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Via Michelle Malkin, another revealing moment from the "Town Hall Meeting" featuring congressmen Moran and Murtha. Just before the end of the meeting, Vietnam veteran General Louis C. Wagner spoke on behalf of a friend who had been ignored by the congressman. Unfortunately Murtha had excused himself and departed a few minutes prior.
Video of this exchange begins at the 2:18:30 point in the video:
Hello Mr Moran I'm General Wagner. I'm here tonight, I decided to come at 7:30. And I'll tell you the reason I came at 7:30 is because I want an answer to a letter, to a friend of ours. She wrote this letter to Mr. Murtha, where she pointed out to him that he was causing the insurgents to bring more activity against the soldiers in Iraq, just as the traitors did during the Vietnam war. I was fighting in 1972 with the Vietnamese when people were cavorting with the North Vietnamese.Moran stumbled to respond, but eventually began reciting talking points, noting that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11:
Her son was killed today.
I got the message at 7:30 tonight, and I'll tell you, I wasn't going to waste my time coming here because I knew the trash that was going to be put out. But I'm really mad. Because what is being put out is being used to incite the insurgents to continue this war, just as it incited General Giap to consider the Vietnam war.
He hasn't answered her letter, Mr Moran, but I want to read a paragraph to you. I think its a little instructive:
"I have faith in our military leaders and believe that they are making the necessary steps to train the Iraqi forces and provide for our eventual withdrawal. I also have faith in our executive branch, that they are taking the necessary steps to help the new Iraqi government to get a democratic style government in place and to give them at least a chance of success. Although mistakes were made in the execution of the war and its aftermath, the goal itself is worthy, and in spite of all the negativity that we are constantly bombarded with I believe that there have been some remarkable successes.
"Although my son would surely" - and this, incidentally, this is the one that was killed today - "would surely prefer to stay home with his wife and four young children" - from 10 to 2, I'm adding that - "he is both a soldier and a scholar, he understands that we are in a vital long term struggle against a dangerous ideology, and he is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to defeat it. It is a difficult struggle and will require patience and fortitude both on and off the battlefield. If we lose our will at home, it makes the task for our soldiers all the more difficult. I believe your comments were irresponsible and are contributing to the loss of national will. If they were made to obtain political advantages I would find that abhorrent and unworthy of a former Marine."
Sir, I'm mad. Because that is happening every day when I read the newspapers. I visit Walter Reed, and talk to the young soldiers with their legs blown off. I know you do too.
I can't find one in a dozen that don't believe that they are fighting for a noble cause and are fighting to go back. And I think it's a disgrace when members of our congress, just as they did in 1975 when they sold out the South Vietnamese, are selling out our soldiers today in Iraq.
Thank you sir. (no applause)
Well... uh... Ge.. General... uh.. uh.. we're not gonna end... uh... I'll respond.Moran was actually repeating comments he had made earlier in the evening. Recall the comments from Sgt Mark Seavey:
But..., um... I.. I do respect your point of view, I know it is widely shared. Uhh... and, um..., and I respect your service in the military.
Uhhh.. I do support the troops, and I do believe that the best way for me to support the troops is to make sure that when they do go to war its a war that needs to be fought. Uh... I... (applause) I... In response to the first two... I don't want the applause, because its going to be interpreted that I'm appealing to the audience. But the, uh... with regard to having faith in the troops I do have faith in our troops, and... uh... but with regard to having faith in uhh... the government that sent them, I don't, and the reason I don't is because they deliberately... is because the reasons that we were giving... given to go to war in Iraq were not accurate, uhhh, and, um, uh, and uh we have now found that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction, there wasn't reliable evidence that he did. He was not a threat to the United States despite any number of attempts in any number of speeches to uhhh... tie Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11 he had nothing to do with it. So our going into Iraq was not in response to any attack, or even real threat to the United States, and it seems to me it uhh... it failed on that and any number of other reasons for being a war that was of necessity.
"Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you, (applause)Moran responded quickly: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh... let's go over here." And he took the next question.
"Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."
But after that questioner, Moran remembered his talking points, and claimed that he was going to respond to Sgt Seavey. This "response" to the veteran of Afghanistan comes at the 37:15 point in the video, and might seem familiar:
"The gentleman that spoke earlier deserves a response. It seems to me that we best support the troops when we make the most responsible decisions as to how their skills, talents, and lives are to be used on behalf of America's interests. I voted for the use of military authorization in Afghanistan to go after the people who attacked the United States and to complete the job. And more than sufficient resources will be made available if they are requested for Afghanistan. There's no question about that.Aparently calling Moran on the carpet on specific topics of troop support is to invite recitation of his current reasons for opposing the Iraq invasion of 2003.
