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James Webb, former secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan:

It should come as no surprise that an arch-conservative Web site is questioning whether Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has been critical of the war in Iraq, deserved the combat awards he received in Vietnam.

After all, in recent years extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles. This trend began with the ugly insinuations leveled at Senator John McCain during the 2000 Republican primaries and continued with the slurs against Senators Max Cleland and John Kerry, and now Mr. Murtha.

Military people past and present have good reason to wonder if the current administration truly values their service beyond its immediate effect on its battlefield of choice. The casting of suspicion and doubt about the actions of veterans who have run against President Bush or opposed his policies has been a constant theme of his career. This pattern of denigrating the service of those with whom they disagree risks cheapening the public's appreciation of what it means to serve, and in the long term may hurt the Republicans themselves [...]

A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:43 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a veteran (4.00)
    I resent these attacks on the highest level. I cannot imagine what American citizens that attack veterans and heroes of wars are thinking; isn't it the thing they want most - war?

    Oh yeah, that's right, they just want to send someone else's children over there, and to hell with their heroism, and when they get back, to hell with their care.

    Mark
    Cumberland Virginia

    •  Notice too (4.00)
      that in Murtha's case as in Kerry's they attack the Purple hearts while completely ignoring the medals they both won for combat heroism (BSV for Murtha, BSV and Silver Star for Kerry).

      Its a nasty sin of ommission that allows them to denigrate his service without ever acknowledging that he's not merely a combat vet but a legitimate war hero.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:55:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also... (4.00)
        ...the Purple Heart is not something one asks for, but is awarded.

        Most people who have them would just as soon not.  I know a one-armed Marine who would gladly give his back, if only his arm would re-appear.

        The Purple Heart is given in recognition of damage sustained through wounds.

        For me, the fact of receiving it is enough.

        We should appreciate, not denigrate.

        These swiftboaters are disgraceful, whether they are going after Kerry, Murtha, or McCain.

        •  Next Thing (4.00)
          Next thing you know the right-wing smear machine will try and redefine what a wound is.

          Jamie
          http://intoxination.blogspot.com

        •  disgrace (4.00)
          The American people are just as bad for buying into their revenge fantasies.  The news media are even worse for discussing their deranged narratives as news.

          "Everything seemed possible to the powerful and the privileged, so cowed by fear, so broken to repression had the American people become." -- W. Karp

          by Mass Man on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:52:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  disgraceful (4.00)
          is much to nice a word. EXECRABLE is more fitting for these worms.
        •  That's not true. (none)

          If your wound doesn't require immediate treatment, you do have to file.  My grandfather was wounded on Iwo Jima yet never recieved a Purple Heart because neither he nor his commanding officer bothered to file the paperwork.


          Had John Kerry not filed the paperwork for his shrapnel wound, he never would have received it.  I'm sure there are countless men throughout the conflict who simply pulled out the metal and never mentioned it to superiors.

          •  Right (none)
            and a lot of guys that don't pick up their paychecks either.  Pure altruism.  

            I don't buy your theory.  The military is a culture, or should I say subculture.  And lettuce is the primary and most outward proof of performance.  Soldiers don't pass up medals on a regular basis.  It may have happened, but I'm certain it's not often, if at all.

            If we're dumb. Then God is dumb. And maybe a little ugly on the side.

            by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 09:17:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What's Your Source... (none)
            ...for claiming Kerry got his Purple Heart only because he filed paperwork?

            From what I understand, that is not the case.

            Back up your claim.

            And that Marine I mentioned?  He lost his arm at Iwo Jima--was part of the third attack wave.  They were standing around on the beach, not able to go inward because they were blocked by those who had already landed.  Then the Japanese artillery opened up--and they had no place to go.

            What he did was not heroic--he was going to fetch water when the shelling started--but he does deserve recognition.  And that is true of all the others who were wounded, whether they filed paperwork themselves or not.

            The Purple Heart is not for heroism, but for having been wounded.  The military decides if the wound was severe enough.  Not you, not me, not the person filing paperwork.

      •  Distain (3.00)
        The distain Bush gave towards the Purple Hearts awarded to Murtha and Kerry, coupled with the awards Bush gave for the fuck-ups shows that Bush has no understanding why people are given awards.

        Not surprising, since he never received an award during his 'service' and the fact that he was given anything he wanted throughout his life.

    •  Mark (none)
      Can you describe for us what the Virgina/Maryland landscape? And perhaps convey to us what kind of environment would so outrightly vote against Bush?
      I've noticed all the districts/counties in the DC area voted for Kerry overwhelmingly. Is this military or other? Thanks in advance.
      •  Please restate (none)
        your question in a way that makes some sense, and I will try to answer it.

        Mark

        •  Love the Al Weed tag... (none)
          I'm in VA-05 too...rabid supporter of Al's...I hope he kills Virgil this time...
        •  Al is another fighting Dem..Vietnam Vet - n/t (none)
          Virgil was quite careful to step arount that one and Al was too decent to bust on Virgil's VNG duty.
          •  Thanks for the notice (none)
            I am driving to Danville tomorrow to spend the day with Al, in one of the economically worst hit areas of Virginia. Dan River Mills is laying off a lot of people in the next few weeks, and there aren't any other industries to take its place.

            I will be reporting on my visit. Please volunteer your time and/or money by clicking on my link.

            Kos, here is another 'Fighting Dem' worthy of notice.

            Mark
            Cumberland Virginia

        •  Well, it wasn't a trick question (none)
          Folks around DC voted for Kerry. I've been told they were military families unhappy with Bush/GOP. Just wanted to know if you could verify.
          For example, I live in an uppity suburb of Dallas. 80% of the people in my district voted for Bush. But you don't have to look at the numbers to know this. You just have to drive down the road. That's all.
          •  Why the DC area votes Democrat (none)
            The DC area is very cosmopolitan and demographically mixed; several different factors combine to make the area stronly Democratic:

            There is a large Black population, especially around the eastern side of the city; both the District of Columbia and Prince George's County, Maryland are about 70% Black.  At least as of a few years ago, Prince George's County aldo had the highest percentage of college-educated Black people in any jurisdiction in the country.

            There are also large Hispanic and Asian immigrant populations scattered all through DC, Prince George's County and Montgomery County in Maryland, and Farifax County in Virginia.

            However, it is probably the distinctive features of the DC area's White population that make the region stand out as so solidly Democratic.  Most of the White people live around the western parts of city and the western suburbs, especially in Montgomery County in Maryland and Fairfax and other counties in Virginia.  There are absolutely no heavy industries or manufacturing in the area; rather, the biggest industry by far is the federal government.  A large portion of the White and Black middle class is civil servants or people who work for the huge array of lobbying, media and non-profit organizations headquartered in Washington.  This population is largely upper-middle-class, white-collar and highly educated.  Their values tend to be cosmopolitan, and they are amenable to "big government."  The solid majority are Democrats.

