Friday, August 20, 2004

The Left's Continuing Attempts to Squash Dissent

If memory serves me, it has always been the Democrats that have called for campaign finance reform. Two years ago they finally got their wish when President Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law. Since ‘free speech’ is usually thought of as a liberal cause, I can only assume that the cry for this law came from the perception that the Democrats would never match Republican money –one of those ‘do what I say not what I do’ kinda things…(like talking about the environment and having five mansions and two private jets). I digress…

Anyway, they left a loop-hole –and , surprise surprise…it has been the Democrats that have capitalized on this blip in the law (I guess they feel since they fought for it they can exploit it). 527s. The list of 527s (tax exempt –non party affiliated groups) is endless and both the left and the right have them (ACT, Sierra Club, Right to Life, Moveon, etc.). Would you be surprised to know that the bulk of the money raised through these groups has been spent by the left in an all-out offensive against the President…87% to be exact –that means that only 13% has been used for conservative causes. No one complained when Moveon.org was raising and spending money hand over fist –or when Michael Moore’s movie came out –or when Paul O’Neill/Joe Wilson/Richard Clarke’s books were released. There was a lot of press coverage from the main steam media for each happening. This was all Ok…freedom of speech…the right of the people to have their voices heard –and I agree. It would be nice if it ended there right, but it doesn’t.

Enter Swift Boat Vets for Truth and all hell breaks loose...

Accusations of:

*‘Rich Republican donors’- Ok a Republican guy in Texas gave $100,000 (chump change in the 527 business) –How much money has George Soros given? I’ll tell you. 15 MILLION because his “only cause in life is to make sure that George Bush is defeated”.

*‘Ties to the White House’: This law does not say that the contributors can’t be (D)’s or (R)s –it says that they can’t coordinate with the campaign. They can be against a candidate but just can’t endorse one –do you think there are any conservatives donating to ACT or Moveon? Let’s go into that a bit more…Harold Ikes was a super-delegate at the DNC convention and sits on the board of a 527. Bill Richardson is the head of Kerry’s NM election campaign and sits on the board of a 527. Where is the report in the NYT about that? Also, isn’t it an amazing coincidence that the day the Kerry campaign announced that they had decided to stop running ads to conserve money, the 527s started running their ads for him…that wasn’t coordinated? Please.

Today Kerry’s campaign stooped to an all time low when they files a suit against SBVT with the FEC trying to get ads pulled and trying to get the publisher of "Unfit for Command" to pull it from the shelves. Wow. So much for Freedom of Speech. A representative from Kerry’s campaign today referred to these 254 veterans, who fought and bled for their country, as ‘so called swiftvets’. ..'so-called'-- That, my friends, is repugnant. It did, however, get the mainstream media involved -finally– because this wasn’t big news before today (sarcasm).

The SBVT opened a new chapter of their effort to expose JK today with a new ad that features POWs. I am anxious to see if the POWs are disparaged and denigrated as the decorated veterans have been. Paul Galanti is one of those POWs in the ad (a native of Philadelphia). He was held in Viet Nam for seven years and was played tapes of John Kerry’s speech and told by his captors, “You will never leave here –do you hear that your own Naval Officer says you are a war criminal”. Galanti goes on to describe events prior to JK’s testimony: they were starved, beaten and tortured to get them to say this –that they were war criminals…and they held out. He says that beatings and torture increased after that 1971 testimony. John McCain has made many of the same accusations against Kerry in the past.

So the party of the ACLU, the party heralded for championing the rights of the people to ensure free speech is not only suing to stop free speech, but suing to stop the free speech of the very men that fought and bled to protect it-- and suing to prevent the loop-hole that they have so efficiently utilized (Wasn’t it also the left that put protesters in a cage in Boston?) They sat by as 87% of the 527 money was spent to hurt Bush (so far 63 million), but as soon as the tables are turned they are screaming foul play (swift vets have spent 1 million). Whether you find yourself on the left or the right, you will have to admit that this is more than disingenuous –it is fascist and repugnant.

…or, just another flip-flop.

30 comments:

muslims911forkerry said...

When Kerry win we make you wear Burka you not be so hot looking then! Long live Kerry!! Death to Bush!!

Kat said...

ahahahhaa...I thought I was going to get the first comment in, but I see that I was beaten by a fake muslim.

ALa...this has got to be the ultimate compliment, getting opponents from outside of our small group.

For the record, the day that burqa's are sold in the local K-Mart will be the day I go "Rambo".

