Mohammed on Murtha

Friday, November 18, 2005
No, not that Mohammed. Rather, I mean that intrepid and original Iraqi, Mohammed of Iraq the Model.

In a post entitled I Know Some Would Agree With Murtha, But Who, Mohammed writes:

It’s becoming obvious now that most of the regional powers including Arab countries as well as many former Ba’ath leaders began to realize that defeating America and pro-democracy Iraqis is not a reasonable objective anymore and that’s why they are making steps to join and/or support the political process. This came in the form of lowering the ceiling of their demands from an immediate withdrawal of coalition forces to setting a timetable for the process and this is what we’re hearing from the hardcore Sunni parties and people who speak for the Iraqi militant groups and in the Arab League’s attempts to host a reconciliation meeting.

The previous two and a half years lacked such moves and their appearance at this stage indicates that these opposition parties and Arab policy makers are getting tired of armed confrontation with the Iraqi and US forces since this confrontation hasn’t done them any good.

Hasn't done them any good? Is Mohammed following our mainstream press accounts of the war, which clearly show we are bogged down in a Vietnam-like quagmire, so much so that a respected veteran of that conflict, Representative John Murtha (D-PA), has garnered considerable notice by pronouncing, to wide acclaim, that all in Iraq is lost?

But wait. Read further.

Maybe the most significant recent statement in this regard is the one made by Egypt’s foreign minister when he said that US forces presence in Iraq is necessary to “stabilize the country” and warned that a civil war could erupt if these troops leave now.

Such a statement lead us to the conclusion that countries like Egypt are no longer placing their money on the armed insurgency. And I really think they were forced to make this change in attitude because Iraq now is less than a month away from electing its first permanent (4 year term) government and the situation is no longer representing a temporary or transitional phenomenon but rather a solid transformation that began to take shape.

Now I am puzzled. Mohammed seems to think there is some kind of progress in Iraq; he doesn't get it, this whole quagmire business, and it looks like the foolish Egyptians are buying into the progress-in-Iraq illusion, too. But let's read on:

However, there are still some elements that have different goals of course but they all think that they can reach these goals through pushing America to leave Iraq; I’m talking about elements like Asad, al-Qaeda and Murtha.

In spite of the differences, neither is following logic and we do need to work on changing their minds (each in a different suitable way).

I can’t imagine why Mr. Murtha said something like [it] “is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region”.

Poor Mohammed. In spite of the fact that he is actually in Iraq, in the thick of things, he can't seem to see that the effforts of the Iraqi people, and the Coalition forces, have all been for naught.

And he imagines "changing the mind" of the likes of Boy Asad, al Zarqawi, and Representative Murtha!

(Good luck, Mohammed, with that last one!)

But let's look at the rest of what Mohammed has to say:

It is really strange when a US representative says something like this few weeks after the elected Iraqi government demanded from the UN to extend the mission of coalition forces for another year; apparently my government (and I) do not think that US military presence is harmful for us and the Arab League also thinks that an immediate withdrawal would be disastrous for Iraq and the region.

And correct me if I’m wrong but I think I heard a few days ago that the US senate rejected a law that demanded setting a timetable for troops withdrawal (58 vs. 40, right?) let alone an immediate one.

However, I agree with Mr. Murtha that some people in Iraq would benefit from an immediate withdrawal but that would be al-Qaeda and there are also countries in the region that would benefit from that too but these would be Syria and Iran!

Wow! Mohammed thinks we ought to see this thing through! He seems positively hopeful. And he argues that the beneficiaries of our premature departure would be al Qaeda, and the terrorist regimes of Iran and Syria.

There couldn't be something to this point of view, could there?


Rick Ballard said...

Dunno Jamie, given that the House just voted down the Hunter version of Murtagh's proposal 403-3 Mohammed might have a point.

Ya gotta give it to the Dems though, they sure know how to demonstrate that they've got the cowardice of their lack of conviction.

Jamie Irons said...


...given that the House just voted down the Hunter version of Murtagh's proposal 403-3...

Rick, do you have a link to that story?

Ya gotta give it to the Dems though, they sure know how to demonstrate that they've got the cowardice of their lack of conviction.



Barry Dauphin said...

We seem to have this kind of political frenzy each time we approach an Iraqi election. The quagmire rhetoric heated up before the January vote and died down when Iraqis displayed their purple fingers. It heated up before the October constituional vote, and then the same nay-sayers say nothing about the importance of that vote.

Now we are closer to December 15 vote and the Dems are falling all over themselves to exit Iraq. Maybe they don't trust elections unless it's Cook County circa 1960 or Hugo Chavez 2004.

Syl said...

I hope al-jazeera posts the 403-3 vote as prominently on their site as they did the Murtha proposal.

Al Qaeda ain't going to understand the politics behind it...they'll only see the numbers and go 'Oh sh*t'.

Ya think?

There be a method to the Republican madness. They just got themselves a two-fer. Force the Dems into a corner and deflate Zarqawi's hopes. What's not to like. :)

Syl said...

BTW, Jamie, very well written article!

Jamie Irons said...

Thanks, Syl, but it was what Mohammed wrote that counts!



Rick Ballard said...

Here is the Roll Call on the Hunter Resolution. Here is a live blog of the proceedings on C-Span.

The Republicans need to get a "Stay the Course" resolution up after Thanksgiving. If the Dems want a debate covered by al-Jazeera, let's have one. Maybe they could invite Zawahiri and Zarqawi in to testify as to how harmful a Stay the Course bill would be to certain interests in the Middle East.

Peter UK said...