            There is still strong Republicanism in the region, especially in the outer suburbs of Virginia.  The wealthy communities in Virginia, such as Great Falls, tend still to lean Republican.  Furthermore, race and immigration are wedge issues in places such as Herndon, Virginia, where there have been controversies over the treatment of Hispanic immigrants.  Still, the Democratic trend in the area as a whole was enough for Kerry to win solid majorities.

            Virginia has an enormous military population; but this is centered mostly in the Hampton-Roads region, which is far to the southeast of the DC area.  Concentrations of military families may have affected the vote around sites such as Quantico in Virginia and Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, but these constitute only small portions of the area's population, and military discontent was probably only a minor factor at best.

            That's what I can tell you just offhand, after having grown up in the Maryland suburbs.

      •  View of an ex-resident (3.33)
        Maryland is very strongly Democratic. I think there's something like a 4-1 registration advantage. I used to live in fairly wealthy Montgomery County, MD, and even there I think there's a Democratic advantage (though for years we were well represented by Republican Congresswoman Connie Morella).

        Virginia is more complex. Away from DC it's the Bible Belt. Closer in to DC is Northern Virginia, and many of the more populated areas there lean Democratic. I think when I saw a red/blue map of NoVa after 2004, the picture was solidly red in the less-populated (and wealthy) areas, but blue on the dense population centers. Much like the US as a whole.

        Overall, I think Repubs strongly outnumber Dems still in VA.

        As far as military: Andrews AF base is just south of DC in MD, Quantico is south of DC in VA. I'm not sure how much those bases affect the politics of the region.

        •  You can't talk military in VA (none)
          And not mention the Hampton Roads area (Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach). The military is the entire economy of the Tidewater region, and I believe Virginia has one of the highest percentage of military populations in the country.

          "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

          by VirginiaBelle on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:38:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Virginia/Maryland Landscape (none)

         Well, there's the Chesapeake Bay and coastal areas in the East, for Virginia the "Atlantic Shore", then in Southeast Virginia we call it "The Tidewater".  Moving in is the "Piedmont Plateau" (man!  the things you remember from, what?, 4th grade!), then into the Blue Ridge Mountains - the Appalachians that stretch all the way from the Virginia-Tenn boarder in the south, all the way north into Maryland.  One of the most beautiful places in the World (Jefferson said it was worth a trip across the Atlantic to see!) is a view from what's now West Virginia looking down at the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers:  Harper's Ferry, which, besides being the place where Robert E. Lee, as a Federal Officer, captured John Brown, changed hands numerous times during the Civil War and is now the official mid-point of and headquarters for the Appalachian Trail (Society?, Commission?).

         There.  How's that?

        BenGoshi
        __________________

        . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

        by BenGoshi on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:32:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Me too (none)
      Those who never served should be quiet.

      Those who question medals should question all the medals including the ones Peter Pace wears.......

      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

      by RetLtCol on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:41:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Question, please (none)
        Are you saying that since I have never worn the uniform I should have no input on military policy?  That I should refrain from contributing anything to any topic that's military in nature?  Or, have I completely misread your comment (which, given the hour of the day is indeed possible)?

        Just for the record, I'm a strong supporter of the military (now, it's application by political forces from both sides of the aisle is another thing entirely...) and there's a bit of a tradition in my family with the military (though I have never served myself) so it is near and dear to my heart.

        •  Misread I think (none)
          I think his point was that those who have not served should not judge the "quality" of awards.  I personally extend that further and I will not question the service of any who I did not serve with.  Who am I to judge someone I did not serve with?

          I wish more of the non military population would question how the military is used or treated.  We are servants of the people and we need the people to take an active interest in our use and misuse.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 09:28:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess I did (none)
            Your clarification, though, is even "weirder" for me to understand, only because it would never occur to me to question a medal won by a veteran.  I mean, they're investigated, aren't they?  I mean, good grief, if a soldier in a combat zone trips and breaks a leg on patrol, I'd give her/him the purple heart.  But, maybe I'm too deferential to the individual sacrifices made by so many so that I can post here freely.

            I guess I'm not hypocritical enough to be a good republican in that regard.  Glad I'm a lifelong democrat.

        •  I Meant (none)
          the medal issue.

          War is the most important subject and is the source of the health or lack thereof in the republic.  It must be debated and all citizens should weigh in.

          Sorry I was on thread and so short.

          "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

          by RetLtCol on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:59:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody should be quiet... (4.00)
        ...but everyone should be respectful.

        Chickenhawk Republicans are entitled to their opinion, but they are not entitled to engage in ad hominem attacks on vets, and to disparage the patriotism of those with whom they disagree. I do think that they should put it on the line if they believe so strongly, and join if they are young and fit enough.  

        Service is important when one looks at a candidate - as are the motivations behind serving, and the quality of the service rendered.  Not all vets are equal, and this is a topic of legitimate discussion.  Also, sometimes military service seems to take precedence over all other forms of service.  There are other forms which should be equally honored, but which are not.  Relief workers and reporters in war zones have as high, or nearly as high, a mortality rate as active duty military in modern wars and have an equal public responsibility.  I would also say that some in the non-profit sector in the U.S. also put it on the line, with varying degrees of risk, and are deserving of more recognition for courage as well.  

  •  Right (4.00)
    You mean like Bush and his national guard service?
    •  1) Bush won no medals (4.00)
      1.  Bush never would have been in the Guard, except for his daddy. He would have been drafted.

      2.  Bush didn't complete his Guard service, by anyone's interpretations.

      3.  If not politically connected, Bush would have been subjected to court-marshall for failure to report, failure to take his medical flight exam, etc.

      4.  There IS no comparison between Bush and the swift-boated. Kerry actually SERVED in ACTIVE DUTY.  Kerry took shrapnel. Murtha was awarded the Bronze Star.  They went to face the enemy. Bush was face down on the coke table.  

      Comparing a decorated war hero with Bush is like comparing a Cadillac to a tricycle. You have got to be kidding me.
    •  The Chickenhawk in Chief can't even face ... (4.00)
      ... a real audience or unscripted media. And he's done so many Potemkin military dress-ups you'd think he was running a Jeff Gannon-type escort service on the side. Who the hell is he or his chickenhawk chorus to butch around in a bomber jacket making fun of nat'l security 'wimps'?
      .
      Man, these purple heart disdainers and gang-swiftboat assaults on vets piss me off. As I posted elsewhere, my gr-grandfather had part of his ear shot off by a sniper in WWII. He stayed at his post. Were g-gramps running for office some wingnut snotnose would be trashing him for having a piercing mishap at the mall. Has the reality gap become too wide to bridge?
      .
      •  Updated fairy tale (none)
        When he wears clothes, the emperor prefers military drag.

        "I will to God sing aloud, for He so well to me hath done." The 13th Psalm/Franz Liszt

        by grada3784 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:31:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  YES (none)
        Nice broadside.  It's a keeper.

        "Everything seemed possible to the powerful and the privileged, so cowed by fear, so broken to repression had the American people become." -- W. Karp

        by Mass Man on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:59:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I give him a year at most... (none)
        The tactic comes with a nasty kickback - no "wartime president" can hold his position if his generals (and his troops) turn against him. Nor can he successfully implement martial law, or open another front (like Iran or Syria). Bush has made enemies of his military, his diplomats, and his spooks. He's a short-timer now.

