February 25, 2008

"He isn't seeking to perfect Swift-boating, he's seeking to end it."

John Kerry:
"I believe Barack Obama has this moment of history to be able to change these politics and take the negative off, to take the politics of destruction away. He isn't seeking to perfect Swift-boating, he's seeking to end it. This is a man who understands we've got to talk to each other."

And Kerry is a man who doesn't understand that he was a terrible candidate.

183 comments:

TROBlog said...

And he doesn't understand the true meaning of "Swiftboating" either. But then few liberals do.

campy said...

"This is a man who understands we've got to talk to each other."

The unspoken continuation, of course, is, "... like I and my fellow Democrats strive to do—unlike those vile Republicans."

The Drill SGT said...

my favorite giggle lines were these two:
Kerry now travels light, calls his wife for news updates and gamely hurries through Burger King drive-throughs for a value meal --

and....

"It is gusto," Kerry said as a five-seat jet shuttled him between events in Brownsville and Del Rio.


a real road warrior in an eco-friendly private jet

George said...

"Our family's story is one that spans miles and generations, races and realities. It's the story of farmers and soldiers, city workers and single moms. It takes place in small towns and good schools, in Kansas and Kenya, on the shores of Hawaii and the streets of Chicago. It's a varied and unlikely journey, but one that's held together by the same simple dream. And that is why it's American. That's why I can stand here and talk about how this country is more than a collection of red states and blue states--because my story could only happen in the United States."

Obama quoted in a New Republic essay that compares him to Adam.

That guy in the Bible.

Because each American generation wants to "create a future without reference to the past."

Note that Obama says his family has "a story", not a history. It's a "story." Consider Joseph Campbells' definition of the mythic hero...

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces [the medusa Hillary?] are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

I don't know how all this fits together, but it belongs in Hollywood, not D.C.

Roger said...

While I think John Kerry is a fool, and smeared an entire generation of Viet Nam veterans with his winter soldier schtick, I do think the sentiment he expresses is valid. Yes, he doesnt understand "swiftboating" but it doesnt negate the criticism of politics of personal destruction.

TROBlog said...

Will attacking the policies of the new Messiah be considered the "politics of personal destruction?"

Will his race and his "savior persona" make him untouchable?

I think yes, unless he really does have a history versus a story.

Meade said...

Wasn't John McCain one of the first to condemn the Swift Boat ads?

Middle Class Guy said...

Ah, he must be seeking the VP spot.

Doyle said...

And Kerry is a man who doesn't understand that he was a terrible candidate.

And Ann is a woman who doesn't understand that Bush needed to go in 2004. Probably because she supported the Iraq War, which in turn was probably because she's a space cadet.

AllenS said...

John Kerry is a liar.

I don't know if this is going to make any sense to those who didn't serve, but he had 2 DD214's. His first one is suspect because it is outdated, and awarded to Army personnel. Here is what it says for Decorations, Medals... AWARDED NATIONAL DEFENSE MEDAL (NOT RECEIVED). He also didn't sign that form. Reason: Not available for signature. That's it. What utter nonsense. You are awarded that medal after about 30 days in basic training. His second one is a DD214N, which is awarded to Navy personnel. One of those medals says: SILVER STAR WITH COMBAT "V". There is no such award. There is the Silver Star, and that doesn't come with a combat "v". Those Swift Boat Vets were correct in everything that they said.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I for one thought that the Swiftboat ads were reasonably fair and clearly represented the honest views of the veterans speaking in them. After all, Kerry stood up on stage has his convention with his Vets, why did the Swift Boaters lose their 1st amendment rights?

On the other hand, my strong feelings about Hanoi Jane and Magic Hat Kerry are pretty well etched in stone at this point.

as for McCain's rejection of the SB ads? I think that is consistent with his general attitude about forgiveness for past sins and moving beyond the hatred. Good for him. I'm not a nice a person I guess.

Doyle said...

Those Swift Boat Vets were correct in everything that they said.

Aww. That's cute.

AJ Lynch said...

Doyle - don't you get tired of defending this pathetic excuse for a Senator?

You know Ann and many others can't resist posting about a tone-deaf doofus.

Ann would like to thank John Kerry for making it so easy to do that.

Roger said...

As AllenS notes, the second DD214 is, at best, suspicious. The Silver star is awarded for "gallantry in action." No V device is necessary because the decoration is itself for gallantry. The Bronze star medal can be awarded for meritorious service in combat, or with "V" device for valor in a combat zone. No personnel office would have screwed up something so basic as that. (BTW: a service member is "decorated" for heroism, and "awarded" for service.)

Doyle said...

I mean really, Ann. How can you put up posts like this and then deny that you are just intentionally attracting the stuff that forms on the walls of the aquarium that is the Wingnuttosphere?

There's absolutely zero news value in the item. It's just John Kerry saying what he's been saying all along about Barack Obama. Further, you don't have anything to add to it beyond another whack at John Kerry.

I guess my question is: Why must you suck so badly?

Tim said...

AJ Lynch said...
"Doyle - don't you get tired of defending this pathetic excuse for an American?"

/fixed.

garage mahal said...

Kerry says...
This is a man who understands we've got to talk to each other."

Right, and Inhofe is going to change his mind on global warming, and Duncan Hunter will change his mind on Iraq if we just talked to them a little more nicely. "Bringing people together" makes about as much sense as bringing steak lovers and vegetarians together. Democracy thrives on difference of opinion and partisanship, not in spite of it. It gives voters a clear choice. The message that we should have been listening and talking to Republicans the past 7 yrs is absurd and completely contradicts the entire message of "Change".

Tim said...

Speaking of "Swift-boating," here's a particularly exemplary example: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8667.html

H/T, Hillary! Clinton, et al.

Middle Class Guy said...
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Middle Class Guy said...

Doyle said…
Further, you don't have anything to add to it beyond another whack at John Kerry.

I guess my question is: Why must you suck so badly?



What is wrong with whacking John Kerry? As to your last comment, I see that when you are called on something your maturity level goes into the world of KOS and MyDD; the sewer.

Real intelligent; when you can not argue or tell the truth just personally attack with insults and profanity.

Palladian said...

I'm with garagemahal on this one. I don't want touchy-feely give-peace-a-chance nonsense in government. The point of having parties is to have an adversarial relationship in government that creates balance. There is certainly "talk" going on, and certainly compromise, but that isn't what Kerry means nor is it what Obama means when they talk about "change". What they mean is: stop complaining, stop criticizing us, be quiet and take it like men. The peace of political homogeneity is like the peace of the grave, and often leads people there in one way or another. The worst thing in the world is a totally unified government, at least regarding most issues.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Further, you don't have anything to add to it beyond another whack at John Kerry."

Well, when someone (Kerry) is so completely clueless that after shooting himself in the foot, he wants to take aim at Obama's toosties it should be incumbent on all of us to point out the idiocy or at least get a good laugh out of it. I love irony.

This is also what is so seriously wrong with people on the left. They think that if we all just sat down and sang a rousing round of Kumbayah, the world would be magically set right. All we have to do is "give peace a chance", say "pretty please", "dialogue" and the people who have sworn to bring our nation down and kill every last one of us will just realize the error of their ways and begin drinking double mocha lattes and drive eco friendly cars. They are also the same people who feel that they need to be their "children's best friends" and consequently raise uncontrollable, undisciplined, self indulgent monsters.

The Swift Boat people were quite correct and had every right to exercise the First Amendment. Free speech in the world of Doyle and others like him only applies if you are "speaking truth to power" or agreeing with him. All others should be silenced.

SGT Ted said...

The peace of political homogeneity is like the peace of the grave, and often leads people there in one way or another. The worst thing in the world is a totally unified government, at least regarding most issues.

Hear, hear!

TROBlog said...

There's absolutely zero news value in the item. It's just John Kerry saying what he's been saying all along about Barack Obama. Further, you don't have anything to add to it beyond another whack at John Kerry.

I guess my question is: Why must you suck so badly?


Doyle, like the New York Times, seems to be the only one who gets to say what is newsworthy.

I hate to break it to you, but for suckage look within.

rhhardin said...

Kerry always speaks to posterity. Somebody will write it down, he figures, and years later he will be recognized as Lincoln.

The most irritating sign of this is : no single noun will ever do. Everything is a pair of nouns for history and posterity.

Hollywood could make excellent Pink Panther movies out of Kerry, the French Lincoln, if they only realized it.

Roger said...

I do agree that adversarial positions are important in a debate in a democratic society; having said that, can someone tell me how circulating a picture of Senator Obama in traditional Somali dress furthers such a debate? I eagerly await such an analysis. Or how publishing a kindergarten essay furthers public debate on any issue? The point seems to me, that there are NOT a lot substantive differences between Obama and Clinton except for the drivers license thing and her support of AUMF.

Henry said...

He isn't seeking to perfect Swift-boating, he's seeking to end it.

I'm still wondering what Kerry was seeking to do. It was obvious what he was seeking, but what was he seeking to do?

Middle Class Guy said...

roger said...
can someone tell me how circulating a picture of Senator Obama in traditional Somali dress furthers such a debate?


Better, will Hillary Clinton get in front of the media in all her righteous mad mom mode and say shame on her campaign for putting out the picture? Will she demand a debate with her own campaign on dirty campaign tactics?

Hoosier Daddy said...

can someone tell me how circulating a picture of Senator Obama in traditional Somali dress furthers such a debate?

Well when the Truth will out, I am certain we'll find out Karl Rove or those lying bastards at Fox News were behind that photo.

ricpic said...

You can talk with a liberal but you can't argue with a liberal because then you be HATING!

rhhardin said...

Obama isn't Black, according to Debra Dickerson.

Covered nicely by Colbert (link gets you a short ad first)

H/T to somebody for the link, I forget who.

Dickerson was on Imus. She's into strong cultural heritage.

George said...

It's no different from Coolidge wearing an Indian headdress.

Or Dukakis wearer an tanker's helmet.

Or Bush in a leather flight jacket.

Smart pols avoid putting on funny clothes.

Small matter, but it says something about the person's judgment.

The most interesting thing is Obama's angry statement....the photo's release shows "shameful offensive fear-mongering." He should have just smiled and said nothing or tried to make light of it.

Obama is thin skinned. Bet he has a big temper, too. White or black, male or female, you gotta have a sandpaper hide to be President.

Michael_H said...