I didnt support the war in Iraq for three principal reasons.
One is that I didn't trust the intelligence that there were weapons of mass destruction. It was not verifiable, it wasn't even current. It was a matter of trust of people who I didn't feel merited sufficient trust on their own...
Secondly, Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attack on the United States. He never attacked the United States, and so he was no threat to the United States. There were no terrorist operations going on in Iraq. He was a secularist, he was in fact targeted by Osama bin Laden because he was a secularist. He was a brutal dictator, that may be one of the reasons he was able to hold Iraq together in the same way that Tito was able to hold together the Balkans. So we were not responding to any attack.
And thirdly I concluded, in the same way that President Bush the father, the 41st President concluded on the advice of his military advisers, that you don't go to war without a plan to win the peace. And Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, any number of others advised him if you go into Baghdad we don't know how you're going to get out, we don't know how you're going to avoid a long-term occupation. We should be welcome liberators, and not long-term occupiers, and for those reasons I didn't support the war, and while I certainly support the dedication of the troops and will provide whatever is necessary both to protect them and to provide health care for them, far better that they not lose their lives and not lose their limbs in a mission that is not justified than to give the kind of predictable support that some others have. It is very difficult to distinguish between support of the troops and support of the war. I support the troops clearly, I appreciate what they're doing, but I think the best I can do is to not put them in harms way unless it is clearly in America's interest.
Of course, back in 2003 Moran blamed a different group for the war - the Jews:
At an antiwar forum in Reston, Va., Moran contended that the U.S. would not be considering military action against Iraq "if it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war… The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."Other veterans appearing in the Town Hall meeting video include John Brunes of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Garrett Reppenhagen of Alliance for Security.
Well, first off, Moran's talking points are Dem' lies. WE DO KNOW that Saddam was linked to Al Quaida, AND that he was training terrorists in Iraq. The fascinating thing is - this guy keeps lying about it. Secondly, since when do you have to wait to be attacked before you can defend yourself? Real smart. I suppose all those women out there who are contemplating going to a self-defense class better have been already previously attacked, and survived, according to the Moran-way-of-thinking. Or, if your kid is the attention of the neighborhood bully, you'd better tell him, "Well son, there's nothing we can do till he first kicks your ass. Then..." Yeah, then...thanks dad. Why not just put a Susan Sarandon mask over this guy's face, you'd never know the difference.Posted by JEGjr at January 7, 2006 06:05 PM
"Uhhh.. I do support the troops, and I do believe that the best way for me to support the troops is to make sure that when they do go to war its a war that needs to be fought."
Good thing the guy isn't a heart surgeon..."Once we had cut the patients chest open...and removed his heart...I decided that the surgery was unnecesary...so I sent all the medical staff home and let the patient bleed to death...since I don't believe in unnecesary surgery"Posted by Soldier's Dad at January 7, 2006 06:40 PM
I wish I had watched long enough to hear General Wagner’s question. I just could not take it that long.
One of the questioners asked Murtha why those serving in Iraq seemed to generally support the war. The questioner, interestingly, seemed genuinely puzzled and sincere in her question – she simply could not comprehend what she understood to be the case. Murtha’s answer was that those serving are not free to speak their true minds because they are subject to military discipline or peer pressure (my characterization of his words – I don’t have the exact quote).
Murtha is basically saying that any service member in the war zone who supports his own mission is a coerced liar. For Murtha, it is inconceivable that anyone would have a point of view, both informed and sincere, that is different from his own.
This was an almost clinical specimen of eccentric mental distortion, exposed live. This kind of narcissistic myopia reveals what a bubble and echo chamber these people live in. They have to find some rationalization to justify their anti-American and anti-military agitation, and some self-affirming illusion to explain anything that is inconsistent with their aberrant beliefs.
It is impossible for them to accept that most of those who are in the best possible position to know what is really happening in Iraq support what we are doing there because they believe in it for very good reasons acquired from their own experience.
I always thought what one national talk show host says was a bit extreme: “Liberalism is a mental disorder.” Now I know he is right.
OFCAUSE my post will be BLOCKED OUT but it is truly AMAERICAN against ANERICAN.
THIS WAR was a FIX from the start and 60 percent of AMERICANS HAVE PROVEN THAT BY NOT ENLISTING in an ALL VOLUNTEER SERVICE.
THE attacking AFGHANISTAIN was surly defeating the people who flew into the TOWERS and KILLED MANY AMERICANS, the INVACTION of IRAQ WAS JUST GREED NOTHING ELES.
