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OF MICE AND CONGRESSMEN



Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.
-Abraham Lincoln never said this. But it does sound like him.


In 1974, John Murtha became the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress, representing Pennsylvania's twelfth district. 31 years later, he has blazed another trail as the first Congressional combat veteran to openly advocate the policy of preemptive surrender and retreat as a clear and present direction for the nation.

Rep. Murtha recently introduced a sham proposal calling for the immediate redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq over a six-month period following the December parliamentary elections. It was an obvious cheap political stunt, one to better hammer the administration with, and designed to get Beltway moderates on board and on record as opposing the continued U.S. presence in Iraq. House Republicans, to their credit, called the bluff for what it was, immediately issuing forth a one-paragraph resolution of their own calling for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. It was rejected 403-3, including a "nay" from original sponsor Murtha, and forcing him into the same buffoonish position as fellow Capitol Hill grandstander Sen. Charlie Rangel (D, NY), who wisely voted against his own less-than-serious proposal some months ago to reinstate the military draft.


The "Honorable" John P. Murtha describes the war as “a flawed policy wrapped in illusion,” and that "continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region." Perhaps the old ‘Nam vet is having flashbacks again, because the only illusion the troops in harm’s way are seeing is the faulty premise that our nation’s elected officials support our determined efforts in any way, shape, or form. Everywhere Congressman Murtha looks he sees “quagmire,” yet the only quagmire the troops recognize is the political one at home that the antiwar chorus has tirelessly worked three long years in which to sink us.

Every commentator on record has bent over backwards so as not to dare impugn the courage of Congressman Murtha’s convictions, even as they strongly disagree with his views. Vice President Cheney has deemed him "a good man" and a "patriot," even as he characterized Murtha’s proposal as "a dangerous illusion" to assume that "another retreat by the civilized world would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone." Obviously deferring to the perceived clout of a veteran from a war he never served in, Mr. Cheney later measured his words by saying he also respected the right of Rep. Murtha to form his own opinions.

This has become the disloyal opposition’s new master plan: Enlist the aid of the dwindling number of armed forces veterans in the House and Senate to do their bidding for them, no matter how antithetical to the current military’s goals, needs or purpose. The Dems deem it apropos to use them as political cover and provide the proper combat cred necessary to out their true feelings and deep-seated desire to chalk up one more American war in the loss column. In the sick and twisted mind of liberals, WWII was not the "good war," it was Vietnam.* After all, WWII we won.
*Or as John Kerry called it, "the biggest nothing in history."

Not to be outdone, President Bush also came out praising retired Marine Col. Murtha as "a fine man" and adding that disagreeing with the administration was not in itself unpatriotic. Certainly not, Mr. President. But I will not be so squeamish in my own assessment of Colonel Mustard.

When a United States Congressman’s pronouncements and stated goals become indistinguishable from those of our nation’s adversaries, I am left with no recourse other than to consider him likeminded. While I am not privy to the standard required for one to be "aiding and abetting the enemy," I do know that this behavior toes the line. "Battle tested" he may once have been, now all he appears is battle fatigued by a war he's not even fighting. Is that the message he wants the world to receive about today’s generation of Marines? That three years constitutes the upper limit of their resolve? Or does that merely reflect the attention span of equivocal egressmen like himself? No better friend, no worse enemy, says the Corps. Which one is he?

But popular dissent is far from all that MoveOn Murtha is feeding with his irresponsible rhetoric. His actions are sharply damaging to troop morale both at home and abroad and weaken further an already shaky Iraqi confidence in our staying power . His desire to see all of our Western warriors flee east of Eden is stoking the flames of antiwarrior sentiment throughout every elitist liberal enclave, helping rob yet another generation of soldiers of their hard fought and well deserved honor--something his own background should make him intimately acquainted with. And worst of all, Col. Murtha's gripes of wrath are playing politics with our lives.

