Veterans Defend War Criticism

"President Bush doesn't have a memory of having gone to a war where your politicians lied to you. I have a memory of having gone to a war where the politicians lied and the consequence was the people received me not as a hero but as somebody who had done something they didn't want him to do." --Bob Kerrey, former Democratic senator from Nebraska and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 6, 1991)

Fortunately, it seems highly unlikely that such a scenario would occur again -- one of the many lessons Americans learned from Vietnam (too late for many of the veterans, unfortunately) was that it's just plain un-American to turn our backs on the troops. They didn't make the policy decisions that started the war; they were simply doing their duty for their country.

The misplaced anger at Vietnam veterans is at long last being rectified, and rightly so, but the pendulum has swung too far the other way. This time around, those who disagree with the decision to go to war -- or even the way the war is being conducted -- are branded as unpatriotic and treated to ad hominem attacks from some war supporters; expressing dissent is equated with disrespecting the soldiers in the field. Really, isn't the ultimate disrespect to the troops sending them into a war that was executed without adequate planning, and where key information was omitted, resulting in an image of the enemy that was, if not necessarily false, at least incomplete?

Debaters had a lot to say on this. In the comments, ex-marine Francis Jens Erickson writes a scathing open letter to the president. John (who might or might not be a veteran) reminds us of this Mark Twain quote: "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

Jaxas, a Vietnam veteran with three decades of military and civilian defense experience, says, "It is instructive here that the most vicious critics of those who call for a new policy or plan on Iraq come from people who have never worn the uniform ... I often find that it is those very people who have the sort of uncritical mindsets that get us into these no-win situations because they simply do not understand either military or political history as it has developed in America."

Debater Alex Ham, who served in Baghdad for five months, is one who's angry that anyone dare criticize the current war. He says, "Wake up you commies, or get the hell out of my country. Our forefathers are turning over in their graves."

In a later comment, Jaxas explains the trouble with such namecalling. "Calling people cowards simply because they express a view in opposition to your own is hardly conducive to that sort of civil, respectable debate that our Founder's envisioned. There are a great many ways to lose our cherished liberties. Not least among them their use in a destructive pedestrian way. When we debauch such a grand freedom in this way, we render it not worth having."

It is my fervent hope that when we inevitably find ourselves in the next controversial war, Americans will finally have found a happy medium on this. We must be able to distinguish between the policy makers -- who ought to be held accountable for their decisions in such weighty matters -- and the men and women in uniform, who ought to be appreciated for their willingness to put their lives on the line and who, at the very least, deserve to be able to trust their government with the decision to send them to war.

Unfortunately, says Debater SandyK, that trust has been eroded. SandyK, a former marine, writes of her dad, who served in Vietnam: "Last year this Iraq topic came up, and he told us this: 'They all lie'." She added, "From every single combat vet I've known (and I've was born and raised on a military base to boot), none trust their government, period."

On a personal note: I love that U.S. troops who have been in Iraq -- and, it seems from reading the comments, even one or two who are currently serving in Iraq -- are expressing their views in the comments here. It's terrific to have your perspective. Stay safe! And to the veterans who've been commenting, your ideas, too, really enhance the Debate. Thank you all for your service, and for taking the time to join in the conversation.

By Emily Messner |  December 2, 2005; 1:24 PM ET  | Category:  Looking Ahead
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Jewish law and making a killing on Hurricane Katrina


By Mary Maxwell, Ph.D.
Dec 2, 2005, 00:17

One day, about 12 years ago, I was walking past a bookshop in Jerusalem and saw the cover of a book on Halakhah -- Jewish law. Since I had been living in Arabia for a few years and was accustomed to bargaining for every purchase, I walked into the store and made an offer on the book. The bookseller looked offended to the point of being personally hurt. I therefore paid the full price -- 196 shekels. That book, The Challenge of Wealth, by Meir Tamari, soon became my favorite book and subsequently it has never been elbowed out of first place.

For a Catholic like me it contained a surprise: that the development of Jewish law continued long after the New Testament was written. From ancient times to the present, rabbinic courts have been hearing cases from individuals and thus have established a jurisprudence parallel to the Common Law of secular society. In Europe, the rulings of rabbinic courts were enforced independently of civil law until the time of the Napoleonic emancipation.

Another surprise was that Judaic law covers economic behavior in detail. For instance, it tells a merchant how much profit he is allowed to make: he can add approximately 20 percent to the actual cost. In other words, one-sixth of the total is profit. If he adds more, he might be guilty of price fraud -- oonah, in Hebrew. That explains why my bookseller was offended: his advertised price was within the law, and my suggesting that he come down several notches implied an accusation by me that he was using unfair pricing practice.

Another manifestation of the completeness of Jewish economic ethics concerns labor relations and matters of business competition. What if a man runs a barbershop in a town so small that it can support only one barber and then another barber comes into town? They can go to the rabbi and discuss the Talmudic teachings about putting a man out of business. We can see that there are two values here. Making a living is a value, in fact it's a matter of life or death, is it not? In the American system, both barbers would be said to have equal right to ply their scissors. But the Jewish system, being a comprehensive one, is concerned with the disruptive effect of the second barber on the first barber's livelihood. That rabbi may well advise the second barber against opening a competing shop.

The New Orleans Disaster: Who Profits?

I'll return to Jewish law below. For now, a few words about the coastal destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and the sudden homelessness of tens of thousands of people. The president's mother, Barbara Bush, was criticized for commenting at the Superdome that the disaster may have worked out well for some people. Undoubtedly, some of the citizens who were made refugees by Katrina will eventually be glad it happened. Some businesses, too, may make out well from the disaster.

The Wall Street Journal has implied that real estate investor Judah Hertz can be counted a winner. "Call him the Larry Silverstein of New Orleans," they say. Just as Silverstein leased the two World Trade Center towers in New York six weeks before they fell, Hertz bought a lot of property in the Big Easy, when prices were low, shortly before Katrina. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans has published a lengthy article about Judah Hertz. Here are three excerpts:

"I've never seen anyone come into a market and try to dominate it as Hertz has," said Greg Riera . . ."I think a lot of people are scratching their heads," said Steven Rieseg of SRST Commercial Real Estate in Metairie. "It's very uncharacteristic for any institution or private capital to acquire that much in any one market anywhere."

[Hertz had a] damning association with an Israeli immigrant . . . during the late 1980s. The Israeli man was later indicted on a large Ecstasy smuggling import ring . . .

Could Hertz's extensive holdings in the local market reach a point when he would control rental rates market-wide? . . . [M]any expect Hertz to raise rates gradually anyway.

If you think that Hertz would like to sue for libel over such remarks, you are wrong. In fact he has chosen to display the entire text on his company website as if it's just dandy. That article, by the way, is dated August 7, 2005, pre-Katrina.

Now let us talk again about religious law, particularly about sin. In Catholicism, there are said to be seven cardinal (i.e., important) sins, one of which is greed. The Church in the Middle Ages designed abstract schemes to explain how the human individual spoils his relationship with God by sinning. Judaic theology shows greater insight into human nature and psychology. It interprets greed as an extension of our normal tendency to hoard things for a rainy day. Hoarding, however, gives pleasure in and of itself, and some people get carried away by it. Today, there are numerous individuals who own multiple billions of dollars. You just know they're not going to need that much on a rainy day.

Judah Hertz is both Jewish and American. He appears greedy and willing to cast others to their fate if it betters his position. What guidance has he got from law on this? I don't know if his mother sent him to Sabbath school, but even if she did, the rabbi could only instruct him to be self-restrained in an unrestrained environment, i.e., the U.S.A. The beauty of Jewish law is that when a community is made up of people all following the same law, they get to reward and punish each other in a way that encourages good communal behavior. Jewish economic ethics can't work where the dominant culture, American, preaches devil-take-the-hindmost competition.

American social theory is pathetic. In the article about Hertz, even the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, was quoted saying that he welcomed the tycoon's arrival into town because "Judah's experience [has] resulted in substantial stimulation in the downtown market." Day in, day out we are asked to worship the value of business. It is to be taken for granted that economic growth is good and that this end will justify any means. Is that pathetic, or what?

If Hurricane Katrina Was Man-made, Who Sinned?

In October 2004, the year prior to Katrina, National Geographic published an article predicting what would happen to New Orleans if a hurricane struck. Most details proved correct, including the breakup of the levee. At the very least, this foreknowledge tells us that the Louisiana government should have scooped up all its endangered citizens as soon as Katrina was known to be heading their way.

Some find the National Geographic article spooky -- as though its author, Joel K. Bourne, Jr., or his sources, had more information than they let on. Our military has been actively engaging in weather control since the Vietnam War. Can scientists make a hurricane happen? Personally, I suspect Hurricane Betsy, in 1965, was not of divine origin, and maybe others, too, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992. So, what if Katrina was man-made and Judah Hertz knew it was going to happen? What if he actually planned to make a killing?

Reportedly, in regard to the World Trade Center, Larry Silverstein knew that the towers would be leveled and thus he made the greatest insider trade of all time, in July 2001. Has he shown any sign of a pricked conscience? I think so. In an article in Haaretz written shortly after 9/11, it was reported that an employee of his who had escaped by walking down 88 flights of stairs, went to her office and found him "shaking in every bone of his body." The same article said Silverstein had been "bothered" in 1993 when word had reached Israel of a court case against him (since dismissed) that portrayed him as a serial murderer and a drug smuggler in connection with the Vietnam War.

Here's my halakhic interpretation of the Judah Hertz situation if it be found that he had a hand in Katrina. Recall my claim that Jewish law stays aware of the society as a whole. It thus considers sinful the acts of one person that cause or invite another person to commit sin. Maimonides, the great codifier of law, says that just as you should not put a log in the path of a blind person, you should not tempt a spiritually blind person to harm himself by wrongdoing. Thus, halakhically it is a no-no for a passerby to buy wool from a shepherd. Why? Because the wool is not the shepherd's to sell; he works for the owner of the sheep. That passerby would be committing lifnei iver by tempting the shepherd. Similarly a person who offers a bribe to a judge commits lifnei iver. I hope that those of my compatriots who have been widowed or orphaned by Katrina will not hate me for the conclusion I draw, which is as follows: we have all committed lifnei iver against Judah Hertz.

We Americans, as a group and as a culture, have failed to construct a reasonable, workable set of laws that constrain individual impulses while preserving the social whole. I now regret having been raised in a society that veritably boasts of its ignorance of how people can be made to be humans and not monsters. What has it all come to? It has come to this: Fake terrorist attacks. Fake hurricanes. Fancy footwork by the Department of Justice. Nearly the whole population living in denial, and death and fear abounding.

I wish we all had sensible Jewish morality.
Mary Maxwell, Ph.D. P.O. Box 4307, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, is a political scientist. She can be emailed as 'mary' at her website: marymaxwell.us. She hereby permits anyone to copy this article as long as it remains unaltered and contains this notice and Online Journal is also credited.

Copyright © 1998-2005 Online Journal
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Posted by: Che | December 2, 2005 02:13 PM

During Thanksgiving, we had a couple WW2 vets at our familynmgathering, one Republican-leaning and one Democrat-leaning. Both found this Iraq war to be a joke and did not care for Bush's skills as Commander-In-Chief. Leave it to the older generations to be A LOT more cynical about our politicians these days.
My uncle, a Vietnam veteran, didn't chime in on either side as far as the war goes. He simply made sure to say that we should be thankful to our troops and to wish them our best. These days, 'support our troops' has become a political tool for quieting dissent; It was nice to see support for the troops that was politics free and heartfelt.

