to bring troops home makes yet antother statement with the purpose of taking credit when it happens. Murtha states, "I predict he'll[Bush] make it look like we're staying the course." Murtha is attempting to paint a picture of Bush caving under pressure and trying to reconcile that with staying the course. Trying to paint Bush as weak and running out of ideas, etc. We have seen in the last few weeks that Bush is far from weak.

Basically Murtha as is the template with all liberal Democrats is working to salvage the investment they have made in an Iraqi failure. Having gone down this path, Murtha must defend it or turn back. To turn back means he must admit he was sucked in by Pelosi and company. Either way he is likely to become a laughingstock and that is sad given his reputation prior to this whole dark episode in his career.

Update: Having reviewed a fuller context of Rep. Murtha's statements I will retract the points above related to his comments on the army being "broken and worn out". The full context clearly shows that he was not speaking of the troops themselves. The AP story I derived this sentiment from was irresponsible to have pictured it the way they did.

I will wait to see where Murtha goes from here to see if he bases future actions or words on an investment in his original call to withdraw the troops. Until then, my apologies for not finding the full context of these words before writing about them.

14 Comments:

  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    There are flaws in your arguments. Here is one.

    Murtha's comments were on the military, not the troops. To suggest otherwise is not truthful. You and people of your stripe are quick to equate any legitimate criticism of policy or of the military to criticism of the troops. Hiding behind our people in uniform, using them as human shields against all criticism, is not patriotic. Can you not argue to Murtha's points? I guess not.

     
  • At 6:50 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    If he was talking about the military and not the people in uniform, what was his point? The non-people do not get tired or live hand to mouth. I do not see his comments excluding the people in uniform. If he did not want me to interpret his comments that way, he should have taken care to state them in a way that makes it clear what he is talking about. Paw, I am surprised at you pushing the 'truthful' button here. His comments are easily interpreted the way I did and I believe that is what he meant. Stating what I believe does not make me untruthful.

    What point of Murtha's do you want me to argue? He wants to witdraw troops instead of staying until successful. He then disses the state of the military to try to get people to think it is so. I have argued those points. If there are other points of significance I missed them.

     
  • At 11:54 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    His point was that we're stretched thin. Illustration? This is a hell of a way to field an army.

    My point in this posting is that the right-wing-hide-behind-the-troops trick is clever way to deflect criticism, if a person is the type of person who goes in for that kind of thing, advancing or protecting a political agenda by hiding behind true heros. I, too, must use the word disgusting.

    And that's where it's at so I'll go back to reading now. Take care.

     
  • At 1:28 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Well I did not quite interpret what he said as being "stretched thin" but if that is what he meant then it may not have been as bad as portrayed. Perhaps he does not communicate well as others, but neither does Bush.

    I would tend to agree that we are stretched a bit thin, but I also see it as correctable if needed by drawing in some troops from other locations in the world.

    If in fact the right hides behind a shield of patriotism to deflect criticism, I would claim that the left hides behind the "do not question my patriotism" shield in order to criticize in areas they know will have a demoralizing affect on the troops.

    As always Paw your comments are welcome. As you obviously think through what you write and want to engage in a debate and not a name-calling fest I value your opinion even if I don't agree with it.

     
  • At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm sure Murtha's comments had nothing to do with being "talked into 'taking one for the team' and getting a lot of media glory" but having very much to do with being a career military man who understands war and combat.

    He calls it "broken" because the US military has abandoned the Geneva Conventions, engaged in torture, and has no accountable command structure, and because we are now very unprepared to deal with any further military crisis. He calls it "worn out" because troops are on their third and fourth tour of duty and fighting under stop-loss. He calls it "living hand to mouth" because recruitment levels are way down and they have inadequate armor.

    Murtha's clearest point (he's a good ol' boy talker like Bush, so not always clear) is that the military has completed its mission and that what needs to happen in Iraq to "succeed" now is political; something the military cannot do and actually the military presence is severely hurting any progress in that direction.

    Aside from the right-wing duck and dodge technique described by paw, the other thing that should disappear is the truly damaging assertion that Dems have "invested in the failure of Iraq." Remove the semantic shield from that and you have an accusation that Dems want US troops to die, and that is disgusting.

    Bush is just as guilty as anyone for realizing the shift in the country away from supporting this war and shifting his rhetoric to match.

    All politicians blow in the breeze. That's part of their job description.

     
  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    It is a known fact that Pelosi approached Murtha about making his speech in the beginning. Even liberal Howard Fineman as much as admitted it was a cooked up speech.

    Now my interpretation of "cooked up" does not necessarily mean made up. He may very well regret his Iraq authorization vote and wanted the troops home (who doesn't?). It was the nature of what he was going say and how far they were willing to take it and how it would go along with the remarks and actions of others in the party. That is hardly a crime or even wrong. It is politics, but there are real consequences to politics, both to others and yourself.

    I get tired of the libs whining everytime one of their guys speaks up and suddenly they are a "target from the right". That goes both ways. If one on the right speaks up they are targeted as well.

    "All politicians blow in the breeze. That's part of their job description."

