Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 03/2004

« Writers fest co-founder pens new book | Main | Community garden won't grow without fence funding »

April 07, 2008

Comments

JARfromWard3

Bill:

Just a couple of small points of information...

It was Grenada, not Granada, and the invasion there was planned some time before the Marine massacre in Beirut--there wasn't really any connection between the two events other than the coincidence of their timing. It followed the assasination of Maurice Bishop who was the island's governor, or some such, IIRC.

The US Marines in Beirut were killed during the wee hours of Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983. My cousin, Lnc. Cpl. Richard Gordon (SHS Class of 1979), was among the casualties. He is buried at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Clarendon Hill and is, I believe, the last Somerville resident killed in uniform 9and I hope it stays that way). He is also, as I am told, the last person who will be buried at Clarendon Hill as the cemetery was officially closed following his interment.

73
JAR

Not sure

Bill:

I generally agree with your essay but I have a couple of points for you to consider:

1. I'm not sure I understand your point about the "ignorant hawks" of the Vietnam era being wrong. I think they were right. Maybe not about exactly where the blood bath would occur after American withdrawal(Cambodia and not Vietnam). But they were certainly right about the regional blood bath (re: the murder of nearly 2,000,000 innocents). I mean, would you honestly feel better if the world watched a few million Iranians or Pakistanis die rather than Iraqis? Instability in a region sometimes spills over the next border.

2. Even with the power of hindsight, what should the world, led by the US, have done to deal with Iraq as a bad player 5 or 6 years ago? I mean, defiance of 20+ UN resolutions, food for oil etc. They were like the insolent child that says one thing but refuses to comply. Maybe the UN should set up a "time-out" chair.

I never seem to hear what opponents to this war would have done better in 2002. Please don't say MORE UN sanctions...

Imux

Bill, good lord. Another libaloons who wants to can't cut & run and snatch defeat fronm the jaws of victory! I think most sane people would say taking out Saddam Hussein was the right thing. The guy was a thug and a loose cannon. The world is better without him. Removing Saddam went better than anyone expected. That was the war.

It was the peace that the Bush folks did not plan correctly for and the surge has since corrected that. This war is over and soon all the troops will be home victorious. Iraq will have some instability for a while, but overall they'll be ok and better off.

You really need to be careful as your far leftwing agenda (read: moonbat) is again showing. We would have won in Vietnam too if the peace craze (you libaloons fostered) had just blown over. Instead, millions died at the hands of the commies. You want the same thing here?

Why do you moonbats hate America? And I just realized that isn't it Barack Hussein Obama? Wow.

nobody3

What does this have to do with Somerville, shouldn't journalism efforts be focused on Somerville issues in this paper?

Truth Fan

I think that your answer is in the first paragraph of the column. Most of what I hear about the war is from talking heads. About all we hear locally is that we should support the troops. I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that, but it doesn’t tell us much about the war or what we should do about it.

I like the opportunity to hear what my neighbors think and discuss things with them that may be national or international, but affect how we live in Somerville. This website is one of the only ways that I get to do this.

In addition, the Somerville News often has commentary that's more insightful than the national press. I learned more in the discussion on this site about the mortgage crisis than I’ve learned everywhere else put together.

As long as the Somerville News can say something intelligent about big issues that affect all of us, I say, “Keep on coming. I don’t care what your viewpoint is, as long as you make me think.”

Bill Shelton

Not sure,

You raise a perfectly reasonable question that happens to touch on my sorest sore spot. It’s about how soldiers and marines who were serving their country, Americans who trusted their government, and Southeast Asians who were just trying to stay alive were abused by our “leaders” long AFTER those leaders knew that they would leave Vietnam an lose the war.

I remember these events as if they were yesterday. I respect others who also lived that history but came to different conclusions. So I’ll limit what I’m going to say to verifiable fact.

As with Iraq, (1) most Americans patriotically supported the war in Viet Nam when it began, but (2) had very limited information about it. By 1967, more information was more broadly available, and a majority of Americans no longer believed what their government told them, creating the “credibility gap.” As today, administration officials acknowledged that “mistakes had been made.” But they said that a U.S. withdrawal would produce a “blood bath.”

The massive 1968 Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese Army and the National Liberation Front, was a defeat for them. But it demonstrated their strength, that they were determined, and that the costs of remaining in Vietnam were unacceptable to most Americans. The majority against the war became huge. The administration kept chanting “blood bath.”