The Art of War, the proto-text of military insight, counsels that "one need not destroy one's enemy; one need only destroy his willingness to engage." You can bet al-Qaeda ringleader Zarqawi subscribes to this, and has registered an external view of our adversarial political system to convey internal weakness within our shores and widespread dissention among our ranks. He has written that Americans are "the most cowardly of God’s creatures." Not all of us, Z-man. Not all of us.

Not long ago, several members from my Stryker brigade were seriously wounded in an all-out battle to capture a handful of top-tier targets holed up in a residential Mosul safe house. It is believed that, rather than be taken alive, the occupants self-detonated their stronghold, bringing down the entire structure around them. The bodies, to include at least one U.S. serviceman, are still in the process of being recovered from the rubble. Zarqawi himself may even turn out to be among them.

Inshallah? Indeed.

This is the reality of what we face out here on the front lines. We are not complaining, and we are not bitter. This is our job; we understand the risks--and this is what the majority of us signed up to do. But what we don’t need is to come back from a nine-hour patrol only to discover that our own representatives in Congress--including some of the very same members who voted to send us here in the first place--are now threatening to pull the rug out from under us just as we near the moment of truth. Their party’s post-bellum depression is starting to rear it’s ugly little head, but we have a message for them: Your public approval ratings are not our problem.

What is it exactly that all these Democratic doubters are suddenly so afraid of? Are they worried that we may actually prevail, and enshrine not only Middle Eastern democracy in the annals of Things That Could Not Be Done, but cement President Bush’s place in history as well? Are they afraid of a Republican clean sweep in the ‘06 midterms, followed by another slam-dunk in ‘08? I pray it is something more. Something more important than sheer electoral advantage. I would like to think that if I should have to pay the ultimate sacrifice it won’t be all for naught; or at least that it would be for a higher purpose than allowing John Murtha to hold onto his Congressional seat.

"How do you ask a man to be the last [one] to die for a mistake?" waxed young naval philosopher-king John Kerry in the throes of his seminal moment. Thirty five years later, I have an answer for him: Simply don’t work so hard to ensure that a war you initially supported degenerates into a mistake after the fact.

Irrespective of the daily Democratic dithering, the Iraqi shurta, soldiers, and civilians will continue to cry freedom long after our American politicians, polls, and pundits have all cried uncle. If we abandon them now, however, their fate will by then have irreversibly changed hands from the preventable to the tragically inevitable. Where will your concern for human rights be then, President Carter? Or does that concern only extend to terrorist detainees?

Are we no better as a people than those European EUnuchs--that loose colony of moral lepers continually plagued by indecision, apathy, and intestinal rot? Have we resigned ourselves to their inherited impotence, issuing forth unenforceable resolutions in order to placate undeterrable dictators? Have we not learned that relying on the Security Council for protection is as foolhardy as depending on Social Security for retirement?

It is possible we could have given the United Machinations more time to play out--after all, there had only been twelve years of inspections Kabuki theater that resulted in nothing but noncompliance on Saddam’s part. Twelve years. (The entire run of Seinfeld aired in less). Or is it rather the futility of entrusting a monumental task entailing the potential use of force to a world body with the purported goal of eliminating the use of force the possibility that cannot be overstated?

Reforming Iraq from a terrorist magnet to a tourist mecca will not be an easy task, but it can be done. Anyone who has visited the Kurdish north--as my platoon recently did in Dohuk--has indeed glimpsed the past, present, and especially the future of the region. It is a future as bright as the children’s smiles, as secure and safe as the city streets, and as laden with opportunity as the strip malls that bustle with traffic. One would be forgiven for thinking it the lost city of Atlantis, considering the total vacuum of MsM coverage of such oases of normalcy throughout Iraq. But it is only one possible future for the remainder of the country. The path leading elsewhere is still apparently being written and debated over by those with agendas all their own, even as bullets are still flying and our soldiers are still bleeding.

We were not strong enough to drive out a half-million American troops, but that wasn't our aim. Our intention was to break the will of the American government to continue the war.

