Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A Soldier's Story (Guest Post)

There is a reason that some of those veterans turned their backs to Kerry and that many others sat with arms folded, refusing even polite applause. A reason that non veterans can, perhaps, know intellectually but not feel in their guts.

Like all veterans of all wars, regardless of branch of service or duty stations, we all lost friends there. Some of those we lost were closer than brothers. Unlike other wars in our history we didn't go over together and come home together, our individual wars ended individually.

Unlike other wars we came home branded by a large segment of our society as war criminals, by another segment as losers. Then, as most of us were already home, one of our own officers branded us all, including the dead that we were just beginning to mourn, as war criminals, murderers and rapists.

We later discovered that many of those that he was quoting as witnesses to our 'crimes' had not spent one day in uniform. Others had never served in Viet Nam. None of them, not a single one, would testify under oath, even if granted immunity. Yet our 'crimes' became part of the common knowlege. Our children were given that testimony as fact in their history classes. We all knew soldiers, sailors,airmen and Marines that had died, leaving children behind, we know that those children were taught those same lies as fact. Who sat with those children as we did with ours, explaining that those were lies told for political gain?

It's bad enough that we couldn't mourn our dead then. Now we see the same man that stood over the open graves of our brothers and pissed on their bodies is back. This time he's dug up those bodies and is standing on them to give himself the stature for high office.

I am no famous war hero, just one of the two and a half million guys who wore Uncle's suit for awhile in a place where the same truck would splash red mud on your trousers and throw a cloud of dust on your face at the same time. My service was entirely undistinguished but I stood shoulder to shoulder with some genuine heros. Those heros came home in shiney aluminum caskets, they cannot speak for themselves. I hope someone more famous and more eloquent will speak for them soon. Until they do I can only say that not only is John Kerry not fit to command the young men and women that inherited the uniforms but he is not fit to speak of my comrades, much less speak for them. I shall say this as long as I have a breath left in my body.

This isn't about George Bush or who has a Senate majority for me. It isn't about politics. It's about a bunch of young men who never grew old. It's about the families of some 58,000 men who cannot answer the slander that this War Hee-row has never retracted.
I tried to answer that slander in 1971, I had no one to hear my voice. No way to reach anyone but my family. I have that way now, if only commenting on other people's forums.

It isn't about me. It isn't even about politics. It's about restoring the honor to the 58,000 names carved in black granite.

Posted by Peter at August 24, 2004 03:06 PM

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

M.I.A. Cover Up

M.I.A. Cover Up

As the Vietnam War was coming to a close, President Nixon was in such a hurry to get out of there, and put the experience behind us, that he allowed up to 700 American POWs and MIAs to be left behind. At least, that is the belief of many, and the story is a cause that Sidney Schanberg has never forgotten. As late as August 3rd he has written about it. You remember Sidney, the NYT columnist who was the driving force and a main character in "The Killing Fields," played by Sam Waterston. This story is something of an obsession for Sidney, who not only has written many stories about it, but he, even though he is a committed liberal, blames the cover up on John Forbes Kerry more than any other person.

Of course, this liberal has somewhat softened his take on J.F. Kerry in his latest column, but back in February, when the democrat nomination was up for grabs, and he thought that JFK would not make it, or perhaps he hoped he wouldn't, he was merciless about Kerry's involvement.
Senator John Kerry, a decorated battle veteran, was courageous as a navy lieutenant in the Vietnam War. But he was not so courageous more than two decades later, when he covered up voluminous evidence that a significant number of live American prisoners—perhaps hundreds—were never acknowledged or returned after the war-ending treaty was signed in January 1973.

The Massachusetts senator, now seeking the presidency, carried out this subterfuge a little over a decade ago— shredding documents, suppressing testimony, and sanitizing the committee's final report—when he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on P.O.W./ M.I.A. Affairs.
Schanberg's latest missive softens his criticism of Kerry somewhat. He seems to feel the need to explain himself, and try to excuse his blame of his party's nominee.
In his Democratic convention speech last week, Kerry said: "We have it in our power to change the world again. But only if we're true to our ideals—and that starts by telling the truth to the American people."

I hope John Kerry will turn out to be a different kind of leader. I hope he digs deep and tells us the truth about the band of men—not the "small number" they were reduced to in his committee's report—who were left behind in 1973 in Vietnam. That would truly be a fresh start.
Interestingly, I agree with him, at least this far: today, with Kerry under attack for his mewling performance in the war and its aftermath, he could improve his standing with Americans somewhat if he were to come clean. As Schanberg points out, this is a secret and a cover up that has spanned seven presidencies. This is an important issue, and to me, it rises above electoral politics.

I hate John Kerry for betraying his nation and his "Band of Brothers" after he came home from the war, and believe that his election would be a terrible thing for this country. But if there were really 700 Americans who were left behind, and JFK could shed light on their status, I would rather hear the true story, and let the electoral sequelae fall where they may. Thirty years later, this nation deserves to hear the truth. And if, as I believe will happen, Kerry refuses to come clean about those 700 imprisoned, forgotten men, he deserves election even less. Keeping Richard Nixon's dirty secret suits him better than doing the right thing to help servicemen in trouble. But there is a first time for everything. C'mon John, prove me wrong.

