Yesterday the NY Times unleashes this stinker of a smear campaign about Howard Dean and his military service, today they devote untol column inches to a puff piece about Gen. Clark.
It is no wonder the left wing of the Democrats bitch about the media as much as conservatives do.
The media may be pretty liberal, but they’re the media nonetheless, and they want their job to be interesting. Nothing is more boring to the media than inevitability, so they’re going to try and create competition in the race whether that involves running with a smear story on Dean or puffing up Clark.
I hate to admit it, but I see stuff all the time that must piss off liberals. It’s usually not blatant bias, but just sloppiness or myopia, but the effect is the same.
Perhaps it’s merely a partial redressing for the smears tossed GWB’s way relative to his National Guard duty.
Nothing could ever make up for the US media’s miserable failure to cover President Bush’s decision to go AWOL in the middle of a war to avoid a drug test.
Oh- Is that the new DU/UggaBugga/Atrios smear du jour?
Kimmitt- When you don’t go off on the deep end, sometimes you can seem pretty reasonable politically. You make me laugh, though, because your rhetoric is nothing more than the mirror image of freeper rhetoric.
Please let me know when the President releases his military records. I’d be interested in seeing what he’s been hiding for the past years.
Seriously, though — if you don’t like Atrios, Uggabugga, or the DU (I’m not fond of the DU, personally,) try Cecil Adams.
Kimmitt- Do you know why I don;t vote for Democrats? Because of people like you.
I try to be a straight shooter- when I see bullshit, I call it. When I think the press is being unfair to Dean, I call it. When I see bad bills and policies, regardless of which side of the aisle, I call it.
However, when I see people act like you, I realize how craven and disgusting the entire culture of the Democrat party is. Only you could manage to turn a post defending a Democrat into an attack on Bush.
You people are ill. A while back, I thought about never criticizing Republicans anymore because of this. Why should I- all I do is give the lunatic fringe of the left credibility, and when it comes time for them to be straight about their own shortcomings and the mistakes of those within their party, is the favor returned? Of course not- I get told how I misinterpretd Sheila Jackson Lee, or how Sharpton really isn’t a race baiter, or how I Kucinich really is right.
You guys need to grow up. I have seen numerous accountings of Bush’s military records- varying frm the far left to the far right accounts, and there isa reason the mainstream media has ignored the issue- there is nothing there. Only knee jerk Bush haters such as yourself think that there is something to it, and now you are maunfacturing bullshit about skipping drug tests.
Again- please grow up.
and the funniest god damn thing about your new curiosity in Bush’s military records is that the party of Cliton- the party of a verified draft dodger, is now sitting around acting as if somebody else’s military service isn’t up to their standard. Perhaps if Bush had just run to canada youw ould vote for him.
What. The. Hell?
I didn’t turn this thread into anything; this Terry fellow changed the subject and I followed up with my reasonably well-cited response to it.
The media hasn’t followed this for the exact reason you made this posting in the first place; because sometimes they drop things or have biases. In this case, the media failed to do anything because there was no smoking-gun documentation; Bush’s stonewalling denied them the headline or money quote they needed, so the scandal quietly faded away. You talked about innoculation in an earlier post; this is an excellent example of it.
I have no idea what statement Rep. Jackson Lee made that was relevant. Sharpton’s a race baiter. Kucinich is badly wrong on trade and other issues. George W. Bush skipped a medical physical shortly after random drug testing was announced; he then got grounded; he then did not complete his military service, but received an honorable discharge because his father pulled a few strings.
It isn’t sick not to want a President of that sort of moral character. Much the opposite.
And you’re goddamn well right Clinton would have dodged the draft if he hadn’t gotten a good draft number. It was a fucking immoral war, and he knew it, and he fought against it, and he was part of the reason we got the fuck out of it.
That’s what moral people do when they’re called upon to perform immoral acts. They decline to do them, and they fight to defeat the policy which causes immorality in the first place.
How as Clinton part of the US getting out of Vietnam? Was it his trip to MOSCOW? How did he ‘fight’ the ‘immoral’ US attempt to HELP SOUTH VIETNAM DEFEND ITSELF? Who started the Vietnam war? HO CHI MINH. Of North and South Vietnam, whom invaded whom? The North invaded the South. So how exactly was the US response to a country being ivaded by COMMUNISTS ‘immoral’?
You know somebody else who ‘fought’ US attempts to help South Vietnam? Teddy Kennedy. HE stalled arm sales to South Vietnam that the US was OBLIGATED by treaty to fulfill, and then the Oldsmobile Captain helped block Gerald Ford’s attempt to SAVE South Vietnam from the North Vietnamese, who had broken the peace treaty that ended US involvement.
