Democrats & Liberals Archives

Wow, My Goodness

There’s a peculiar argument that crops up in the Iraq debate every once in a while, and the press finally pilloried it.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, responding to a question about how most Americans think it's time to start pulling the troops out of Iraq, replied,

"The president understands people's impatience -- not impatience but how a war can wear on a nation. He understands that. If somebody had taken a poll in the Battle of the Bulge, I dare say people would have said, 'Wow, my goodness, what are we doing here?' But you cannot conduct a war based on polls."

As a bit of a military historian, that Bush-fan argument always sounded like bullshit to me, and it turns out my BS detector was right. Gallup actually took a poll in 1944/45 during the Battle of the Bulge and found that 73 percent of Americans would refuse to make peace with Hitler if he offered it and 86 percent of Americans thought there was no chance that America would lose the war in Europe.

Americans are obviously not the quitters Bush apologists think we are -- in fact, Americans are quite a bit smarter than the Republican elites give us credit for. Snow is an idiot for making the comparison, and doubly so for not making sure he knew what he was talking about.

There is absolutely no comparison between America's struggle against the Nazis in WWII and President Bush's failed nation-building adventure in Iraq. None. And Republicans cheapen the sacrifices made by our Parents and Grandparents by associating -- purely for political purposes -- their grim struggle against world wide fascism with Bush's unnecessary occupation of Iraq. Shame on them.

Posted by American Pundit at June 25, 2006 1:20 AM
Comments
Comment #161564

This is the second time Tony has stepped in it on this issue. Of course, given the state of things surrounding the Iraq war, it is nearly impossible for any in the White House to keep their shoes clean with all the crap surrounding their handling of the Iraq situation.

I do believe even Rove is going to have this cut and run promotion come up dirtying his shoes by election time. He is, in very real terms, calling the majority of the American people cowards. That’s not a politically astute thing to do before elections.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 25, 2006 1:35 AM
Comment #161574

AP,

I hope you’ll excuse me for interjecting this bit from Peter Laufer:

“Soldiers are mustering out. They are joining groups like Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans against the War. They are filing for conscientious objector status. They are going AWOL. They are deserting to Canada.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20060624/cm_huffpost/023678;_ylt=AtZ8qwh.9ZV4pWcxWpI3Oaes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3YWFzYnA2BHNlYwM3NDI-

Yeah, it’s just an opinion piece, but I read enough to know it’s at least partly true. And, I have a huge question for everyone: “how the hell can you fault anyone in the military from refusing to fight a war that we’re not even willing to pay for?”

Our military men and women can only fight the war we tell them to fight. No Soldier, Sailor, or Marine deserves to be in jail right now. Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney should take their place immediately.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 25, 2006 1:56 AM
Comment #161584

Kansas:

Look here instead and do the same thing.

http://ww2bodycount.netfirms.com/

Was it worth it?

Posted by: scott at June 25, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #161590

Beam me up Scotty,

Was there a Draft during those other wars?

Were taxes lowered during those other wars?

Did America’s masses continue like there was no war during those other wars?

Did the wealthy continue to accumulate wealth without regulation during those other wars?

Were you even out of short pants during any of those other wars?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 25, 2006 2:30 AM
Comment #161602

I just love to hear politicians, government officials, and our Dictator
Acting as President when they say, “not on my watch”

The only thing these unscrupulous morons are watching
are their asses, their bank accounts, and the
back door for an escape route.

Sickening excuses for human beings

Posted by: Sonny at June 25, 2006 6:51 AM
Comment #161604

Is it 2008 yet?

We’ve had a lame duck White House for about 1 year now, and they’ve failed on pretty much everything they’ve attempted since 2004… with one exception: embarrassing the hell out of Americans.

I’ve had several conversations - while watching the World Cup - with people outside the US. What they see in us (via our representation in DC) is that while our soldiers are dying and our government is tunneling into debt at break neck speed - we decide the 2 most pressing issues are Gay Marriage and Flag Burning.

It’s kind of like setting your house on fire with your grill… and then calling the keystone cops as opposed to the fire department in hopes that the keystone cop’s bumbling around will somehow make you look less incompetent.

Posted by: tony at June 25, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #161605

Pundit,

Would you please post a link to that Gallup Poll? I have gone to the

Gallup Archives

and I can’t find that poll you’re describing.

Posted by: Jim T at June 25, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #161611

Of course back then they did not have the NYT and others constantly looking for problems and reporting mistakes. We may not have got as far as the Bulge after the MSM revealed our secret plans to invade at Normandy or demoralized the American people by calling into question Roosevelt’s provocations of Germany in 1940-41 or our unjust and racist anti-Japanese over reaction.

Americans (including journalists) were more patriotic back then.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #161613

AP:

Great point, but changes nothing. We must win in Iraq.

Posted by: JimmyRay at June 25, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #161614

“Americans (including journalists) were more patriotic back then.”

