Nov. 2 Sources: John Kerry's Freudian Slip

I am willing to believe that John Kerry was making a lame joke (the man has no sense of humor) and not trying to insult the military. But he betrayed a common left wing attitude toward the military. Stupid soldiers are central to the left’s worldview, as this linked article shows. BTW - watch the clip. Left or right, it is funny.

I anticipate comments that will tell me why I am wrong, but they will do so by proving me right, i.e. they will insist on repeating the outdated stereotypes about the military.

Other sources are below.

A Better Measure of Long-Term Spending: FASAB Proposes Changes in Accounting for Social Security, Medicare
Before Iraq
Operation Comeback
Political Change in Europe and America and Its Impact on the Alliance
Regime Change in Paris: How Nicolas Sarkozy Could Reinvigorate U.S.-French Relations
Stupid Soldiers: Central to the Left's Worldview
The War on Terror Five Years Later
Unfinished Business: Congress Must Address Intelligence Oversight, CFIUS Reform

Posted by Jack at November 3, 2006 11:01 PM
Comments
Comment #193248

The Real problem here, Jack, is that this guy’s Op-Ed simply says it’s central, without much back-up. If you want to know what’s central to a liberal, why don’t you ask us?

Such attitudes might have been once common, when the draft actually made it a reality by including folks of lesser mental gifts, but I think the Citizen Soldiers sensibility that came back with that Greatest Generation movement took care of that. It let us recall that all kinds of people served and fought, and that when the necessity called for sacrifice people gave their all and thought it was worth it.

The Republicans don’t realize that the objections to Iraq mostly center around the practical aspects of the war, and their strategic consequences elsewhere.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #193250

How about running an election campaign on this:

Republicans can talk about whether a line from a Kerry speech disrespected the troops.


Democrats can talk about this article, which is running as a joint editorial this Monday in the Army, Navy, and Air Force Times:

“Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.”

You read that correctly. The Army Times, the Navy Times, the Air Force Times.

Or perhaps Democrats should discuss the devastating Vanity Fair article, where
Neocons such as the Prince of Darkness himself, Richard Perle, level devastating criticism towards the Bush administration. Kenneth Adelman, another well-known Neocon, describes the Bush administration as
“among the most incompetent administrations of the post-war era… Individually, each team member had serious flaws; together they were deadly dysfunctional.”

Even the Neocons reject the Bush administration now. No one wants to be associated with the disastrous policies, the incompetence, the corruption.

Worst. President. Ever.

And we have the Republicans to blame. They are ducking the issues, dodging, talking up some obscure Kerry gaffe, nything to avoid taking responsibility for Republican actons, but it will not save them this Tuesday.

Posted by: phx8 at November 4, 2006 1:47 AM
Comment #193253

My reply, Jack, is here, in response to the question, who insults our troops more, Kerry’s misspoken words, or Bush’s mismanaged and inept war in Iraq?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 2:30 AM
Comment #193259

That “Stupid Soldiers” article is shameless propaganda. Aside from the botched Kerry joke, the guy couldn’t find a SINGLE QUOTE FROM A LIBERAL stating or even implying that soldiers are stupid.
Central to the Left’s worldview? He didn’t even show that it’s PART of the Left’s worldview.

Ironic that he brings up Rep. Charlie Rangel. Rangel served in the US Army for four years, so he would be in an odd position to argue that soldiers are stupid. And he doesn’t.

So no, I’m not going to bother trying to prove that you’re wrong, until you can come up with evidence that you may actually be right.

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 4, 2006 4:59 AM
Comment #193264

If there’s been anything good in recent years, it’s been the respect accorded our troops. Kerry’s botched joke and the gleeful partisan indignation of Republicans aside, I’ve been heartened that the guys on the ground have been accorded respect. Past vets, though, haven’t been accorded this respect. If you are a vet and a Democratic and oppose some Bush policies, suddenly you are the target of an administration run by two guys, both of whom didn’t serve in combat. Not serving in combat obviously has little to do with ability to lead this country, but it is unseemly that these two guys — one of whom had other priorities during the Vietnam War and one of whom often was often missing from National Guard duties — is unseemly.

