I strongly respect Murtha's past active duty service. But don't get confused into buying his "hawk" credentials in Congress.
For a very long time, Murtha was the head of the House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee. That is the plum pork assignment in the entire Congress- you are the one dictator (under pre-1994 Dem rules) in charge of the place all spending Bills originate for the largest pot of discretionary spending, bar none.
Murtha used that throne with a vengeance and a check-writing pen for hometown Johnstown, Pennsylvania and other favored buddies' districts that rivalled only Sen. Klan's West Virginia bacon warehouse. that explains why money better spent on things such as, you know, soldiers and bullets, Army and Marine stuff, ended up funding the National Center of Excellence in Metalworking Technology, a classic jobs earmark for an out-of-the-way town (Johnstown) lacking any reason for its selection.
When the Clinton illusory "peace dividend" struck, Mr. Murtha was in hog heaven diverting cash to every non-military purpose he could find under the rubric of soft "defense" (strengthen the rust belt union economy and you make America strong, blah blah). The Republican Congress takeover has revealed its own flaws (which can only be resolved by some sunset and TABOR reforms including term limits), but at least it dethroned this kind of kingpin. And redistricting finished the job, so now Murtha has to sound more like Ramsey Clark than Wesley Clark. Assuming there is a difference between those two, that is.Comment Posted By Duane On 18.11.2005 @ 09:40
Please, someone explain what "turned out to be incorrect" beyind the fact that that our intelligence regarding where the WMD were was not accurate? Are you saying that a) they never existed, or that b) we should have known better where they were?
The fact is, only the goofiest moonbats pretend that they never existed- tell that to those Iranians who survived the chemical assaults in the 1980's.
What we still don't know is what happened to them. We don't know whether they were dumped into the Tigris, buried in the Bekaa Valley, sold to free-lancers, recycled into conventional ammunition, or all used up.
Chemical weapons, especially the most rudimentary types, which are the most dangerous because they are very unstable, lack adequate safe-arm mechanisms, and also tend to leak, have a more limited shelf life than others. Did Saddam take the advice of the Russian generals sent to help him prepare? Did they take some away?
Or did he simply let the old weapons die and establish the quick-start dual-use facilities (far easier for chem rounds than any other types- you prepare the shells and S&A's, keep them empty, then mix the load in a bathtub and fill just before battle, which solves the shelf life problem) that we found?
Either way, my challenge to the lefties out there, which includes Rich's beloved brother, is to truthfully ask yourself whether you would personally have gone to Iraq as an embedded reporter in March, 2003, without wearing chem protective gear. If you say that you would have, sorry, you are a liar.
This stuff is all about risk, not metaphysical certainty. The same people who glibly sit back in Washington sniping about intel and saying that we should have trusted Saddam are also telling us that we need to uproot the entire economy because of some infinitesimal possible risk of anthropogenic global warming and the near zero possibility that it could cause a problem- all without worrying at all about the "cost".
To quote Senator Byrd, "B-U-N-K, BUNK!"Comment Posted By Duane On 15.11.2005 @ 12:14
I agree- and here is a tiny expansion of one "pet peeve reporting point", that related to Schiavo's "life support"-
"Again, the misleading ?on life support? draws an inaccurate picture of Ms. Schiavo?s condition."
You're not kidding. As I explain- mnkurmudge.blogspot.com -, from my own experience treating patients with feeding tubes (I have a nursing license, even though I don't do that kind of work), the "life support" Terri Schiavo is on is pouring Ensure into a funnel into her fully functioning stomach so nursing home staff don't have to spend an hour trying to spoon-feed her. Lots of productive people with esophageal cancers deal with the same thing, at home, in their cars, etc. This is not reporting, it is bold-faced lying, and the "reporters" at ABC are incompetent or they are frauds.
I happen to be a right-wing "Jesus nut", and I don't think that she was ever likely to improve meaningfully if at all. We have ability and moral authority to address hard decisions like this one, but we'd better do so from the standpoint of truth and facts, not propaganda by either self-righteous narcissists such as Randall Terry or the "right-to-kill" crowd, from Michael's attorney to all of ABC, NYT, etc.Comment Posted By Duane On 29.03.2005 @ 13:52
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