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Tilting at Windmills

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January 30, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MORE MILITARY WOES....The LA Times has yet another report indicating that the military is under considerable stress from the Iraq war. Junior officers are leaving the Army in record numbers, which means the only way to fill the more senior ranks is to promote practically everyone who's eligible:

Last year, the Army promoted 97% of all eligible captains to the rank of major, Pentagon data show. That was up from a historical average of 70% to 80%.

....The service also promoted 86% of eligible majors to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2005, up from the historical average of 65% to 75%.

...."The problem here is that you're not knocking off the bottom 20%," said a high-ranking Army officer at the Pentagon. "Basically, if you haven't been court-martialed, you're going to be promoted to major."

....According to Army data, the portion of junior officers (lieutenants and captains) choosing to depart for civilian life rose last year to 8.6%, up from 6.3% in 2004. The attrition rate for majors rose to 7% last year, up from 6.4% in 2005. And the rate for lieutenant colonels was 13.7%, the highest in more than a decade.

It's worth reading the whole article to get more of the context behind this, but I have to say that I've been surprised over the past couple of years to learn how fragile the Army apparently is. I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has.

Kevin Drum 12:42 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (146)

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Why is it surprising that volunteers who signed up to defend America would leave when it becomes clear that they are just pawns in Bushco's power grab? They and their families bear the cost, Bushco gets the benefits. That sucks.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 30, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

No wonder they haven't court-martialed anyone high-ranking for the Abu Ghraib abuses: looks like the Army know their officers don't have much more training than the guards have had.

Posted by: hannah on January 30, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, so even the Fighting 101st Keyboarders can be promoted! Now, how do we get them to enlist...?

Posted by: craigie on January 30, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Are our professional commitments as soldiers out of whack with our family and personal lives for these troopers? I mean, certainly they are," said Army Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment that serves in Iraq's restive Al Anbar province. "But you know, it's wartime, and our troopers understand it."

The rest of the news briefing from which that short quote came can be found here.

Just out of curiosity: Have you ever noticed that, in a news article, when two sets of professionals give opposing opinions, the headline "experts say" always has the experts saying the point of view the newspaper is pushing? How come it doesn't say anything like "experts say things going okay."

Posted by: tbrosz on January 30, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

It's worth reading the whole article to get more of the context behind this, but I have to say that I've been surprised over the past couple of years to learn how fragile the Army apparently is.

CLICK THE LINK. ALWAYS CLICK THE LINK. In the link it says

"Also last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed recent reports including one commissioned by the Pentagon that the Army was facing a looming personnel crisis, and said the "battle-hardened" military was as strong as ever."

Posted by: Al on January 30, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why is it surprising that volunteers who signed up to defend America would leave when it becomes clear that they are just pawns in Bushco's power grab?

That's what is really sad: it wasn't even a power grab. What power do we have now, occupying Iraq? We are worse off than before we invaded.

It's very sad, but I think at the end of the day, Bush's only motive for invading Iraq was "because." And Rove told him it would make him the great, war time leader. Indeed, Bush had a hard on for war from before the time he was elected. And he got his war: a war for war's sake.

There doesn't seem to be much else to it: they picked the easy fight they could, so Commander Codpiece could finally one-up his Daddy.

And it is surprising to me how brittle the US Army is. Bu then again, morale is everything, and I suppose it's hard to stay positive when it is as clear as day that you're being lied to.

Posted by: teece on January 30, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

As I wrote you and a number of columnists, last I checked, captains were taking an incredible number of fatalities in this war. Butter bars & 1st lieutenants combined were not the recipients of as many casualties, leading me to believe many juinor grade officer were punching their cards.

I am over to http://icasualties.org/oif/ to see if this is still true

Posted by: S Brennan on January 30, 2006 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

teece: "And it is surprising to me how brittle the US Army is. But then again, morale is everything, and I suppose it's hard to stay positive when it is as clear as day that you're being lied to."

Yeah, and the body bags don't help either.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on January 30, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

the headline "experts say" always has the experts saying the point of view the newspaper is pushing?

