A vote of no confidence?

Congressman Murtha capped the inanities started by the Senate that were put to the fire November 18 in the House. Are we going to abandon the Iraqis?

The ‘Bush Lied’ mantra has been exposed in “Setting the Record Straight” responses that simply quote the words of the accusers from past years. See, for example, Mark Alexander’s Call them what they are — TRAITORS (Townhall 05nv19)

The ‘culture of corruption’ meme has been falling apart with Woodwards’s revelations to the point that Libby wasn’t as accused and the DeLay prosecution circus and other failed attempts to pin the tail on the elephant.

Now, Kerry “won’t stand for the swift boating of Jack Murtha” and his colleagues are in an outrage of rightous indignation. They can call the President all sorts of things but when it is pointed out that their allegations are rather poorly founded they claim that their patriotism is being questioned and that they have the solemn obligation to criticize.

The major media sources have also been something to observe in this brouhaha as well. It is exceedingly difficult to get the full story. Correction of basic fundamental facts are needed on nearly every report. Anyone paying attention over time will likely be irritated at the selective amnesia and the patterns of misrepresentation.

But faux or ignorant outrage does not remove the taint of historical occurance. The Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth have never been refuted nor their challenges met. The attempts to smear the Bush Administration have yet to produce even a smell despite many assorted and serious allegations and much investigation. Indeed, the smell appears to be coming from the accusors. The words of Kerry, Reid, Kennedy, Pelosi and other leading members in their party are on record and will stand no matter how much they attempt to minimize or excuse them. The words of the President are also on the table and available for anyone to compare with what his opposition says he said.

With Murtha, the anti-US ethos is on the table. It matters not whether he had a distinguished military career or other ad hominem attributes. What matters are his words and positions and behavior. Are his arguments solidly based and cogent? Are his values for his country or has he been swayed by individual tragedy? Will the US stand for its principles? Will the US stand with its obligations? Will the US honor those who made the sacrifice for its obligations and principles?

Fred Barns puts a context on the latest assault in Vietnam Flashbacks where history is illustrating just how much the US disgraced itself and its own efforts in abandoning South Vietnam in a time of great need.

By themselves, the events are small. A normally hawkish Democratic congressman, John Murtha calls for an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The Republican-controlled Senate passes a resolution that says 2006 is the year to begin a “phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq.” Democrats continue their attacks on President Bush for allegedly hyping or falsifying the prewar intelligence on Iraq.

And on top of all that, former President Bill Clinton changes his mind about the liberation of Iraq by military force. Clinton was a strong supporter of the war–but no longer. “Saddam is gone,” he said at the American University in Dubai. “It’s a good thing. But I don’t agree with what was done. It was a big mistake.” By “it,” Clinton meant the invasion that deposed Saddam Hussein.

Taken together, these events are ominous. They may not represent an irreversible new consensus among the political class toward America’s intervention in Iraq. But at a minimum, they suggest that troop removal has superseded victory as the primary American concern. The current shift in attitude is reminiscent of the one that followed the Tet Offensive in 1968, which consisted of Democratic defections, Republican anxiety, and a general loss of confidence in America’s ability to prevail in Vietnam. And we know where all that led: directly to the 1975 collapse.

Mel Laird, it turns out, isn’t the only person who’s been thinking about the parallel between Iraq and Vietnam. So has Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy. In his intercepted email to al Qaeda’s man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, he said, “Things may develop faster than we imagine.” He wrote that “the aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam–and how they ran and left their agents–is noteworthy.” Indeed, and it is relevant.

The House vote is a vote of confidence tainted. It did not use the exact wording Murtha proposed so his party is hiding behind that as an excuse for their vote. The rationalized their vote against their own statements on a technicality. Which is worse, the dishonesty or the technical shenanigans, is hard to tell. There is a lot here and much is subtle politics intended to say one thing and do another. Will the people be fooled?

Meanwhile, this latest assault is occurring while the President is overseas. This becomes an attempt by the Democrats to make true their allegations about a Presidential failure of diplomacy by cutting him off at the knees and providing domestic distrations when the entire country and all of its citizens should be behind him in supporting his overseas diplomacy. It does lead one to wonder – whose side are they on, anyway?

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