Thursday, December 06, 2007

Congressman Murtha Admits Positives in Iraq

I had to look up the word “conniption.” I wasn’t sure how to spell it, but I’m sure that the likes of Code Pink, MoveOn, and other far left anti-war groups had a collective conniption fit last week.

One of their poster boys, John Murtha, quit toeing their line.

Surely what followed were the same fits of rage I’ve seen them have before.

In September at a Washington D.C. rally as Senator Joe Lieberman began to address a group of pro-mission vets and Gold Star Families, several members of the anti-war groups charged toward the stage with seemingly unrestricted fury, screaming with hatred, red faces, and flying spittle. Even as the police hauled them away, their venom did not subside.

Last week gave them another reason to become completely unhinged when Congressman Murtha visited Iraq and came back with a new view.

After a long run as one of the war’s most vocal critic he now says the surge strategy is working. He joined a growing list of previously critical lawmakers who see the undeniable positive developments in Iraq.

That can’t sit well with Code Pink or MoveOn who have counted on John Murtha to carry their Kool-Aid in Congress.

This summer and even into the fall when all metrics indicated growing and huge successes with the surge, Congressman Murtha remained absolutely adamant that it was not working.

At times he would fly off into tirades against those who saw and declared success in any aspect of the war. At one point he even let his emotions about the war override his senses when he publicly accused fellow Marines of cold-blooded murder at Haditha before an investigation was completed or charges leveled.

Now he says the surge is working.

We should welcome him back to reality with open arms.

Because the reality is that we are winning in Iraq and hope for the future has never been brighter with regards to the defeat of Al Qaeda there.

Congressman Murtha finally sees the truth of what’s happening. The surge is working, there is tremendous success in Iraq, but the national leaders still need to get their act together.

He should take heart with regard to the national leaders. As reconciliation continues at the lower levels, as has now been well documented by multiple parties, it will increasingly pressure Iraq’s national leaders to do the same and get their act together.

Needed pressure for reconciliation increased on the national level last week when, according to the Kuwait News Agency, a fatwa was issued by the leading Shiite cleric in Iraq, Ali Sistani, who “banned the killing of Iraqis, particularly the Sunnis, and urged the Shiites to protect their brother Sunnis.” During the meeting in which the fatwa was issued, Ali Sistani was quoted as saying, “I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shiite or a Kurd or a Christian."

If national religious leaders can take that strong of a stand for all Iraqis, surely the political leaders are capable of doing so as well.

The counter-insurgency strategy of General Petraeus, the professionalism of our troops, their hard work, and the difficult risky stand taken by many Iraqis against the various terrorist and insurgent groups have all meshed to create the environment for success.

And John Murtha finally sees it.

The flip-flop bashers now need to leave him alone. He’s changed his mind based on the facts of the situation. Isn’t that how and why we want our lawmakers to change their positions? Too many times politicians change views for purely political reasons. Leave well enough alone on those occasions when politics takes a back seat to the truth.

However, two very visible questions remain on the political front here at home.

First, will Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (whom reports say was furious with Murtha) quit playing politics with the war, finally concede that the surge is working, and reinforce success, or will they continue to play games, seeking our defeat for their own political victories?

Second, will the other Vietnam veteran to whom the left has often turned for quotes, sound bites, and solace, Senator Chuck Hagel, also concede that things are going well and finally support victory in Iraq, or will he continue to be the favored endorsee of Cindy Sheehan? If he were to finally admit success in Iraq and start voting for victory, he too would be welcomed back.

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