And, for the record, I think people should practice their religion. They should be allowed to try to convert people. Generally, I don't find any religion to be "bad" if they are just giving people guidance on how to live happily, be nice towards others, do charity work, etc. The day a religion decides that it is a political entity or a source of government, like using Shari'a law parallel to secular laws, force people to pray a certain way, worship only one God, force rolls based on gender, ethnicity, religion, etc is the day that religion is now a rogue religion.

Those laws cannot coincide with the rule of law as they negate the very freedom that makes us who we are.

Muslims911forKerry...I have been looking around lately for those Muslim Concentration Camps with thousands of Muslims contained for no reason except their religion that Bush put in place and haven't found any yet. Could it be he is only interested in the folks that want to buy stinger missiles and RPGs and raise money for terrorist...er..mulsim charities?

If you are afraid, you should ask yourself what you have done lately to be afraid. If you think it's only because you are Muslim, you are paranoid.

But...just so we know that the Muslim population in America is BiPartisan, here's a site or you:
http://www.amaweb.org/election2000/ampcc_endorses.htm

there's another site I will find, but it's basically, American Muslim's for Bush. So...I guess not all muslim's think they are persecuted.

On the dissent thing..I do find that very interesting that Kerry would have Michael Moore at the convention and never say a word. No one from the Bush administration or campaign ever went around and told theater's not to play the movie or threatened them with law suits. didn't do it over the hitler thing either, although, the Kerry gang was certainly gung ho to try to pin the Bush re-buttal as a "Kerry as hitler" ad that nearly cracked me up. I couldn't believe they were even going there after the whole bushitler screed from their little 527s. And now this...from what I can see, the actual swiftboatvet's ad's aren't actually attacking his medals so much as they are attacking him. If the FEC tries to pull that ad down, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be all sorts of law suits flying against moveon.org.

Maybe this is a VRWC thing? Force the Dems to be the first to cry "foul" and let THEM open up the watershed to 527 shut downs. One ruling on this matter and the whole group goes to hell. Brilliant plan.

redleg said...

Free Speech rules....

The dems are very angry that SBVTs ads are actually effective and that 87% of their money has been ill spent. The truth evedently resonates...

Maybe that's why they want it, need it shut down

91ghost said...

Another thought provoking post...again, I always feel like I'm listening to a talk radio program when reading your stuff. This one in particular has potential for some serious heated debate...interested to see what TWD will say as I am sure he is going to respond in-kind.

My only comment on this is that this is right up there with the newspaper stealings that have become all too common on college campuses (to include UPenn):a piece will appear in the college paper that is not "approved" by the leftist groups on campus and the next thing you know, all the papers have been literally stolen before distribution--tactics very much akin to the Brownshirts of 1930s Germany. At UPenn, the perpetrators got caught, but the UPenn President refused to take any disciplinary action against them...

redleg said...

that is interesting about stealing the newspapers

And I guess if you cannot formulate an effective argument, censorship is the next thing resorted to. They should have hammered them if they were caught. In a free and open debate they should have posed their counter points and brought up their issues. The only thing they did there was invalidate their argument. Now they're just the guys who steal newspapers. And it is reminiscent of the Brownshirts, and many other historical groups out there who can only resort to brute force. Democracy can be scary, especially to those who are afraid of the opposing viewpoint...no mater what it may be.

And because I can't help throwing in a shot...the same goes for calling for another campaign to pull attack ads and book that are not officially tied with your opponent when your campaign has refused to the same with their 527 organizations. That should throw a little chum in the water for TWD and Tom. Go at it boys. (evil grin)

leftyjones said...

91Ghost,
The reason you feel like you are listening to talk radio is because you ARE listening to talk radio. Our friend Ala71 should change her page to BLONDE HANNITY because this entire article is a paraphrased rebroadcast of one of his show segments from today. Now, there is nothing wrong with doing that but I must admit that I find it funny when people come along fawing over Ala71's brilliant comments and I sit here scratching my head thinking....do they not realize that this is regurgitated Rush and Hannity or did they just miss today's show?
This is not to say that Ala71 is not brilliant or a great writer. She is at her witty best when arguing in the comment sections and I always enjoy the thick layers of partisan spin that she spreads around.

As for the issue posted. Seems pretty simple to me...Libel someone ( this means using lies my Republican friends, its a concept you are familiar with) or clearly violate campaign laws and you should have the ads stopped or face legal sanctions. That goes for either side. End of story. I won't pretend that there aren't 527's out there that are stretching the rules on both sides so quit acting like your lying bastard SBV's aren't doing the same.
Break the rules, face the penalties. Seems clear cut enough.
For instance, if I ran an ad showing Bush in a classroom reading to kids with a bewildered look on his face and then let the ad run for the full seven plus minutes he knew the WTC's were under attack and then when he finally left, documented that he spent the next several hours running away.....
well, you couldn't do anything because it's the truth but if it were a direct provable lie, I think you should have recourse to demand that libel be removed from the campaign.
You can still slant, stretch truth, talk records, facts whatever you want....just not libel.
I personally think it would help the voters if quotes taken out of context to intentionally mislead would have to be used in the context they were delivered but hey, I'll admit it....it's not going to happen.