So the Democrats get us into a shooting war with a Communist country (being backed by the ENTIRE Communist bloc), HAMSTRING our troops with moronic ROE, demand that the Republicans get us out of the war, screw over our ally, and then assist OUR ENEMY with destroying out ally. Then they declare the war ‘immoral’, and claim to have fought against it tooth and nail.
Considering the North’s immediate and blatant violation of the 1973 peace treaty, why did Democrats believe that the Communists could be accomodated?
One side note, even hamstrung by LBJ, the US and RoSV militaries still managed to kill 2 Viet Cong or NVA soldiers for every one they lost. (58k for the US, 223k for ARVN vs. 1.1 Million for the NVA&VC)
Not sure why the left would complain that the NYT is going easy on Clark really…
Again, the Democratic Party is not a monolithic bloc with a single mind and heart. LBJ got us into the war, which was stupid, and he had us fighting the war in a stupid and immoral way.
I have no information on Kennedy’s actions, but Bill Clinton’s actions at the time were lawful, just, and entirely in keeping with his views. He believed that no American should go to fight and die in Vietnam, and he worked with the courage of his convictions.
Other men viewed their responsibility to serve when drafted to be greater than their responsibility to oppose the war. Still others were career soldiers and placed themselves under the command of civilian leaders, seeking therefore to wage war in the most intelligent and moral fashion possible. These are, of course, other honorable ways to deal with what was, in all ways, a terrible situation.
Kimmitt demonstrates again for the umpteenth time that he hasn’t a clue about what he typically writes, as for example with these words from his post above: [Speaking of the Vietnam War, he writes] “LBJ got us into the war, which was stupid, and he had us fighting the war in a stupid and immoral way.” I guess Kimmitt never heard of President John F. Kennedy, who preceded LBJ, and who, among other actions that escalated US involvement in Vietnam, authorized the assassination of the two leaders of South Vietnam.
If we’re being that pedantic, Eisenhower sent the first advisors to South Vietnam.
Eisenhower and Kennedy got us into an intervention. LBJ made it a war.
Talk about “pedantic!” Even JFK (Kimmitt, these initials refer to John F. Kennedy) supporters and friendly biographers acknowledge his culpability in escalating the conflict that LBJ (again for Kimmitt, these initials refer to Lyndon B. Johnson) inherited. Relying on advice and counsel of advisors LBJ inherited from JFK, Johnson did indeed further escalate the conflict.
Kimmitt, you never did explain how the US role in Vietnam was ‘immoral’. The Republic of South Vietnam ASKED the US for help DEFENDING themselves from the COMMUNISTS in North Vietnam. Neither the US, nor South Vietnam started the war, nor were they trying to DESTROY the North. But the North was trying to destroy South Vietnam, and Ted Kennedy helped them.
So how is Ted moral, and America ‘immoral’?
I made no claims as to Senator Kennedy’s morality (as I am ignorant of his actions), and the objective morality (what a concept!) of the war is actually irrelevant to the question of whether Clinton acted according to moral guidelines — and Bush did not.
In what way were Bush’s actions immoral? I’m having trouble remembering that part.
The information we have suggests that he declined to take an Air National Guard-required physical. (This physical was scheduled shortly after a random drug-tested policy was announced and implemented.) He was then grounded as a punishment. He then tried to transfer his service to Alabama, and was eventually granted a variant on said transfer, giving him an obligation to serve in Alabama.
So far as we can tell, he did not fulfill that obligation. He also (apparently) did not fulfill a later obligation to the Texas Air National Guard when he returned to Texas. The President has declined to release his military records which could clear up this matter.
In short, the evidence suggests that Lt. George W. Bush got himself grounded then went AWOL from the National Guard in the middle of a war.
Oh. Well, that one’s not only been debunked for lo these many months, but it’s got zero traction. If you look into NG duty requirements, you’ll see that they don’t bear any resemblance to those of the Army, Air Force, etc. There is no AWOL; there’s fulfilling your service obligations or failing to do so. If you think an honorable discharge was not merited, that opinion isn’t shared by those who issued said discharge. And if you can’t get any more service information than has been up to now presented, you’re going to have a hard time getting anyone to listen to you.
‘the information we have’?
Here is a link with info about how Congress hamstring the US’s capacity to fulfill our obligations to South Vietnam. http://www.ichiban1.org/html/history/1975_present_postwar/broken_promises_1973_1975.htm
The Democrats controlled the 93rd Congress, the one that passed these laws. And Capt. Chappaquiddick led the charge, thus he helped North Vietnam destroy a democratic country, and exile or kill thousands of civilians. That was his ‘moral’ resistance to Vietnam, what was the Klintoon’s?
