August 15, 2012

"Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did."

"The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not."

IN THE COMMENTS: Dennis Howell said:
I sincerely hope this turns out to be Obama's "Swift Boat" moment!
I'd be a lot more circumspect here. The Swift Boaters were in a different position. They were coming forward with specific information that was within their knowledge and not yet available to the public. They may have been motivated by opposition to Kerry, but their possession of new information gave them cover from the accusation that they were simply political operatives, leveraging their military status. I don't think that's the case here.

147 comments:

shiloh said...

"the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc, say it is nonpartisan and unconnected to any political party or presidential campaign."

Again, they don't pass the laugh test ie special forces are supposed to remain in the dark er secret lol.

>

turdblossom is trying really, really hard to get his train wreck mittens elected king!

Dennis Howell said...

I sincerely hope this turns out to be Obama's "Swift Boat" moment!

Jay said...

That's right. I mean afterall someone else made that happen, right Mr. President?

traditionalguy said...

Swift Boat's a coming Obama's way.

I blame Diane Feinstein for telling the truth.

The courageous Obama did weigh the risks to himself of delaying actions by Seal Team Six longer than the 9 months that Co-President Valerie Jarrett had cautioned him against taking the political risk.

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo type of FDR order it was not.

Since the mission was a success, Obama feels that he is the hero for taking a gasp,political risk.

Therefore in Obama's mind the Military Top Secrecy is an easy sacrifice to make him appear heroic, while he personally sends out drone strikes from his personal war room.

Those drone strikes must have gotten to Chief Justice Roberts.

Geoff Matthews said...

A good leader will deflect praise to the people who made it happen.
I don't think that Obama has been bragging much, but his followers have. And they haven't been acknowledging the people who've made it happen nearly enough.

traditionalguy said...

Shiloh...What will we call a Mormon King? The Prophet?

We need a naming contest. Use your creative ability.

But Mr slave chains is already taken. How about, Mr Tax Free Cancer Maker?

I really like Mr Dog Torturer. It has a ring from Dog the Bounty Hunter that blends into the Mr Enslaver in Chains idea.

Christopher in MA said...

special forces are supposed to remain in the dark er secret lol.

Perhaps you should have given the benefit of your political and military wisdom to the crackhead in chief before he outed Seal Team Six, then.

I wasn't thrilled about Mitt, but this needling Obama makes me giddy. As is said, the devil, that proude spirite, cannot bear to be mocked. A few more hits to Obama's glass jaw and he'll favor us with a full-on meltdown.

Jay said...

Again, they don't pass the laugh test ie special forces are supposed to remain in the dark er secret lol.


I guess you'd know all about it, general!

LOL

Balfegor said...

Opponents of the president really shouldn't be trying to make this point. If you let him alone, he'll overplay his hand. Challenging his self-aggrandizement like this gives him exactly the excuse he needs to focus everyone's attention on the one success of his presidency.

TomHynes said...

Obama is the commander in chief. As such, he deserves credit and blame for whatever the military does.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The biggest issue is not him taking more credit than he should for the death of bin Laden - it's the leaks, by far. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that anything significant about where/why those originated will be available until after the election.

Robert Cook said...

"The Swift Boaters...were coming forward with specific information that was within their knowledge and not yet available to the public. They may have been motivated by opposition to Kerry, but their possession of new information gave them cover from the accusation that they were simply political operatives, leveraging their military status."

What was this "new information?"

That's a trick question...they had none. Their accusations were baseless and swiftly discredited.

Kerry was a dreary candidate, a loser from the start, but the accusations made by Swift Boat vets--none of whom served on Kerry's swiftboat, but one, (and he wasn't present on any occasion for which Kerry won his medals)--were nothing if not purely politically motivated slander.

It's not for nothing that "swift-boating" has the connotation of "dirty tricks."

damikesc said...

Kerry was a dreary candidate, a loser from the start, but the accusations made by Swift Boat vets--none of whom served on Kerry's swiftboat, but one, (and he wasn't present on any occasion for which Kerry won his medals)--were nothing if not purely politically motivated slander.

Because in Vietnam, swift boats often acted far away from any other swift boats. Nobody else could know what happened.

It's like saying "How could a NASCAR driver know that this guy was a dirty driver? They weren't in his car, were they?"

Christopher in MA said...

And was it the Swift Boaters who "seared, SEARED" in Kerry's memory his secret trip to Cambodia and his magic hat?

You've seemed off lately, Robert. Anything wrong?

MadisonMan said...

Obama is the commander in chief. As such, he deserves credit and blame for whatever the military does.

Agreed. He certainly would have taken the heat had the operation failed, much like Carter did in Iran.

AJ Lynch said...

12 Navy Seals were killed in an ambush about a month or so after the Bin Laden killing. Some thought the blabbing after that may have included some info that helped the Taliban set up this ambush. If correct, that is a big f-ing deal.

Graham Powell said...

Obama was the one who gave the go-ahead for the raid, and he deserves credit for that. But as Geoff notes above, a true leader would give credit for to the people who actually carried out his orders. In addition, giving all the credit to the SEAL team would draw admiration from pretty much everyone, helping Obama more than the current, "That's right, I'm a badass" posturing.

frank said...

Anyone smart enough to know 3 Purple Hearts will get you out of a combat zone [like Viet Nam] and doing it in less than 90 days when a normal tour is 365, but also "lucky" enough that none of the "battle wounds" caused him one day of loss of "fit for duty" status is to me smart enough to marry a billionaire's widow, even if her late husband was a Republican. Tho' it does piss me off that my best friend, a Marine 'gunny' at Khe Sanh, got 2 Purple Hearts and turned down 2 more because he had a family to support back in Wisconsin and couldn't afford to lose his extra $55.00 a month "combat pay."

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...


That's a trick question...they had none. Their accusations were baseless and swiftly discredited.


Really? Who "discredited" them exactly?

frank said...

Fuck you MadisonWoman, Panetta set himself up to take the heat in case of disaster, the wimp had to be dragged from the golf course-you see the "look" on the One's face in the famous photo--a very small man--in every sense of the word.

James said...

That's a trick question...they had none. Their accusations were baseless and swiftly discredited.

That's simmilar to the argument Soledad O'Brien made in her confrontation with John Sununu two days ago. She claimed that the assertion that Obama cut $714 billion from Medicare had been discredited by FactCheck.org. She was wrong beccause Obama did remove $714 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare and no amount of FactCheck spin can obscure that truth.

The Swiftboat Veterans were never, and cannot now be "debunked" because they served alongside Kerry and they knew and related the truth.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

That's a trick question...they had none. Their accusations were baseless and swiftly discredited.


Oh really?

Because of the Swift Boat Vets John Kerry was forced to retract a story that he told many times in the press - that he spent "Christmas in Cambodia"

You realize you know nothing about this topic, right?

Chef Mojo said...

Their accusations were baseless and swiftly discredited.

That is a lie, Cookie. To this day, not a single SBVA charge leveled against Kerry has been formally discredited.

They were only discredited in the minds of Kerry supporters.

but the accusations made by Swift Boat vets--none of whom served on Kerry's swiftboat, but one, (and he wasn't present on any occasion for which Kerry won his medals)--were nothing if not purely politically motivated slander.

The above is so full of rank stupidity it's hard to know where to begin.

But I'll start with your ignorance of the operational concept of Swift boats. Swift boats were used in groups, you pathetic communist moron. The core group of accusers came from his squadron, and were intimately aware of his actions and behavior. Boat crews talk to each other. The officers all lived together in barracks, very much the way they would on a ship.

Many of the officers were witness to the events concerning the awards, because they were in the same actions, you silly twit. They were there. They may not have been on the same boat, but there boats were close by, sometimes yards away.

The statement you make, Cookie, betrays your ignorance of Vietnam era riverine combat doctrine, and as such, should be mocked.

John Kerry was known by his fellow officers, including my father, as a Kennedy man there to get his ticket punched. It was a big joke at the time that he got his detailer to put him in Swifts when they were a coastal unit stopping the occasional sampan. Then he got assigned just as they shifted to riverine combat. When that happened, it was Purple Heart city! He was also known as a shipmate fucker, one who stabs his fellow officers in the back at any opportunity. And this is before he became your commie wet dream, Cookie.

That's the thing about the Swifties, Cookie; it wasn't about politics. Far from it.

If you want to see another example of this phenomenon in history, refer to Capt. Herbert Sobel in Band Of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose. A very good example of an officer's fellow officers - and men - despising him for the phony martinet that he was.

edutcher said...

There are several Spec Ops groups mad as Hell about the way Choom blabbed all over Creation about this.

If anybody nails him, they're the guys.

Jay said...

Again, they don't pass the laugh test ie special forces are supposed to remain in the dark er secret lol.

I guess you'd know all about it, general!


Not general, admiral.