Here's a thought aLA71, quit whining about money- (there's nothing funnier than a republican complaining about either unfairness or how much money has been raised.)
You've got two short months to keep spreading the gospel of deceit...I wouldn't want to see you get distracted with this martyr platform.

ALa said...

That's amazing Lefty...BUT if you would have stopped by the Anonymous Rowhouse you would have seen that I spent the day on a lizard-filled play date with Justrose and little P yesterday....I did not get to hear Mr. Hannity -I must be clairvoyant --or great minds think alike. I did get to hear the interview with Paul Galanti when I got home -on Dom's show (and I thought I would share that as it was his first interview since the ad). I know you guys seem to need those Terry McAwful/DNC talking points...what you don't realize is when the glaring truth is on your side -you don't need someone else to point it out for you....

redleg said...

Lefty

don't be mad because an ad hit the target and your didn't. The SBVTs hit home with voters and veterans. The liberal 527s 61 million dollars worth of attack ads didn't. And you can proove the same shadowy connections to the DNC as you can with SBVT with the RNC. Bottomline- neither side broke election law, it's a loophole in the election law that the DNC is exploiting quite shamelessly. Now the DNC is mad that SBVTs ads are having an effect. I wonder why. The truth hurts, and it resonates. Your candidate has whatever character the wind tells him to, and he is an astute chameleon. Please don't call MOH winner MG Brady and POWs into the "so called" veterans the liberal attackers have already branded the SBVTs group. The character of your candidate is in question because he himself placed it into question. His testimony before the senate and actions with VVAW do that clearly. It is both legal and fair in the context in which the 527s operate. Attack ads work. The Congress allowed (and DNC supported) McCain-Feingold. 527s operate in the loophole and the DNC has been most successful in operating in the gap. Now you are mad because a conservative group is exercising their right to be heard. I would support you in your supposition that this is foul if you would censor what the left wing 527s are doing and have done with 87% of the money spent by 527s in this campaign. Don't be mad simply because the SBVT organization ads are effective because it sheds light on the absolute lack of character John Kerry has brought with him as his political legacy.

But that's what you get when you just want a candidate that can beat George Bush. Peace at any price? Sound familiar?

ALa said...

And maybe it's just me...but to say 'lying bastard swift boat vets' about these guys who served our country and risked their lives REALLY bothers me...especially from one who was talking about going to Canada if there was a draft in the first Gulf War. It is REALLY wrong for you guys to say that kinda shit about them -you have NO idea and you are taking the word of ONE man who was there for FOUR months and WROTE HIS OWN ACTION REPORTS (who does that) and REQUESTED HIS OWN MEDALS (who does that) over TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR MEN who served their FULL TOUR OF DUTY. It is bullshit and it is foolhardy and it disgraces all other vets that served honorably and didn't flout their own service. You can choose to believe Kerry, but don't disparage men that have done what you would not. That goes for you too TWD -I know you were a drill Sgt., but you have never said whether you saw combat. I heard a General the other day that said 'When there are rumblings within the troops -there is almost always a problem'....now you went and made me ‘cuss’ in the public domain…

redleg said...

I don't like to say bad things about Wes Clark. But I will. Couldn't bomb a third world nation into stopping genocide until 73 days after he started...and known as a screamer and zero defect manager for most of his career. He spent his whole career ignoring the soldiers under his command and vying for favor from the politicians and generals above. He really should not talk about an Administration that can actually, effectively wage modern war.

No wonder he is Democrat now.

leftyjones said...

Practice reading AND comprehending and then write me back. I'm not going to rewrite my entire post again. I said if either side violates campaign rules or illegally uses 527's they should face some type of sanction.

I said, "Break the rules, face the penalties. Seems clear cut enough."

I said, "You can still slant, stretch truth, talk records, facts whatever you want....just not libel."

and I said,"Libel someone ....... or clearly violate campaign laws and you should have the ads stopped or face legal sanctions. That goes for either side. End of story. I won't pretend that there aren't 527's out there that are stretching the rules on both sides..."