        Don't forget there's one BIG difference between Saddam and Bush: Saddam never did anything to help bin Laden.

        by Joy Busey on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:06:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They restarted this poll (4.00)
    Speaking of trying to swiftboat:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    •  I Was Just (none)
      going to point that out. We're ahead at the moment, but WE NEED FREEPS!!!  Either they'll see the light, or quite putting out Bush-sponsored "attack" polls!!!
    •  The results of that poll... (none)
      shows that by even asking the question MSNBC has shown the extent to which it has become a tool of the Corporatists.

      Blatant plug: www.stumpysfindings.com

      by stumpy on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:35:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hillary poll (4.00)
        CNN had an almost identical poll yesterday.  It was phrased differently.  They're all part of the same corporate machine anyway.

        "Everything seemed possible to the powerful and the privileged, so cowed by fear, so broken to repression had the American people become." -- W. Karp

        by Mass Man on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:02:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a hugelly important topic (4.00)
    and not just because I've been writing about it for the past few days.

    The problem of 'swiftboating' requires a comprehensive strategy and an approach that sees stopping these gangs as a national 24/7 effort with a specially appointed person in charge of the effort.

    (Discussions here and here)

  •  Nice (4.00)
    I was on Subs during VietNam. Lately I was arguing with someone about the current war, and he told me that my service really didn't count and that I had no grounds to stand on because I was "under the water" and was thus not at risk. Pitiful.
    •  I pity da fool (4.00)
      who tries to tell my dad that his service in Viet Nam doesn't count.

      It would be a very short conversation.

      •  Right on, exiledfromTN!!! (4.00)
        My father was an unashamed an unrepentent liberal 'til the day he died in 2003. He considered Bush a fraud and a buffoon. He was also a decorated WWII combat veteran. If any of those shit-boat creeps ever bad-mouths him they had better have a lot of those stupid bandaids they were handing out at the KKK--oops, I mean GOP--convention last year, 'cause I'm going to make them bleed (assuming, of course, that people without hearts can be made to bleed)!

        "Fear is a preparation for failure." Robert Fripp

        by OneBob54 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:06:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I had a similar experience (4.00)
      A Dr Sarper (a Turkish immigrant) at Colorado State Pueblo told me that since I was on a Nike Hercules site that I really shouldn't call myself a veteran.

      My reply a day later was ... "Well it worked well enough to get you here."

      American Engineer :== loser!

      by jnmorgan on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:54:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Marginalization of veterans (4.00)
      pure and simple.

      Mark

    •  Freeper Hypocrisy? Doubled! (4.00)
      They belittle anyone who didn't serve in Viet Nam as a peace-nik (unless of course they're talking about Dick Five Deferment Cheney, and George What TANG? Bush) as being unfit to discuss national security and defense. THEN they turn around a belittle people who did serve! First, thanks for your service and sacrifice; and second I'd sure as heck believe something that came from you well before some verbal flack from the Chickenhawk Squadrons and the Yellow Elephants!
    •  What possible risk could there be (4.00)
      A bunch of Squids cruising merrily for months at a stretch in those spacious, luxuriously appointed boomers and attack boats, running missile drills, and playing last-tag with the Sovs? ;D

      That "really didn't count"?

      I think I'm glad I can't fully grasp the tawdry values and worldview of the right wing.

    •  You've got to be kidding! (4.00)
      I don't care if a soldier sat at a desk in South Carolina shuffling paper for the mess hall, in my book they served and are deserving of nothing but honor and respect.
      •  thanks from this draftee/vet... (4.00)

        my two years resulted in no purple hearts and yet i feel just answering the call and surviving 66/68 allows me to get up in the grill of these chickenhawks and their boatbuddies and say WTF have you done?
        •  In the military there is certainly (none)
          some deference offered those who served in combat, but everybody's a brother (or sister).  Military life is very hard, whether or not you're getting shot at.  The pay sucks, the hours suck, the food sucks, the people who order you around suck, and the perks are almost all gone now.

          So to us civilians, it should not matter a whit whether or not someone got shot at; what matters is that they were true to their committment to the services and the US.

          It really is a hard life, and we should be respectful of _any_one who does it concientiously.

          -9.25, -7.54

          Who's a guy got to deny having sex with to get impeached around here?

          by Marc in KS on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:46:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You were "under the water"; Dubya was (4.00)
      "under the influence."

      We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor -The Declaration of Independence

      by occams hatchet on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:24:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Under the water (4.00)
      a few thousand feet,
      and standing next to tons of explosives,
      and a nuclear reactor a few feet away,
      and probably being tracked by the Soviets.

      Did you notice if this person had a giant hole in his head?

    •  asdf (4.00)
      Hell, I inspected chow halls and I would never ever trade places with a submariner.  I don't care too much about military service as a prerequisite for politics, most of the people that I met in the service were pretty much like everyone else, except that we were a bunch of 17-21 yr olds that were very anti-military and anti-war.  It is pretty funny now to hear the Vietnam veterans snivel about the longhairs in the peace movement, when they were coming home from vietnam the boys were the most adamant that it was all fuc**d over there of anyone.  We learned our anti war stuff from our neighbors and big brothers  that fought in the war...hey, maybe I'm wrong and service in a war is good after all if it makes you anti-militaristic.

      "I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax." Thoreau

      by NearlyNormal on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:42:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So how many seconds passed... (4.00)
      ...before you put that jerk "on the deck?"

      Anyone who disses the silent service needs a swift keelhauling.

    •  You were at risk every minute (none)
      you were on that boat.
    •  Serving on Subs (4.00)
      And by the way, service in submarines is no picnic--one mistake by a crewmember can be a disaster.  Asinine to imply that serving on subs "wasn't service."  Plus, as has been documented in the past decade, submarines conducted a lot of dangerous classified missions during the Cold War.  
    •  Let's see now... (none)
      Serving on a sub doesn't count, but flying in Texas does?

      Go figure.

      •  reply to all (none)
        You guys are the best. It kinda sounded like some of you are quite familiar with that whole Submarine line of business. About the guy that said this to me as well as that whole mentality: These people, when they argue, they seem insane or something.

        This person, the one that told me that my service really didn't count, was someone I met at a non political event, around a table in a relaxed after hours environment engaging in polite conversation.  The subject turned to the war,  I  made a wise crack and this guy bristled and I said you're kidding me and well, you get the idea. The best part? He was a Republican, he was angry, he had never served, and we had an audience.  

  •  E.J. Dionne also has a nice piece (4.00)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    on the subject of the depraved hypocrisy of Swiftboating chickenhawks.

    But it looks as if Webb is REALLY PISSED.

    I will be surprised to see much coverage of this in the SCLM, however. Business as usual....keep moving.

    The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

    by dabize on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:50:13 PM PST

  •  If Armegedon is upon us (4.00)
    The Deceiver is among us

    I had to wait so I wasn't the first to post.  

    The attacks on the vets is the RW's normal way of dealing with people that disagree with them.  Don't attack the message ... attack the person.  Yet for some reason Bush's record and actions never come into the same light.

