In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 22, 2005 / 20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

John Murtha's call for withdrawal

By Michael Barone

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The mainstream media have played Democratic Rep. John Murtha's call for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as a "hawk turned dove" story. See, e.g., Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. In fact, the story is more interesting—and more complicated—than that. "All of us want to get rid of Saddam," Murtha said. He believes that Bush simply "went about it the wrong way." But he voted for the Iraq war resolution in October 2002. In April 2004, he said, "We cannot prevail in this war as it is going today," and he went on to say, "We either have to mobilize or we have to get out."
Then on Wednesday, he said it was time to get out.

You can ridicule Murtha's positions as inconsistent—against the war, for it, for more troops, for withdrawal. But there's also a common thread. In September 2002, he was arguing that the war might dry up sources of intelligence about Islamist terrorists (though how much good intelligence were we getting out of Iraq?). He seems pretty consistent in arguing, as John McCain and others have, that we didn't send over enough troops. As the second-ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee and ranking Democrat on the Defense subcommittee—and as a marine who re-enlisted to serve in the Vietnam War—he has a long-standing interest in the welfare of the troops, and he has argued, as have others, that the Army is overstretched by our commitment to Iraq. You can reconcile his call for more troops 18 months ago and his call for withdrawal today by noting that he has always believed more troops were necessary and that he decided, now, that there would never be enough and it would be better to leave.

Note that he doesn't have much to say about the Iraqis or what will happen to them if we withdraw. The welfare of our troops is evidently a higher consideration for him. Of course, if the welfare of our troops were our only consideration, we never would have gone into Normandy. Our troops suffered more casualties there in a few days than they have suffered in Iraq. But that's another war.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while declining to endorse Murtha's call for withdrawal, hailed him for speaking out. They sound like an odd couple—the tailored lady from ultraliberal San Francisco, the rumpled marine from the railroad-and-coal town of Johnstown, Pa.—but actually they're political allies. And their one-two statements—his call for withdrawal, her hailing his courage—were most likely carefully choreographed. Murtha was the campaign manager for Pelosi's 2001 campaign for minority whip, in which she beat the less liberal Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Murtha, with his seniority on Appropriations, his credibility as a supporter of defense spending, and his care for the welfare of the troops, has provided key moderate support for Pelosi in the Democratic caucus.

They're not as odd a couple as you might think. Pelosi may represent sophisticated San Francisco, but she grew up in Baltimore, where her father, Tommy D'Alessandro, was a street-smart pol who served in Congress and as mayor of the city. Her brother Tommy D'Alessandro Jr. also served a term as mayor. Pelosi kept up her Maryland ties and worked effectively to help Jerry Brown win the 1976 Maryland presidential primary.

She was also following precedent in establishing a San Francisco-coal country alliance in a Democratic leadership race. Thirty years ago, her predecessor in her San Francisco seat, Phil Burton, was running for majority leader. One of his key allies was Wayne Hays, who represented a coal country district in Ohio close by and similar to Murtha's district. Hays was generally counted a hawk and was a gruff insider who exerted dictatorial power over House employees as chairman of the House Administration Committee; Burton was a liberal and a dove who was also an aggressive and effective pol. He was especially famed for his redistricting plans in California and kept up closely with redistricting around the country. (He once came up to me in the Capitol and said, gruffly, "They're giving too much of Grant County to [Robert] Kastenmeier [then congressman from the 2nd District of Wisconsin].")

Burton and Hays came up one vote short of Jim Wright in the majority leader race in 1976. Pelosi won by a bigger margin over Hoyer in 2001, partly because the Democratic caucus is smaller and has a higher percentage of liberals. That was apparent in the October 2002 vote on the Iraq war resolution, when a majority of House Democrats (unlike a majority of Senate Democrats) voted against the war. Pelosi campaigned actively for no votes while Dick Gephardt, in his final months as minority leader, voted aye but did not lobby; Murtha, as usual, stayed pretty much behind the scenes. But he was there by Pelosi's side when she was easily elected minority leader after the 2002 elections.

The Murtha-Pelosi two-step, if that's what it was, was politically effective Wednesday. It made the headlines, gave heart to the left Democratic base that hates the war and hates George W. Bush, and left Pelosi, the rest of the Democratic leadership, and the rest of the caucus off the hook—they didn't have to support Murtha's call for withdrawal or actively oppose it. They could just keep criticizing Bush. But they may have been too clever by half. Today the House Republican leadership decided to have a vote on a resolution "that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately." Democrats will object that that's not exactly what Murtha called for; he wanted withdrawal "at the earliest practicable date."

But it does give a lot of Democrats a hard choice, between propitiating their left-wing base and keeping in line with the large national majority that opposes an immediate withdrawal. Speaker Dennis Hastert framed the issue favorably to his side.

"We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "We will not retreat." I wonder how Phil Burton and Wayne Hays would have handled this.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.

Michael Barone Archives

© 2005, US News & World Report