Friday, December 09, 2005

Counter the Panderer with a Patriot

The previous three weeks of pro-Murtha, anti-war coverage by the MSM -- accompanied by typically inane statements from the likes of Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Nancy "Stretch" Pelosi -- would almost make you think that all members of Congress, or even all Democrats, lovingly embrace the lie-down-or-you-might-get-hurt retreatism that is a staple of modern leftist thinking. Whether you believe it or not, however, there are actually Democrat members of Congress who favor not only pursuing this war to its end, but winning it in the process.

Take Congressman Sam Johnson (D-Tex.), for example. Much of the focus on Murtha has been at least loosely based upon Murtha's longevity of, and sacrifice through, his decades of military service. Johnson, also a Democrat, has a 29-year record of flawless service with the United States Air Force that spans two wars and time as a prisoner of war. Here is a biographical excerpt from the congressman's own website:

Sam Johnson returned home to Texas after serving in the U.S. Air Force for 29-years as a highly decorated pilot. He flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and was a prisoner of war in Hanoi for nearly seven years.

. . .

After growing up in Dallas and graduating from Southern Methodist University, Johnson began his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and flew with the Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying demonstration team. In the Korean War, he flew F-86s in 62 combat missions.

In the Vietnam War, Johnson flew F-4s. While flying his 25th combat mission in 1966, he was shot down over North Vietnam. He spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war, half of that time in solitary confinement. Fellow POW Capt. James Mulligan, USN (Ret.) recalled the day Johnson was allowed to return to a joint cell. He walked into the room with the two other detained American officers, "stood at attention with tears in his eyes, and said simply, 'Lieutenant Colonel Sam Johnson reporting for duty, sir'...after he had not talked to or directly been with an American for three full years." Johnson recounts the details of his POW experience in his autobiography, Captive Warriors.

A decorated war hero, Johnson was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals, and three Outstanding Unit Awards.

You probably have not heard Johnson's recent vocal rebuttals of Murtha because . . . well, you know why: what he has to say, about both the purpose and the progress of the war, does not fit with the MSM's vision of how they want the war to be perceived by the American public. And so he is ignored, despite eloquently challenging the notion (put forth by Democrats) that the key to victory in Iraq is surrender.

There are clearly other members of Congress who have substantial military credentials and continue to support the war effort, but Johnson is both a Democrat and a patriot -- an increasingly rare breed. I am the last person to favor equal time legislation, but I do think that the MSM are being intellectually dishonest by not telling the American public that Johnson and other elected military veterans still support the war.

Update: As my glorious colleagues noted in the Haloscan at the bottom of this post, Congressman Sam Johnson is, in fact, a Republican, not a Democrat. Thank you for the correction. I am embarrassed by the glaring error.

That having been said, I do not think it in any way undercuts the purpose or value of the post. There are plenty of other congressmen and senators, Republican and Democrat, who not only served, but served with honor. I was merely making the point that Murtha is being rewarded with coverage for saying what the MSM want to hear, whereas Johnson and others are being ignored because they do not fit the script.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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