Such were the triumphant words of North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap in an interview fifteen years after the fall of Saigon. Must we hear them repeated again, by a take-no-prisoners (literally) band of al-Sadists whose capacity for evil make communists look like choirboys? Or will our unyielding military men and women be allowed to complete our "mission impossible" we have fought and bled to render so imminently plausible?

The ball’s in your court, America. We've done our part. It's high time you did yours.

You really want to support the troops? Support our efforts.
And make sure Congress hears you loud and clear.

Those twelve years of Kabuki Theater resulted in all of the WMD that USED to exist being destroyed. You are just a bitter old man trying to relive his youth. Thank God that the truth about this administration is starting to leak out.

Great dispatch, Buck, but I feel that I must respond to Michael's tired response.

First, in order to be a "bitter old man" one must first be old. Michael, if you know nothing about someone, you should not make yourself look foolish by making presumptions.

Second, the "truth" that is starting to leak out is a web of fabrications woven by the mainstream media with the sole purpose of undermining the efforts of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, because God forbid we make the rest of the world hate us for our Superior military and rejection os their socialist agendas.

As for reliving one's youth, I feel that I will be reliving my youth if we retreat from a battle on the cusp of victory, requiring our presence back in the Middle East another twelve years from now. How many more Iraq veterans will have to see their sons and daughters deployed to the same place they fought before the left realizes that in order to achieve lasting stability we must stay the course? STAY THE COURSE.

God bless President Bush. God Bless you, Buck. And God bless even you, Michael.

~Emily~

"You are just a bitter old man trying to relive his youth."

But my wife said thirty is the new twenty! That hurts Michael, that really hurts...

Michael ... riddle me this:

How were YOU going to stop the restarting of the WMD programs documented in the Duelfer Report, without taking Saddam out by force?

Containment and inspections were unreliable for that task ... especially if Saddam squeaked by one (non-comprehensive) weapons inspection and got sanctions lifted.

Then, you'd be blasting the President for not doing something about this.

Yes the truth is coming out ...

... that the MSM has been only reporting one side of the story in Iraq.

... that there is a faction in this nation, including some of its leadership, that is quite concerned with the possibility of (conservative) American officials shredding paper, but don't care one whit about the certainty of thugs like Saddam & Sons shredding people -- and the threat such unchecked brutality presents to the rest of the world.

... (even worse), there are some in this nation who don't care what their comments do to both our troops and our enemies, for all they want is payback for an election they considered "stolen", by a man who doesn't share their disdain for personal success, but does have a disdain for some of their personal choices.

... that all of the above are working independently ... and sometimes collaboratively ... to turn this into another Vietnam glory moment for them -- the fate of the Iraqi people, and the rest of the world, be damned.

We tried it your way ... valuing the Kabuki theater of diplomatic farce over decisive force ... and it did not decrease the threat one bit. I see Saddam, in his mind, saying to himself as he watched the inspectors ...

"Crunch all you want ... we'll make more".

OTOH ...

Buck, you are an expression of God's grace, being applied to cake-eaters like me.

Thank you for your service to me and this nation.

Stay safe ... stay alert ... and let the world know through your actions the truth of the following:

America:
No better friend
No worse enemy

I was looking for video to see exactly what Murtha and Jean Schmidt said that caused such a feather ruffle. I fell into a "progressive thought" site. I have never known such vulgar, nasty, ugly, mean people. Eventually the "bring them home yesterday and stop this illegal war"s showed up and I had to interject quite a bit, a lot of it from the soldiers perspective (based on what so many of you have written) and why pulling out now can't and won't happen.

I can't decide which phrase fits best....None so deaf as those who will not hear....or Some minds are like concrete - thoroughly mixed and permanently set. I finally decided it was a lost cause with them after two days and very sore eyes. I tried!

Those of us who "get it" stand firmly with you, have no fear about that.

Take care

Speaking as a Texas Aggie (and former Air Force officer) living in Anchorage (you will understand how much this hurts...), you actually make me proud that Texas University can produce men such as you. You are a gifted writer, a man of clear sight and thought, a scholar, a warrior, and a gentleman. Take care of yourself and your men and come home safely when your job is done.
God Bless You.