John Kerry? Isn't he the guy who wasn't smart enough to beat George W. Bush in the last presidential election? He doesn't matter anymore, right?

In that photo, Obama was merely getting dressed for a party. Toga! Toga! Toga!

Roger said...

George: certainly an interesting interpretation you have; and I agree that picture is basically nada and its what politician do; but let me extend my question, then: why did the Clinton campaign put the photo out WITHOUT any comment? Was there any subliminal message? An exercise left to the viewers of the picture? Without taking a position on the merits of the picture, the Clinton campaign is certainly not furthering any debate IMO.

former law student said...

John Kerry showed the stupidity of voting for a candidate because other people think he's "electable," or because other people think it's his turn.

true meaning of "Swiftboating"

The true meaning is that people will believe what they want to believe, even to the extent of crediting eyewitness accounts by people who weren't there at the time. Also, that John Kerry is a wuss.

Meade said...

rhhardin:
"That would make you a racist..."

"IF I were white."

Good clip.

Pogo said...

Since we're all now officially trained in Diversity And Nonjudgementalism, I wonder what Obama would find wrong with the photo such that reproducing it amounts to "shameful offensive fear-mongering"?

I mean, what's being left unsaid? It's as if there were an unstated argument before us that this would be a bad thing.

And since he's clearly against the idea that we should be in the Middle East at all, what could Obama possibly mean by saying that? What could Clinton possibly mean by showing it?

dbp said...

Doyle said...
Those Swift Boat Vets were correct in everything that they said.

Aww. That's cute.

9:52 AM

This reminds me of a TV series: "Get a Life", where Chris Elliot played a 30 year old paperboy who lived at home and felt superior to everyone around him.

George said...

roger--

They're trying to do two things, I think.

First, force people to see that Sen. Obama is a human being, not some supernatural force of nature. He looks kinda goofy sometimes. We all do. (But maybe Presidents shouldn't.)

Watch---next we'll see photos of him bozoed out at some campus beer blast or smoking a joint.

Second, clearly, they're trying to get people to question whether or not he is even an American.

Look at what Kristol led with in his op-ed today....Obama's refusal to wear the U.S. flag lapel pin..."I won’t wear that pin on my chest"

Verso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

I have to say, it would be hard to do better than the Swiftboat vets at exposing a lie.

So I agree with Kerry. Obama couldn't possibly improve upon their effort one bit!

Sloanasaurus said...

Kerry relied on his Vietnam experience as an argument that he could be commander and chief. The swiftboat campaign only proved that his veteran experience was not as noble as people thought.

Obama makes no such claim. In fact, Obama argues that he has the character to be commander and chief, and therefore experience is not required. As support for Obama, he points to the experts and their support for the Iraq war and claims that he would be better because he would not have started the Iraq war.

Obama's argument is superficially pursuasive if you think Iraq was a mistake. However, there is more in the world than Iraq. For example, most of the same people who opposed Gulf War II also opposed Gulf War I. Yet America now supports Gulf War I because it was an outstanding success. Gulf War I was waged by a very experienced president, while Gulf War II was waged by someone with little military experience. Thus, it is arguable that with Obama we would get another Gulf War II caused by an inexperienced president or neither Gulf War, causing us all kinds of international problems.

Verso said...

Indeed, Kerry was a terrible candidate, and yet one who still almost beat Bush even considering:

— Bush's incumbency advantage
— the fact that we were ostensibly "at war"
— a billion dollar campaign to destroy Kerry
— a national media that was determined to see Bush reelected

For a period of months, you couldn't turn on the TV to any station covering the news without being washed over by stories about what a pathetic loser, if not traitor, John Kerry was. Even during commercial breaks, the waves of attacks on Kerry continued.

I was always amazed to drive around the neighborhood and see Kerry for President signs sticking out of lawns all over the place — even in my red corner of rural Michigan. A common sight in these red parts: "Hunters for Kerry." Despite the complete uniformity of the message coming over the television and radio — Kerry is a traitor who wants to destroy America — tens of millions of Americans figured out all on their own that he was a hell of a lot better than Bush.

But even after the media and the Republicans spent months attempting to destroy John Kerry, Bush still only got a fraction over 50% of the vote — 50.7%, to be exact.

When you count the voter registration forms that were destroyed by the Republican front-group Sproul & Associates, or the voters disenfranchised in Ohio, to name but two Republican scams, Kerry may very well have been the actual winner of the election.

So yeah, Kerry was a terrible candidate.

But Bush is a terrible president. And while Kerry f!cked up his election, Bush has f!cked up the entire world.

It's going to be something to watch the raving right channel its rage and fury into a new campaign to destroy Barack Obama this year. It's going to be incredibly ugly, and we can predict with certainty that after the next several months of media-enabled attacks on Obama, the new conventional wisdom will be that "Obama was a terrible candidate," too.

Because we will never blame the party doing the attcking and the smearing, or the media that enables those lies. They are off limits. (In fact, you have to believe the exact opposite of the truth regarding the media; that it is, in fact, "liberal," despite all evidence to the contrary.)

So, it will have to be Barack Obama's fault that he is painted as an effeminate, homosexual, communist, and Islamofascist who hates America.

Republicans won't win on ideas; they will win through the brute force of the multi-billion dollar smear campaign enabled by the media, plus a health dose of fearmongering and lies.

DaveG said...

It's no different from ... Bush in a leather flight jacket.

Except, of course, for the fact that Bush actually was a fighter pilot.

Roger said...

George: I esp agree with your second point; I am surprised they didnt caption Barack Hussein Obama visits Africa. (I do recall the picture of Cooledge in an native american headress--NEVER wear funny hats.)

Pogo said...

So, it will have to be Barack Obama's fault that he is painted as an effeminate, homosexual, communist, and Islamofascist who hates America.

Geez, Verso, if that's true, I definitely am not voting for Obama!

Verso said...

We all know that the right is addled with its hatred for Hillary Clinton. We're supposed to believe this is because of something Hillary actually did at some point to deserve such scorn.

But the fact is that if Barack Obama (who most people would agree is not the divisive figure that Hillary is) is elected president and subject to the daily assaults and lies from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, etc., it will only be a short time before Republicans are as addled with hatred for Obama as they are with Hillary.

All it will take is a few months of repeating the lies about the national anthem or the flag lapel pin or the church he attends or his Kenyan heritage or his "Muslim connections" or his secret loathing for the American way of life before the wingnuts and loons who occupy the base of the Republican Party hate him with the same intensity and passion that they hate Hillary Clinton.

In fact, no one ever suggested Hillary was a Muslim. Sure, from Rush Limbaugh on down there have been suggestions that Hillary is a communist and a murderer and a man-hating lesbian and a totalitarian fascist. That's mainstream Republican "thought."

But never a Muslim.

If Obama is elected, it will only be a matter of time before the Republican Party starts splintering off into anti-government terrorist militia groups as they did in the 1990's, only this time they will probably blow up a lot more than just a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Translation of Verso's post: Waaaaahh. Politics is mean.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We're supposed to believe this is because of something Hillary actually did at some point to deserve such scorn

Silly boy, it isn't what she did. It's what she IS and we are afraid she is going to do.

George said...

roger--

Also, the Drudge headline puts the word 'dressed' in quotation marks to emphasize the supposed femininity of what he's doing.

p.s. to verso---I, too, thought it was 'lie' about the flag pin. But it's the NYT today. See the link above....

The Drill SGT said...

agreeing with DBQ, I'd note that lots of Dem's now use the Clinton(s) power excesses of the 90's as reasons for supporting the Obamessia. So it isn't all members of the VRWC that think that the Clinton machine was the proximate cause for a degradation in political dialogue in this country.

Middle Class Guy said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Translation of Verso's post: Waaaaahh. Politics is mean.



Translation of Verso's posts:

There is an evil Vast Right Wing Conspiracy in the country. Only Saint Hillary can save us. Barak Obama is too weak to fight the evil and destructive secret militias waiting in the wings unleash the dogs of war and to create havoc upon the land.

Verso said...

Doyle said, "I mean really, Ann. How can you put up posts like this and then deny that you are just intentionally attracting the stuff that forms on the walls of the aquarium that is the Wingnuttosphere?

Well, Ann's in a tough spot. That's the readership that she has attracted, for better or worse. (Or, to be more precise, it's the commentariate she has attracted; it's possible there is more ideological diversity among her readers than among her commenters.)

The strange thing is that most of her commenters are far to the right of her. You could call this the Andrew Sullivan effect, or the John Cole effect.

Both Sullivan and Cole were longtime Republican conservatives who, along the way, became disenchanted with the Republican Party and started attacking Bush.

Democrats and liberals LOVE it when one of the other side flips like that, and this has given both Cole and Sullivan a large following among the left who revel in the converted status of those bloggers.

Ann is the same thing but for the right: She's a self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat, but has spent years defending Bush and even the most extreme aspects of his agenda. (I don't think I've ever seen a post in which she criticized Bush, although I have only read 95% of her posts over the last two years, so I might have missed the one where she did criticize him, if she did.)

So anyway, Ann has attracted a gigantic following of ultra-conservatives who revel in her converted status the way the left enjoys Cole and Sullivan.

If Ann should revert back to her original form, vote for Obama in November, and then spend the next period of months or years defending him, it would be interesting to watch what happens to her right-wing followers.

But I don't think there is any serious chance this will happen. Ann does still hang on to a couple of "liberal" ideas, but she seems to have genuinely become a real conservative. I think she may not even realize it herself, since she constantly denies it and I don't think she's lying.

I could be wrong; it may be that she just plays to her far-right audience and keeps a lot of her more centrist and liberal views to herself.

JDAXC said...

"If Obama is elected, it will only be a matter of time before the Republican Party starts splintering off into anti-government terrorist militia groups as they did in the 1990's, only this time they will probably blow up a lot more than just a federal building in Oklahoma City."

Yep, no fear mongering from Verso!

P. Rich said...

"Hope" is not a plan.

"Change" is not a solution.

"Talk" is not a strategy.

So Vote Obama!

No, wait...

Middle Class Guy said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
We're supposed to believe this is because of something Hillary actually did at some point to deserve such scorn

Silly boy, it isn't what she did. It's what she IS and we are afraid she is going to do.


