Murtha says he wouldn't join military now
Tue Jan 3, 2006 9:00 AM ET168
WASHINGTON (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.
A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News' "Nightline" program that Iraq "absolutely" was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.
"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.
"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.
"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.
"Exactly right," said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.
"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.
Wow. This is a guy who probably got hundreds of people to enlist over the years. Wow. You ever see those old guys with the red Marine baseball caps? That's Murtha.
For him to say this, leaves me stunned.
Of course, the chickenhawks are tossing names about. I wonder how many of them have two purple hearts and a bronze star?
When a man like Murtha would tell anyone, not just his friends and family, not to enlist, knowing what that means, I am shocked. I mean, he went to Korea and then reenlisted for Vietnam. He was a DI, for God's sake. Prmoted from the ranks. In peacetime. He even looks like a bulldog, for Christ sakes.
You can't be much more Marine than that.
It's a shame how Bush has degraded this country, that a man like Jack Murtha has to tell people not to enlist. It's like a priest telling a kid to not go to seminary.
posted by Steve @ 11:50:00 AM