[Hat Tip to John Dunshee]

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Character or Honor

Character, or Honor

It is not easy being an alpha male, or what some refer to as a "real" man. Every man would like to think of himself that way, and many qualify. Wolves may have only one alpha male per pack, but we humans allow for many more, and our packs are smaller, for most of us. Some men, however, crave to lead very large packs, and many of those go into politics. Politics attracts those who crave power, and most politicians are men who are craven in their pursuit of power. Of course some (e.g. John Kasich) seek power in order to do Good Things, and most of them (e.g. John Kasich) get out of power before the corrupting influence makes them craven as well.

It is ironic that our standards for candidates for high office include a requirement that the candidate have character, which is described by the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Ironic in the sense that most office holders strive to look like they have these traits, while few have more than half of them. In another definition of character, it is said that "character is what you do when nobody is looking," also ironic, since the politician's version of this one would be "character is never getting caught at what you gotta do to get elected." Even so, most politicians manage to appear to have their character intact, and many of them actually believe that the word honestly describes them. Most will make decisions that reflect good character, if only to help them garner enough votes at reelection time to avoid having to get actual jobs.

Then came Clinton. Today there are few observers of the political scene who would describe B.J. Clinton as a man of character. Yet the democrats seem to believe that B.J. has heralded a new age in American politics, where politics is more show business than a serious job performed in a dangerous world. The democrats seem to have forgotten what happened on 9/11. At least they still don't know that 9/11 changed everything. Clinton indeed served during a golden period, with the Berlin Wall coming down just before he was elected, and a huge bubble of prosperity that he could not burst lasting until almost the end of his term. Those were easy times, and he was well suited to the job he had before him, yet he managed to screw even that up with his irresponsibility and his untrustworthiness. He is no longer worthy of respect and, after all his pardons, no one could describe him him as being posessed of fairness. We could debate whether he was caring or fraudulent, but, in any case, his six pillars are down to one of two, ergo, no character.

His opponents, both Bush 41 and Bob Dole, are both politicians of better than average character. In particular, Dole's resignation from the Senate before the campaign marks him as a man of high character, but, so what, they lost. George W. Bush has revealed himself as a president who will do what he believes to be right without regard to how it affects his reelection chances, at least when it comes to the Big Things. You might not agree with some of what he does, and God knows that includes me, but when that man says something, you know he believes it. His tears are real, his emotions, unquestioned. You only get one George Bush, which is why he defeated all seven versions of Al Gore. Today, three years after 9/11, Bush faces John Forbes Kerry, and the choice couldn't be more clear.

I could stop right here. JFK has shown himself to be a man without character, as well as a man with no honor. His entire campaign is a fraud, as he has decided to base his entire qualification for office on his dishonorable service in Viet Nam. Don't get me wrong; I truly believe that half of life is just showing up, and that half of his story is entirely true. but the other half....

Most of my friends who were there believe that he was worded by someone on how to game the system. His service in combat was only about three months, his wounds were, to be kind, slight, and two of the three are suspicious. He has released only a selected few of his military records, and refuses to fill out a form 180 that would release the rest. He relies upon his friends in Big Media to help him to obfuscate the truth, so that he can put forth his medal citations to attest to his gallantry under fire, when anyone who lived through this era knows better. Just ask Michael Herr, whose book "Dispatches" is the sine qua non of an antiwar first person narrative of the Viet Nam experience. Not online, but I quote from my much dog eared copy:
A twenty-four-year-old Special Forces captain was telling me about it. "I went out and killed one VC and liberated a prisoner. Next day the major called me in and told me I'd killed fourteen VC and liberated six prisoners. You want to see the medal?"
If you want to know about honor, just recall the experience of Max Cleland, who lost both of his legs and a hand when a grenade went off. Cleland refused to put himself in for a Purple Heart, since he knew that his wounds were not caused by enemy action. That's honor. Max Cleland has character. I know Max Clelland. Mr Kerry, you're no Max Cleland.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Real Reason for War

The Real Reason for War

There has been much consternation on the part of the punditocracy over the Bush administration's missteps and outright refusal to explain exactly why he went to war against So Dumb Insane's Iraq. He made a few speeches and then left the rest of us to wonder just what exactly were his real reasons for committing our forces to the battle. Imminent threat? No, not imminent, said the president. We can not wait for the threat to be imminent. Weapons of Mass Destruction? Maybe the best-articulated reason to go to war (casus belli for the Latin-using set) was the posession of WMDs. The ability to manufacture WMDs is the closest we have to a reason to go to war, but an examination of the record shows that Bush never really said that WMDs are the reason we need to attack So Dumb. The fact is, he never gave us a single reason, yet he hinted at many reasons, to commit our forces and national prestige to the overthrow of the fascist regime in Iraq.

Today, Iran, maybe the most virulent, and surely one of the two most dangerous, enemies that we have today, eloquently gave the American people the best reason, or at least the grandest outcome, of our foray into Middle Eastern military affairs. The Mullahs have declared that our presence on both their eastern and western borders makes them nervous, and have directly threatened us with attack, because they feel "squeezed" by the presence of strong U.S. forces so close to their atom bomb factory and the rest of their homeland. They have threatened us with a preemptive attack, which, added to their threat to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, paints them as the hysterical, mad mullahs that many had already thought them to be.