Posted by: ErrinF | December 2, 2005 02:42 PM

Please note: If you agree with the following email and feel strongly that Woodward's actions warrant an immediate termination from the washington post as well as agree with the general state of the media, please sign your name at the bottom of the email under the signed section, and forward to as many people as possible and include in the CC field the following emails at the washington post:

advertising@washpost.com, letters@washpost.com, oped@washpost.com, ombudsman@washpost.com, press@washinpost.com, FireWoodward@hotmail.com

Let your voice be heard, this is an action that you can take to voice your dissatisfaction and frustration.

From Deep Throat to Cohort:
The Devolution of the American media

The last straw has just descended. The continued debasing of "journalism" has hit a nadir; a profession which is an integral part of our constitution, our way of life, the very fabric of the American ideal has finally disintegrated. We are left with a press toothless, courage less, and faithless in the pursuit of truth. Bob Woodward, the iconic reporter, has devolved into a willing accomplice of the ruling elite. This truly is a sad day for journalism; a sadder day yet for America.

What was revealed should send shockwaves throughout the world. We have witnessed the unmasking of the conglomerate behind the so-called free press, whose only desire is chasing profits instead of leads. Bob Woodward, evidently selling his soul to gain "access" to the White House, is an active participant in the continuing lie perpetrated on the American people. A man whose very job is to expose lies, has instead been lying to the very public he is supposed to serve. While most reporters and journalists refuse to name sources to better serve the public, Woodward instead tells us that he did not want to tell the truth about who the original source of this leak is in order to protect himself from having to testify in front of a grand jury--courage indeed. Has it come to this, a reporter lying about a source, not to protect the public's right to know, but, rather, to deny it. What a disgrace! My hero exposed for what he is: a lying sycophant more interested in self preservation and the preservation of his access to power. After two years of lying, he finally owns up to his deception and reveals that someone in the White House did in fact speak to him two years ago about the Valerie Plame. He acknowledges this after going on talk shows dismissing the gravity of the case; erstwhile being a willing co-conspirator. How convenient that this "confession" aids an accused criminal, one Louis Libby--does the word aiding and abetting sink in yet?

The truth is that Woodward's actions are symptomatic of the general state of the press. Reporters have morphed into a tool of power instead of speaking truth to it. In the obsession to "make news", reporters jumped in the bed of the very people they are supposed to be keeping honest. Moreover, companies such as the new york times and the washington post have embedded in their employees the notion that breadth of reporting is more important than depth of reporting. In the mad dash to capture market share, the modern day news media has settled on a vision of capturing the most amount of readers while making sure to coddle the ruling elite. Sure they will report of some senator who cheated on his wife, but will ignore the actions of the very institution that senator works in that cheats their constituents. News has turned into a snapshot of events which can capture the most attention, instead of a continuous effort to educate and cultivate an informed public. Obsessed with gaining access to news makers, the news media has transformed into whores of the powerful, turning tricks to get two minutes of pleasure with the very people they are supposed to keep in check. Sound bites that tell us nothing, rhetoric reported as news, truth forsaken for an intangible balance. On a scale of news, truth has no balance and counterbalance; truth stands on its own. Yet the state of today's news media is that of a meek poodle, yelping at its master for a crumb from the table. And they wonder why subscriptions have fallen off, it's because those you serve are seeing more and more that you are Judas to the public. Unable to bear the cross of truth, you instead sell out for the nearest shekel. Reporters who no longer see the profession as a crusade against tyranny, instead you seek it as a way to get your spot on the stage. Journalists who are more eager to stand in front of the microphone instead of behind it, the silent tool of truth transformed into publicity hounds while you try to land on the new york journal best seller list. Think about that next time you are talking to your agent on a new book deal. For those who might have true passion for journalism, ask yourself if you are really doing today what you came into the business to accomplish when you were in college. For those that have always seen journalism as a means of acclaim, I truly hope that the day will come where you are torn down by your own lack of scruples.

All this leads back to Bob Woodward. From this day on, I urge all readers and subscribers of the washington post to cancel their subscription TODAY. It pains me that a great paper like the washington post has been reduced to enabling an admitted liar and in the end justifying his stance. Until Woodward has been summarily dismissed from the washington post payroll, a full accounting given of what he testified about to the grand jury, and a full page apology given to the readers, I will NEVER pick up another washington post newspaper again. I have already cancelled my subscription and urge all other readers to do the same until the washington post have resolved this situation as described above. I urge all readers to cease and desist visiting the washingtopost.com, and I urge all businesses that stand for honor and intergrity to stop selling the paper forthwith until a full accounting is given. There is one weapon that the consumer, vote with your wallet and starve the washington post of its revenue; it seems that is the only way to get a whore's attention.

Posted by: firewoodward@hotmail.com | December 2, 2005 03:29 PM

What's up with this guy's hard-on for Woodward?

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | December 2, 2005 04:18 PM

To Alex Ham: Bernstein's jealous.

Posted by: Turnabout | December 2, 2005 04:40 PM

To ErrinF: At lunchtime I was driving behind a car that had a yellow "Support Out Troops" ribbon and a star-spangled "One Nation Under God" ribbon. This got me to wondering what color God's ribbon really would be.

Posted by: Turnabout | December 2, 2005 04:44 PM

Good question, Turnabout. While we're at it, does God live in a blue state or a red state? : )
By the way, LOL at the Bernstein comment. So THAT'S who it is! That, or Marc Feld has some unresolved issues!

Posted by: ErrinF | December 2, 2005 06:15 PM

"Dissent is Patriotic"

Sounds simple, but in truth not all dissent is patriotic or even pro-American.

The more serious line is when dissent becomes criminal sedition or treason - giving aid and comfort to the enemy. That we do not eagerly and vigorously prosecute sedition & treason as we used to does not mean the Constitution and 220 years of American law overlook those most serious of crimes.

And "hate-America and all it stands for" rants by extremists on the left and right cannot be dressed up and made respectable by declaring it "noble dissent". Signs of that public recognition are emerging in how Sen Durbin was forced to apologize for comapring Americans to Nazis and Soviets, Ward Churchill seen as a lying unpatriotic embarassment Colorado is best rid of, and Ramsey Clark publicly being called a traitor on CNN by David Horowitz. On CNN Blitzer, the host, reacted with consternation saying Horowitz was questioning the patriotism of Clark. To which Horowitz said - exactly - pointing out that whenever Americans are in peril or dying in combat - since Vietnam, Ramsey Clark has shown up, aligned somehow with the enemy. From Vietnam, to the Iranian hostage-takers, to Panama, to at Saddam's side denouncing America in the Gulf War, to "representing" Slobodan Milosevik, to appearing at several captured Al Qaeda's hearings, to back again with Saddam last week. Traitor. Clark's "dissent" is that of a traitor and he is revealed as a traitor.

Even on a one on one basis, dissent is merely expressed disagreement with the decision of the person or group with the authority to do so. Dissent can be Suzy throwing a temper tantrum because she won't get a cell phone bought for her when "all her classmate friends" have one. Tough, Suzy! May you at least grow up and not be a Lefty staging temper tantrums at age 61...

So we all encounter "dissent". Some which serves a valuable purpose in showing lack of consensus even a better way, some dissent we not only disagree with - but don't respect the words or individual in the slightest manner, and at the extreme - subversive, seditious dissent that can even rise to charges of treason. Where those lines are is dependent on not only the individuals sense and judgement, but also the mores and beliefs of society.

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 2, 2005 07:56 PM

What I find most distrubing here is the unstated belief that non-military serving 'experts' may offer critical advice on par with those who have served.

I am certain that Jaxas has no such illusions, however, some of us are unable to serve in the military for health reasons and yet have advanced degrees and publications to boot. What of our opinions on the war and reconstruction effort? Are our opinions in vain simply because we are unable to particpate in war efforts?

Posted by: Chris | December 2, 2005 08:22 PM

I take care of the children of a number of Army soldiers who have served one or more tours in Afghanistan. They tell me they only have enough soldiers to control the major cities and the roof is slowly caving in over there. To quote one "its all going to come down around our ears soon".

Doctors without Borders left Afghanistan in August 2004 - reason, the Taliban told them to leave and when they didn't they murdered 5 of their staff. When asked why they didn't withdraw to Kabul and "safe" areas they replied the Taliban we "took out" are everywhere there, the only difference now is they're armed and the ones in the cities stay hidden mostly.

Talking with these active duty soldiers has made me very concerned that we still have big problems in Afghanistan regardless of how Iraq turns out, that might have been prevented if we'd finished the mission in Afghanistan before taking troops out to invade Iraq.

What do vets think about this?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | December 2, 2005 11:49 PM

Chris, you seem to contradict yourself.

"What I find most distrubing here is the unstated belief that non-military serving 'experts' may offer critical advice on par with those who have served."

Which appears to be saying non-military can offer advice on par with military folks about military matters.

But then you say:

"some of us are unable to serve in the military for health reasons and yet have advanced degrees and publications to boot. What of our opinions on the war and reconstruction effort? Are our opinions in vain simply because we are unable to particpate in war efforts?"

Well, some people that never served may indeed opine intelligently and really help in making a better military and better military policy. And advanced degrees and publications are hardly the necessary bona fides. Just knowledge in an area, awareness of the needs of the military, and willingness to help. The military is a learning organization and sometimes even a soldier's Mom comes up with an improvement. Tactics and policy require a knowledge of capabilities, military culture, and specially situational awareness. And nothing is funnier than listening to some "combat experienced" grunt from 40 years ago who had a very limited view of a war to be an automatic "tactical expert" now.

Eisenhower never saw a days combat on the front lines. But he was a master in his role working with politicians and armies of different nations. Cheney may not have served, but he was the youngest White House Chief of Staff ever, and a brilliant administrator at DOD. McGovern was a bona fide war hero and an utter disaster as a maker of military policy.

So it depends....

I do know that lack of military experience does make people ill-suited to be chickenhawking from the Right - on using the military as a tool to seek imperial grandeur or make the world safe for another country other than America and America's vital interests. And makes never- served Leftists who hate the military appear particularly disgusting when they weep false tears for the photo op where they wave "magic numbers" of 1,000/2,000 fallen, beg for access to flag-draped cffins as props - and talk in a condescending manner about servicepeople - essentially labeling them the stupid children who need Leftist Mommys to keep them safe and warm....

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 3, 2005 01:03 AM

Chris Ford can SHUT IT!! Who says he's the arbitrator of whether certain dissent is patriotic or not? He's entitled to his opinion, but that's all it is: opinion. And it's the opinion of a right wing extremist that is quick to label anybody who opposes him as a traitor. 'Hate America' is his code word for 'disagrees with my views'. What a creep.
As far as Ramsey Clark goes, he ISN'T going to get Saddam off. He IS going to expedite the matter and make sure the trial is all the more legit because of his involvement. One could argue that this would help our American interests. And the right to a lawyer and the due process of law isn't unpatriotic at all; It's as American as it gets, according to the U.S. Constitution. Saddam may not be protected by our Constitution, but we ARE trying to establish a democracy over there like ours.
You're just a McCarthyite, Chris Ford, quick to point the finger at your fellow Americans and call them 'traitors'. The rest of us aren't so quick to jump at such serious allegations; That says a lot about us, and very little about you. As in, your mind is very little, and you are a petty, adversarial person. Spare us your witch hunt, you fool. You're just the Don Quixote of the Right looking for some windmills to slay.