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:50:20 PM PST

  •  cowards (4.00)

    They are cowards when it comes to war, sending other children to die for their "cause."

    They are cowards when it comes to making sacrifices for their war, instead spending the money of future generations so they're not "inconvenienced" by paying for their war.

    They are cowards when it comes to terrorism, jumping at the sight of their own shadow, screaming frantically over every theoretical terrorist attack without waiting for facts or logic to intercede.

    They are cowards when it comes to defending the Constitution, desperate to give up the rest of our rights so their chosen leader/daddy can "protect" them.

    they are cowards when it comes to facts, prefering to send their chosen propagandists out to lie and shout and insult rather than debate the merits of the argument they know they will lose.

    They are cowards.  Afraid of everything.  Willing to lie and shout and smear and distort reality to cover up their cowardice and play dress-up as heroes, as Bush did on the aircraft carrier so memorably.

    They are playing dress-up.  And like children, they may have looked the part of adults, but they never were.

  •  Chicken Hawk Nation (4.00)
    Chickenhawks who never went to Vietnam. Males watching the latest gore-action thriller who would go fetal if ever in an actual confrontation. Fat armchair quarterbacks watching the NFL on Sunday bitching about their team's weak defense.

    All one happy national mix that the Swift Boat stuff works for.

  •  Murtha is helping Bush (none)
    by delaying the impending mutiny.
  •  Purple bandaids (4.00)
    Gosh they keep doing it thinking it will work forever...they are wrong.
    •  Dang, you beat me (none)
      I was going to post a comment with exactly the same title.

      Was there a backlash? Did any Republican Purple Heart-awarded veterans object to that ridiculing of their medal?

    •  This is the (4.00)
      local area representative of George Allen, Tucker Watkins. He was featured on TDS and given the medal of 'Idiot' for his participation in the purple bandaid incident last GOP convention.

      He is one stupid idiot, and a great liability to George Allen in the Central Virginia area. There is a link to the damning video of him on Raising Kaine. Search for Tucker Watkins.

      This is what Admiral Webb, should he be the nominee, will be up against. Watkins claimed he cut himself shaving, so since he was injured, he 'got' a purple heart. Despicable.

      Mark

  •  It's funny how these republicans from yesteryear (4.00)
    are among the first to speak out against the insanity of their successors.

    It's a small but stark reminder that "conservatives" and what it means to be conservative has changed dramaticaly in less than a generation. The "Reagan and Bush 1 Republicans" have been consistent critics of current tactics and themes of their GOP bretheren

    •  You do recognize (4.00)
      That Webb is seriously considering running for Senate as a Democrat in Virginia against George Allen, right? I haven't seen it mentioned in this thread, and it really adds some needed context.

      "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

      by VirginiaBelle on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:28:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish more of these guys would follow (none)
        this example. There is no shame in switching or leaving parties for good reasons. Jeffords did it. Philosophies do not have standard barriers etched in stone. They often overlap. When "reagan heyday" republicans (Joe Wilson, Wesley Clark and Richard Clarke come to mind) step forward and openly recognize the dangerous drift of the party they THOUGHT they knew, it should make rank and file republicans on Main St. USA take pause ans think. Few have so far. Webb would be welcome addition to this phenomenon.
  •  Not just Bush, but the GOP as a whole (4.00)
    Do we so soon forget Jean "Freakazoid" Schmidt's deplorable performance in Congress? Or he campaigns sliming of Hackett when she almost lost in one of th eredest of red districts?

    This is standard GOP operating procedure.

    These people have no shame because they are power-mad sociopaths who haven't clue one about what it means to stand for American principles and ideals much less the COnstitution which enshrines them into law.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:53:12 PM PST

  •  Whoa, nice comment (3.66)
    Coulda used that comment 15 or so months ago.
    •  Jim Webb was very critical of the Iraq war (none)
      months before the 2004 election.  In one op ed column, he called it something like the worst strategic mistake in this country's history.
      •  Webb is Interesting on a Number of Levels (none)
        Not only was he one of the very few prominent people who had the guts to stand up to the Bush administration as they started their sales pitch for the invasion of Iraq in September 2002, but he did so from the standpoint of a well-thought-out foreign policy worldview.  If you didn't get a chance to see it the first time, I wrote a diary about his foreign policy views back in early December:

        Fighting Smart: James H. Webb, Jr.

        Webb has the potential to become an important voice in the party on defense and foreign policy, and help push back against some of the Neocon-Lite tendencies esposed by people like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton.

    •  hahahahaha (none)
      The guy in the black shirt has to be ed morrissey in his basement calling for mommy...

      Thanks... I forgot about this one.  101st fighting keyboardists forever!

      "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." Twain

      by dougymi on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:13:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sure they'll come after me too (4.00)
    For volunteering for Medicins Sans Frontieres in Kosovo. After all, that's a French organization. And it was in a Democratic war. And why the heck wasn't I in a US Army uniform if I wanted to go there so much?

    It just never stops with these people.

    •  dsry (none)
      They'll probably go after my cousin, too. He did his Viet Nam era service by being a Doc. on an Indian Reservation.  Clearly, this must mean he hates this country and everything it stands for.
  •  A bit off topic, but... (none)
    Scotty is too much.  What a fool!!!

    "Could an omnipotent being create a rock so heavy that even that being could not lift it?"

    by awkawk on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:57:38 PM PST

  •  I grew up Mormon (4.00)
    and attended BYU in the early 70's. I remember all the blather about how war protesters were communist sympathizers and anti-American. Yet every young Mormon man I knew joined the campus National Guard to get out of serving in Viet Nam. Even as a loyal Mormon (read "lights are out upstairs"), that never made sense to me. If you were pro-war, wouldn't you be eager to serve?

    I can't recall a single Mormon boy going to Viet Nam. Jeez, sound familiar?

    •  lt. Henre Crellin (none)
      was a mormon and a platoon leader in the 82nd airborne.
      His brother was a platoon leader in the 1st cav in vietnam.
      It was he who explained for all of us about "Search and Avoid" missions.

      If Charlie don't see you, you don't see him.

  •  I wonder how many purple hearts... (4.00)
    ...got thrown in the trash after the "band-aid" jokes about Kerry.  I wonder how many men who were wounded in action stopped bragging about their medals because they were afraid they might be challenged on the severity of their wounds?  I remember a time when it didn't matter how you were injured. People listened to war stories from old men (often with a slightly glazed expression) and didn't worry if time had introduced a bit of confusion or a minor contradiction.  I hope that the world remembers that it wasn't the left "spitting" on the soldiers here. It was the people who claim to place service to country above all else who decided that heroism is conditional. Medals only count if you agree with right-wing politics.  Otherwise, they are just pieces of ribbon and brass, worth less than the paper their accompanying citations are writtn on.
    •  Spitting (none)
      I've always thought that we should appropriate the "spitting on our veterans" phrase and start using it against the right.