The idea that Iran would attack over the border into Iraq, with several divisions of U.S. troops there already is so foolish that it boggles the mind. They could not succeed at such a mission over a ten year war against Iraq, and the American troops waiting for them this time rolled over their vaunted Republican Guard in record time. Such an attack would merely accomplish two things. One, if they would attack within the next three months, they would guarantee a 50 state Bush victory. Two, such an attack would make easier the intervention that some nation will have to undertake anyway, before the Iranian nuclear reactor goes hot. The idea that these loonies would actually propose such folly makes one wonder just exactly who is their audience for such ravings.

In fairness to the mad mullahs, it must be uncomfortable to have American troops to their left and right when they have such a history of calling us vile names for the last 25 years. They know that we know that they hate our guts, and now we have contrived to place heavy armored forces on their borders, with ther capability to attack them from two fronts on a moments notice. It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to divine some method that brought this situation into existence. As a method of concentrating the mind, the possibility if imminent defeat at the hands of the Great Satan sounds like a very effective one.

Yet, Bush refuses to take credit for this masterful maneuver. We have insinuated our forces into the middle of the region of the world that is most dangerous to us, and our public stance is that it is all some sort of lucky mistake. The people of Iran, who, arguably want to create an American style democracy more than the citizens of any other Muslim nation, must surely draw encouragement from our presence in the region. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, and even Turkey must now be quite a bit more inclined to see things our way now that the 600 pound gorilla is actually right next door. But Iran is unique in that they have us on both their east and west borders. And George W. Bush must get all the credit. Or at least the blame. The only reason that we are in this position is the decisions of one man. Putting our forces there was his doing. We are now forward-deployed, in the belly of the beast, ready to take on our enemies there instead of here. That is the real reason we went to war in Iraq. At the least, of the several obvious reasons, this is the very best one.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Blame Game

Blame Game

Very few Americans understand exactly how our government operates. Even many who believe themselves to be knowledgeable about the Constitution, even many history majors and civics teachers have only a cursory understanding of how the sausage is made. Thus the gullible are easily fooled.

Evan Thomas of Newsweek has famously said that the media bias in favor of regime change in Washington is worth 15% of the vote on election day. With most polls showing the coming contest at about even, that statement says volumes about just how conservative our electorate actually is, but one wonders how many of that 15% change their vote because the truth has been revealed to them, or have their preferences been moved by propaganda promulgated by a complicit journalistic industry. Considering just how few voters actually understand how their government works in the first place, the answer is obvious.

In the Washington Post, one of the three sisters of the axis of journalistic evil, and arguably the least evil of the three, there is a series that has just run that blames the Bush administration, and specifically President Bush, for, well, creating in West Virginia what can only be visualized as one of the seven circles of Hell, right out of Dante's Inferno. According to the last article in the series, George W. Bush has removed over 600 mountains, and filled in 700 miles of streams, all in the swing state of West Virginia. Anyone who believes what they say in this three article series would have to want to join a march on the White House that would look like the last scene in Frankenstein, where all of the torch-bearing villagers burn down the white castle of Dr. Frankenstein for being the embodiment of evil. And, indeed, many democrat voters would describe Bush as just that. They hate Dr. Frankenstein so much that they wish to elect the monster himself to replace him.

But blaming the President for the promulgation of regulations is like blaming God for the contents of Hebrew National hot dogs. God may have declared pigs to be unclean, but it took dozens of Rabbis to promulgate the Kosher laws, and even then the first sausage of any kind was made over a thousand years later. The "higher authority" had no opinion on how much lip, ear, and cheek meat, how many insect parts, or how much ash (yes, these are all ingredients in kosher hot dogs) would wind up in a food that is so much more delicious to those who have never seen the recipe.

Under our constitution, it is the job of the two houses of Congress to promulgate legislation. What they really do is to make laws that are as vague as possible, and therefore force the bureaucracies to create regulations that flesh out the details of those laws. They do this mostly for the reason that it allows them to occupy both sides of any criticism that ensues when the inevitable unintended consequences take place. It is also an obviation of their constitutional duty to promulgate the laws themselves, but there is no one to tell them not to make law in this manner. After all, while it gives Congress freedom to be on both sides of many issues, it also vests additional power in the executive branch. Once one has voted for the clean water act, for example, one is free to complain when the EPA fails to make the water clean, as well as take credit for the very cleanliness of the water. One outgoing President is free to promulgate overly strict regulations in his last weeks in office, leaving his successor to take the blame when the bureaucracies set things back the way they were. Simply put: whatever Bush did or did not do here, he is exposed to blame from an environmental mafia that sees humanity itself as vermin. To the environmentalists, or rather the Watermelons (P.J. O'Rourke's term for those who are Green on the outside, and Red on the inside), there is no proper way to mine a single gram of coal. For that matter, burning petroleum should be a crime, nuclear power is worse, and even solar panels kill the grass that seeks to grow beneath them. And we know now that wind turbines kill birds, and in any case must be banned if they are visible from the estate of the senior senator from Massachusetts.