Richard Nixon got elected in 1968 on the promise that he had a secret plan to end the war. We now know that his advisors understood that the war could not be won. Reports in the press appeared quoting a “usually reliable White House source,” saying that the administration simply wanted a “decent interval” between U.S. withdrawal and the fall of the Saigon regime. That source was later revealed to be Henry Kissinger.

To buy that “decent interval,” Nixon ordered a “surge,” invading Cambodia. Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the traditional ruler of Cambodia, had tried to serve his people by maintaining neutrality and playing off the various parties. The U.S. government was pissed because the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” wound through jungles in Eastern Cambodia. But there was really nothing that Sihanouk could do to stop it. In fact, the U.S. invasion, which involved vastly more military might than Sihanouk could dream of failed to disrupt the flow of materiel.

What it did do, with the U.S. backing a Cambodian general, was to overthrow Sihanouk. Until that point, the Khmer Rouge had enjoyed about as much support from the Cambodian “masses” as the Ku Klux Klan enjoys among Americans. Sihanouk’s overthrow was an assault on Cambodian tradition and the reciprocating rights and obligations that held the society together. The coup legitimized the Khmer Rouge among broad Cambodian sectors, enabling the Khmer Rouge to fill the vacuum left by the traditional monarchy. As important, it exponentially increased the Khmer Rouge’s recruits.

The hubris of American leaders prevented them from understanding this about Cambodian and Vietnamese society: (1) There was historical bitterness among the Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodians that would prevent (and has prevented) them from ever cooperating and becoming a regional threat; (2) As Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara later came to acknowledge, both the U.S. and Vietnam could have accomplished their goals without ever going to war; (3) There was never a threat of a bloodbath in Vietnam because the NVA/NLF’s support among the people was so deep and broad that they could (and did) enforce discipline and prevent reprisals; and (4) the “elective” invasion of Cambodia after most Americans opposed the war and Nixon promised to end it led directly to the Khmer Rouge’s slaughter of 2,000,000 “innocents.”

To say that “they were certainly right about the regional blood bath” just ain’t so, because “they” never predicted a regional bloodbath, they predicted a Vietnamese bloodbath. There had never been any threat of a Cambodian bloodbath before the overthrow of Sihanouk, and his replacement with Lon Nol was promised to prevent any possibility of communist insurgents coming to power there.

By the end of the Tet Offensive, a large majority of Americans were horrified by the cost that we had paid in lives for so little gain. They wanted to withdraw. But more Americans subsequently died after the Tet Offensive than had died before and during it.

You ask, “Even with the power of hindsight, what should the world, led by the US, have done to deal with Iraq.” Hindsight is not, and was not, necessary. What was needed was a willingness to acknowledge ignorance about Iraqi culture and politics and to investigate them.

Even this, while desirable, was not necessary. The U.S. and U.K. had Saddam Hussein pinned down indefinitely. He couldn’t restart his WMD program and he couldn’t attack his neighbors.

By February of 2003, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission had found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Hans Blix told the U.N. and the U.S. that if they gave the Commission two more months, he could demonstrably prove that these weapons of mass destruction did not exist. Instead, the Bush administration stampeded the decision makers into war.

In addition to disproving the WMD myth, those two months would have given Colin Powell time to learn that he had been conned, the intelligence community time to contradict the fraudulent “intelligence” manufactured by the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Feith propaganda shop as justification for a “preemptive” war, and Congress time to survive their fit of jingoism sufficiently to examine the hard evidence.

Now,
• by any measure, life for the average Iraqi is worse than under Saddam;
• Iraq is no longer a counterweight to Iran’s ambitions to become a regional super power;
•there are more anti-American terrorists who are better armed and better trained that at any previous time;
•the U.S. has lost many friends and gained many more enemies; and
• being pinned down in Iraq has prevented effective action on more threatening foreign policy matters.

Regarding the domestic impacts, I encourage you to make your own list.

Not sure

Bill:

I respect your recollection and I don't want to get into a long diatribe, picking apart every little phrase you use on this website but as long as we're drawing historical parallels...I disagree that Nixon was elected in 1968 "on the promise that he had a secret plan to end the war". Rather, the debacle within the Democratic party, after the loss of RFK, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago left the national election in the hands of Nixon. You will recall that the general feeling was that "delegates" or party insiders decided the nominee (Humphrey) over the vox populi choice (McGovern or McCarthy) of the party. This ultimately led to the increased importance of the "primary system" we see today. So, as Democrats, I ask you, rather than re-hashing the past (even your sorest of sore spots), or gnashing our collective teeth about this most recent administration, please consider the words of Santayana: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" Let's get together and all pull on the same end of the rope or we will surely lose again. Only with the White House can we take this country in a more positive direction.