      I know we use the "swiftboating" phrase as shorthand, but most people have no idea what it means. Isn't it more powerful to repeatedly ask: Why do the Republicans keep spitting on our decorated veterans? Why does Bush condone spitting on veterans? Why do those who claim to "support our troops" spit on them instead?

      Claiming that someone didn't bleed enough to deserve a purple heart, or wearing those idiotic bandaids is the same as spitting as far as I'm concerned.

      "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

      by Mad Dog Rackham on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:31:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know... (none)
        That was a dark time for America, and I don't know if I'd want to see this phrase widely used again. I understand that it is widely considered to be an urban legend, or at best a metaphor, actually, but it has power... against the left.  When people hear the term "spit on soldiers", they think of hippies spitting on defeated Vietnam veterans. That's a powerful image, even if it isn't true.  I would use the term at dKos, where people are less likely to be biased against liberals, but I would be reluctant to try to use it against conservatives. It is too easy to turn against us.
  •  Since no-one else has said it ... (none)
     ... I just want to say, this is very well put.

    BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

    by Yellow Canary on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:04:13 PM PST

  •  Secretary Webb. (4.00)
         Everything that he has said is true. But considering the existant "fair and balanced" propaganda machine that some call the main stream media, Mr Webb has simply guarenteed that he will be next.

         By speaking out, he has shown courage. But he knows that he is next. He has surely readied himself for the smear. He may welcome the fight. He may be ambivalent. But he's next. The right has no short supply of vitriol, vomit and lies.

         Sage words Mr. Secretary. But make no mistake.... you're next. Your service to America doesn't matter. You're next.  

    •  True if singled out (none)
      He may very well be next that is true. However, swiftboating has a weakness in that it is media dependent, which has limited focus. If we continue to have one person at a time speak out, then the swiftboating is immediate and indeed swift. One more is eliminated from the herd.

      When you have more than on person speaking out, I believe the message is diluted. The media likes a single juicy story thread, multiples it doesn't seem to do very well covering. If there were two or three people in a chorus, I think they would be much more effective.

      It would also show that it is safe for others to do so as well, but it will take courage. As long as one person comes up and is knocked down, wack-a-mole style, they don't return. Further, it serves to deter others from doing the same.

      ...Whirlpools whirl, and dragnets drag...

      by dss on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:13:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Smear victim Richard Clarke. (4.00)
        I'm currently reading James Risen's State of War.  I read an interesting explanation on p. 66 of that book today of why Richard Clarke was forced out of the government.  Apparently, it was all bureaucratic infighting by Rumsfeld:

        Rumsfeld's ascendancy led to endless headaches and personnel turnover, particularly at the NSC.  Rumsfeld, for example, concluded that he didn't have to pay attention to the counterterrorism coordinator at the White House, since he believed that fighting the global war on terrorism was his job.  Rumsfeld even wrote a memo to President Bush saying that he thought the job of counterterrorism coordinator at the NSC shouldn't exist and that he believed that the position was actually unconstitutional, according to former NSC officials familiar with the issue.  The president may not have agreed with Rumsfeld's interpretation of the Constitution, but the defense secretary was successful in severely limiting the power and influence of the NSC over military, counterterrorism, and even intelligence matters.  It was no coincidence that, after 9/11, White House counterterrorism coordinators came and went with dizzying speed; the job was eventually downgraded and merged with that of the White House coordinator for homeland security matters.
        •  yes, and never forget (4.00)
          Clarke broke the story on how Bush ordered the intelligence community to find a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9-11 attacks WITHIN DAYS of 9-11. I believe several other books that came later, including Plan of Attack, also discussed this. This is such a huge fact, and is repeatedly overlooked by the traditional media. It ought to be a starting point for any discussion about the war in Iraq.

          When viewed in the context of this order, ALL of Bush's bullshit about "we just didn't know about WMD's, and neither did any other countries" can be seen for what it was, and his justification for the invasion of Iraq falls. So... they smeared him.  

    •  Well, of course he is (none)
      He's seriously considering a run against George Allen (did not serve) for Senate as a Democrat in 2006 in a state with a massive military population (VA). How could his service NOT get demeaned?

      "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

      by VirginiaBelle on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:31:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why wait 20 years? (4.00)
    Didn't Rush Limbaugh say Paul Hackett was just a "staff puke?"

    The dirty motherfuckers are doing it right now. No need to wait 20 years.

  •  It could happen (4.00)
    My friend is a Texas Guard Lieutenant who warned the wingers he was with in Iraq they better not form a Gun Truck Veterans group to campaign against him when he runs for office, because he'd kick some ass.

    "I am a Democrat without prefix, suffix or apology." - Sam Rayburn

    by sandra1113 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:06:49 PM PST

  •  in the crosshairs? (4.00)
    exhale...

    Fire!

    "pulp is fiction, blogs are hope, long live electricity"

    by dash888 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:07:16 PM PST

  •  Tweety is going to cover this tonight (none)
    I'm sure he'll go after them and expose them for who they really are

    /snark

    "Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by sgilman on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:08:03 PM PST

  •  Ad Hominem (none)
    The Republican siren is the same. They cannot debate the facts because they are on the wrong side. Therefore they torch the messenger. By definition it is 'ad hominem'

    Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person."

    An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.

    A cat is a camel designed by lobbyists for the hump industry

    by bobinson on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:09:36 PM PST

  •  Let the clock start ticking ... (4.00)
    ... how long before Scottie and/or surrogates begin denigrating Webb; if he has any skeletons in his closet, look out!
  •  Important (none)
    Sorry to scream but
    READ THE ENTIRE PIECE BY WEBB.

    It is the most effective slapdown of the Chickenhawks you will ever read.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:12:10 PM PST

    •  And, email it to someone who could benefit from it (none)
      Make it the number 1 emailed piece.

      "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

      by muledriver on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:16:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Love the clincher! (4.00)
      A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line.

      Rudyard Kipling summed up this syndrome quite neatly more than a century ago, writing about the frequent hypocrisy directed at the British soldiers of his day:

      An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;

      An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

  •  The swiftboaters (4.00)
    actually handed Kerry a golden opportunity on a platter.  He should have ripped them all new a#$%holes for attempting to deningrate his military service.  That questioning Kerry's military service was the same as questioning all those that are currently risking their lives and serving.  How easy it would have been for him to make the accusations that the swiftboaters are "sending the message" (to use Bushtalk) to the troops that your loyal military service could be used in an  attempt to trash an individual. How about the punks who turned up at the RNC wearing band-aid over purple hearts? I was spitting bullets that Kerry didn't destroy those anti-patriotic chickenhawks.   Kerry got it all wrong.  Americans love strength, Kerry should have kicked ass and taken names--
    •  agreed...Kerry could have wiped the deck (none)
      with the swiftboat vets...but he didn't.  He tried to play it calm and he let the whole thing snowball.  He should have attacked with both barrels blazing.  But he didn't, and that's one reason why he wouldn't have made a very good president(in my opinion)...even though I did vote for him...he couldn't have been worse than Bush...that much is true.  And I wouldn't be having bad dreams about the SCOTUS, either.

