Why Do Our Troops Hate Our Troops?


Speaking of Rep. John Murtha, the Associated Press has a report from Murtha's southwest Pennsylvania district that finds numerous Iraq veterans agreeing with the congressman's bleak assessments.

In Murtha's southwest Pennsylvania district, however, many share the war critic's views.

At a welcome home ceremony this week for Myers and other troops from the Johnstown, Pa.-based 876th Engineer Battalion, the crowd cheered when a Murtha aide welcomed the troops on the congressman's behalf.

Myers said he backs Murtha, an opinion echoed by a number of other troops and their families. Several share his frustration with the conflict.

"I'm not sure we're doing a whole lot of good," Myers, 46, said of the U.S. presence in Iraq. "Everybody thinks we are. We're trying to, but we're not going to change what they want to do, and if they don't want to change, they're not gonna."

Said Sgt. 1st Class George Wozniak, 36, of Murtha: "He's definitely for a strong military and he definitely supports the troops."

The AP quotes a Quinnipiac University poll on what to do in Iraq, but it looks like they got the numbers wrong. The May 12 poll showed 43% of voters in southwest PA want the US to "remove all its troops from Iraq," while 21% wanted at least to reduce troop levels. When Murtha's Republican challenger Diana Irey claimed she was getting support from 48 states for her keep-troops-in-Iraq-forever campaign, maybe the subtext was "everywhere but this district." (Here's the district in question, a hideously gerrymandered snake that slithers past Pittsburgh and borders on West Virginia.)

This is a funny election we're about to have. Democrats running against scandals that voters don't care about; Republicans running on a war that voters don't support.