I would also add it’s what she has not done. There is no documentation or verification of her alleged thirty five years of public service, policy implementation and policy making. There is no evidence she has been vetted; she never had a security clearance until she was a Senator. There is no evidence that she has anymore experience than Barak Obama. She is still the junior senator from New York. The scorn is for her big lie- experienced and ready on day one.

Verso said...

George,
I realize Obama doesn't wear a flag pin, and it's also true that he has refrained from placing his hand on his heart during the pledge.

Those aren't the lies I was referring to. The lies are the inferences that Republicans draw from those acts: They will present Obama's refusal to wear a flag pin as evidence that he hates America. The first part is true; the second part is the lie and the smear.

Same with his "Muslim connections." Yes, he did go to a school with Muslims for 2 years in Indonesia. But no, he was not indoctrinated in a radical, anti-American madrassah. But within six months, as many Americans will believe that Obama was raised in a madrassah as believe Saddam was behind 9/11 or had ties to Al Qaeda.

Between the media and Republican message discipline, the conservative PR machine can make a lot of Americans believe a lot of baloney.

JDAXC said...

Ann has 'right-wing followers'???
Verso, you are one delusional guy. WOW!

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's going to be something to watch the raving right channel its rage and fury into a new campaign to destroy Barack Obama this year.

Are you serious? Are you even paying attention to who is leveling all these 'attacks'? Whose staff release the latest photos of Obama dressed in a toga and turban? My God the more Hillary Inc., trys to smear the guy the more you project its the GOP doing it.

Two words:

Ther apy

Verso said...

Middle Class Guy said, There is no documentation or verification of her alleged thirty five years of public service...

I get a kick out of it every time you repeat that exact phrase. You must have written those words a hundred times on this blog alone.

Michael_H said...

Verso said:
"Republicans won't win on ideas; they will win through the brute force of the multi-billion dollar smear campaign enabled by the media, plus a health dose of fearmongering and lies."

Great description of the H.R.Clinton campaign! You nailed it.

Middle Class Guy said...

Verso said…
I could be wrong; it may be that she just plays to her far-right audience and keeps a lot of her more centrist and liberal views to herself.


You are wrong, but you are too blind to see or admit it. You, and others of your ilk, refuse to accept the fact that there are real intelligent people in the world who are able to view things in a subjective manner; especially when they have reviewed and/or researched the issue. There are people in the real world who can see the forest for the trees or the big picture. Your ilk is blinded by your personal, subjective, tunnel vision. It is your way or the highway. There are streets named after your ilk; One Way and Dead End.

Middle Class Guy said...

Verso said...
I get a kick out of it every time you repeat that exact phrase. You must have written those words a hundred times on this blog alone.

And I will keep repeating it everytime the personal political subjective Hillaryland alcoytes keep stating she has experience in anything other than standing by her man.

Henry said...

Verso, I wonder if you could define your terms:

Republicans
Wingnuts and loons
Republican base
Mainstream Republicans
Ultra-conservatives
Right-wing
Far-right
Raving right

The monolithic anti-liberal media wants to know.

BTW, did you watch the Academy Awards last night? Did you notice that Jon Stewart's one political joke was a knock on superdelegates? So it is that addled-Hillary-Clinton hatred is revealed.

AJ Lynch said...

Like him or not, posts about John Kerry sure get the commenters here going. There have been 60 Plus comments in less than two hours.

Seven Machos said...

"If Obama is elected, it will only be a matter of time before the Republican Party starts splintering off into anti-government terrorist militia groups as they did in the 1990's"

I completely missed this the first time around. I've got to start reading the newspaper more.

Richard Dolan said...

Kerry is the walking definition of yesterday's politics; the image of old squabbles that the word "Swift-boating" calls to mind is the opposite of what Obama wants to focus on. It's pathetic to see Kerry trying to inject his own obsessions into a campaign that has no use for them whatever.

The Swift-boat guys went after Kerry's attempt to cast himself as the decorated war hero presenting himself for duty. The Swifty ads (whatever you think of them) where devastating because they destroyed the self-image that the Kerry campaign was trying to present, and instead recast Kerry as the anti-war, anti-vet, anti-hero (Gengis Khan, war crimes, throwing away/not throwing away the same medals, Christmas in February seered/not seered in memory, the "magic hat," the whole bit). Looking back at '04, it's amazing that Kerry led with his chin and never saw the danger that his "strategery" exposed him to. Kerry apparently thought that the medals he threw away/didn't throw away would innoculate him (rather than help sink him). Perhaps there was no one around him who could point out what, in hindsight, seems so obvious.

The only relevance any of this has in '08 is that Obama, like every politician, wants to avoid a whithering attack on the self-image he presents to voters. Obama's preferred image is of the very partisan but magically still post-partisan unifier, he who will lead us to the Better Way and the Promised Land, which strangely enough will look just like a lefty Dem's version of Paradise.

Anyone who imagines that Obama will cruise to victory in November without having to defend every aspect of that self-image is delusional. The whole point of an election campaign is to poke and prod, test and reveal. The marvel on the Dem side is that the vaunted Clinton machine has been utterly unable to do any of that, and thus have not come close to puncturing the Obama self-image.

If the McCain campaign succeeds where Hillary's has failed, I wonder if the Obama folks will whine about it in the tiresome way Kerry still does.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"If the McCain campaign succeeds where Hillary's has failed, I wonder if the Obama folks will whine about it in the tiresome way Kerry still does."


Yes.

And they will whine about it if it doesn't succeed.

They will whine about the smallest criticism of B.O.

They will whine about anyone who dares to question the fabulous and miraculous tales of the "rise of Obama".

They will tar anyone who dares to point out that B.O. is a vacuous gas bag as being racist.

Whining is the thing that they do best. Lots of experience there.

Sloanasaurus said...

Those aren't the lies I was referring to. The lies are the inferences that Republicans draw from those acts: They will present Obama's refusal to wear a flag pin as evidence that he hates America. The first part is true; the second part is the lie and the smear.

It reminds me of when democrats imply that republicans are racist because they haven't hired enough blacks or that republicans don't care for the poor because they vote against S-Chip.

Therefore, until Obama wears a flag pin, shouldn't we assume that he most likely hates America?

Sloanasaurus said...

But I don't think there is any serious chance this will happen. Ann does still hang on to a couple of "liberal" ideas, but she seems to have genuinely become a real conservative. I think she may not even realize it herself, since she constantly denies it and I don't think she's lying.

Get real. Your pathetic attempt at reverse psychology is juvenile at best.

Freder Frederson said...

Anyone who imagines that Obama will cruise to victory in November without having to defend every aspect of that self-image is delusional. The whole point of an election campaign is to poke and prod, test and reveal. The marvel on the Dem side is that the vaunted Clinton machine has been utterly unable to do any of that, and thus have not come close to puncturing the Obama self-image.

Except of course if the NYT pokes and prods into McCain's background, that is completely unfair and uncalled for.

Does your hypocrisy know no bounds?

Freder Frederson said...

Therefore, until Obama wears a flag pin, shouldn't we assume that he most likely hates America?

Umm, no? Do you wear a flag pin Sloan? Or do you hate America too?

This reminds me of the Seinfeld "AIDS Ribbon" episode.

Sloanasaurus said...
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Sloanasaurus said...

Umm, no? Do you wear a flag pin Sloan? Or do you hate America too?

No, but I don't have an image problem regarding my dedication to America, its traditions and its values. Obama does, and he is running for president.

Freder Frederson said...

No, but I don't have an image problem regarding my dedication to America, its traditions and its values. Obama does, and he is running for president.

I don't know. You're an unapologetic supporter of the government's use of torture. That certainly betrays America's traditions and values. You probably need a flag pin to hide behind your support for fascist and communist tactics.

Middle Class Guy said...

Freder Frederson said...
I don't know. You're an unapologetic supporter of the government's use of torture. That certainly betrays America's traditions and values. You probably need a flag pin to hide behind your support for fascist and communist tactics.



Define torture.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

It went unanswered, so I'll pose it again:
What exactly could Obama -or anyone- find wrong with the photo of him in Somali garb such that Hillary reproducing it amounts to "shameful offensive fear-mongering"?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Define torture.

For me it was sleep deprivation coupled with piercing screaming all night with the added indiginity of being vomited, urinated and excreted on for about six months.

Then my daughter got over the flu bugs and was sleeping soundly through the night.

TROBlog said...
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Freder Frederson said...

Define torture.

Why? Sloan, and others, on this site have already said they are willing to sanction the use of torture if necessary. I don't need to offer my definition of torture--although I am sure my definition encompasses much milder treatment than what you and Hoosier consider "real" torture.

TROBlog said...

Define torture.

"The things that are sometimes necessary to get mass-murdering terrorists to reveal their attack plans and save innocent lives."

That's one definition, anyway.

Freder Frederson said...

As for the statutory definition of torture, (from the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading or Inhuman Treatment or Punishment):

[T]orture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

Pogo said...

I read the "flag pin" remark, and Obama's tepid excuse.

He seems to have had no qualms about wearing African clothes, but apparently wearing a US flag pin and placing his hand over his heart during the national anthem are unacceptable.

And what inference am I to draw from that, I mean vis a vis why that should make me vote for him and refrain from attacking those same acts?

Pogo said...

P.S. Freder, Bush ain't running this time. McCain has spoken against "torture" of US prisoners.

Get a new argument, please.

Freder Frederson said...

P.S. Freder, Bush ain't running this time. McCain has spoken against "torture" of US prisoners.

Bush leaving office does not remove the stain. Nor does it change the attitude of people who think torture is an acceptable interrogation method.

Freder Frederson said...

And what inference am I to draw from that, I mean vis a vis why that should make me vote for him and refrain from attacking those same acts?

You weren't going to vote for him regardless. And focussing on these non-issues makes you look petty and ridiculous.

Pogo said...

False.

I'm no fan of McCain. Were the Dems to nominate an actual centrist, I would have had a hard time choosing.

But I cannot vote for a socialist.

these non-issues
That's the point, innit?
Flag pins and holding your hand over your heart during the national anthem are like words ..they mean something.

Middle Class Guy said...

Freder Frederson said...
As for the statutory definition of torture, (from the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading or Inhuman Treatment or Punishment):



So it fits Hoosier Daddy's definition to a tee. Parenthood is torture. Ditto hosier Daddy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I am sure my definition encompasses much milder treatment than what you and Hoosier consider "real" torture.