Eric, if you look around the conservative blogosphere’s Vietnam (and other) vets—I suggest the comments at Tacitus for a start—none of them are real persuaded by your stab in the back theories on Vietnam.
The truth they saw, and this liberal agrees, is that for a variety of reasons we weren’t able to get the S Vietnamese motivated enough to defend THEMSELVES. These reasons included the terrible corruption of their own government, an unfortunate underestimate of how bad Communist rule was going to turn out, and the inability to protect local officials sincerely committed to the RVN cause (a bad sign in Iraq too). (South Vietnam was in no sense a “democratic” country, unless you are alluding to our Ambassador to Iraq telling Saddam “We love your democratic principles” right before he invaded Kuwait.)
I have yet to see or hear any Vietam vet complain of the ROE. Personally, I thought we should send that ferocious warrior Rush Limbaugh, cyst and all, until I was reminded of the Geneva Convention against use of poison gas.
Sight unseen, Mr Sivula, I’m going to guess you’re too young to really remember Vietnam (say, 1962+). Your attribution of our loss to Kennedy is a little like three generations of Southern boys figuring out how to re-align Pickett’s Charge to win the Battle of Gettysburg, without really understanding the Civil War at all.
Lazarus, I am not referring to our Marine’s or Army’s ROE on the ground. I am referring to LBJ and MacNamera’s system of approving or disapproving tactical and strategic bombing targets in Washington. That caused delays that made intel on most targets useless. I am talking about the moronic policy of not attacking SAM sites until they were capable of shooting back.
And I personally know several Vietnam Vets who felt that the civvies in the Pentagon FORCED the US to fight that war with one hand behind its back. So sight unseen, Mr. Lazarus, I am going to place more weight on their interpretations over yours.
Perhaps you know why the media presented a war, in which the US caused as much damage to our enemies as occured in Vietnam, as an unwinnable quagmire?
Consider those numbers for a second. The US and RoSV lost about 300k men from 1960 to 1975. In that stretch the NVA and their Viet Cong collaborators lost over 900k. It took the North 2 years, with Soviet and Chinese backing, to build back to the point where they could invade the South. America had North Veitnam on the edge of defeat, while being limited in target selection and force strength by Congress and the civvie leadership in the Pentagon. Not to mention all the ‘quagmire’ screams coming from the media by 1973, which demoralized our troops, and emboldened the enemy.
“If you think an honorable discharge was not merited, that opinion isn’t shared by those who issued said discharge.”
That’s pretty much the essence of the claim — that the honorable discharge was granted due to political reasons, rather than due to successful completion of duty.
How delightfully circular of you, Kimmitt. Since it was honorable, it must therefore have been fraudulently obtained.
Lazarus, if you’ve truly been reading Tacitus, you’re lying through your teeth. Either that or you’re reading a different Tacitus than I am.
Shorter Eric: The weakies didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The problem with 1973 wasn’t the media talking about a quagmire, it was that after so many FALSE claims of how the North Vietnamese were almost finished, people decided we WERE in a quagmire.
Shorter 150-year-old Eric: We would have beat the Yankees if….
Slartibartfast, the point is that Bush allegedly used political connections to avoid service of various types. Receiving an honorable discharge after failing to complete his service is part of a larger alleged pattern.
Actually the ‘weakies’ didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, because all the media was showing were dead GIs, traitorous cows like Hanoi Jane, and demonstrators demonstrating against America trying to stop a COMMUNIST country from destroying a nominally democratic one.
As for beating the Yankees, I don’t care for baseball.
So Mr. Lazarus, if the media had not painted Vietnam as lost by 1968, and Westmoreland, and the guys in the Pentagon, had not said we were near victory every couple of months, America might have had the stomach to SAVE some people from Communism.
The NVA survived, by in their own opinion, because of the Anit-War peaceniks at home and the political trouble they caused. Had LBJ, once he decided to make this a war, actually fought it our way, destroying ports, factories, roads, anything that could proove helpful to the enemy military, I doubt the North Vietnamese could have fought, even if they wanted to do so.
Hell, if Nixon had decided the quickest road home for our troops was through Hanoi, we still could have won in 1969 or even 1971.
Anyway,on the topic of the original post, I suspect that the Clinton wing of the Democrats is convinced that Dean will be a disaster for the party, and so they need the Party faithful at the NYT and LA Times to try and assasinate Dean’s character.