One Question

I'm not able to completely digest this article and most of Mr. Shelton's work. I have a job. But I have skimmed this looking for something that backs up a few of the more outrageous statements. As a result of the war, "Millions pray for our death"? They are the same millions who were praying for it all along, and applauded Sept. 11th. Go back to Jr. High if you decide all your actions based on whether the cool kids will like you. We are NOT "occupying" Iraq, as you say. Where do you get that? But the big question that i really need an answer to: "By any measure, life for the average Iraqi is WORSE than under Sadam?" Rape rooms? Torture/murder/Oppression of women& girls/Childrens' Prisons?? Need I go on? How do you back this statement up?

Imux

Bill, quit being another disgruntled hippie. Iraq isn't Vietnam. We lost 58,000 in Vietnam... we've lost 4000 in Iraq. There was a draft during Vietnam... this is a volunteer force. The North Vietnamese / Viet Cong never flew planes into buildings here on our soil. The Islamofacists we're killing in Iraq have.

Quit being such a moonbat girlyman and grow a set of nuts. Geeezzzz.... and yes.... you libaloons will screw up and lose this election. We all know it. By the time Barack Osama emerges from the democratic primaries he'll be whipped and crawling back to Illinois thanks to Hillary.

Also... let's do the math...you have to assume the country is split ~ 30% republican/consevatives (people who want to do for themselves)... 30% libaloon/democrats (people who want a sugardaddy government taking care of them) and then 40% in-the-middle. Let's assume 100 million people will vote (of that ~ 10% are black, so 10 million)... do you really think more than 40 million white people in this country will vote for an African American? Unless someone flsuhed racism down the hopper last night, then it ain't a happenin'. Too many rednecks down south. You fools should have taken Hillary "Kankles" Clinton.

I love how you moonbats always form a circle and open fire on one another. Silly rabbits, tricks (elections) are for kids.

Citizen

I agree with Truth Fan. The more that we rely on the big news sources to tell us about the big events, the more likely we'll get the wool pulled over our eyes. The more that we talk to each other about what we know and think, the wiser we will be. We don't experience the war in New York or Los Angeles or Baghdad. We experience it in Somerville.

Cabbie

Hey One Question. You admit "I'm not able to completely digest this article and most of Mr. Shelton's work. I have a job." I too have a job. Yet I'm perfectly able to comprehend Mr. Shelton's writing. I'd suggested the problem isn't the job, it's your ability to read.

"We are NOT "occupying" Iraq, as you say. Where do you get that?"

How do you come to the conclusion that we're not occupying Iraq? And who cares what you think anyway, the Iraqis see us as occupiers and they're behavior reflects that perception/reality.

"By any measure, life for the average Iraqi is WORSE than under Sadam?" Rape rooms? Torture/murder/Oppression of women& girls/Childrens' Prisons?"

I believe anyone who says AVERAGE Iraqis have it worse now than under Sadam maybe referring to the availability of food, employment, clean water and how many hours the electricity is up and running in a given day. Using those measures Mr. Shelton is correct. And the torture, murder and oppression hasn't entirely vanished now has it.

"As a result of the war, "Millions pray for our death"? They are the same millions who were praying for it all along, and applauded Sept. 11th."

If there were a million applauding 9.11 there are now 5 million who'd like to see us dead. Many of our actions post 9.11 have only been the equivalent of trying to put out a fire with gasoline. Gasoline that Haliburton is charging us to the tune of $7 a gallon.

Don't even know why I'm replying to you Mr. Question. Especially as I find it odd that someone who admits they can't keep up with Mr. Shelton intellectually is trying to tear down his arguments. Sort of a "I don't understand what you're saying but I know you're wrong". You're like a character right out of Mike Judge's "Idiocracy". You too Imux but it's pointless even replying to you. You still think we're "fightin' 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here".

Kate

Cabbie - that is excellent!!!