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

      by darthstar on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:10:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too complicated, Kerry avoided it wisely (none)
      the whole thing would have turned into Kerry and VVAW and how he dared speak against the CiC and denigrated his fellow soldiers and what a showboater Kerry was and how one of the Purple Hearts was for a minor cut and it would have been endlessly about Kerry and quesioning his character and patriotism and honesty INSTEAD of Bush's.  It would have been really messy and a distraction we didn't need.  

      Also, this was not Bush attacking Kerry, but a 3rd party who represented the "with us or against us" all hail the flag blind loyalty to the Prezdent crowd. Kerry did respond and but not in the grand fashion many wanted.  Thinking that Kerry could have handled it better and thereby won the election is just wishful thinking.  All of you would have simply amplified the wrong part of the debate, and at Kerry's expense- NOT Bush's.
      Kerry did his best by treating the liars as exactly the liars they were and more or less ignoring them.

      •  that is simply not true (none)
        Kerry had an easy frame to attack Bush on this issue.
         He should have said Bush is the same then as he is now. Then he used political pull to send someone else to fight in his place in Vietnam. Now he uses his money to send surragates out to attack the honor of those who felt that if one served we all should serve. He did it to John McCain, then he did it to Max Cleland and now he is trying to do it to me. Well a draft dodger then and a draft dodger now. Why is the president such a coward that he sends others to do the fighting for him?
         It is all in the framing.

        They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve to be known as Republicans

        by Jlukes on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:57:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  O.K. Perhaps lemonade could have come out (none)
          of this.  It seems a reasonable avenue to pursue, but it also could have simply clouded things.  Bush, when pressed, did say "Kerry served honorably", and for Kerry to respond not in kind, would also have turned a lot of people off.
          I'm not sure what balance should have been struck, but I recognized Kerry's desire to not emphasize his past as war protester.
      •  Unfortunately... (none)
        whole thing would have turned into Kerry and VVAW and how he dared speak against the CiC and denigrated his fellow soldiers and what a showboater Kerry was and how one of the Purple Hearts was for a minor cut and it would have been endlessly about Kerry and quesioning his character and patriotism and honesty INSTEAD of Bush's.  It would have been really messy and a distraction we didn't need.

        Funny, but all those things you are saying would have happened, did happen, every one. Hard to say what would have happened had there been an effective, and timely, response by Kerry such as the one mentioned above- "what message does this send" to the troops who are actually in Iraq? Do they get the same treatment when their time as campaign props is over?

  •  Bob Dole (none)
    Do you remember when Dole gave the Swiftboat Liars credibility?

    I used to respect Dole, but completely lost it after such comments.

    Funny how nobody hears from Dole anymore.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, the boomerang effect is finally occurring.

    Webb deserves high praise and respect for his honesty.

    •  Fun With Dole (4.00)
      Today, I am happy to announce the creation of a new organization called "World War II Veterans for Truth".

      Our group exists to tell you the real story about Bob Dole's World War II service. It's our patriotic duty to do this, because questions have been raised by. . . well, people who raise questions.

      I know that no one in our group actually served with Dole in World War II, but that doesn't really matter. After all, John O'Neill never served a single day with John Kerry in Vietnam.

      The truth is, Bob Dole never served with honor in World War II. He did everything he could to escape service in the first place, fleeing for Canada before being apprehended by authorities after he begged for his mother -- and wet himself.

      To this day, Bob Dole has provided no proof that this didn't happen.

      And you know those "wounds" he suffered in the war? Self-inflicted, say our experts. Well, they've never actually examined the wounds themselves. But they're still experts, and that's what counts. In truth, Bob Dole shot himself by accident when he was fleeing from the enemy -- leaving 17 of his war buddies to die. It's all true. And we know it's true, because we're about to put out a book saying so.

      To this day, Bob Dole has never proven that he didn't shoot himself. What is he hiding, ladies and gentlemen? Why is he so afraid to respond? Why does he hate America?

      Oh, and he also raped a nun during the war. Some hero, huh?  

      The more you know about Bob Dole, the less there is to like. . .

      Look for our media blitz, which will soon be coming to a liberal television network near you -- assuming we can find one.

      I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

      by IndyScott on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:32:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what really got me about Dole's wounds (none)
        was that he got them in an operation in March 1945.  Now, I'm not trying to impune his bravery, but I just don't understand why anyone, on either side would engage in a firefight mere weeks before the end of the war.
        I'm sure both sides knew the end was near.

        That would have been like trying to send someone who was real short on a night patrol.
        I never got it.  i cannot imagine an lt. doing something like that in the 'Nam.

        •  March 1945 (none)
          was not "weeks before the end of the war"; it was months. And even up until just before the bombs were dropped, it was generally accepted that we would have to invade the Japanese mainland, with heavy casualties, and fight the defenders to the death, at least as ferociously as we had had to fight for every other square inch of ground between Guadalcanal and Tinian.

          We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor -The Declaration of Independence

          by occams hatchet on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:25:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oops, my bad - (none)
          Dole was wounded while in Italy.

          Mea culpa. I apologize.

          We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor -The Declaration of Independence

          by occams hatchet on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:31:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  eh? (none)
          before its over, its not over. if there weren't "firefights" in the last months of the war, there would have been no "unconditional surrender"

          I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. www.walken2008.com

          by The Exalted on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:08:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  to paraphrase that pilondial cyst Limbawwh (none)
        "Who Knows What We HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD!"

        "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

        by shpilk on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:35:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Before ther was the "Dukestir", (none)
      There was the "Dolestir".  Rep. Cunnungham's crooked real estate deals reminded some us of Bob Dole's similar deals involving a major campaign contributor: Dwayne Andreas, of Archer Midland Daniels and a luxury condo in Florida.

      The Doles have good reasons to keep a low profile now.

  •  Shoot the messenger (none)
    Republicans are the party of shoot-the-messenger. I don't remember the last time they had a real fact based argument about anything. They hardly even have values based arguments when it comes to something they don't like, it seems like there's a reflex to just attack the messenger to try and discredit the message.

    It doesn't matter who speaks the truth.
    The truth points to itself.

  •  Medals (4.00)
    Medals only count for the Repubs when you fuck up your job so severely that they can give you the Medal of Freedom. That's the one that really counts.

    Bunch of pussies getting shot at in Nam, it takes real balls to head the CIA, screw up momunmentally, and resign.

  •  Honor Education? (none)
    Our education system conveniently leaves out any explanation of military honors, even though we have been told our whole lives, as children and as adults, that we need to honor our military men. Well, I'd love to, but I have no idea what any of the military medals are - aside from a Purple Heart, and that's only because my grandfather was awarded two. There's a definite gladhanding of veterans of the military and of military recruits in this country, where those who have risked or actively risk their lives for our collective benefit are promised honor and glory, when in fact they are later attacked for credibility, denied logical benefits, and hold awards that most citizens of this country don't even know the definition of. Wow, what a great service we are all paying to the men and women that have made our (albeit disintegrating) way of life possible.

