you gotta see/read this
A thanks to my fellow blogger Fetching Jen for posting this story.
There was a town hall meeting in Virginia with Democrat Reps. Jim Moran and John Murtha.
This first clip is of Sgt Mark Seavey, an infantry squad leader who recently returned from Afhganistan. This is so great.
If you are at work and can't listen, here is the transcript:
"Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you, (applause)
"Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."
Moran - who is one of the few congressmen supporting Charlie Rangel's call to restore the draft - responded quickly: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh... let's go over here." And he took the next question.
"Near the end of the marathon session, a Vietnam veteran, General Wagner, stepped up to the microphone to deliver a message from the mother of an Iraqi war vet who gave his life for his country and for the mission. After reading a scathing letter addressed to Murtha, Wagner talked about his own experience in Vietnam:"
Hello Mr Moran I'm General Wagner. I'm here tonight, I decided to come at 7:30. And I'll tell you the reason I came at 7:30 is because I want an answer to a letter, to a friend of ours. She wrote this letter to Mr. Murtha, where she pointed out to him that he was causing the insurgents to bring more activity against the soldiers in Iraq, just as the traitors did during the Vietnam war. I was fighting in 1972 with the Vietnamese when people were cavorting with the North Vietnamese.
Her son was killed today.
I got the message at 7:30 tonight, and I'll tell you, I wasn't going to waste my time coming here because I knew the trash that was going to be put out. But I'm really mad. Because what is being put out is being used to incite the insurgents to continue this war, just as it incited General Giap to consider the Vietnam war.
He hasn't answered her letter, Mr Moran, but I want to read a paragraph to you. I think its a little instructive:
"I have faith in our military leaders and believe that they are making the necessary steps to train the Iraqi forces and provide for our eventual withdrawal.
I also have faith in our executive branch, that they are taking the necessary steps to help the new Iraqi government to get a democratic style government in place and to give them at least a chance of success. Although mistakes were made in the execution of the war and its aftermath, the goal itself is worthy, and in spite of all the negativity that we are constantly bombarded with I believe that there have been some remarkable successes.
"Although my son would surely" - and this, incidentally, this is the one that was killed today - "would surely prefer to stay home with his wife and four young children" - from 10 to 2, I'm adding that - "he is both a soldier and a scholar, he understands that we are in a vital long term struggle against a dangerous ideology, and he is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to defeat it. It is a difficult struggle and will require patience and fortitude both on and off the battlefield. If we lose our will at home, it makes the task for our soldiers all the more difficult. I believe your comments were irresponsible and are contributing to the loss of national will. If they were made to obtain political advantages I would find that abhorrent and unworthy of a former Marine."
Sir, I'm mad. Because that is happening every day when I read the newspapers. I visit Walter Reed, and talk to the young soldiers with their legs blown off. I know you do too.I can't find one in a dozen that don't believe that they are fighting for a noble cause and are fighting to go back. And I think it's a disgrace when members of our congress, just as they did in 1975 when they sold out the South Vietnamese, are selling out our soldiers today in Iraq.
Thank you sir. (no applause)
Rep. Moran's reply:
Well... uh... Ge.. General... uh.. uh.. we're not gonna end... uh... I'll respond.
But..., um... I.. I do respect your point of view, I know it is widely shared. Uhh... and, um..., and I respect your service in the military.
Uhhh.. I do support the troops, and I do believe that the best way for me to support the troops is to make sure that when they do go to war its a war that needs to be fought. Uh... I... (applause) I... In response to the first two... I don't want the applause, because its going to be interpreted that I'm appealing to the audience. But the, uh... with regard to having faith in the troops I do have faith in our troops, and... uh... but with regard to having faith in uhh... the government that sent them, I don't, and the reason I don't is because they deliberately... is because the reasons that we were giving... given to go to war in Iraq were not accurate, uhhh, and, um, uh, and uh we have now found that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction, there wasn't reliable evidence that he did.
He was not a threat to the United States despite any number of attempts in any number of speeches to uhhh... tie Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11 he had nothing to do with it. So our going into Iraq was not in response to any attack, or even real threat to the United States, and it seems to me it uhh... it failed on that and any number of other reasons for being a war that was of necessity
Please make a note that I used Republican Red for the good guys and Commie blue for these idiots. Wow, I would've loved to have been at this town hall meeting!!! Those two morons disgust me, are bumbling idiots, and fire off the same talking points for every damn question.