You seriously believe that secrecy - even over things like Japanese Int. camps - are more patriotic than actually fighting for the freedoms at the heart of our Constitution?

Does our flag justify tyranny?

Posted by: tony at June 25, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #161615

Jack,

Of course back then they did not have the NYT and others constantly looking for problems and reporting mistakes.

And this is a bad thing?

Posted by: myles at June 25, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #161616

It is how much you harp on it. The Japanese camps were wrong and an overreaction. But if all the media talked about was that, it would also have been wrong. We also kept more than 460 Germans prisioners during the war and we even executed a couple.

I wasn’t thinking so much of the camps as the idea that we really rallied against the Japanse and Germans. We said lots of things about them that would be questionable. For example, the Japanese never had a serious chance of conquering the U.S. or invading the W. Coast. Today’s media would excoriate Roosevelt for his hyperbole in implying that the Japanese were bigger threats than they were. They would also second guess our oil policy. And they would say that we really could not criticize the Germans and Japanese of invading sovereign countries since we were doing things “just as bad” in the Philippines. Of course Roosevelt’s policy in 1940-41 toward Germany made us defacto British allies. This was illegal and much done in secrecy.

If the oppostion in the U.S. in 1942 had behaved like they do now, I doubt we would have won. We would have reached some kind of negotiated settlement and the MSM would have hailed (again) peace in our time.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #161618

Myles

Yes it CAN be bad.

My father landed at Normandy. I remember his descriptions. It was major FUBAR. Lots of things went wrong, becasue that is the nature of war. We landed in the wrong places. We were not ready for the hedgerows. Surrendering Germans were killed under questionable circumstances.

It depends on what you consider the important aspect. Do you focus on the bait you lost of the fish you caught? Constantly looking only at the negatives is as invalid as ignoring them.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #161619

So, rallying around secrecy/distortion/lies is a good thing?

Shouldn’t truth be the goal of our actions? If an idea dies because it is exposed to the public, is that a bad thing? If an idea is worth true sacrafice, shouldn’t our leaders be capable of explaining these ideas to the people like adults?

Posted by: tony at June 25, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #161620

Jack,

…we really rallied against the Japanse and Germans.
Yes, we did, and we really rallied against the perpetrators of 9/11, too. I don’t hear too much griping, in general, about Afghanistan (although there is a bit of concern about some of the corporate “gifts” and “favors” resulting from that) and the chase after bin Laden. There was an attack against us, the US, and we rallied against it.

I think there is a strong parallel there with the attack on Pearl Harbor. I don’t think much call would have been raised against fighting back on that.

But Iraq is a horse of a whole different color. Sure, SH was/is a menace to society. But mainly Iraq’s society. There are countless others who are menaces to their societies, too, but for some reason SH was singled out. I think any reasonable interpretation of historical events and perspective can figure that one out…

Problems and mistakes (begining with THE problem and mistake) need to be called as they are seen, and dealt with.

Posted by: myles at June 25, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #161624

“In wartime,” said Winston Churchill during World War II, “truth is so precious that she must be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

We want to trick our enemies. There are some things we just do not need to pursue.

But there is a more important point about TRUTH. There are many facts, but they may or may not convey a truth. You choose what to consider important. Is it the bait lost or the fish caught? Any of the great historical questions can be second guessed. Did Lincoln have the legal right to invade the South? Should Roosevelt have covertly supported the Brits. Were Washington or Lee or Eisenhower good generals or should we concentrate on their big mistakes and reject them.

The mind set that many Iraq opponents is to reject any good news and dig for mistakes.

I can adapt and old joke made about Reagan (who the left also hated) to Bush.

A reporter falls in a lake. Bush walks across the water and pulls him to safety. The headline in the NYT reads, “Bush Can’t Swim.”

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #161628

“The mind set that many Iraq opponents is to reject any good news and dig for mistakes.”

OK - so how do you justify the mistake that is Iraq?

WMDs?

Democracy?

The point is, we need to know the truth because that is how we judge what is right and who has served us honorably. Iraq does not fit WWII because there is not real world justification for it. there are rationalizations, which change as needed, but those tend to explain away bad things and deflect blame. Had we had the truth going into iraq, then we chould’ve chosen for ourselves if it was a just war or not… and had we done it that way, the public would support the actions of today - even with all the bad news.

Posted by: tony at June 25, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #161629

ummmm…

…trick our enemies…

  • Trick them by not telling the hows and whys and whens of our military tracking systems, numbers and deployment of personnel, etc? Ok, I agree with you on that!

  • Trick them by not telling of the conditions and treatment of prisoners at Gitmo? hmmm…

  • Trick them by not telling of “our” practice of warrantless operations? again…

Some things are tricks, but some things are just abuses wanting to be kept secret.