I find it odd, because I had suspected that the Clontons wanted to throw Dean the nomination in for 2004 as a peace offering to the Far Left wing of the Dems, and pave the way for the Hildebeast in 2008. Do they think dean will cause too much damage to the Party with his coattails to Hell on Election Day?
“a nominally democratic one.”
You cannot be serious.
nominally – in name only onelook.com
South Vietnam was at least as ‘democratic’ as say East Germany, the Soviet Union, or any other COMMUNIST country. They had elections, sometimes with more than one party on the ballot. More than could be said for the North Vietnamese.
I think it’s instructive to examine South Vietnam in the context of two other divided Asian countries:
In the period of the Vietnam War, all three were ruled by a combination of military leaders and weak civilians, all were authoritarian, w/ fairly repressive measures. All were no more than nominally democratic.
All were confronted by governments that our own Left/many liberals far preferred (read some of the hagiography of the time about Mao, and how Kim Il-Sung’s North Korea was far better off than the weak South in places like the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scientists).
The South Korean military “hadn’t fought,” it had been the US that had saved it in 1950. Ditto for the Nationalists on Taiwan.
So, saving South Korea and Taiwan, by your lights, was probably fighting immoral wars that were supporting “the wrong side”?
Or are you suggesting that South Vietnam could not have gone down the path of South Korea and Taiwan?
Slartibartfast, the point is that Bush allegedly used political connections to avoid service of various types. Receiving an honorable discharge after failing to complete his service is part of a larger alleged pattern.
Allegedly…I do not think you know what that word means. And you forgot to use it right before “…after failing to complete his service…”. His service was, by definition, completed upon being discharged. Bring some actual proof to the argument, Kimmitt, or I’ll have to go on some long rants about how Vince Foster was assassinated. I don’t really believe it, but it’s a claim that’s just a little better supported than the Bush/AWOL claims.
In Vietnam, unlike in Korea, nationalism and Communism were pretty tied together — the Korean nationalist struggles were for Korea, not for a particular system, while the Vietnamese nationalists fighting the French were almost exclusively Communists. In that context, I find it likely that South Vietnam would have had far more difficulty than South Korea or Taiwan (which had a physical separation from the PRC). Alternatively, South Vietnam could simply have become another Cambodia or Myanmar, which doesn’t help us much either. Certainly it does not help us worth hundreds of billions of dollars, ~fifty thousand US war dead, massive damage to the social contract, and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese dead.
“Bring some actual proof to the argument…”
No person interviewed at his duty stations remembers him reporting for duty in Alabama or Texas. The President is hiding documents which would exculpate him if they supported his contention. I don’t have proof; what I have is very strong support.
Then you’ve not read up on your Korean history. Bruce Cumings, frex, argues that Kim Il-sung’s credentials as a nationalist were far superior to Syngman Rhee’s. As important, the southern portion of Korea reincorporated some Koreans who had worked w/ the Japanese.
Conversely, those who fought the Japanese WERE fighting for ideological systems (on the Communist side), although not necessarily for Kim Il-sung (who purged the more localized socialists and Communists in the 1945-1949 period, and also in the immediate post-war period).
Nor were the anti-French Vietnamese solely Communist. There were Christian anti-French forces, and also non-Communist pro-independence forces. And isn’t it the Left that regularly claimed that Ho wasn’t even a Communist but that our lack of support made him so? [Which is one of those funny claims, since Vietnam even today remains quite Communist in its economic structure, for all its independence.]
But, I suppose all this merely constitutes “support” for your views rather than proof.
“No person interviewed at his duty stations remembers him reporting for duty in Alabama or Texas.”
I doubt you’d find many professors at my college that remember me, either. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t there. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
I actually don’t blame Bush for not disclosing his documents. First, it’s none of your business. Second, it keeps your attention diverted. Third, it keeps you insane. I can’t imagine a more effective tactic to adopt.
Kimmit, actually just about everyone Bush served with in Texas remembers him – good pilot was the consensus. The person who does not remember him is the Officer in Charge of the Alabama unit where Bush did “courtesy drills”. That being make work for a Guardsman who is geographically away from his home unit, but still performing his weekend duty. So one officer who signed off on a roster compiled by someone else three times does not remember how the names got on the roster thirty years later. That is the sum and substance of “AWOL George”. It is bizarre that this meme is starting all over again: See Tacitus, and Hobbsonline for more of the same skewering of the meme.
Back on Topic, Dodd has an interesting quote from every leftist’s favorite vet Max Cleland. Just to show Max is still selective in his outrage.
