Friday, January 06, 2006

Joint Chiefs chairman says anti-war remarks 'damaging to recruiting' and morale

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace let fellow Marine and Congressman John Al-Murtha have it in his press conference. It's about time.

At a Pentagon news conference, Gen. Peter Pace was asked to comment on Murtha's remarks, the Associated Press reported. Last year, Murtha advocated an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and told ABC News this week that if he were eligible to join the military he would not, nor would he expect others to do so. The congressman also has called the war "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

"That's damaging to recruiting," Pace told reporters. "It's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they are doing to serve this country."

Pace mentioned he recently returned from Iraq and found good troop morale and a "quiet confidence" that U.S. efforts were on the right track, AP reported.

"When a respected leader like Mr. Murtha, who has spent 37 extremely honorable years as a Marine, fought in two wars, has served the country extremely well in the Congress of the United States – when a respected individual like that says what he said, and 18- and 19-year-olds look to their leadership to determine how they are expected to act, they can get the wrong message," Pace said.

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