Posted by: myles at June 25, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #161632

Comparisons to WWII bring problems.

1)Different reasons for going to war. WWII was classic defensive, Iraq was Pre-emptive, and on questionable grounds at that.

2)Different Scales. WWII, as the name implies, was a global conflict, ranging across large parts of the Pacific and Europe. Iraq, by contrast, concerns only one country.

3)Occupations, post WWII, went considerably smoother.

4)The Iraq war will likely take longer to finish.

5)There will be no unequivocal victory with Iraq.

We fight Iraq with much better technology, much better medical aid to our wounded soldiers, and much greater resources.

However, we’re also fighting Iraq without enough soldiers, and without having thoroughly secured territory. We handed off control prematurely to those who we are still occupying, for all intents and purposes.

The people who started and ran this war had considerably less respect for the way things could go wrong, and that they could could get them wrong, than their predecessors did. Additionally, the modern warmakers here have made the mistake of trying to fight the war without sacrifice, which is problematic, since it limits the scope of operations. No draft means that greater numbers of soldiers cannot be quickly raised. Starting out from a position of deficit spending and with little overall economic commitment to the war has made it difficult to raise the level of resources committed. Waste has aggravated that problem.

It’s not good enough to invoke the successes of WWII. You have to apply them as well. Hope and faith that your battle plan will work and that everything will end well if you simply believe and have the will is not enough. You must have plans ready to deal with things when they go wrong, and you must be willing to change course to so. A foolish consistency is more than the hobgoblin of small minds, it is the enemy of those who seek to win wars.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2006 12:11 PM
Comment #161633

Jack,

Our fathers did a great thing in WWII. During WWII the U.S. was a more homogeneous “tribe.” With the exception of blacks (who did not count), we were white male - those were the days - the days that is - of racism - of sexist chauvinism - of a corrupt FBI that manipulated political figures and suppressed legitimate dissent - those were the days when the government and private industry did not have computer processing capacity equal to at least 1 million clerks to keep records on every man, women, and child in America - when the government did not have the technical capability to listen to every phone call, read every electronic communication, track almost every financial transaction, and so on and on - those were the days of gullible, trusting, and naive American patriotic tribalism… Things have changed a little bit. Are you suggesting that this situation and this war is a linear analogous extension of that - that Saddam was as great of a threat as the axis powers - that this war is the same as a war against a homogeneous unified organised country - that in this “brave new world” we should be as gullible, trusting, and naive as our parents - that telling Osama that: “No shit Sherlock we might be trying to listen to your phone calls” would be equivalent to telling Hitler that we had “Enigma?”

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 25, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #161634

Ray

Many Americans are working very hard to disrupt the U.S. effort in Iraq. In WWII they might have called them a fifth column. When the history of WWII was written, we felt ashamed that our hatred had blinded us to the mistake of the Japanese interment camps, although generally proud of the war effort. When the history of this conflict is written, many people will be ashamed of how their hatred of Bush blinded them to the best interests of their nation.

Let’s go back to the definition of news. If there is nothing new in the NYT, why write it. It is not news. If it is news, it might also be news to terrorist. They are not all so smart. Many of them actually buy that 72 virgins crap. If they are that gullible, maybe they don’t think that clearly.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #161636

I was alive and followed the news in 1941.

Republicans, at the time were saying good things about Hitler and bad things about FDR. Check it out.

Posted by: Norman Richardson at June 25, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #161637
In WWII they might have called them a fifth column.
McCarthy might have called them that.

Hoover might have, too.

Are you saying Bush…?


Posted by: myles at June 25, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #161640

Jack-
Normandy Beach is a different kind of screw-up than Iraq. Strategically, the invasion of Normandy made a great deal of sense: A short route of transit over the British Channel, a necessary objective to reach in order to start the war against Hitler in Northern Europe. In terms of the Justification, you couldn’t do better: We were in a defensive war against the Axis powers, who attacked us; moreover, we were set to liberate nations that were sovereign territories, rather than merely a people from their tyrant.

What screwed up Normandy was that certain objectives were not realized ahead of time; bombings and bombardments ahead of the invasion of the troops failed to take out the bunkers and the other elements that stood in our soldier’s way. It is also instructive, though, what turned Normandy around.

First, we didn’t get stingy on the troops. Had we taken Rumsfeld’s approach to manpower, Omaha Beach might have been a complete failures. Second, every soldier knew the importance and the purpose of the mission. The President had not made a wedge issue out of support for the war. Third, those in command knew the risks, and prepared for them rather than calling such preparations defeatism. They overbuilt the war, so command could absorb a few surprises without going into the stupor that happened post invasion when things didn’t go our way in Iraq.