Posted by: ErrinF | December 3, 2005 03:02 AM

www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info/audio WayneMadsenReport.com Nov. 29, 2005

STATE BY STATE GOP SCANDAL SCORECARD

State

Investigation Target

Disposition
Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby

Gov. Robert Riley
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff. Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Alaska Senate President Ben Stevens (son of US Senate Pro Tem President Ted Stevens)

Sen. Ted Stevens
Probed for accepting consulting fees from oil services firm Veco. Subject to a recall petition.

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Arkansas Arkansas Republican Party Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Arizona Rep. J. D. Hayworth

Rep. Rick Renzi
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Rep. Doug Ose

Rep. Richard Pombo

Rep. John Doolittle

Rep. Ed Royce
Ethics probe for accepting salary from two men's fitness magazines while governor, possible kickback from American Media publisher to Schwarzenegger charity and silence money to a woman who had an extramarital affair with Schwarzenegger. This probe may go criminal.

Probed for bribery regarding financial ties with and favors for defense firm MZM. Pleaded guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy, Nov. 28, 2005.

Tied to Abramoff scandal on loan papers. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff, including Indian casino money

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Colorado Colorado Republican Party Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Connecticut Gov. John Rowland

Rep. Rob Simmons


Convicted, imprisoned 2004

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Delaware Attorney General Jane Brady Accused of helping MBNA Bank of Wilmington skirt campaign finance laws.
DC Jack Abramoff, GOP lobbyist

Adam Kidan, DC Dial-a-Mattress franchise in DC and Abramoff associate

Michael Scanlon, former chief of staff to Tom DeLay

Steve Rosen, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

Keith Weismann, AIPAC

Larry Franklin, Colonel, USAF Reserves, Dept. of Defense

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President's Chief of Staff

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove

David H. Safavian, Head of Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget, former Chief of Staff, General Service Administration

Ex-Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman and current Broadcasting Board of Governors member Kenneth Tomlinson

Patricia Harrison, President Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Vice President Dick Cheney

President George W. Bush

J. Steven Griles, former Interior Deputy Secretary
Indicted, wire fraud, conspiracy

Indicted, wire fraud, conspiracy

Being probed for involvement in Indian casino scandal with Abramoff, Kidan, and DeLay. Indicted Nov. 18, 2005 for conspiracy to defraud Indian tribes. Pleaded guilty Nov. 21.

Indicted for criminal conspiracy involving classified national security information

Indicted for criminal conspiracy involving classified national security information

Indicted for criminal conspiracy involving classified national security information

Probed for illegal disclosure of CIA classified information. Indicted on 5 counts: Obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury

Probed for illegal disclosure of CIA classified information.

Arrested by FBI for making false statements about helping Jack Abramoff acquire two Federal properties in DC and Maryland.

Under investigation for violating the Public Broadcasting Act

Probed for violating Public Broadcasting Act

Investigated for criminal conspiracy in divulging the identity of covert CIA agent

Probed in Abramoff scandal for accepting bags of illegal campaign cash from Seminole casino interests in Florida

Probed for links to Abramoff
Florida Rep. Katherine Harris, US Senate candidate

Rep. Tom Feeney

Rep. Ric Keller


Probed for campaign donations from MZM, Inc. (related to Duke Cunningham probe)

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff. Probed for corporate ties to Yang Enterprises, involved in over billing state of Florida. Feeney was Jeb Bush's 1994 running mate for Lt. Gov.

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff and Kidan.
Georgia Ralph Reed, candidate for Lt. Gov.

Sen. John Isakson

Sen. Saxby Chambliss

Rep. Phil Gingrey

Rep. Jack Kingston
Probed for involvement in Abramoff, Kidan, DeLay Indian casino money laundering.

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Guam Gov. Felix Camacho Probed for ties to Abramoff and demoting Acting US Attorney for Guam Frederick Black
Hawaii New Hawaii PAC and House GOP PAC

Dalton Tanonaka, former Lt. gubernatorial and congressional candidate

State Rep. and House Minority Leader Galen Fox
Campaign violations filed against a number of GOP candidates for the state legislature and US House for skirting spending limits.

Under FEC investigation for disguising and failing to report campaign loans. Also investigated for possible illegal foreign funding from Hong Kong and Japan.

Convicted on federal charges of fondling a woman on a Honolulu to Los Angeles commercial flight
Idaho Rep. Michael Simpson

Rep. Butch Otter
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Illinois House Speaker Dennis Hastert

Rep. Jerry Weller

Republican National Treasurer Bob Kjellander

Former House Leader State Rep. Lee Daniels (Elmhurst)
Probed for accepting money from Turkey.

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff (Weller is married to the daughter of Guatemalan dictator and mass murderer [300,0000 Guatemalans] Efrain Rios Montt).

Under Federal probe for steering investment contracts to Illinois Teachers Retirement Fund.

Under Federal investigation for misuse of state employees for political activity and state contract kickbacks
Indiana Rep. Dan Burton

Gov. Mitch Daniels

Thomas Sharp, INDOT Commissioner

Jim Kittle, GOP state chairman

Rep. Chris Chocola
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Under investigation for soliciting campaign donations in return for INDOT (Indiana Dept. of Transportation contracts)

Under investigation for soliciting campaign donations in return for INDOT (Indiana Dept. of Transportation contracts)

Under investigation for soliciting campaign donations in return for INDOT (Indiana Dept. of Transportation contracts) Received DeLay ARMPAC money. FEC investigating
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun

Sen. Sam Brownback

Adam Taff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

2004 congressional candidate (KS-3), indicted for campaign violations amnd wire fraud.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher

Transportation Commissioner Dan Druen

Deputy Personnel Secretary Bob Wilson

Darrell Brock, Chairman of Kentucky GOP

Gov. Personnel Adviser Basil Turbyfill

Transportation Secretary ill Nighbert

Dick Murgatroyd, Gov. Deputy Chief of Staff

Jim Adams, Deputy Transportation Secretary

Cory Meadows, Executive Director, Transportation Dept.

Environmental Protection Commissioner Lloyd Cress

Sen. Jim Bunning

Lt. Gov. Stephen Pence

Dave Disponett
Criminal probe in a state employees' merit system scandal. Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff.

Merit system scandal, witness tampering. Indicted.

Merit system scandal. Indicted

Merit system scandal. Indicted.

Merit system scandal. Indicted

Merit system scandal. Indicted

Merit system scandal. Indicted

Merit system scandal. Indicted.

Merit system scandal. Indicted.

Probed in merit system scandal

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Indicted for violation of Kentucky civil service law


Louisiana Sen. David Vitter Linked to Abramoff in a case involving a Louisiana Indian tribe.
Maine Maine Republican Party Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Maryland Joseph Steffen, aide to Gov. Bob Ehrlich

Gov. Bob Ehrlich
Resigned for starting a rumor campaign against Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

Lawrence Novak, Vice Chair, state GOP
Under ethics cloud for awarding a $10,000 contract to conservative Boston Herald columnist to write columns supportive of Romney's policies.

Arrested by FBI for drug money laundering
Michigan Rep. Dave Camp

Attorney General Mike Cox

Rep. Candice Miller
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Failed to pursue felony pollution charges against Graceland Fruit after a major Department of Environmental Quality investigation.

Investigated by House Erthics Committee for accepting campaign contributions in return for her yes vote on the 2004 Medicare bill.
Minnesota Rep. Gil Gutknecht Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Missouri Sen. Christopher Bond

Sen. Jim Talent

Gov. Matt Blunt, son of Roy Blunt

Rep. Roy Blunt, House Majority Leader
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Investigated for trading illegal PAC money with DeLay through Blunt's Rely on Your Beliefs Fund. Received Indian casino money from tribes represented by Abramoff.
Mississippi Rep. Charles Pickering

Rep. Roger Wicker

Sen. Thad Cochran

Sen. Trent Lott
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Received funds from casino Indian tribes represented by Abramoff
Montana Sen. Conrad Burns

Rep. Dennis Rehberg
Probed for links to Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Nebraska Former Rep. Jon Christensen

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Received tainted money from DeLay. Refused to return it.
Nevada Sen. John Ensign

Rep. Jon Porter
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Received $25,000 from DeLay's ARMPAC
New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu

Rep. Jeb Bradley

House Speaker Gene Chandler

James Tobin, Northeast political director National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee

Chuck McGee, former Exec. Dir. New Hampshire Republican Party

Allen Raymond, GOP Marketplace President
Probed for receipt of money from DeLay tainted PAC

Probed for receipt of money from DeLay tainted PAC

Campaign contributions violations

Indicted, conspiracy, GOTV phone line jamming, Sununu 2002 campaign

Pleaded guilty, conspiracy, GOTV phone line jamming, Sununu 2002 campaign

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy, GOTV phone line jamming, Sununu 2002 campaign
New Jersey GOP State Chairman Tom Wilson

Rep. Jim Saxton

Rep. Frank LoBiondo

Rep. Mike Ferguson
Probed for his firm receiving $2.7 million from the Burlington County Bridge Commission

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff, may have laundered money from DeLay through his "MIKEPAC" to GOP candidates in Texas and other states
New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
New York Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro and US Senate candidate Probed for campaign donations from mobsters. Her husband served a year in prison for tax evasion.
Northern Marianas Gov. Froilan Tenorio Grand Jury probe, ties to Abramoff
North Carolina Rep. Charles Taylor

Hayes Martin, Taylor Campaign Treasurer

Rep. Walter Jones
Probed for ownership of shady Russian bank - whose other major investor is a former KGB general. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Indicted, fraud and money laundering

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
North Dakota Richard Clayburgh, House candidate Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, Misuse of state funds/ethics violations

Thomas Noe, Bush-Cheney 04 campaign chair, NW Ohio; Turnpike Commissioner; University Regent

Bernadette Noe, Thomas Noe's wife; chair Lucas County GOP; chair Lucas Co. Board of Elections

Brian Hicks, Taft chief of staff, member Ohio University Board of Trustees

Cherie Carroll, Taft Chief of Staff Executive Secretary

Rep. Bob Ney

Rep. Jean Schmidt

Rep. Ralph Regula

Douglas Moormann, Gov. Taft's Executive Assistant for Business and Industry
Convicted, four first degree misdemeanors, pleaded no contest (admission of guilt). $4000 fine and public apology, two Federal Grand Juries, one state Grand Jury still investigating Taft.

Misuse of state funds for rare coin fund. Indicted by Federal grand jury, arrested in Florida.

Misuse of state funds

Convicted

Convicted

Being probed for involvement with Abramoff, Kidan, and DeLay, Indian casino money laundering. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff and Kidan. Indictment may be imminent.