Imux

Cabbie, Iraq is a honeypot now for the Islamofacists. The perfect killing ground for the moslems that are nutjobs. I like this strategy and we have the overwhleming firepower to kill them all and let allah sort them out. So yes... "we're killing them over there so we don't have to kill them over here" applies quite well. Have we been attacked on our soil since 9/11? No. Why? 'Cause "we're killing them over there so we don't have to kill them over here"!

We are not occupying Iraq. The government (elected) has asked to stay until they can stand on their own. We are helping Iraq become a beacon of hope in a dangerous part of the world.

Haliburton?!?!? LMAO! Readjust your tinfoil hat there dude!

Moonbats, instead of just knocking America and the troops (why do you hate the troops and America?) -- what is your solution? Cut & run is NOT a viable solution. Even you dimwits must realize that.

Kate, shhhh.... grownups are discussing real issues here.

cabbie

"Have we been attacked on our soil since 9/11? No. Why? 'Cause "we're killing them over there so we don't have to kill them over here"!"

That's specious logic at best Imux. It took less than 30 people to pull off 9.11 (I'm including those who planned not just the guys on the planes). If you think our presence in Iraq means Al Qaeda can't free up 20 or 30 guys to pull off a similar attack you're delusional.

"We are not occupying Iraq. The government (elected) has asked to stay until they can stand on their own. We are helping Iraq become a beacon of hope in a dangerous part of the world."

Semantics. What does one call a military force parked in another country. If it's not occupation than you're just being Orwellian. Sure to you we've always been at war with Oceania. That doesn't mean it's true.

"Haliburton?!?!? LMAO! Readjust your tinfoil hat there dude!"

Tinfoil hats are for wack jobs Imux. If you think Haliburton and its subsidiaries haven't raped the US Treasure I suggest you're the one who should consult the good folks at Reynold's for a piece of custom haberdashery. Further, when a company like this moves their HQ to Dubai you've got to wonder who's side they're really on. It ain't America's that's for certain.


"Moonbats, instead of just knocking America and the troops (why do you hate the troops and America?) -- what is your solution?"

First and foremost. I don't hate America and I'm certainly not knocking our troops. Our brave guys and gals are giving too much. Misguided policies have them doing far too many tours of duty only to come home and be billed for their meals while at Walter Reed or be denied the best prosthetic limb to replace the leg blown off by an IED. That's just wrong. And funny, you don't hear the Right talking too much about how shabbily vets are being treated. You only hear that from the Left. Yet it's the Left that hates the troops. More Orwellian bullshit.

As far as solutions, I believe we'd be in a much better spot now if we'd have listened to Murtha a couple of years back and pulled the troops out of the urban areas of Iraq creating a perimeter around the country. That's not cut and run. At this point though I don't have or see a solution. Perhaps that's because I'm not a military strategist. Are you Imux? Why is it that people like you look to those who oppose this great misuse of our military for the solutions? You should be looking to the people in Washington who put us in this situation for the solutions. Unfortunately it was made clear years ago by Bush that he has no solutions and isn't going to even try for a solution. He's leaving that problem for McCain, Hillary or Barack. This will of course allow our next President to be the fall guy while he sits in Crawford counting the money he's made from the Bush Families stake in The Carlisle Group.

Yorktown Street

Bravo to Bill for his piece and his historical recollection, too. A great book on what happened in Cambodia and why is Sideshow, by William Shawcross.

Kate

Oh Snap, Imux!!!!

Imux

Cabbie, watch out as you may spin, spin, spin yourself right through to China.

The answer was yes/no on whether we have been attacked since 9/11. The answer is NO.

The elected Iraqi giovernment has requested we stay until they can stand on their own. We are helping a friend... something you moonbats know nothing about.

Haliburton has a right to make money. It's called free enterprise. That they are one of the few (only?) companies in the world with the logistics to do the job in Iraq should not be held against them. Except - of course - by you tinhat-wearing freaks who read the dailykos or huffingtonpost for their talking points.

So... you admit you have no solution for the problem. Just more whining and complaining and more hoping for more US casualties, so you can all "win" in November. Disgusting and treasonous.

We really need Congress to pass another Espionage Act, making it a crime for Americans to speak against the war effort, to incite disloyalty, or to encourage anti-war efforts. Maybe even a Sedition Act that will outlaw "disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language" against the flag, the Constitution, and even the uniform of the armed forces. Those who continue to speak against the war risk heavy fines and jail sentences of up to twenty years. How'd all you moonbats like that? We're at war and you losers are going to screw things up.

cabbie

Sure I could reply to each and every one of your little swipes - but I've really got to get some work done.