Ala71, we have had some fun debates on here and I've enjoyed them. Be very careful before you start quoting what you think I said 13 or 14 years ago. You may find you were wrong and you may find you were thinking of something one of our other friends said. It's not a game I'm going to play. Don't bring spin into my personal life. Was there "talk" amongst our friends of going to Canada if there was a draft....we both know there was. I also for one know that it was not in my apartment but in my house,(Warrington)took place amongst my guy friends several times and that you were not there. Are you damn sure that I said I was on my way out of here if there was a draft?? Damn sure? I've got witnesses and a willingness to take a lie detector test that says you're not. We can broadcast it over the net if you feel so confident. And when you're wrong...you can then be filmed voting for Kerry.
One other thing, to selectively honor vets is disgraceful. You'd peel the skin off of Kerry before giving him any credit but these guys you know almost nothing about are Christlike pure to you. Let's subject their lives to the a similar microscope and see how they stack up. Everyday more is coming out about them. How 'bout the Vets that support Kerry AND his claims from Vietnam. You believe them or you don't and if you don't you're calling them liars. Admit Kerry and the vets that ACTUALLY served with him aren't liars and I'll retract my "lying bastards" comment.
A vet can have served his country well and not have been a good citizen after the fact. That may prove to be the case about a number of these guys, maybe it won't but they signed up for this microscope and now they are getting it.

Last thing- create an ad that works and gets great attention without directly lying and I'll give you credit. Either party. It can even be meanspirited if you like. I love the study of what media works and what doesn't and will always give credit to a good campaign. I don't care if Bush, sorry....Republicans have 10 more 527 ads that hit their mark provided they are not LYING.
I said that all before.

ALa said...

I do sometimes feel like I am talking to a wall. No one would have even thought to disparage Kerry's service had he not decided to run on four months instead of 20 years. It has always been the Dems that have said that they are scared of military control of civilian thought...but now they are trotting out the military and having them tell the general public who they should vote for. Don't retort with Repubs have done the same because the right has always heralded the military...it's not some new campaign novelty ploy. All of a sudden it's 'cool' on the left too.
Personally, I don't really care what you would or wouldn't have done in '91 --there wasn't a draft and was never going to be so hypotheticals are useless (it is always a ploy of the left before an election to start the 'draft talk'). My point was to say that I find your opinion on this a bit less credible because of it -sorry. Let's be honest here -we went to a private college prep school where military service wasn't in the cards for anyone...that's why I get mad hearing you say that Bush didn't serve and signed up for the ANG. You would've done the same. Kerry tried to get a deferment and was turned down, but he did go and I have never not given him credit for that. Everyone likes to talk about Cheney's deferments BUT what they don't say is that he had kids and no one with kids was drafted -they got deferments. I've actually been told that many of my parent's friend’s marriages and subsequent children were a direct result of that.
Do you see how ridiculous it sounds to say "you’re accusing me of not believing the 254 people when you don't believe the ONE person"? Nothing the SBVT have said have been "proven to be a lie" the only lie proven was Kerry's SEARED memory of Christmas in Cambodia -listening to NIXON who wasn't EVEN President yet... I will repeat what I said before that everyone conveniently skirted...
If you had money and people from the Texas ANG (who served with GWB) to verify that he wasn't there for a year --and you funded a commercial with them stating the facts --does it make it less credible that YOU (a lefty) financed it --who else would, certainly the other side wouldn't want it out there -especially if it was the truth. Obviously if they have not been sued for slander or libel they have not done it --as the Kerry campaign has sued for everything else.
Another DNC talking point -"these men did not serve with JK"...notice that TWD hasn't said this because the 4 - 6 people on his boat were not the only ones that 'served with him' there are SIXTY vets in the book who were on boats along side him EYEWITNESSES to the events...and as I said before probably more accurate witnesses as 'the fog of war' is a real thing and if you are taking fire the men on your boat are responding and have no idea what you are doing. Another DNC Clintonesque misconception is that Rassman was on Kerry's boat...no he was there for 2 or 3 days...
Anyway - I am content to know if these vets were against Bush they would have all the credibility in the world and if the Republicans ever tried to smear this many vets that were coming out against Bush there would be a firestorm of hail from the ACLU and the likes...That knowledge lets me sleep at night.

Bigandmean said...

Plucky Lefty,
Maybe having grown up in Texas I have a bit of a different propsective on things. Maybe in Philly the rules of general civility are different from the rules here. By my standards, you crossed the line of civility, especially towards a lady, when you accused Ala71 of plagarism and then used bully tactics to express yourself. We respect and honor women and consider it less than chivorous to verbally assault or bully them and will defend them against anyone who does. You should know, in case you ever come to Texas or anywhere in the deep south that we do not allow that to occur here.