Probably considering that your idea of interrogating a terrorist is 20 Questions followed by a footbath, haalal meal and prayer time which is pretty much what the Army Field Manual you endless tout would call for.

TROBlog said...

Bush leaving office does not remove the stain. Nor does it change the attitude of people who think torture is an acceptable interrogation method.

1. It is an acceptable interrogation method in certain circumstances as in when it's the only fricken way to get a terrorist to reveal information that would save American lives. And if believing that makes me a bad person then I am fine with that. BTW, I don't consider waterboarding torture and since it seems to have worked very well the, what, three whole times we have used it, real torture would probably never be neccessary.

2. Liberals should avoid using the word "stain" to describe any presidency if you know what I mean.

El Presidente said...

Pogo asks:

What exactly could Obama -or anyone- find wrong with the photo of him in Somali garb such that Hillary reproducing it amounts to "shameful offensive fear-mongering"?

The problem is Hillary is going after the Bill Connor (Twilight Zone Movie) blue collar democrat in Ohio and Texas. The only problem is that she is thirty years too late, maybe forty.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086491/quotes

Freder Frederson said...

Probably considering that your idea of interrogating a terrorist is 20 Questions followed by a footbath, haalal meal and prayer time which is pretty much what the Army Field Manual you endless tout would call for.

Gee, I never thought I would be accused of being weak on terror (or even a traitor according to Cedarford) because I advocate the same tactics and standards of treatment as the Pentagon.

Just freaking amazing!

It is an acceptable interrogation method in certain circumstances as in when it's the only fricken way to get a terrorist to reveal information that would save American lives.

According to who? Certainly not according to the law, in spite of what the AG says.

Freder Frederson said...

But I cannot vote for a socialist.

Apparently, you don't even know the meaning of the word.

Sloanasaurus said...

others, on this site have already said they are willing to sanction the use of torture if necessary. I don't need to offer my definition of torture--although I am sure my definition encompasses much milder treatment than what you and Hoosier consider "real" torture.

Torture, in my opinion, is morally valid when it is used in a military sense - i.e., to prevent multiple deaths. I don't see any moral difference between carpet bombing and torturing a military prisoner to prevent them from carpet bombing you. It is not morally valid, however, for criminal justice - i.e. to obtain a confession, or for propaganda purposes. That being said, it would be desirable to eliminate torture (of military prisoners) via treaty to make warfare more "civil." This is McCain's position. However, McCain takes it further to argue that we should avoid torture of terrorists (who do not reciprocate civility in war), to take away the argument, that we torture, from enemies in future conflicts.

Trooper York said...

I only come here for the cool pictures of dogs urinating.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't see any moral difference between carpet bombing and torturing a military prisoner to prevent them from carpet bombing you.

Well at least that is an accurate statement. Carpet bombing (if you mean indiscriminate area bombing that targets civilians and military alike) is also illegal.

It has certainly been illegal, and a serious crime under western military law, to torture military prisoners for well over a hundred years. You are certainly advocating a return to a level of barbarity that we (and all countries that claim to be democracies) officially discarded over a century ago and were codified by the middle of the nineteenth century (with the original Geneva Conventions).

rcocean said...

One reason Kerry was "Swift-boated":

1971-1981 Kerry states he threw his medals away in protest of Vietnam. Per a 1971 interview, Kerry insisted that he "gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine" of his medals.

1984 - Kerry claims he kept the medals and "only" threw away the ribbons.

1985- "It's such a personal thing," "They're my medals. I'll do what I want with them. And there shouldn't be any expectations about them. It shouldn't be a measurement of anything. People say, 'You didn't throw your medals away.' Who said I had to? And why should I? It's my business. I did not want to throw my medals away."

1994 - Kerry tells the Boston Globe that the only reason he didn't chuck the medals was that
he didn't have time to go home and get them.

2004 -Kerry tells the Los Angeles Times, "I never ever implied that I" threw away the medals.

Freder Frederson said...

That being said, it would be desirable to eliminate torture (of military prisoners) via treaty to make warfare more "civil."

Gee, maybe we could hold a convention in some neutral country--how about Geneva, Switzerland--and discuss all this. Some day we might just get such a treaty.

But I'm just a foolish optimist.

Freder Frederson said...

One reason Kerry was "Swift-boated":

To paraphrase pogo, Kerry isn't running, get over it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Gee, I never thought I would be accused of being weak on terror (or even a traitor according to Cedarford) because I advocate the same tactics and standards of treatment as the Pentagon.

Well then if that is the Pentagon's standards, then our boys and girls in uniform aren't torturing anyone are they?

I've read the manual and honestly, as much of a pussy I think I would be under interrogation, I could even stand up to that kind of treatment and I'm not a bloodthirsty jihadist who'd be willing to self detonate in a Chucky Cheese to prove my worth to Allah.

Pogo said...

Apparently, you don't even know the meaning of the word [socialist].

Criminey.
Another one that thinks those distinctions without a difference, the 32 flavors of Socialism (and then some), have any actual meaning.

Good God. Spare me the lesson on how 100% State ownership actually differs from 100% State control of an industry (like setting prices) but not outright ownerswhip is So Vastly Different.

It's like the difference between midnight and 1 a.m.!

Freder Frederson said...

Well then if that is the Pentagon's standards, then our boys and girls in uniform aren't torturing anyone are they?

Hopefully, the excesses of the first couple years of the war (when Rumsfeld basically shredded the old Field manual and adopted tactics that did lead to prisoner abuses and yes, even deaths from torture) have been eliminated with the adoption of the new Field Manual. That the new Manual did not materially change the methods and treatment standards from the old one is a tribute to the honor of the uniformed military and a realization that the coercive tactics promoted by Rumsfeld et al were counterproductive.

Freder Frederson said...

Good God. Spare me the lesson on how 100% State ownership actually differs from 100% State control of an industry (like setting prices) but not outright ownerswhip is So Vastly Different.

And pray tell, what industry has Obama proposed 100% State control of?

And if you say health care, I will scream, since his proposals are even more modest than those of Hillary.

Palladian said...

Without TORTURE! to splatter against his country at every waking moment, Freder Frederson will shrivel up into a husk and blow away in the cool November breeze. Sort of like his testicles already did, lo those many years ago.

Freder Frederson said...

Without TORTURE! to splatter against his country at every waking moment, Freder Frederson will shrivel up into a husk and blow away in the cool November breeze. Sort of like his testicles already did, lo those many years ago.

Unlike you, I care about the Constitution, our human rights record and our standing in the world. I also think that our mistreatment of prisoners has damaged our ability to fight international terrorism. It has certainly made certain countries (e.g., Italy) much less likely to cooperate with our efforts.

Pogo said...

So Obama is a more moderate socialist than is Hillary.

In my view, aiming to crash your car into a wall at 60 mph is no less immoderate than planning to crash it into the wall at 70.

His plan might suck less than Hillary's, but it's still socialist and therefore still sucks. And it is now I who thinks you do not really know what that word means.

Criminey. Look at Cuba. "Free health care" but you live in a prison, a nation less developed than it was in 1950. And those two outcomes are directly related.

Trooper York said...
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Blake said...

...and Freder criticizes someone for having the audacity to mention Kerry--in a thread about Kerry....

Remember, gang, you gotta keep an eye on where the goal posts are right this second. Take your eye off them, and they'll move!

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

and Freder criticizes someone for having the audacity to mention Kerry--in a thread about Kerry....

Well, Ann had already been criticized for the whole thread--no need to pile on her.

Criminey. Look at Cuba. "Free health care" but you live in a prison, a nation less developed than it was in 1950. And those two outcomes are directly related.

Criminey. You've got to have a better argument! Look at East Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, or any country in Western or Eastern Europe. They all have health care systems that are more "socialistic" than even the most outrageous plans of Obama or Hillary (neither one has proposed anything approaching single payer), yet is any one of them less developed or free than it was in 1950?

You are the very first person I have ever heard who has blamed the problems of Cuba on its health care system.

Pogo said...

You are the very first person I have ever heard who has blamed the problems of Cuba on its health care system.

You misread. I said totally free health care came about because of coercive socialism. In Cuba, like China and the USSR before it, the economic damage was huge.

Across Western Europe their less-socialist health policies are being abandoned because they are are unsustainable in these mostly-free countries. Except in England, which is becoming ever more coercive each year, and its economy is paying the price, compared to Ireland, for example.

Indeed East Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic looked alot like they had been frozen in the 1950s, and when freed from the Soviet jail they blossomed. So they are considerably less socialist now than they were in 1989. And doing much better economically ...but they have a long way to go yet.

Roger said...

I think its worthwhile to consider exactly what a health care system consists of. The phrase is bandied about as everyone agreed completely as to what the system consists of. Access, coverage, diagnosis, treatment, facilities, R and D, education, staffing, licensing, quality control, medical supply production and pharmaceutical production and development can and should, imo, be subsumed in a health care system. Regretably, a whole lot of folks never get beyond coverage, and that reduces the debate about health care to a caricature.

hdhouse said...

still waiting for an interjection on here that refutes Kerry's observation, good candidate or bad....

Assuming that after 8 years of GWB the English language is still in use in the White House

John K. said...

Ann, I just realized that the following speech will be given in one hour and fifteen minutes at the UW Law School by the noted anarchist Wendy McElroy, one of my favorite bloggers. Are you in Madison? Are you attending? Everybody drop what you're doing and go.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

It’s More Responsible Not to Vote Says Feminist Author
Madison, Wisconsin – February 21, 2008 - Act Responsibly: Don’t Vote! That’s not a bumper sticker you’re likely to see in coming weeks. But what if the ballot is just one more government form to fill out? What if the most politically powerful act is to say "no" by tearing the form in half?

Wendy McElroy, well-respected feminist and author of XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography, as well as many other books and articles on a wide range of topics, has taken the apparently unpopular position that it is actually better – practically, strategically, and morally – not to vote. Most people believe this is an outrageous idea but McElroy has serious arguments against voting.

"Don’t vote, it only encourages them” is an old joke that McElroy points out connects on some level with the idea of making a statement through consciously not voting. McElroy says, “Maybe non-voters are right. After all, if most people refuse to buy a product with which they’re acquainted, do you blame them or the product? Politicians have only themselves to blame if people are not buying what they sell.”

McElroy explains that “Non-voting is a gauge of how deeply alienated the average person is from the political establishment. Sometimes political disgust converts non-voting from an act of indifference to one of protest through which people express a word that all politicians fear: ‘no.’ Not just ‘no’ to them but to the entire process.”

