Congressman Murtha, I do not care if you are a decorated veteran and a former Marine. I do not care if you are the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee. I do not care if you were first elected to Congress in 1974. I do not care if you voted to support the war and now regret it. I do not care if you have called the war in Iraq a failure since 2004. I do not care that you have Nancy Pelosi joining your charade.
What I do care about are our soldiers serving their country. I care about your calling the US Army “broken” and “worn out”. I care about you calling for US troops to leave Iraq now. I care about your words being used by the terrorists to fan the flames of US hatred. I care about your words sending a message of weakness when strength and determination are the order of the day. I care about our soldiers hearing your words and believing that their country does not support them. I care about the families who have lost loved ones in this battle. The families should not have a scintilla of doubt about their loved ones’ sacrifice for a noble cause. I care about the fanatical haters in the anti-war movement using your words as justification to harangue and mistreat our returning soldiers.
A former Marine should know the danger of admitting weakness and lack of resolve. Do you care that if we had finished the job in Somalia, none of this might have been necessary? Do you care that if we had taken Osama bin Laden when offered to President Clinton, 3000 plus people might have been saved? Do you care that if we had taken regime change seriously in 1998, we might have 2100 soldiers still with us? Of course you do not care. If you did you would not be calling for withdrawal from Iraq.
True soldiers live by the creed of “leave no soldier behind”. Your call for withdrawal means that we leave behind the sacrifice of 2100 plus heroes. You are asking for the soldiers putting their lives on the line to leave their job unfinished. Calls for withdrawal tell the soldiers that their work and sacrifice is not worth it. It tells the soldiers that their service is not valued, no matter how many times you say “we support the troops”.
Representative Schmidt was wrong to read the letter from the soldier implying that you are a coward. Coward was too mild a word. What you really are is a quitter who only cares about politics and puts party loyalty before honor and service. No amount of ribbons or medals on your chest makes up for the lack of fortitude to complete the mission. That is what we should all care about.