Never mind that FBI wiretaps caught Russell Defreitas, the lead suspect, complaining about Israel’s war with Hezbollah, not Iraq. Never mind that Gadahn went out of his way in his latest tape to deny that the war in Iraq plays any central role in jihadist grievances (“[L]et us be clear. A pull-out from Iraq alone in the absence of compliance with the remainder of our legitimate demands will get you nowhere and will not save you from our strikes.”). And never mind that the 9/11 plot which Murtha claims came “from Afghanistan” didn’t involve any actual people who were, you know, from Afghanistan.

Spanky’s got his story and he’s sticking to it. I’ll let Tony Blair answer via his piece in the Economist, which you really should read if you haven’t yet:

It is said that by removing Saddam or the Taliban—regimes that were authoritarian but also kept a form of order—the plight of Iraqis and Afghans has worsened and terrorism has been allowed to grow. This is a seductive but dangerous argument. Work out what it really means. It means that because these reactionary and evil forces will fight hard, through terrorism, to prevent those countries and their people getting on their feet after the dictatorships are removed, we should leave the people under the dictatorship. It means our will to fight for what we believe in is measured by our enemy’s will to fight us, but in inverse proportion. That is not a basis on which you ever win anything…

The truth is that the conflict in Iraq has mutated into something directly fuelled by the same elements that confront us everywhere. Yet a large, probably the larger, part of Western opinion would prefer us to withdraw. That is the extraordinary dulling of our senses that the terrorism has achieved. In the Palestinian question who gets the blame for lack of progress? The West. In Lebanon—a crisis deliberately provoked by, again, the same forces—who is held responsible? Israel.

In Afghanistan it is clear that the Taliban is receiving support, including arms from, again, elements of the Iranian regime. They have learned from elsewhere. They believe if they inflict enough chaos, enough casualties of Western soldiers, we will lose the will. It will become another “mess”. And if it does, the problem will be laid at the door of the Afghan government and its Western allies…

There is no alternative to fighting this menace wherever it rears its head. There are no demands that are remotely negotiable. It has to be beaten. Period.

Murtha also reiterates his absolute belief that Iraqis are going to smash AQ to itty bitty pieces the moment we’re gone, a point he’s been making for at least four months now. Exit question: If it’s as simple as that, how is AQ able to maintain a presence in Iraq given the fact that they’re currently being targeted by the U.S. military, the Iraqi military, Shiite militias, Sunni residents of Anbar province, and even other members of the Sunni insurgency?