The little animal says he was in the Navy.

frank said...

Anyone smart enough to know 3 Purple Hearts will get you out of a combat zone [like Viet Nam] and doing it in less than 90 days when a normal tour is 365, but also "lucky" enough that none of the "battle wounds" caused him one day of loss of "fit for duty" status is to me smart enough to marry a billionaire's widow

Too bad it wasn't Lurch that thought of that; it was the other guys in the squadron, the ones that wanted him out.

frank said...

You got it Jay--remember Kerry saying "it was seared into my memory" when Nixon sent him on Christmas into Cambodia? One 'little' problem was Nixon didn't take his Oath of Office of President until January. Maybe we need to 'fact check' the Constitution on dates of innauguration, lol.

frank said...

Good thing Kerry was in the Navy--sounds like if he was in the Army he would be the kind of officer subject 'fatal accidents during combat operations', lol.

Shanna said...

A good leader will deflect praise to the people who made it happen.

I agree, and a little subtle 'stop being such a braggart' commentary isn't a bad thing, but I don't think it's a good idea to focus too much on this as it's one of the few actual accomplishments that occurred during the Obama administration.

How bout we focus on all the stuff that sucked, instead?

cubanbob said...

TomHynes said...
Obama is the commander in chief. As such, he deserves credit and blame for whatever the military does.

8/15/12 11:59 AM

A real CiC with personal character and integrity takes the blame and passes the credit to those who did the mission. Tells you everything you need to know about Obama.

Cook: When is Kerry going to disclose his discharge papers? What is he hidding? And who wrote Kerry up for his medals commendations?

Sloanasaurus said...

While I think its wrong for Obama to overtly take credit for the Bin Ladin raid, I'm not sure he is actually taking that kind of credit.

However, the leaks are much more insidious. To have a president leak secrets for political gain is an impeachable offense. I hope we hear about it in the campaign. I think the accusation is fair game because Senator Feinstein has made statements about the same issue.

Jay said...

The little animal says he was in the Navy.

Ha! Talk about delusion.

You got it Jay--remember Kerry saying "it was seared into my memory"

Oh yeah.
But of course Kerry is the same guy who through fake medals over the fence to protest!

MadisonMan said...

Panetta set himself up to take the heat in case of disaster

I see. So you would have blamed Panetta had the mission failed.

Yeah, I believe that.

Synova said...

The "you didn't do that" is a clever call-back to Obama's own words. You didn't do that, Mr. President, America did that.

Brilliant.

The Swiftboat thing is entirely different. If someone actually watched the interviews with the veterans they'd find men who hated Kerry with every fiber of their being who *refused* to call him cowardly or denigrate his actual swiftboat service.

They had specific complaints. That he was the sort who promoted himself, made sure he got the write ups for awards and used the system to turn three scratches into a ride home was *almost* beside the point. It's bad taste to call yourself a hero even when you really were, but the sorts of things that Kerry did, well, you always knew people like that and the worst they are is annoying. So there was *that* and there was *that*.

But mostly there was Paris, Winter Soldier, Ghengis Khan, and throwing away medals. None of which were in dispute by *anyone*.

But "swiftboat" came to mean "lie about" even when no one lied at all. Kerry's defenders managed to make it about disputable recollections and war stories. If soldiers hated other soldiers (sailors... whatever) on account of spurious remembrances of war stories... well, they don't.

They hate people that came home and told the country and the world that they were war criminals. Got on television and in front of the Senate and slandered their service with a straight face.

They knew who he was the same way they knew who Jane Fonda was.

And then he had the gall, so many years afterward, to present himself to *veterans* as one of a band of brothers, a *hero*, and the right man to lead while the nation was at war.

Robert Cook said...

"Really? Who 'discredited' them exactly?"

The men who served on Kerry's boat with him.

Swift Boat Vets and Kerry

"Of those who served in Kerry's boat crew, only Stephen Gardner joined SBVT.[24] He was not present on any of the occasions when Kerry won his medals, including his Purple Hearts. Gardner appeared in two of the group's television advertisements.

"All other living members of Kerry's crew supported his presidential bid, and some frequently campaigned with him as his self-described 'band of brothers'. Kerry crew members have disputed some of SBVT's various allegations, calling them 'totally false' (Drew Whitlow), 'garbage' (Gene Thorson), and 'a pack of lies' (Del Sandusky).[25][26][27]

"No members of SBVT were aboard Kerry's boat during any of the incidents for which he was decorated. The only member of SBVT who was present at the Silver Star incident, Rood's crew member Larry Clayton Lee, praised Kerry's tactics and stated that he earned his Silver Star."

frank said...

MadisonWoman--you'd believe anything--including you are a man.

Balfegor said...

But of course Kerry is the same guy who through fake medals over the fence to protest!

I thought they were real medals, just someone else's.

Synova said...

And Cook tries to make it about combat.

The fog of war is useful, but in no way whatsoever touches on what is known to be completely and factually true.

Kerry got three purple hearts for scratches.

Kerry served only three months on the dangerous swiftboats.

He came home and became an "authentic voice" for the anti-war movement, lending legitimacy to the hatred directed at returning soldiers who faced a great deal of abuse and hatred on top of the trauma of war... that they *never* should have had to face.

And Kerry helped that happen.

He met with the enemy in Paris (illegally).

He made a "grand gesture" of throwing away "his" medals to show who's side he was really on. (And later, when it was politically advantageous, got to have them again.)

He gave official testimony before the Senate claiming that US soldiers were war criminals and compared them to Ghengis Khan. (This may make you like him, Cook, but he was running as a good choice to WAGE war and was supposed to be, somehow, naturally on the side of men like those he accused and slandered.)

He was generally a douche-bag of the Jane Fonda variety, and likely responsible for helping to drag out the war, giving the North Vietnamese reason to think they could win, and getting his "brothers" killed.

None of that matters to YOU because you agree with it all.

It mattered and does matter a great deal to his "brothers".

Presenting him to veterans of that war as a natural leader for this war was blindingly stupid in a world where the hatred is held close and Jane Fonda urinal targets are still popular items.

Synova said...

"I thought they were real medals, just someone else's."

Yes.

I don't expect someone who is not a veteran to understand just how much that upsets me.

Throw the medals away, sure, whatever. Make a grand gesture. But pretend you threw your own? Make a big deal about it? And then HAVE them again?

An honorable person would stand by his word about it all, one way or the other. Not pretend to have thrown his own to be popular with the cool kids, and certainly not put his own out on display when he had a new need to be popular with a different group of cool kids.

At the least have the courage of your convictions.

Or prove you've neither courage nor convictions.

virgil xenophon said...

And of course the savage, savage irony of the entire "Obama killed Bin Laden" affair is that if Senator Obama and the other anti-war lefties of his ilk in Congress had had their way the very military assets (trained personnel, equipment, wpns systems, etc) used on the Bin Laden raid which Obama trumpeted so loudly about and for which he took so much credit, would never have been authorized or funded by Congress--let alone actually resulting in turning out trained personnel or any procured/produced wpns systems--or even seeing any of these assets reach the light of day operationally speaking..

Chef Mojo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exhelodrvr1 said...

Synova and Chef Mojo,
And I really question when an officer leaves his troops 9 months early thanks to three scratches.

Chef Mojo said...

Cookie, of course his crew stood behind him later. If not, they would have been considered complicit in the fraud Kerry perpetuated.

Funny how no one else in the squadron felt compelled to come to Kerry's defense in this.

Regardless, the statements of Kerry's crew are by no means definitive or discrediting of the Swiftie's charges concerning Kerry's overall tour of duty in Vietnam, compared to that of the squadron as a whole.

Like I said, Cookie, your lack of knowledge in this is woefully inadequate.

Hagar said...

Synova,

John Kerry's history will fit together quite well if you assume his interlude as a Viet Nam war protestor was a fake, and he actually was working undercover for Naval Intelligence at the time in typical John Kerry over the top and not very bright fashion.

Mike said...

These SOT guys surely do have specialized and valuable knowledge not available to the public. They also have information relative to this operation. Let's start with facts not available to the general public like the number of operators in a tactical unit, where they have been deployed, what their objectives were and what units took part. These are all very highly compartmentalized and classified facts. They guard these facts with their lives because it IS their lives at stake if something goes sideways.

But to Obama, the SEALs are just another unusable entity, another tool at his disposal to be used and abused for political gain. Obama -- or someone close to him -- leaked far too much information about the Bin Laden raid. This was done in an effort to puff himself up and acquire a warrior sheen to his term as President. This cavalier attitude towards the SOT security is what drew the ire of members and their families and their retire4d brethren. That the Whitehouse then opened even more doors for their Hollywood friends to further exploit and turn into a movie -- well that was one step too far.

