Thursday, September 30, 2004

Addiction Problem Reaches Critical Mass

The following breaking news story has been altered for political clarity.

The blockbuster arthritis Fear drug Vioxx Bush must be pulled from the market worldwide because data from clinical trials found an increased risk of heart attack and stroke disgust and outrage.

Defecting supporters Merck & Co. said: "Patients who are currently taking Vioxx Bush should contact their health care providers to discuss discontinuing its use and pursue an alternative treatment."

"Although we believe it would have been possible to continue to market Vioxx Bush with labeling that would incorporate true data, given the availability of an alternative therapy candidate and the questions raised by the data, we concluded that voluntary withdrawal is the responsible course to take".

Merck James Baker is already gearing up for lawsuits over Vioxx Bush. "We have substantial defenses misinformation at our disposal in these cases and will defend them vigorously."

The newer medicine, John Kerry, blocks a protein called Cox-2 IRAQ BS that has been linked to severe inflammation of patients voters.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

'Let's face it: whatever happens in Thursday's debate, cable news will proclaim President Bush the winner'

...that from Paul Krugman

Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reiley, Hume etc. etc. already have the script written in their minds. It's called the 'Framing Effect' in politics: they are determined to frame your opinion and their agenda, regardless of the facts. In 2000, in was Al Gore's big 'SIGH' that they all talked about, not the substance. Who knows what it will be this time. The talking points have already been sent out by the White House.

So get over it. Expect it and don't get depressed.

But it is now time veterans, and others listening, to see through the garbage, look for the real facts, and make your decision about who cares most about veterans, our military (including the reserves and national guard), health care, education, and jobs. If you do that honestly, and not out of fear, you will choose John Kerry.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

If You Want to Know What a Second Bush Term Would be Like...

....go to one of his (or Laura’s) political rallies. You’ll have to sign a pledge of support for him before they will let you in. And then if you speak up or criticize him at all, be prepared to go to jail and have the Secret Service harassing you from then on.

That’s what happened to an Oregon woman and a New Jersey mother whose son was killed recently in Iraq. Oh, yeah, W is for women alright.

And that’s a preview of the 2nd term and the Patriot Act in action. Will speaking out get you in landed in jail? Will bloggers’ computers be confiscated? Will you have to sign a loyalty oath to George Bush?

Ridiculous you say, but don’t be surprised if that’s what happens, especially if terrorist attacks, or the threat of same, are stepped up in this country. The scary part of that will be that people will want to sign such a pledge. It makes perfect sense based on how half this country has been cowed by the politics of fear.

I dare one questioner, during the debates, to ask Mr. Bush why he requires loyalty oaths to be signed at his campaign events. That speaks of fear alright. His handlers are very worried how Bush might respond if he’s asked a real question, with no one to help him prepare for it.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Monday, September 27, 2004

'I've Had It, and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore...'

That was the common theme heard at a local gathering of vets last Friday.

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), part of PBS, asked Oregon Veterans for Kerry to invite some Vietnam vets to discuss their political views for an upcoming TV broadcast. About 20 vets met in a local bar & grill in Portland, including Jim Rassmann, whose life John Kerry saved in Vietnam.

OPB filmed and recorded our freeform discussions around several tables of a reserved party room. We were only asked to frame our discussions about what special characteristics Vietnam vets bring to the table for this election.

Were we stuck in the events of 40 years ago? Only for a few minutes of common reminiscing and laughing at ourselves. After that it got serious. We didn't need any cameras around us.

Some commonalities were soon discovered. It didn't matter that some had served only a couple of years as draftees or that others had served nearly 30 years in the military. Many of us had voted Republican for most of our lives, and for George Bush last time - but not this time. In my case, it seemed to me we share something else very important: we care very much about our military and the welfare of our veterans. Most of the comments made, including mine, may wind up on the cutting room floor, but none of us cared about that, once things got going.