Probe of financial ties to Games, Inc., and proposal to put Ohio State Lottery on the Internet. Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Under criminal investigation for accepting loan from Noe.
Oklahoma Rep. Ernest Istook

Sen. James Inhofe

Sen. Tom Coburn
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith

State Rep. Dan Doyle
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Misused campaign funds. Convicted.
Pennsylvania Rep. Don Sherwood

Rep. Curt Weldon

Sen. Arlen Specter

Rep. Joe Pitts

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick
Investigated by DC police for assaulting and choking a 29-year old Maryland woman

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of money from DeLay's ARMPAC (subject of Federal indictments), money laundered from Abramoff sources.
Puerto Rico Puerto Rican New Progressive Party (GOP affiliate party) Paid Abramoff $400,000 for lobbying for 1998 statehood referendum
Rhode Island Former House candidate (2002) Mike Battles

Providence Mayor Vince Cianci
Firm, Custer Battles, disbarred from Iraq contracts after allegations of over charging and money laundering

Imprisoned in 2002 for 5 years.
South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson

Rep. Gresham Barrett

Rep. Henry Brown
Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
South Dakota Sen. John Thune

Rep. Bill Janklow
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Guilty, second degree manslaughter, imprisoned. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Tennessee Rep. Van Hilleary

Sen. Bill Frist
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Under Securities and Exchange Commission investigation for insider trading on his Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) stock
Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader

Jim Ellis, Director Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC) PAC tied to DeLay and Abramoff

John Colyandro, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), DeLay associate

Warren RoBold, Lobbyist and DeLay associate

House Speaker Tom Craddick

Sam Walls, candidate for Texas House

State Rep. Todd Baxter

Rep. Kevin Brady

Rep. Pete Sessions
Probed for campaign finance fraud, ties to Abramoff/Kidan, Saipan sweat shops. Grand Jury, Travis County prosecutor, and House Ethics Committee probing DeLay. Indicted by Travis County District Attorney for 1 count of criminal conspiracy and 2 counts of money laundering. Arrested and booked at Harris County jail October 20, 2005. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Indicted

Indicted

Indicted

Probed for campaign violations involving TRMPAC and DeLay

Photos of him wearing women's clothes surfaced in the 2004 runoff campaign

Investigated for receiving ARMPAC and TRMPAC money from Republican National Committee. To resign from office on Nov. 1, 2005

Recipient of $10,000 from ARMPAC in 2003. Arrested for DWI in South Dakota.

Probed for receiving money from casino Indian tribes represented by Abramoff
Utah Rep. Chris Cannon Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas Opposition to universal health care in Vermont tied to huge contributions from insurance industry.
Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode

Jerry Kilgore, gubernatorial candidate

Rep. Eric Cantor

Rep. Randy Forbes

Sen. George Allen

Rep. Tom Davis


Probed for contributions from MZM, Inc. (related to Duke Cunningham probe)

Received $5000 from MZM, Inc.

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff and Kidan.
Washington Rep. George Nethercutt

Rep. Doc Hastings

Spokane Mayor Jim West
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Under Federal and state investigation for abusing his office to obtain sexual favors and soliciting sex over the Internet from underage males.
West Virginia Rep. Shelly Moore Capito Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan

Rep. Mark Green
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of funds from DeLay's ARMPAC
Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi

Rep. Barbara Cubin
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Posted by: Che | December 3, 2005 05:06 AM

We all know how corrupt big politics is. Its in our faces more than ever, what with spurious rationales for bogus wars, etc. But the long post from che is clearly off topic.

In war time, the people to look to for wisdom and compassion are "peace-mongering" warriors of previous wars, some of whom post here and win my respect if not my total agreement in all things. The people to avoid are the legions of armchair generals (the US seems to breed them at a colossal rate), and the polititians who never served but will instigate war, usually for reasons of imperialism and even vanity.

Posted by: Harkadahl UK | December 3, 2005 08:52 AM

The real issue concerns the lack of confidence in the President's political judgment. Murtha is right. The American military can't win this war. It's time to shift gears. American armed forces aren't going to resolve this matter. In the end the people of Iraq must decide their own fate. The most valuable commodity in Iraq isn't water or oil but time. The armed forces can't win or lose in Iraq rather they are playing for time. Each day, each week, each month and each year somewhat increases the chances for the survival of a working government and a working economy in Iraq but at some point this asset also becomes a liability. Can we trust the judgment of the President on this matter? Isn't this the real source of concern among the electorate? Isn't this loss of respect for him the real reason why voters are reluctant to give the President much credit for the economy? Why allies constantly doubt him? Why few people will 'trust' him?
Both Baghdad and Washington are undoubtedly eager to negotiate the first troop reduction and obtain the political capital from such an agreement but it assumes that the assessment of the situation and the timetables for withdrawal will be quite similar for both governments. What if substantial obstacles still remain? If the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq does not receive a fair and just agreement then the insurgency will continue. Can we trust George Bush to broker an acceptable agreement? Is it any wonder that Senator Levin is so deeply concerned? The American military may stop a civil war but ignite a civil conflict. Like the Palestinians, the Sunni Arabs may resent the American military for the leverage that it provides the majority and conclude that negotiations are an exercise in futility.

The situation was only made worse when it finally became apparent why a Ba'ath regime must be a police state. Its ideology has lead to the seizure of the governments in Syria and Iraq by minorities. In Iraq the Arab Sunnis ruled for decades over the Kurds and Shiva and are now terrified at the prospect of majority rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. From that perspective Iraq's former rulers must be expecting bloody retribution. How do you build a social compact between the parties? After Saddam Hussein fell the effects of minority rule were felt in the decisions that were immediately made afterwards. The majority considered the army and the police as tools of oppression that were filled with the wrong people. The entire government was considered contaminated. It would never win the trust of the people outside the Sunni Arab community. It takes time to build an army and a police force. It can be done but let's not confuse building with growing. These institutions earn public confidence and respect themselves. Nobody can hand it to them. Without troop reductions they will never win it. They must show that they can stand on their own and operate effectively.

The President and the Republican party are making a critical error with their denunciations of 'cut and run' and its advocates and once more show his lack of political judgment. People who advocate timetables, simply possess little confidence in the judgment of George Bush. They are undoubtedly right. This man must be kept under a short leash. However timetables aren't feasible. Iraq remains in flux. You can't arrange withdrawals like a train schedule. Thanks to George Bush we are stuck in Iraq. Who wouldn't be angry? There is a thread of truth running in all arguments on this matter. Still you can be quite sure that the correct policy on Iraq will demand a series of hard political decisions in Washington and Baghdad from somebody with good political judgment. Would you trust George Bush with these decisions? The days of "trust me" are finished. It's time to admit for the need of a guiding committee on Iraq that's composed of major figures from both parties who will promise the nation to oversee this administration's work in Iraq. The pride of the President will be damaged and his humility overworked but in exchange for the nation's confidence and in view of the casualties it's a small price indeed!

Posted by: | December 3, 2005 09:02 AM

Chris, I sincerely hope that I have not left you with the impression that having military experience, or being a soldier on the ground in Vietnam or Iraq confers any special expertise sufficient to qulify one to expound in more meaningful way on questions of war than those who have not had that experience.

Indeed, my intent was to disabuse people of that very notion. My point was that simply because you have military experience, or are directly involved in the war effort, gives you no special credentials to discuss the war--any war--on policy terms.

To be sure, any soldier can write his congressman and make sweeping generalizations about morale, about political support, or about their own opinions on the policy. But, at the bottom line, all they are doing is expressing on opinion based upon their own narrow observations of the limited environment they live in.

Let me give an example: When Sadaam's statue was torn down and dragged through the streets, Americans were given to believe that this was a representation of how the entire country of Iraq was united with America in that act. In fact, outside the very narrow range the cameras captured were thousands of Iraqis whgo were visaibly angered over the entire spectacle, particularly the draping of an American flag over the pedestal where the statue stood.

That view, that narrow view is the same view that our troops often get. They do not really know what is going on outside their own little sphere of operations. Most of them are rarely involve in anything that can be called combat. They spend hours upon hours doing absolutely nothing but waiting around for something to happen.

Thus, it does not surprise me that they would be a bit astounded at the reactions back home. Most of them have been outside the real debate and their officers only tell them what is politically advantageousto themselves and to their chain of command.

That is the reality. It is truly curious that an 18 year old student in this country probably has a better handle on what is going on in Iraq than most of the troops on the ground. Today, the guys on the fringes of all of the violence happening there will probably only get their news from their officers or from some nut on talk radio promoting some idiotic ideology that has nothing to do with them.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 3, 2005 11:35 AM

Che,

No doubt we could make a similar list regarding the democratic party when they controlled the House/White House/Both. I hope that posts like yours can be seen more informative along the lines of "my political party is not like my fvorite sports team, I shouldn't always cheer for them and think that they only lose because the refs hate them (that only happens to Maryland when they play Duke).
That should be a lesson for EVERYONE. No one should forget the massive amount of money very disreputable people paid the Clinton's to get access inside the White House... the reality is that the foreign "investors" in the Clinton White House makes "Jeff Gannon"-gate seem embarrassingly small. The truth is that they are BOTH disgraces, and people need to think more about OUTCOMES rather than what side they are on. Both teams are bad, and both teams are going to let you down, the question is how do we control them as best as possible. Having hacks and wannabe hacks ticking their heads as far up these people's posteriors is not a good way to go about doing this.
Anyway, I know you were not necessarily making a partisan point, and I'm not trying to criticize your post. I'm just merely writing to put it in the context that I think it should be interpreted, and what I take as valuable from your post. Namely, we should be asking what sort of society constitutes a "good society" and how do we get closer to it. Less bribed politicians on both sides would go quite a good long way. So would less people taking major structural soft spots in our system and using them merely as talking points to zap the other party rather than working on fixing the problems, or demanding that one's leaders fix them. Both of these wishes cut both ways, as both parties are "on the hook", in my opinion for failing us on these two counts.

Posted by: Steven Maloney | December 3, 2005 12:15 PM

It's amazing that someone can be so incensed at Woodward and his refusal to get on board this nickel/dime investigation of outing an agent whose still-unclear covert status may/may not have been known to the revealers, when blowing the cover of secret prisons in Eastern Europe, clearly classified information with far more dangerous repercussions, not only to the countries involved but also to the collection of desperately needed intelligence from high value targets, gets nothing. No ink, no discussion. If anything, it gets praised in editorials and in forums like these.

Coupled with the latest 'scandal', the the military is planting articles in the rumor sheets that pass for newspapers in the Middle East, you've got to wonder about the reporters who reveal this stuff. Whose side do they want to win? Is sticking it to Bush and his cronies one more time really worth the harm it does to the grunts on the ground and the overall effort to defeat the global jihadist enterprise?

Consider this exercise: pretend Bush and Cheney are out of the picture; that it's Kerry or somebody. Pretend you actually give a damn about our guys over there. Pretend the jihadis are still out to kill us. Do you still run this stuff?

The jockeying for partisan one-upmanship in this debate is sickening. I really don't give a shit which of these hapless political parties benefits. (Maybe that's why both of their poll numbers are in the 20-30% range). The only winners that matter are our guys over there, in whatever form it takes to claim victory and come home.

Posted by: Jersey Independent | December 3, 2005 01:52 PM

It has become clear that the Vietnam veterans died for absolutely nothing - not even the knowledge that nobody would ever make a mistake that stupid again. One should keep this in mind the next time a Texan runs for President.

Posted by: Robert B. | December 3, 2005 02:32 PM

What is 'clear' is that upwards of a million people died after we left, in Vietnam and Cambodia, re-education camps and people fleeing in leaky boats filled the news, and the people of Vietnam have lived for thirty years under the yoke of an oppressive, antiquated communist regime, stifling the creativity and global participation of a highly creative populace.

The Vietnam soldiers were fulfilling JFK's call for the 'defense of liberty'. In hindsight they did a lot to stall the march of the Soviet-inspired 'wars of national liberation'. The cost was huge, agonizingly painful and ultimately too much to sustain. But "absolutely nothing"? Read some history.

