Friday, December 09, 2005

The misunderstandings of Murtha

Carroll Andrew Morse: Jack Murtha and the lessons of Vietnam

Congressman Murtha wants to withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as possible after the December 15 election. Murtha's withdrawal resolution claims that "the American people have not been shown clear, measurable progress towards…a stable and improving economy in Iraq". The International Monetary Fund disagrees. An August IMF report on Iraqi progress projects that Iraq's 2007 per-capita gross domestic product will be nearly double its pre-war value. More importantly, the idea of per-capita in Saddam's Iraq was statistical fiction. Products and profits went to Saddam and his ruling clan. In a democratic Iraq, there will be a more equitable distribution of economic benefits. But to Jack Murtha, more resources more equally distributed to more Iraqis is no progress.


Rep. Murtha repeats America's key error of the Vietnam era when assessing the Iraqi front of the global war on terror; he focuses only on the armed struggle and ignores the political struggle. The only difference between Rep. Murtha and his Vietnam-era predecessors is that Murtha has replaced a quest for a decisive military victory with an offer of appeasement. The Murtha withdrawal plan is a call to end the armed struggle by giving the Iraqi insurgency what it wants. Rep. Murtha then expects the political struggle to somehow resolve itself in America's interest.

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