The basic idea of her post has been repeated many times by many people in the last few days. It is not plagarism to discuss the same subject or to even paraphrase someone's else take on it. There is something called "fair use" which even allows others to use verbatim some parts of another's intellectual property without giving credit, although I don't believe she came close to even that.

Libel is the written and slander the spoken form of defamation of character. Truth is a perfect defense to a claim of defamation. Even if one is defamed by false written or spoken words repeated to third persons, there are no damages awarded if the person defamed already has a bad reputation. Lastly, politians and other public persons can not prove defamation unless they can show malice on the part of the accused which is almost impossible. If defamation laws were enforced the way you suggest, politicians could stymie debate by threatening law suits to prevent any discussion of possible embarraments - exactly what democrats are trying to do to the Swiftvets.

Kerry's one shot at Bush is to capitalize on an image of being a war hero. If that image is proven to be a false one, then Kerry's campaign is DOA. Having a hissy fit won't change that.

leftyjones said...

Plucky Bigandmean,

Exactly where is it down south they find it chivalrous to make fun of someone's wife who isn't even there to defend herself?? as you did in an earlier post....(see the very cool prom pictures)
Or perhaps your tone was one of jest? That's how I took it anyway....maybe I was wrong.
Plagiarism is a strong term...I know what it means which is why I used the term "paraphrased rebroadcast", it isn't quite the same thing. It also isn't a harsh accusation as every Right-wing talk show host does the same thing each day. They receive their talking points and off they go like the good little boys they are.....
It certainly wasn't intended to be anything more than a dig.....something we all do around here quite a bit.

I have known Ala71 a very long time and we haved argued in a civil fashion for probably every one of the years we have known each other. I certainly do not believe I used bully tactics to defend myself but I wasn't going to lie down like most people on the left tend to and have their character smeared and say nothing. While I don't believe Ala71 actually meant serious harm, the words written were pretty serious to me. I would re-read what was written and then tell me if I was too harsh and tell me who crossed the line. If you still find it was me......then I'm really not sure what to say to you.

Publicly charging someone with something tantamount to intended desertion is something I treat pretty seriously....whether it was in print, on the news or simply here in blogville. If it is true, I have no right to be here...no right to be commenting and no right to be arguing according to my ethics because it would also mean I wasn't willing to stand up when my turn came. If it is not true, I better damn well defend myself because I didn't see one other person come on here today and say that maybe those comments about me were too personal or went too far. I would apologize but I don't feel I went too far, I feel I went far enough to defend myself and to stop the conversation from getting any more personal.

I might add one more thing. I know no tougher debater than Ala71 and she plays politics like it's a full contact sport. I think while she would appreciate your chivalry, she might also admit to being as tough as any guy on here when it comes to expressing herself. I certainly don't think she would want people arguing softly with her because she's a woman.

As for the libel comments. Committing libel and prosecuting it are two very different things. I don't think it's asking too much to hope that out and out lies do not become part of the political add season but I can see the writing on the wall. We all lose when the game gets played that way but here we go.
And please don't worry about my candidate....I'm certainly not. Enjoy your weekend in the Lone Star State, you have a friend in Washington who will be coming home soon.

Ala71, I agree.....down with the heaviness, I'm looking forward to the lighter reading you talked about.

Kat said...

My own little family story of deferment....

In 1968, my parents were married. My Dad was 19, in 1969 I was born. My Dad was A1 for the draft (very eligible) but his number was a bit down the line. In 1970, my middle brother was born and my dad's number was in the play. My uncle, who was 18, knew my Dad might have to go, so he went and signed up. (Having children didn't make you ineligible for the draft, just lower on the totem pole). When he signed up, it took my father off the list and he was never drafted. 5 years ago, my uncle told me that he did it because he had less to lose and he didn't want my brother and me to be orphans.

Do I think less of my Dad? No...some went and some stayed home. My Dad became a police officer because he wanted to contribute something to society since he never served. Lack of military service never made a difference to me.

My uncle came back a different man. Not a war protestor. His anger was at not finishing the job. At being treated like a dog when he came back. He served two complete tours of duty and was only returned when the forces were being scaled down.

I will tell you something else, he did a lot more heroic things than Mr. Kerry. But he never threw it in anyone's face. He never claimed to be better than my father for serving when my father didn't. He did say that it made him a man instead of a spoiled boy.

Somebody standing up and putting their military service on the line as THE definition of his ability goes against the general romantacized version of the humble hero and I think that is what ticks people off. What is even worse, in my eyes, is not how he got the medals or what he did with them, but to claim that heroism after having smashed that same heroic image in 1971 for the thousands of returning veterans.

That is the basest form of hypocracy.

