Representative John Murtha -- who the press has recently discovered is an anti-war former Marine even though he's been peddling his line for 18 months -- is on Meet The Press is calling for "redeploying along the periphery." Basically getting troops out of the fight because they are being hurt and killed. Killed! In a war zone!
His idea should be imported to America. For example, the Memphis Police Department faces danger every day from gangs, organised resistance to the tyranny of American law and government. We regularly, thanks to the sensationalism of the press, hear about cops being shot, wounded and killed in the line of duty.
We need to move the cops and "redeploy along the periphery." They need to be taken from harm's way and moved to the edges of these dangerous areas. After all, it's up to the people of these neighborhoods to keep their own peace, to raise their own children properly. It's the duty of their adults ministers, educators and public leaders, not the cops. Right?
Let's Murtha-fy our approach to local policing. It's a good idea, right? Right?
Murtha also predicted that all our troops in Iraq would be out by Election Day next year. He was baited by Russert, who regularly does this kind of stupidity to his interviewees, but still it was a foolish thing to fall for. He will pay for it.
And those who criticise Rep. Jean Schmidt for repeating the words of a Marine of her acquaintance ("... cowards cut and run, Marines never do.") should recall every politician and activist who has claimed that President Bush deliberately distorted intelligence, lied to America, started and led us into a war, all for the profits of Halliburton and his oil buddies is practising what they decry. They get upset with a charge of cowardice but happily holler treason and murderer.
Murtha is peddling a false charge: that the War is going poorly and not achieving its goals. He is wrong, if you read the reports of American soldiers, not reporters, and look at the progress of events. The anti-War Left has seized on this to further their agenda of crippling America's foreign policy and America herself. The anti-Bush Democrats are happy to add this to their long list of imagined reasons to impeach Bush and utterly decimate the Republican Party. The press is happy to report the conflict.
Murtha and a lot of anti-War folks want a firm date set when it's all over, rather than letting the progress of events dictate what happens when. We can't do that. Take an example from American history, the 1876 election of Rutherford B. Hayes. The Electoral College vote was contested and thrown to the House. It was only after promises were made to end Reconstruction with his election that Hayes won.
The work of Reconstruction -- eliminating the vestiges of slavery and white domination -- was far from over. (We'll leave out questions of whether Reconstruction itself was right or wrong.) As soon as Federal occupation ended, the forces of Jim Crow were launched and there ensued decades of oppression for Southern blacks. All because the process was abandoned by a date, and not by achievement.
This isn't about simple anti-Bush "stay the course"-ism, but about finishing what we start. We have made a promise and a commitment to the Iraqi people. We have an obligation to finish what we've started. Having been launched on this mission, we cannot alter trajectory without grave and terrible consequences. Democrats and the anti-War left seem to think that as long as those consequences fall on folks "over there" that's fine. But an emboldened terrorist Al-Qaeda will most certainly bring their renewed mission to us, over here. Count on it.