Just because WWII was difficult and dangerous does not make it like every other difficult and dangerous war. It does not make an unjustified war justified that it’s difficult. It does not make a badly planned war a well-planned one that even good wars go wrong. It does not follow that a person has to unite behind a leader because in a past war, people united around another one. Simply achieving a change in perception is not enough. you can’t simply hope and leave things to chance, that the invocation of a past war will cause it to lend you its qualities, or get you over rough spots. We won World War II not by hearkening back to earlier conflicts but by taking care of business in the war we were fighting in the time and place we were fighting it. The sooner we face the realities of this war and adapt to those, the sooner we’ll get some productive work done on it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #161654

Many of those writing on this blog wouldn’t know truth if it bit them on the head. I read lies and half-truths in nearly every piece written and yet, these same people wear the word “truth” as though they owned it. Most are so unfamiliar with truth that they can’t even distinguish when they are lying. I would also like to know where all those atheists writing here get their concept of truth from? From what source are they basing their knowledge of truth? Sadly, for most, truth is what they believe and lies are what they do not believe. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at June 25, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #161656

—Jim Seems your post was written with invisible ink. I do not see your points of view to compare it with other posts?

Posted by: DAVID at June 25, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #161660


Stephen D.: That was an excellent response to Jack. Of course the administration would rather compare Iraq to WW2 than the more appropriate example of Viet Nam. The mightest nation on Earth fighting a war with a poor backwards country the size of New jersey and it lasts over twenty years. Then blaming the loss on the hippies marching in the streets and the will of the American people. It’s not that the people don’t want to believe the administration, it’s that the people have heard the same kind of crap before and they are not willing to pay retail price to hear and see it all again. Besides, the war is over, the Iraq government has stood up, they have told us to set a timetable and leave their country and they are trying to make a amnesty deal with the insurgents. I believe that this was unexpected and is totally unacceptable by the administration. Or, perhaps it was expected, hence the administrations so called secret plans to declare victory and have most of our troops out by the end of 2007 before the next presidential campaign begins to get heated up. After all, George has to give Jeb a fighting chance in 2008.

Posted by: jlw at June 25, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #161685

AP, great post.

Jack, it is time to stop beating around the Bush. AP said that the people of America are not quitters, as Snow implied. Do you agree or disagree?

If you agree, what’s the purpose of all your words? If you don’t agree, say so. Tell us, in your own words.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 25, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #161688

Jack,

Stephen pretty well answered your response to me. But, just because the terrorists are fundamentalists does not mean that they are stupid when it comes to flying planes or using phones. If you are suggesting that fundamentalists are stupid just because they have a passionate, fervent faith based belief in things that “work in mysterious ways” (like Diebold voting machines), then I am afraid that does not bespeak well of many of Bush’s supporters. And as far as your other comment about people feeling ashamed, when this war is over, for fighting for what they believe… I hope that day does not come in America - don’t you? If we are going to start shaming people for mistaken beliefs - me thinks the Republicans should not live in that glass house, because you must truly be ARROGANT to think that you are NEVER wrong - and if you are EVER wrong, then how DARE you stand up and FIGHT for what YOU believe.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 25, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #161702

Pundit: Nice work. You should have added that not all our parents and grandparents made sacrifices. GWB’s grand father,Prescott Bush was doing business with the Nazis.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #161707

Stephen

I hearken to the earlier war because it is our earlier experience. War is always uncertain. If you just point out mistakes, it looks very bad even for the winning side. BTW, let’s be clear. The actual execution of the Iraq war was superb. It probably could not have gone much better. The War Colleges will analyze this forever, but one reason it worked so well is because the forces were mobile and small. We made some assumptions about the post war that turned out not to be the case. Just as in Normandy or every other battle in every other war.

I repeat often, but it bears repeating that you have to account for other scenarios when judging this one. A large force needs greater infrastructure and creates more targets. It also cannot move as fast. The dogs that DIDN’T bark where wholesale destruction of the oil industry, Stalingrad style street fighting, massive refugee crisis and a bloody civil war. At least the first three were largely the result of the very rapid movement made possible by the smaller and more mobile forces.

Jlw

The only thing Vietnam has in common with Iraq is the fact of U.S. involvement. Nothing else. Oh yeah, it does have the peace movement with dubious loyalties.

Paul

I am not sure what you mean. President Bush is not and so far we have not been. Some people advocate quitting. I disagree with them.

Ray

We all presumably fight for what we believe, but sometimes what we believe is wrong. The guys who decided to inter the Japanese Americans probably believed in what they were doing. I believe the peace protestors who demanded a nuclear freeze in the 1980s probably believed in what they were doing. I have done thing out of conviction that I now am ashamed of. I think we all have. I believe the NYT articles are shameful. I hope that those who did it come to see the error of their ways.