And, it is not only West Virginia horror stories that they seek to lay at the feet of the president. The other side will blame the President for just about anything the executive branch does. For instance, for the last 15 years there has been a movement by a majority in congress to realize a "peace dividend" in the form of a withdrawal of bases that stand in opposition to a non-existent Soviet threat. This is non-controversial, and embodied in established law. Yet, the moment President Bush announces a fraction of the legally mandated withdrawals, his opponent "attacked the redeployment plan as politically motivated and said it would undermine the U.S. relationship with NATO." In the crazy world of our national debate, the Left can make any claim, no matter how outlandish, and as long as there is a strain of possible truth running through it, they can rely on their credulous allies in the television networks and the three sisters to repeat it, with many if not most other media outlets following right along. Thus is propaganda distributed in our modern liberal society. No, not propaganda. Only the right, and the Nazis, use propaganda. Leftist and liberal thought is correct, and any means used to promote correct thought is OK. If you don't believe that statement, just look at all the lefties who justify the rabid lies of Michael Moore.

Recently Nick Kristoff ran a piece in the NYT complaining about how President Bush has made his office near Times Square vulnerable to nuclear attack. Kristoff can rest easy, as there is almost no chance that any nukes will make it to Times Square. Maybe as far as a ship in the East River, but far more likely a container port, like the one on the Jersey side of the Hudson, so Nick is probably safe.

Americans need to understand two things. One, we are at war. In war, people die. The answer to being under attack is to redouble our efforts to kill the enemy until he surrenders and gives up the fight. Until then, we are all at risk. Two, any nuclear nonproliferation scheme, including the hugely expensive one currently underway, can only shave the odds a little bit. There are, and will always will be, those states which will cheat the game. This is a dangerous world, and as the pages of the calendar turn, technology militates that a smaller and smaller effort can result in larger and more dangerous destructive tools. State based diplomatic solutions can do little to stop radical groups wilth the money and the will to play this deadly game. What Kristof and many other liberals fail to realize is that their view of how the world works is only one of several equally possible models. In fact, I self-identify as a conservative when I merely say such a thing, as believing that politics is a debate between two or more sides flies in the face of liberal doctrine, which states that there are only two sides, their side and the wrong side. Yet when they were in power, they did exactly the same thing that our government is doing today. The dirty little secret of American politics is that there is almost no daylight between the two great political parties in this country.

Yet the blame game goes on, with a willingly credulous media and a public that allows it to inform their view of how the world really works. But the American public is smarter than the Left would have us believe. The folks realize that a blame game that goes only one way is a rigged game, and so they seek out the other side of the argument. Even as the Kerry campaign complains about any attempt to blame him for anything he ever did, many citizens are willing to believe some nasty allegations being made about his wartime service. Since his side is the one which has poisoned the well of public discourse, honest and probing debate about the truth of the allegations are untenable as well. So the campaign will launch ad hominem attacks against the bearers of this bad news, and seek to blame this one away as well. Hoist on their own petard, they are, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Another Democrat For Bush

Another Democrat For Bush

In a long anticipated move, former Mayor of New York City, liberal Democrat Ed Koch has endorsed George W. Bush for president. Adding his name to Senator Zell Miller and St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly, Koch proclaimed:
Why have I endorsed George W. Bush when I don't agree with him on a single domestic issue? Because I believe the issue of international terrorism trumps all other issues. I don't believe the Democratic Party has the stomach and commitment to deliver on this issue.

I believe terrorism will be with us for many years to come. So long as Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd are considered major leaders of the Democratic Party, and so long as we have radical candidates like Howard Dean, whose radical-left supporters have been described by the press as "Deaniacs," the Democratic Party will be limited in its ability to serve the country well in times of crisis.

Everyone familiar with my political career knows that, along with my deep love for and gratitude to the United States and the City of New York for giving me extraordinary opportunities to serve the public, I am a Jew proud of my people's history and accomplishments.

Over the years, I have expressed my anxieties at the escalating worldwide anti-Semitism that now abounds in Western European countries such as France, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and throughout Eastern Europe, including Russia. We haven't seen the likes of this rising tide of hatred directed at Jews since the 1930s. So, of course, I am interested in the views of the two presidential candidates toward Israel and its security.

President George W. Bush has amazed me.
And, as Zell Miller stated in Kelly's press release:
I am really pleased Mayor Randy Kelly has joined me in the effort to re-elect George W. Bush. Mayor Kelly knows, as I do, that George W. Bush represents the values of America's heartland. President Bush is a man Democrats and all Americans can rely on to stand by his commitments to fight terrorism and support our troops. The President is also making sure that working people keep more of their hard earned money and send their kids to schools that give every child a good start in life. These are values that my fellow Democrats and all Americans can support.
These are only three of the many lifelong democrats who are not buying the Ostrich politics of the political left. They think that they can have 1998 back again. I wish we could as well. But the world is very different today. 9/11 really happened, Afghanistan and Iraq really happened. We are at war. And thinking people everywhere know that health care and abortion mean little when compared to the fact that Jihadi fundamentalists with wherewithal, drunk on fantasies of world domination and wholesale death, mean to harm us, and will stop at nothing to do so. Most Americans know in their hearts that protecting the feelings of some Europeans with questionable loyalties means nothing compared to al Qaeda exploding a nuclear bomb in one of our container ports.

