It’s time that John Murtha came clean and showed us who he represents. In the past, people refered to Murtha as a “Democratic hawk”, something that I didn’t totally buy into. I certainly don’t buy into it anymore.

Still, it’s worth noting that Murtha got a -2 rating from Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel for 2003-2004. A -2 rating is roughly a D- or an F. Here’s how VoteSmart worded it:

2003-2004 Based on a point system, with points assigned for actions in support of or in opposition to Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel’s position, Representative Murtha received a rating of -2.

The ‘parent’ organization for Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel is United for Peace & Justice, which advocates, among other things, getting us out of Iraq. Immediately. Here’s their official position on Iraq:

1. Bring the U.S. troops home now.

2. Iraqi sovereignty must be reestablished immediately.

3. The Iraqi people, not foreigners, should make the decisions about the future of their country, including security. Iraqis should decide the structure of their economy and control Iraq’s reconstruction. The corporate invasion of Iraq must be ended and the privatizations laws passed under the occupation repealed. Labor and human rights should also be guaranteed.

4. The United States should pay for the reconstruction of and reparations to Iraq, in accordance with international law.

5. The United Nations and other international organizations should refuse to endorse or collaborate with the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But once the U.S. ends its occupation, if representative sectors of Iraqi society invite it, the UN, backed by other international bodies such as the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, should help the Iraqis establish mechanisms through which to choose their own leaders and reclaim sovereign control of their own country.

Let’s fast forward to November 17, 2005. Let’s remember John Murtha’s press release from that day:

Staying the course in Iraq is not an option or a policy. I believe we must begin discussions for an immediate re-deployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. I believe it can be accomplished in as little as six months but it must be consistent with the safety of U.S. troops. We must insist that the Iraqis step up and seize their own destiny.
The public is way ahead of Congress and is thirsting for a new direction. Over 70% of the responses I have received are in favor of my re-deployment plan. The public knows this war cannot be won with words. Most agree the insurgency cannot be won militarily. The Iraqis themselves must be the driving force. Yet we have lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. America wants and DESERVES real answers: What is the clear definition of success? Is there a plan? How much longer and how many more lives? In short, what is the end game?
Aside from the fact that the original plan to win the peace was flawed, two and a half years later, the indices that would determine the ultimate success of a stable Iraq have not improved. Electricity and oil production are below pre-war levels, unemployment remains at 60% and insurgent incidents have increased from 150 to over 700 per week. Average monthly death rates of U.S. service members have grown since the Abu Ghraib prison incidents from 1 per day to almost 4. Despite the addition of MORE troops, MORE equipment and MORE money, Iraq and the region have become LESS stable over time. Global terrorism has risen. What is MORE of the same going to do for Iraq or the region?
Some claim the answer is to put even more troops on the ground, but many of our troops are already on their third deployment, our Army cannot recruit to its current target, even as they lower recruiting standards. We cannot do this without a draft.
My plan calls for a more rapid turnover of Iraq to the Iraqi people. General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, “the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.” We have become a catalyst for violence. A recent poll showed that 80% of the Iraqi public are “strongly opposed” to the presence of coalition troops and 45% believe attacks against Americans are justified.
The Iraqis are a smart and proud people. They must take control of their country. My plan motivates the Iraqis to take control, sooner rather than later.

Notice the breathtaking similarities between UFPJ’s official position and Murtha’s ‘immediate redeployment’ proposal.

UFPJ: 1. Bring the U.S. troops home now.
Murtha:
I believe we must begin discussions for an immediate re-deployment of U.S. forces from Iraq.

UFPJ: 2. Iraqi sovereignty must be reestablished immediately.
Murtha: We must insist that the Iraqis step up and seize their own destiny.

UFPJ: 3. The corporate invasion of Iraq must be ended and the privatizations laws passed under the occupation repealed.
From Murtha’s Press Conference:

All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free, free from a United States occupation.

UFPJ: 5. The United Nations and other international organizations should refuse to endorse or collaborate with the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Murtha: I said two year ago, “The key to progress in Iraq is Iraqitize, internationalize and energize.”

This isn’t to say that Murtha’s done anything illegal. He’s entitled to his opinions. My point is that Murtha went from disagreeing with an anti-war organization all the time to agreeing with that anti-war group’s parent organization like they were writing his press releases. This raises troubling questions like:

Why would Murtha accept as fact that the US is an occupier? Why would he think that “the international community” would help the Iraqi people when they haven’t helped in the rebuilding thus far? Why does Murtha think that immediately pulling our troops from Iraq would make Iraq safer? Does he think that Saddam’s thugs will stop their attempted ‘hostile takeover’ if we leave?

This information raises the question what other policy ramifications this might have if Murtha becomes the House Majority Leader. UFPJ’s position on Iran is troubling at best:

United for Peace and Justice opposes any military action against Iran, as well as covert action and sanctions. We reject the doctrine of “preventive war.” All diplomatic solutions must be pursued.

Does Murtha support their position on Iran? God help us if he does. Based on how totally he’s accepted their position on Iraq, I can’t rule it out that he’d oppose any action on Iran except endless ‘negotiations’ with Iran until they develop a nuclear weapon capability.

Here’s UFPJ’s view of the Israeli-Hezbollah war:

We condemn Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli civilians, and we condemn the Israeli assault in Gaza and Lebanon. We also see the vast differences in the scope and scale of these actions. As the French Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, described it, Hezbollah’s seizure of the soldiers and firing rockets into northern Israel were “irresponsible acts”; Israel’s bombing of the Beirut international airport was “a disproportionate act of war.”

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy is wrong: “Hezbollah’s seizure of the soldiers and firing rockets into northern Israel” weren’t “irresponsible acts”. They were acts of war. Does Murtha agree with UFPJ on that, too?

George Bush is giving a green light to Israel’s use of force, which is being conducted in part with U.S.-supplied weapons. The Bush administration’s trampling of international law and national sovereignty in its war on Iraq has also emboldened Israel to disregard international condemnation of its behavior.

Based on this quote from UFPJ’s website, it’s obvious that they think that George Bush is a war criminal and that Israel’s ignoring of the international community’s condemnation for its behavior is unacceptable. Israel has every right to ignore the international community’s condemnation, especially if they abandon Israel when Israel is attacked by international terrorists.

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