"Cut-and-Run, Retreat-and-Defeat" Strategy Vs. "Staying and Paying the Course"
I haven't watched "Meet the Press" in some time- mainly because my NBC reception stinks. But Mike's America clued me into John Murtha's interview with Tim Russert. Since I'm on the Leftcoast, I had time to catch the MSNBC repeat broadcast.
So this past Sunday, Congressman Murtha was given plenty of airtime to sputter and bloviate, using his honorable military service as an aegis against anyone who might dare criticize him (such as myself) and as a badge of authority on what's best, militarily for America.
I disagree with every assessment and statement he made...from his "facts" to his opinions. But let's just focus on this one:
Now, let’s, let’s—give me, give you an example. When we went to Beirut, I, I said to President Reagan, “Get out.” Now, the other day we were doing a debate, and they said, “Well, Beirut was a different situation. We cut and run.” We didn’t cut and run. President Reagan made the decision to change direction because he knew he couldn’t win it. Even in Somalia, President Clinton made the decision, “We have to, we have to change direction."In 1998, he had this to say during a famous ABC interview conducted by John Miller:
After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims [ie, the Soviet Union], the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families. Proud of this destruction, America assumed the titles of world leader and master of the new world order. After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim. ...In the Muslim world, strength is respected; weakness is sneered at. What happened with Beirut, Somalia, and Vietnam, is what led Osama bin Laden to become emboldened to plot terror-strikes against American interests, and terrorism on American soil.
I don't care what position you held before the war. If you were against going into Iraq, if you considered it a war of option and not one of necessity, fine then. You can still be angry about it; but to use it for a basis of strategy for the hear and now- to be a harpy about how no wmds were found, is to be stuck on stupid. We are there now. There is only one clear course of action, and that is victory. To settle for anything less will only bring more 9/11's to our shores. 2,500 American soldiers so far, have given their lives to make America safer from Islamic terror; will their sacrifices have been in vain? Only if we abandon the mission before it's completion. By all conceivable measures, we are not losing the War on Terror. We have made it costly to the terrorists who have waged their jihad on the U.S. What we apparently have lost, though, is the ability to stomach loss and to have the intestinal fortitude to win wars. Murtha's response- which is a cut-and-run, defeat-and-retreat mentality, no matter how he wants to rationalize it to himself, is exactly the kind of America Osama bin Laden is describing when he labels us a "paper tiger". We are so good....so civilized....that even the loss of a single American life causes us great angst and pain. But we cannot allow the hand-wringers and the chicken little quagmirists to dictate the course of this war and impliment a strategy of defeat. Defeat is what will embolden terrorists and endanger many more American lives.
Conservative Intelligence Report
Chickenhawk Express has a great roundup of Murtha quotes from 1993.
Hat tip: Michael Medved Show