That is, of course, a hasty withdrawal. It is not questioning his patriotism to say that his policy recommendations would lead to the outcome al Qaeda has been fighting for. It is simply true. Here’s what Murtha said on Meet the Press yesterday:
MURTHA: Now, let’s, let’s—give me, give you an example. When we went to Beirut, I, I said to President Reagan, “Get out.” Now, the other day we were doing a debate, and they said, “Well, Beirut was a different situation. We cut and run.” We didn’t cut and run. President Reagan made the decision to change direction because he knew he couldn’t win it. Even in Somalia, President Clinton made the decision, “We have to, we have to change direction.
As I pointed out when he said the same thing on CNN Friday, Beirut and Somalia are examples that al Qaeda has specifically mentioned in documents purporting to show how the Americans lack the will to fight terrorists in their own countries.
During yesterday’s appearance, Murtha used some form of the phrase “change direction” six times. He wants to package his policy with these words. But no matter what words he uses to describe it, al Qaeda will use just one: defeat.
Ian Schwartz has the video.