AMERICANS who find reason of invading IRAQ and giving so called FREEDOM to IRAQ ARE AND HAVE BEEN POSTED THERE TWO, THREE MAYBE FOUR TOURS.
WHAT can they think or say they are orded and they go.
REP. MURTHA has proven that the truth hurts but he finds no need to lie or say GENERALS said this or that., IF THEY FEEL DISGRACING THE COD OF HONOR is OK let it be .
I lived VIETNAM I was there and I came home from there, we were lied to, insulted when we came home ,etc.
BUT for this generation to continue the lies what can I or any one say.
BUT ASK YOURSLEF IF FIGHTING THIS WAR WAS SO NOBEL WHERE ARE YOUR FELLOW AMERICANS WHY HAVE THEY NOT BELIVED IN THIS WAR WHY HAVE THEY NOT ENLISTED?.
First Gen Pace, then Sgt Seavey and now Gen Wagner...On time, On target!...leaving two politicians twisting and burning.
(Hat tips to Mudville Gazette and Michelle Malkin)
I just want to say, "thank you, thank, you, thank you," for reporting this!
God bless The Mudville Gazette. God bless our troops. And God bless men like Sgt. Seavey and Gen. Wagner.Posted by Thank you at January 7, 2006 11:39 PM
It figures that the only poster here who can't spell, can't form a complete sentence, has no understanding of grammar or sentence construction, and DOESN'T know WHEN IT IS proper TO USE capitalization, is the one who thinks not only that he knows it all, but that everyone else is an idiot.Posted by Ghost at January 8, 2006 12:25 AM
Greyhawk: Thanks for reporting this, because you can be sure that the mainstream media (yellow stream media?) won't report it. Murtha continues to note that he wouldn't join up today and I'd give my eye-teeth to be young enough to re-enlist. My response to Murtha was to "channel" General Puller. Channeling Chesty Puller
Please keep up the reporting that the MSM dare not publish.Posted by GM Roper at January 8, 2006 01:01 AM
Look well at these representatives, folks. Look at the dissembling evasions when they're called on the carpet and they can't control the scenario, when they don't have their questions controlled and their answers scripted.
They CARE about the soldiers, oh yes they do - but they care about votes more and given the choice between pandering to the people who elected them to office or telling the truth - well, too bad so sad, GI!
J.Posted by JLawson at January 8, 2006 03:06 AM
The funny thing is most of the Jews in the US oppose the war. it would be more in our interest to support it, but most of us have liberal myopia.
Now, Israelis, that's another story.Posted by Yehudit at January 8, 2006 04:01 AM
The most dangerous person...is a stpuid person...that doesn't know they are stupid.
A man's gotta know his limitations!!
WaPo and NyTimes...take notePosted by Soldier's Dad at January 8, 2006 05:25 AM
Thanks for posting this transcript.
Every military person in Iraq deserves our support. Regardless of anyone's point of view on why we engaged this fight, it is our military over there and it should be supported with strategy, objectives, weapons and material to win.
And every American should engage in dialog on what winning is and how it is best achieved. Calls by Americans to disengage are not treasonous; calls for more troops, weapons, and support are not treasonous; and calls to change our strategy to a permanent presence are not treasonous either.
To follow any course blindly is surely folly and failing to stick to the plan is also folly. It is the debate about this that we now see taking place. Perhaps one half of the people in America are unsure if the current plan is producing results and the other half support the existing plan until the President decides to change it (or not as the case may be).
I was opposed to going into Iraq and I am opposed to leaving it now. The claims by some that the entry into war were false is not a sufficient reason to call for immediate withdrawal. We should not leave until Iraq is safe for people to live their lives without fearing their safety. Let's figure out the best way to accomplish that and get on with it.
Thank you sooo much for the transcript of this. Thank you too for all you do!Posted by Wild Thing at January 8, 2006 03:44 PM
As an old doggie vet of Truman's miserable Army in Korea it was shocking to hear a "Marine"! call for withdawal!
"if your men withdraw one foot from their positions, my tanks will fire on them.!-- Col. Chesty Puller to Army Captain at Koto-ri, 1950.Posted by RAL at January 8, 2006 05:02 PM
Meanwhile, OIF veteran SMASH takes on another cut-and-run Congresscritter:Posted by Rich Casebolt at January 8, 2006 07:03 PM
I can't find one in a dozen that don't believe that they are fighting for a noble cause and are fighting to go back.Solomon2 at January 8, 2006 08:14 PM
For the record - GEN Wagner graduated from West Point in 1954, and served on active duty for 35 years, retiring in 1989. He served two tours in Vietnam - and as a result of actions during one of those tours, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Reference from cache:
Posted by Lone Ranger at January 9, 2006 03:42 PM
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