Thursday, May 12, 2005

Real and Phony War

The Moose argues that our legislative leaders are failing to meet their patriotic responsibilities.

While Washington is obsessed with a phony "nuclear option", thousands of miles away, our troops are fighting in a real war with incredible bravery and courage to defend our nation. There is a clear dichotomy between our soldiers who can battle for the national interest while our politicians bicker for partisan and special interest advantage.

The Moose is opposed to the elimination of the Senate filibuster for judicial nominees. Having said that, these judges should be given an up or down vote. The filibuster should be saved for extraordinary circumstances such as an egregious Supreme Court nominee. However, liberal special interests and their allies in the Democratic caucus are pushing the promiscuous use of the filibuster.

On the other side of the aisle. Frist is pandering to the right wing who will be so vital to his presidential ambitions. Any Republican Senator who has been in the minority knows the value and the importance of the filibuster. Again, special interests (outrageously, under the guise of God) are driving the debate.

Under any circumstances, this partisan confrontation would be annoying and unnecessary. But, it is particularly distressing that our political leaders could not find a way to resolve their differences while the nation is at war. We have returned to a pre-9/11 politics with a vengeance. Forget about national unity, partisan advantage is job #1. If we had a President who was truly "a uniter and not a divider" he would put an end to this nuclear madness.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, our heroic Marines are engaged in a brutal confrontation with foreign terrorists and insurgents along the Syrian border. The incredible bravery of a Marine squad that was decimated in the fight was captured in two days of brilliant reporting by the Washington Post's Ellen Knickmeyer. In today's Post, she describes a deadly attack on a squad that had just completed a bloody exchange with terrorists who attacked shooting armor piercing bullets from beneath a floor in a building. She writes,

Marines in surrounding vehicles threw open their hatches and took off running across the plowed fields, toward the already blackening metal of the destroyed vehicle. Shouting, they pulled to safety those they could, as the flames ignited the bullets, mortar rounds, flares and grenades inside, rocketing them into the sky and across pastures.

Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Hurley emerged from the smoke and turmoil around the vehicle, circling toward the spot where helicopters would later land to pick up casualties. As he passed one group of Marines, he uttered one sentence: "That was the same squad."

Among the four Marines killed and 10 wounded when an explosive device erupted under their Amtrac on Wednesday were the last battle-ready members of a squad that four days earlier had battled foreign fighters holed up in a house in the town of Ubaydi. In that fight, two squad members were killed and five were wounded.

In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be.

Every member of the squad -- one of three that make up the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment -- had been killed or wounded, Marines here said. All told, the 1st Platoon -- which Hurley commands -- had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting force.

"They used to call it Lucky Lima," said Maj. Steve Lawson, commander of the company. "That turned around and bit us."

Our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for the national interest. Why can't our political leaders put the national interest before their narrow partisan interest. Don't our troops and the nation deserve better?
-- Posted at 9:07 AM | Link to this post | Email this post