BillS

A lot of people did business with Nazi and communist totalitarians. Sometimes they were the recognized rulers of countries at which we were not at war. You know that we are probably connected to everyone on the planet with six degrees of separation, so it is always easy to find a connection if you look for it. I am sure that many of us are currently buying products from countries run by the likes of Hugo Chavez, or Robert Mugabe and all of us own products made in China. I am sure you have found some meaningless connection of his working with someone who worked with someone to attack Prescott Bush. Have fun with that. But don’t put on your Chinese made pants or drive your car filled with Venezuelan gas while you are thinking about it.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #161722


Jack: You can continue to deny the correlations between Iraq and Viet Nam if you wish, I wouldn’t expect you to do otherwise. The main correlation between them is the incompetence of our civilian leadership. The American people can see this correlation easily.

I will ask again, why isn’t anyone on the right, even the administration, willing to respond to the fact the Iraq government has asked us to set a timetable and withdraw our troops. Why is the horridly liberal press ignoring it as well.

Posted by: jlw at June 25, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #161731

Jack: Prescott Bushes assets were frozen by the federal government 10 weeks after Goerge Sr. started flight school. There is much speculation about the depth of his dealings. Much unsubstantiated rumor. The facts of record state clearly he had dealings with the Nazis after hostilities had started .And not buying a pair of pants from. Major financial business. You do not get to re-write history.


Viva Chavez! Viva Che!

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #161741

This is the same old tired argument isn’t it?

“The LIBERALS can’t fight!”

“The democrats are soft on: defense or terrorism
or place the most recent dumbass comments made by the rightwing soundbite mudslingers, aka FAUX NEWS”!!

I’m truly sick of it aren’t you!!

but the one way to stop their nonsense is to ask a NEO-CON just one little question;
“Did you serve in our Armed Forces?”

At least 65% of those chickenhawks now running the show did not serve at all!! I’d be willing to bet that less that 50% of those under the age of 45 who vote repugnant never served either!!

Ask most voting democrats in that same group today and you’ll find a far greater precentage have served, men and women alike!!!

I’m a proud former Marine and having been in harms way and watching friends and fellow Marines die because of stupid republican whitehouse blunders!!! I was serving during Ronnie Rayguns Lebanon fiasco. I lost 2 good friends and 237 brothers to the truck bomb on the Marine barracks.

So how about it chickenhawks… er… uh… republicans? You continue to creep in here to push these same tired complaints about liberals, democrats and progressives!!! Please tell us all… DID YOU SERVE?

Posted by: Dave in NorCal at June 25, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #161743


NeoCons and The Greed Creed

Different eras in American history have been identified as the New Deal, The New Frontier, The Great Society, and The Jazz Age; this Republican era of Neo Conservative America is best called The Greed Creed. Their current attitude is what’s in it for me, not what can I do to help Americans. Unlike what John Kennedy said over 40 years ago, Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Now the Republicans say it is not my problem, what is in it for me, and I have got mine, now you go get yours. The result has been a Culture of Corruption, a Crisis of Competence, and a Climate of Cronyism.

Where is the debate between Americans over our future direction? Where is the debate between what we want our country to be and what we want our state to be. How is our government representive and what is in fact going on there instead? Do we really want to make our American society and government work? Are we captives of slogans and concepts of political strategists? Do we hang on to power and the powerful because we can, and ignore promises of term limits? Or do we as Americans want a representative government that recognizes the needs of our people, not just of our corporations? Was George Bush right when he said to a gathering that Some call you the haves and the have mores, I call you my base? In essence is We The People a slogan or a promise to us and future generations from our forefathers that our government serves the people by checks and balances and rules of rights and laws.

Recently, the Economic Policy Institute in Washington reported that the average CEO in America now earns nearly $11 million dollars a year, more in a single day than the average American worker earns in a year. All Americans are clearly not the tool of the rich and powerful, but it would appear that they are voting that way. Who will represent the hardworking men and women of America who have to feed, educate, clothe, and raise their children in times of outsourcing American jobs and $3 dollars a gallon gasoline? Is that not a question worthy of respect and debate?

- Thomas P Love

“>http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060621/ts_nm/financial_pay_dc>


Posted by: Thomas Love at June 25, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #161750

Thomas,
Thats why we have the Iraq debacle, Flag amendments, and marriage amendments , so we wont notice the real issues.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 25, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #161752

Thomas: Yeah, I heard flag burning and gay marriage called “weapons of mass distraction”

Dave in norcal: You will never get them to say they have served,when and where. Many have tried.

Jack: Whistling past the graveyard are we?Vietnam and Iraq have another thing in common. Both stupid wars that did not need to be fought. Even the architects of Vietnam now admit it was a tragic mistake. Those of us who opposed that war are proud of it and we will be proud we opposed this one.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #161757

Jack,

“It is how much you harp on it. The Japanese camps were wrong and an overreaction. But if all the media talked about was that, it would also have been wrong. We also kept more than 460 Germans prisioners during the war and we even executed a couple.”

We also held the crew of the Submarine U 505 prisoner without notifying the Red Cross, or allowing their families to know that they were even alive.
The reason was the codes and the Enigma machine that were captured with the Sub.