So I'll leave it at this :

"Maybe even a Sedition Act that will outlaw "disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language" against the flag, the CONSTITUTION..."

Go right ahead. And I'll give you a little tip. The first guy to lock up lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington D.C. (Well, for at least 4 or 5 months of the year.) Then proceed to Number One Observatory Circle. Then we'll have to have to subpoena Norton and the Somerville News to find you in the real world - because your entire suggestion that those who are critical of the war be silenced is an affront to the principles and doctrine this great land was founded upon --- a "piece of paper" called the CONSTITUTION.

Imux

Cabbie, now you want to lock up the President of the United States? I'm telling ya...One of these days, one of these days... POW! RIGHT IN THE KISSER!

Bill Shelton

One Question writes, "'By any measure, life for the average Iraqi is WORSE than under Saddam?' Rape rooms? Torture/murder/Oppression of women& girls/Childrens' Prisons?? Need I go on? How do you back this statement up?"

The evidence comes from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the U.S. General Accounting Office, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), journalists on the ground, Iraqi ministries, and people who planned the war like Mark Garlasco, the Pentagon’s Chief of High Value Targeting for the war who now works for Human Rights Watch. You can find evidence from credible sources for every statement that I’m going to make by googling the key words.

If Saddam didn’t like you, you were in dire straits. There was an EVIL system, but most Iraqis had learned to deal with it. Every western journalist stationed in Iraq before the war reported that there was virtually no crime.

Today people are afraid to walk the streets. Militias, gangs, insurgents and police are all suspect. Even comparing the temporary decline resulting from the “surge” to prewar Iraq, the contrast is stark. People are afraid of the Iraqi security forces, believing they are either Sunni insurgents in disguise or Shiite militias. They come by that fear through experience. Aside from murder, all other forms of crime have skyrocketed as well—robbery, rape, theft, fraud, assault, etc.

In mid-2006 the most well documented survey on Iraqi deaths, going directly to Iraqi doctors, found that 655,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed during and after the war. I imagine that number is higher now. Their loved ones probably don’t think that things are better.

Nor do the 5 million refugees (one-fifth of the population) that UNHCR reports as displaced—a million to Syria, 1.5 million to Egypt, Iran, and Lebanon, and so it goes. Those were the lucky ones who could afford to leave. Accordingly, their departure represents a drain on Iraq’s professional class, including physicians.

That’s one of many reasons why Iraq’s public health is worse than before the war, despite the poor nutrition caused by the 12 years of sanctions that led up to the war. Virtually all accepted health indicators are down—life expectancy, infant mortality, and so on.

There are frequent and widespread outbreaks of such diseases as cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis. A contributing cause is that, according to U.S. government figures, Iraq's essential services are worse than before the war. Outside the Green Zone, water and electrical services are inconsistent or nonexistent. There are open sewers in some neighborhoods and trash piles up uncollected.

Before the war, very few Iraqis were unemployed. Local officials and NGOs now put the unemployment rate countrywide to be more than 60 percent. In particularly troubled areas such as Anbar, unemployment is higher.

Compounding unemployment, the price of basic necessities skyrocketed. A 2007 report by the NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI) suggested a 70 percent inflation rate. Fuel, while still cheap by U.S. standards, is ten times higher than it was before the war.

The NCCI attributes several other factors to the post war explosion of poverty: reconstruction money being lost to corruption, the exodus from the country of skilled workers, and a decrease of investment. Last May, the World Food Program released a report entitled “Food Security and Vulnerability in Iraq.” It warned that 8.3 million people [31 percent of Iraq's population] were at risk of malnutrition.

Overthrowing Saddam unleashed the Islamic fundamentalists who have unleashed a hateful campaign against women. It includes assassinations of women politicians because they are women, and “moral policing” conducted by various militias using acid, guns, kidnapping, or rape. They terrorize women who violate the previously unobserved code of dress or who have ‘dishonored' their family or clan.

It’s not just the militias that are perpetrating violence against women. U.S. Major General Antonio Taguba reported sexual abuse, rape, and torture of female detainees by Coalition forces.

Before the war, Iraqi women were more prominent in civil society than in any other Arab country. There were women scientists, engineers, physicians, professors, administrators, and so on. Now many have been terrorized into leaving their positions, and enrollment of girls in colleges is plummeting.