    And what's with the reasoning behind teaching children state history in 4th grade? No child gives a crap about their state's history, or the Presidents or other notables that have emerged from their homelands. Why not make these things mandatory education later on in their lives, at least in high school? College? Not that I support the way our degenerate education system works anyway, but could someone at least make an effort to lead me to believe that patriotism isn't something that is injected at a young, naive age, and is instead fostered?

    It's disheartening to know that so many heroes go unnoticed in daily life simply because we haven't taken the time to express to our children how very important it is to recognize people for their risks and accomplishments.

    •  History and Civics USED to be mandatory. (none)
      I know I'm old but I'm not that bloody old.

      When I went to school (and when my kids went to school), there were history lessons in the early grades (2nd-3rd). These lessons were presented in an age-appropriate format and were repeated year after year with increasing information load and complexity.

      We were taught Civics too. How the government works. About voting. These were also addressed in the early grades. (My kids still remember the lyrics to Sesame Street's "I'm just a bill")

      We learned state history, U.S. history and world history. When I graduated from the 8th grade in N.J., each graduate was given a book that contained the historically important documents for the U.S. and the state of N.J. It even had a copy of the U.S. Flag code. I still have it.

      We also learned geography because that went hand-in-hand with history. That's how I got interested in collecting stamps. It was all connected. In foruth grade, I remember reading my way through a couple of different series of history books written for my reading level. (I was going to grow up to be Clara Barton, Girl Nurse. Alas, another ambition to fall by the wayside.)

      When we got into the higher grades, this info wasn't foreign to us. We knew the basics, we had a grasp of the sequence of events, we'd heard of the names. Every year more information was added. Each grade built upon the previous grade.

      When I was in high school, History and Civics were courses required to graduate. We were taught EVERY SINGLE YEAR. By the time we graduated, we were meant to understand what citizenship meant.

      My grandchildren were not taught these things. They weren't required to take Civics classes. And Geography? - don't make me laugh. We're obviously the only nation that counts.

      We, the parents and the grandparents, were the ones who bought the globes and the atlases and taught them where everything was. It was also helpful that we were a military family so the parents had traveled a great deal.

      The kids NEED to know. It's never too soon to begin. Trust me, their little minds are quite elastic. They are born learners. We must be the teachers.

      "I don't think the ethics committees are working very well." -- John McCain on Meet the Press, 12/04/05.

      by bablhous on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:47:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Refuse of Education (none)
        It's true that kids learn fast and well - but they still selectively retain information. If national history and citizenship knowledge isn't stressed at home, even if it is minorly focused on (as it is now) in school, the kids will forget. I know because when I was in school (not so long ago, I'm 22) history and government were my least favorite subjects because they were always so dry and boring, and my parents weren't fans of the government and as such didn't stress the importance of my knowing about the place I was living in. I wish I had been taught more, and I wish it had been stressed as important, because I have successfully forgotten about 80% of all U.S. History (including the measly tidbit of state history I was taught) and whatever meager portion of Civics education I was served.

        As someone who is now inseperable from politics, history, science, and knowledge in general, this troubles me. I will have to read extra books and take extra courses to catch up on the things I should have retained from at LEAST my junior year US history course. It was taught by a man who talked the entire period in a joking manner about our history, and gave us study guides to memorize for our tests... and we all know how well we retain "memorized" test information... and the behavior was encouraged! This happened in an honors course, at a good school, too! Our education system is not falling into the toilet, it's already been flushed, and everyone suffers - not just the un-educated.

        Cheers to you for teaching your kids and grandkids these important topics!

  •  Why does the NYTimes give these guys print? (none)
    I thought the NYTimes was worthless?
    After all, Dkos says so!!!
    •  every once in a while (none)
      they allow some good stuff out, perhaps in the hope they will keep some readers that have a brain interested.

      But Paul Krugman, Frank Rich and the occasional piece that deals with reality like this op-ed does not a paper make.

      The NYT has become a POS, overall.
      I cancelled my subscription 2 years ago.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:39:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damage control? (none)
      After shilling for Bush's vanity war, sitting on the NSA story for a year, maybe, just maybe, someone had the bright idea that they should do some actual journalism? I'm not holding my breath on that, but that is one explanation.
  •  We should (none)
    start asking republicans why they want American soldiers to die?
  •  Looks like... (none)
    Webb didn't leave the Republican Party - the Party left him.

    I have said it before and I will say it again.  I will NEVER vote for another Republican again because of their band-aide stunt at their convention.  NEVER.  Not even for Dog Catcher.

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:44:20 PM PST

    •  Amen to that (none)
      Nothing, and I mean NOTHING in my 10 years of "being generally aware" politically has angered me so viscerally as seeing the Purple Band-aids in the crowd at that convention.
    •  I cannot imagine Webb voting GOP (none)
      after he has offered this op-ed.

      As confusing as the Democrats may be at times, they still have their honor.

      I view virtually every Republican with suspicion that they have sold their's to the highest bidder.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:41:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  bush and cheney are laughing at us vets. (none)
    I bet the chickenhawks think vets are really stupid.  afterall they were smart enough to escape the draft using influence or money.
    i think sociopaths and pathological liars can't understand that an honest person can be ethical and intelligent.

    "welcome to the monkey house" vonnegut

    by realheathen on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:46:37 PM PST

  •  Distancing himself from the Republicans (none)
    It seems to me that the author, by remarking on the "danger" that the Republicans face of losing their military support(in full article) and the fact that veteran candidates are turning to the Democrats, is himself distancing himself from the GOP.  "A little more of this and I'm OUTTA HERE!"
  •  As we speak, Webb's medals are being examined (none)
    How many dollars are being spent and how many PIs are interviewing Webb's old Navy comrades to find any way to disparage his service? If he runs, he is sure to be swiftboated as well.
  •  The politics of personal destruction (none)
    goes hand in hand with the definition of competition as a contest in which the last man standing wins, regardless of how the rules of the competition were violated.  It's as if the runners in a race aimed at tripping each other up.

    Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

    by hannah on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:19:40 PM PST

  •  Let the word go out RIGHT NOW...... (none)
    IF YOU ARE PUSHING THIS WAR WITH IRAQ, AND YOU ARE OF MILITARY AGE, WITH OR WITHOUT CHILDREN OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS, THEN YOU BETTER SERVE OR ELSE THOSE WHO DID SERVE ARE GONNA COME AFTER YOUR ASS IF YOU EVER RUN FOR OFFICE OR TRY TO QUESTION THOSE WHO DID SERVE IF THEY RUN FOR OFFICE.
  •  c'mon you wimpy whiners!!! (none)

    All that needs to be done is to force Bush to make a statement concerning Murtha.  Force his hand on this.


    He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:22:29 PM PST

  •  We're trying to get Webb to run for U.S. Senate (none)
    Virginia needs to replace George Allen: Webb could make a fight of it.

    Here our take on the situation.

  •  None of these S.O.B.'s (none)
    dare say this sort of thing to anyone's face.
  •  I can see the TV spot now. (none)
    James Webb says he was Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Navy.  But people who remember President Reagan have a different view.

    "I know James Webb is lying."
    "James Webb should be ashamed of himself."
    "James Webb does not speak for people who've heard of Reagan."

