You Betcha I'm a Proud Army Mom

Ramblings of an Army mom and probably some rants about the world at large. These are my ramblings and rants and no one else's. Just so you know...

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

I Just Don't Understand This

I was watching the Town Hall Meeting on CSPAN (1/5/06). I didn't get to watch all of it but Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has been following it: Murtha vs the Army
The Army has been meeting it's recruiting goals for several months. This must be deeply disturbing to Congressman John Murtha - he's now urging Americans to avoid military service:
"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.
"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.
"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.
"Exactly right," said Murtha.Murtha's comments beg the question "But if you had it to do over again, would you enlist for Vietnam?" - but if that question was asked or answered it hasn't been reported in the coverage.
*****
When asked about Murtha's remarks in a
press conference, current Marine and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace responded:
Q: If I could switch topics, sir, this week Representative John Murtha was asked if he would join the U.S. military today, and he said no. And pressed in that ABC interview -- and I don't know if you saw it or not -- he said -- the interviewer said, "I think you're saying the average guy who's considering recruitment is justified in saying, 'I don't want to serve.'" And he said, "Exactly right." Can get your response to those statements?
GEN. PACE: You know, when I got back yesterday, one of the first questions I was asked was what I thought about that. I had not seen the clip. I did get a chance to see it yesterday.
A large segment of the clip had to do with opinion about the war, and that's not my lane. This country's strength is based on the ability of its citizens and its leadership to have divergent views.
There were two parts in what I saw that went directly to my lane in the road, which is the health of the U.S. military. One was a statement that the U.S. Army is not well trained. The United States Army is well-trained. It is the best trained army in the world. It has never been better-trained, and we will continue to make sure that it stays well- trained.
The second was a quote that you just mentioned. That's damaging to recruiting, it's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they're doing to serve this country. We have almost 300 million Americans who are being protected by 2.4 (million) volunteer active, Guard and Reserve members. We must recruit to that force. When a respected leader like Mr. Murtha, who has spent 37 extremely honorable years as a Marine, fought in two wars, has served the country extremely well in the Congress of the United States, when a respected individual like that says what he said, and 18- and 19-year-olds look to their leadership to determine how they are expected to act, they can get the wrong message.
Q: Sir, you look and sound a little angry about this. Am I misreading that?
GEN. PACE: I would describe myself as "energized" -- (laughter) -- because we have an all-volunteer, all-recruited United States armed forces. I believe that all young people should have the opportunity to serve their country in whatever way they see fit, and that those who would elect to serve in the armed forces of the United States should be encouraged to do, especially when we're in a war where our enemy has stated intention of destroying our way of life.
Q: So, General, is it irresponsible of the congressman to have made those remarks?
GEN. PACE: I think I've said what I needed to say about that.
General Pace also pointed out that the Army has met its recruiting goals for the last six months.
*****
Last night Congressman Murtha dismissed General Pace's comments at a "Town Hall Forum" in Arlington, Va., sponsored by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.)
The Washington Post:
In an emotional two-hour public forum in Arlington last night on the Iraq war, one of the Bush administration's chief critics, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), renewed his call for an immediate pullout, saying, "We've become the enemy."<...>Before a crowd of about 600 people that spilled out of the auditorium and into an overflow room and the street, Murtha accused the Pentagon of ignoring a drop in recruitment levels and tolerating such problems in Iraq as low morale and shortages of body armor and other equipment.
"Instead of taking on the real problems, they face it with rhetoric," he said. " 'Murtha's hurting recruiting,' " the congressman said. "They say, 'You're hurting the effort and hurting the troops.' That's what so frustrating to me."

Click on the link to read it all~
*****

Today, Greyhawk has an update that needs to be read:

Via Michelle Malkin, another revealing moment from the "Town Hall Meeting" featuring congressmen Moran and Murtha. Just before the end of the meeting, Vietnam veteran General Louis C. Wagner spoke on behalf of a friend who had been ignored by the congressman. Unfortunately Murtha had excused himself and departed a few minutes prior.
Video of this exchange begins
at the 2:18:30 point in the video:
Hello Mr Moran I'm General Wagner. I'm here tonight, I decided to come at 7:30. And I'll tell you the reason I came at 7:30 is because I want an answer to a letter, to a friend of ours. She wrote this letter to Mr. Murtha, where she pointed out to him that he was causing the insurgents to bring more activity against the soldiers in Iraq, just as the traitors did during the Vietnam war. I was fighting in 1972 with the Vietnamese when people were cavorting with the North Vietnamese.
Her son was killed today.
I got the message at 7:30 tonight, and I'll tell you, I wasn't going to waste my time coming here because I knew the trash that was going to be put out. But I'm really mad. Because what is being put out is being used to incite the insurgents to continue this war, just as it incited General Giap to consider the Vietnam war.
He hasn't answered her letter, Mr Moran, but I want to read a paragraph to you. I think its a little instructive:
"I have faith in our military leaders and believe that they are making the necessary steps to train the Iraqi forces and provide for our eventual withdrawal. I also have faith in our executive branch, that they are taking the necessary steps to help the new Iraqi government to get a democratic style government in place and to give them at least a chance of success. Although mistakes were made in the execution of the war and its aftermath, the goal itself is worthy, and in spite of all the negativity that we are constantly bombarded with I believe that there have been some remarkable successes.
"Although my son would surely" - and this, incidentally, this is the one that was killed today - "would surely prefer to stay home with his wife and four young children" - from 10 to 2, I'm adding that - "he is both a soldier and a scholar, he understands that we are in a vital long term struggle against a dangerous ideology, and he is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to defeat it. It is a difficult struggle and will require patience and fortitude both on and off the battlefield. If we lose our will at home, it makes the task for our soldiers all the more difficult. I believe your comments were irresponsible and are contributing to the loss of national will. If they were made to obtain political advantages I would find that abhorrent and unworthy of a former Marine."
Sir, I'm mad. Because that is happening every day when I read the newspapers. I visit Walter Reed, and talk to the young soldiers with their legs blown off. I know you do too.I can't find one in a dozen that don't believe that they are fighting for a noble cause and are fighting to go back. And I think it's a disgrace when members of our congress, just as they did in 1975 when they sold out the South Vietnamese, are selling out our soldiers today in Iraq.
Thank you sir. (no applause)Moran stumbled to respond, but eventually began reciting talking points, noting that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11:
Well... uh... Ge.. General... uh.. uh.. we're not gonna end... uh... I'll respond.
But..., um... I.. I do respect your point of view, I know it is widely shared. Uhh... and, um..., and I respect your service in the military.
Uhhh.. I do support the troops, and I do believe that the best way for me to support the troops is to make sure that when they do go to war its a war that needs to be fought. Uh... I... (applause) I... In response to the first two... I don't want the applause, because its going to be interpreted that I'm appealing to the audience. But the, uh... with regard to having faith in the troops I do have faith in our troops, and... uh... but with regard to having faith in uhh... the government that sent them, I don't, and the reason I don't is because they deliberately... is because the reasons that we were giving... given to go to war in Iraq were not accurate, uhhh, and, um, uh, and uh we have now found that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction, there wasn't reliable evidence that he did. He was not a threat to the United States despite any number of attempts in any number of speeches to uhhh... tie Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11 he had nothing to do with it. So our going into Iraq was not in response to any attack, or even real threat to the United States, and it seems to me it uhh... it failed on that and any number of other reasons for being a war that was of necessity.Moran was actually repeating comments he had made earlier in the evening. Recall the
comments from Sgt Mark Seavey:
"Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you, (applause)
"Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."Moran responded quickly: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh... let's go over here." And he took the next question.
But after that questioner, Moran remembered his talking points, and claimed that he was going to respond to Sgt Seavey. This "response" to the veteran of Afghanistan comes at the 37:15 point in the video, and might seem familiar:

Read the rest~

I have since listened to the whole program.

Can you tell that the Hill Sitters here don't read the Milblogs??
I guess if you don't want to hear something, you just stop listening. And you just keep bringing up the old talking points, whether true or not, hoping it becomes truth by repetition and a cooperative Media.
And if you don't agree with the criticism that comes your way, you dismiss it as "unsubstansive".
Oh, and stack the audience with those who only seem to listen to the MSM.
As one meeting goer said,..."you're talking to the choir here". Quite.
Let's see: Viet Nam, Hitler, Abu Ghraib, Israel, Palestine, Code Pink, the Downing Street Memos, the lies and "cooked" intelligence and impeachment were all brought up as valid points by other commenters. Nothing new here.

One of the parts I did hear was Rep. Jim Moran responding to someone asking him what should be done about the terrorists if we do pull out and as he says they will fan out and go to many other countries,where they will continue to do their terrorist thing. He's going to get together a group of Scholars, Muslim, Christian etc. to look at the curriculum to help them develop a Liberal Arts education. (Those of you who have a Liberal Arts degree know how far that will get you in the real world...) Bringing up Guantanomo Bay, his idea is to have the detainees read Great Literature. So this got me thinking of what books we could put in the library at the the detention centers where we keep the insurgents, terrorists etc. to help them broaden their minds, since all they are reading now is the Koran and that is not a good thing!
The first book that came to mind was Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". Mostly because it has the word Christmas in the title. But I also think that they could use learning about the "milk of human kindness".
Thinking of Dickens, I thought also of "A Tale of Two Cities". It has imprisonment, court trials and angst.
Any Mark Twain ~ though I don't know if they would get the satire but hey, we're broadening their minds.
How about some Shakepeare? "All's Well that Ends Well", a story of a woman of low birth and arranged marriages and men who call the shots. The woman prevails in the end.
Then there is always "Macbeth". That worked out well, didn't it? Lessons learned...."out damn spot, out!"

I'd love to hear your thoughts on books for the detainees' library. Leave the titles in the comments section and we can send the list to Rep. Moran and give him a head start on this plan of his. We all know how slowly things can move when left up to the government. And this will help stop terrorism!! Win-Win all around!