So, how are things better?

Bill Shelton

Not sure,

Your citing of Democratic Party divisiveness and disarray is necessary but insufficient to explain why Richard Nixon won in 1968. Nixon had told his supporters that we would be out of Vietnam within six months of his taking office.


Belief in Nixon's promise was necessary for independents and swing voters to support him. Their repudiation of the war dominated their distaste for the Democrats bad behavior. Gallup, Harris, and Yankelovich polls of the day will confirm this. If Nixon had not promised to end the war, the independents would have held their noses and elected Humphrey.

History is neither monocausal nor linear. Please consider the words of Santayana (who once lived near here): "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" Hope that I didn't touch a sore spot.

One Question

First to cabbie - i never said i didn't understand the essay, said i couldn't digest it. Meaning because I have a life, i don't have time to process the ramblings of people who live in ivory towers with NPR their sole contact with the outside world.
Then, Bill - don't know where to start, and this is the last from me because this is just a waste of time. You throw out a lot of information and then tell me to start googling all the sources - i guess i'm used to journalists who attribute sources in the body of an article. You quote and credit a lot of unnamed surveys, reporters, etc. "Every western journalist reported no crime" Really? Because they were all so happy, not because of the draconian punishments? There's no crime in Singapore where they publicly cane people.
Anyone who quotes a UN committee study loses all credibility. Are you following the sexual abuse scandals the UN is trying desperately to hide?
disease/nutrition, all because of UN sanctions? not because of the fraud and scandal of Sadaam and family? all our fault, of course that could have been ended anytime by Sadaam himself. Pass the Kool-aid, and limit your information to NPR and Dan Rather.

cabbie thinks I'm stupid, but i can throw some history around. Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler and announced that Hitler wanted peace and was interested in working together, blah, blah, blah. Maybe 48 hours later, the invasions began. I Sitting sround the campfire singing Kumbaya doesn't work in these situations.
THat's it for me.

HL Menken

Imux,

Your saying something that isn’t a mindless insult is so rare, that it’s worthy of comment.

You wrote, “Iraq isn't Vietnam….”

Iraq isn’t like any war we’ve ever fought. For example, not a single American soldier, sailor, or marine was killed during the occupation of Japan. There are similarities between the war in Iraq and the war in Vietnam, and there are differences.

Among the similarities:

The justifications for both wars were fictional—WMDs and Saddam Hussein’s fictional support of terrorists versus the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Our political leaders were as ignorant about Iraq as they were about Vietnam.

Verifiable evidence has shown that the administrations that managed both the Vietnam and Iraq wars consistently lied to the American people.

Prideful Presidents during both conflicts were more willing to sacrifice American lives and the nation’s future than to admit that they were wrong.

Hateful fools like you continued to justify great suffering and loss, despite overwhelming evidence that it was harming our goals rather than helping them.

Among the differences:

In five years, the U.S. has already spent more than what it spent during the 10 years of the Vietnam War.

In Vietnam, the support services were provided by the military itself, while today, they are provided by sole-source contractors. Soldiers die while Kellogg Brown and Root charges $99 to badly wash a single load of their clothes.

The enemy in Vietnam was so unified and widely supported that they were able to effectively assume the functions of government as soon as American forces left. Bush’s idiocy tore the lid off a pressure cooker that will keep up its murder, corruption, ethnic cleansing and misogyny for as long as any one can foresee.

Lyndon Johnson yielded to enormous political pressure to go to war. W manufactured political pressure to justify what he already wanted to do.
A much higher proportion of American combatants are coming back seriously maimed, and the Pentagon and VA are betraying them earlier in the process.


If you do not have the capacity to think effectively or offer proof for you pitifully naive assertions, could you at least try to make your insults funnier? Your continued repetition of the same old hack-kneed phrases has become tiresome.

Imux

HL, let's go through this again... slowly this time for you...

1. Islamicfacists flew planes into buildings... Charlie just didn't surf and we thought he should
2. 4,000 versus 58,000
3. Volunteers versus draftees
3. We're winning. Surge is working. Nothing like the surge turnaround happened in Vietnam

I now have a couple of questions for you. Why do you hate America? Why do you hate the troops? Why can't you and your fellow limpwristed lefties admit that the surge is working? What is your solution for Iraq now(cut & run is not viable)?