Posted by: Rocky at June 25, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #161758

jlw

Our goal is to get our troops out as soon as possible. The Iraqi government has the right to ask us to leave. I think it would be a mistake if we leave too soon, but that would be their call. I believe we should stay until conditions are right to go, no longer, no less.

I wish we could leave a secure Iraq today. I do not think it is possible. I also think we have a chance to leave a reasonably stable country if we do it right. We can argue whether I am right or wrong. But it is certain that if we fail, it will be very bad all around. Think of the results of Vietnam or even Somalia. You can blame Bush the way some people blame Johnson, but we all will have to live with the failure, so we best all work together to avoid it. So try to think of this problem w/o Bush.

BillS

“Viva Chavez! Viva Che!” Chavez is a tin pot dicators. Che is a small time murderer, who happens too look sort of like Jesus on a T-shirt. He managed to get killed by Bolivian peasants. How stupid is that? I really cannot understand why people give left wing despots a free ride. You may as well say viva Franco! viva Himmler.


Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #161769

Jack: Fact check. Chavez is the democratically twice elected president of Venezuela. He is not a dictator even if Pat Robertson wants him killed. He uses oil revenue to help the poor. I can see why that makes some people nervous. Che Guavarra was a Latin American revolutionary hero murdered by the CIA after years of trying. Really you can not make it up as you go along.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #161772

BillS

This is an eye of the beholder thing. Chavez is a complicated case. Let’s see how he works out when he finishes wrecking his economy.

Che was not someone to be admired. He got a lot of mileage from the looks and the radical mystique. You may as well admire Himmler or Beria, who served similar roles in their own dictatorships. You may recall that he presided over summary executions at La Cabaña and he established the labor camp system, where Castro sent dissidents, democrats, artists and homosexuals.

Lucky for his reputation he got killed when he did. Too bad for some of his victims it didn’t come a bit sooner. But you can wear the T-shirt if you want. We don’t have any Ches at work in the U.S.

On a related topic, I look forward to the death of Fidel, the last caudillo. It will be nice when Cuba can develop more naturally.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #161774

W H O A ….Jack,

“Americans (including journalists) were more patriotic back then.”

You gotta be kidin’ me.

WWII was a far more black and white kind of issue, but we were in the early days of broadcast media. If anything, Americans are far more patriotic now. WE JUST AREN’T AS SHELTERED OR BLINDED as our parents’ generation who saw WWII first hand. The Greatest Genration vertainly deserves the appelation for rising to what may have been the greatest moral calling of our nation’s history. But we are in a position now that is VERY similar to the era around our revolution when printing presses were running off newspapers and pamphlets at breakneck pace and distributing them all over teaching about representation and taxation issues for the colonies and stirring up support for the birth of our nation. We have the internet…they had hundreds of printing presses working late nights all up and down the eastern coast of the colonies and distribution by horse and by foot.

This country was FOUNDED on a free press and the vibrant, vigorous and open debate of important issues. Pointing out the the WWII generation had a much more black and white, cut and dry situation does not make that generation more patriotic or this generation less so.

The concept you seem to be arguing for is more akin to blind, unquestioning following of the entrenched government establishment. Which is something that is UTTERLY UN-AMERICAN.

Posted by: RGF at June 25, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #161778

RGF

You give our generation too much credit. We are getting soft and spoiled. Almost nobody does hard work anymore. We demand rights w/o responsibilites and our biggest sacrifices consist of complaining that our rights are being violated.

I never called for government punishment of the media, but i do believe we should criticize it. That is also part of the debate. Free speech means you can talk. It doesn’t mean people must listen or that they cannot object.

The person who revealed the information should be punished,however.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #161791

Jack: I of the beholder? A democratically elected leader of a country is not a dictator. Its not complicated. Try a dictionary.Mushariff is a dictator,the Sauds are a hereditary dictatorship for example. I am sure we are working to undermine the Veneusla economy but they control enough oil to ruin ours. If other OPEC states used their oil revenue to actually improve the lives of their people the terrorist would have a much harder time recruiting don’t you think? In the meantime I gas up at Citgo every chance I get.
Got to admit I added the vivas just to get your goat. What you think may happen is not sufficient justification to compare Chavez to Mugahbe.

Posted by: BillS at June 26, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #161792

Jack, your party however is going after the NYTimes. I listen to what you say, then I look at what your party does. Often, it is confusing for me to understand why you remain with the GOP since, what its leaders do so often contradicts what you say should be the case.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 26, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #161804


Jack: In three months conditions in Iraq will be in such great shape that the president can anounce major troop withdraws. It is to soon now, not close enough to the election and the democrats have to be backed into a corner so that the republicans can claim it as a major victory. Wag the dog in reverse.