And let me tell you, that man has spent his entire career in killing the military over and over, with his votes against funding equipment, votes against pay increases, votes against veterans services. Let him say what he wants, but his voting record says differently. And then, the final insult to these men was his bogus chairing of the POW committee in congress where he effectively shut the jail door for the last time on any POWs that ever remained in Viet Nam for the purpose of getting his "normalization" with Viet Nam proposal passed.

For him to give that creepy salute and say that he was "reporting for duty" and laying his little Viet Nam service out as his sole reason for being a good Commander In Chief is an insult beyond belief to all those who served and returned to the world after his little speech in 1971. Maybe I don't have the right, but I am sincerely pissed on behalf of Viet Nam veterans everywhere.

And, if his performance on the POW committee is any indicator, you can bet our boys will be forgotten in his interest of building his "ideal" world.

So..it's not his medals or whether he did something heroic. It's all he's done (or didn't do) in between that makes him unfit for command. He has wrapped Viet Nam around him as he belittled people wrapping the flag around themselves in the after math of 9/11 and now he can figure out why we think he's a hipocrit. Duh!

Bigandmean said...

Lefty,
I wasn't making fun of your wife. Your first impulse, that I was kidding was correct. I apologize if it appeared that I was serious. Of course, I don't know your wife but I'm sure she's a lovely woman.

I know Ala71 needs no help from me to take care of herself and I'm not suggesting that she be thrown softballs because she's a woman. I'll bet though, that she felt just as angry about being accused of using someone's else's creativeness and prsenting it as her own as you did when she made the remark about Canada. Also, you had called the swiftvets lying bastards and that lying was a concept that republicans were familiar with. It left me with the impression that you were saying "Ala71 stole someone else's creative work and is taking credit for it as though she did it herself and she lies to gain political advantage".

I may have misinterpreted your remarks and therefore been premature in my charge of less than chivarous behavior. I'll certainly take you at your word that no lack of civility was intended and leave it at that.

I'm glad you feel strongly about doing your duty if called upon and I'm sure you would have had you been called. Imagine how Dick Cheney feels when called a coward by Tom Harkin or a chicken hawk by others.

What we really need is a shorter campaign season....say like two weeks total. This one seems to have been going on for four years.

Let's all have a good week-end and take a vacation, albeit a short one from politics.

redleg said...

Ala71

great forum and great discussion. I know your memory is great but hypothetical discussions about the draft when there never was any attempt at reinstating a draft shold be left private. You can't know what you would do until your number comes down the line. Now that sounds like I'm siding with Lefty. What you say for effect after a few illicit beers in somebody's basement in high school or college is something different and needs to be placed in that context. Not that I advocate desertion.

My two cousins joined the military in 1964 and 1967 respectively. My first cousin joined the Seabees, the second joined the Army as diver. My first cousin went to Vietnam first and stayed for a second and third tour so his brother would not have to go. Two siblings did not have to serve in the war zone at the same time. A selfless act, and one that screwed my first cousin up for a little while. The decision was theirs and they broke no laws. My second cousin could have signed a waiver and gone, but he did not do that and got married instead. But both served honorably. I am proud of them both.

Kerry brought this to the table. If he is a war hero he should let the facts stand and engage in debate. Bush let his facts stand when he was slandered as a draft dodger (on Fox News yesterday that one is still going around) and for being AWOL. The story went away because there was no story. Kerry has to do the same or this one will kill him.

this we'll defend said...

Redleg, I don't want to get into the rest of this debate (because it is happening everywhere else anyway and you know my position on lying and the Swiftvets) but your comment on Wes Clark got to me. I know a lot of "screamers" but I don't recall Wes Clark being one. He was demanding as hell, often impatient, and sometimes condescending. But he was usually quite a gentleman.

As ALL general officers tend to be because they are gentlmen and also are demanding, impatient, and brilliant people and they never suffer fools gladly. As you well know.

You don't rise to the top in the combat arms by being a pushover - you do it by leading and imposing an incredible will on others, by being unrelenting in an demanding and competitive profession. But Clark always put soldiers first (which is the norm for general officers). He would savage a LTC who fucked up, but he would KILL an LTC who didn't take care of his troops.

He did great things at the NTC and often had to buck authority to do them, putting his career on the line for what was right.

When did you serve with Gen. Clark?

ALa said...

TWD: Let me jump in here. A couple of years ago (before anyone was thinking about a Presidential election) I saw wesley clark on some show I was watching. I ended up looking him up on line (why you ask? I am embarassed to say -because i thought he was sexy and i wanted to know who he was)...anyway, the more research I did the more more negative things that I found. This was before he 'was a democrat' and after he had praised Bush on several occasions -so I had no reason not to like him...Like anything out there i am sure the truth is somewhere in the middle, but just that you know that the negative stuff about him has been out there way before his presidential bid...

tescosuicide said...