Arguing against McElroy, Professor Harry Brighouse from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that it is not morally wrong to vote. However, he does caution that people have “a moral obligation to think hard about how they vote, if they do vote.”

To learn more about being a responsible voter or nonvoter, you can attend a forum on voting featuring Ms. McElroy and Professor Brighouse Monday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin School of Law, Room 5229. The event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy.

Pogo said...

Yes, please: Don't vote.

John K. said...

Pogo,

Don't assume that my abstention skews in favor of your candidate. When I've voted in the past, I've voted Republican, because I used to believe it was, relative to the Donks at least, the party of limited government. I've never voted for a Democrat.

John K. said...

P.S. I like McElroy for her anarchism, not her pro-pornography stance.

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...

hdhouse said...
Assuming that after 8 years of GWB the English language is still in use in the White House.

Ola Senor Casa! Yo soy le Presidente de Estados Unidas. ?Donde esta dinero?

Pogo said...

Don't assume that my abstention skews in favor of your candidate.

I didn't think you were describing any action you yourself would take.

I am far more in favor of lots of people not voting. It sure beats the motor voter-ACORN recruitment of felons-ballot stuffing in recent years.

John K. said...

"I didn't think you were describing any action you yourself would take."

Heh. Undoubtedly I've become more radical as time's gone on, meaning I've tried to draw out the logical implications of what I've believed all along.

PSGInfinity said...

hdhouse,

middleclassguy had a good reply to your second statement

"still waiting for an interjection on here that refutes Kerry's observation, good candidate or bad...."

We don't have to; it's self-refuting. The only way you end the 'negative' is to end the Second American Civil War (1968 - ongoing) The only way THAT happens is for one side to surrender.

Bruce Hayden said...

Unlike you, I care about the Constitution, our human rights record and our standing in the world. I also think that our mistreatment of prisoners has damaged our ability to fight international terrorism. It has certainly made certain countries (e.g., Italy) much less likely to cooperate with our efforts.

I don't really see how our Constitution fits in here. You are welcome to try to make an argument, but I seriously doubt that it will be the least bit credible. I would also seriously question your belief that a kinder and gentler America would work to our advantage in fighting terrorism. Rather, I would suggest that this is the sort of naive wishful thinking that got us into the situation we found ourselves in on 09/11/01. And, I believe that our enemies being scared of us is our best defense.

The western countries that you seem to wish to placate seem to lack the resources and will to do much of anything to combat Islamic terrorism. Possibly that is because of their own Muslim populations. And possibly, it is through a lack of will and vision. In any case, I suspect that you are going to be hard pressed to show any real loss of deployable experienced troops from those countries that we have supposedly alienated.

I am sure that I am in the minority here, but I don't really think that we have anything to be embarrassed about in our conduct of our War against Terror. But, then, I look to the most humane Rules of Engagement that our troops have ever operated under, and the extremes that they go through to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties, and then don't get overly upset if a couple of illegal combatants captured on the battlefield fighting us are waterboarded.

Indeed, if it is the Germans, Japanese, or even Italians, complaining about our conduct of this war, I just point back to what they did to legal combatants of ours in the last real war they fought.

Finally, there is little reason to believe that what our people have done violates any treaties that our country has signed. It is only considered torture because those on the left, like Freder, have repeatedly called it that. But compared to the level of brutality that Sen. McCain experienced at the Hanoi Hilton, it was de minimis (but even then, he condemned it). Yes, there have been violations of our rules by those in the field, but to the extent detected, those involved have been prosecuted, and often convicted.

Bruce Hayden said...

Unlike you, I care about the Constitution, our human rights record and our standing in the world. I also think that our mistreatment of prisoners has damaged our ability to fight international terrorism. It has certainly made certain countries (e.g., Italy) much less likely to cooperate with our efforts.

I don't really see how our Constitution fits in here. You are welcome to try to make an argument, but I seriously doubt that it will be the least bit credible. I would also seriously question your belief that a kinder and gentler America would work to our advantage in fighting terrorism. Rather, I would suggest that this is the sort of naive wishful thinking that got us into the situation we found ourselves in on 09/11/01. And, I believe that our enemies being scared of us is our best defense.

The western countries that you seem to wish to placate seem to lack the resources and will to do much of anything to combat Islamic terrorism. Possibly that is because of their own Muslim populations. And possibly, it is through a lack of will and vision. In any case, I suspect that you are going to be hard pressed to show any real loss of deployable experienced troops from those countries that we have supposedly alienated.

I am sure that I am in the minority here, but I don't really think that we have anything to be embarrassed about in our conduct of our War against Terror. But, then, I look to the most humane Rules of Engagement that our troops have ever operated under, and the extremes that they go through to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties, and then don't get overly upset if a couple of illegal combatants captured on the battlefield fighting us are waterboarded.

Indeed, if it is the Germans, Japanese, or even Italians, complaining about our conduct of this war, I just point back to what they did to legal combatants of ours in the last real war they fought.

Finally, there is little reason to believe that what our people have done violates any treaties that our country has signed. It is only considered torture because those on the left, like Freder, have repeatedly called it that. But compared to the level of brutality that Sen. McCain experienced at the Hanoi Hilton, it was de minimis (but even then, he condemned it). Yes, there have been violations of our rules by those in the field, but to the extent detected, those involved have been prosecuted, and often convicted.

Bruce Hayden said...

Unlike you, I care about the Constitution, our human rights record and our standing in the world. I also think that our mistreatment of prisoners has damaged our ability to fight international terrorism. It has certainly made certain countries (e.g., Italy) much less likely to cooperate with our efforts.

I don't really see how our Constitution fits in here. You are welcome to try to make an argument, but I seriously doubt that it will be the least bit credible. I would also seriously question your belief that a kinder and gentler America would work to our advantage in fighting terrorism. Rather, I would suggest that this is the sort of naive wishful thinking that got us into the situation we found ourselves in on 09/11/01. And, I believe that our enemies being scared of us is our best defense.

The western countries that you seem to wish to placate seem to lack the resources and will to do much of anything to combat Islamic terrorism. Possibly that is because of their own Muslim populations. And possibly, it is through a lack of will and vision. In any case, I suspect that you are going to be hard pressed to show any real loss of deployable experienced troops from those countries that we have supposedly alienated.

I am sure that I am in the minority here, but I don't really think that we have anything to be embarrassed about in our conduct of our War against Terror. But, then, I look to the most humane Rules of Engagement that our troops have ever operated under, and the extremes that they go through to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties, and then don't get overly upset if a couple of illegal combatants captured on the battlefield fighting us are waterboarded.

Indeed, if it is the Germans, Japanese, or even Italians, complaining about our conduct of this war, I just point back to what they did to legal combatants of ours in the last real war they fought.

Finally, there is little reason to believe that what our people have done violates any treaties that our country has signed. It is only considered torture because those on the left, like Freder, have repeatedly called it that. But compared to the level of brutality that Sen. McCain experienced at the Hanoi Hilton, it was de minimis (but even then, he condemned it). Yes, there have been violations of our rules by those in the field, but to the extent detected, those involved have been prosecuted, and often convicted.

hdhouse said...

wow....a parallel universe creeps into view.....

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry, can't figure out how that got posted three times. Blogger refused once, I tried again, it choked, and then I refreshed, and, like magic, three copies appeared. It wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't gone on so long. So, again, sorry.

Bruce Hayden said...

wow....a parallel universe creeps into view.....

There really is a parallel universe here. Those on the right, where I count myself, see safety through the appearance of strength. Those on the left like Freder, and likely HD, see strength through being nice and the appearance of weakness.

Tim said...

"I am sure that I am in the minority here, but I don't really think that we have anything to be embarrassed about in our conduct of our War against Terror."

Not as much as you might fear, Bruce; and certainly not as much as Obama and the "talk to our enemies unconditionally" crowd hope.

Middle Class Guy said...

hdhouse said...
wow....a parallel universe creeps into view.....


More like a circular argument. I can not resist. Hold me back house. It is horrible.

It is a circle jerk.

Tim said...

"...see safety through the appearance of strength."

I'm certain you meant "strength" without the qualifier; it's the Dems and others who don't wish to fight under almost any circumstance who hope and pray our enemies are deterred by the mere appearance of strength, such as they were prior to 8:46:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

The "appearance of strength" is a history-proven policy failure inviting attack; our having real strength to project power and kill our enemies en masse in their homelands is what we need to protect and enhance.

Tim said...

"Those on the left like Freder, and likely HD, see strength through being nice and the appearance of weakness."

Dumb Leftists do believe that, sincerely; smart Leftists know better, but that's part of their agenda.

The only question left unanswered is whether the Freder and HD's of the world are dumb Leftists or smart ones.

PSGInfinity said...

Freder,
"Unlike you, I care about the Constitution, our human rights record and our standing in the world. I also think that our mistreatment of prisoners has damaged our ability to fight international terrorism. It has certainly made certain countries (e.g., Italy) much less likely to cooperate with our efforts."

First, you missed Sloan and several other commenters demonstrating to all non-Utopian absolutists that there are shades of gray in this discussion. The definition of severe, for example. (Do you stop at pain, injury, or permanent damage?) Time pressure. Imminence of further attack. Mass-casualty attack(s), for that matter.

Second, anyone who's paid attention knows that many respectable nations, along with France, use far worse tactics then we've ever been accused of. That 'fellow right-winger' President Clinton instituted the extraordinary rendition policy. That Europe has been kvetching, insulting, picking nits with America since the Colonial Period.

Third, almost all of the damage to America's reputation was inflicted not by Secretary Rumsfeld, but by Utopians shrieking at the top of their lungs. "Unlike you, I care about the Constitution..." I'm sure you do, along with Mom and Apple Pie. And to imply we don't is at the heart of the American's problem with Utopians: You actually care about the idealized version, instead of the daily reality.

PSGInfinity said...

Freder,
"Gee, maybe we could hold a convention in some neutral country--how about Geneva, Switzerland--and discuss all this. Some day we might just get such a treaty.

But I'm just a foolish optimist."


We're not sure about either one. I AM sure you're a Utopian. As such, you would never countenance actually punishing barbarians who ignore ANY standard of decency (suicide bombs on children to cite only one example). But let's assume you surprise us.
Q: What would be a just punishment for such a monster? Taking away his prayer rug for a week? No, that would be torture, and of course we can't have that...