Let's face it. Things that normal people care about don't mean anything to Obama except insofar as they can further his career. He has shown no remorse for exposing Team Six and he deserves to be Swift6boated for it. We can pretend here that he's being targeted because he seemed to claim responsibility for the result, and his surrogates did everything but claim he actually pulled the trigger, but the truth is that this time it's not his arrogance but his callousness that has him in the sites of this group.

LarsPorsena said...

Cookie:

You're usually quick with the 'war criminal' tag for most politicians.
You should slap on it on Kerry too.
His 'war crimes' are real. He's a different kind of 'war criminal'.

Shanna said...

The "you didn't do that" is a clever call-back to Obama's own words. You didn't do that, Mr. President, America did that.

Indeed. Good point, Synova.

He came home and became an "authentic voice" for the anti-war movement

And this is the reason the whole thing hit home. It wasn’t about ‘fog of war’ specifics, it was about video of Kerry testifying in congress comparing American soldiers to gengis khan and then having the gall to show up however many years later and claim to be ‘reporting for duty’. That’s why this stuff hit home.

With Obama, it’s mostly about him being quick to take credit, and slow to give it (aside from the leak stuff, which IS very serious)

creeley23 said...

Thanks, Chef Mojo and Synova, for taking the time to set the Swiftboat record straight.

creeley23 said...

I worry these days about the damage that Obama has done to the American military and its morale.

I know they can't talk about it in public, but I imagine many of them (most?) are seething about the leaks, the bragging, and the way Obama has wasted the blood and treasure expended in Iraq and Afghanistan.

shiloh said...

How many of you con lemmings were upset when Bush stood on the USS Lincoln in his flight jacket, declaring the mission was accomplished in Iraq, May 1, 2003?

btw, the Lincoln was finishing a (10) mo. deployment, the longest for a carrier since the Vietnam War. And Bush's childish showboating delayed their arrival in San Diego.

>

In November 2008, Bush indicated that he regretted the use of the banner, stating in a CNN interview, "To some, it said, well, 'Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over,' when I didn't think that. It conveyed the wrong message."

In January 2009, Bush said that "Clearly, putting 'Mission Accomplished' on an aircraft carrier was a mistake".


Hey, it helped the chicken hawk get re-elected, the bottom line, eh.

>

We now return you to self-righteous, hypocritical cons er Althouse's finest! :)

MadisonMan said...

I worry these days about the damage

Do you also worry about the Baggage Retrieval System they have at Heathrow?

bagoh20 said...

Would someone educate Shiloh? I just can't work up the desire knowing it won't penetrate his skull anyway.

bagoh20 said...

A hint: "btw, the Lincoln was finishing a (10) mo. deployment,"

The Drill SGT said...

What the WH has done with regard to OPSEC over the last several years is crimnal IMHO. And I use that term carefully considering the Title 18 implications. Yes, the President can declassify things on a whim. However the cover story is that the POTUS hasn't declassified anything in a number of these leak cases. And claims that nobody in the WH has been the source.

That means that any source could and should face the full brunt of Title 18, and the 10 years of jail time fr each offense. And Tack on the false statement charges to boot. I look forward to the same sort of witch hunt that Holder ran on the previously cleared CIA guys, being run on WH NSC staff after the next election:

(a)Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—

Roger J. said...

I, of course, agree with my fellow tanker Drill Sergant. Special operations should NEVER be made public--all Mr Obama should have said was the OBL was killed in a covert opertion. Praise the men who did it, and then leave it alone. General Eisenhower cashiered a major general fellow west pointer for getting drunk and divulging some important D Day information. Once you disclose information on tactics and operations of any military operation, and especially special operations, you compromise the entire enterprise. Even arch liberal Dianne Feinstein was upset.

Such braggidocio for political gain is unthinkable.

Roger J. said...

sorry: braggadocio lest the language police come down on me.

When you are conducting black operations, all you need do is very generally describe the outcome. Anything more compromises the entire force.

Synova said...

"How many of you con lemmings were upset when Bush stood on the USS Lincoln in his flight jacket, declaring the mission was accomplished in Iraq, May 1, 2003?

btw, the Lincoln was finishing a (10) mo. deployment, the longest for a carrier since the Vietnam War. And Bush's childish showboating delayed their arrival in San Diego.
"

There was never any doubt in the mind of those in the military that Bush appreciated them and understood them... if they agreed with him on any particular or not, including the war. He got excited and animated welcomes from crowds of cheering troops wherever he went

His "showboating" was for their benefit.

It turned out not to have been so great for him, because of the "mission accomplished" thing, but the "mission accomplished" thing was for THEM. For the sailors on the Lincoln.

They also knew to appreciate the dangers of landing a jet aircraft on an aircraft carrier.

Also... the turkey was not plastic.

Obama doesn't get the same reception as Bush got for very good reason. Troops are respectful and reserved, for the most part. Obama took months to even bother to meet with his commanders, proving how important the welfare of the troops are to him. His office leaks information in seemingly self-serving ways and some believe that the attack that killed 22 members of SEAL team six was related to Obama's grandstanding. Even if entirely coincidental, the coincidence combined with the knowledge of *which* team it was, was an information "win" for the other side. Wow, they got TWENTY-TWO of the guys who killed Osama Bin Laden. OBAMA made that propaganda self-goal possible. Along with the leaks are the disturbing number of US military who are now being killed by members of the Afghan military and police with, for all appearances, NO response on our part at all. This is called *impunity*. Our people put their lives more at risk of being killed by some guy passed through security who is supposedly working with us than by attacks from the Taliban, and we seem to have done jack shit about it.

At what point is our military supposed to trust Obama about anything?

Synova said...

The ease at which assassins penetrate security in Afghanistan makes the specific targeting of SEAL team six all the more likely.

If someone can go through the training and get assigned someplace that they can shoot a couple of American officers walking down the hallway of a headquarters building, assuming that information is not also leaking like a sieve and believing that it was just a coincidence that we lost SEAL team six after Obama opened his effing trap is naive beyond belief.

And what did we do to answer any of it but to give a big, huge, "Hey, that worked, do it again!"

Oh, but lets talk about George Bush who flew jet aircraft and sat second seat to fly onto the Lincoln and tell the sailors how wonderful they all were and how much America appreciated them.

Because that's so... something. Like fake or something. And only a lemming wouldn't despise him for it.

shiloh said...

Synova's partisan song and dance is duly noted. Bush starting the needless, wasteful, misbegotten Iraq for political gain in the 1st place.

Indeed, there's a reason Bush/Cheney didn't attend the 2008 convention and probably won't attend the 2012 convention as well ie Rep party regulars/hierarchy want both chickenhawks to disappear lol. They're ashamed of their (8) years of incompetence/ineptitude.

hmm, how many U.S. military casualties/dead soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilian caualties 'cause Bush's daddy didn't finish the job?

shiloh said...

btw, In a less publicized incident, Rumsfeld also declared an end to major combat operations in Afghanistan on May 1, 2003 a few hours before Bush's announcement.

Synova, have a nice day!

Quaestor said...

Robert Cook wrote:
Kerry was a dreary candidate, a loser from the start, but the accusations made by Swift Boat vets--none of whom served on Kerry's swiftboat, but one, (and he wasn't present on any occasion for which Kerry won his medals)--were nothing if not purely politically motivated slander.

Speaking of politically motivated slander last week, August 8 to be precise, you slandered the veterans of the Gulf War (among many other) as war criminals. I hammered you logically and finally cornered you into writing:

Qaestor, Everyone involved in WWI were murderers.

(Emphasis and misspelling are yours)

Do you still hold to this claim?

Cedarford said...

MadisonMan said...
Obama is the commander in chief. As such, he deserves credit and blame for whatever the military does.

Agreed. He certainly would have taken the heat had the operation failed, much like Carter did in Iran.


1. Part of the problem the military has is Obama took too much credit for a decision he dithered on for weeks....Including the "Decision Room Film" movie Obama and his people orchestrated, and the upcoming film about Obama the Potent Assured Leader he gave resources and military people to Hurt Locker director Kathleen Bigelow to make.
Military people expect commanders to only take credit due, and generally think the Law Lecturer took too much. The way Nixon handled the Moon Mission is a good model..he got credit without tooting his own horn...just for being Presidential and heaping praise on others inc. Kennedy, LBJ, 3 dead astronauts, and all the everyday contribors at NASA, the military, vendor companies, and the American People themselves.
Nixon also was ready for the high-risk Moon Mission to fail.....and never dithered or hesitated because there was RISK.

2. Like Kerry, part of the military anger is about Obama behavior after the fact.

Obama authorizing leaks , or his National Security Advisor Donilon doing it w/o authorization but then being protected .....Regarding SEAL methods, how backup to the SEAL mission was set up, the Pak agents.
Aggravated by even more betrayal of secrets from the White HOuse in ratting out a Brit-Saudi agent in the Yemen bomb plot, then betraying US and Israeli joint ops on SUXNET.



