President Bush claimed tonight that a redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq would undermine their morale:
It is also important for every American to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done. … We would undermine the morale of our troops – by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed.
Bush is wrong — staying the course indefinitely is not the way to improve the morale of our soldiers. Calls for a redeployment of forces that would strengthen our national security do not undermine our soldiers. What hurts troop morale is this administration’s flailing military strategy in Iraq. President Bush needs to listen carefully to the comments of the soldiers on the ground who spoke today to Vice President Cheney:
“From our perspective, we don’t see much as far as gains,” said Marine Cpl. Bradley Warren, the first to question Cheney in a round-table discussion with about 30 military members. “We’re looking at small-picture stuff, not many gains.”
Infact, Bush’s suggestion that U.S. forces have not completed their mission is false. A true patriot, decorated veteran Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) said it best today:
What the troops get disappointed [about] is they don’t have the equipment they need, didn’t have enough troops when they went in in the first place, inadequate forces to transition to peace. That’s the thing to demoralize them. …The military has accomplished its mission, done everything we asked them to do. Nation building is not part of the mission a military does well.
Disagreeing with the President on Iraq is not defeatism. It’s patriotism.