Not sure

Bill:

I've enjoyed our (relative to the rest of this dialogue) amiable exchange of lucid, rational ideas. It's probably time to move on to the next subject. But, what are your thoughts about my parallel between the 1968 and 2008 Democratic National Convention? I, for one, am very concerned about the tone and the lack of solidarity in my party at a time when civility and solidarity should be both necessary and sufficient to attain the highest office in the land.

Imux

Not Sure, there is nothing you can do about the democrats shooting each other in the faces except sit back and enjoy. The problem is the far, far, far looney left moonbats (real nutjobs - commies, gays, and just the freaks of our planet) control the agenda during the primaries for the democrats. Along with the blacks who overwhelming vote democrat. Then you have the slightly less crazy democrats (like Hillary) who just get taken apart by the freaks. It is great entertainment. Much better than most of the reality shows on tv. Writers strike? You guys don't need no stinkin's writers!

I just hope the climax at the convention isn't a letdown and there isn't some big democratic lovefest. That would be a bummer since these two imbeciles (Barack Osama and "Kankles" Clinton) have really built up some expectations of some serious hate. I just bet a friend of mine that he flings out the c-word at her somewhere along the line here... and she retorts with the n-word. They've done everything but that so far... and she really wants to win.

Bill Shelton

Drat! Well, if One Question hadn’t resigned from this website, I would offer to cite the relevant references if s/he did not have the capacity to enter the relevant search terms in Google. I would ask specifically why s/he dismisses the UNHCR’s data. I don’t really see what sex scandals have to do with accurate reporting.

I would explain that a more careful reading of what I had written would reveal that I was discussing Iraq’s post-war health disasters after Saddam Hussein was removed, rather than the UN sanctions.

I would ask what possible relevance Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of a deadly and formidably rearmed Hitler had to do with keeping the lid on a toothless Saddam Hussein.

I would tell him or her I’d be willing to bet that, from my “ivory tower,” I directly experienced more the world’s horror before I was 21 than s/he has in a lifetime. And we didn’t sing Kumbaya.

But One Question has left the building. We can only await fulfillment of the prophecy of One Question’s resurrection with a different name. Perhaps, “Two Questions.”

And I DON’T think that One Question is stupid. I just think that s/he is not paying attention.

Not sure,

I think that your parallel is legitimate. I'll say more about why after work.

Bill

Curtis E. LeMay

Imux:

Actually there WAS a surge in Vietnam. It was called the Linebacker and Linebacker II Campaigns. It didn't win the war but it brought Charlie back to the table which was enough to suspend the bombings and that was too bad cause it probably would have won the war if those sniveling snot nosed politicians had finally let the military do its job. They should have just kept bombing around the clock until the VC were talking unconditional surrender. We were just getting up to speed out of Anderson AFB Guam and our SAC air crews were in high spirits and had obtained air supremacy over the targets, took out all their SAM sites in the north where even the Red Chinese and the Russians couldn't re-supply their communist allies fast enough and even B-52 tail gunners were shooting down those P.O.S. commie Migs. We had them on the ropes and then the sell out Kissinger said enough and agreed to sit down with them. Its a shame the phone service was working that day since if the call got accidentally dropped we might have won the war. Its Washington that loses these wars not the guys on the ground or in the air. General LeMay had the right idea.

Imux

Curtis, thanks for the infromation. I was just a young'n in the late 60' and early 70s and don't really remember much of it, but it certainly sounds like another example of the leftwing, limpwristed, Godless, treasonous moonbats snatching DEFEAT from the jaws of VICTORY. Now these imbeciles want to quit in Iraq just as we're on the verge of completing the mission.

I mean, it sounds like the surge has us driven down to Al Queda's 2 yard line and we're about to jam the ball in for the winning score, but now the freaky leftwing libaloons want to walk -- though knowing the PDS/moonbat crowd, they will probably be crossdressing and holding hands whilst skipping and singing KUMBAY-AH -- off the field. GAWD, I hate these moonbats that have infested our country almost as much as I hate the Al Queda Islamofacists who attcked us on 9/11. Maybe more since these freaks live amongst us and our stabbing the nation and the troops in the back.

Imux

I forgot, Bill, how many times do I have to tell you that the surge is NOT working? Don't get me wrong, that is not what I mean. Not exactly. You see, we have no choice. OIL PRICES is skyrocketing.
Bill, you are so hot, I miss the times when we used to touch passionately; before you lost all your hair. You LIBALOONS are screwing this country!

