by Peter Freyne
Democratic congressional candidate Peter Welch got a boost Tuesday from Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha. Murtha is the former Marine and Vietnam War vet who had the courage last November to change his position on the bankrupt Iraq War that President George W. Bush and Co. have dragged America into. Murtha's switch from pro-war to antiwar may well be looked back on as the moment the American people had enough of the Bush administration's lies and deception.
Murtha, said Welch, "has a deserved reputation in Congress of being a strong defender of a strong military. He has a strong record supporting national security. But what he did when he started to look at the facts, instead of just getting stuck in the ideology, was say that it was a mistake to vote to go to war and it was time for us to change our policy."
Welch said Murtha has been "providing leadership in Congress to bring together those who supported the war, and now see it's making us weaker not stronger, and those originally opposed to the war (e.g. the entire Vermont delegation).
Murtha said he felt war was the right thing to do back in October 2002 when Congress voted on the factually-dishonest Iraq War resolution Mr. Bush sent Congress.
"I thought we ought to give the President a club," said Ol' Jack, "and I found out that was a mistake. It didn't take me long afterwards to recognize that. In fact, " he said, "I went to Kuwait five days before the war started and I saw a red line the military had drawn around Baghdad. And they said when we cross that red line, they're going to attack us with biological-type weapons."
"Well, they didn't attack us," said Murtha, "and it didn't take me long to recognize they didn't have any."
Rep. Murtha said that under Republican control, Congress works just two days a week and accomplishes little other than running up the national debt to record highs.
"And I say when the Democrats take over, and I believe we will, we're going to be open for business five days a week. We're going to work and we're going to get some of these problems solved. We can't solve 'em until we quit spending $11 million-an-hour on this war. We can't solve Medicare or education or any of those problems when we're spending $8 billion a month on this war!"
Peter Welch, he said, "is the kind of thoughtful, independent-minded individual we need in the United States Congress."
Well, what did you expect him to say?