Posted by: Jersey Independent | December 3, 2005 02:53 PM

I talk to guys posted to Afghanistan. They tell me that we pulled our soldiers out to go to Iraq before the country was secured, and that they only have enough soldiers to secure the major cities. The rest of the country has gone back to the Taliban. And now the Taliban is armed and entreched in the caves so much before than before 9-11 when they operated more in the open while al Qaeda was entrenced in the caves.

From the Bush apologists I keep hearing that we had to go after Saddam NOW, without giving the security council the face saving six months they asked for or giving ourselves more time to complete the box we were brilliantly maneuvering the SC into, because we had to show the world how tough we were. Even though we knew clearly by March 2003 that the evidence for yellowcake and chemical/biol weapons was BS and the threat was not "imminent'. And even when they botched the war so badly, now we are told we have to stay to show the world how tough we are, to prove OBL wrong when he said we won't sustain a war against him.

But we didn't sustain a war against OBL. We abandoned Afghanistan before completing our mission there. Today OBL is a free man, most of Afghanistan outside of a few major cities has gone back to the Taliban, and al Qaeda opened up a branch office in Iraq right under our nose. OBL was right, we didn't have the smarts to get him and his top leadership in the days when we had world sympathy on our side, nor the cojones to stay with the fight against him - we found a nice softer target. And now we're letting ourselves get bogged down fighting the branch office, which by the way our leaders tell us represents only the smallest percentage of who we are fighting in Iraq, while the Medusa head plots against us unscathed.

Not unscathed, you say. We got over half of his third tier and some of his second tier management, maybe even a handful of first tier. If the Sept 11 attacks had gotten even 2/3 of Congress, but left the President, VP, Cabinet, and a large portion of the top Congressional leaders unscathed, what would have happened? While Saddam gloated the governors would have appointed new legislators and Congress would have met. We never damaged al Qaeda enough to really hurt them more than short term, especially when we built a new terrorist spewing machine in Iraq for them.

But OBL went into Pakistan, you say. Well, lets see, from what I hear on this board a country that has WMD, gives sanctuary to terrorists, wages war on its own people, teaches its children to hate and kill Americans, and who defies our orders to turn over their WMD must be invaded, immediately, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks so the world will know how tough we are. So what are we waiting for? Which of the veterans on this post will lead the charge?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | December 3, 2005 03:39 PM

Jersey Independent: Boy, are you full of shit. Here's some history for you: After the French got kicked out of Vietnam, elections were supposed to be held in 1956. When the State Department discovered that about 80% of the Vietnamese people would have voted for Ho Chi Minh, those elections were cancelled. No purple fingers over there, just the bloodbath. In what sense do we "spread democracy" by suppressing elections, and leaping to fight for more than a decade on behalf of a 20% minority? That's why Vietnam doesn't look any better in hindsight. The "yoke of communism" isn't a great deal heavier than the "yoke of capitalism." All those rice farmers weren't interested in being Bill Gates. After a thousand years of being ruled by China, Japan, France and the U.S., they wanted everybody to get lost and take their various "yokes" with them. In case you wondered, I was a Marine in the middle of that mess. It was lovely.

Posted by: Robert B. | December 3, 2005 03:46 PM

Posted by: Harkadahl UK:

"In war time, the people to look to for wisdom and compassion are "peace-mongering" warriors of previous wars, some of whom post here and win my respect if not my total agreement in all things. The people to avoid are the legions of armchair generals (the US seems to breed them at a colossal rate), and the polititians who never served but will instigate war, usually for reasons of imperialism and even vanity."

Some points:

1. America is one person, one vote. Who we decide to give credibility to in listening to to guide our vote is subjective.

2. Despite claims of "peace-mongering" soldiers starting with the phony Vets of "Winter Soldiers" that "Since they know war, they know best", Vets inhabiting the Far Left are a miniscule fraction of the Vet population, which tends to be more conservative than their peers. Nor is participation in the military an automatic "expert" credential. A Vet from Vietnam may not know the 1st thing about the Muslim world, even be able to find the countries on a map, let alone coherently discuss strategy and tactics 40 years after they had a minor and limited and low-skilled position in a past war.

3. There is no "hierarchy" of military expertise. A skilled sargent major in the Air National Guard who has never been in combat is the person you want to talk to if you want to learn something of global military logistics - not a Vietnam infantryman with a Bronze Star. An ex-POW is not automatically conferred with superior moral authority to a 3 times elected female Senator who never was in the military but who had learned it's details inside and out and speaks wisely and intelligently on matters. A civilian well versed in Muslim culture who has spent considerable time in that world is perhaps worth listening to more than a peace activist not knowing a thing about Islam or an "America is always good and write and we can kill you" jingoist.

4. Many of the "anti-war" Vets have embraced the full panapoly of victimhood and besides telling you how 'Nam was horrible, it made for wrecking their lives afterwards into decades of drug use, crime, homelessness, etc, etc. Those are the ones the media focuses on and ignores polls that show mainstream Vietnam Vets (80% of all who served) are proud of their service, thought they were doing good and were in noble service in a good cause that liberals in the end defeated, and have better incomes, health, happiness than their peer groups. And mainstream Vets from Vietnam tend to look down on the professional "Vet" victims that populate the Left side, and despise the "phony combat Vets" that some Lefty activists pose as - Like Ward CVhurchill - to give themselves undeserved credibility with credulous students.

5. Politicians who never served are as obligated to look out for America's interests as active duty or Vets. We don't ever want to get to a point where only military or ex-military are allowed to speak out on America's vital interests and so limit the democratic franchise. The Founders never intended that. So given that, it is exceptionally stupid to say that pro-war politicians who never served have no right to be involved in critical decisions, same with a pacifist housewife that wishes to go the "Kumbaya" route.

6. There is a growing danger in America though, of an elite making decisions that their children and friends are mostly shielded, in consequences, from. An example is the children of wealthy liberals like Kennedy, Kerry, Ginzburg, Feinstein, Metzenbaum, and Durbin are shielded from the consequences of their parents favoring busing and reverse discrimination. Similarly, with a volunteer military, well-to-do conservative elites and the neocon elites know they can saber-rattle all they like and their children are safe from the consequences of the quest for military glory and may even share in the financial gains their Defense-Industry linked parents hope to get from war contracts.

7. Briton was the original home of the armchair generals, as higher classed Dons of Oxford and Eton sneered from their drawing rooms at the foibles of Empire committed by less privileged sorts than themselves whose lower lot was sweat and toil...But, lack of combat or even lack of military experience does not make someone weighing in on military matters or strategy an armchair general anymore than it makes a Vietnam grunt with a 9th grade education with 2 firefights in his past into an automatic "expert" on insurgencies. Some our best tacticians and wartime leaders, looking back in history, the majority actually, have been civilians and military with no direct combat experience.

PS Errin - Ramsey Clark is long, long past using the cover that "he is just a lawyer representing a client". That Leftie dodge got old and discredited decades ago. You meet with enemy after enemy of America and seek to give them aid and comfort, act as their spokesperson - you are not a lawyer doing selfless pro bono work....you are to some degree, a traitor. It caught up with Lynne Stewart. Ramsey Clark is too old and too pathetic and laughable a figure to bother prosecuting these days - but we should have burned the guy 20-30 years ago for his antics with the N Vietnamese, Castro, the Iranian hostage takers and his Soviet Union efforts.

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Posted by: che | December 3, 2005 04:14 PM

Robert B -

"The "yoke of communism" isn't a great deal heavier than the "yoke of capitalism."

Tell that to 1/3rd of the Cambodian population if you only could converse with skulls, Commie Symp!

Tell it to the Vietnamese who were part of the 1.5 million who fled to avoid being included in the 60,000 executed or the 200,000 put in brutal re-education camps from 1975-1981. Commie Symp!

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 3, 2005 04:18 PM

The U.S. and Britain still think in the terms of colonialism. Steal anything that isn't nailed down. In Vietnam, the U.S. was after the oil fields in the South China Sea. In Iraq the Republican administration, friends, family?, and poltical donors and cronies are taking in windfall profits of blood money off the backs of over 2110 dead Americans , more dead mercenaries, dead Iraqi's, "Coalition of the Willing", and countries of the "Coalition of the Willing". Bush and Blair are both Hypocrites because, starting with the British in 1763, at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania, in the first recorded case of Biological Warfare in America, General Jeffrey Amherst ordered that Smallpox laden blankets be distributed to the Native Americans in order to exterminate them to seize their lands for European colonization. First the British than U.S. governments ordered the use of, knew and sanctioned the use, of Smallpox laden blankets against the Native Americans, by their military and civilians. There's no difference between what they did to the Native Americans to steal their lands and lying about WMD in order to invade and occupy a country to plunder their oilfields and reap profits in oil and wartime contracts.

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www.takingaim.info/audio

November 21, 2005 -- The Left-Progressive movement is on the march around the world. The neo-cons and their assorted allies are on the run. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon saw the writing on the wall. He announced he is quitting the Likud Party, which he helped to create. That decision will fracture the Israeli right and leave rudderless the neo-cons in Washington, London, Rome, Canberra, and other capitals.

In another dramatic development, Israel's Labor Party dumped the pedantic Shimon Peres and replaced him with social democratic labor union firebrand Amir Peretz, a decision welcomed in Damascus, Cairo, and elsewhere in the Arab world. Peretz is an Arabic-speaking native of Morocco and is on very good terms with Israel's one million-strong Arab community, especially the Arab working class. He says he will scrap the ridiculous pro-Likud American "Road Map" and negotiate directly with the Palestinian Authority. The Likud, which will now be headed by neo-con radical Binyamin Netanyahu, will drift even further to the right and irrelevancy. Look for Peretz to squeeze the Russian-Ukrainian-Israel Mafia of wealthy Russian and other former Soviet gangsters who have seized control of Israel through their alliance with the corrupt Likud Party.

Sharon obviously read the tea leaves and is jumping a sinking corrupt right wing ship dominated by gangsters and religious fanatics (sounds a lot like the Bush administration). Sharon is forming his own "centrist" political party with the ousted Shimon Peres, deeply fracturing the Israeli Right and consolidating the left around Peretz's Labor Party.

The purge of Peres from Labor is being echoed in the U.S. Democratic Party, where Rep. Jack Murtha's anti-war speech last week is putting the spotlight on leading Democrats who oppose a withdrawal from Iraq -- namely, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Joe Lieberman and Representatives Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer. All are "neo con lite" and quikcly becoming irrelevant as the Democratic Party finds its anti-war footing thanks to Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, and others.

In Sri Lanka, leftist Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse won the presidency on a platform of nationalization of the economy, a direct slap in the face of the World Bank of Paul Wolfowitz, which abhors state control of any portion of any national economy. His defeated opponent was a free market proponent. Sri Lanka now joins neighboring India (and its ruling Congress Party) in an emerging bloc of leftist governments in South Asia. Seven opposition parties have held talks with Communist rebels in Nepal with a view that Nepal may soon relegate its fascist pro-American King to the ash heap of history.

mahinda.jpg (2406 bytes)

New Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksae sporting a red scarf. The color red (not as it is viewed in the United States but as the color representing the people and the working class) is growing in popularity worldwide

sunrise.jpg (2057 bytes)

A new progressive-left day is dawning

In Europe, British Prime Minister Tony Blair faces a rebellion in his own Labor Party and possible impeachment over the Iraq war. France is turning against the right-wing neo-con Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialists, Communists, and Greens remain strong at the regional and municipal levels. Italy's neo-fascist Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is on the electoral ropes from Italy's leftist coalition, including the Communists. In Norway, the Socialists beat a conservative Prime Minister with ties to the Christian Right in the United States.