PSGInfinity said...

Freder,

"Except of course if the NYT pokes and prods into McCain's background, that is completely unfair and uncalled for.

Does your hypocrisy know no bounds?"


The NY Times endorsed McCain on the Republican side KNOWING that their latest "poking" was in the works. The anonymously-"sourced" article made so many baseless assumptions that not even The Boston Globe (a Times subsidiary) would run it.

That's a smear, not a poke. And whenever a Utopian talks hypocrisy, the rubber/glue saying is never, ever far below the surface.

Fen said...

you don't have anything to add to it beyond another whack at John Kerry.

Kerry deserves to be slapped down for that. As do Mary Mapes and Dan Rather when they falsely assert "the memo's were never proven false". Consider these friendly smacks on the back of the head for the sin of trying to rewrite history. And consider the discipline of our soldiers - I'm astonished Kerry wasn't literally drawn and quartered for the horrible things he said and did.

Fen said...

I would also seriously question your belief that a kinder and gentler America would work to our advantage in fighting terrorism.

"If we don't offend Hitler, he will leave us alone" - Europe 1938

former law student said...

"Free health care" but you live in a prison, a nation less developed than it was in 1950. And those two outcomes are directly related.

Sure, just like France, Germany, and Italy. Don't let their booming economies, including thriving small businesses fool you. Why, I know people there so poor they have to drive BMW 325s.

Those on the right, where I count myself, see safety through the appearance of strength.

How safe has the ability and willingness to smite their enemies made Israel over the years? Thanks to Bush, now Americans too know what it's like to be killed by a suicide bomber. We are strengthing ourselves into a forever war in the Middle East, just like Israel. Israel acts the way it does to survive. For what reason are we emulating them?

Revenant said...

I said totally free health care came about because of coercive socialism. In Cuba, like China and the USSR before it, the economic damage was huge.

Another way of putting it is that you can have "free" health care, provided you give up pretty much all of your income, rights, and freedom. Similarly, it is easy to achieve near-100% literacy. Give me the power to shoot or jail any teacher or parent who doesn't follow my lesson plan and I guarantee you I'll get the collective student body to pass any test you want.

What's most amusing about the Cuban health care fetishists, though, is that pretty much any American, the "poor" included, could afford health coverage if he was willing to live a Cuban lifestyle. :)

former law student said...

Consider these friendly smacks on the back of the head for the sin of trying to rewrite history.

Huh? The swiftboaters tried to rewrite history. The US government awarded Kerry his medals, giving them the presumption of accuracy. A quarter-century went by before the awards were challenged, by witnesses who weren't there during the action. This passage of time unchallenged adds to the presumption of accuracy. While documents don't change over time, memories that old are fuzzy and unreliable; that's why there are statutes of limitation.

But if you want to slap the swiftboaters in the head, fine.

PSGInfinity said...

Freder,
"I don't know. You're an unapologetic supporter of the government's use of torture. That certainly betrays America's traditions and values. You probably need a flag pin to hide behind your support for fascist and communist tactics."

First, that depends on how far back you go, and in what context. (see Pershing, Black Jack, for one) Second, Classical Liberals (aka Conservatives) aren't the ones implementing The Nanny State, shrieking "Fascist" at their enemies.

'Fascism will come to America, but likely under another name, perhaps anti-fascism.'
-- Huey Long

freder and hd, I'm looking right at you.

Tim said...

"Thanks to Bush, now Americans too know what it's like to be killed by a suicide bomber."

Only a world-class idiot of infinite proportions would assert that Bush's policies were responsible for the suicide attacks of 9/11; otherwise, the Americans who have been killed by suicide attacks since then have were engaged in military operations against enemies of the United States. We can fight them there, or we can fight them here, but fight and defeat them we must.

So, fls, are you a dumb Leftist, or a smart one?

Revenant said...

Sure, just like France, Germany, and Italy. Don't let their booming economies, including thriving small businesses fool you.

If you think the economies of France, Germany, and Italy are "booming" you haven't been paying attention.

Furthermore, Germany doesn't have Cuban-style state health care. They simply force everyone to purchase health coverage. The United States could achieve full coverage that way if it wanted to, since virtually all the uninsured US citizens can afford health insurance and are simply choosing not to buy it because they'd rather do other things with their money.

Of course, the left-wing view is that individual freedom is bad and state control is good, so the American system seems bad to them.

Tim said...

"The swiftboaters tried to rewrite history. The US government awarded Kerry his medals, giving them the presumption of accuracy.

U.S. Senator John F. Kerry has yet to release his military records, as promised, nearly four years after stating to Tim Russert in April 2004, "They’re available to you to come and look at. People can come and see them at headquarters and take a look at them,” Kerry told Russert."

Kerry is either a liar trying to hide something he doesn't want disclosed, or he's an unusually sloppy politician who just can't get around to finishing the job. You are free, of course, to take the view that provides you the most comfort about your failed candidate for President; but don't suffer the illusion your pathetic arguments in his defense, or slandering the swift-boat veterans, are remotely effective.

Because they aren't.

Really, they just aren't.

Revenant said...

Huh? The swiftboaters tried to rewrite history. The US government awarded Kerry his medals, giving them the presumption of accuracy.

So if the US government says one thing and a private group says another, and there's no publicly available evidence either way, your position is not only that we should assume the US government's version is more accurate -- but that anyone who disagrees with it is trying to "rewrite history"?

How interesting.

A more sensible view is this:

Fact: The truth is in Kerry's military record
Fact: Kerry refuses to make his military record public.

So a sensible person realizes either the record doesn't support Kerry's side of the story or there is something in that record that would hurt him more than any SBVT inaccuracies have.

A quarter-century went by before the awards were challenged, by witnesses who weren't there during the action.

You don't know that, since the records in question are sealed. The fact that Kerry had to re-apply for his medals in the late 70s suggests that they were taken away from him at some point prior to that. It isn't like he didn't deserve to lose them, what with his aiding the enemy during wartime while still in the military. He should have gone to prison; simply being stripped of his decorations would have been getting off lightly.

But in any case, even if Kerry did earn those medals, the medal controversy was only one of the SBVT's critiques of Kerry. Their other critiques were accurate. For example, Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" story was a lie, as he was eventually forced to admit. Similarly, he *did* give that disgusting and slanderous speech to Congress. Etc, etc.

former law student said...

your pathetic arguments in his defense, or slandering the swift-boat veterans, are remotely effective.

Argument by adjective is hardly persuasive. The Swiftboat authors simply weren't there at the time and the place of the actions for which the medals were awarded. These are facts.

Further, the Swiftboat authors waited too long to bring up their charges. If someone in 2004 attempted to evict you from the house you bought in 1969, claiming the seller had no authority to sign the deed, you could rightly tell him to get lost.

I have no idea what your Tim Russert story is about.

former law student said...

You fellers may be unfamiliar with this new tool called "google". Kerry released all of his military records to the Boston Globe and other media outlets in June, 2005.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/06/07/kerry_allows_navy_release_of_military_medical_records/

Cedarford said...

Former Law Student - How safe has the ability and willingness to smite their enemies made Israel over the years?

Pretty safe. Far safer than other religious minorities the Islamoids have gone after over the years and eradicated - the Armenians, Zoastrians, 100% Christian Egypt (now 3% of the population) 100% Christian Levant (94% Muslim now), 100% Christian Anatolia (99.7% Muslim now), Pakistan land (90% Muslim at Partition, virtually 100% Muslim now).

If nothing else, Jews in Israel now understand the protection and extent of Justice afforded to groups like themselves and the Armenians by the Supreme Moral Authority of the UN, League of Nations, International Law, stern hand-wringing condemnations by vaunted diplomats and leaders and heartsick celebrities - Effectively Zero.

Smiting Muslims is the one thing that stops their Borg-like strategy.


Former Law Student - The swiftboaters tried to rewrite history. The US government awarded Kerry his medals, giving them the presumption of accuracy

The Swiftboaters DID rewrite history, despite John Forbes Kerry's tiresome whining to the contrary.
Medals are sometimes rescinded based on new evidence and eyewitness testimony they were not earned by regulations and rules - be it the US military or the Olympics. Ask Ben Johnson and Marion Jones what happened to their medals.
John Kerry was protected for decades by a sympathetic anti-war Jewish media that made him their hero and quashed testimony of his fellow officers. Then Kerry was protected by the Kennedys, then other powerful politicians and his own power as Senator from the truth coming out about him.
With the Internet, the men who watched Kerry disgrace his uniform and get medals by deceit finally had their platform to nail the seditious bastard. And they did. They gave him the lasting personal dishonor he richly deserved for his action reports duplicity, his consorting with N Vietnamese negotiators in Paris, and his smearing of Vietnam troops and Vets as atrocity-happy rapists and monsters.
And it drives Kerry crazy 4 years later, as it should because he is now thought of as a pompous, seditious joke, who properly lost to the worst President of the last 80 years.
"Swiftboating" is now defined as "extreme Lefty agitation on being nailed with the truth".

***********
Freder, if being thought of as a traitor bothers you, perhaps you can redeem yourself by devoting part of your criticism to the REAL mudering monsters that practice REAL torture and REALLY do target civilians - the radical Muslims.

But your pattern is to unilaterally condemn America as evil, while giving it's lethal enemy a pass.

Elliott A said...

The ultimate hole in Kerry's position is that he initiated the process for receipt of some of his awards. Someone who truly earns these types of awards does not ask for, or even believe him/herself worthy.

My dad in 1944 received a very high honor in the Army Air Corps for heroism. My mother, his mother, nor any of our family ever knew until my sister found it with some of his stuff twenty years after he died in 1986, just two years ago. He always taught me that you do not get a pat on the back for doing what is expected of you. In wartime, what is expected is everything you can give to your comrades and your service. It isn't like he never spoke of the war, he spoke about it all the time. He was proud that his B-29 had the best gas mileage in his squadron which would get his crew home. His was always the first plane ready to go in a scramble. But doing what needed to be done during a mission was your job.

If he were around during the 2004 election, he would have thought himself lucky to have never served with Kerry, and would have quickly understood the swiftboater's position. Their own personal sacrifices and honor was demeaned by his drawing attention to his heroics. We didn't hear about their heroics: they were just doing their job.

Revenant said...