Synova said...

"hmm, how many U.S. military casualties/dead soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilian caualties 'cause Bush's daddy didn't finish the job?"

According to Bin Laden... some 650,000 children alone because we didn't want Sadam to have super pure chlorine.

I know this might be a difficult concept Shiloh, but the decision to go to war and Bush's relationship with the troops are two separate things. They are separate issues, entirely.

One can have one opinion about the wisdom of going to war in Iraq (or even oppose going to war in Afghanistan) and think that we never ever should have done either, and still recognize that Bush was a faithful guy. He stood by and *understood* where those he commanded were and what they did.

Failing to understand the military is practically a Liberal virtue. It makes them "good" people or something. Like Desmond Tutu getting all self-righteous and scolding about a television show that highlights military training.

The fact of failure to understand is illustrated by clear failures to anticipate how veterans will react. We were supposed to LIKE Kerry. He was supposed to be the "military" guy that would pull in the pro-military vote. On what planet would a rational person expect that outcome? But the Democrats did.

Obama shows that he doesn't understand. We still are in the same wars we were in. He hasn't gotten us out. He's engaged us in additional conflicts such as Libya. He is all about the unmanned drone attacks and being all tough and shit. He killed Bin Laden.

At what point has he shown understanding or loyalty to anyone following his orders?

Roger J. said...

Synova: re wars we are in--you didnt include Yemen on that list, but it may be we are actively involved in Yemen. (not that that is a bad thing--but we are.)

Synova said...

"btw, In a less publicized incident, Rumsfeld also declared an end to major combat operations in Afghanistan on May 1, 2003 a few hours before Bush's announcement.

Synova, have a nice day!
"

So?

At that point the nature of the war changed.

It was politically useful for the Democrats who'd voted for the Iraq invasion to abandon the aftermath and start to claim none of it was their fault.

Rumsfeld's comments may have been overly hopeful, but necessarily held against him? Only by all of those now suddenly and conveniently anti-war.

Bush and Rumsfeld were wrong to think that it could all be *over* but so were all of those making political hay over it. Bush and Rumsfeld went on to act responsibly to try, not without error, to deal with the aftermath. The others who had voted for and approved of the invasion went on to behave like children, undermining our efforts and denying their own responsibility.

Who do you think I ought to admire more?

This idea that pro-military sorts ought to obviously think a certain way about either Bush or Rumsfeld depends on the firm and unmovable belief that anyone with a military background is a simpleton.

Roger J. said...

And with respect to A-stan--Mr Obama doubled down on that war and it hasnt turned out all that well. There are service members dying there every day, but alas, no mention of body counts or caskets at Dover AFB. A-stan is starting to look like the Korean war.

Cedarford said...

Drill SGT - " I look forward to the same sort of witch hunt that Holder ran on the previously cleared CIA guys, being run on WH NSC staff after the next election"
==============
This could be cleared up pretty quick by Obama ordering, as Bush did in the Plame Affair, full cooperation with the investigation.

By week 2, they had general info on the main Leaker, but Fitzgerald delayed action wanting to snare more people (Libby)...

They already have a Chief Leaker suspect, hack appointee National Security Advisor Tom Donilon...but there is an obvious explaination why Obama has not ordered cooperation and why Obama's Boy Eric Holder has not gone straight to Donilon on the betrayal of SEAL methods, the betrayal of the intel agent the Brits and Saudis got in Al Qaeda, or the betrayal of the US and Israeli military and covert ops people outed as in covert war with Iran over SUXNET..

The obvious problem is Obama has gone on record saying he made no leak authorizations.

And even if Donilon admits betrayal, he can probably say that he had direct explicit instruction from Obama to leak on 1, two, even all 3 big betrayals that came from Donilons lips...

The Romney People and the right wing media need to understand that is is far graver a national security matter than their pet "Fast and Furious CAuse and their Martyred Agent". Which in their political interests, should not be left to Eric Holder to bury until after the Elections.


And hammer away on this as even bigger than Fast and Furious and demand to know what Obama knew about Donilons leaks and when he knew it.
Recall

Cedarford said...

Roger J. said...
And with respect to A-stan--Mr Obama doubled down on that war and it hasnt turned out all that well. There are service members dying there every day, but alas, no mention of body counts or caskets at Dover AFB. A-stan is starting to look like the Korean war.

==============
The liberal and progressive Jewish media masters are giving Obama a complete pass on Afghanistan and the Body Count and Dover and weekly media propaganda they used to do of names and photos of the weekly "Dead Heroes".
Of course, they could try to excuse it by saying since Obama was installed in the Oval Office...the Left is not protesting anymore about their dead "beloved Hero troops" at Dover, with their cute little fake cemeteries, etc,

Aridog said...

Regarding Kerry, Fonda, Cronkite, various Saigon Hotel "ranger" media types, and Winter Soldier ... let me quote an on scene participant's viewpoint from his memoirs:

'What we still don't understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi . You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the
battle of TET. You defeated us!
We knew it, and we thought
you knew it.

But we were elated to notice your media was helping us. They were causing more disruption in
America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!'

Author: General Vo Nguyen Giap, PAVN.

Now the TET Offensive was in 1968 and Cronkite (et al...) declared the war was lost to the American public. Winter Soldier didn't fire up until early 1971 and extend in to 1972. It was thoroughly a political movement with the specific intent of declaring American servicemen, officers and enlisted, as losers and baby killers. This was 2 plus years AFTER a draw down of manpower and matériel in Vietnam was underway...e.g., we were leaving. Yet, Kerry, a man who spent not one single day in infantry combat was prominent in the VVAW and Winter Soldier.

Why was that? It served his political ambitions perfectly, in fact he'd applied for and received an "early out" from the Navy for explicit political reasons he clearly stated. That he got a 180 CONUS based early out when the norm was 150 days, for OCONUS personnel, makes one wonder whose chain he pulled to manage that.

So I'd suggest to Kerry defenders here and anywhere else,l if you weren't there (RVN) and Detroit 1971-72, as I was, you might want to just STFU instead of babble on about things you never experienced. Those who did experience those places, times & days won't tell you squat, the only "talkers" are the fakers, like Kerry.

I despise no one more than I did and do John Kerry, but I'd not harm him ... he just isn't worth it. I would spit in his face if the opportunity arose. Same for Jane Fonda, Cora Weiss, and the rest of the enemy within from those days of my life.

My thanks to Synova, Chef Mojo, and the others who laid it out better than I can. My sympathies to those who still buy Kerry's fantasy and outright lies. BTW...he never threw away anyone's medals, his are still framed and in his possession. He tossed a few "ribbons" that were not his for a photo op. Period.

Props to Balfegor for noting that the skinny twat boy (my words) in the White House isn't worth this discussion, it only helps him distract from bigger failures.

Roger J. said...

Aridog--just to expand your point re "medals." When a service member is awarded or decorated with a medal (and there is a difference) the service member receives a nice little box that has the full medal, then a ribbon, and a lapel pin. Three different types of awards or decorations. For a service member, ordinarily the ribbons go on ones uniform; the full medal goes on ones dress uniform. And the lapel pin goes on ones civilian garb.

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

ReutersLibtard: The term "Swift Boat" refers to a discredited political smear campaign used to attack Kerry

*snicker*

Reminds me of an exchange on the news during those days.

Anchor: "The swift boat vets have been discredited"

[viewer leans in]

Fluffer: "Have they now, Bob?"

Anchor" "Yes the have, Mary. And now for the weather..."

David R. Graham said...

"I don't think that's the case here."

You don't know the SOF Community.

David R. Graham said...

"Obama is the commander in chief. As such, he deserves credit and blame for whatever the military does."

Ignoramus. Commanders always give credit for success to their subordinates, and Army and Marine commanders particularly to their unit's NCOs, and are supposed to take responsibility - which differs from blame - for failures.

Warrior ethics. This cic reverses both of those characteristics of a commander. He is a self-promoting liar.

Robert Cook said...

Quaestor,

If it gratifies you to believe you "hammered" me into anything, enjoy yourself. From my perspective, you asked me a question and I answered it.

Yes, everyone involved in WWI were murderers.

Now, it seems you are as literal minded as many right wingers, so let me state what is--or should be--obvious: when I refer to warmakers being murderers, I'm referring primarily to those who make the wars: the politicians and generals and propagandists and any others who encourage or plan and implement the war plans. Soldiers on the ground are just the tools (and also the victims) of murder. Many soldiers perform with valor and honor in battle, while many others, without question, behave as savages and become murderers rather than just soldiers fighting an enemy. There is no army in the world or in history that is not guilty of atrocities on the battlefield.

However, war is savage, and men in battle are made into murderers and savages by those who send them to war. (In WWII, the military found a majority of American soldiers fired above the heads of the enemy, even in the face of enemy fire, so deeply ingrained in our soldiers was the resistance to killing others. Subsequent training was modified to more effectively make our soldiers into killers.)