Some of my thoughts that I expressed revolved around the appropriate cliche of 'been there, done that', paraphrased as follows:

In the first few years after Vietnam, many of us who stayed in the military often expressed this idea: If anything like the mistakes made in Vietnam were ever to occur again, we would do our individual best to step up and be heard in order to stop another disaster from enfolding our military and our country again. Many years have passed, and I don't think any us thought it would happen, but now is that time.

GIs returning from Vietnam were not welcomed back by their country - they were despised, often blamed for the failures of the war, and ignored for decades. The country painfully learned that, in the future, the troops needed to be supported, no matter what disastrous decisions were made by our government. They are our sons and daughters.

But the results of that initially misplaced blame are still evident today: for example, Vietnam vets are more than three times as likely to be homeless than any other group of people.

The real failures of Vietnam belonged to the president and the civilian leadership of the military:

* Massive failures of judgment
* Incompetent and unprofessional leadership
* Inflexible strategies and tactics that ran ran up the death and injury totals, and
* Wrong decision after wrong decision

Sound familiar? That's because it is, and a whole lot of vets are not going to take it anymore for this election without saying something - so we're letting you know how we feel about it.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Friday, September 24, 2004

No Post Today

Our son is home on leave for a few days. He's been in four war zones in his eight years of active duty so far, and we'll be spending some needed time together. See you next week.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sagging Bush Campaign Propped Up By Iraqi Leader

Prime Minister Allawi of Iraq spoke to Congress this morning, bravely and determined to pull his country out of chaos. No one faults him for that, and few would not support him in his efforts now.

But George Bush used him shamelessly to do a campaign speech for him.

Yesterday it was Robert Novak. Today Allawi. Tony Blair can't be far behind. Who's next in this all out effort to convince us of George Bush's leadership in Iraq? It won't work.

John Kerry will work hard to correct the disaster caused by George Bush's monumental errors in judgment and planning. He will help Allawi to the best of his ability to do it right.

Now the idiotic response from the right: 'Don't change horses in midstream'. Well, this horse of an administration is drowning under the weight of its mistakes, incompetent leadership, and a total lack of common sense.

The Supreme Irony: Allawi outlined reasonable, if highly idealistic, plans for his people's education, job creation, security, and free elections: none of which are apparent in Bush's plans for his own country.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bush Uses Unconvicted Traitor to Save His Neck in Iraq

Robert Novak - you remember him: The nationally syndicated columnist who not only outted CIA operative Valerie Plame, but jeopardized many more lives and key intelligence sources by his treasonous actions. Oh, you remember, six months ago George Bush was going to find the real perpetrators of the Plame outrage. The O.J. Simpson response.

Now Novak, this Benedict Arnold of "journalism", who ought to be rotting in solitary confinement for the rest of his life, is doing his best to save George Bush in Iraq.

Mr. Bush's advisors know that their boss will lose the election if John Kerry gains more and more traction on the disaster in Iraq.

So, because this White House will spread any lie to stay in office, the criminally deceitful minds in the Bush administration are now attempting to spread the biggest lie of all through a known traitor to his country: Robert Novak.

Novak breathlessly reported yesterday that Bush is secretly planning to pull us out of Iraq in a 2nd term. If you can't see through this b.s., you may need mental health therapy.

This is the biggest lie and flip-flop from the King of Flip-Floppers, George Bush.

This is a Bush Administration 'trial balloon' from an unconvicted felon that CNN continues to employ. If CBS erred out of stupidity and failure to check their sources, Novak needs to be tried in federal court for betraying his country and illegally, and intentionally, attempting to influence the outcome of the election. Now he is attempting to do it again.

Why is this 'report' coming out now? Guess why. The heat on Iraq continues to rise daily for George Bush who has no real answers for the quagmire he has put us in as more of our soldiers die and more of our citizens are beheaded with no response - other than to try to deflect his failures on John Kerry.

Iraq is the issue that will defeat George Bush, and he knows it. So, why not spread some more rumors and lies to get more 'undecideds' on his wagon?

By the way Mr. Novak, if Mr. Bush really intends to pull us out of Iraq, why is he afraid to talk about it in public, NOW?

