Repost of a Year-Old Letter to Rush
This was fired off to Rush Limbaugh on the occasion of Rep. Jack Murtha's (D-PA) surprising but apt call for a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq late last year. I was burrowing through the Whippersnapp archives and found I'd posted it up there as well. Since it's a year later, the troops aren't home, things are still getting worse over there and Rush is at least just as wrong as he was then, and since we have a Rush-only blog now, I decided to repost it here.
Greetings from an American Democrat in New York. I listen to your show when I can and I enjoy it. I'm 22 years old and still in school. I opposed the Iraq war from the get-go, not because I'm some clueless peacenik, but because I felt we as Americans had bigger fish to fry.
Again, while I consider myself a liberal, it's more in the classical, Lockean sense. After the Sept. 11 attacks four years ago I posted an article on the door of my NYU dormitory room titled "To be anti-war is to be pro-fascist," which was ripped down before my door was vandalized. I'm pro-war when America is fighting the correct war.
I'm writing because I believe you are misrepresenting to your audience the recent statements by Congressman Jack Murtha regarding withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Rep. Murtha's resolution endorsed the termination of the deployment of US troops "as soon as is practicable," meanwhile, the resolution put forth on the House floor by Republicans last Friday called for "immediate" withdrawal, which would be a blunder, to be sure. You also praise Congresswoman Schmidt for calling Murtha and his supporters "cowards," but neglect to mention that Rep. Schmidt requested her statement be stricken from the
record, which request was granted.
Partisan wrangling aside, as far as I'm concerned, we have won the war in Iraq, and forgetting what I and many other Americans feel was a duplicitious and misleading enticement by the President to take on Saddam Hussein's regime, we can take pride as a country in the fact that a murderous tyrant was removed and captured, and the Iraqi people ratified a constitution and elected a government with our help.
When our country was fighting for its independence from foreign oppression, no third party held our hand until we were ready to stand on our own. As a nascent republic, surely we faced some of the same threats the Iraqis face today; a violent insurgency, a lack of bureaucratic and military organization, meddling in our affairs from other countries. We faced those problems head-on; we did not throw up our hands and declare that this democracy thing wasn't worth fighting for.
I wonder now, what conditions would have to take hold in Iraq before the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans decided America could safely withdraw our troops. We were, after all, promised a quick, inexpensive war with a short-term occupation. Must a spontaneous peace break out in this country before we let its citizens handle their own affairs? And in the meantime, we face grave threats from Iran and Syria among others, but so long as our military is committed to Iraq, we will be unable to respond to these aggressors should these threats escalate.
I stand behind Rep. Murtha's assertion that our mission in Iraq has been accomplished; we must now bring our troops home and get them some rest. For the war on Islamic terror is not over with, and so long as we occupy this country, we are fighting it with a handicap.