Rep. John Murtha appeared on The Situation Room this afternoon to talk about the Iraq resolution that passed in the House today. He spoke against the resolution and advocated withdrawing the troops like Clinton did in Somalia:
MURTHA: The thing that disturbed me and worries me about this whole thing is we can’t get them to change direction. And I said over and over in debate, if you listen to any of it, in Beirut President Reagan changed direction, in Somalia President Clinton changed direction, and yet here, with the troops out there every day, suffering from these explosive devices, and being looked at as occupiers — 80 percent of the people want us out of there — and yet they continue to say, “We’re fighting this thing.” We’re not fighting this. The troops are fighting this thing. That’s who’s doing the fighting.
Here’s what Osama bin Laden said about Clinton’s decision to “change direction” in Somalia, according to the Frontline documentary, “Hunting bin Laden“:
“After leaving Afghanistan, the Muslim fighters headed for Somalia and prepared for a long battle, thinking that the Americans were like the Russians,” bin Laden said. “The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat. And America forgot all the hoopla and media propaganda … about being the world leader and the leader of the New World Order, and after a few blows they forgot about this title and left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat.”
The comparison was especially ill-timed, given that Islamic extremists are in the process of taking over the country and some are warning that it could become a new safe haven for al Qaeda.
The next time Murtha makes his pitch for “changing direction” in Iraq, he might want to omit this particular comparison. It only serves to remind us how much we have to lose by turning our backs on Iraq now.Video here.