You fellers may be unfamiliar with this new tool called "google". Kerry released all of his military records to the Boston Globe and other media outlets in June, 2005.

I'm well aware that he released his records to some fellow Democrats at a friendly newspaper.

I said he hadn't made them public. He hasn't.

Cedarford said...

FLS - You fellers may be unfamiliar with this new tool called "google". Kerry released all of his military records to the Boston Globe and other media outlets in June, 2005

Bullshit. Kerry has with held 100-135 or so pages from his SF-180, including the details surrounding his early discharge and type of his original disharge from service. To this date, he has not met the Vietnam Vet officers demand that he do a full release, as Kerry swore he would do.

FLS - Further, the Swiftboat authors waited too long to bring up their charges. If someone in 2004 attempted to evict you from the house you bought in 1969, claiming the seller had no authority to sign the deed, you could rightly tell him to get lost.

You are arguing like a Jew lawyer about "charges" as if they bear on a civil or criminal case and you are pleading statute of limitations.
The real issue is history and one man's reputation in the history books based on what he did or did not do. Those matters have no statute of limitations, anymore than the debate on LBJ or Nixon is "closed" because all that stuff is also 35-40 years in the past.

Kerry is properly infuriated by the termerity of lesser people to attack him. He had the Kennedys, the media, the Hollywood elites, Theresa's billions, and his own cabal of powerful Senators at his back as he ran as a war hero and thought he was too powerful and important to be challenged on it.

He WASN'T that powerful. The truth and media not beholden to JFK the Third's crowd - killed his chances for the highest office against someone any decent Democrat should have beaten. Worse, for someone with the immense pride and ego of a John Forbes Kerry - it made him the object or ridicule, scorn, and mockery after all his struggles to claim only loyal US soldiers deserved such trashing.

To his dying day, Kerry will carry that humiliation and disgrace, with anger, denial, and bitterness. And other than a true traitor or murderer, no one in America is more deserving.

Middle Class Guy said...

Cedarford,
I have a question for you. Why do you hate the Jews so much? your posts are laced with that perception, so I am just curious. We all know Kerry is a phony hero. We all know he is a traitor. We all know he played by the rules, got good grades, and wound up in Viet Nam. What do the Jews have to do with it.

You lower your crdeibility with your anti-semitism.

former law student said...

the Americans who have been killed by suicide [bombs] since then have were engaged in military operations against enemies of the United States.

They weren't our enemies till we invaded their country. Why did we invade Iraq again? I ask because Bush was adamantly opposed to nation building during the 2000 campaign. Oh, yes, the WMD that weren't there. When the truth came out, Colin Powell, an honorable man, resigned.

former law student said...

Bullshit. Kerry has with held 100-135 or so pages from his SF-180, including the details surrounding his early discharge and type of his original disharge from service. To this date, he has not met the Vietnam Vet officers demand that he do a full release, as Kerry swore he would do.

I can't argue with people who would rather cling to their ignorance than click on a link.

The time to bitch that a medal was unfairly awarded is not 25 years after the fact. People "remember" things that are not so, as this insistence that Kerry never publicly released his entire file demonstrates. I don't know who is more public than the Associated Press. Did you expect a copy in your mailbox?

Revenant said...

They weren't our enemies till we invaded their country.

Al Qaeda wasn't our enemy before we invaded Iraq? You do know that Al Qaeda is one of the main groups we're fighting in Iraq, right?

Or were you referring to the Iraqis themselves, who had been shooting at American forces on a regular basis (during the so-called "cease fire") since 1990?

Why did we invade Iraq again?

Many reasons. To eliminate an enemy nation and replace it with a new one, for example. Mission accomplished.

Revenant said...

I don't know who is more public than the Associated Press. Did you expect a copy in your mailbox?

Either provide a URL to an actual complete copy of Kerry's record or quit peddling the lie that it has been made public. If it has been made public, I should be able to read it myself. That's what "made public" means, shit for brains.

Val said...

I agree with the drill SGT.

As a former Swift Boat officer I can tell you how Kerry warded himself three Purple Hearts. The public does not understand how much authority junior naval officers had in Vietnam. All that Kerry did was go to his assigned "Doc", a Hospital Corpsman, his junior, and say, "Write me up for a Purple Heart Doc, I'm bleeding from XYZ self-inflicted minor scrape." Do it once and word gets around; twice and word goes out; three times and your booted out, asked to leave or face a Board of Inquiry.

Kerry was booted out of Swift Boats after just four months because he demonstrated very low moral character.

There are 9 million vets who understand no one legitimately is awarded three Purple Hearts without spending one day in the hospital. On its face, this demonstrates low moral character to all vets.

Kerry lost by 9 million votes.

Ann is right. Kerry was a lousy candidate.

Now you know how Kerry was awarded three Purple Hearts.

Fen said...

Echo what Val said.

3 Purple Hearts in 4 months without missing a day of work? He's either John Rambo or a Fraud

I would add that its much more than Kerry fraudulently & dishonorably putting himself in for medals. Its about falsely accusing his fellow vets of war crimes, under oath before Congress. Its about being forced to retract his Christmas in Cambodia lie.

fls: The Swiftboat authors simply weren't there at the time and the place of the actions for which the medals were awarded. These are facts.

Yes, I guess its a "fact" that the Swifties weren't in the room when Kerry gamed the system to award himself medals that any honorable man would have turned down. By Kerry's standards, I should have 5 Purple Hearts from Kuwait and Somolia... What you're omitting [deliberately or ignorantly] is the simple "fact" that even those who don't serve on the same tank or patrol boat are still in the same unit - they cross paths all day back at the CoC [admin posts, chow halls, barracks, armory, etc]. For example, my platoon knew everything that happened to the 6 Marines serving on my LAV-25, even though they weren't part of my "crew". So your argument based on "fact" comes us short.

Further, the Swiftboat authors waited too long to bring up their charges.

Thats another weak argument. Its human nature to hold your tongue and move on from cons like Kerry. Its only later, when the con is playing for bigger stakes, that people come out of the woodwork to say "hey wait a minute". We see the same thing from women who are victims of abuse, but only come out when the perp is running for a higher office [Jones, Wiley, Broderick].

The Swifties stepped up after so much time ONLY because Kerry distorted his military service to make it the cornerstone of his campaign.

And Kerry is just another example of how, when the Dems want to champion a veteran, they choose someone like Jesse MacBeth or Scott Beauchamp.

Fen said...

Thanks to Bush, now Americans too know what it's like to be killed by a suicide bomber.

1983 Marine Barracks, Beruit.

1996 Khobar Towers, Dhahran.

1998 U.S. Embassy bombings, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania & Nairobi, Kenya.

2000 USS Cole, Yemen.

/sorry fls, but you're not in top form tonight.

Crimso said...

"Sure, just like France, Germany, and Italy. Don't let their booming economies, including thriving small businesses fool you. Why, I know people there so poor they have to drive BMW 325s."

Super. That means they have the money to protect their oil supply themselves. We can expect them to start pitching in when?

"How safe has the ability and willingness to smite their enemies made Israel over the years?"

So if they lacked the ability and the willingness they'd be safer? I highly doubt that.

DaveG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaveG said...

Further, the Swiftboat authors waited too long to bring up their charges.

The SBVT was/is an organization that grew out of John O'Neill's decades long effort to argue against Kerry's malicious, self-serving slandering of US troops in Vietnam, and to hold him accountable for his actions.

To state that none of the criticism of Kerry's "heroic" exploits emerged until 2004 is somewhat disingenuous.

Freder Frederson said...

There really is a parallel universe here. Those on the right, where I count myself, see safety through the appearance of strength. Those on the left like Freder, and likely HD, see strength through being nice and the appearance of weakness.

It is an odd world indeed where you call the uniformed military leftist. Because as I have repeatedly stated, and indeed John McCain proposed in legislation, all I am asking is that the standards of the Army Field Manual be the standard for the entire government. If only leftists and defeatists are so weak-willed then the military must also be.

Read the introductory paragraphs to the Army Field Manual, you might learn a thing or two.

Theo Boehm said...

Cedarford,
I have a question for you. Why do you hate the Jews so much?


Middle Class Guy: I think a lot of us who read this blog have wondered that. For my part, I can appreciate, if not totally agree with, Cedarford's Jacksonian populist perspective. Cedarford's positions are frequently similar to those of Lou Dobbs, and I think there are good arguments there. But when Cedarford takes off on the Jews in ways that are frankly reminiscent of anti-Semitic race hatred, he undermines his other points.

Leftists and others who would argue against the Jacksonian perspective can then say, "See, anyone who thinks that way must be an anti-Semitic, bedsheet-wearing bigot. It's part and parcel of that whole outlook."

I don't think that's true. Reading Cedarford, however, I am reminded of what William Dean Howells said about Edgar Allen Poe: He's three-fifths sheer genius and two-fifths sheer fudge.

Unless or until Cedarford can stop the anti-Semitic nonsense--and it is nonsense from every perspective--the best the rest of us can do is to thoughtfully consider the three-fifths and wincingly ignore the rest.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Read the introductory paragraphs to the Army Field Manual, you might learn a thing or two.

As I said before, I did and it reads a lot like a corporate mission statement. Sounds wonderful but essentially pointless.

Again, if I was a devout jihadist bent on getting my 72 virgins by killing as many infidels as I can, please tell me what part of that manual is going to get me to sing?

I know you can't hurt me physically or emotionally cause that's illegal and you have to provide me my three hots and a cot so if I have actional intelligence, I'm hard pressed to see what incentive you have for getting me to talk when all I want to do is kill you.

Freder I have a serious question for you. You are very concerned with the Constitution and honor and moral standing. Would you in WW2 have allowed strategic bombing? Would you have kept millions of POWs in open air camps on minimum rations for years after the war was over? Would you have nuked Japan or opted for the land invasion? Would you have forced German civilians to view the concentration camps and then force them to dig graves?

Cause I daresay we haven't even warmed up to the level we fought the Germans or Japs and our current enemy is arguably more nihilistic than those two were.

JackDRipper said...

Kerry is a dork in an obsessive compulsive kind of way.

If he didn't act dorky five times a day while counting his pocket change in his left palm he would probable have a panic attack.

I voted for him but the poor guy is such a goof ball.

Freder Frederson said...

