Top General Peter Pace Strikes Back at John Murtha...Finally
by Jim Kouri, CPP
For months now, Representative John Murtha, Democrat from Pennsylvania, has enjoyed enormous positive press coverage ever since he began denigrating US military operations in Iraq culminating in his shrill call for immediate withdrawal of US troops.
Like gossipy school girls running to tattle on someone, the members of the mainstream news media scamper over to Murtha following every speech by President Bush on the subject of the Iraqi conflict. This is their new war hero of the year -- a war hero who shares their anti-American views, at least on the issue of Iraq.
When the media realized that Cindy Sheehan's circus was doing more harm than good, they needed someone new -- someone who would not be exposed as a dupe for the wacky left-wing of the Democrat Party. Once upon a time, they did not have to worry about their latest heroes being exposed as shills for the radical left. But now with emergence of talk radio, Fox News Channel and the Internet, that left-wing monopoly doesn't exist anymore.
But with John Murtha -- another Democrat war hero -- the mainstream media have found someone immune to attack. Even the Bush Administration backed off.
The more negative the comments made by Murtha, the more the media adore him. These are the members of the press who have no trouble with their consciences when they reveal top secret information to US enemies. These are people, who along with their comrades in the Democrat Party call traitors "whistleblowers." Sure, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg weren't traitors when they gave the Soviet Union nuclear secrets. They were whistleblowers who revealed America's nuclear technology to the communists so the world would be safe from capitalism and democracy.
If a top US general discusses the vitriol coming from the Democrats, the mainstream news media all but ignore his statements. For instance, when asked to respond Congressman John Murtha's negative comments about military operations in Iraq, as well as his recent comments that he would not join the military today, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace called such comments "damaging" to the armed forces.
"It's damaging to recruiting; it's damaging to the morale of the troops who are deployed; and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they're doing to serve this country," he said.
And such comments are damaging to the United States if they dissuade young people from joining the military, Pace added.
"We have almost 300 million Americans who are being protected by 2.4 [million] volunteer active, Guard and Reserve members, [and] we must recruit to that force," he said.
Pace said 18- and 19-year-olds "can get the wrong message" about the military when they hear respected leaders discourage military service. Military service is "very, very satisfying," and today's service members recognize the critical role they are playing in the country's defense, the top US military officer told Pentagon reporters today.
Following a week-long trip throughout the Persian Gulf region and to Germany, the gutsy but soft-spoken Marine General Pace said he was impressed by the "incredibly high morale" among deployed troops and their confidence in the mission they are carrying out.
"They felt good about what they are doing and knew they are making a difference," he said after meeting with about 12,000 troops in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Djibouti, aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, and at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
They have a lot to be proud of with accomplishments made in 2005 in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world," he said. "No matter what we've asked our young folks to do, they have done superbly and made us proud.
Pace acknowledged that he sensed a "quiet confidence" among the US troops and foreign leaders he met with in how the war on terror is proceeding. They have "an understanding of the process, an understanding of the way ahead, and a feeling of confidence that if we collectively stay with it, we're going to be okay," he said.
The general said he's impressed by the caliber of the force and took offense with Murtha's assertions that the Army is broken. One wishes he will soon respond to another Democrat bigwig, Howard Dean, who said American would lose the war.
"The US Army is well-trained," he asserted. "It's the best-trained Army in the world. It has never been better trained, and we will continue to make sure that it stays well-trained."
"We have an all-volunteer, all-recruited United States armed forces," he said. "I believe that all young people should have the opportunity to service their country in whatever way they see fit, and that those who elect to serve in the armed forces should be encouraged to do so -- especially when we're in a war where our enemy has [the] stated intention of destroying our way of life."
General Pace was sworn in as the sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 30, 2005. In that capacity, he's the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. Before becoming Chairman he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2001 to August 12, 2005.
General Pace is the first Marine to serve as Chairman. He also holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served as the Vice Chairman.
Pace was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. A 1967 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University and attended Harvard University for the Senior Executives in National and International Security program.
The General is also a graduate of the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga.; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, in Quantico, VA; and the National War College, at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC.
In 1968, upon completion of The Basic School, Quantico, Va., General Pace was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam, serving first as a Rifle Platoon Leader and subsequently as Assistant Operations Officer. He was later assigned to Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, where he served in a number of billets, to include Security Detachment Commander, Camp David; White House Social Aide; and Platoon Leader, Special Ceremonial Platoon.
General Pace has held command ranks at virtually every level, and served overseas in Nam Phong, Thailand; Seoul, Korea; and Yokota, Japan. While serving as President, Marine Corps University, then Brigadier General Pace served as Deputy Commander, Marine Forces, Somalia, from December 1992 until February 1993, and as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force - Somalia from October 1993 through March 1994.
After an assignment as the Director for Operations in Washington, DC, then Lieutenant General Pace served as the Commander, U. S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic/Europe/South. He was promoted to General and assumed duties as the Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command in September 2000.
General Pace's impressive list of military decorations include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal, with two oak leaf clusters; Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal with Combat V; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with gold star; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V"; Navy Achievement Medal with gold star; and the Combat Action Ribbon.
But the Democrat Party and their friends in the media have little affection for warriors who actually fight to win. They prefer the John Kerrys of the military, who return from a war zone and accuse our troops of being Genghis Khan. Or who accuse our soldiers of terrorizing women and children in the darkness of night. So don't expect them to give General Peter Pace the adulation he deserves.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.