Posted by: Trent at November 4, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #193265

Bleh, and I so wanted that last post to be error free. Although I’ve had bad luck with the preview function, maybe I should give it another shot.

Posted by: Trent at November 4, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #193269

I personally take issue with the author’s following statement:

“Antiwar criticism has morphed into a patronizing attitude toward GIs, by way of questioning the quality of the men and women who volunteer to serve. Perhaps it is easier for the antiwar Left to believe that soldiers are unintelligent than to believe that they are taking risks willingly because they actually believe in the war’s purpose.”

I don’t agree that attitudes of anti-war criticism has gone from being against the war to patronizing soldiers. Most anti-war advocates I know (as well as me) understand that soldiers are professionals and for the most part do their jobs very well. I think the author attempts to mis-direct the criticism of the anti-war movement toward the soldier here and not where it is focused like a laser beam: The administration and the leadership mis-management of the war effort.

Posted by: Dennis at November 4, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #193273

If you want the average Liberal’s persective on the soldiers, watch Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg is a prototypical liberal filmmaker, and that’s the kind of movie he makes: The soldiers are funny, profane, profound, scared, and courageous at turns. In short, they’re like us. They are us. Sacrifices are made, and people’s lives cut short, but there is meaning and purpose in it, so long as they believe in what they’re doing. The mission can be screwed-up, unnecessary, but even then, people can do good. We don’t deny or sugarcoat the horrors of war, and the depths to which people can sink in them, but we also don’t deny the nobility of fighting and dying for your country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #193274

phx8

How about staying on topic,if you can, and answer Jack’s post and links to how Libs try and misrepresent our troops? Nice try at side stepping.
If you want to start your own thread, please go to the appropriate blog.

phx8 worst hack-poster. ever.

Is it funny when I do it?

Posted by: Realist2 at November 4, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #193277


It is sad that our troops are far more intelligent than their leaders. Our troops deserve better.

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #193281

Realist2,

“phx8 worst hack-poster. ever.

Is it funny when I do it?”

No, it is not funny when you do it. Please, leave the business of humor to experienced professionals.

If you insist on pursuing this approach, first observe:
“Worst. President. Ever.”
Notice the insertion of periods between each word? When you tried to imitate me, Realist2, you rather tragically started with a short phrase, omitted periods, and omitted capitalizations, which in turn failed to develop the heavy emphasis and punch of three short words:

“Worst. President. Ever.”

Now, here is what you wrote:

“phx8 worst hack-poster. ever.”

See the difference? Feel free to seek help in future comments.


Posted by: phx8 at November 4, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #193305

Charles Ross-
An intelligent man, coming to the conclusion that Iraq would cause great harm by imploding might feel compelled to serve in Iraq.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #193322

Kerry has apologized. Where is Bush’s apology to our troops for their deaths, injuries, and family hardships? There is just no comparison.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #193353

Jack,

“But he betrayed a common left wing attitude toward the military. Stupid soldiers are central to the left’s worldview, as this linked article shows.”

Quoting a conservative think tank article on how the author thinks liberals think?

Yikes!
That’s hysterical.

Posted by: Rocky at November 4, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #193362

I have posted two articles referencing studies that show the all volunteer military resembles America in terms of income, ethnicity etc. The difference is that it is a little more middle class, with the poor very much underrepresented and the rich a little under represented. It is a little more more rural and a little more southern. Nearly all members of the military have at least a HS education. Most officers have college educations and many have masters and above.

All these things are easily checked and verifiable facts. Yet each when I write this, a dozen people try to bring up the Vietnam stereotype of the less educated, poor minority.

I am glad that at least the liberals who are writing here no longer believe those forty-year-old half truths. I still suspect that many do.

Posted by: Jack at November 4, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #193386

Jack, you forgot to mention the H.S. waivers recruiters use. You also forgot to factor how unrepresentative of Americans in general our military is in light of their receiving $45,000 sign up bonuses. How many working class Americans get that kind of bonus up front for just hiring in?