Kat, God bless your father and your uncle.

I'm kinda lost.... from the outside looking in, what's going on with this swift boat vet thing?? I understand 254 vets are saying one thing vs. a couple of vets saying another...... By percentage alone, why wouldn't you believe the 254??
Lefty's going as far as prosecution! Libel is quite an accusation without actual facts. So I guess if majority really does rule, the 'couple' of vets should be prosecuted right?? Also, as far as prosecution is concerned - didn't Kerry ADMIT to war crimes??

ALa said...

I wanted to say publicly that I wrote lefty and email apologizing for bringing personal things into a public debate...It was wrong and I shouldn't have done it. Back then, everyone talked about running or shooting off toes -and redleg is right --it was 'basement beer talk, but I give myself enough credit to know that I wouldn't have been such close friends with people that wouldn't have stepped up had they been called. I have never -nor would I ever- accuse lefty of being unpatriotic -as I know he loves this country. I try to keep my temper in check but this swift boat subject sets me off --and I am sorry that Lefty had to pay for John Kerry's sins....

ALa said...

Big & Mean: I did take Lefty's comments as accusing me of plagarism --a very serious and upsetting charge to make to someone who was an English major....You can stick up for me anytime!

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Tescosuicide, Kerry did more than just "admit" to war crimes, he paraded the accusation around for nearly a decade before the Senate, and used that, his trashing of other veterans, and his ceremonious throw of medals onto the White House lawn in protest against the war in which he fought, as a platform on which to build his political career.

Interestingly, it was the REPUDIATION of his war record that made Kerry what he was for so long, politically. And then he comes back in a post-9/11 world to repaint himself and warm himself over as "Mr. Hawk", practically channeling some character from Apocalypse Now, or that "Get Some" door gunner in "Full Metal Jacket". Or Patton. We don't need SBVT to know, just by LOOKING at his droopy basset hound mug, that he was none of those. He's got the look of a wannabe all over him, and he'll go wherever the winds are shifting. When the bandwagon to jump on was anti-war, he went anti-war. When the bandwagon was to get all hawkish, he went hawkish.

And that's okay to a certain extent, but it's the trashing and slashing and thrashing of his fellow veterans along the way, marching over their careers in order to build his own, that rubs me so much the wrong way.

Trying to put myself in Kerry's magic CIA hat for a moment, if I were to testify to the Senate that the people I served with were war criminals, all the atrocities they supposedly did, and generally spitting on their name and their memory and the nature of their service all that time, and built a career on that in politics, and these people I trashed later came back at me to question some of my claims of being a "war hero", I would at least understand it for the Karma it is, coming back to haunt me for all the damage I did to them.

Fortunately for me I've never trashed any of the people I served with. Most of them were great guys. None that I knew personally were war heroes, but definitely none were war criminals. They did their job, they did it well, and they did it so well, as a team, that nobody HAD to perform unnaturally brave acts to save anyone else. Nor was there ever any time for killing civilians or that litany of horse crap Kerry piles on thick about what his unit supposedly did. We worked hard, and we played hard, and we drank hard, and... well, that's enough "sharing" for one post, LOL.

redleg said...

TWD

I would have figured you would have liked Wes Clark. I knew him from a BCTP he gave our Division many moons ago. And he was a screamer. A perfectionist who decided to start a war without having a plan to finish it and then got fired. My father in law knew him too. After he retired he was one of the "guys in ties" who worked for him for a time as well as knowing him on active duty. My impression was that he was not interested in his troops but only what his troops performance would mean at promotion time.

redleg said...

Twd

one last comment on Clark though. If you knew him NTC, I would caution you that the CTCs are a perfect environment-- little goes wrong for the OCs or the command group and grace under fire there does not mean the same in the outside world when everything is going wrong. I only say this because a GO I served with at JRTC, who was warm, witty, tactically brilliant and a pleasure to serve with at JRTC, turned into a micromanaging monster once he came to our Division to command during Iraq. Lack of control is a bitch. But Wes Clark has never had a good reputation in the Army, but he was always very smart. Which makes me wonder why he pushed us into war in Kosovo when the Administration wanted to do anything but.

this we'll defend said...

Well, if you saw him lose his temper at a BCTP, well then... that proves he lost his temper at a BCTP. The guys I know that were on his staff thought very highly of him - and I'm not just talking about when he was the COG at the NTC.

Ahhh, but didn't BCTP suck? Fakest field time EVER. As a prior service rifleman I really missed being enlisted during those things.