I do blame Johnson for the carnage called Viet Nam. The reason for my blame-Copper, Tin, Rubber, etc.

Many of the right wingers say that there is nothing wrong with data mining the personal lives of the people. If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. But, acording to many of them, guess who is doing something wrong.

The NYT and most of the MSM is doing something wrong.

The liberals are doing something wrong.

Homosexuals are doing something wrong.

Just think of how many people in this country are doing something wrong. One could say that although they are doing something wrong, what they are doing is not illegal, not yet anyway.


Posted by: jlw at June 26, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #161816
Americans (including journalists) were more patriotic back then.

The WWII was more just, too.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 26, 2006 6:05 AM
Comment #161844


A reporter falls into a lake. George Bush walks across the water and saves him. The fox news headline reads, ” The Son of God Has Returned .” Hell, I thought they declared that when Bush won reelection.

Posted by: jlw at June 26, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #161887

Jack,

Nobody ever said anything about anybody having to listen or agree. That is a tired point. you heard it somewhere where it was sounded good in context and now you throw it around like loose change along with so many others. Myself included.

The validity of pointing out the masses of media we have today is to compare the similarity of our internet and print media extraganza with the media values of our founding fathers who lived in a whirlwind of conflicting ideas being printed and distributed throughout the colonies. They and we enjoyed vibrant debate.

You make the comment that the present generation doesn’t work hard anymore and only argue for more rights and privileges. That comes froma misunderstanding on your part as well as a sheltered base of view and experience and a misunderstanding of what is around you.

We have seen massive advantage taken of people victimized by Katrina, rate payers in California, investors in Worldcom, Quest, Arthur Anderson, Adelphia, etc etc. We are seeing hard working people who are buying houses being taken advantage of by the builders. We are seeing the mostly undocumented workforce doing the building being ripped off and taken advatage of. We are seeing companies exerting incredible influence on laws throughout this country in efforts to gain the upper hand financially. This is being done at ALL of our expense. No exceptions. Tort reform is a prime example of this. I have posted this before, but here it is again:

In TX, the med-mal carriers were exponentially raising the premiums on doctors insurence rates. When the doctors rasied a furor over it, the carriers blamed ‘frivolous lawsuits.’ The people were activated by paranoia and distaste for lawyers (born out of misunderstanding) and a STATE AMMENDMENT was passed - prop 12. One of the leed advocates of the move was a doctor (I use the term loosely) who had been SUCESSFULLY sued for med-mal 16 times. Someone I am very closely related to performed work for this doctor and KNOWS the doctor to be guilty of leaving sponges in surgical patients causing infections and permanent injuries. Obviously, I’m not going to throw the name out there but you can find it if you are diligent enough in your record hunting.

The REALITY: lawsuits amounted to less than 2% of the ‘problem’ so even we erroniously assumed that ALL the cases were frivolous, that would be completely out of line with statistical norms. So, lets imagine they were ALL legitimate…that actually fits the facts. So what caused the premium increases? THE BOND MARKET!!!! You see, insurence carriers are not brokers. They cannot invest money they expect to need for legitimate pay-outs in the stock market or other more specific investments since that involves making entrustments of money that is being being held for the benefit of others in a way that is beyond the control of those the money is supposed to be held for the benefit of. SO, they park it in BONDS which are public and acceptable for the purposes. The result is that when the bond market hiccupped, at least in part due to the horrific defecit spending we are doing, the insurence companies took a hit. The legislation they acheived operated to increase the money they keep from LEGITIMATE lawsuits, not the frivolous ones. That is because of how the percentages work out. The greater the legitimate damages are for a given plaintiff, the more harmed by a static cut-off they will be as far as taking care of ligit med expenses, case costs, etc. The more frivolous, the more likely it is that the percentages work out to the benefit of the plaintiff.

The insurence carriers continue to raise rates on doctors while qiuetly reporting RECORD BREAKING PROFITS!!! They found a way to hold liqiudity without trusting the bond market anymore. That actually hurts us all, Jack.

Therein lies the real problem: not a lazy bunch of Americans complaining about rights, but an American populace who is tired of being milked and now wants the law to protect them as it is supposed to do. Unfortuneatly, the momentum of the republican party and of many powerful backers of the GOP has grown to such a degree that it is uncertain if individual rights and freedoms even mean anything anymore. We have pat Buchanaon out there writing books about how acceptible HE THINKS it is for a majority of highschool students to VOTE OUT the constitutional rights of the minority with respect to school prayer…as though our rights are subject to majority approval!

It’s happening all over, Jack. No part of our society is going unnoticed by those trying to manipulate us. This is NOT a LAZY GENERATION ot TIME for us a country, Jack. This is time when more and more Americans are getting tired of getting milked dry by those who do not understand or respect the values our country was founded on.

TIME FOR A CHANGE

Posted by: RGF at June 26, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #161895

Jack,

On a related topic, I look forward to the death of Fidel, the last caudillo. It will be nice when Cuba can develop more naturally.