Because voters will know it's a desperate attempt to defuse the biggest obstacle to his re-election.

Because it is a lie, pure and simple. From Novak. From the president.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Put Away Your unabridged message from Michael Moore


Dear Friends,

Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"

Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.

Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.

My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

Yes...Yes...Yesssss....He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...

WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?


Michael Moore

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Real Leadership

From John Kerry's speech yesterday:

* The question for this campaign, and for the American people, is whether George Bush has handled Iraq in a way that has made us stronger or weaker, safer or less secure.

* George Bush took us to war, and as Commander-in-Chief he is solely responsible for where we are today.

* George Bush tells us that if he had it all to do again, he would do it the same way. Think about what he's saying. He still would have rushed to war without letting the weapons inspectors finish their work. He would have still sent our troops into battle without enough body armor. He would have rushed our country into war without any notion of how to win the peace. He would have still set the conditions for what happened at Abu Ghraib.

* Not only is this incompetent and arrogant, it's dangerous and serves as a clear warning for what George Bush may do in the future.

* The President is not being honest with the American people or about what's going on in Iraq. And our Commander-in-Chief is not being honest with our troops. The administration's own official intelligence estimate paints a grim picture for what may happen in Iraq. Yet the President continues to look at what's happening in Iraq through rose colored glasses.

* Some of the Republican Party's most experienced senators on national security issues - Senators McCain, Hagel and Lugar - have come out and told the American people that things are not going well in Iraq. Yet the President continues his same happy talk without acknowledging the truth.

* Real leadership means being able to change course in order to avoid failure and best protect the American people. Yet, Bush stubbornly clings to a failed course.

This morning, in response to Kerry's speech, George Bush lied: "My opponent says we would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power." No Mr. President - that is a lie and we are not going to let you get away with it.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Monday, September 20, 2004

Pre-emptive Warfare - the Next Step

For over a year, the consequences of committing so much of our military to Iraq - our active duty forces, as well as reserves and guard personnel - have been addressed on this blog. Among them:

* Significantly reduced capability to respond to real threats elsewhere
* Significantly reduced ability to respond to disasters such as the genocide taking place in Sudan
* Inability to give other than lip service to WMD threats in North Korea
* Inability to respond as well to disasters at home such as hurricanes or terrorist actions

Now, the Bush Doctrine is marching toward an apparently inevitable conflict with Iran. (Don't worry Righties, the administration won't mention this out loud until after Nov 2nd.)

As I've asked veterans and the rest of you a half dozen times before: Where will the troops come from to, once again, attempt to "bring democracy to the Middle East?" The Draft - pure and simple. Do the math. More about that this week...

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Friday, September 17, 2004

National Guard Hears the Truth - But Will They Listen?

Excerpts of Senator John Kerry's remarks yesterday to the National Guard:

Two days ago, the president stood right where I'm standing and did not even acknowledge that more than 1,000 men and women have lost their lives in Iraq.

He did not tell you that with each passing day, we're seeing more chaos, more violence, more indiscriminate killings. He did not tell you that with each passing week, our enemies are getting bolder -- that Pentagon officials report that entire regions of Iraq are now in the hands of terrorists and extremists. He did not tell you that with each passing month, stability and security seem farther and farther away.

He did not tell you any of this, even though -- as the country learned today in the New York Times -- his own intelligence officials have warned him for weeks that the mission in Iraq is in serious trouble. But that is the truth -- hard as it is to hear. You deserve a president who will not play politics with national security, who will not ignore his own intelligence, while living in a fantasy world of spin, and who will give the American people the truth about the challenge our brave men and women face on the front lines.

The National Guard has been ravaged and abused by this president. They have come home dead and injured and unable to get decent, responsive medical care. They have been deployed way past their maximum times. They have come home to shameful employers who did not hold their jobs. They have been deployed and been unable to accomplish their primary mission: protecting their own states.

Yet many of them continue to give George Bush undeserved slack.

This is way past loyalty.

This is way past patriotism.

