Could someone please explain how a top ranking member on a subcommitte that oversees defense matters can publicly, and unequivocally, denounce joining the military?
Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, said in remarks airing on Monday that he would not join the U.S. military today.
A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News’ “Nightline” program that Iraq “absolutely” was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.
“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, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.
No doubt, Murtha’s experiences in Vietnam are playing a factor in these denouncements, as evidenced by these types of comments.
“Let me tell you, war is a nasty business. It sears the soul,” he said, choking up. “And it made a difference. The shadow of those killings stay with you the rest of your life.”
Yes, war should not romanticized nor its ramifications lightly considered. There is definitely a necessity for the existence and support of our military though.
Murtha’s comments of late do not offer a vision or direction for what activities the military should be involved in moving forward. We need to have more insight into what Murtha’s idea of a military worthy to be joined would look like.
Given the position that Murtha holds, how is this a responsible statement?