This is why war should never be made for any reason other than exigent demands of self-defense, as those sent to war will be killed or maimed, or will be required to kill and maim others. To use humans so callously, to send them out to meet death or to mete out death for any other reason is criminal, is an act of mass murder, not just of those we war against but of our own soldiers.

Synova said...

"Warrior ethics. This cic reverses both of those characteristics of a commander. He is a self-promoting liar."

Or at least a civilian. :P

Civilians look at the military and see the chain of command and think they understand it.

Synova said...

But it's not, actually, an unusual civilian leadership style either. People who leave their subordinates out to hang but expect duty and loyalty "just because" exist all over the place. But those who expect bottom-up loyalty, IME, seem most likely to be those who wouldn't get it if it wasn't a "rule".

Bush stood by and supported his subordinates probably longer than he should have in several cases.

Obama throws his under the bus.

Some people think this makes him a better leader.

David R. Graham said...

"... it's not his arrogance but his callousness that has him in the sites of this group."

Concur. The wanton use of human treasure for self-aggrandizement.

furious_a said...

Couldn't find any press releases where FDR's White House danced in the end zone when USAAF P-38s took out Yamamoto over Bouganville. Nor where they leaked to the New York Times that USN cryptanalysts had broken Imperial Navy codes in doing so.

Obama's boasting was unseemly, but the real crime was the disclosure of sources, methods and harvested intel in the aftermath. In fairness to the White House, the damage from those disclosures was probably beyond their limited experiences and IQs to anticipate.

special forces are supposed to remain in the dark er secret lol.

Obama took care of that when he disclosed the bin Laden strike force by name.

Aridog said...

Robert Cooke ... enlighten me in case I missed it somewhere. Have you ever served in the military in any capacity? If so, in what capacity? You MOS will do, details not necessary. In combat?

I have to ask because you seem so adamantly negative in your historical view and presumed military philosophy. I'm not concerned about the others here, but you've provoked my curiosity with you arbitrary conclusions from murder to warfare in general. I want to know if you have even a slight vestige of experience with any of it.

I need to know this so I can cease reading your words and scroll on by if you're talking out of your ass like Winter Soldier II.

Revenant said...

This is definitely different from the Swift Boat case in that, unlike Kerry, Obama's not actually lying about his accomplishments.

But it is nice to see some of the people who actually HAVE fought our nation's enemies push back against Obama's attempt to hog all the credit. I don't think I've ever seen a President be so self-aggrandizing about the accomplishments of the US military -- not Bush, not Clinton, not even Nixon. Obama's got no class.

furious_a said...

Robert Cook: Soldiers on the ground are just the tools (and also the victims) of murder...the military found a majority of American soldiers fired above the heads of the enemy,...so deeply ingrained in our soldiers was the resistance to killing others.

Wow, did you pull all of that out of your *ss with only your own two hands?

John Lynch said...

RC is right- civilized people have to be barbarized before they'll kill other human beings.

The mistake is in assuming that people are naturally civilized- we aren't. The Army (which discriminates against criminals and people with behavior problems) discovered that its recruits had been well-socialized. This is completely unsurprising if you think about it.

It's a Catch-22. People who are naturally violent are kept out of the armed services, whose business is violence. Meanwhile, the well-socialized must be turned into professional killers, brutalizing them in the process.

This is a problem unique to civilized countries. Barbarians have no such problem and happily murder millions. See the Congo, site of the worst war since WW2. There are no shortage of people willing to murder anyone, regardless of age or gender. That's what happens when civilization collapses.

The US military spends much of its time fighting barbarians in dark corners of the world. We don't fight civilized countries anymore. That's an achievement, but it does mean that we send hundreds of thousands of our young men to be brutalized by exposure to the horror of barbarian warfare.

John Lynch said...

And Obama should take credit for ending the mortal existence of that evil creature. Good for him.

Trying to take away the credit is small and petty. We all know that the US Armed forces carried out the order, but it was an order.

Quaestor said...

Robert Cook wrote:
Yes, everyone involved in WWI were murderers

That includes the Belgians, eh Cookie? Must be, 'cause you had a chance to withdraw and you doubled down.

That you could write that whole stupid reply and not explicitly except the Belgians from your blanket statement "everyone involved in WWI were murderers" proves the following:

1)You know nothing about the First World War that's worth knowing.

2)You are a moral imbecile.

Case closed.

furious_a said...

...civilized people have to be barbarized before they'll kill other human beings.


Hogwash. Homo sapiens descended from animals that hunted in packs and wouldn't have survived to reach (and keep) "civilization" without the ruthlessness hard-coded in its DNA.

This is a problem unique to civilized countries. Barbarians have no such problem and happily murder millions.

Again, Hogwash. The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China had no problems finding willing accomplices to mass murder of their own citizens...and each murdered millions using famine, rather than their militaries, as weapons.

Synova said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Xfti7qtT0&feature=player_embedded#!

This seems to be the long form video.

It's a bit dramatic but does a good job explaining what the issues are with the leaks.

Our "human intelligence" sources end up in jail (or "eliminated") and our allies don't trust us anymore.

MadisonMan said...

I'm surprised no one has said You didn't kill that man. Someone else made that happen to riff off his infamous statement.

Too obvious?

Revenant said...

Cook,

If the "military study" you're referring to is SLA Marshall's report from the late 40s, you should be aware that the validity of that report is not known. His methods and sources aren't well-documented, and his results appear inconsistent with other factors (such as firing rates in other wars ammo usage in WW2, and casualty rates).

Also, Marshall wasn't making a broad claim about general willingness to kill -- he was claiming that *Americans* are particularly reluctant to kill. That seems unlikely to be true.

Aridog said...

I kinda of missed this whooper....

Robert Cooke said: ...the military found a majority of American soldiers fired above the heads of the enemy,...so deeply ingrained in our soldiers was the resistance to killing others.

Okay, you've almost proved yourself a liar with this one. I'll stop short and hope you can provide a link or two that supports this profound observation and how said "study" was implemented...and by what "experts."

See, I know a little bit about shooting a rifle, especially military rifles. Had to teach a bit of it back in the day, even M14's which had a sight image similar to that of the WWII M1 Garand. And some M1's too, to ROK's. My experience also includes firing said rifles in close combat, as well as the venerable M1911 pistol, and leading a squad with the intention of bringing them all home alive.

It is simple fact: New military shooters invariably fire high off target as they eagerly (desperately) try to "see" the target "over" the rifle barrel ..e.g., looking primarily at the front sight post. We tested for this even 40+ years ago, in Basic, on the "combat action course" of pop up targets that popped up anywhere from 350 yards out to 25 yards out. Usually made trainees don gas masks to further disorient them and apply pressure.

This shoot high phenomena is particularly evident under the stress of first combat. More so when the engagement has the enemy at danger close ranges. Hell, it is even a classic phenomena of new hunters "buck fever" as civilians.

We did improve training to prevent this phenomena as best we could, such as the "spot weld" technique of place the rifle up to your cheek (and thumb if an M14) the same way every time. So you fired the weapon the same way every time.

We also taught soldiers how to fire looking over their rifles, such as at night when you can't see through a peep sight and need to have a conditioned response to aim where your face & arms point, etc....it is similar to how you teach someone to shoot trap or skeet. Inside of 100 yards engagement, when the real excitement begins, we taught them to "aim" low at night to compensate for the lack of a normal sight picture and offset the tendency to shoot high.

We weren't teaching them to be better "killers" as your idiotic position proposes...we were trying to make them better survivors. See, in a firefight, when all said and done, someone goes home in a bag and someone else goes home walkin' & talkin'. We preferred to be the latter and trained that way.

Funny thing is, when squared away, the average soldier got it ... he preferred the other guy dead too. Anyone who repeatedly fired high for whatever ever reason, poor coordination or emotional distress, was definitely not around to "interview" later.

Dude, you really do need to stick to subjects you actually know something about.

Synova said...

"Too obvious?"

I mentioned it. But call me captain obvious. ;-)

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

Revenant ... if the SLA Marshall post WWII tome is his "study" I'll not bother waiting for an answer. Not that I expect one.

The "ratio of fire" theory he devised is easily dispensed with .... e.g, he "interviewed" survivors, the dead couldn't talk. ...there was no, none, zero, nada, quantitative analysis done, and damn little qualitative rigor in the interviewing...Gen Marshall simply wasn't trained in it.

Nor was Gen. Marshall a trained firearms instructor (far from it, his MOS was "historian") who understood the issues of rifle lines of sight and pressure in combat, both simulated and real.

You can see videos from Vietnam to Afghanistan with soldiers firing wildly & blindly over a barricade...perhaps not as useful as directed fire, but it does keep the assholes heads down...and may "fix" them for engagement by machine gun fire.

