Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Murtha, CNN: Bad News Bulls

If you watch any CNN these days, it won't take long to see anti-war Congressman John Murtha. He was on three CNN shows in a single day foaming at the mouth about the allegations of soldier atrocities at Haditha.

It makes me ill to watch a network that refuses to highlight progress in Iraq tackle the Haditha story with a barely hidden glee. It doesn't matter that the facts aren't all in -- it's OK to be reckless when you are bashing your own country because that's "good journalism."

Jed Babbin provides some needed perspective.

First, the left will use every tool at their disposal to ensure that the Haditha incident becomes synonymous with the entire Iraq war. Abu Ghraib proved a propaganda bonanza for the terrorists and nations such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia that want us to withdraw from Iraq in defeat. Haditha - regardless of what the facts may turn out to be - will be used ceaselessly and purposefully to eliminate American support for the Iraq war and to demonize anyone who still supports it. Haditha will become the Orwellian centerpiece of the Democrats' claim that they support the troops. "They've been there too long," Murtha and his ilk will cry. "We have to bring them home before they kill more babies." And then the Dems, feigning concern for our soldiers, will offer them psychological counseling when they return. The political fallout will be enormous, and it will damage both the ongoing war efforts and our troops' morale.
And Mark Davis, a talk show host from Dallas, nails it.

It will be awhile before we know whether Marines are guilty in a November slaughter of unarmed Iraqis in the town of Haditha. But this has not stopped Mr. Murtha from savoring every nugget of their possible atrocities.

For many days, he has made himself available to dwell with relish on the details of a horrible day on which it appears U.S. forces may have responded to an IED blast with a wanton, brutal overreaction - a house-to-house killing spree whose victims included women and children.

Anyone with a shred of human decency approaches this with the utmost gravity. Those of us who support the troops and the war they are fighting have a special responsibility not to sugarcoat, minimize or marginalize any wrongdoing by those troops.

But, conversely, those who are exercising their right to speak ill of the war and the Americans fighting it have a responsibility not to allow their anti-war venom to inflame their assessments of bad moments in the war's history.

That track record is forever blemished by the absurd overreaction to Abu Ghraib, a prison scandal that was bad enough if treated objectively. The wheels of justice turned, and prices are being paid for humiliating detainees outside the protocols of interrogation.

But the day Sen. Ted Kennedy equated American misdeeds at that prison with the unspeakable torture that had happened there under Saddam, the reputation of war criticism was deservedly damaged beyond easy repair.

And now we have Mr. Murtha, barely able to contain the spring in his step as he basks in the grisly particulars.

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