This is a time to take off the blinders and confront the real truth, Guardsmen & women.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Republican Senators Snarl at the White House:
'We Are in Deep Trouble' in Iraq

From Republicans in the U.S. Senate and the CIA, this morning Mr. Bush: Iraq is a failure with no prospects of winning anytime in the future - and in fact, the country is just as likely headed toward civil war as other possible scenarios, all of them bad.

Senate Republicans Richard Lugar and Chuck Hagel ripped the White House for having a fairy tale attitude toward the outcome in Iraq.

Mr. Hagel said the State Department request (for reprogramming money for the Iraq war) was "a clear acknowledgment that we are not holding ourselves hostage to some grand illusion that we're winning."

Mr. Hagel went on to say ... 'But it does add up to this, an acknowledgment that we are in deep trouble.'

Mr. Bush: Even your own supporters are turning on you, because your War in Iraq is a FAILURE. No, not the troops, who are doing their best to carry out your dangerous and incompetent directions.

But YOU Mr. Bush are responsible. While your arrogant media stooges say you are so strong on terror compared to Mr. Kerry, your irresponsible, blustering, and terribly misguided foreign policy is now acknowledged by your party as a failure.

You are the one who presided over this, Mr. Bush, not Mr. Kerry.

You are the one who cost us over 1,000 of our sons and daughters, Mr. Bush, not Mr. Kerry.

You are the one bankrupting this country, Mr. Bush, not Mr. Kerry.

As your close buddy on FOX, O'Reilly, would ask, "What say you?"

What say you, Mr. President?

This is your disaster. You have no adequate answers, and neither do your mindless, blind followers.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Time to Really Go On the Offense

Late last week I pointed out that it was time for the Democrats to stop self-inflicting wounds in their own campaign. What is even more astounding, a week later: virtually every Dem commentator, talk show host, and "expert" continues to feed the Repubs juicy quotes, and worse, are helping Bush supporters believe they have Kerry on the run. They all hammer home the idea that "it's time for Kerry to respond to these allegations, and to do so much more quickly and forcefully from now on."

The are wrong - all of them!

Arrogant assertion - you say? Read on.

Now, pointing out that many of the Democratic faithfuls were becoming frustrated and angry with the course of the campaign, and that the campaign needed to make significant improvements, was very much needed.

But the character, content, and continuous repetition of these self-destructing responses, across the board, are off-base, and will not help win the election.

If you are a football fan, you know that a good defense and a mediocre offense can win championships.

It doesn't work in politics.

Not one - not one - of our self-proclaimed "helpful" experts in the party or the media has stated the obvious.

It's past time to go on offense and stop only playing defense.

How? Not just by responding faster to the lies and the swift-boating character assassinations.

It's time to really put George Bush on the defensive, and not wait for his minions to put out the next bunch of phony b.s.

You want a simple example of this principle from an unlikely source? This morning, the White House is on the defensive, spending much of its time putting out talking points and responding wildly to, of all people - Kitty Kelley - and her new book, out today, very critical about George Bush and his family. Now, I'm not suggesting that Kelley is the most responsible journalist we've ever seen, but the White House response is instructive.

Military veterans will understand this:

It's time to go on offense - and stop spending all the time on defense. Do you get it Democratic Party? Do you get it Air America? Do you get it Democrats in Congress? Do you get it Democrats, Progressives etc. etc.?

This blog gets it and will be on the offensive for the next 48 days.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Order this at

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

W Has a Plan!

That’s the latest Bush ad flooding the airwaves.

Apparently his handlers had noticed that he didn’t have a plan, for anything.

So, in other words, for four years, he hasn’t had a plan.

In other words, he’s had no coherent direction.

And now he wants us to believe that he has a PLAN! …for something.

Funny, the ad doesn’t say anything about having a plan for Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran or North Korea or Al Qaeda or Bin Laden.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

W in '04?