We must remain vigilant and forward-deployed. We must take this fight to the enemy, so that the dying takes place in a place of our choosing, not his. We must make common cause with Israel, since their enemy and ours are indistinguishable. And as long as the democrat party disagrees with these self-evident truths, they must not be allowed to have the power to disarm us again.

President Bush has shown, and has said, that 9/11 changed his thinking. JFKerry has shown us that his thinking has not. He says that his mindset 35 years ago is the true window into his soul. No wonder so many democrats will vote for Bush. Bud Ed Koch, the ultimate democrat political insider, said it best:
[W]hy I support President Bush for reelection. I support him because of the Bush Doctrine, "we will go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them." He has demonstrated that he means it by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, both threats to their regions and to the U.S. I do not believe that the Democratic Party, which is now dominated by those who preferred Governor Dean for president, but decided he could not win, has the stomach to take on worldwide terrorism. Indeed, a New York Times-CBS poll of the delegates at the Boston Convention demonstrated their opposition to John Kerry's position which is not to get out of Iraq now. It is the party activists who the candidate has to rely on to get elected and whose positions generally prevail.
That says it. That's the gorilla in the room. Kerry can say whatever he wants, but he can not change who and what he is. And he can not change the American people, he can not make them vote for him by making up stories of his days with Martin Sheen, hunting Colonel Kurtz. Many more democrats are headed this way. We can hear their footsteps.

Friday, August 13, 2004

A Clear Choice

A Clear Choice

The folowing is something I came across that puts the nexus of the war and the election in perspective. A guest post by a fellow who calls himself TMJ Utah. He can be contacted at M.G.

Most of the people aligned with Islamofascism seem to be of Arabic or Middle-Eastern descent. Most of them. There are hundreds of millions of humans that are of that persuasion, and most of THEM are engaged in working for a living, attempting to raise families, and surviving. To presume the right to nail one or more to a wall because they LOOKED like the people who attacked my friends was asnine...and contrary to every moral or ethical rule I was taught as a kid in Texas.

We do face a lethal challenge spanning cultures, continents, and centuries. My earnest wish is that we keep the leadership we have and continue to pursue and defeat the individual enemy while at the same time injecting civilization into the mess that they breed in. If we back away now, we just raise the price we'll pay later.

We are fighting a surgical war. No, not because we are temperate or precise in our use of force, but rather because we are applying bandages and medicine even where we have done no harm. Where we have the option, we always limit our weapons to what will have the least effect on surrounding people and structures. What we are involved in now would be what a Marshall Plan following Patton's tanks would have looked like. One drawback to this strategy is that we can't point at a city blown down to bedrock as an example of what could happen when we are attacked...and it seems the enemy has embraced that omission as some sign that it won't happen.

If we do not defeat the enemy using these tactics before they do in fact kill millions of people or cities of ours, we'll have to turn back a page and settle this argument the way it was done the last three times that Islam attempted to take the world: wars of annihalation.

In an age of W88's, genemod viruses, and information warfare, we aren't going to settle for a Poitiers or Lepanto. They may have the ability to write a check for any weapon they want, but they can't manufacture the pen they sign it with. No matter how crushing a blow we deliver on any one battlefield there is no value in backing off until the system and regimes that foster the threat no longer exist. There must be no sanctuary. None.

That's a huge challenge. It's a good thing that Americans have always been up for that kind of thing.

The people in this country who pull the triggers are in fact the people who decide when the trigger will be pulled and who the weapons will be pointed at. Unlike Europe or Canada, our electorate does in fact control our government. Once a certain point is reached all the special interests, political hacks, party apartchiks, and other-wise unemployable suits that dance around our beauracracies and agencies will be shoved aside and we'll wage the war that we are capable of - and it won't be anything like surgical.

What a waste that would be. For everyone concerned...but the kind of scenario that would necessitate that response is avoidable only by confronting the challenge now.

I have to admit that it's refreshing entering an election cycle that presents clear choices. I just wish the stakes weren't so high.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Last month Victor Davis Hanson published a brilliant essay, which he titled Fantasyland, on the course of the Left/Right divide that I have so far failed to link, an omission which I will here correct by excerpting its pithy summary of Michael Moore's barely hidden politics:
But who is the real new Democratic guru that best reflects the new Know-Nothingness? We should judge a Michael Moore not just by what he says, but what he does every time he freelances without his publicists and handlers. At a time of war, he scoffs at 9-11 as if the wrong Americans were dying (If someone did this [9/11] to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him!).

He praises our enemies who are beheading innocents in Iraq. (The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?)

He shows contempt for our dead who fought and died for the right of Iraqis to vote. ("I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe - just maybe - God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.") .

He slurs civilian workers like Nick Berg and Paul Johnson who were trying to help rebuild Iraq. ("Those are not contractors in Iraq. They are not there to fix a roof or to pour concrete in a driveway. They are MERCENARIES and SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE").

