Monday, May 28, 2007

In Memoriam

Jim here.

If your Memorial Day has been like mine, there has been little time to stop and remember those who gave their lives for our nation.

Join me, if you would, in taking a moment to reflect upon all of the men and woman who died in service of the United States.

Casualty Lists
The Gulf War

Vietnam War
Korean War
World War II
World War I
Spanish-American War
American Civil War
Mexican-American War

Although not memorials per se
The War of 1812
The American Revolution

May they rest in peace.

May we continue the struggle to preserve the freedoms they won for us, against all foes, domestic and foreign.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A telling media moment

I just heard this on CNN from former Foxhole and current host of American Morning Kiran Chetry:
This is a story I actually want to know more about.
What was she talking about? The US Attorney scandal? The still-surfacing Republican connections to Abramoff? CIA reports that the war in Iraq is a financial boon to Al Qaeda?


Kiran wants to know more about how Viagra helps hamsters with their jet lag.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Don't believe the tripe

Already this morning, I've heard the Morning Foxholes making the claim that former President Carter's recent comments about Bush are unprecedented, because former presidents just don't criticize sitting presidents.

Of course, we heard the same b.s. a year-and-a-half ago, when Bill Clinton complained about Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina. "This has never happened before. (F)ormer Presidents of both parties have stayed out of politics and have avoided criticizing their successors," claimed John Hinderaker of Power Line. " The Democrats appear bent on destroying every element of the fabric that has united us as Americans."

Of course, as I pointed out then, Hinderaker was either ignorant or he was lying. Republicans criticized Clinton throughout his presidency, beginning with an op-ed by Ronald Reagan less than a month after Clinton had taken office. "I can't refrain any longer," Reagan wrote about his 29 days of biting his tongue.

George H.W. Bush promised not to criticize Clinton for a year, but he couldn't make it nine months without bitching about the then-sitting president, something he continued to do throughout Clinton's presidency. He once even argued that Clinton was trashing America's reputation overseas, saying, "The trials of the present will soon pass away and once again our country will be respected and strong around the world."

Does that sound significantly different than Carter's claim that "as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history"? Not to me, but, because I'm not a Republican nitwit, it doesn't sound like "reckless personal criticism" to me, either. It sounds President Carter knows how to read.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What the hell is wrong with Howard Kurtz's moral compass?

John Nichols asked over at the Nation exactly what John McCain was talking about when he called Jerry Falwell a "man of distinguished accomplishment":
Distinguished accomplishment? Would that be when Falwell regularly featured segregationists Lester Maddox and George Wallace on his Old Time Gospel Hour television program in the 1960s? When he condemned the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and referred to the civil rights movement as "the civil wrongs movement"? When he opposed sanctions against South Africa's apartheid regime in the 1980s? When he produced an infomercial in the 1990s accusing President Clinton of orchestrating murders of journalists and political critics, even though he would eventually admit that "I do not know the accuracy of the claims"? When he attacked Teletubbies character Tinky Winky as a gay recruitment tool? When he asserted that the Antichrist "must be, of necessity, a Jewish male"?
Howard Kurtz, quoting the exact same paragraph above, writes only:
Yeah, he lost me with that Teletubbies thing.
Really? Howard was fine with Falwell's condemnation of Martin Luther King Jr., accusations against President Clinton and support of Apartheid, but broke with him in 1999 when the bit about Tinky Winky being gay appeared in a Falwell newsletter? I suppose if Kurtz would have had to think about such things it would mean getting his mind "polluted by really foul stuff."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"[T]he Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL"

It seems that Terry is as swamped as I am.

Let me put forth, for your consideration and discussion, some items I have found online over the last week or two.

We start with Mr. Bush, who denied needed support for our troops, saying:
"[M]embers of the House and the Senate passed a bill that substitutes the opinions of politicians for the judgment of our military commanders."

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, US Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinskei told Congress that "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" would be needed to occupy Iraq.

Oddly enough, even though Gen. Shinseki had experience running an occupying army from his stint as Commander, NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the opinions of civilians Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush trumped his professional judgement, and his authority was immediately undercut in a very public way for having the audacity to challenge our boy-king.

But we are used to this now. The pronouncements from the White House are designed for their ability to inflict Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt upon us (aka, We, the People). The truth is, at best, secondary to the Bush administration.

In contrast, consider the comments of Lt. Gen. William Odom, US Army (ret), former Director of the National Security Agency and former Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Army’s senior intelligence officer, who gave the Democratic response to Mr. Bush's sales pitch.

I am not now nor have I ever been a Democrat or a Republican. Thus, I do not speak for the Democratic Party. I speak for myself, as a non-partisan retired military officer who is a former Director of the National Security Agency. I do so because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked me.

In principle, I do not favor Congressional involvement in the execution of U.S. foreign and military policy. I have seen its perverse effects in many cases. The conflict in Iraq is different. Over the past couple of years, the President has let it proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued.

Thus, he lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money, and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies. The Congress is the only mechanism we have to fill this vacuum in command judgment.

To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games.

Or, consider this article by Army Lt. Col. Paul Yingling (He is the deputy commander, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. He has served two tours in Iraq, another in Bosnia and a fourth in Operation Desert Storm. He holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago.) Yingling faults our generals for not standing up to Bush and his bullying.

Your comments on these links are appreciated!