The "F3" rule still stands: "Find 'em, Fix'em, F**k'em up."

Robert Cook said...

Aridog, to answer your question and save you the bother of reading my remarks--which, I point out, you have been under no compulsion to do so--no.

Revenant said:

"If the 'military study' you're referring to is SLA Marshall's report from the late 40s, you should be aware that the validity of that report is not known. His methods and sources aren't well-documented, and his results appear inconsistent with other factors (such as firing rates in other wars ammo usage in WW2, and casualty rates).

"Also, Marshall wasn't making a broad claim about general willingness to kill -- he was claiming that *Americans* are particularly reluctant to kill. That seems unlikely to be true."


Revenant, if the validity of the study claiming that low percentages of American soldiers in WWII fired at enemy forces is in doubt or has been refuted, then I stand corrected.







Aridog said...

Synova...I think your overall take on this military/murder issue has been exemplary. So I dub you officially "Captain Obvious".

Mainly because it is obvious. I have no idea of your background or experience, military or civilian...no matter, you seem to exhibit common sense and rational thought.

I tend to let pseudo-military bloviators piss me off and therefore make me a bit deranged. You do a much better job, as do several others here, of making sense of it all.

I would try to provoke AllenS in to an angry outburst, but I know that's not his nature per se. And I do know he has the experience first hand to have a qualified 15 allyyza
say.

I guess I'm saying that you help me not be an flaming aggressive idiot now and then.

Thanks.


Robert Cook said...

"I don't think I've ever seen a President be so self-aggrandizing about the accomplishments of the US military -- not Bush...."

Have you soon forgotten the spectacle of Bush strutting across the flight deck in his pilot's flight suit, under the, uh, somewhat premature banner "Mission Accomplished?"

Aridog said...

Robert Cook ... okay, on military topics I'll scroll on by. I try to give any commenter here credit for knowledge, and I'm usually right...and most here know more about a lot of things than I do.

You just stepped in to an area I am well versed in and took unfounded positions. I reacted. I find the philosophy you expounded offensive personally.

I'll read what you have to say, even if I disagree, on topics other than military.

I don't think you really know much about killing anything, which is not a flaw, but could be a vacant feature.

Your idea that Americans are not "natural born killers" does have some merit, you just found nothing that supports it...so you assumed it is a universal thing. It isn't. I'll give you an example: When I returned home in 1971, after having the power of life in my hands daily, I never hunted again. Ever. No bias against hunters who eat what they hunt, I just didn't want to shoot anything anymore myself. Other veterans feel differently and I understand.

If I need to do so to survive I can and know how to dress and prepare game/meat properly. Don't have to do so now, so I don't. The "thrill" is long gone. Said another way....I will only shoot two legged assailants if the need arises.

Still an NRA member, regular target shooter, who tries to not exhibit the cold bloodiness of long ago anymore. I don't always succeed. But I want to....

Fen said...

Cook: the military found a majority of American soldiers fired above the heads of the enemy,...so deeply ingrained in our soldiers was the resistance to killing others.

This is a perfect example of how dishonest Robert Cook is. What Cook is referring to is a study that discovered many soldiers engaged in firefights did not return fire. They claimed they were "saving their ammo" or "holding in reserve for the good of the platoon" when in fact, they were terrified that their tracers rounds would give away their position.

It was about self-preservation, not a resistance to killing.

JAL said...

Mark whatsiznam writing for Reuters: The term "Swift Boat" refers to a discredited political smear campaign used to attack Kerry,

Not so swift here, Mr. Mark. Who discredited it? The Dems machine and Kerry? Have you seen The Hat? Where were you on Christmas??

Thought so. Another guy who thinks Gore won Florida.

creeley23 said...

I'm not a big fan of R. Cook's comments, but I have run into his claims about the psychological resistance to killing -- at first from a vet friend who has continued to study military matters for decades since his discharge.

Looking it up on the web now, I see that almost of all the discussion I can find leads back to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (ret), "a former West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger," and his book, "On Killing." Here's a review summary of the relevant point:

The main point of the book is that, contrary to popular perception, up until the Korean War (for American service members), most of those in combat – 80% or more, normally – did not ever fire their weapons in battle, even to protect themselves, due to what the Grossman show is an innate resistance to killing. Many of those firing likely were purposely not hitting their human targets. This phenomenon has been noted as far back as Alexander the Great and is cross-cultural. Much data is from the U.S. Civil War. Militaries have in the past, and more scientifically in recent decades, very successfully instituted training measures to remove this resistance to killing.

Revenant said...

Revenant, if the validity of the study claiming that low percentages of American soldiers in WWII fired at enemy forces is in doubt or has been refuted, then I stand corrected.

It hasn't been refuted per se, it is just that it wasn't really a scientific study to begin with. Marshall interviewed a lot of people, but didn't keep very rigorous notes (or at least none that anyone else saw).

His numbers may have been right; we just can't really know. And really, interviewing soldiers isn't a good way to gather information anyway. I've never yet met a veteran who liked to talk about having shot at people -- not even the ones I know for certain did.

Fen said...

did not ever fire their weapons in battle, even to protect themselves, due to what the Grossman show is an innate resistance to killing

As I said earlier, his conclusion is wrong. Firing your weapon marks your position. They didn't fire their weapons because of self-preservation, not out of any "innate resistance to killing"

Revenant said...

Have you soon forgotten the spectacle of Bush strutting across the flight deck in his pilot's flight suit, under the, uh, somewhat premature banner "Mission Accomplished?"

I think your memory of the event is clouded, assuming you paid attention to it in the first place. Or perhaps you don't know what "self-aggrandizing" means?

Here is the transcript of the speech he gave.

He uses "I" twice, once to say that he has a message for the troops ("America is grateful for a job well done") and once to say that he is honored to be their CiC. The rest of the speech is devoted to praising the American troops, our allied nations, and the Iraqis who helped overthrow Hussein.

Now contrast that with Obama's speech announcing the operation that killed bin Laden, here. It is chock full of I, I, I, I, -- *he* made getting bin Laden a priority, *he* met with the CIA, *he* was briefed, *he* made the decision, *he* gave the order... and then, after all that, the people who actually did all the work and were exposed to all the danger get a whopping three sentences:

A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. [...] They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

So no, Robert, I don't think the two things were even remotely comparable. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech focused entirely on what America and the military had accomplished. Obama's speech was all about him.

Oh, and by the way -- if you'll look at the start of Bush's speech, you'll see that he was announcing the end of major combat operations (which did, indeed, end -- the US faced no further opposition from military forces) and stating that the work of securing the country remained ahead.

So no, Robert -- it was in no sense premature. It just required people to pay attention, and few did. Such is the modern world of the TV news soundbite.

MayBee said...

The idea that Obama would have taken heat for a failed mission seems to have no basis, considering a helicopter full of SEALs got shot down a few months later and Obama got very little heat for that.

We weren't told, really, what they were up to. We usually are not.
Had the Bin Laden raid failed, we never would have known it was to be the Bin Laden raid.

MayBee said...

Obama doesn't just take credit, but he also seems to use the team to set up dramatic successes for himself.

Or at least, that's how it appeared when he ordered the SEALs to rescue two hostages in Somalia in January. He set it up so he could deliver the SOTU, then have the rescue announced, and recapture that "steely nerves/poker face" moment.

I can see why SEALs would object to that kind of Presidential showboating. They don't want to be prop in his personal hero campaign.

MayBee said...

A reminder about the SOTU SEALs Obama shenanigans.

Bruce Hayden said...

The interesting thing to me about the Swift Boat incident during the 2004 election, was how differently it was viewed on the right and on the left. We have seen evidence of this here - with the left still believing that the Swift Boat ads were immediately debunked, while the right believes the opposite, that they were never debunked, but rather, it was a he says/he says sort of debate, with the ratio being maybe 50/1 in favor of the Swift Boat people. And, to this day, these two views of history remain. Which is why, when the left raises the specter of "Swift Boating" Obama, the right doesn't see what was wrong with it. Many of those on the right who aren't trying to survive within a liberal bubble, see the left's Swift Boat claims as their fear of effective fact-based ads run against their candidates.

And, this is esp. true because the most effective Swift Boat ad, the one that lost so many Vietnam Vets from voting for Kerry, was essentially a video of him testifying before Congress about how the American soldiers in Vietnam committed atrocities. It was in his own words, his own voice, and so wasn't a he says/he says sort of thing. And, far more devastating as a result.

I talked to a number of Vietnam vets in that time frame, and very few of them voted for Kerry, and this ad was one of the big reasons. Some had never voted for a Republican in their lifetimes, but made the exception for voting against the guy who essentially claimed that they had committed war crimes.