He has contempt for Americans outside his circle of sycophants: "They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . "We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."
That surely captures the essence of this self-hating leftie looney. How can the JFK campaign ask the Bush campaign to repudiate the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth when JFK himself will not repudiate Moore? I'll take Moore's lies on if only the Swifties can get a hearing on the network news!

But Hanson's essay is about much more than Michael Moore. It is about how the Left has abandoned its own soul in its quest to get rid of the hated G.W.Bush, which is itself merely a cover for their bid for the reacquisition of raw power. He takes apart their arguments, and reminds us of their most dearly held beliefs, in the way that only he can. I can not understand how any Christian, any Jew, or any member of the top two quintiles can vote against Bush. After reading this essay, I don't see how any liberal can vote against him either. As Hanson says:
Iraq now is what the Left all throughout the 1960s and 1970s said America should be doing—and nothing is more saddening than to see earnest and courageous reformers of the new Iraqi government being grilled and pilloried on TV by smug American pundits and reporters.
It is all about power, yet the voters will see no power filtering down to them from a Kerry presidency. Maybe it is a matter of style, since Bush has a talent for making himself look and sound like an idiot; but then Kerry is no slouch in the looking like an idiot department. Maybe it's just a matter of successful propaganda brainwashing the public, since we have never had the mainstream media try so hard to elect a President before.

I still do not think that this election will be close. I am just not sure who the winner will be. The so-called "swing" voters are susceptible to an "October surprise." I wonder if truth will carry the day in November. Or will we end up in Fantasyland?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Iraq Clouds Forming

Not being a partisan of any political party allows one to think independently of any party line, zero base thinking if you will. My opinion is that George W. Bush presidency is the 21st century equivalent of the fictional Babylon Five colony: the last, best hope for mankind, at least the world in which I live. The only viable alternative would cut and run in the Middle East, abandon Israel, raise taxes and spending, and generally make even more of a cock-up of things. But that being said, I am still far from a fan of any politician or party, and it is becoming clear that our government is creating, in Iraq, a situation that threatens much of the improvement and promise that seemed possible after we toppled the madman and his sons last year.

As we all know, government can fuck up a wet dream. Competing interests within the various departments and bureaucracies within the federal government make the achievment of a goal, even a goal as clear as that laid out by the president, almost impossible. Bush has been little more successful at making the State Department bow to his authority than any of his predecessors. The military is also semi-autonomous as well as recently gutted, especially after eight years of diminishment at the hands of the Clintonian 'peace dividend" quest left Bush with a million men missing and half the Navy in mothballs, compared with the position his father found himself in, in 1991. Intelligence was in a shambles when Bush came to Washington, as we all know too well. Still, the buck stops in the oval office, and telling myself that Gore would have done orders of magnitude worse does not make a bad situatiuon better.

Simply put, Iraq stands on the verge of a civil war. Not the insurgency you read about in the press. I'm talking about the one that Iyad Allawi will bring upon himself when he refuses to bow to the will of the people. And it's our fault. Rather than trusting the very democratic principles that our own nation is founded upon, our government put up a puppet regime; one over which we are in the process of losing control. Any doubt about this was erased by the indictment of Ahmad Chalabi and his son by a kangaroo court that was established by our own homegrown ex-puppet, Paul Bremer.

In fact, I've got to agree with Chalabi that our biggest error was in occupying Iraq instead of turning it over to Iraqi caretakers. The American government has a problem with control, just as all governments do. Rather than trusting the people of Iraq to do the right thing, or even allowing them to do the wrong thing, the U.S. and British government decided to control everything. The result was that they controlled nothing but chaos, and reaped no glory, only blame. And, under our politicized media-driven system, much of that blame goes to Bush.

But I don't see it that way. Under a Gore or Kerry presidency, the Saddam Hussein crime family would still be putting dissidents in shredders, raping women at whim, and gassing the Kurds. Twenty five thousand dollars would still be given to the family of any suicide bomber in Israel. Has anyone noticed that there are no more of those lately? Peace movements are rising in Syria and Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, and no Senator or ex-senator can take credit for that.

We are at war. War is chaotic and hazardous. When Eisenhower, in the greatest blunder of the second world war, forgot to guard the route the Germans had taken twice before, with tremendous loss of life to our forces, nobody thought to remove him. The New York Times did not run articles second guessing him, or reminding him that the Ardennes Forest was the traditional route to attack France. No, we exhorted Ike to continue killing Germans until the threat to our way of life was extinguished. Just the same, today, we must continue to take the fight to the enemy. The very idea of putting a bunch of pacifists in charge in the middle of a war is ludicrous. Kerry will not even say what he plans to do. He asks us to trust him. He asks us to blame Bush for the very messiness of war, as if he could run a clean one. Indeed, his strategy, as far as can be gleaned from his public statements on the matter, would be to pretend that this war is not even there, and to hope to avoid taking any action that might point some blame his way.