There is one question which does not seem to be getting asked,would the terrorists/insurgents allow a an ordered peaceful withdrawal,or would they harry the troops until that last helicopter took off.
Several points to be considered.
The terrorists/insurtgents hate your guts.
The Iranians hate your guts
The Syrians hate your guts.
The MSM hate your guts.
The left wing of the Democrats hate your guts.
The French hate your guts.At the UN your intestines have very few friends.
The likely scenario is that some terrorist spectacular would be staged in time for the front pages to portray a withdrawal as a rout.
The Democrats and the MSM are salivating like ravenous dogs at the thought of another picture of the last helicopter lifting off the roof of the American Embassy in Baghdad.

It is also worth remembering that the Iranians had a slush fund to oppose the coalition presence in Iraq,no doubt KSA and Syria,Russia, France and the UN have similar funds with which to fund lobbyists.

Peter UK said...

The Democratic Strategy for Iraq

terrye said...


I will never forget that picture of the outstretched hands as the helicopter took off from the embassy. We left them to fend for themselves and the left cheered.

I never want to see something like that again.

The Democrats are portraying the soldiers and their families as victims and playing on the emotions of the people.

And the media takes a poll that says most Americans wish this was over and take it as meaning we want to see our military run away.

Well of course we want it to be over and of course the loss of each and every soldier is a tragedy...but we have a duty to see to it that their loss was not in vain.

Now maybe that sounds like s silly sentiment to some, but it was exactly the kind of sentiment that has always driven this country.

I don't think Murtha is a bad man, I just don't agree with him. I also think he is suffering from Vietnamitis like so many others of his generation.

He spent most of his time last night talking about letters from parents and widows.

We lost more people on that pretty morning in September than we have lost in more than two years in Iraq and Afghanistan. And considering that about 500 of the Americans that have died in Iraq have died of nonmilitary causes the actual number killed in fighting is lower than that.

And most of those people who died on 9/11 were not part of the Marines or our all volunteer military, they were just people in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And the same kind of people are dying in Iraq in markets and mosques and a lot more of them will die if Murtha has his way.

And in the end we will have to fight these monsters again, only next time who will trust us enough to fight with us?

Peter UK said...

Casualties have been mercifully low in Iraq,without wishing to sound brutal,we used to lose more men on a casual mornings stroll across no-mans land towards the German guns in 1914-18,day in day out,year in year out,the carnage was unbelievable.
We, inderstandably, are unwilling to make such apocalyptical sacrifices,but how will we fare against those who will? Is it wise to announce that you will no longer fight,or that there is a limit to to the extent to which you will defend a principle?
After Gulf WarI the Iraqi's rose up against the regime of Saddam Hussein,they were crushed,if America pulls out now there will be another blood bath,your nation's credibility in the region will be ground in the dust, Osama bin Laden will have been proved right about the "Weak Horse".
Is this really the Democrats strategy for winning the WoT?

terrye said...


I think about the children, they deserve a better life than living in fear and dread.

I heard today that the Pentagon is considering bringing some troops home this year.

I think the Democrats are trying to position themselves to claim they instigated any future troop drawdowns.

It is all about politics.

Buddy Larsen said...

Terrye, re your contention, a little background--the assistant sec of defense office released sometime back that the 21,000-troop election augmentation would in all liklihood be returning to the US late '05 or very early '06. Soon, JFKerry's office was emailing donors to put on the pressure to return '20,000' ASAP.

Classic Kerry over-the-top opportunism (including changing the number just a hair).

Peter UK said...

The Democrats walk a very thin tightrope,the "insurgency" predicates its actions on political events in the US.What is politics in America becomes broken bodies in Iraq.
Hubris has overcome some politicians,they begin to believe that they are the sole shapers of events,that there are no extraneous forces involved

Buddy Larsen said...

Odd, Terrye, but i too have had the children on my mind--the really young ones who can't even talk yet--drooling and babbling all over the free world, totally oblivious to the monstrous sell-out of what several thousand years of ancestors have bequeathed them, a-building among the smiling giants they so trust.

Peter UK said...

A quote from Instapundit.

"The Administration needs to deal with this with a more active PR strategy, making clear that in fact the Iraqis are taking over the brunt of the work. (Murtha's statement that U.S. troops are magnets for insurgent attacks is demonstrably untrue -- in fact, those attacks are now almost always against Iraqis, civilian or military or police, and this fact is making the insurgents increasingly unpopular). I suspect that in the normal course of events we'll see a significant number of troops drawn down. That will help, and this resolution will help keep people from spinning it as a cut-and-run."

Why is Murtha getting a pass for being completely wrong about who are the targets in Iraq?

terrye said...


Why do these guys get a pass for a lot of things?

Peter UK said...

I realise your system is different but here someone would have raised the point in the Commons or the Lords.Certainly some newspapers would have questioned it... it was after all the basis of his thesis....can these people simply get up and talk off the top of their heads without justifying their statements?

Knucklehead said...


Now we are closer to December 15 vote and the Dems are falling all over themselves to exit Iraq. Maybe they don't trust elections unless it's Cook County circa 1960 or Hugo Chavez 2004.

There's the kernel. Elections make them nervous to the point of frenzy. They hate elections that aren't guaranteed to have the outcome they want. They always prefer the "council of unaccountable select eldermen" be that the court system, the UN, the EC, or the "village".

Barry Dauphin said...


Maybe, "it takes a village" to fix an election:>).

Buddy Larsen said...

" that the court system, the UN, the EC, or the "village".

Or the 'nomenklatura', or any group which name begins with "The People's...".