Saturday, December 17, 2005

Why Jack Murtha is wrong and Bush is right (for now)

Jack Murtha (Democrat Congressman from Pennsylvania, a 37 year veteran of the Marine Corps and a decorated Vietnam Vet) has recently called for the US to withdraw immediately from Iraq. This idea is just plain wrong and wrongheaded. The United States will face a tremendous loss of prestige if it does so. Al-Qaedas belief that the US are paper tigers and don't have the stomach for casualties will be reinforced for all the world to see.

It is irresponsible for anyone who loves America to support this idea (as well intentioned as it may be). The Bush administration has done enough damage to our credibility already and Murtha's request to cut and run and move to the periphery (to come back in Iraq only if there is a civil war) will just throw kerosene on the open flame of the evolving Iraqi disaster.

The solution is not just staying the course as Bush states continuously but to continue to explain the war and its successes and failures to the American people in a way that is as free of spin as Bush can make it.

In recent weeks he seems to be finally learning. In a series of speeches he has been remarkably candid about what he has done right and what he has done wrong. This has finally forced him to acknowledge in an unambiguous way his personal responsibility for the failure of intelligence on WMD and the supposed Iraqi link to Al-Qaeda. In addition he has acknowledged some of the other large mistakes such as the misguided neo con belief that Iraqi oil revenues would pay for the war, the Pentagons lack of post war planning and failure to predict the insurgency and the improper way in which Paul Bremer approached deBaathification.

This is the right thing to do and he should continue to do it. The Democrats meanwhile should bury the partisan hatchet and get guys like Dean to not publicly gloat everytime the President makes a mea culpa. This will only continue to harm their chances in 2006 and 2008


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