Finally, the other thing that was interesting here was that the Swift Boat group really never spent all that much money on running their ads. Rather, their ads were so notorious, that they got a lot of play as news.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Revenant, it was not Bush's words, necessarily, that were self-aggrandizing. It was the spectacle...the visual of him garbed for no practical reason in the fighter pilot flight suit, along with the banner behind him that declared "Mission Accomplished."

The (not so) covert message was "I (Bush) am a warrior and I accomplished this mission." He wasn't a warrior and not only did he not accomplish the mission, the mission--whatever it was--had not been accomplished at all.

Where there are words and images, images will often, if not usually, trump words in conveying a message that will be retained in the public mind.

Robert Cook said...

creely23, thank you for providing another source that supports what I have read on more than one occasion regarding soldiers resistance to firing at the enemy in battle, especially considering you are not in agreement with my views.

I am still willing to accept that such assertions about soldiers' behavior in war may not be definitively substantiated or may even be erroneous, if others have found such conclusions to be either inadequately supported by data or to have been refuted.

James Graham said...

All you need to know about Kerry.


Number of Purple Hearts awarded to Kerry: three.

Number of days Kerry spent in hospital recovering from his wounds: zero.

creeley23 said...

As I said earlier, his conclusion is wrong. Firing your weapon marks your position. They didn't fire their weapons because of self-preservation, not out of any "innate resistance to killing"

Fen: I'm sure soldiers refrain from firing for that reason. However, that does not prove they don't fire for other reasons, including the innate resistance to killing which Grossman claims.

As far as I can tell, Grossman's credentials as an Army Ranger and West Point psychology professor are in order. (The only thing that bothers me is "killology," the unserious name of his website.) If Grossman says that there is an "innate resistance to killing" and that the US military developed programs to desensitize soldiers so that they shoot and kill more effectively, I'll believe him until someone provides substantial cites otherwise.

Robert Cook said...

I think it speaks to our innate goodness that we have a resistance to killing others of our own kind...I would be terrified to think we all could kill without hesitation or difficulty or remorse. Those who can kill readily and without regret are psychopaths.

The way in which we speak of wars--justifying them as "necessary to defend our freedom" (or the freedom of others)--rarely, they are, mostly they aren't--and valorize soldiers as selfless heroes, one and all--many may be, but many certainly aren't--is all about denying our own horror at the reality of it: war is murder on a mass scale...brutal and irredeemable, and appalling to our normal sensibilities as human beings. We must elevate war and warriors in our discourse to avoid acknowledging our complicity and to absolve ourselves of our guilt.

Robert Cook said...

I'll add this is true of every country: in order to justify the prolonged orgy of barbarity which war entails, every country at war elevates themselves and their cause and demonizes those they are at war with.

Mike said...

Cook, the flight suit was necessary because he flew the plane from San Diego to meet them in the Pacific. I know you Bush haters don't like to admit that he trained as a pilot and could have been called up to duty during Viet Nam, but it's true. That you, sitting behind a keyboard and venting EIGHT years later are still peeved at this act and have the gall to call Bush a "chickenhawk" is disgusting! Chickens don't fly fighter planes. I've seen enough crashes of fighters to know that its not as safe as you deluded liberals seem to think.

It is astounding to me how many people are in love with the myth of those two wars. Go back and read the contemporary news accounts. Congress debated the war in Iraq for six months, and a bipartisan SUPER-MAJORITY authorized the "use of force" bill, our modern day equivalent of declaring war. What part of taking responsibility for their votes do Democrats not understand?

creeley23 said...

Robert Cook: It's true that people fight wars for more than strict self-defense. You are welcome to your near-pacifist conditions for war, but yours is a minority opinion. Even St. Augustine allowed far broader justifications for war than you do.

We fought the Revolutionary War and Civil War -- the two most important wars in our history -- not in self-defense but for principles. If those were not acceptable to you, so be it, but don't imagine that you survey the battlefields from a vast and superior moral height.

You elevate yourself, sir, and many of us find your opinions vain and repugnant.

Robert Cook said...

"Cook, the flight suit was necessary because he flew the plane from San Diego to meet them in the Pacific."

Hahahaha!

If you want to believe Bush piloted that jet, by all means do so...I don't, no matter what he or others may have claimed.

Also, the carrier was only 30 miles off the coast; he could have (and any other President would have) been helicoptered out there for his speech.

The whole thing was theater...pure propaganda meant to depict Bush as the warrior he never was.

Robert Cook said...

"Congress debated the war in Iraq for six months, and a bipartisan SUPER-MAJORITY authorized the 'use of force' bill, our modern day equivalent of declaring war. What part of taking responsibility for their votes do Democrats not understand?"

I doubt very much the six months of harrumphing can be called a real "debate." Rather, they allowed Bush and Cheney to present a carefully tailored argument for a trumped up war, fitted out with propaganda and all the trimmings, and Congress, in the end, capitulated to a crime.

And why do we have a "modern day equivalent of declaring war",? Why didn't Congress simply declare war? Where in the Constitution is this alternative approach provided for? Congress simply ceded their authority to the President, either to evade their own responsibility, or, more likely, to establish the principle formally that the President may do that which the founders were most horrified of: start wars at his own discretion and on his own authority.

Everyone who voted to allow the war to happen, Republican and Democrat, is complicit in the crime of the war.

Mike said...

There you go again, Cook: ...the warrior he never was. You just can't admit that a man who trains to be a fighter, practices piloting his aircraft in simulated combat and risks his life for his country is a warrior. You despise him for who he is but also deny him for what he has done. You don't even see how foolish your own words are.

Is my brother who repaired tanks in Desert Storm a warrior? After all, he never shot the enemy! Is my father a warrior for serving in Greenland, decoding signals? Just how does one acquire Cook's approval to be called a warrior? What proof is required?

Mike said...

Shorter Cook: If I don't like the outcome, then bipartisan authorizations = Bush's War. How convenient and pathetic. Your logic sucks, Dude.

You really ought to work for Aaron Sorkin because he could use your powers of rewriting history to punch up the dialogue a little more on the execrable "Newsroom."

Synova said...

The problem, or perhaps the ridiculous illogic, with the "inherently not killers" is that it's a Historically insupportable premise.

It's a faith based belief system.

Humans are predators. And while we may protect our own, the challenge has always been to socially reinforce morality and limits on behavior. If our NATURE was one that was inherently peaceful crime fighting would be like pushing a rock downhill. Our efforts would be multiplied by natural tendencies.

The claims that WE do not naturally kill (ignoring that we've been socialized against our nature) is self gratifying fantasy. It lets us think comfortable things about ourselves.

The Historical development of military tactics and discipline has two main components related to combat. (The rest is related to "movement".)

Robert Cook said...

Mike, the whole point of Bush's father pulling strings to get W. into the Texas Air National Guard was to insure his son would never have to go to Viet Nam.

Mike said...

Cook, good to know that you can read Bush fils mind in the same way you read W's. You are a truly outstanding example...

Synova said...

Military discipline is about keeping soldiers alive because they've been trained to maintain formation through their terror. The Roman advancements required everyone working together, everyone doing their part without fail in a chaotic environment. You knew that the person holding the shield that protected you wouldn't break and run.

Modern warfare is a lot the same. You've got highly trained individuals that have been conditioned in ways that are contrary to instinct but known to improve survival. One of these (so I'm told) is moving forward into a firefight. Every instinct says not to do this.

Note that in neither cases, the Romans or the modern us military, are we talking about untrained peasants given a pike against canon or minimally trained conscripts with a bayonet and a trench shovel.

It doesn't surprise me at all that so many soldiers didn't shoot their weapons. First, you need to expose yourself and second, you need something to shoot at.

I suspect that the ridiculous "line up in two lines, first line fire, second step through.first reload second fire," etc. Had few to no-one who didn't fire their weapons.

The second and probably more important purpose of military discipline in combat, and what directly contradicts the idea that we do not naturally kill is that it's easy to get a bunch of humans to attack and kill another group of humans.

The hard part is getting them to stop.

When military discipline breaks down the result is NOT that every one stops killing each other.

The result is massacre.

Military discipline is about conditioning humans prone to killing, pillage rape and plunder, to STOP merely because a wet behind the ears LT with a side arm told them to.

Synova said...

The interpretation of "shooting over their heads" as not wanting to kill people is entirely ridiculous. "Spray and Pray" isn't about praying you don't hit anyone, it's about praying that you accidentally do actually hit someone... you just don't want to die while you've got your head popped up looking for someone to actually aim at.

It's one thing to do a "study" and quite another to assume to know why the results are what they are.

It's only at the level of hearsay... as in "I heard"... I *heard* that one type of unit tactic involves a number of troops who's job it is to lay down lots of fire, but they really aren't expected to hit much of anything. That's the *plan*. Hitting the enemy is a bonus, but it's all about keeping the other side pinned down... so a couple of others can keep their heads up enough, without getting killed, to actually aim. That's the *plan*.

