DETROIT -- At least the battle lines are drawn and clear. It's Jack Murtha vs. Karl Rove. They are the front men who represent the moral and political choices the American people will make in the 2006 elections.
Pennsylvania congressman Murtha is an authentic and sincere man who knows the horrors of war firsthand. The former Marine put his own life at risk in Vietnam, where he was wounded and decorated. Murtha is calling for a new course in Iraq, a change in direction that will save the lives of countless Iraqis and American troops.
The U.S. death toll hit 2,500 last week. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow dismissively referred to the new benchmark of carnage. "It's a number," he said. After "Mission Accomplished," we were supposed to stop counting.
Rove is the supreme cynic, the total utilitarian. He believes in nothing and craves only power. Rove is nakedly amoral, a perfect reflection of the men he serves. When the Vietnam War came his way, Rove chose to duck and dodge, cut and run. He is a physical coward who shamelessly uses the lives of Americans dying in Iraq to slur his political opponents.
We are seeing a dress rehearsal of the Busheviks' fall campaign, another grab-bag of lies. They will do anything to retain control of Congress as they continue on the path of unobstructed destruction of the ideals our nation once stood for.
These serial criminals and career incompetents fear the very thought of one house of Congress with subpoena powers that would compel them to testify under oath. The vile Rove knows George W. Bush's presidency, his ultimate political dirty trick, will be exposed as the corrupt fraud it is.
No presidency in memory has had such a compliant, loyal and acquiescent bunch of lap dogs in Congress. The White House raids the Treasury and gives the lard-ass Republicans on Capitol Hill all the pork-barrel projects they want. In return, GOP lawmakers let the White House get away with murder -- literally.
The "debate" in the House on Murtha's proposal to map a timetable for the speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq was a sad joke. Instead of a serious discussion, the Republican leadership trumpeted meaningless slogans like "Stay the course" and "Complete the mission." They made sure the only vote taken was on a resolution crafted in collusion with the White House.
A "confidential" memo House Majority Leader John Boehner issued to his underlings called for rewriting history, declaring that Sept. 11 made invading Iraq unavoidable, and urged Republicans to smear the Democrats as "wavering" and "irresolute."
"Americans expect real debate in Congress," Rep. Louise Slaughter, who represents Niagara Falls, said as the Republicans rammed through a no-amendment rule. "They don't expect their representatives to passively acquiesce to the assertions of a meaningless resolution based on the White House talking points. And they expect their elected officials to have a meaningful discussion on the future course of the greatest challenge to our nation in a generation."
Republicans can debate forever constitutional amendments to ban gay marriages and flag-burning, but they have no time for any substantive discussions on the course of a horrible war.
Murtha recited poll numbers showing "87 percent of the Iraqis endorse a timetable for withdrawal." Murtha knows American forces are caught in the crossfire of a civil war the U.S. invasion spawned.
"We are the targets. We are causing the problem," Murtha told his colleagues. "You know who wants us to stay in Iraq, right now, the al-Qaeda wants us there because it recruits people for them. China wants us there. North Korea wants us there. Russia wants us there. We are depleting our resources, just like Russia depleted their resources in Afghanistan. The same thing is happening to the United States. We will have spent $450 billion by the end of this fiscal year."
On MSNBC's "Countdown," Murtha discussed an Associated Press report that Iraq's deputy prime minister directly asked Bush for a timetable for withdrawal of troops when he met with him last Tuesday. Bush, of course, made no mention of that request. It would have marred the cheap theatrics of his brief, grandstanding photo-op mission to Iraq.
Last week's retreat to Camp David to discuss a "plan for victory" in Iraq was a staged event right out of Rove's tired old playbook. We see Cheney and Rummy in their blue blazers, Condi making a fashion statement with a new pair of boots, and Bush acting like he's thinking and considering all views. Pure crap. Rove was pulling the strings for the partisan puppets. He's feeling frisky after ducking an indictment. Rove is using the same cynical strategy this year as he did in 2002 and 2004: Paint the Democrats as weak, claim the Republicans are protecting us from terrorists, and slur critics, especially those who have served in the military.
While his actors were playing their roles at Camp David, Rove scooted off to New Hampshire last Monday to address the state's Republican Party. He zeroed in on Murtha and Sen. John Kerry, suggesting they are cowards who support "cutting and running" in Iraq.
During the Vietnam War, Rove managed to get a series of student deferments as he jumped from college to college confusing the local draft boards. Rove was usually working on political campaigns and not attending classes as a full-time student as his deferments required. He dodged the draft, but never got a degree. Rove did, however, become a master of deception.
Jack Murtha is an honest, decent man who has served his country honorably as a Marine and member of Congress. He cares deeply about our troops and knows the futility of the conflict in Iraq, which can never be won militarily.
Karl Rove believes in fear and smear. He cares nothing about the morality of the war and the fate of those fighting there. He just wants to win in November.
The American people have a clear choice on the war and our nation's future: Jack Murtha or Karl Rove.
|Niagara Falls Reporter||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||June 20 2006|