Reread the Straight Dope article — no one remembers Bush during his supposed second round in Texas.
“First, it’s none of your business.”
This is weird to me. The President may have committed a Federal crime and gotten away with it — or, at minimum, may have engaged in fairly grossly immoral behavior. Why, as a voter, would this not be my business?
Ho was a Communist. The Left’s claim usually is that Castro was a nationalist first and a Commie distant second, back in the day, and that we might have had a friendly if prickly neighbor to our south rather than a Soviet-aligned state if we’d played our cards better.
…and can I get a cite on Tacitus’s discussion of Bush’s National Guard record, please?
So, since Communism fell and his patrons disappeared, why is Castro still a Communist? Habit?
And if Ho was a Communist, why was it IMMORAL, as you put it, to oppose him in Vietnam?
You DID say this earlier in this thread, after all:
>>>And you’re goddamn well right Clinton would have dodged the draft if he hadn’t gotten a good draft number. It was a fucking immoral war, and he knew it, and he fought against it, and he was part of the reason we got the fuck out of it.
>>>That’s what moral people do when they’re called upon to perform immoral acts. They decline to do them, and they fight to defeat the policy which causes immorality in the first place.
So, are you saying opposing Communism was immoral? That fighting to preserve the relative freedom (however limited and imperfect and screwed up) of the South Vietnamese people was immoral?
Kimmit, “Awol Bush” was brought up to defend Dean at Tacitus and Bill Hobbs this week, in the same manner you did here. At Tacitus check the “Avoidance” thread.
“So, are you saying opposing Communism was immoral?”
Do you people really honestly think like this? Is there some point at which you wake up and think, “Boy, those liberals — I know they’re talking about providing health insurance and accountability to government, but I know their real motivation is to turn us into a miserably impoverished totalitarian state”?
Nice, if irrelevant, dodge.
YOU said that Vietnam was an immoral war. I provided your own comment. You also said that Ho Chi Minh was, in fact, a Communist from the get-go, unlike Castro (your comparison, not mine).
IN THAT CONTEXT, I asked you why, given that Ho was a Communist from the get-go, opposing him was immoral.
I take it, from your answer, that you have no actual answer to that question.
“The President may have committed a Federal crime and gotten away with it — or, at minimum, may have engaged in fairly grossly immoral behavior.”
Or, at an _actual_ minimum, fulfilled his service obligations and gotten an honorable discharge.
I know you’ve had enough math to understand what minimum means, Kimmitt.
“May have”. Hehe. Hehehehe. You know, Bill Clinton MAY HAVE had Vince Foster assassinated.
No, that was Hilary who ordered it. Dammit, Slarti, get your conspiracies right.
BILL had Ron Brown killed.
Kimmitt- You might want to ask Steve Malynn what he did for a living for 24 years.
Steve Malynn, what DID you do for 24 years?
Dean, you mean Hillary MAY HAVE ordered it done. Or do you have fresh “evidence”?
Thanks for the support, but I’ve bloviated too long, because the meme pushes my “go ballistic” button. My military service is largely: been there done that, got the t-shirt. Most military service is training, and then executing that training when called on. I went eleven years on active duty without being in combat, then spent 5 months in Somalia. That President Bush trained but was never called on in his years of service means he served just as honorably as I.
One thing I am now a “duty expert” on is reserve training, and discharging those who fail to train. I go on too long here about that. Short version: I’ve administered over 70 other-than-honorable discharges, to include summary court martials, for reservists who fail to train (including a couple who failed drug tests). I’ve looked at the portions of Bush’s Officer Qualification Record that are on line (all over the place), the evidence is clear, Bush served honorably.
Kimmit, someone leaked Bush’s record book, then selected portions were used to attempt to question whether Bush completed his required training and active duty. Anyone who has reviewed discharge packages, for that matter, any administrative clerk whose job it is to keep the record jackets, can look at the pages and tell you (1) the records are incomplete, but (2) that Bush’s time in the Guard meets the requirements, and (3) there is no evidence that would contradict the Honorable Discharge Bush earned.
Dang, this went on too long too. Probably because I’m now a stinking lawyer.
Uh, that was meant as sarcasm/a joke.
Sorry that wasn’t clear.
Thanks for clearing that up, Steve. Not sure anyone’s going to listen, though, because you’re by definition biased. Since you think Bush is in the clear and all.
Interesting. Thank you for the links to sites disputing the story that Bush did not complete his National Guard service. I do, however, remain baffled that the President has not seen fit to release his records.
“I take it, from your answer, that you have no actual answer to that question. ”
You Red-baited me. The conversation is effectively over at that point.