Confessions Of An Unindicted Co-Conspirator

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John "Unindicted Abscam Co-conspirator" Murtha graces us with an op-ed in the Washington Post. He proudly embraces the title of "defeatocrat". As he should. But he's not just advocated a 'minor' redeployment to Okinawa this tim. Oh no, he wants more.

The Republicans are running scared. In the White House, on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail, they're worried about losing control of Congress. And so the administration and the GOP have launched a desperate assault on Democrats and our position on the war in Iraq. Defeatists, they call us, and appeasers and — oh so cleverly — "Defeatocrats."

Vice President Cheney has accused Democrats of "self-defeating pessimism." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has faulted us for believing that "vicious extremists can be appeased." The White House calls Democrats the party of "cut and run."

It's all baseless name-calling, and it's all wrong. Unless, of course, being a Defeatocrat means taking a good hard look at the administration's Iraq policy and determining that it's a failure.

In that case, count me in. Because Democrats recognize that we're headed for a far greater disaster in Iraq if we don't change course — and soon. This is not defeatism. This is realism.

Our troops who are putting their lives on the line deserve a plan that matches our military prowess with diplomatic and political skill. They deserve a clear and achievable mission and they deserve to know precisely what it will take to accomplish it. They deserve answers, not spin.

Why, yes they do, Johnny boy. Perhaps you could explain to them how your attempting to use a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq will only damage the Republican party and not the entire country? Perhaps you could explain how Charles Rangel's stated objective to cut off funding to the war won't leave out troops standing in harm's way without the means to defend themselves? Better yet, perhaps you could explain why the troops detest you? (They do, too.)

We are seeing an astonishing and unprecedented parade of retired U.S. generals calling for a new direction in Iraq. These are voices of bravery, experience, conscience and loyalty. These are men who have been taught to look coldly and objectively at the facts of bloodshed. Can they all be wrong? How about the 15 intelligence agencies that recently offered the opinion that this war has not made us safer? Are they all defeatists? Are they to be ignored?

Since you're really big into statistics and polls, Johnny, perhaps you could explain why the revolting spew of a few revolting generals (many selling books) is more important than the silence of the more than 1,000 retired general officers who weren't injecting themselves into civilian politics? Perhaps you could explain why the leakage of secret documents to the world to further a political agenda you favor does not damage the entire country, not just your political opponents?

Now, Karl Rove may call me a defeatist, but can anyone living in the real world deny that these statistics are heading in the wrong direction? Yet despite this bleak record of performance, the president continues to stand by his team of failed architects, preferring to prop them up instead of demanding accountability.

Democrats are fighting a war on two fronts: One is combating the spin and intimidation that defines this administration. The other is fighting to change course, to do things better, to substitute smart, disciplined strategy for dogma and denial in Iraq.

Actually, Johnny, a lot of people call you a defeatist. Also geographically challenged, Okinawa being a bit far to offer rapid response when needed. Mostly your 'two fronts' consist of, "How can the Democrats advance politically regardless of harm to the nation as a whole" and "How much personal advancement can I get out of trashing the military"?

You're pathetic, Murtha. A disgrace to your office and to the uniform you used to wear.

UPDATE: Others: The New Editor, Tigerhawk, Instapundit,

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4 Responses to Confessions Of An Unindicted Co-Conspirator

  1. Topeka Satchel says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong…
    I think Winston Churchill said when you have dug yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. So what is your alternative to the Bush ‘Dig to China!’ policy?

    Calling Murtha pathetic doesn’t move us forward. It just keeps us from discussing possible alternatives.

    I know that the Bluecrab Boulevard supports the war, and I read you to hear reasonable discourse that differs from my own. So let’s hear some discourse, not just namecalling.

  2. Former Republican says:

    Topeka Satchel is right: what’s your alternative? There is an alternative that is realistic militarily but maybe not politically: if you really want to win in Iraq, put about a million American troops for as long as necessary. That would match on a per capita basis what the Brits did in the 1920s, when they successfully crushed an insurgency. To keep a million troops in Iraq, we’d have to expand our mililtary by maybe 2-3 million. For a rich country of 300 million people, that’s not all-out war, just a serious effort. Sure, we’d have to have a draft. Historically, countries that want to make serious military efforts have had drafts.

    And don’t tell me more troops will just rile up the Iraqis. History says different. If you want to win, and you can put in more troops, you do put in more troops. It won’t guarantee a win, but it will help. Bush’s unwillingness to go that route shows that he’s not serious about winning.

    Like Topeka Stachel, I read Blue Crab Boulevard for reasonable discourse (and by the way I appreciate the civility I generally find here). If you think staying the course is the right policy, as opposed to escalating or getting out, please expain why we should ignore or discount the recent evidence that the war is going terribly. Ad hominem attacks on Murtha don’t make your case; they in fact weaken it, because they suggest you have no better arguments available.

  3. Gaius says:

    A precipitous pullout will condemn enormous numbers of people to death. Has this war been fought as well as it could have been or should have been up until now? No. Could we have done it better? Yes. Should we walk away and kill a lot of people and damage this nation – not the Republican party – the nation – no we should not. So that is the discussion we should be having. How do we – all of us, not one party or the other – go forward without killing innumerable innocents or irreparably damaging our nation.

    Murtha is a political opportunist and he gets my goat. But calling my post an ad hominim attack is not correct. Was it snarky as hell? Oh yeah. Was it disrespectful? Again, yeah. Was it deserved? I think yes. But I attacked his points while totally disrespecting the man. I think that is deserved, you may not. Fine.

    So, offer an alternative to a precipitous withdrawal that will kill a lot more than the bogus Lancet “study” says have already died. Because Murtha’s “plan” will kill more people. It will also damn near destroy this country’s credibility in the world. And he will do it for cheap political power, not for this country and not for the soldiers he professes to stand for.

  4. Former Republican says:

    Gaius, you accused Murtha of political opportunism. And you concluded your post by “You’re pathetic, Murtha. A disgrace to your office and to the uniform you used to wear.” Those are classic ad hominem attacks. For example, assume for the sake of argument that Murtha’s sole motivation is political opportunism. It does not follow that anything he says is wrong.

    What Bush is doing is visibly not working. And US public opinion is visibily turning against the war. So staying on course seems likely to result in a pullout with all the bad consequences you point out. Looks to me like we are faced with awful consequences no matter what we do, short of an escalation that no one, most particularly including the Republicans, has the poliical courage to propose. So pointing out that Murtha’s proposed course of action has awful conseuences isn’t persuasive. We have to pick which set of awful consequences is least bad.

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