Have you noticed how few people want to have a bumper sticker that spells out the names BUSH and CHENEY? In Portland, OR, his followers are apparently afraid to utter Bush's name - the stickers are almost universally "W in '04." I guess they decided against "W & C in '04". In most other countries in the world, WC stands for "water closet" or what we would call a porta-potty or restroom. It would be more descriptive.

But is another possibility more troubling? Maybe they are afraid to utter Bush's name because, like those folks in the Old Testament (and many of my Jewish friends today), it was blasphemous for them to utter the name of God. When you finish laughing, take a look at a lot of those bumper stickers, especially in the Mid-West, that show a big check mark and the words, "Vote With Jesus, W in '04."

Or, better yet, get the T-Shirt:

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Monday, September 13, 2004

This Is a Commander-in-Chief?

The Bush Administration would have you believe there is no real difference between him and Sen. Kerry when it comes to Iraq. That's because the war and your fears are all Mr. Bush has to run on. So let's drive home some basics:

George W. Bush has made the wrong choices and weakened
the country:

- He told the nation that if we gave him the authority to go to war, he would continue on the path of a diplomatic solution and not rush to war.
- He promised to lead a coalition, but instead rushed to war without a strong coalition of allies and without a plan to win the peace.
- We are now spending $200 billion and counting because of George W. Bush's wrong choices. America is paying 90 percent of the bill in Iraq.

- In the Gulf War our allies paid 95 percent of the costs.

Conflict and The Percent of Costs Paid by U.S.

Gulf War I --- 5%
Bosnia --- 22%
Kosovo --- 16%
War in Iraq --- 90%

He told the nation that he would take every precaution possible to protect our troops, but, by his own words, he "miscalculated" in Iraq. He did not listen to his military professionals, and did not take in enough troops into battle, nor did he arm them adequately.

$200 Billion & counting:

- $200 billion for Iraq, and we don't have the resources
to make health care affordable for all Americans.
- $200 billion for Iraq and we don't have the resources
to invest in job training and job creation.
- $200 billion for Iraq and we don't have the resources
to address
the deficit that threatens Social Security.
- $200 billion for Iraq and we don't have the resources
to invest
in making America energy independent.
- $200 billion for Iraq and we don't have the resources
to do all that we should for homeland security.

All of this talks about misplaced judgment, decision making, and priorities - key components of leadership that we expect in a president.

Every successful enterprise measures its overall performance. The Bush enterprise lacks the basic leadership skills, and by every measure (excluding their own polls), is failing its constituents.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Friday, September 10, 2004

Just One Short Late Post for the Weekend...Because I had Grandpa Duty

OK, will everyone of you on TV/radio, or anywhere else, who says they support John Kerry, now stop saying that he isn't getting his message out? Is it possible to get it through your brain that, while this may have been true a couple of weeks ago, he's doing a much better job of this. And you are helping the opposition by constantly giving them something to use in their own commercials. That's dumb. You'd all make lousy military tacticians.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, September 09, 2004

One-Year Anniversary of This Blog – Reprise

An excerpt from one year ago this week: and it’s still current.

Quagmire 101

Quagmire - "a situation from which extracation is difficult" (American College Dictionary). It occurs to me that $87 billion qualifies more as a quagmire than as an exit strategy.

Many years ago, my excellent high school English teacher taught us that no analogy is perfect - except for the ones you are using to make your point. So, according to the Administration, the analogy of Vietnam is not applicable to Iraq but the analogy of Germany & Japan after WWII is applicable.

I beg to differ. Many of us who went through Vietnam vowed never again to let us get into conflicts for the wrong reasons again. Now history is an important, but two-edged, teacher. We can and must use the lessons of history to prevent similar tragedies from happening, while recognizing that the specifics of a new political/military challenge may be quite different.

Let's look at some lessons unlearned from history and then ask some questions. Robert McNamara, a Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, said many years later that he and the administration had made many mistakes.

The President's job is to help lead the country, not as a dictator but as a persuader. To lead a democracy, you need a concept of values and objectives and you need then to put your concepts at risk in the forum of public debate, and have them debated and hopefully move the people to support them and move the society to them. Kennedy thought that way.