It is Latin America that is leading the global progressive resurgence. Michelle Bachelet, tortured by the U.S.-supported Pinochet regime is the front runner to become the next President of Chile. After Pinochet's coup and after being tortured, she moved to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) to rebuild the Chilean Socialist Party. Bachelet is 24 percentage points ahead of her conservative and global neocon-backed rival. In next year's Mexican presidential election, former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is the front runner to succeed conservative Vicente Fox. The election is scheduled for next July 2. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is as strong as ever and continues to berate Bush, calling him "Mr. Danger." Chavez and a phalanx of Latin American leaders of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil blocked Bush's Free Trade Area of the Americas pro-corporate contrivance at the recent Americas summit in Argentina. In Bolivia, coca growers' union leader Evo Morales leads in polls for the Dec. 18 presidential election. He will reverse privatization and begin a policy of state control of the energy industry. In Nicaragua, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega stands a good chance of becoming the country's president after elections next year.

The signs are unmistakable that the progressive left is on the march throughout the United States and around the world. Meanwhile, Bush couldn't make it out of a door in Beijing.

Posted by: che | December 4, 2005 05:27 AM

Chris Ford, thank you for a forensic and cerebral break-down of my post which was more heartfelt conjecture (applying to anywhere) than a criticism of your country. You must not be so sensitive. If it makes you feel any better i think the US is simply lovely. As for armchair generals, there's an awful lot of them about.

Posted by: Harkadahl UK | December 4, 2005 01:34 PM

You're just a McCarthyite, Chris Ford, quick to point the finger at your fellow Americans and call them 'traitors'.
Posted by: ErrinF | Dec 3, 2005 3:02:29 AM

Commie Symp! Commie Symp!
Posted by: Chris Ford | Dec 3, 2005 4:18:42 PM

I rest my case. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | December 4, 2005 01:39 PM

Chris Ford: I haven't been called a Commie Symp in nearly as long as I've been called a nigger lover, both times by right-wingers. Guys like you really don't want to hear what a veteran has to say; you just want a veteran to say what you want to hear. You haven't learned a thing in 40 years, have you? We coulda shoulda won the Vietnam War, if only we'd bombed them back into the Stone Age, right? Just a little more shock and awe, and we'd have been greeted as liberators, eh? We are repeating this stupid history precisely because George Bush and his band of fascist neocons didn't learn the lessons of history the first time around. They had "other priorities," as we all know.

Posted by: Robert B. | December 4, 2005 02:31 PM

love all this trenchant repartee, but few comments show any understanding of where America stands in the sweepstakes of history. Because of a debt ridden government and economy, a consumption oriented populace (600+ billion trade deficit), major poverty and its attendant social ills, ineffective leadership or non-responsive representation in government, a general deterioration of public morals, a no longer tenable Imperial posture, etc. etc....we are on the slope of decline.
Oswald Spengler pointed out that all civilizations ultimately fail. Arnold Toynbee charted the rise and fall of 26 such cases. The major reason for decline was a corruption of morals, and waging war.
Toynbee left open the possibility for a reversal of the downward trend, but only in case of a major reorientation of the society concerned. From where I sit, that is improbable, and we are on an inexorable downward course, after having reached our Zenith sometime in the middle of the last century.
Our economy which must maintain momentum by continuous outward expansion, will someday implode and cause a worldwide depression. America will become a frayed bystander in international geopolitics.
To those who ant to line their bunny holes to shield them from such events, I cannot offer a timetable. It took Rome 500 years to lose the Western Empire, and Greece went down in about the same time. But things move much faster these days, and I doubt whether we have centuries left, as the free world's leader, and the most prosperous nation in the world.

Posted by: heckling | December 4, 2005 05:20 PM

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www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info/audio

Report: Tamiflu is 'useless' for avian flu

LONDON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Vietnamese doctor with experience in treating avian flu says Tamiflu, the drug being stockpiled for treatment of avian flue is useless against the virus.
Dr. Nguyen Tuong Van of the Centre for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi has treated 41 victims of H5N1, following World Health Organization guidelines and administering Tamiflu to her patients. She told the Sunday Times of London the medicine had no effect.
"We place no importance on using this drug on our patients," she said. "Tamiflu is really only meant for treating ordinary type A flu. It was not designed to combat H5N1."
The newspaper said the finding casts doubt on the British government's pandemic flu policy. The nation's top medical official, Sir Liam Donaldson, has ordered 15 million doses of Tamiflu be stockpiled.
Van said the only way to keep avian flu patients alive is to "support" all their vital organs -- including the liver and kidneys -- with modern technology like ventilators and dialysis machines, the Sunday Times reported.
The WHO has acknowledge Tamiflu had not been "widely successful in human patients," but said it believes it would have been more effective in many Asian countries if it had been used earlier in the illness.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by: Che | December 4, 2005 05:25 PM

Yes Heckle dude, the US is on its downfall because people choose that path, the path of least resistance, the path taken by those who refuse to take bold gambles and make any real sacrifices. A country full of wussies. Just like France.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | December 4, 2005 06:21 PM

"It has become clear that the Vietnam veterans died for absolutely nothing - not even the knowledge that nobody would ever make a mistake that stupid again."

Robert B - I don't know if you actually were a Marine in Vietnam or are one of the numerous fakes on the Left posing as one.

Either way, real ex-Marine, faux Marine the message sounds identical. "Communism is no worse than capitalism, we American soldiers lost, and America should listen to us losers as we give our anti-war spiel". Because these Lefties say - "we America-haters served" so and defeatist garbage garbage coming out of their mouths is credible - and because any American intervention "is just another Vietnam waiting to happen". Same old "quagmire" song, going on 40 years....still seducing the Democratic Party into cowardly irrelevance unless they come up with a centrist like Bill Clinton, Lieberman, maybe Mark Warner the general public can trust not to run in the face of danger.

The 'ol "quagmire" "no new Vietnam" chants omit that 80% of Vietnam Vets are proud of their service and think they made a difference in Vietnam and left the S. Vietnamese with a decent shot - which was then undercut by the Kennedy, Cranston, and Metzenbaum types. Though doing better than their peers, all Vets were binned into the Vietnam druggie loser suffering flashbacks and PTSD category by the media.. their valor and honor was stolen for 20-25 years by the John Kerry types that portrayed Vietnam Vets as dysfunctional drug-riddled losers paying their moral debt for being baby killers -- Until their honor was partially reclaimed by those of us who fought and won the Gulf War. And more importantly by Vets groups that sniff out the fake Vets in the Lefty ranks and challenge the bona-fide Vets of the Left on their eternal "every day is another Vietnam" mindset...

"Fascist neocons?" - add that to your other Lefty spiel. "Been called a nigger-lover by Right-wingers" - sure you have, Robert B, likely as many times as your peers called you a Marine - meaning - never at all.

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 4, 2005 06:37 PM

The behavior of American military personnel in Iraq is certainly less than honorable. Planned and deliberate torture of prisoners of war, slaughter of civilians, looting, rapes, the use of Willie Peter against civilians, the killing of inconvenient foreign news people, the mass desertions in Ireland and other unpleasantries have branded the United States with the same hot iron once used on the Germans, the Japanese and, to a lesser degree, the Soviet Army.

It is painfully obvious that this country has lost, completely lost, the conflict in Iraq. There are too many highly motivated and well-armed insurgents and too few increasingly demoralized military (general officers excluded) to permit any kind of an actual victory.

In partisan warfare, the irregulars almost always have the upper hand because they can choose the time and place of their attacks and he who attempts to defend everything, defends nothing.

Vietnam was a great military and political defeat and one would think that Washington would learn from its past errors but obviously, it has not.

Every soldier, sailor, Marine or airman who dies, is wounded for life or otherwise scarred by this useless exercise in political fascism, certainly evokes pity but for those vicious swine who plotted this war and who have kept it going without any plan to end it, should be taken out and shot in public...in batches of ten and without the benefit of clergy.

Appeals for support had been best addressed to the President (who has never attended any kind of a memorial service for a dead soldier, or the Secretary of Defense whose machine-printed letters of condolence to the grieving families have rubber-stamped signatures. The deaths and dismemberments of each and every American in Iraq and Afghanistan can be laid right at the door of the senior Bush Administration and nowhere else.

I have no problem with receiving and reading other expressions. I may disagree with some of them but certainly all have the right to express them, as I have the right to express my disagreement.

To shut ones mind to all opinions other than ones own would make me little better than a frenzied God-intoxicated evangelical ranter or someone who blindly worships George W. Bush and his unholy claque of thieves and ideologues.

I am a Republican and have been for years but the current Republican party does not represent me nor any of my friends. It has been captured by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, not to mention the vicious babblers at FOX network and when the mid terms come around next November, I and many, many of my friends and acquaintances will vote accordingly."

Posted by: crusader bunnypants | December 4, 2005 10:29 PM

Heckling wrote "few comments show any understanding of where America stands in the sweepstakes of history"

An educated populace is required to maintain a democracy. We are shamefully uneducated. Chris Ford may undestand what fascism is, but that understanding is in no way evident in his posts - although he is is quick to call you evil for pointing out the alarming slide toward fascism that first got traction with the far right nuts like Buchannan and went on to hijack the mainstream Republican party over the last decade.

Whenever a Conservative advocates for responsibility, fiscal responsibility, protection of the US reputation in the world, judicious use of our troops, etc, the epithet of "liberal" is hurled at him. But finally at long last that epithet seems to be losing its punch. Probably because of people like crusader bunnypants and others who are horrified at what has become of our country but who really, when push comes to shove, aren't all that liberal. Its time to reclaim the center. I don't think we have centuries left before we implode, I don't think we have even decades.

While Chris Ford can defend this war to the hilt, the consequences of having chosen to fight it when and how we did are greatly hastening our demise as a superpower. Our shortsighted focus on Saddam made us blind to the extent to which Homeland Security is a joke, our ports are unprotected, our borders are unprotected, our emergency preparedness is a joke, our shock and awe was trumped by hit and run, al Qaeda is still out there, the Taliban has returned, North Korea has nukes, Iran almost has nukes, and we have blown our credibility as the good guys. Its time for some new leadership. How exactly will any of this be helped by our defeating Zarqawi in Iraq? The Republican party has been hijacked by the nuts and we want it back.

Posted by: | December 5, 2005 02:00 AM

VFW Vietnam statistics from the 82nd Airborne Website. 82% of Vietnam Vets believe the war was lost at home due to a failure of political will. The military was not defeated in the field. They never lost a single battle. 90% of those that saw combat say they were proud to have served. 66% say they would gladly serve again if the country needed them.

http://goldenbrigade.org/statistics.htm

Do us all a favor, crusader bunnypants, leave the Republican Party you improbably claim to be a part of and go over to moveon.org or International ANSWER. The Republicans will appreciate your departure, the Dem Lefties will love the arrival of a man who says:

"The behavior of American military personnel in Iraq is certainly less than honorable."

Yeah, the troops are dishonorable, but be a good little Lefty and don't forget to add; "But I support the troops, and.....and...Don't you DARE question my patriotism!!"

bunnyboy adds:

"The deaths and dismemberments of each and every American in Iraq and Afghanistan can be laid right at the door of the senior Bush Administration and nowhere else."