When has Cuba ever developed naturally??

A suggestion - stick to European history. As a Cuban I can say without reservation that you have no idea what you are talking about on Cuba (a common trait shared by many Republicans).

You are just parroting the party line, which was designed to maintain Cubans as a Republican voting bloc. Alas, Bush is even FUBAR on that one.

Regardless Jack, I expect you to downplay my understanding and come back with some condescending reply.

Fidel is a criminal who has lined his pockets with the little wealth left in his country while also quietly allowing Cuban expats to send millions in direct aid and enough economic freedom to keep his country afloat.

Fidel replaced Fulgencio Batista - another corrupt criminal, but one who was well liked by our government as well as by Meyer Lansky.

Before Castro, Cuba was known for its sugar, cigars, music, beaches, casinos, hotels and prostitution - and the poverty of the masses. Today, except for the casinos, things remain unchanged.

The poor are still miserably poor, though at least they are literate (Communists have always been effective at raising education). If the poverty is worse, it is equal parts Communism (except for China, there’s not a communist economy worth a lick) and the US embargo.

What set the stage for Castro? The Platt Amendment, plain and simple. Everything that lead up to Castro, including Batista, flowed directly from it.

Let’s be clear - I know Castro to be a thug with the remarkable gift of oratory. I have friends whose fathers spent time in his jails as political prisoners, so my venom is certain.

But Cuba today is as much a result of the Castro as the economic embargo and Batista and the entrenched corruption encouraged by the US. If you want to discuss history for a moment, you can argue that Spanish exploitation in Latin America paved the way for the US, who led to Batista.

But please, keep playing politics, because it is working quite well with us next generation Cubans.

Oh, and as to Castro’s persecution of non-heteros - I thought you Repugs considered that a good thing…

Posted by: Jesus Hernandez at June 26, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #161907

Jack,

Those of us opposed to the positions on the new neo-con right, on the side of BUSH et al, have called you, rahdigly, SE and others out so many times now. I took the time to raise the issues I raised and didn’t even adress the Cuba thing. I’m glad, now, because Jesus is so much in a better position to call you out on it than I am. The point is, time and time again those of us on the left point out the fallacies and misunderstqandings you and those on the right continually labor under and I am trying hard to figure out why there is so much stubborness. I certainly understand the powerful nature of sinful pride, but this is rediculous.

You see, I was once on the side of the political spectrun called republican. I don’t feel like I shifted my values, but the GOP has certainly spun a 180 degree turn! My understanding and wisdom with respect to legal issues has grown and matured as well as my depth of analysis of certain facts and my own experience. Now I have the zeal of the convert. I know and more importantly SEE how the right is extremely bad for our country. What I don’t get is how it is that those of us on the ‘left’ can run the kind of circles around your ideas and arguments that we have run, for the many months that I have been blogging, and yet you don’t seem to budge. Just how much sinfull pride have you?

Posted by: RGF at June 26, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #162121

Jack,

It seems to me that you Repubs try to use this “shame” thing to shut your critics up. There is a consistent pattern of using that to try to suppress legitimate dissent by this Regime. I think supporting Bush is a profoundly shameful mistake, but when was the last time that I tried to shame you for doing so. I have not - nor will I. Now if Bush turns out to be as great as you think he is, and I finally figure that out - which is unlikely given my Democratic “selection bias” - but if that happens I will be embarrassed by my own stupidity - but I will never be ashamed of fighting for what I believed - nor should I be. If the day comes when you finally figure out that Bush is as bad as we say he is - which is unlikely given your Republican “selection bias” - but if it happens - you should embarrassed by your gullible naivete - but you should never be ashamed of fighting for what you believe. Yet, you personally, Republicans in general, and the Bush Regime in specificity consistently try to shame me and other liberals for expressing what we believe to be right, and I am sick of it. I think that you are supporting a corrupt Regime that is the greatest threat to our Constitution that has occurred in my lifetime. If I happen to be correct, then you are making a grievous but innocent mistake and I will not shame you for fighting for what you believe in. The world is big, complex, and nuanced and people make mistakes. At least one, probably both of us is wrong, but I believe that you are a patriotic American fighting what you believe - I don’t know that - I just believe it on blind faith - in exactly the same way that I do not believe in Diebold voting machines. Praise be to Jack, who doesn’t know jack, I believe it. So I will not shame you for being an American patriot, but how dare you and other Repubs use these cheap manipulative tricks to shamefully attempt to suppress the free speech of patriotic liberals like the NYT and little insignificant ME.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 27, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #162275

Jack is just trying to earn a living, doing what Republicans do best.

Posted by: norm at June 27, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #162876

…you mean, LIE? …To THEMSELVES?

Posted by: RGF at June 28, 2006 5:00 PM
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