Backtalk November 20, 2006

The Mugging of Murtha

Damn bad news about your ailing fundraising! Real change in U.S./coalition policies seems as unlikely as ever. In my humble opinion, the only way change will happen is via the U.S. citizenry acting in enlightened self-interest and saving lots of lives and money by doing the inevitable (exit and fix it) as soon as possible before casualties and costs make it happen anyway. I usually contribute twice the average to the quarterly fund drives; I’ve tripled my contribution this time. Not because I agree with your politics (being a old-European leftist social democrat I honestly tend to be p*ssed off by much of what I read on Antiwar!), but because you provide the essential service of speaking unpleasant truth to nasty power. If too few want you to keep it up, that’s bad news for us all. Even a tripled contribution to your exasperating but indispensable Web site would seem much less costly than what is likely to happen without you and voices like yours.

~ Thomas, irritated Danish Antiwar reader

Raimondo’s “Mugging of Murtha” adeptly tackles the betrayal of the Democratic voter. Before piling on let me say I hope the reader has made his contribution to, as I did yesterday. I’ll bet those readers wondering about Pelosi-Murtha’s loss had a hunch, as I did, that if Murtha lost on Thursday, I could point my mouse at Raimondo on Friday and learn relevant facts that were mysteriously absent on CNN and our other news retailers.

Murtha’s loss was all the more stunning because Pelosi-Murtha put a new face on the Democratic Party that made voters feel comfortable about voting for candidates on their ballot who were relatively unknown to them. In short, Democratic congressmen voted against the team that got them elected when they voted for Steny Hoyer over Murtha for majority leader in the House. Could they value their lobbyist more than their own reelection in ’08?

Murtha’s political profile is of the kind that gives the Republicans a collective chill down their spine: pro-defense, anti gun-control, anti Iraq war, conservative social values. Combine that with a fresh, Californian, progressive impetus like Nancy Pelosi, steeped in happy big-family pro-enterprise Catholic values, and you have a one-two punch that could leave the parochial all-too-southern Republican Party reeling. (If only Arnold would jump ship!)

It is important that Murtha now refer any questions on the war to Steny Hoyer, the Democrats’ choice for majority leader. Putting Jack Murtha in front of the cameras to talk antiwar at this stage will leave the voter feeling as if he has been played for a sucker. The voter is already sick and tired of Republican double talk (the bottom line reason for their recent loss).

Steny Hoyer made a start on being elected leader, saying he would address the voters’ desire for “transitions” in Iraq. Keep talking, Steny. It is your war now, you just don’t know it yet.

Next let’s hope Raimondo turns his focus on the recent outburst from Clinton clone James Carville, who lambasted Howard Dean, yet another progressive antiwar pol who has perhaps succeeded too well. At this rate, the only Democrat left standing will be Hillary Clinton!

Better contribute now to or you will never know.

~ Tim Blendheim


I contributed to today. I hope remains a voice on the Internet. I see myself as a progressive lefty, certainly not a libertarian, on some fundamental issues. But that doesn’t mean I cannot join in opposing the War Party. The relevance (and longevity) of might be enhanced by showing how libertarian groups can work with progressive antiwar folks. Although I will appreciate your efforts toward exposure of the Democratic Party’s idiocies to come, I’d prefer to get some real discussion and friendly debate going on among all aspects of the Antiwar Party. Can’t we begin to project the power that we have to end the Iraq war?

~ Bob Tinker

Are Democrats Turning A Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?

We cannot allow Pelosi and company to become complicit in the crimes of this cabal by ignoring them. This is not a choice they have. They are bound by the Constitution they have sworn to uphold to impeach any who would attempt to destroy it. The great promise that America represents is at stake.

~ Hal O’Leary, Wheeling, W.V.

The Battle for Kosovo

Everyone is afraid of the large Muslim populations in their countries; if Serbs are the scapegoats in order to keep peace in their own country, so be it. Also Israel has and continues to incite Muslims, but the U.S. never condemns them. The U.S. believes that by allowing the Albanians to take over Kosovo they appease the Muslim population of the world, while they befriend Israel no matter how dreadful the deed by Israel. I hear the politicians and blowhards on television saying, “we defended them in Bosnia and Kosovo.” I interpret that to mean, “not in Palestine, never.”

As for the Serbs, they are good people who have allowed themselves to be bullied. If they develop a good backbone and say “nothing doing,” maybe the bullies will back off. You do not have to threaten, scream, or become hateful; only quiet calmness will get their attention. There is too much trouble in the world now to come down on the Serbs.

Remember, Serbs were longtime allies who have more in common with the United States than the rest of the Balkans.

~ Kathryn Love

War of Aggression Thwarted?

Mr. Prather’s credibility is important to me. He seems to speak on the Iran nukes issue with a lot of knowledge. Thus I was very disappointed to read his comment about Bush swearing on a stack of bibles that he didn’t decide to ask Rumsfield to retire before Nov. 7. Mr. Prather should explain how that squares with the video on the evening news of W. admitting he lied to the press to keep the retirement from affecting the election.

~ Douglas Soper

Gordon Prather replies: readers should understand that my column was filed the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 9.

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