My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


A Study In Contrast

Today's Meet the Press featured Jack Murtha and Lindsey Graham. Here are excerpts:

Russert: And this is what you wrote in the epilogue to your book: “A war initiated on faulty intelligence must not be followed by a premature withdrawal of our troops based on a political timetable. An untimely exit could rapidly devolve into a civil war, which would leave America’s foreign policy in disarray as countries question not only America’s judgment but also its perseverance.” Isn’t that exactly what’s happening?

MURTHA: Yeah, I, I believed that at the time, and, and I believed that when there was a chance of solving it. I just say you have to solve it a different way. It can’t be done militarily. In this case, it has to be done diplomatically and internationally. The only way this can be solved—the progress that we make is measured by economics, it’s measured by, by the fact that, that you have no oil production—it’s below prewar level, electricity below—all the things they measure are below prewar level. So it’s not working militarily. Only a third of this thing could be done militarily. The rest of it’s got to be diplomatic and international. That’s what I’ve been saying. So, so the fact that redeployment, I think, is first step towards, towards stability in the Middle East.

By the way, in case you were unclear that it should be done "diplomatically," it should be done "internationally," he only said it about 13 times in the course of ten minutes of interview. And, by the way, the stutters in the above excerpt are rather mild examples of his . . . eloquence.

What's most frustrating to me is how many times Murtha talks about us talking to Iran, and how that will lead to stability, but, for some reason, RUSSERT NEVER QUESTIONS HIM ABOUT THE WEAPONS IRAN IS SENDING INTO IRAQ! Of course Iran can be a stabilizing influence--ONCE IT RULES IRAQ BY PROXY! But Russert just lets Murtha slide on that one.

Then, Sen. Lindsey Graham comes on and actually manages to make some sense.

Graham: There are plenty of Iraqis who want to live together in peace and want the same thing for their family you want for yours. But the moderates are being shut out by the extremists. Small in number in terms of the overall population, but a desire to win at any and all cost. Do we have the desire to win? Do we have the desire to stand beside imperfect moderates, who I think are the future of the Mideast? Are we going to let car bombs and extremists run us out of Iraq? And where do you go? Where do you deploy to if you lose in Iraq? Because if al-Qaeda tastes the blood of Americans leaving and they can say with certainty they broke our will and ran us out of Iraq, and we go to Kuwait, they come wherever we go. The Gulf states are next. If we lose in Iraq, the moderate Gulf states are next. People like King Abdullah in Jordan, they’re on the hit list. We cannot allow Iraq to fail, because if you fail in Iraq, every moderate voice in the Mideast has a death sentence on their head. [emphases mine]

Graham has it right: they will come after us wherever we go, and in the process, they will do what bin Laden, Zawahiri and al-Jihad were originally aiming for--the destruction of the "apostates" [read: moderates] everywhere in the Muslim world.

How many die in that struggle, Mr. Murtha?

A friend of mine calls Jack Murtha the most dangerous man in Congress; I think he has a lot of competition in that race. But he's up there. For pity's sake, he's still primarily worried about throwing off a major, direct military confrontation--he's buried in a 20th century mindset! But one thing is certain: were Jack Murtha to be the face and voice of American foreign policy in the world, the world would be a far, FAR more dangerous place.

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