A terrific post. Thank You.

Thank you so much for your service to our country!!!

Not only on the battlefield, but in the words you have written here. I friend forwarded your blog link to me, for which I am grateful.

Make no mistake about it, America does support you, your Commander in Chief and you mission!

Thank you and God speed!

Lynda

Sure wish some of the naysayers (and cowards) in Congress would read your words. I agree totally with your wonderful post. Y'all just continue on with your great work, & we'll do all we can here at home to pass on your (and others') words as to what's really happening. From what I'm hearing, we're finally making a small dent in the perception that we're losing. Thank you.

The michaels of the world face a huge problem: they are wrong and more and more people know it.

they are on the brink of being totally discredited and they are panicky.

The Democrat party has made a deal with the devil and now they are facing the sad reality that they're on the wrong side of history.

As for being bitter and old, well it sure seems that Michael's got the bitter part down pat. let's see if he makes it to "old"

I just stumbled onto the milblogger site.

Thank you for your service and may the Lord bless each and every on of you in the service of the greatest country on Earth.

I pray for our President and leaders and pray that they get their heads out of their collective arses so you can get the job done and get home.

To Michael:

I am an old man or I would be beside these heroes. My father served 22 years in the Marines and fought in three wars. When he came home from Nam he could not believe the way he was treated. He and his generation fought their wars so I and my generation wouldn't have to.

We enjoy the freedoms we have and the rights we scream about because of the men and women on the front lines.

To Buck Sargent:
I agree that Murtha is a traitor and should be so charged and if found guilty pubicly shot! Notice I say he should have a trial. He is an American citizen.

I also think Senator Rockefeller has committed treason (by his own admission) and should be treated like Murtha.

To all the hate Amreica crowd:

The way to better this country is if you can't stand it, GET OUT.

Jim Dietz

I have to say I agree with Mr. Lincoln.

Wow, wish this could be on the OpEd page of every newpaper in the country. That was beyond awesome.

I hear ya, but don't discount everything Murtha is saying because he used the "withdrawal" sham as a means to armor himself from ethics investigation. It IS slimy politics, but what can you expect from slimy politicians anyway.

Great post Buck! It's always a pleasure to read your blog. I too agree that pulling out now would be one of our largest mistakes ever. The MSM has been waging a misinformation war from the beginning. A successful democracy is a long shot in the Middle East, but it's starting to happen! Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Good job on this one, Buck. You impress us all every day. Press on, son.

Subsunk

As most of our men and women fighting our war for us, You Get It Buck!

Unfortunately, most (and I include both parties here) of our politicians forgot the concept of leadership and bought into the concept of strategy....the strategy to get themselves re-elected. Far too many in our congress care little about America and its future and care only about their political future.

We are with you and those you serve so honorably with. Be safe and be strong.

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale & undermine the military are saboteurs & should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." - President Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln never said this. Ever. This quote is a fabrication of Dr. J. Michael Waller who first wrote it in 2003 shortly before the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth gave it life in 2004. How pathetic has the Republican Party become that it insults the reputation of America's finest Republican president for their political gain?

Cliff Hancuff
The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too

"Lincoln never said this. Ever."

Hmmm. Maybe, maybe not. But he did say this:

"Seven score and three years from now, you really need to get a life, dude."

But go right ahead and prove your negative if it makes you happy. You have an awful long list of google responses to look forward to "correcting."

http://factcheck.org/article415.html

I can't say enough good things about what Brooks Jackson did with my original TRUTH FROM AN HONEST MAN pamphlet I loaned him.

My great, great, grandfather, who I am named in honor of, made the supreme sacrific for our country in Lincoln's Union Army serving Stonewall Jackson his only defeat in the Civil War.

Diana Irey has "cut&run" from her use of this Lincoln quote. Write her "handler" at bill@irey.com and ask him.

Cliff Hancuff
The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too

Here's some background.

http://community.cnhi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/4871074/m/664107374

Cliff Hancuff
The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too

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"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." -- Abraham Lincoln