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November 20/05   Dem. Rep. John Murtha,  a decorated Viet Nam veteran from Pa., said we should withdraw our troops  "...at the earliest predictable date." Wow!


       Republicans are responding as if this guy, who knows all about the butchery of war, were Benedict Arnold.  Playing politics, Speaker Dennis Hastert, R--Ill., relying on the usual scare tactics, (like mushroom clouds), said, "...to cut and run would invite terrorism in our backyards, and no one wants to see troops fighting terrorism on American soil."  Yeah, we heard that from Bush: Fight them in Iraq, etc, never mentioning that the real fight with al-Queda was in Afghanistan, stupid. Remember that place? Where the war lords and poppies are still flourishing? Our guys are still dying in those god-forsaken mountains, to a great extent because we didn't have all our troops there.  And what ever happened to Bin Laden, the renegade Saudi who encouraged 9/11?  Remember him?


       So these guys have jumped all over Murtha, while at the same time General George Casey submitted a plan to Secretary Rumsfeld, recommending beginning the withdrawal of individual brigades after the Iraqi elections in December; while the Commander In Chief is making speeches on the other side of the world about "...never cutting and running," etc.  Take your pick.

       The anxious schizophrenic Republicans in their "house showdown," on the one hand slammed the Dems with a black or white proposal to make the Dems look bad:  either stand with Murtha or vote against the withdrawal (never mentioning Casey's plan)--while many of these tricky-dicks have already distanced themselves from Bush, who is distancing himself from Mr. Attack Dog and torture advocate , V.P. Cheney, because of sidekick Libby.  All of these neocons, I'm certain,  mindful of the seemingly endless suicide bombings and deaths of our military guys, the torture scandals and all of the other local messes they've created, causing their poll numbers to plunge and prompting them to strike out in different directions in panic while thinking of the midterm elections in 2006.

   What's next? Are the neocons going to accuse General Casey of wanting to "cut and run" for even considering the possibility of withdrawal? Or how about Rumsfeld for even listening? Huh?

       No doubt the major requirement in Casey's plan for withdrawal from Iraq will be the readiness of the Iraqi troops to assume responsibility.  I don't believe for a minute that the task ahead for these Iraqi soldiers will not be exceedingly dangerous; a lot of them have died already, just for volunteering.   But I'd like to remind everyone that the horrific Second World War, resulting in a few hundred thousand American dead, was largely fought in two theaters of action by young draftees and volunteers, most of whom had  no previous experience, some with little beyond 9 to 17 weeks of basic training.  A relative handful were professionals, with an even smaller older group with combat experience from the First World War.  It was for the most part a civilian army and navy. (Shouldn't forget Marines and Coast guard). Some boys back then were drafted before they could finish high school because they had turned 18; were then thrown into combat.

       The point of this is, that many of the young people back then learned on the job, the hard way, and look what they did.  Some of them: 20 year old fighter pilots.  23 year old bomber pilots. 19 year old infantry corporals and sergeants. 30 to 40 year old infantry majors and colonels.  And the Korean War heroes, quite unsung, with about 26,000 dead American youngsters. And Viet Nam vets were mostly kids with no deferments, drafted, who fought bravely, superbly, and suffered mightily, 58,000 losing their young lives, the war being lost because of misguided leadership at the top, not because of any of the good guys on the ground.  Terror plagued American combat soldiers, but apparently they--when allowed to--had the will to win.  The Iraqis must have the will, as well.

        So, House members are now anxious to begin their two week Thanksgiving holiday, no doubt trying for the time being to forget the mess they either created, or supported, in Iraq; salving whatever collective conscience they have with thoughts of the military having turkey in the Green Zone.  I just wish they'd remember that many of the grunts have to pay for receiving the birds by ducking bullets and bombs.

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