U.S. Rep. John Murtha would know better than most that the war in Iraq "is a flawed policy wrapped in an illusion."John Murtha toted a rifle in Vietnam four decades ago so he's more than qualified to speak to foreign policy matters, you see.
Before Thursday, Murtha's name and influence weren't well known outside Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C., where it is legendary. He might not carry the name recognition of Sen. John McCain, but he is McCain's peer when it comes to military service and knowledge of national defense.
Which is to say Murtha's credentials far outrank those of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who both sat out the Vietnam War. (link)
Leaving aside the fact that Murtha has been against the Iraq war from the beginning, and the fact that his idea of our retreating in the face of an enemy hell-bent on killing us all is morally reprehensible, and the fact that Murtha's mind took the United shuttle to lalaland two decades ago, the Roanoke Times - in saying "Murtha's credentials far outrank those of President Bush and Vice President Cheney" - must have you overlook the uncomfortable facts that Dick Cheney ran the most powerful military organization in the history of mankind as Secretary of Defense and that President Bush was Commander-in-Chief of those forces who were victorious in Afganistan and are now working to bring victory in Iraq. Credentials indeed.
So. When we enter into a discussion about foreign policy, whose credentials really outrank? The Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense or an enlisted soldier who fought in a war 40 years ago and who thinks terrorism began - not at Kobar Towers, not with Leon Klinghoffer's execution, not with the Beirut barracks bombing, not with the World Trade Center Towers bombing, not with the bombing of the USS Cole, not with the simultaneous bombing of two American embassies in Africa, not on 9/11, but at Abu Ghraib:
[Margaret] Warner [on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer]: But may I ask you, sir, if you believe--[the president] says--for whatever reason, Iraq has become the center of terrorism - that if the U.S. appears to retreat in the face of that, that it will be a blow to the American fight against radical Islamic terrorism? What do you say to that?Credentials are one thing. Credibility is another. And then there's sheer lunacy.
Murtha: Well, I say that the fight against Americans began with Abu Ghraib. It began with the invasion of Iraq. That's when terrorism started. It didn't start when there was criticism of this administration. This administration doesn't want to listen to any ideas. (link)
So please. Don't insult our intelligence by trying to make the babbling incoherence of a tottering old dolt something it's not.