I hope you're not obliquely trying to get in one of these brain-dead "liberal bias" points there, eh tbrosz? You're smarter than that.

Newspaper headlines are picked for one reason: to grab attention (and thus drive sales). You will find no more bias than that. As I understand it, they aren't even written by the story's author, but I'm not a journalist, so don't quote me. And status quo does not sell newspapers (but this is not just sensationalism, as you seem to be trying to suggest, without actually saying it: you're just throwing up a bullshit smokescreen to avoid talking about an unpleasant reality, I suspect).

Posted by: teece on January 30, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

Those aren't real Al and real tbrosz, are they? Because what they each said is especially stupid, even for them.

Posted by: grh on January 30, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

This is how Bush will affect our security long term, by driving out the best of our soldiers now.......

Posted by: Rook on January 30, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

It's not a three-year occupation that is making our Army appear fragile, it's the breakdown of the post-Vietnam deal that we wouldn't send our troops to die pointlessly in an unwinnable "war."

This war was a very stupid idea from the start, though far too few military personnel and Americans in general realized it. Now the only people who don't realize it are the civilian leaders and their throne sniffers in Arlington. I'd bail, too.

Posted by: The Screed on January 30, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Okay,

Here are the numbers for fatalities,

Captains 86, 1st Lieutenants 58, 2nd Lieutenants 27, hell, majors are getting gunned down at a greater rate than butter bars. What's wrong with this picture?

I guess they just don't make juinor officers like they use to.

Posted by: S Brennan on January 30, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

In retrospect, maybe Powell will decide that the "Powell doctrine" is pretty critical to the long term existence of an all volunteer army.

Posted by: B on January 30, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

Hasn't Global Citizen been warning us about this for some time now? All the smart officers are grabbing their retirements while the gettin's good.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 30, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

I hope you're not obliquely trying to get in one of these brain-dead "liberal bias" points there, eh tbrosz? You're smarter than that.

Oh, no, teece, I'm well-aware that the Los Angeles Times is perfectly balanced in its views of Bush and the war.

That isn't the only example I've seen of the "experts say" gag in a news article quoting two points of view, having run across it in an article in my local paper today, and an article on global warming recently.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 30, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a citeless insight as to why the Army seems so fragile (from the radio in the past 10 days...best I can do for ya.)

An academic who studies the military, commenting on the two reports that came out last week, said the US force structure was transformed after Vietnam from 'marathoner' to 'world class sprinter.' He then said that in Iraq the sprinter is being asked to run a marathon.

Posted by: MaryCh on January 30, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

That isn't the only example I've seen of the "experts say" gag in a news article quoting two points of view, having run across it in an article in my local paper today,

That's really nice. In the mean time, your still peddling a bullshit bias line (without trying to say it). The paper does not pick the viewpoint it wants to portray -- it picks the headline that sells (sometimes). You're a fool if you can't tell the difference.

But that has fuck all do with this post, so you're really just pissin' in the punch bowl.

Posted by: teece on January 30, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Actually things could have been far worse. Given that a job in the military is one of the few ones left that has not been affected by the 25 year old Republican project of getting rid of defined pension plans for all but the top level executives, both in the private and public sectors, I would guess that a number of officers are not hanging up the hats because of the attractiveness of the military jobs from the perspective of retirement benefits.

Posted by: lib on January 30, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

"I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has." - K Drum

So Kevein, maybe next time people who have served are telling you it's a dumb idea you'll listen?

Posted by: S Brennan on January 30, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

I think the stress on the army is because doctors haven't been free to practice their love on our troops.

Posted by: cdj on January 30, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

How many of these officers are leaving to earn the big bucks as a merc for "security" firms?
any numbers on this?

Posted by: Ken on January 30, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Oh, no, teece, I'm well-aware that the Los Angeles Times is perfectly balanced in its views of Bush and the war.

Ah yes, the Los Angeles Times. Just another gigantic corporation with a ferocious anti-Republican bias, just as is the norm with all gigantic corporations.