    I disagree with that in that a leader does not. Bush has not changed his rhetoric on the war. He has constantly said that we will stay the course until the job is done. The only time the job can be done is when the Iraqis are ready to defend their new democracy against the terrorists.

    According to your theory, the day the last US soldier leaves Iraq is the day these savages stop their attacks. If you and your ilk believe that, you should never be in charge of our national security because you do not understand our enemies.

    Bush has stepped up challenging the ridiculous charges and claims from the left. If that counts for changing rhetoric in your book, then you might want to get another book.

     
  • At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Talk is cheap. Action has real meaning. Bush talks out of both sides of his mouth. He says stay the course. So what? It's rhetoric, and empty rhetoric at that. Stay the course? It is an ignorant policy that is failing because of its rigidity and poor planning when any planning was done. It is nothing more than words. By your standards it would be a fair assertion to make that Bush wants more dead American troops since he doesn't want to bring them home. Bush gets reports that the occupation is fueling the insurgency and he insists on keeping the troops there. See how ridiculous this all gets?

    "According to your theory, the day the last US soldier leaves Iraq is the day these savages stop their attacks. If you and your ilk believe that, you should never be in charge of our national security because you do not understand our enemies. "

    Get real. No one believes that, and no one, least of all me, has said that. Turned around on you, your theory is that we can never leave Iraq, because until the attacks stop we'll keep saying it's too dangerous and tenuous to withdraw. It is people like you who do not understand our enemies. If you and the Bush clan understood our enemies, we never would have invaded Iraq. We would have remained focused on Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Where IS Osama?

    The Bush clan so completely misunderstands national security that the 9/11 Commission just released its report giving them failing grades on national security. The Bush White House so completely misunderstands national security that it thinks it's OK to blow the cover of a WMD-focused NOC CIA agent and her cover organization. Bush's own father calls that kind of thing treasonous. Bush has alienated the rest of the world with his arrogance, which is a great failing in the war against terrorism. It is only through cooperation among nations that any real lasting progress will be made against a shadow enemy that is everywhere, on all continents.

    Making Murtha "a target" is what's expected in the debate. But when you mischaracterized him, you were called on it. What paw and I were trying to help you understand is that Murtha is a career military man who would not disparage the grunts on the ground, having been one for 30+ years. He KNOWS. If you and Bush and the Republicans spent as much energy on Bin Laden as you do on Murtha and Reid, we might actually be getting somewhere.

     
  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    "Talk is cheap. Action has real meaning. Bush talks out of both sides of his mouth. He says stay the course."

    So what does he say out of the other side of his mouth??

    "By your standards it would be a fair assertion to make that Bush wants more dead American troops since he doesn't want to bring them home."

    And more cops dead by making them patrol our streets at night too??

    "See how ridiculous this all gets?"

    Yes

    "It is people like you who do not understand our enemies."

    Sorry, but on 9/11 we were nowhere near Iraq yet they attacked us. So we can do nothing and yet get attacked. Those attacking our troops and innocent civilians are of the same ilk as those who attacked on 9/11.

    "We would have remained focused on Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Where IS Osama?"

    What makes you think there are not resources focused on finding Osama? And just how many more resources will it take to find him? One more? 1 million more. According to the liberal logic of wanting a timetable in Iraq, they should be able to give us a timetable for finding Osama.

    "But when you mischaracterized him, you were called on it"

    I don't know yet that I mischaracterized him. If your's and paw's interpretation of what he said was what he meant, then I did. I clicked on a dozen sites to try and get the context of those quoted words and they were all sourced from the same AP story. If I could read his entire words I might realize that AP mischaracterized his words and so did I. At this time I do not know. I do know the words he said lent themselves for as I interpreted.

    I will not put a post on it, but John Kerry also made statements that lend themselves for an interpretation that makes him look bad. What he said seems to claim our troops are terrorists. Fighters fight. Runners run. And terrorists terrorize. "Terrorize" was a foolish word for Kerry to use.

    "Murtha is a career military man who would not disparage the grunts on the ground, having been one for 30+ years. He KNOWS"

    I don't claim that disparaging the troops was his primary goal. However, those words likely had a disparaging affect on the troops nontheless.

     
  • At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "It is people like you who do not understand our enemies." Anon

    "Sorry, but on 9/11 we were nowhere near Iraq yet they attacked us. So we can do nothing and yet get attacked. Those attacking our troops and innocent civilians are of the same ilk as those who attacked on 9/11." AICS in reply.

    Whoa Nelly. Let Cheney be Cheney. His gross and willful misleads on this subject are more than enough.
    1. Iraq (or any Iraqis) did not attack us on 9/11.
    2. US support of Muslim repression is the stated cause of 9/11. "Bin Laden said he [attacked on 9/11] because of injustices against the Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel and the United States." (FOX) Visit that part of the world sometime and ask if the US "does nothing" as far as Arabs are concerned. This is a really big discussion requiring of a separate post if you want to get into this can of worms.
    3. The insurgents attacking our troops are 90% Iraqi nationalists that do not want Iraq occupied by foreign troops, which is vastly different from being an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist. If you do not make that distinction, you are being dishonest. Islamic fundamentalist terrorists were not in Iraq killing innocent civilians before the US invasion.