So someone doing a "study" would look at the stats and say... out of 15 people, three of them didn't fire their weapons at all and 10 people shot over the heads of the enemy and probably between them all killed two people and two guys killed 32 Al Qaeda insurgents.

So obviously the 10 guys who shot over the enemy's heads are naturally adverse to killing people?

Maybe the Al Qaeda "spray and prayers" are naturally adverse to killing people?

Yes, it's NICE to think that maybe humans are naturally good and would naturally live in peace and cooperative harmony. It's why people like to think so so very hard.

Revenant said...

It was the spectacle...the visual of him garbed for no practical reason in the fighter pilot flight suit, along with the banner behind him that declared "Mission Accomplished."

Arriving in a fighter jet is a practical reason for wearing a flight suit. As for the complaint about the banner, I stand by my earlier comment that you don't know what "self-aggrandizing" means. :)

The (not so) covert message was "I (Bush) am a warrior and I accomplished this mission."

Are you high? Stop relying on your subjective impressions and pay attention to what the man actually said and did.

Revenant said...

was to insure his son would never have to go to Viet Nam.

The amusing thing about the above rant -- aside from its being unsupported by evidence -- is that, given your past comments about Vietnam, it works out to "Bush avoided being sent to murder innocent civilians in an illegal war".

shiloh said...


"The whole thing was theater...pure propaganda meant to depict Bush as the warrior he never was."

Period, end of story. But it's nice to see Althouse cons continuing to rationalize/apologixe for Bush41's little boy.

"We'd" be disappointed otherwise lol.

Again, there's a reason Bush didn't show up at the 2008 Rep convention and won't attend this year's convention as well. He's ((( persona non grata ))) to most rational cons, unlike the fools who post at this blog!

Robert Cook said...

"'...was to insure his son would never have to go to Viet Nam.'

"The amusing thing about the above rant -- aside from its being unsupported by evidence -- is that, given your past comments about Vietnam, it works out to 'Bush avoided being sent to murder innocent civilians in an illegal war'".


Hey, I have no problem with that, or with anyone that used whatever means they had available to avoid being drafted to go to Viet Nam.

However, it is the after the fact masquerade that Bush was a resolute Commander in Chief, a former sort-of almost warrior himself, that grates.

It's that he was a phony.

But at least he did serve in the Air Guard and, until he flaked out in his final year, he flew jets. Cheney is more contemptible, given that he obtained numerous deferments to avoid serving in the military during the Viet Nam years because "he had other priorities", as I think he put it. And yet he had no compunctions about sending others to war for nothing, kill and die or be maimed physically or mentally...for nothing.

It's too bad there is no Hell, as Cheney would surely suffer eternal torment there if there was.

Synova said...

So Cook...

If General Mattis goes on to a political career it would be *completely different* if he sent others to war for nothing, to be maimed or killed or die for nothing?

(Not that I think that Mattis ever would go into politics but it would be... refreshing.)

Revenant said...

Cheney was the Vice President, Robert. The Vice President doesn't send troops anywhere.

In any event, we have a volunteer military. Soldiers choose to submit to being sent into war. Given that you think they're murderers anyway I don't know why you'd feel sympathy for them...

Robert Cook said...

"Cheney was the Vice President, Robert. The Vice President doesn't send troops anywhere."

Hahahahahaha!

Revenant said...

Hahahahahaha!

Let me guess -- you're one of those fruitcakes who thinks Cheney was the real President from '01 to '09.

Robert Cook said...

"If General Mattis goes on to a political career it would be *completely different* if he sent others to war for nothing, to be maimed or killed or die for nothing?"

You avoid my point too studiously, Synova.

If one very successfully took steps to avoid going to war as a young man, one should not, as an older man in a very public position of responsibility, pose as a pretend fighter pilot.

Robert Cook said...

Revenant, I think Cheney had a lot to do with our going to war in Iraq.

Jason said...

Christ, Cook, you are an ignorant man.

Synova said...

The point is, Cook, that your point is full of internal inconsistencies.

I'm only pointing out where your reasoning goes awry. The nature of the war itself is independent of the veteran status of the political leaders that commit us to it.

Full stop.

Be it Clinton ordering us to Bosnia or Bush to Iraq or Obama to Libya or a hypothetical Mattis declaring war on Mars after the Martian Defense Force destroys Curiosity... the wisdom and the morality of any of those conflicts (even war with Mars) has nothing at all to do with the veteran status of the person ordering it.

At the best the "chicken-hawk" argument is a logical fallacy based on wishful thinking that someone with military or war experience would be less cavalier in their decision making. But mostly it's dishonesty since no one ever making a chicken-hawk argument is so much as suggesting that they would prefer that military service be a requirement for national office.

So it's really just a lie. You don't want a President Mattis, you know you don't.

And lastly, President Bush is a *real* fighter pilot by any and all definitions of the word. He flew military fighter jets. He flew old, dangerous, military fighter jets. I've no doubt he sat second seat and not first on that flight, and I've no doubt he neither took off nor landed. But flew? Hell yes he flew. There is no possible reality where that man sat in a modern fighter jet without his hands on the controls. Probably even let him roll it.

Synova said...

Also, I'll say this.

If Obama or Clinton did a carrier landing in a fighter it *might* be that they never realized how dangerous it is. Every. Time.

Bush knew.

Yes, it was balzy grandstanding, but is was BALZY grandstanding.

Stop whining about it.

Revenant said...

Revenant, I think Cheney had a lot to do with our going to war in Iraq.

I doubt you think very much about the issue at all, Robert. You just repeat the usual talking points and move on.

But do let me know when you find a final resting place for those goalposts. :)

Revenant said...

I'm only pointing out where your reasoning goes awry.

You're giving him (and the other fans of the chickenhawk argument) too much credit if you think they have principled reasons for their position.

Their reasoning is simply this: since only a small (and shrinking) fraction of our population are veterans, if only veterans are allowed to support war then war will be impossible -- regardless of the percentage of veterans that support it. It isn't about the so-called "hypocrisy" of war supporters; it is a simple attempt to subvert democracy by excluding the majority of the population from having a say.

Robert Cook said...

"I doubt you think very much about the issue at all, Robert."

You're welcome to your doubts, Revenant. They don't bother me none, as the man said.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Once again, Synova, you avoid my point.

I don't think it necessary that a person who is President while we are in the unfortunate circumstance of being at war be a veteran of war. I think a President who never went to war should not strut around in military togs as if he were or had been a veteran of war.

The germ of this thread was about Obama's self-aggrandizing claim to have killed Osama bin Laden. Well, if it is true that he ordered the hit, then his claim does have legitimacy. (He certainly has never tried to depict himself as the man on the scene who put the bullet in Osama's head.)

Well, if his assumption of responsibility for the killing of bin Laden is seen as grand-standing by some (or many), Bush's jet landing onto the carrier can be seen as nothing less. The vessel was only 30 miles or so offshore and Bush could have got there by helicopter. That he was ridden out in a jet--claiming to have flown it (as if)--and got out in his flight suit to parade across deck to be photographed and filmed, was purely PR hype, a propaganda event, a lie. The whole point of the stunt was to have Bush photographed in the flight suit, to impress into public consciousness the iconic image of "Bush as warrior."

Obviously, you will find reasons to excuse the lie as "true," but sayin' don't make it so.

Aridog said...

Revenant said...

Let me guess -- you're one of those fruitcakes who thinks Cheney was the real President from '01 to '09.

Sho'nuff ....jess like Valerie Jarret is the real President today!

// --------- :O

Robert Cook said...

By the way, I have a dirty little secret...I bought one of the action figures of Bush in his flight suit!

It was a perverse impulse that compelled me to get it, and it pleases me somehow to have it.

Robert Cook said...

No, Aridog, Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein and their colleagues in the firmament of financial industry chief executives, as a body, act as the hydra-headed real President of the United States.

Revenant said...

I think a President who never went to war should not strut around in military togs as if he were or had been a veteran of war.

He was wearing a flight suit because he had just been flying a military jet, Robert.

And your whining about not being a veteran "of war" notwithstanding, he did serve in the military during wartime. He didn't shoot at the enemy or get shot at by them, but that describes the vast majority of wartime soldiers.

Synova said...

Oh Robert, but you see that I'm a veteran of war... I've got the ribbon that says so, even though I gotno where near it. And even if I did I'd have been as far behind the wire as possible sitting in a communication Center with air conditioning every day.

You are speaking to someone who is highly attuned to the need to avoid presumption, who knows very well that those on the pointy end are something else and who has a great deal of awe and respect for them.

But support troops are soldiers, too, and airmen and sailors. Too. And they appreciate being appreciated because they ave proud of their Service, too. They know their worth even if you do not.

So do not presume, Cook, to defend my honor. Do not presume to know how the crew of the Lincoln received the visit of the President. You just sound stupid.