Yes, you write about the commonalities, but, for whatever reasons, you leave out the differences. You know the Mafia used to provide sign on bonuses for hired killers too! And let’s be clear, about 1/4 to 1/3 of our military are hired to kill or be killed. The remaining are hired to support them. The only difference between the Mafia and our military is their purpose for killing, intimidating, interrogating, and injuring others.

So, how many of our soldiers signed on for the $45,000 check up front, and how many signed on for flag and country. I will give you a hint. If the flag and country were a sufficient motive, the $45,000 sign up bonus would not be needed.

Now that is a story worth telling. How it is America politicians have elected military engagements which can only be manned sufficiently with bribes? And can only be supported and manned by civilians making 5 to 10 times the wage of their counterparts back home? No draft or bribes were needed to build up our military manpower for WWII. That difference is the real story about our government, its leaders, and our military.

Once over in Iraq, most of our soldiers fight for each other and to stay alive and unharmed. Many have said just that in interviews and testimony before Congress. Having been through the indoctrination of boot camp, AIT, and having been a platoon sergeant who conditioned troops through AIT (advanced individual training where they learn their specialty work), I can tell you, the esprit de corps and comradery, and absolute rule about covering each other’s ass, is no accident or voluntary event. It is a form of mental conditioning, some call it brain washing, but it is highly effective in getting normal rational human beings who love life, to enter and stay in prolonged life threatening battle areas. Is it bravery? I would say, yes.

But, learned, trained, and conditioned bravery. But, there is a different kind of bravery for which we award medals, like that of a soldier who knowingly places his body and life between an IED and the rest of his squad, if he has the moment to contemplate the act before doing it.

Most bravery though is the kind found in testosterone loaded dare-devils on motor cycles, sky diving, or partaking in downhill free fall skiing or snow boarding. It is a bravery inherent in youth which believes deep down, in their own immortality at such a young age.

And that is the reason armies the world over are populated by the young for actual combat. Physical conditioning also plays a part, but, the larger component is the suspension of belief in mortality by the young mind.

All that said, American civilians cannot pay high enough homage to those young men and women, regardless of their motives, for their willingness to serve when so many of the rest of the civilian population chooses not to.

They are our defense against those who would harm us here at home, whether we use them for that purpose, or others. They don’t ask what the politics of their commander in chief are when they enlist. They trust, rightly or wrongly, that their government will not waste their lives or limbs on engagements which are not in defense of their families, their homeland, and the liberties of their people.

It is imperative that this nation and our government give them the very best of treatment and care when they return home, in whatever state or condition they arrive home in. The more so, when it is clear that the reasons to send them to war, were wrong or, false. We owe them every assistance in returning to as normal a civilian life as possible, wounded or not. On behalf of a grateful nation, we owe them at least this much.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #193413

Jack,

Well, I think the posters here have sumarized my feelings about the non issue here.

I will raise the elephant in the room that David Remer alluded to.

The vast majority of recruits are 18-20 year olds. Those are the guys we have used since time immemorial. Is it only because they are physically fit? Or does their ablity to be molded and not question authority play into that?.

Using the data You linked from the Heritage Foundation in a previous post, One can see most recruits are High School Grads. Only about 5% have higher education.

We have a nation that is emphasizing college education almost as a Caste system, yet college is not available to a significant portion of the middle class. On a personal note, many of the soldiers I talk to are looking for either education benefits, carrer training , or a career other than a part time Walmart job. Being relegated to a lower socioeconomic eschelon, or risk your life to be offered entre into a higher status. It’s not something new. Is it immoral? Perhaps, but it is the fuel of empire.


This has nothing to do with what Kerry said, but is the ignored issue raised by the comments of the likes of Tony Snow and Rush.

Posted by: gergle at November 5, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #193415

David

Thanks for demonstrating what I meant. See below too.

Many firms pay hiring bonuses. These bonuses are aimed at helping these guys with education etc. There is nothing wrong with that.