So we were wrong to go into Afghanistan after 9/11 and all American deaths there are Bush's doing? And, in Iraq, all the Democrats that voted for war are not involved, Saddam was innocent, and Al Qaeda and the Sunnis that have also killed over 80,000 Iraqi civilians and police are
sweet freedom fighters protecting their country against the evil American imperialists??

Yeah, yeah, I know your answer bunnypants..."But I support the troops by branding them as bad as the Nazis and the Japs, worse than the Soviet Army.....and....and...Don't you DARE question my patriotism!!"

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 5, 2005 02:16 AM

heh...

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi visits a hair salon in Beverly Hills
Pelosi: "Did I really say 'cut and run'? Because what I meant to say was, 'shampoo and a trim, please.'"

Posted by: D. | December 5, 2005 09:52 AM

President Bush on the deck of the Iraq Titanic:

"Stay the Course"!!

Posted by: Left Angle | December 5, 2005 10:24 AM

Chris,

I've read your postings and the feedback you've received. You obviously haven't been in the military as you don't know how to spell sergeant and you don't know that in the Air National Guard there are no 'sargeant majors' (purposely spelled the way you wrote it).

You are one of those who is just smart enough to be dangerous. You take quotes completely out of context.

Your comments on Vietnam for instance. Vets of the 82d did say what you wrote, but what exactly is lack of political will? We lost the war for several reasons, the first being we fought a purely defensive war. If we had invaded North Vietnam and crushed them, the war would have been over. We instead fought a defensive war and propped up a government that wasn't seen as legitimate. What followed was even more surprising is that Vietnam didn't mark the first domino to fall. In the end our involvement changed nothing. Communism collapsed from within, not from the pressures we exerted from the outside.
Those nearly 60,000 lives were lost in vain and 1 of those was my uncle.

The same thing is happening in Iraq. We stopped the war before we crushed the Baathists who also happen to be mainly Sunnis. Our president lacks the political will to identify the enemy for what it is, Sunnis who don't want to share power. It's not Al Qaeda we're fighting in Iraq, but the Sunni population. Crush the Sunnis and the insurgency ends. Just like in Vietnam we are fighting a defensive war. We need to flatten the cities of the Sunni heartland, disarm their populace, limit their movements, and leave no doubt in their mind that they LOST!

The mid December elections will change nothing as the winner will be viewed as an illegitimate representative put there by the U.S. government. The Sunnis will continue their attacks and we'll leave. The Shiites will have to crush the Sunnis on their own.

I blame this mess on Bush and the neocons who really don't understand war. They muddied the water tying Saddam to Bin Laden and made it even murkier tying Baathist holdoust to Al Qaeda. Zarqawi is a jihadist, but he is in the employ of the Baathists. Their rallying cry is the Koran because it is convenient. You drape yourself in the flag and they hold up a copy of the Koran; there is no difference.

When we pull out and Iraq completely implodes, we will then realize those who lost their lives or were maimed did so in vain because the political leadership that sent them there lacked the political will to win. As to the cost in treasure, nearly 600 billion dollars.

I do find congress contemptible because they allowed Bush and company to cower them. If they dared to question they were immediately labeled unpatriotic, cowardly, or unAmerican.

The American public behaved equally bad. Too many of them allowed Bush to lead them by the nose. They never questioned what he called facts.

While you may not have served for health reasons, what about your children? Have you taken them when they came of age down to the recruiting station? I see our president hasn't; ditto for the Veep.

I would gladly go to Afghanistan or have my children fight there, but once you enter the military it's not your call which war you are sent to fight.

This administration will go down as one of the worst in our nation's history. Partisans like you with blinders on and fingers stuck in one's ears allow extremists access to power. This administration hasn't tackled one issue successfully.

I'm sick of chicken hawks who wrap themselves in the American flag. You sound alot like Hannity or O'Reilly; patriotic talk is cheap. Both talk about willing to die for their country, but neither one has served.

Posted by: Robert | December 5, 2005 10:27 AM

Damn ErrinF, I was just trying to get a rise out of you. Looks like it worked. I'm actually tired of the same conversations over and over again. I just like to read what you write so I can laugh. I'll quit messing with you unless you say something REALLY stupid.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | December 5, 2005 11:15 AM

Robert:

"You drape yourself in the flag and they hold up a copy of the Koran; there is no difference."

If you are determined to see moral equivalence, you will see it. I instead see the other side flying planeloads of innocent passengers into skyscrapers full of innocent people, blowing up buses,subways, trains, restaurants, churches, mosques full of incorrectly thinking Muslims, schools. And seeking WMD to use on civilian populations of infidels, apostates, unbelievers, and heretics - as their religious duty.

To my current knowledge, we patriotic Americans are doing none of those things and frankly recoil at your suggestion of carpet-bombing Sunni cities. I doubt your new anti-war buds on the Left think much of it, either.

But, hey, that's just me! Bathe in a tub of your moral equivalency for all I care!

As for mispelling sergeant, we Navy lads know what is important and what is not. Learning to spell sergeant is not one of them. I do sympathize with some Marines that are drilled weeks on how to properly spell things like "sergeant", "weapon", "toilet paper" - and never forget. Semper Fi!

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 5, 2005 02:33 PM

Chris,

You still don't get it. Saddam Hussein had zero to do with 9-11. Zip, nada, nothing.
Wrong war, wrong enemy.

With regards to that war and that enemy I would gladly move heaven and hell to get Bin Laden. We botched that war going after Hussein. Do you even know why Bin Laden got away? He escaped because the administration outsourced the job, hiring Afghans to do it and they cut a deal. Bin Laden and his soldiers walked down that mountain.

Nations fight wars against other nations. Hitler and Tojo were leaders of their respective countries but it was the German and Japanese people we waged war against. Destroy the people's will to fight and you win; don't and you lose.

The Sunni populace is what kept Hussein in power and are the people preventing Iraq from moving forward. If we want to win, unpleasant as it might be, their will to wage war must be broken.

Spelling is but a symptom of the root cause; you don't really know a damn thing about the military institutionally. I do, having spent 22 years in. The liberals aren't the problem here, but the administration. They lack the courage to do what's necessary which is exactly the same problem Johnson and Nixon faced.

Nixon was the wiser. Invading North Vietnam could have initiated World War III. If you remember Korea, crossing the Yalu River brought the Chinese into the fight. Invading North Vietnam might have been the same trip wire. If China attacked, there was a good possibility the Soviet Union would have also.

There is no superpower ready to take up the Sunnis' cause. The Arab world has minimal industrial capacity and zero nuclear weapons, no ability to project power within a couple of hundred of miles of their borders. They lack large navies, competent militaries.

Interesting you call yourself a Navy lad; one of my uncles (30 years in, entering at 16 in World War II) and my brother (spent 27 years in entering at 17)were both in the Navy. I never once heard them refer to themselves as Navy lads; the correct term is sailors.

Chris, give up, go home, read a book or two on war. More importantly, understand what you're reading. When a man like John Murtha says we're fighting a lost cause, it means something.

And please, watch something more than Fox News and listen to someone more intelligent than Rush Limbaugh.

Robert

Posted by: Robert | December 5, 2005 05:04 PM

Robert B, a so-called military mind, said:

"You still don't get it. Saddam Hussein had zero to do with 9-11. Zip, nada, nothing."

Wrong war, wrong enemy.

You don't get it.

Tojo had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, but he was Jap enemy. That was good enough.

Saddam was not directly involved in 9/11, neither were the Iranians, the Palestinian suicide bombers, the 4 UK Brits who blew up the subways. The Taliban didn't know of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's plan and were pissed when it happened. Indeed, 15 of the 19 (the Saudis) thought they were doing a political hijacking, not involved in mass death, according to KSM, Binalshibh, and Binnie on video. But all are Muslim groups that stand as our enemies.

Grow a brain Robert, we are in a war, and the war is not against the 18-20 who had direct involvement in the 9/11 plot. Now down to 4-5 still alive or not in our hands (sans ACLU lawyers).

The war is against radical Islam, and those states that support it's unlawful combatants - and that included Saddam.

Frankly, if you don't "get" this 4 years after 9/11, your only real value in the military is grabbing a gun and charging a hill if ordered to. It isn't in the "understand your enemy and out-think them area". And you miss it equally when you say "all Sunnis are the enemy" and propose flattening their cities. Not all Sunnis are radical Islamists.

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 5, 2005 08:04 PM

Alex Ham is obviously not very heroic. Or American, for that matter. LOL! : ) Some debate you put up, Alex. Your post was typical sour grapes fare from the small-minded around here that can't handle real debate. GMAFB!

Posted by: ErrinF | December 5, 2005 09:25 PM

Chris Ford will never 'get it'. He's on a crusade that is a huge distraction from the real terrorists, Al Qaeda. This lost cause of a McCarthyite is utterly clueless and delusionally partisan. He even argues that capturing Osama Bin Laden is meaningless! Just goes to show that this Iraq SIDETRACK was a huge distraction from the real War On Terror.
People like Mr. Ford basically buy into whatever they hear from talk radio, FOXnews, and George Bush. They are known as Bushbots. Their time is coming to an end. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | December 5, 2005 09:40 PM

I like your statistics Chris Ford. I heard somewhere that 100% of dead Vietnam marines regret their decision to serve.

I kid though. Your point is well taken on this son of a Vietnam Vet who still reaps the rewards of his labors there.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Will | December 5, 2005 10:32 PM

Will: "I like your statistics Chris Ford. I heard somewhere that 100% of dead Vietnam marines regret their decision to serve."

I heard you regret your decision to do bareback anal sex for only 10 bucks a pop.

"I kid though."

Tell it to some Marine Vets face-to-face. Start the laughing off, at your own joke. I'm sure they will laugh with you, or otherwise involve you in some fun activities of their own....

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 6, 2005 12:45 AM

Chris Ford logic goes like this: Any vet who complains about the military or a war the politicians made him/her fight is an unpatriotic weasel. Any vet who stays mum is a true patriot.

Dissent...thinking...rational thought...all are UnAmerican, according to our spokeperson for GW Bush's war.

Posted by: Bling Bling | December 6, 2005 06:31 AM

Chris,

What's going on in Iraq has very little to do with radical Islam. The Sunnis are rallying around the Koran but it's not because they are bent on global domination. Their cause has attracted jihadists just like our own revolution attracted the Poles and French to fight on our side.

The overwhelming majority of the Sunnis support the insurgency or as Rumsfeld would call them enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government, a government they don't see as legitimate because the one man one vote concept broke their hold on power.

If you want to target the real enemy, the jihadists, we need to focus on capturing and killing Bin Laden and company. And I would have gone to war with Pakistan or any other country harboring him to do so. We missed a golden opportunity when we let him walk off that mountain and our handling of the Israel Palestine issue simply fuels the resentment of a group who were colonized by the Ottomans for 700 years followed by Western European colonial powers. Whoever dreamed up Israel as a solution to the Holocaust was an idiot. The West took the easy way out punishing Arabs for the sins of the European populace (national socialism wasn't just a German phenomena and neither was antisemitism).

As for my military credentials which you seem to question I will gladly put them up against yours any day of the week. I have been to war and I have seen up close and personal how horrible it can be. When I state we have to crush the Sunnis it's not made lightly. I understand a great many innocent people will perish; the same thing happened when we firebombed Tokyo, not to mention dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Posted by: Robert | December 6, 2005 07:00 AM

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www.takingaim.info/audio

Police Found Suspected Bombs In WTC On 9/11
Reports surfaced of truck parked in building

Prison Planet | December 5 2005

RELATED:

Related: Alex Jones at Ground Zero: The Use Of Explosives In the 9/11 Attack
In this 22 minute clip Alex reports from ground zero and talks to eyewitnesses who were there on the day who reported bombs.