Would you in WW2 have allowed strategic bombing? Would you have kept millions of POWs in open air camps on minimum rations for years after the war was over? Would you have nuked Japan or opted for the land invasion? Would you have forced German civilians to view the concentration camps and then force them to dig graves?

The strategic bombing campaign in WW2 was controversial at the time and remains so to this day. Its effectiveness is still a subject of debate especially since it diverted men and materiel from tactical airpower which was undoubtedly effective. Like the entire strategic bombing campaign I am ambivalent about the Manhatten Project and the use of the bombs on Hiroshoma (I think Nagasaki was probably completely unnecessary). That being said, WW2 was a different time where the rules on the use of aerial bombing were much less well defined.

We justified our bombing by pretending we weren't targeting civilians but only "dehousing" workers or conducting "precision" raids on industry, and finally, to justify the firebombing of Japanese cities, claiming that the entire population had become part of the war industry and there was no longer a distinction between civilian and combatant.

We did not keep POWs on minimum rations for years in open camps, it was more like a couple months. Technically they weren't even POWs. Eisenhower was presented with the unpalatable decision of whether to treat German soldiers who surrendered at the very end of the war as POWs. If he had, they would be entitled to the same rations and shelter that allied soldiers received. The food situation was so dire this would have meant that the civilian population of Germany would have starved while the former combatants were well-fed. He really had no choice. They were released by the end of 1945.

I don't see what the problem is in forcing civilians to dig graves and view the concentration camps.

hdhouse said...

goofball or not, his observation, the subject of this thread, is correct.

Sloanasaurus said...

That being said, WW2 was a different time where the rules on the use of aerial bombing were much less well defined.

WW2 was a different time when the liberals in this country believed in defending America. They believed in it and were willing to do things like drop A bombs and strategic bombing because in their opinion a dead German was better than a dead American. Liberals still believed in it until Mcgovern won the nomination in 1972. Today's liberals don't see these differences.

Strategic Bombing worked in World War II because it required Germany to reallocate more than a million men and 3/4s of its 88 mm cannon arsenal to fight strategic bombing. Without it, these resources would have been used on the Eastern front.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The strategic bombing campaign in WW2 was controversial at the time and remains so to this day. Its effectiveness is still a subject of debate especially since it diverted men and materiel from tactical airpower which was undoubtedly effective.

It was controversial from the standpoint that the US felt bombers should be tactical battlefield weapons versus the Brits who I think were more motivated with payback. One effect of the campaign that is not debatable is that it essentially destroyed the Luftwaffe as a battlefield weapon which ensured allied air supremacy over Western Europe from 1944 onward.

Like the entire strategic bombing campaign I am ambivalent about the Manhatten Project and the use of the bombs on Hiroshoma (I think Nagasaki was probably completely unnecessary). That being said, WW2 was a different time where the rules on the use of aerial bombing were much less well defined.

Weren’t the rules of killing civilians well defined? The Blitz was denounced as terror bombing but we pretty much did the same thing in both theaters. Nevertheless, if you’re the man in charge, you can’t really be ambivalent about using the nuke or sending in an invasion which would probably result in a few hundred thousand casualties on our side.

We did not keep POWs on minimum rations for years in open camps, it was more like a couple months. Technically they weren't even POWs.

Might want to check on that because we (West) were releasing POWs as late as 1948. Not to mention the thousands we had shipped here in the states doing things like farm work and road building. And yes, they were POWs. The ones who surrendered after hostilities were re-designated as disarmed combatants or some other thing. Actually the US was pretty decent whereas the French were not so forgiving. I think the Soviets released their last 12 surviving POWs sometime in the mid-50s.

I don't see what the problem is in forcing civilians to dig graves and view the concentration camps.

I don’t either. Then again I figured forcing civilians to do hard, demeaning labor would raise the hackles of some.

Freder Frederson said...

Might want to check on that because we (West) were releasing POWs as late as 1948. Not to mention the thousands we had shipped here in the states doing things like farm work and road building.

I assumed you were only referring to the disarmed combatants held in Germany who were released almost immediately. It is true we held some POWs until 1948 or so (the Russians until the mid-50s) as labor-in-kind for war reparations. Those POWs were very well-treated (at least by us and the British), at least as well, sometimes better, than soldiers of similar rank in our own forces (e.g., a German POW in the American south was certainly treated better than a black U.S. soldier).

I personally met one former German soldier who had surrendered to the Americans in late 1944 and held by the British until 1948. He had nothing but wonderful memories of the entire experience. In fact, after the war ended he actually lived on the farm he was working on, not in a camp.

The Drill SGT said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Read the introductory paragraphs to the Army Field Manual, you might learn a thing or two.

As I said before, I did and it reads a lot like a corporate mission statement. Sounds wonderful but essentially pointless.


I no longer bother responding to Freder. I find it a non-productive use of my time. I would point out that the Director of the CIA recently was arguing aginst Freder's position. His statement was something like:

1. The Army Field Manual is good for what was intended. e.g. guidelines for relatively untrained soldiers dealing with large numbers of battlefield captives.

2. The CIA deals in 10's not thousands of subjects and has a cadre of highly trained interrogators.

3. He wanted more latitude in his methods than allowed by the AFM.

Val said...

The Drill Sgt is perceptive regarding the Army Field Manual.

But I would go further.

If you examine reality in Iraq and the Middle East what the US is doing is appling European civilized laws and values embodied in the Geneva Accords and the Army Field Manual to Middle Eastern 14th Century values regarding warfare.

This entire subject area, ranging from rules of engagement, who is and who isn't a combatant, taking of prisoners, classification of prisoners, treatment of prisoners, interrogation, POW status, detention, the entire subject needs to be revamped.

I understand John McCain's argument that "it is about who we are." But this does not resolve actual problems of what to do with "prisoners" who are dressed in civilian clothes, who are not soldiers of some nation-state, where no nation exists to release them to or who is responsible for their actions, and no definable end to war, among other difficulties.

There are other practical problems. Personally, just for the record, I would shoot terrorists if at all possible rather than take them prisoner if I knew they would be sent off to some resort without being so much as asked their name, rank, and serial number.

The elite moralists haven't begun to think the real problems through.

When some terrorist group floats a nuke into New York harbor and vaporizes 10 million Americans, maybe the moralists will begin to think in more practical terms.

I would regard anyone in civilian clothes firing an AK as a spy. Execution is a suitable punishment after hearing. Exactly this occurred in WWII and it is the law.

Bruce Hayden said...

Val,

One problem with your suggested policy or solution is that at least some of those captured have information that we would like to have. Summary execution would tend to eliminate that option. And, once they are allowed to surrender...

The Drill SGT said...

I think Val said

1. Capture

2. field tribunal

3. summary execution

there is room for a question about what he knows that might influence the court

Bruce Hayden said...

former law student

Kerry releasing his military records to the public means making them available so that any of us can acquire them. It also means that someone can acquire them from the DoD and post them on the Web so we can all see what he is likely hiding.

I think that a lot of people have their suspicions. Mine is that the Navy threw him out without an honorable discharge and revoked his medals, for his meeting with the enemy in Paris, and, much less likely, his testimony before Congress. Or, it could have just been for failing to show up for his reserve duty. I don't believe that his medals were revoked for substantive reasons, such as using a self inflicted wound for a Purple Heart. If that had been the case, he wouldn't have gotten any such medals back.

Indeed, Kerry was in the Naval Reserve, and thus had a reserve commitment very similar to Bush's National Guard commitment. We have heard for years how Bush gamed that, but officially, he did complete his commitment, and got an honorable discharge on time. It would be very interesting to see how much of his own Reserve commitment Kerry completed, if any. Many have suggested that his grooming during this time, including when he testified before Congress, were not up to Navy standards, at a time when he was supposed to be in the Naval Reserves. Suggestive, but obviously not conclusive.

My guess is that we will never know, during his lifetime, the truth of his full military record. He has no reason to release all of his military records to the public (and not just a newspaper that always endorses him), since he is unlikely to ever seriously run for higher office.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem though with execution after such a tribunal is that the guy is now a prisoner. That makes the legality a little more sketchy.

Of course, with your (two) backgrounds, I will defer to whether this would really be feasible.

The Drill SGT said...

Bruce:

1. 8 German spies landed in the US in mid june 1942
2. by 27 June all 8 were in custody.
3. tried in July, executed days later.

from the FBI www page: The eight were tried before a Military Commission, comprised of seven U.S. Army officers appointed by President Roosevelt, from July 8, to August 4, 1942. The trial was held in the Department of Justice Building, Washington, D.C. The prosecution was headed by Attorney General Frances Biddle and the Army Judge Advocate General, Major General Myron C. Cramer. Defense counsel included Colonel Kenneth C. Royall (later Secretary of War under President Truman) and Major Lausen H. Stone (son of Harlan Fiske Stone, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court).

All eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. Attorney General Biddle and J. Edgar Hoover appealed to President Roosevelt to commute the sentences of Dasch and Burger. Dasch then received a 30-year sentence, and Burger received a life sentence, both to be served in a federal penitentiary. The remaining six were executed at the District of Columbia Jail on August 8, 1942.


Justice, swift and sure...

Revenant said...

The problem though with execution after such a tribunal is that the guy is now a prisoner. That makes the legality a little more sketchy.

Only if they were fighting in uniform as part of a standing army. People fighting in violation of the rules of war -- e.g., basically everyone we've fought since the Iraqi regular army disbanded -- may be tried by military tribunals and executed, and historically usually have been.

Val said...

The Drill SGT:

I agree completely that surrender should be encourages, and was not suggesting executing insurgents who are not in a recognizable uniform who are captured armed. That was done in WWII, and it was legal under the Geneva Accords.

What I was suggesting is that the entire subject area of capture, detention, interrogation, etc. under the Geneva Accords be revisted and re-examined in light of practical realities today.

Senator Feinstein has suggested this. If you capture a terrorist in Iraq whose country of origin is Sudan, how long do you hold him as a POW? Where? When is the War On Terror over? If you caught the guy cutting the throat of US service personnel or civilians is he criminal? If so, who tries him? If tried, under what rules of law?

The Marines killing 15 civilians in Haditha is a case in point regarding the rules of engagement being clear. The Marines being acquitted was justified. But a trial should have been unnecessary.

These trials can have a chilling effect on US combat troops when engaged as you would know.

I'm more interested in a practical approach than a strictly moralistic approach to these problems. Rendition, absolutely if the treat of it results in intelligence.