In his book, In Retrospect, McNamara says, We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who participated in the decisions on Vietnam acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of this nation. We made our decisions in light of those values. Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why.

Before committing US forces to combat, we should ask ourselves six questions: Is a vital US interest at stake? Will we commit sufficient resources to win? Will we sustain the commitment? Are the objectives clearly defined? Is there reasonable expectation that the public and Congress will support the operation? Have we exhausted our other options?

Incredibly, McNamara recalls -- but regards it as insignificant -- that the (military) service chiefs told him in 1964 that the US had not defined a "militarily valid objective for Vietnam." With similar arrogance, McNamara continue[d] {Note: McNamara is now deceased} to believe that his strategic and tactical abilities were better than those of the military professionals and that his micromanagement of the war was a good idea.

Bottom line of these thoughts: We are getting further into Iraq, not out, and more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers will pay the ultimate price.

Mr. Rumsfeld, we don't want to be reading your memoirs years from now saying the same things as Mr. McNamara.

Sept 9, 2003.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Brains Behind Bush - Part II

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said yesterday that President Bush views America as a "10-year-old child" in need of the sort of protection provided by a parent – and his campaign confirms this fact.

‘Four-more-years, USA, USA, flip-flop-flip-flop.’ That’s the Republican platform folks, for 10-year-olds. That’s it. You heard it at the convention from people wearing purple heart band-aids. You heard it from people with the playground taunting voice of the bully that leads them: na, na-na, na-na, na. That’s the depth of their thinking. That’s the depth of their understanding. That’s their Pied Piper response to a message from their leader that said nothing more than ‘be afraid, be very afraid.’

Apparently that shallow approach appeals to more than 45% of the people. We should be very afraid, if that’s the case.

We can’t trust someone who doesn’t trust us. What an irony that he thinks he is speaking to 10-year-olds – he should look in the mirror, while his followers come up with another memorable two or three word meaningless slogan.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

The Brains Behind Bush

The ‘brains’ behind Bush follow a leader who continuously fails to engage his own brain, and speaks without thinking, joking about his own ability to butcher the English language. Today I followed a woman with an oversized bumper sticker saying “W stands for Women in ‘04.” I wonder what she thinks of the following statement from W on Monday:

"Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."

Sure it’s funny, but it’s indicative of this leader of the free world who continues to speak without thinking. It's a good thing he wasn't president during the Cold War when misspoken words could have prompted nuclear war with our adversaries.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

'The Wrong War in the Wrong Place'

This is a theme that has been repeated over and over on this blog. Mr. Kerry now has taken the offensive on this issue, and it needs to keep being hammered home.
Kerry accused President Bush on Monday of sending U.S. troops to the "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" and said he'd try to bring them all home in four years.

The Democrat set, for the first time, a tentative time frame for completing a withdrawal that Republican opponents say is too soon even to begin.

"We want those troops home, and my goal would be to try to get them home in my first term," Kerry said, speaking to a fellow Vietnam War veteran at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania who had asked about a timetable for withdrawal.

And Mr. Bush is playing into our national psyche: people want to believe him in a time of war:
When war psychology takes hold, the public believes, temporarily, in a "mythic reality" in which our nation is purely good, our enemies are purely evil, and anyone who isn't our ally is our enemy.

This state of mind works greatly to the benefit of those in power.

The point is that once war psychology takes hold, the public desperately wants to believe in its leadership, and ascribes heroic qualities to even the least deserving ruler.

Another president might have refrained from exploiting that surge of support for partisan gain; Mr. Bush didn't.

And his administration has sought to perpetuate the war psychology that makes such exploitation possible.

The president's war front continues to spout his simple-minded campaign theme
Bush rebuked (Kerry) for taking "yet another new position" on the war.

But who is it that is really continuously changing his mind on the war to cover his tail? It's a president who: (1) Told us we had to go to war and that the evidence was unquestionable, (2) Told us Saddam Hussein was tied to Al Qaeda and that he had large numbers of WMD available (3) Told us last week that the war on terror was unwinnable and then changed his mind, (4) Told us that there may have been some miscalculations but that he'd go to war in Iraq again.