The amazing thing about tbrosz is you think he MUST be lying, that NO ONE could be as stupid as he appears. But he's completely sincere. He really is that stupid.

Posted by: grh on January 30, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

I think the NOW show last week shows one reason things are so bad these days - the massive amount of money that has been shoved at the defense industry has been so badly misspent that we are much worse off than even during the Vietnam days. Don't believe me? Listen to Chuck Spinney.

We do know that some good friends of Cunningham, Lewis, Doolittle, etc., have gotten enormously wealthy even though we can't find enough money to pay for the armor, or schools for the kids of our soldiers or even enough health care for those hurt when on the frontlines.

Why anyone would believe this government cares about the soldiers fighting on its behalf is beyond my comprehension.

Posted by: Mary on January 30, 2006 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

it was my first thought, in the beginning of the war, when rumsfeld say he was downsizing and streamlining, that he was going to privatize-- and his friends would be making a lot of money. surely the outsourcing must be running up the cost of this war.

Posted by: brkily on January 30, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

tbroz: How come it doesn't say anything like "experts say things going okay."

Because it isn't credible. Even MSM's lame coverage of the war has been sufficient to reveal what a fiasco it is. That's why poll numbers show support for the war and your president have fallen off a cliff. A headline like the one you suggest would result in too much cognative dissonance for a paper to use it, without losing the trust of its readers.

Posted by: DevilDog on January 30, 2006 at 4:14 AM | PERMALINK

Weird. More captains and majors killed than lieutenants? My best guess is that captains and majors are senior enough not to have to wear all the bulky kevlar kit if they don't want to, whereas lieutenants and below would get a rifting from their superiors if they went out of base without kevlar on. So the captains and majors are comfortable and unburdened, but unprotected.

Here's another: mid-level officers like captains and majors shouldn't be going out on patrol and getting killed by IEDs; they should be on base except for major operations. But the mid-level officers don't trust their lieutenants to do a proper job in combat (for whatever reason), so patrols etc which would normally be led by a 2LT are being led by a captain, because the 2LTs aren't competent. Result: lots of dead captains. Soviets had the same problem in Afghanistan.

Any other thoughts?

On the fragility issue: the GI Bill may have a lot to answer for. The number of times I've heard that some poor GI "only joined up for the college money"... Maybe an army of people who just want to go to college isn't as good as an army of people who want to be in the army?

Posted by: ajay on January 30, 2006 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

What's surprising about this? Retired general/pundit/media consultants have been warning for at least two years that the army and national guard would run out of steam this year after 3 years of occupation.

What is amazing is that Bush continues to let Rumsfeld run the Defense Dept. Americans and their representatives should be going apeshit over this debacle and forcing Bush to get rid of the rogue tyrant heading defense.

Posted by: lou on January 30, 2006 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

It's who rides shotgun in the Hummvees. IED's get those guys first.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 30, 2006 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I remember during Vietnam the papers and the telly reported the daily progress. Eventually a lot of us just stopped reading the papers or watching the telly- it was too stupid. Even reading between the lines you could see no progress was being made.

Of course, reading the lines of your draft notice was another way to figure that out.

Posted by: serial catowner on January 30, 2006 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

My best guess is that captains and majors are senior enough not to have to wear all the bulky kevlar kit if they don't want to, whereas lieutenants and below would get a rifting from their superiors if they went out of base without kevlar on. So the captains and majors are comfortable and unburdened, but unprotected.

Everybody gets the same gear and everyone wears the same gear. The act of removing a piece of assigned gear, especially body armor or safety gear, would mean that an officer is 'out of uniform' and it wouldn't be tolerated. This assumption is part of a bias against junior officers that really doesn't exist when it comes to protective gear.

Also, you need to separate Major from Captain--two completely separate ranks with separate responsibilities. Captains and LTs are everywhere, running companies and units; Majors are scarce and almost never have command of anything. They serve as staff officers or Executive officers almost exclusively.

