From a story in Reuters: "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."
This is a man who served in the Marines (the toughest branch to serve in, if you ask me) for 37 years, retiring as a colonel. After all that service, he served some more in Congress. Lots of service there, no question about it.
The story includes this quote:
Murtha did not respond directly when asked whether a lack of combat experience might have affected the decision-making of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their former top deputies.
"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."
Damn straight. By the way, it takes guts for a 'tough guy' to talk this way. It only increases my respect for this man.
But then, check out the Pentagon's mealy-mouthed response.
Asked for comment, a Defense Department spokesman, Lt. Col. John Skinner, said: "We have an all-volunteer military. People are free to choose whether they serve or not."
This last bit is the part that pisses me off. I served in the Navy for six years. I may have volunteered to join, but once in you follow orders, bub, whether you want to or not. Someone can believe in their country, want to defend it and wish to serve, with a reasonable desire to learn, see the world and improve themselves, yet find themselves utterly against the egregious misuse of our power and prestige in this war. The Skinner remark indicates somehow that everyone in Iraq is there wholeheartedly and voluntarily, and that people like Murtha should just somehow shut up because they're "outsiders" or "don't get it" or something anile like that.