    Can we really believe anything James Webb says?

    PAID FOR BY PATRIOTIC CITIZENS WHO REMEMBER REAGAN FOR TRUTH.

    http://www.cafepress.com/turntexasblue

    by JohnStuartMill on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:37:26 PM PST

  •  So much for Tweety exposing the Swiftboaters (none)
    Earlier in the day, MSNBC was running promos claiming that Hardball today would be exposing "Who is behind the Swiftboating of Murtha".

    But it was not to be.

    Yesterday, Tweety looked miffed when he tried to make a major case out of Hillary's comments, and not even Norah O'Donnell would play along as far as he wanted to.

    So he's spent all of today's episode, so far, focussed on bad old Hillary. Even the current segment, which Tweety himself billed before the commercial break as "getting into the Abramoff scandal"...nary a single word on Abramoff after the break. Hillary, Hillary, Hillary.

    Bad old Hillary.

    It's now the final commercial break, 7 minutes before the end of the hour.

    Bad old Hillary.

    Fuck you, Tweety.

    He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

    by kensa on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:51:34 PM PST

    •  And again (none)
      After the last break, up comes David Dreier, supposedly to talk about the leadership problems.
      I can't get past Hillary's statement...
      And I can't get past:

      Fuck you, Tweety.

      He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

      by kensa on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:55:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  please explain: (none)
    from the Webb op/ed:

    "Not unlike the Clinton "triangulation" strategy, the approach has been to attack an opponent's greatest perceived strength in order to diminish his overall credibility."

    I don't understand the Clinton reference, could someone please explain?

    •  clinton took GOP platform points for his own (none)
      thus turning their perceived strength into his own gain

      similarly, non veteran republicans attack veterans' records, thus turning their opponents' perceived strong point of service into a liability

      I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. www.walken2008.com

      by The Exalted on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:11:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Firedoglake (none)
    has linked to this and rightfully so. Yet these wingnuts inflate their neck wattles whenever mentions the words Texas Air National Guard and George Bush in the same sentence.

    I have a new blogwhoring post up, btw, including two diary entries here on Kos.

    JP
    http://jurassicpork.blogspot.com

    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:03:57 PM PST

  •  we're here again ? (none)
    I mean, WTF? How dumb and willfully ignorant can the media be?
  •  He gets a 4. (Kudos) (none)
    Or whatever people do in real life.

    Who would have tought that watching "The Land Before Time (IX)- Journey to Big Water" would become a subversive act?

    by mungley on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:30:22 PM PST

  •  Ouch! (none)
    I they deserve every daggar they've received.

    While we know that the truth will not change anything in BushCo's bag of tricks having someone of this stature say the truth is very refreshing.

    (-5.63,-6.10) "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by CyberDem on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:16:19 PM PST

  •  For more on James Webb, see (none)
    here, and here, and here, here, and here.
  •  Hey... (none)
    "A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line."

    You know, the rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters sounds like a pretty good idea to me!

  •  RepubliCons Smear Veterans (none)
    "A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line."

    I wrote something about this on another website before the 2004 elections -- after the Swiftboat ads started. If the Dems had been smart, they'd have made an ad showing an Iraqi war veteran (hero) questioning whether Republicans will smear his service and question whether he deserved his medals if he chose to run for Congress in twenty years.

    It would have been effective at shaming them for their despicable smear tactics.

  •  703-683-9733 (none)

    This is the Cybercast News Services phone number. You can access the company directory via this number and leave a voicemail for Mr. Thibault - may well go right to his desk. I left him a message questioning his courage, I left him my number, and told him I'd love to discuss the Murth piece with him at any time. I also offered to meet him to discuss it the next time he's in Atlanta.

    So feel free to fill his voicemail with love!

     

  •  Yep... (none)
    That has been the Bush administration's primary mode of interaction with veterans: smear the suckers.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:25:59 PM PST

  •  Hate to be politically incorrect, but... (none)
    ...why the hell didn't we hear more from current active duty military when the Swift Boat Drunkards started up on Kerry? And when W started up on McCain? And Chambliss assassinated Cleland?
    I don't care what their politics are, I would think that the attack on decorated veteran soldiers would have pissed off the current ones more. Active duty should be ashamed of not defending their elder brethren.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:52:41 PM PST

    •  2 reasons (none)
      1. Political speech by active duty military personnel is extremely restricted and limited, and public expression of partisan opinions or endorsements are prohibited by regulations.
      2. Regardless of that, I for one sure as hell was defending both McCain and Kerry. Especially Kerry. Vocally and frequently. Even then it was limited to internet message boards.

      It's absolutely against the rules for an active duty military member to go on TV or radio and endorse a candidate or political party. Reason being that it can be seen as an endorsement of that political entity by the entire military. Yes, I realize that doesn't stop the Republicans. It sucks.

      Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

      by jabbausaf on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 03:56:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  big disappointment from me too (none)
      that many prominent allies who could have helped Kerry dared not sully themselves to help him out.
      Remember the McCain ad?  The one by Kerry's people which focused on the moment in the 2000 GOP debates where McCain took Bush to task because the Bush campaign tried to make his service a negative.

      Mcain asked Kerry to pull the ad, which of course, Kerry respected and did.  But yet, McCain knew how low Bush was, and did everything to help him in 2004.

      And not just McCain- there were plenty of Dems too who could have gone the extra mile for Kerry.

  •  When fetishizing the military (none)
    is no longer politically expedient. That's when the chickenhawk bastards of the world stop wanking off to the idea of the battle-tested veteran.

    Those vets aren't supposed to have opinions, they're not supposed to ask effective questions, they're just supposed to satisfy the ridiculous fetish these ideological fanatics have built them up to be.

    It is a skewed form of idolatry that cooks and apologists use to placate themselves into believing they are still right and just, and when reality flies in the face of that they resort to what they know best: character assasination.

    These people do not deserve to be called civilized members of society, they deserve to be called what they are: zealots.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

    by big dave on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 09:00:16 PM PST

  •  Video Satire on Murtha Smear (none)
    There's a video satirizing the Swift-Boating of Murtha at:  http://politicalzing.com/...
  •  Another true patriot speaks the truth. (none)
    And what will the right try to do to him.  God, they are loathsome, foul and vile creatures.

    "We, the people..." [shall] "establish justice!"

    by trupatriot on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:27:16 PM PST

  •  So quit... (none)
    Well, as much as I despise Bush, maybe I have to side with him on this one. US military service, excepting maybe a few years during WWII and the American revolution, honestly does not seem to me to have been very honorable over the last 230 years. The fact that it's hard or distastful does not justify it from an ethical standpoint.

    So maybe he's right. Federal military service is not honorable and has become a tool of a corrupt policy.

    So quit, object, go awol or mutiny. Most of the respectable people I know in the service have already done it- officers and NCO's alike.

  •  Draft James Webb (none)
    There's a movement out there to draft Webb to run against George Allen as a dem in 06.  We'll see how that goes.  I'm at the point where I'd take ANYONE over Allen as long he stands apart from the Bushies and the Roves.

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