What we need is courageous leadership, but we have no chance of getting that. What we have is a choice between a highly moral man who will continue to do what he sees as the right thing, and a craven coward who ran from battle thirty five years ago, and will do the same today. We have, in one corner, the very best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, versus a man who can not, or will not, even utter the name of that country or its people. To me, that is no choice at all. Bush's government may have made some serious mistakes after their brilliant victory in Iraq. A Kerry government would not have, they would never have been there in the first place. Electing Kerry would be a huge mistake. The middle of a war is no time to elect a peace president. There may be a fog in war, but the fog that surrounds Mr. Kerry and his plans, if he even has any, is completely impenetrable. We must, we must, reelect Bush. No election in my lifetime has ever been this important. Mondale never had a chance. We need to take heed, and do the same thing this time, too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Any magician's trick has, at its root, a technique known as misdirection. Make the audience look one way, while the real action takes place somewhere else. Look at the magic wand in my left hand, while I take the Dove from my vest with my right. Look at the top card, while I deal from the bottom. Believe what I say, forget what I have done. Vote for the moderate, get the liberal. Marry my name and my office, but don't forget to bring the billion.

I used to think that BJ Clinton was the most duplicitous and mendacious President. If the American people elect John Forbes Kerrry, BJ slides into second place on inauguration day. A "hero" who, on the basis on two self-inflicted wounds and a little used loophole, stiffed his country out of two thirds of his combat tour. A nineteen year liberal in the Senate, who tries as hard as he can to sound like a hawk on Iraq. He votes against the war appropriation, then blames Bush that the troops don't have enough equipment. But, after all, he voted for the money before he voted against it.

Teresa Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry is another one cut from that cloth. A supporter of many zany environmental causes who owns, and heats, and air-conditions, five immense residences, complete with 5000 pound SUVs. Even a two faced person can only sleep in one house at a time. Oh, and don't forget the yacht and the jet. This couple leaves a huge ecological footprint, even as she supports a lawsuit against the EPA, seeking to ban the use of coal to generate electricity. She is married to one man, while choosing to retain the name of the previous one. She brags about her involvement in the struggle against aparteid, yet no one who was there remembers her that way. Today her philanthropy extends to a host of loopy leftist, Islamic, and environmental groups, but she retains plausible deniability by laundering those millions through the front organization, the Tides Foundation.

There is a lot of truth to the dictum that Democrats feel their politics, while Republicans think theirs. Even so, the touchy-feely democrat misdirection of this campaign is so transparent, one would think that those less committed would see through the charade. The wealthiest couple (and the first kept man) to contend for the White House will have to provide some hard answers to some really difficult questions before election day. Their campaign stands ready to implode. Unless they can misdirect the implosion toward the Bush campaign.

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Empty Candidacy

I have been politically aware since my first Stevenson campaign in 1956. Coming from a political family, with a Republican father and a Democrat mother, has given me a fine education in the great game that lies under the surface of our national debate. While the voters merely want the better government of the (usually) two choices, these choices are presented to us as the result of a dirty, vicious, propaganda-driven battle over power and patronage. Thus it is that we are generally given a choice between two less than desirable candidates - any really desirable candidate would never allow himself to be the figurehead in this human hamburger-grinder process. Any man who would choose to spend his entire career as a politician would have decades of humiliating activity in his wake by the time he gets up to the plate for the really big play, the race for the Presidency of the United States of America.

Actually, there are other offices that carry better benefits, and better hours, than the Presidency. Even the Mayor of New York City has more patronage jobs to give to his supporters and cronies - at higher pay - than the President. Some states give their governors more freedom of action, and more fun. But to anyone who has made the acquisition of power the goal of his professional life, the draw of the presidency is irresistible.

But John Forbes Kerry, the new JFK, would like us all to forget about his entire life of the last 35 years. He tells us, and we are expected to believe, that four months on a PT boat, just like the one that his hero, the old JFK commanded, is the sole qualification that makes the compelling case for his election. He and his handlers clearly believe that this, plus what they perceive as a widespread hatred or distrust of the current President, is all they will need to hoodwink half the voters into supporting their cause.

This is, without question, the most cynical campaign in my memory. The calculus is that the lefties and the blacks will vote for the donkey in any case, and all the votes they now need are people who are so politically naive, or so stupid, that they will vote for a collection of statements and propaganda that bear no resemblance to the record that the candidate has collected by his own actions. No mention is allowed of his record, and any attempt to put his record before the voters is condemned as "a negative attack." The willfull complicity of most of the mainstream media in this charade makes this a strategy that may very well succeed. Mind you, I do not believe that it will, but to deny the possibility would be to invite it.

Even so, the candidate has made a few, very few, statements about exactly what he would do as President. For instance, he has pledged in no uncertain terms that he will allow no privatization of Social Security to take place. This is a perfect window on the candidate's soul. He is so far to the left of most of America that he believes that this is an uncontroversial issue. I would be happy to place the entire outcome of the election of the result of a plebiscite on this one. Yet Mr. McAuliffe and his team fail to see this. JFK has also said that he will not increase taxes on the bottom 98% of taxpayers, and the bottom 99% of small business. He did sneak in a proviso that a war would obviate this promise, showing another blind spot of McAuliffe and Co. We are already at war!