This is a president who made a critical national decision on evidence he wanted to believe, and then afterwards had to contrive the reasons why. This is a president who, when he is away from his speechwriters admits that he doesn't have the answers for the war on terrorism and then, when the mistake is revealed, changes his mind.

No, this is the real King of Flip-Floppers. He's hoping that his war psychology will be just enough to get him reelected. He doesn't have anything else, period.

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Four More Years, Four More Years Two More Months, Two More Months

Would the president finally address domestic issues as he accepted the nomination? Sort of, for about a third of his speech, and then he, like most of the convention before him, resorted to Kerry bashing and the Fear theme. But even so, did I miss something? I heard virtually no mention of Al Qaeda and no reference to that guy…what was his name… Bin Laden.

So let’s move to Mr. Bush’s main domestic theme: The Ownership Society

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Owning is cool. Everyone wants their own house. And having lots of things is the highest priority, isn’t it? That’s what GWB wants you to agree with, and why not? Just after 9/11 he asked us to go out and shop and spend our money to keep America strong. Ownership means something to cowboy oilmen. What other measurement of success is there, after all, than owning stuff, including other people’s stuff?

But now even better, you can own your own retirement!

Translation – if we can get rid of these albatrosses called Social Security and Medicare, why, you’ll have a lot more to spend on things. What a plan for the country from someone who is diametrically opposed to evolution. This is natural selection at its best. Those of us who can’t take care of ourselves or invest in our own future are a real drag on those who want to shop and own more stuff, and we’ll just have to die off.

Trouble is there are a whole lot more of our fellow citizens who can’t get health care now, and almost 2 million more per year are losing it.

Oh yeah, we are getting manufacturing jobs back because GWB’s folks changed the definition: fast food and most other minimum wage jobs have been reclassified as “manufacturing” – amazing how that outsourcing problem just disappeared according to our incompetent Secretary of Labor.

And a half million vets are being denied medical care. And thousands of reservists are going to have trouble owning stuff when/if they return from the Middle East. Their jobs are gone and so are their businesses.

And no-child-left-behind is resulting in teaching to the test, not in education.

But, let’s talk about YOUR record Mr. Bush, not John Kerry’s, or the one you made up last night:

Economy & jobs – a dismal recession for four years
Health Care – in a death spiral
Education – a failed Texas system forced on a nation with the same results
Veterans – ignored, they are not as attractive to you as active duty warriors
International Relations – we’re in a new Ice Age
Small Businesses – ignored
Environment – grandstanding with no substance
Deficits – all-time highs

...and last but not least:

The War on Terror – a waste of precious lives and resources chasing the wrong bad guys

That’s just part of your REAL record.

We “see a valley” too, but it looks more like a huge tar pit to us.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Zombie Traitor Makes the Keynote Speech

Dick Cheney last night: “I’m sure glad Zell Miller’s on our side!”

Well, Mr. Cheney, so are we, so are we. Congrats, you’ve found someone who made you look almost boring last night – which, by the way, you were.

Zell Miller did an amazing impression of Joseph Goebbels in a speech that was only missing the Nazi paraphernalia in the background. What started out on Monday as the Convention of Fear got turned up 10 notches by Miller & Cheney to: If you don’t vote for Bush, you and your family will be crushed mercilessly, because the Democrats will sell your soul to the devil rather than fight the enemy.

The only solution for Cheney & Miller is to crush everyone in sight, including all Democrats, before they can think about crushing you. What a wonderful uplifting night from two of the most unstable and scary people in our government – and that’s saying a lot. Cheney no longer holds the nickname of Darth Vader – that now clearly belongs to Miller.

Cheney & Miller star in their sickening version of the movie Independence Day, where they and their boss see themselves as the heroes. After seeing their performance last night, if these two are examples of who you want running your government and your lives, you deserve them.