Related: Bombs in the World Trade Center

The report you're watching and hearing was filed by an MSNBC news anchor Rick Sanchez on the morning of September 11th 2001. It can be downloaded here.

The details contained therein seem to have slipped under the radar amidst the huge body of evidence proving controlled demolition brought down both the twin towers and Building 7.

Sanchez states,

"Police have found what they believe to be a suspicious device and they fear that it may lead to another explosion."

"I spoke with some police officials moments ago, Chris, and they told me they have reason to believe that one of the explosion at the besides the ones made with the planes, may have been caused by a van that was parked on the building that may have had an explosive device in it."

It would make sense that police would find at least some of the bombs that tore down the only steel buildings to collapse from fire damage in history at speeds that defied physics. There would have been so many devices involved in the demolition that stumbling across some was inevitable.

This report mirrors those that emerged in the hours following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, where bomb squads removed numerous unexploded secondary devices from the Alfred P. Murrah building.

The twin towers were wired to the brim with highly powerful explosives, some of which exploded before the collapse of the buildings and some during.

This is why people like construction worker Philip Morelli, working in the fourth sub-basement of the north tower, were thrown around like rag dolls in an earthquake.

With the sheer volume of evidence and basic straightforward common sense proving controlled demolition, the possibility still remains that the federal government, backed by FEMA, will come forward and announce that another Al-Qaeda cell placed the explosives days before the attack.

This of course is ridiculous, it takes highly trained explosives experts weeks and sometimes months to correctly rig buildings many times smaller than the twin towers, and with varying degrees of success. The towers imploded perfectly and fell down right in their own footsteps, as did Building 7 which wasn't hit by a plane. Any building not owned by Larry Silverstein, despite having closer proximity to the towers, strangely stood its ground.

Larry Silverstein admitted that Building 7 was "pulled," an industry term for demolition, in a September 2002 PBS documentary, but has failed to respond to a firestorm of subsequent questions.

Others argue that the powers that be will simply continue to ignore the evidence now being certified by such credible individuals as Professor Steven Jones and former chief economist for the US Department of Labor under George W. Bush, Morgan Reynolds.

To change such a major element of the official version of events would throw into question all the other pieces of the puzzle and the whole house of cards would come tumbling down.

Nevertheless, the report that police did find explosives in the World Trade Center before the collapse of the towers is another giant smoking gun to add to all the rest proving that the collapse of the buildings and 9/11 was an inside job.

----------------------------------------

Posted by: Che | December 6, 2005 07:27 AM

ErrinF- Give me something to debate. Nothing you say is worthwhile. All you do is call people Bushbots and staw men and complain about FOX News. I've already said everything I need to. It's pointless to keep on this same subject since before Thanksgiving.
As for not being a hero or not being an American, that's not what your girlfriend said.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | December 6, 2005 10:25 AM

Chris-

I think you missed my point, which was probably too subtle and I apologize. Reasonable people do not harp on war because of the people they benefit, like the 80% that you quote as being better off as a result. They dissent to war because of the 20% that regretted that decision or, more importantly, the 100% of the dead soldiers (and their families and friends) who suffer because of it.

Furthermore no one ever argued "We should go to war because 80% of the surviving soldiers will find it easier to find work and will have developed a newfound sense of self worth and accomplishment." No one in this thread could be more pleased with the sense of accomplishment or self worth my father gained from Vietnam because I have benefited financially from that decision my entire life. But this does not mean Vietnam was a worthwhile engagement. I will not argue either way, I just want to point out the obvious fact that the war being good for my family was not, in itself, a good reason for war.

For whatever reason you seem to think Marine Vietnam Veterans are just a group of crazy individuals who would jump at the opportunity to "involve [me] in some fun activities of their own" presumably bad ones. I have the unique experience of actually getting to interact, virtually every single day for my entire life, with an actual Marine Vietnam Veteran. When you ask me to share the jok with an actual Marine veteran I say... ok! And nothing bad happened to me.

It's hard for me to imagine, given that every single experience I've had with Vietnam Veterans has been overwhelmingly positive and enjoyable, why you would have such a twisted view of Vietnam Veterans. Do you know any? If not, than maybe you should rethink using their opinion in every one of your posts.

Have a good one.

Posted by: Will | December 6, 2005 10:43 AM

Again, I think it is a mistake to get involved in serivce tallies and stacking military ranks against each other.

This is merely a ploy to discredit opponents (and one could easily fabricate said experience). It would be like saying that only MA's or Phd's in Poli Sci or Middle East Studies can issue objective opinions on Iraq.

Posted by: Chris | December 6, 2005 01:04 PM

"The point of public relations slogans like "Support our Troops" is that they don't mean anything...That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody is against, and everyone is for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That's the one you're not allowed to talk about." Noam Chomsky

Posted by: Gael | December 6, 2005 01:35 PM

Will -

I think I went a little far with my rebuttal of you. It stems from the facile "100% of the dead would disagree" you led off with. You could say the same about the 100% of the dead in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII etc. saying being killed at Yorkstown, Bull Run, Okinawa wasn't personally worth it.

I of course dispute using dead people's supposed opinions as evidence that All War is Wrong. Nor do I dispute the right of Vets to say Roosevelt was a liar, Truman a skunk, JFK was responsible for Vietnam, Clinton and Bush lied....What I disagree with is how the press fixates on a small minority of Vets or their relatives - as having the true moral authority to weigh on matters of war and peace - not the vast majority of Vets. Whose opinions are ignored.

The media conjured up the stereotypical dishonorable Vietnam Vet - an atrocity committer, a druggie, and a miserable failure in life who really is just a Victim of War. It's a pile of crap, as any read of statistics of Vets and the opinions they hold shows. They inordinately skew the Iraq debate to feature anti-war Vets, and give very short shrift to what soldiers in the field in Iraq or newly returned from Iraq say - because the MSM doesn't like what is coming out of the mouths of active duty soldiers. And they also cast around for the minority of families, realtives of the dead who are embittered Bush-haters and ignore the majority of this era's gold star mothers and others close to a dead soldier who say they are proud of his service and his honor and valor in a noble cause.

I was struck again at the sleaze of the Lefties in the media when the NYTimes was caught red-handed editing the letter a KIA sent to his girlfriend to make it sound that he was anti-Bush, anti-war, and deeply depressed about serving in Iraq. The girlfriend outed the Times- saying that is nothing like he said. But the public, though dismayed with a mediocre President flailing about, also intuitively knows that the Times has run about a dozen positive articles on soldiers in the last 2 years and over 160 articles on US troops "atrocities" or "alleged atrocities" on just the prison abuse stuff. And always spotlights dead soldiers. The more dead American soldiers the more ink...while ignoring what the others are doing so as to keep light casualties the main focus and get civvies not knowing better to conclude the Daily Death Showcase is UNBEARABLE.

Same shit they pulled over Vietnam to break America's will.

Posted by: Chris Ford | December 6, 2005 03:50 PM

Chris,

The same shit you allude to being pulled now is because this administration has failed to articulate its strategy to the American people.

Like rancid meat most thinking people see Iraq as a lost cause (given the current strategy). The Iraqi military is underfunded, ill equipped, and worse poorly motivated. It won't change on 15 December.

What the administration needs to do to win in Iraq is to admit its mistakes and quit fighting this like its a small insurgency.
I'd love to see Bush make a speech that speaks to reality, "After analyzing all the data I've concluded our enemy in Iraq are Sunnis." Only then can he hope to salvage something out of this mess.

Vietnam and Iraq share another parallel; they were both wrong wars.

Posted by: Robert | December 7, 2005 05:35 AM

I would like to see George W. Bush slip on a banana peel, bump his head and in the process get total amnesia and a change in his personality. Then I would like to see him launch a major speech before the UN where he announces that after a careful review of all of the events that have occurred since WWII, he has decided that we have absolutely no business stationaing military troops on the soil of other sovereign nations, that we are getting out of the war and the terrorism business, that the other nations on the earth are on their own and that they had better deal with their own problems, that we are going to retarget all of our massive funding efforts into protecting our borders, improving our homeland security, taking care of our own infrastructure by redirecting all of the ridiculous amounts of money we are pouring into defending peoples across the world who do not like us, wiping out poverty in the US, increasing spending on R& D in medicine, innovation and science in general, and overall staying out of the affairs of other nations unless they ask us for advice.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 7, 2005 11:51 AM

Let's see a war that started out as a fabrication has now killed almost 200,000 Iraqi's, mostly innocents.Of those numbers less than 40,000 are insurgents. 160,000 innocent dead Iraqi's. Dead for a war based on lies.
The American side, those other than the Americans looking at the numbers say that 100,000 American wounded. Over 4,000 dead and 17,000 now mentally ill due to the experience of being in Iraq for, working for a false war. Worth it?

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | December 7, 2005 01:23 PM

One thing that I find disturbing is that not only are real soldiers who actually saw battle ignored, they are actually attacked if they disagree in the slightest with this very "unpatriotic" administration, whose members avoided active service in any way possible.

The only times I feel an individual soldier is at fault is when they actually commit a crime on their own or obey an obviously illegal order. They are there otherwise out of duty to our country and should be respected for their sacrifice. We should put the blame for the current state of affairs in Iraq squarely on those who deserve it.

The war in Afghanistan was justified, as much as any war can be. On the other hand, the Iraq war should never have been started in the first place! If we are out to get rid of evil dictators (no argument there- Saddam was all of that) we will certainly be kept pretty busy and very poor. We will also seldom improve things, because we will soon become what we profess to hate.

Posted by: Dave | December 9, 2005 10:03 AM

The real enemy was Bush, who did it. The al Qaeda terrorists were Saudi. Why Afghanistan and not Saudi Arabia, the true hot bed of terrorists. Because Afghanistan is weak and America likes to be on top. Too cowardly to deal with the real enemy, so make up another one.
Your president is the guilty party here, there is enough evidence to hold a true inquiry but only a true democracy holds honest inquiries. Bush will get away with it and that is the true evil here.

Posted by: G | December 9, 2005 01:53 PM

I'm an Army brat. I have a Ph.D. in military history and I teach it for a living.

Chris Ford and his supporters would do well to read Dave Richard Palmer's _Summons of the Trumpet_, a history of the Vietnam War. Nobody is ever going to mistake Palmer, an Army general and former West Point military history instructor, for a "Blame America" type. Palmer's very last paragraph of the book reads in its entirety: "There must be no more Vietnams."

Palmer notes that another Army officer, while a student at the War College, made the following trenchant observation about governments, popular opinion, and war: "The government, the press, and the people as a whole had no enthusiasm for the war, indeed failed to understand what the nation was fighting about ... Unless the people are enthusiastic about war, unless they have a strong will to win it, they will become discouraged by repeated [deferments of victory] ... [This] war shows that wars may be won or lost in the home country as well as on the battlefield and that no government can go to war with hope of success unless it is assured that the people as a whole know what the war is about, that they believe in their cause, are enthusiastic for it, and possess a determination to win. If these conditions are not present the government should take steps to create them or keep the peace."

Palmer also notes that the Army War College student, Major G. P. Baldwin, made these observations in 1928 about the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. Baldwin's observation, is, in Palmer's words, "a universal and timeless message."

Posted by: DAS | December 9, 2005 04:03 PM

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