Curtis E. LeMay

Hey Imux, if you don't believe me, check this out it will refresh your memory and remind us all that its will not words that wins wars. These SAC guys could put a beachball into a pickle barrel from 40 thousand feet and would have won the war if the panty wastes in Congress let them. Nixon at least tried.

http://www.afa.org/magazine/nov1997/1197lineback.asp

Bill Shelton

Not Sure,

Here are the parallels that I see between the 1968 and 2002 primary and general elections. The presidential incumbent was not then, and is not now, running in the presidential race.

Then, as now, a large majority of the electorate was weary of the war.

There was an enormous conflict between the Democratic old guard, who supported Humphrey, and those advocating change, who supported Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy.

Humphrey supported the Vietnam War, and Clinton supported the Iraq War.

Like Humphrey, the Clintons are identified with an old-guard top-down way of governing relying on the use of experts and mobilization of corporate power. Obama is identified with a bottom up movement of those critical of corporate power.

In 1968, there was no rapprochement between the factions before, or during the convention. It appears that this may well be the case in 2008.

Although the large majority of those Democrats who had opposed Humphrey ended up voting for him in the general election, many, if not most, of those did not work for his election. A significant portion of Obama’s and Clinton’s supporters are now saying that they will not work for the other candidate if he or she is nominated.

Here is how I think that things are different. Nixon promised to end the war. McCain promises to continue it.

1968 was squarely in the golden age of the U.S. economy. There had not been a recession since 1958. (And there wasn’t another one until oil prices quadrupled in 1973.) Today, there is a lot of justifiable anxiety about voters’ economic circumstances.

There was a third-candidate in 1968, and George Wallace siphoned off more Democratic than Republican votes.

Humphrey had been a cheerleader for the war right up until he entered the race, after he called for a halt in the bombing and peace talks. Clinton turned against the war before she became a candidate.

Antiwar forces were planning to disrupt the 1968 Democratic Convention as early as December 1967. No such plans are in the works by antiwar groups today, and I believe that both Obama and Clinton would discourage their disgruntled supporters from undermining the convention from the outside.

The 1968 convention was held in a city governed by Democrat Richard J. Daly who was crazed by the notion that outside agitators would come to his city and disrupt his convention. To say that he overreacted is an understatement. The U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence later subsequently said that the intense and ubiquitous violence against the protestors was a “police riot.”

Americans had an up close view of the violence, in their living rooms, on the only three television networks that existed. What they saw shocked them. They had, in the last two years, witnessed over two dozen urban riots and they saw the police as the thin blue line preserving order. (Nixon ran as the “law and order” candidate. When N.Y. Senator Abraham Ribicoff took the podium and called the police behavior, “Gestapo tactics,” cameras captured Daly screaming, “"Fuck you, you Jew motherfucker."

It’s difficult to quantify how much the excesses of the protestors, Mayor Daly, and his police turned voters off to the Democratic nominee. It could have made the difference, because Humphrey lost the election by less than 1%. I think it’s unlikely that we will see anything like these events in Denver.

So yeah, as Imux suggests, the Democrats seem to be forming a circle. But they’re not locked and loaded yet.

Craig

I-hole:

Your repetition of the same old Rove/Cheney/Hannity lines reminds me of a quote:

"Naturally the common people don't want war... that is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship... the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Congratulations. You are Herman Goring's perfect idea of a citizen. Hope you enjoy being so easily manipulated!

Oh Snap!

Has Imux been so smacked down here that he can't respond? Way to go!

William Hurst

In December of 1998 a joint US/British air strike against Iraq began. Why? In his address to the nation then President Clinton told us that Iraq had WMDs and was a danger to its people, the Arab world etc etc. He also stated that Iraq was not allowing the UN inspectors to complete there mission. He felt that this was the only way to get Iraq to comply. Again, President Clinton told us Iraq had WMDs. Where did he get his information from? Was he lying and if he was not but Bush is where did these WMDs go?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • Danehy_Park_Family_Day
  • Bloco
  • 3517a
  • Web_toon_7_21_10
  • Prospect hill
  • Web_toon_7_14_10
  • 3224a
  • Art1(2)
  • Art5
  • Art10(2)
  • Union_square_flood
  • Flood_pic_(bridge_1)