Let me ask you this. If a firm offered HS grads a bonus, promised training, helped with education and did all the thing the military does, would you consider it a bad thing? If not, then you are singling out the military and you may consider why.

Gergle

Most organizations hire people out of HS or college. The military hires its rank and file out of HS, the same way any firm does. It hires its managers (officers) out of college. It provides training for both groups.

You are assuming that the people signing up are unable to make the proper choice. You are making the military victims (and fooled at that).

That may be true. You and David might be right. All I am saying is that THAT is the liberal attitude. You are expressing your opinion. I think John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi agree with you. You can argue for it, but do not run away from it or feel insulted when someone points it out.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #193421

John Kerry said:

If you … do your homework, you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
Donald Rumsfeld said
As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want.
Just who was insulting the troops?

Posted by: ElliottBay at November 5, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #193503

Jack said: “Most organizations hire people out of HS or college. The military hires its rank and file out of HS, the same way any firm does. It hires its managers (officers) out of college. It provides training for both groups.”

Now this comment appears just disingenuous. Show me a business or company that provides a $45,000 bonus to H.S. grads, and funds up to half their college costs in matching funds when they leave the company.

Patriotism is not driving young men to join. The money is. If that were not true, the sign up bonues would not be offered to the deficits and debt which is harming Republican’s reelection.

The training they receive for their military occupational role is separate from the sign up bonus and separate from the watered down, mediocre GI bill. I got through college on the original GI bill, and it was tough. Today’s soldiers must come up with half of it out of their own military pay.

Not sure, but, if I recall correctly that was another Republican slap in the face toward our troops. And if they have families, and face bankruptcy, they can no longer get a fresh start like they used to. That is now reserved only for the very wealthy and corporations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #193517

David

I have friends who have taken dangerous jobs (three are in Iraq; two in Afghanistan). Part of the motivation is the extra money they will earn. But they are also motivated by the desire do something interesting, something worthwhile and to do their duty. Most of us work for the money and sometimes we choose to do unpleasant or dangeous things for it.

How do you feel about Alaskan crab fishermen? They are risking their lives entirely for the profits.

Very few people work only for money, but even fewer work without it.

Do you consider the military a valid career choice for a young man or woman? My feeling is that many liberals just do not. That is why they have to convince themselves that the choices volunteers make are not valid.

$45,000 and help with college is a good deal. Don’t you wish other firms were as generous? Why do you hold it against the military?

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #193542

Before it happens again… don’t lump liberals in with the whole “we hate our troops and our country” crowd. No one said it so don’t say they did. People are not really that stupid to fall for it just to let you know.

/Military member, and a liberal.

Posted by: Einghf at November 6, 2006 5:50 AM
Comment #193550

Jack,

“unable to make the proper choice”?

Did I say that? Hmmm I don’t recall that. I think you said that.

All I am saying is that the poor (or lower middle class) are limited in their choices.

I made no judgement about the correctness or whether that choice was proper. Maybe that is a Republican perception.

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #193561

Gergle

The military reflect the U.S. in most ways, but the poorest Americans are UNDER represented. IF a poor guy decides the military is his best option, maybe he is right.

Let’s not dance around the issue. If you believe the person joining is making a valid choice (which I do), we have no argument. Why is it then, that I keep on getting one?

Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 9:25 AM
Comment #193605

Jack,
We have one about what is valid. I believe it is a “free” choice that is influenced by enviroment. The enviroment, as of right now, is probably more fair. With all the news of deaths in Iraq, those entering are under no delusions that this is a purely economic or lifestyle choice.

Once in, the military engages in brain washing and mind control. It is part of boot camp.

That these are the youngest and most imprssionable members of our society (that society permits this be done to) could be construed as preditory. However, I think the vast majority simply see it as culturally normative. We get rather excited about the same practices of cults. Society benefits from this standing military in the expansion of the US economic and territorial reach. Some of our founders questioned the value of a standing army.

I only asked the question: Is this moral?

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2006 1:01 PM
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