For those not in the know, it stands for Battle Command Training Program, and is basically a command post exercise with no real manuever units involved. An expensive game of RISK.

this we'll defend said...

Oh, and Redleg - the JRTC is different than the NTC as far as free-play goes. The nature of light infantry what it is, they can't afford troops missing the OPFOR and the OPFOR missing the Blufor, so the battles are more set-piece and OCs guide the contact. In a desert with mechanized forces you WILL find the enemy so there is more free-play.

Clark was the COG anyway so he didn't control the manuever forces, only the OCs and scenario writers. The Blufor and Opfor commanders were the ones under the microscope, not the COG, so perhaps you are right about less stress. Still the word I get from those on his staff in other locations is pretty good and not at all what has been portrayed in the press. They liked him, and even when they didn't they respected him and trusted him.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

I didn't know General Clark personally or serve with him, but I do know from the JRTC detachment at LRAFB that something was a bit off in the coffee in that part of the woods. I remember my maintenance squadron doing its annual PC test (that's PT in Armyspeak), and a bunch of these steroid-hyped pillars of testosterone come loping out of the gym just in time to heckle us. "Watch out people, you'll trip over your SALT LICK!" And making cow noises. The bizarre thing about it was, in looking around at the crew chiefs, electricians, sheet metal workers, engine mechanics, hydraulics specialists, et al., who were on the track running that day (this was pre-bicycle days mind you), I didn't see a single individual doing that side-holding "give up walk"; nor did I see any of us that were particularly overweight. We may not have looked like football players, but what do you want from wrench-benders anyway? It was just plain odd. The JRTC guys (mostly instructors, I was told later) seemed more like one of those loudly-hooting flocks o' jocks that adorn a cheesy high school movie just before they predictably throw the main character into a garbage can. Or for a more modern reference, picture the "extreme" clique in the movie "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle", for an idea of their demeanor.

Anyway, weeks later our maintenance truck was driving by the JRTC barracks, and they were all shave-headed and doing PT in the "being screamed at" mode usually associated with Basic Training. I asked the shift supervisor, "what gives?" He explained that a few days prior, a 14 year old girl somehow went into their barracks expecting some sort of quality time with a boyfriend she had among the Army guys there, and ended up getting gang-raped. WHOAH. A female crew chief in our truck sort of scowled and said, sarcastically, "I guess they found someone who wasn't a COW." They couldn't pinpoint any exact perpetrators, so the whole unit was being punished with extra PT, no privileges, etc.

Anyway. Yeah. JRTC. Fun boys.

What I do remember of General Clark, most particularly, was of his talking headism on CNN during the opening phases of the Iraq war. He seemed level-headed, articulate, not a "screamer" by any means, but then, you don't be screamin' at the American public at a time when they need soft reassurance that their boys aren't all going to get blown to bits over an Intel OOPS.

In mild curiosity about Clark, I googled him a bit (back then, not recently), and remember reading some articles where European commanders nick-named him "the Supreme Being" because they didn't like his ego, and such. But to me, when Europeans disparage you, I take that as a compliment. And I'll do so in fluent French while I'm at it. (Tels especes de cons, les parisiens.)

I'm rambling. Anyway, just a bit of an anecdote from a "sweat veteran", trying to be included and such.

redleg said...

Smoker

you were probably driving past North Fort on Polk where the BLUFOR hangs out. Not that OCs didn't have their problems.

TWD

How wrong you are about freeplay between the two centers. The COG only controls the reserve, everything else is freeplay. I did a right seat ride at NTC and they scripted just about everything. If you were pissed at your BLUFOR you threw a Dr. Doom (backpacks of CS) at them. Except the 2 hour battles.

The battle were nice and freeplay though. At JRTC it was all freeplay. Some rotations, little contact (If the rotating unit didn't get their head out of their ass)...other rotations it was non-stop.

And BCTP was fake as hell. That's why I couldn't see Clark losing his mind. He made his staff miserable. From my perspective he sucked as a leader. And other higher ranking officer who knew him coming up the ranks have echoed it. If you like egomaniac posers I guess you could like him. Up to you. Glad he's on the democratic ticket now. The way he handled Kosovo and wrote his self serving autobiagraphy cinched the deal for me. You can thank him for the Army losing it's grip on SACEUR. I laughed like hell when Ralston went in and the GEN Jones (Usmc Commandant).

daveparker said...

hi, please forgive my total irrelevancy, but I'm a new blogger.. . and here is my first post . .lol and to fend off the potential for insults that may be directed at me, I AM a Bush fan, and am glad to be among conservatives!