Zell Miller, says he will “be a Democrat until he dies.” What a joke. Even Benedict Arnold told the truth about being a traitor. If the people of Georgia had any sense, they’d have him impeached for impersonating a senator. Perfect: an unstable traitor picked to be the keynote speaker for George Bush. Have fun with that metaphor. What position in Bush’s cabinet would Miller fill: Secretary of Scare-the-Crap-Out-Of-You? He’s clearly well qualified for the job.

Miller & Cheney could only smear John Kerry and talk about the unwinnable/winnable war – which is it, by the way, Mr. Bush? Your buddy Newt Gingrich said you made an unfortunate “mistake” on this one – for once even he was right – even though we can be sure that you won’t admit it. You need to borrow one of those stupidly hideous pairs of flip-flop slippers from your deep thinking conventioneers.

Did you notice that neither Miller nor Cheney said anything about Bush’s actual plans for this country? The Repubs are sure Mr. Bush will have a plan tonight, but none of them seems to know what it is. But whatever it consists of only has to be compared to the failed policies of the last four years across the board that have crippled our economy, our military reserves and national guard, our foreign policy and international relations, our access to decent health plans, our children’s education, and divided our country in ways not seen since the Civil War.

Mr. Bush’s pit-bulls on stage last night kept talking about John Kerry’s record. As Mr. Cheney likes to say, “it’s fair game.” So is Mr. Bush’s record, and yours Mr. Cheney. He and you have failed in your job for four years and now it’s time to change the regime. General Merrill McPeak, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, treats you kindly by saying that you are unprofessional and sloppy. I’d say it differently – welcome to the Republican version of Jurassic Park.

Dangerous dinosaurs are definitely on the loose.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Bandaid Politics

Forgive me if I repeat my outrage at the purple heart bandaids being passed out and worn at the Republican convention.

While the Kerry-Edwards campaign responded briefly saying that the bandaids mocked our troops, I just emailed them saying their response to these disgraceful little trinkets of "joy" needs to be much stronger. I said that we can't continue to be "swift-boated" by mockers who don't give a damn about their actions or their affect on our troops. I asked the campaign to demand that the Republicans remove them all - and that veterans are watching just how well the Repubs are "supporting the troops."

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Land of Opportunity

"As Cheney told CNN, he has been 100 percent heart attack free since ascending to the vice presidency. He added, 'In fact, rather than giving me stress, being vice president has actually fueled my blackened soul, allowing me to gorge vampire-like on the bloody nectar of unlimited power.' I'm sorry that should have read 'I never felt better.'" — Jon Stewart, on Dick Cheney's insistence that he is the picture of health

Those lines from the Daily Show brought a lot of laughs then - they don't now because of the truth they tell.

The Land of Opportunity - that's the theme of the Repub convention tonight, and the theme of Vice President Dick Cheney as he speaks - the irony couldn't be greater.

The last four years have truly been a land of opportunity for Cheney.

* An opportunity to promote and profit from the corporate greed of Halliburton, the company he ran

* An opportunity to promote his own foreign policy of preemptive warfare

* An opportunity to influence and control a president like no other vice president has ever done

And a smiling Dick Cheney will rub your nose in his brand of "compassionate conservatism" tonight - the kind of conservatism that took us to the wrong war - the kind of compassionate conservatism that hides the dead returning from that war - the kind of compassionate conservatism that decimated our national guard and reserves - the kind of compassionate conservatism that failed to outfit our troops properly - the kind of corporate conservatism that mocks investors and rips them off - the kind of fiscal conservatism that lost control of the economy and your jobs - and the kind of fundamental conservatism (hidden well in this convention) that believes it has the inside road to God.

This is the Land of Opportunity for Dick Cheney:

But, a smiling and resolute Cheney will come before you tonight, hoping you won't hold any of this against him. In the heyday of communism, putting a softer face on those who committed evil was called "rehabilitation", and you will see (if you care to) a rehabilitation attempted tonight that would have been the envy of the evil empire itself.

On the other hand, the real attempt at rehabilitation is tomorrow night.

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