Friday, December 02, 2005

Please Shut Up!

Rep. John P. Murtha is still at it. What is wrong with this man? Is he the idiot he appears to be? Or is he so consumed with petty political opportunism that he just doesn’t see the harm he is doing to the war effort and the military?

Rep. Murtha continued his criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq war policy, claiming that the U.S. Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth." "You cannot win this thing militarily," he said. "Most of [U.S. troops] will be out of there in a year if I have my way."

Mr. Murtha is the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, and has been one of his party's most severe war critics. However, like so many Democrats he has flip-flopped. After voting to authorize force to remove Saddam Hussein, now armed with 20-20 hindsight and consumed by a tawdry lust for political haymaking, he says that vote was a mistake and now calls for quick withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq.

Cooler and smarter heads will prevail, however. "The Army is not broken," the Pentagon’s Col. Joseph Curtin said. "Every day, our soldiers are making tremendous contributions in Iraq, in Afghanistan and more than 120 countries around the world. Retention rates are at an incredibly all-time high, particularly in the active [military] component."

Senate Armed Services Chairman John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, said: "I do take a quite different opinion with regard to his assessment of the Army. ... The morale is so high over there, and they are all puzzled by much of the criticism on this side of the ocean."

Disagreeing with the administration policy, or the war, is everyone’s right. But people in the public spotlight and in high office, like Mr. Murtha, have a responsibility much greater than their selfish drive to beat their breasts and behave like 1960s college students.

Thank goodness that Mr. Murtha’s opinion is irrelevant to the course the U.S. will follow, and thank God that we have a decisive leader in the White House instead of John P. Murtha or John Kerry.

For his ill-advised, dangerous and damaging behavior, Rep. Murtha wins the “Please Shut Up” award.

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