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Thursday, May 11, 2006


Misleading news item of the day

From AP:
Rep. John Murtha, a Vietnam veteran first elected in the anti-war fever of 1974, says American troops will be brought home from Iraq by 2007.
Not just misleading, quadruply so. First, the clear implication that Murtha was somehow part of the "anti-war fever of 1974" (like, say, John Kerry) is simply nonsense; Murtha has been a hawk his entire life and as far as I know has supported every war the U.S. has fought.

Second, what does "by 2007" mean? To me it means by the end of December, 2006--7 1/2 months from now. Murtha says "Either President Bush will bow to public opinion or Democrats will have won control of the House of Representatives and increased pressure on the White House." But the election isn't until November, so Murtha's theory would mean that within a month of the Democrats winning control of the House, they would have forced Bush to pull out troops; considering that they have already voted the money to keep the troops there past that time, that would be rather difficult to do.

Third, because the implication that Democrats as a whole are somehow pushing for, or even support, withdrawal from Iraq, is simply untrue.

And finally, there's the subtle distinction between "American troops will be brought home" and "all American troops will be brought home," which even Murtha doesn't advocate. Do 3,000 count? 30,000? For sure neither of those numbers will make much difference to the Iraqi people, nor to the families of the American troops who continue to be killed and wounded.

Other than that, you can believe every word. Murtha is a Vietnam vet, and was first elected to Congress in 1974. :-)

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