And that's the crucial issue, isn't it? The choice is between a man who claims that four months commanding a boat in war, and then running from that war, qualifies him to be President, and a man whose four years commanding the world's most powerful military, most of it in war, most of it successful, shows his qualification. McAuliffe and JFK desperately wish that we never look at the contest that way. Sorry guys, but the American people are not that stupid. As Mark Steyn so succinctly puts it:
If you wanted to pick a candidate on the wrong side of every major defense and foreign policy question of the last two decades, you would be hard put to find anyone with judgment as comprehensively poor as Mr. Kerry: total up his votes and statements on everything from Grenada to the Gulf war, Saddam to the Sandinistas, the Cold War to missile defense to every major weapons system of the 1980s and '90s. He called them all wrong.
That is what we should be talking about. Not less than a full tour on a PT Boat, but 19 years of voting in the U.S. Senate. Even the left-leaning MSNBC is no fan of Kerry's far left record. No wonder the candidate never mentions the fact that this record exists. But that is the job of the Bush campaign. It is not a negative attack to present incontrovertible proof of a man's professional record, of his stands over the last 19 years. When Kerry complains about our troops not having enough equipment, it must be pertinent to show that HE was the one who voted against the money for that very equipment.

One could go on, especially about Kerry's failure to support the rescue of Kuwait, which garnered us a pretty reliable friend in that part of the world, and we could examine his reason to oppose that action (he compared Saddam the Madman with the Soviet Union, and advocated another cold containment) but the question boils down to a simple choice. In one corner, we have a team which has proven that its manner of fighting this war is to be forward-deployed, and fight the war on the enemy's turf. In the other corner, we have a team that promises to await attacks, and respond with embargoes and treaties, and deploy troops only when there is no other choice. The two could not be more different, and the American people will choose. Any means that are used to move the debate between the candidates toward this issue are fair, and necessary. Any attempt to keep the choice to one between the leader we know well and an empty suit covered in a tissue of lies, now, that's the negative campaign.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Kerry Knows

Only twice in the last seventy years has this nation chosen a Democrat over a sitting Republican president, and the signs and portents make it look likely that this record will hold. Besides, those two others had names starting in a "C". Kerry's "K" is a poor substitute, just as he has failed to convince a sufficient number of voters that he is a worthy successor to George W.Bush. (As an aside, does anybody know what happened to Kerry's middle name? It disappeared when the convention started.)

The key item that is the convincing evidence of Kerry's failure is not the lack of a convention bounce, even though no challenger has ever wrested the White House from an incumbent without one. It is not his poll standings, which still persist at a tie between the candidates. No, what convinces most clearly is Kerry himself. Just look at any photo taken of him over the last few days. He wears the face of defeat, and no one knows how he is doing better than he does.

To be sure, events can overtake this election at any moment, and it is possible, though not likely, that an event could benefit Kerry. I am even sure that the democrats have an October surprise waiting, which should garner them a few of the undecideds. In war, events, either good or bad, tend to make the people fall in line behind our leadership. But the crucial thing affecting this election race is that Kerry has failed to make the American people love him, or even like him. Indeed, he has not even tried to make that appeal to the voters. His campaign, so far, has been a version of the Dukakis campaign, in which Dukakis famously said that it was not about ideology, it was about competence. Bob Dole is another one who put forth this same idea. Both men lost.

It is an unwavering rule of human combat that the champion can not be unseated in a close contest. The champion, or incumbent, must be defeated. Decisively. By knock out. You cannout outpoint the champ. The Lakers can not be beaten in a seven game series. Neither can the Yankees. You must take the first game, you must win on the other guy's home court, and you must deliver devastating blows repeatedly, to unseat an incumbent. Yet Kerry seems to believe that we the people will vote for him simply because we are unhappy with Bush, and JFK is an acceptable, competent, replacement. We can trust him to decide, ad hoc, all of the important decisions that will confront the American President in the next four years, he says. He has no need to explain exactly what he will do, or what his plan is, since he is so smart, so competent, so nuanced.

This guy really does not get it. Not being one of the folks means not understanding the folks at all. He believes that he can make a show of eating at Wendy's, while he and his Mistress eat food secretly brought in from the Newbergh Yacht Club, and we will never know, or care. He believes that he can parade a dozen sailors who like him, and the rest of those who served with him will keep silent about their contempt for this man. Americans do not care what you eat, but we do not expect you to lie about it. We have elected draft dodgers before, but never a man with a questionable military record who bragged about his "heroism" in every utterance and every speech of his two year campaign. We can not stand a man who will criticize another's record on intelligence, yet fail to appear for eighty five percent of the meetings of the intelligence committee, of which he is a member. And we do not like Senators who campaign for the highest office while they retain their Senate seat. We like winners, and winners are confident. Winners do not hedge their bets. Only losers need a fallback position.

And we do not like promises from politicians, since we all know that they are insincere. Yet this campaign has made more promises than any in memory. Better health care for all, world peace, clean air, pure water, expanded wilderness, better schools, and tax breaks for 98% of taxpayers, and 99% of small businesses.

A little over forty percent of voters will vote for Kerry, and about the same for Bush, no matter what. The ten to fifteen percent in the middle will decide this race. Just the same as always. They will either vote for the man they like, or they will vote for the man they know. It is looking more and more like know will win the day. When times are easy, we might go for a Clinton. Unfortunately for Kerry, times are anything but easy. We are at war. It is no time to fool around with your vote. And, this time, only the fools will break Kerry's way. And Kerry knows it. It's in his face. Just look at him. He knows.