     
  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Perhaps you don't, but I get word from a soldier in Iraq every now and again. The troops know that things are broken. But they're there and they have to keep it together. It is our responsibility at home to try to fix things for them since they are not at the leisure to do so.

    Still looking for a full transcript of the Pennsylvania speech Murtha made, but this non-AP article (PittsburghLive) has more context for the "broken, worn out" comments.

    Complete video footage of Murtha on Meet The Press. You may loathe the source, but at least it's the full unedited footage. They are big files so they make take a while to load depending on your connection speed.

    Additionally, the full transcript of Murtha's speech on the floor and the resolution he presented on 11-17-05 goes into more detail of what he means when he says the military is broken and worn out. Those exact words are in this speech, and all the context is there.

    Note that he never proposed an immediate pullout (as is the assertion by Bush, Cheney, etc), but "to immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces." The details are in the transcript. No need for me to restate them.

    Murtha is not some careless, unthoughtful, lefty, cut and run Democrat. He is a seasoned war veteran and strong defense Democrat who is deeply concerned with national security who has both feet firmly planted in the realities our troops are facing in Iraq now and our military faces in the future.

     
  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    paw and anon, I have updated my original post based on the full context of Murtha's statements. You were right on your rebuttal. This is not a wholesale acceptance of all the accompanying points that came along as baggage, though :)

     
  • At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nice update, though to be accurate, I think you should properly characterize Murtha's resolution. To reduce and describe the entire scope of his statements and resolution as a mere "call to withdraw" still feeds the cut-and-run rhetoric. This post is extremely disparaging of Murtha, and while your update concedes some ground, it is still illogically corrosive and dismissive of the one person who has shown the highest degree of integrity and responsibility of anyone in DC around this issue.

    Why not post Murtha's position statement (at least the link to it) in the original post and let your readers decide for themselves.

    You deride Dems as having no plans or ideas. Murtha's is a clear, responsible, well conceived and detailed plan, and yet you have treated it (and him) poorly - irresponsibly even - and inconsistent with the notions of Truth and Honesty. I'd say a retraction of your entire post is in order, along with a presentation of him in his own words, but that's just wishful thinking on my part. :)

     
  • At 12:02 AM, Anonymous paw said…

    A tip of my hat to the host, and a secret hand gesture signaling "nice work" to the anonymous poster more dutiful than I am in doggedly chasing down supporting documentation.

    For what it's worth, I'm just a guy in IT trying to do right; sometimes promoting my own view and sometimes compelled to call "bull shit". Feel free to disregard all of what follows.

    My best buddy from my hometown is an officer in the Green Berets, two tours in Iraq, taught hand-to-hand combat at West Point, currently works at the Pentagon. Man I can't wait to see him again. He and I don't disagree when we talk politics.

    I have an uncle who retired as an Air Force Colonel who did numerous tours in Vietnam and who tells some great stories, like quitting smoking following the Cuban Missile Crisis after flying across the Atlantic with an armed and ready-to-fly nuclear weapon on board, chain-smoking his way across the Atlantic and Europe. Other stories he's more reticent to tell, and you have to catch him in the right mood. This guy is a southern gentleman with the firmest chin you've ever seen, who thinks we should have nuked Vietnam. I listen to his wisdom respectfully and when I offer my opinions, they are heavily qualified and in the spirit of "teach me from what you've seen".

    My dad was the Browning Man in his patrol in Korea. He saw heavy action and was adversely affected by it until his death; all the same, he thought we should have given Korea all that we had and pushed on into China. He died too young for us to really talk about politics and war.

    My grandparents, farmers, escaped combat in WWII since someone had to produce the food. Ashamed is too strong of a word, but they were uncomfortable with having not seen combat.

    My point is that this country is no stranger to armed conflict, and most of us have a number of resources on which to draw when forming opinions about and talking about war and peace. Man I'm getting intolerant of blanket statements implying that only one side knows the stakes and the rest of us are dups. If I believed in this conflict I would go; even not believing I would go if called. Short of going, my next most important duty is to pay attention and to affect policy based on my best observations. I am responsible and accountable for those that act in my name and the way that that is done. I want them more than anything for those in power to get it right, even if that means I am proven wrong. I am not responsible or accountable for the behavior of the insurgents in Iraq. Like many, on this matter I will not expend much energy and blanket condemnations will do just fine. In this there is no hypocrisy.

     
  • At 8:19 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    "I'd say a retraction of your entire post is in order, along with a presentation of him in his own words, but that's just wishful thinking on my part. :)"

    It's not Christmas yet :)

    I retract when confronted with something proveably solid as was seeing that AP slaughtered the context of his entire words and I bought into it.

    The rest of the post deals with what is going on in Murtha's head and it is more difficult grasp that and impossible to know that. There may yet be future actions or words that show some of the other portions to be accurate to some degree.

    His linking up with the likes of Nancy Pelosi on this whole endeavor still casts a shadow over the deal. I'll take a "wait and see" approach.

     

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