In a typical battalion, there will be one MAJ for every dozen or so CPTs.

Here's another: mid-level officers like captains and majors shouldn't be going out on patrol and getting killed by IEDs; they should be on base except for major operations. But the mid-level officers don't trust their lieutenants to do a proper job in combat (for whatever reason), so patrols etc which would normally be led by a 2LT are being led by a captain, because the 2LTs aren't competent. Result: lots of dead captains. Soviets had the same problem in Afghanistan.

You're a little off base on these assumptions as well because CPTs serve as the company commander, which is the toughest job an officer will ever hold.

What was true of the Soviet Army is not true of the US Army in any way, shape or form. Two completely separate organizations and cultures.

Incompetent officers are, regardless of the bias people may hold for LT's, butterbars or whatever, not tolerated and removed as quickly as possible. An officer who cannot meet the standards and cannot properly lead is shuffled out of a position of responsibility and reassigned, regardless of what people might think. It might take two or three incidents, but bad officers don't last very long.

What everyone should realize is that, regardless of the capability of the officers involved, there are NCOs who are proficient and capable guiding these officers and keeping them out of trouble. Every time you see a failure like Abu Ghraib or a breakdown in discipline, it is because an NCO did not do their job, period.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

There are about 150,000 US troops assigned to the Iraq theatre -- some are in Kuwait but most are in Iraq. They are there for a period of between six and fifteen months and then are rotated out, back to the US to be R&Red, retrained and reequipped. There are another 100,000-150,000 troops preparing to deploy to Iraq over the next six to fifteen months. There are about 100,000 troops doing the R&R and training thing which is separate to pre-deployment.

Basically to keep 150,000 troops in the Iraq theatre for years requires three times that many troops -- one third deployed, on third preparing to deploy and one third recovering from the deployment. There are other troop deployments elsewhere in the world as well, where the US is guarantor or has treaty obligations; Korea, Europe, Japan, Egypt. Luckily for the US Army it has no significant UN peacekeeping role (and after the Somalia debacle, probably never again). The numbers of US troops in Afghanistan is decreasing.

This is why the Pentagon is scraping the barrel with IRR call-ups, massive NG deployments and ongoing stop-loss of time-served soldiers who will not re-up. This is in addition to the loosening of enlistment requirements (age, academic ability, fitness) to try and keep the sausage grinder fed with new recruits.

Posted by: Robert Sneddon on January 30, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't see any info regarding the percentage of these officers leaving that were wounded.
I don't want to believe that our military officers are leaving out of cowardice. If they are then *shrug* we are better off without them in positions of higher authority.

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 30, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

I don't want to believe that our military officers are leaving out of cowardice.

What the ...?

Is leaving the Army or Marines, after serving the commitment one signed up for, cowardly?

When 98% of the country sits on the sidelines and cheers or boos like it's a football game and the military killing and dying is just today's entertainment?

When the leadership has changed the rationale for the war so many times it's pretty clear it wasn't to protect America from Saddam, but just because we could?

They did their time. Let them go - persuade one of your family members to fill their slot, braveheart.

Posted by: Wapiti on January 30, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Ahhhh, I think I am starting to see the first hint of 'blame the troops,' coming from the Republican supporters.

The troops are in it just for the college education, the wounded officers probably removed their gear, they are quitting because they are cowards.

Shame on every one of you! You were the first to hide behind the troops when it suited your purpose and you are the first to badmouth them when they behave in their own best interest.

How hollow your slogans of "An Army of One" and "Personal Responsibility."

Posted by: Tripp on January 30, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

"I have to say that I've been surprised over the past couple of years to learn how fragile the Army apparently is. I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has."

Perhaps the issue is that we don't fully grasp how dreadful conditions are in Iraq?

Posted by: Aidan on January 30, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

More bad recruitment/retention news like this, and lurker42 just might have to take that yellow ribbon magnet off of his car.

Posted by: kth on January 30, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Look for this headline in the MSM next year:

WHO LOST IRAQ?

The Republicans will then trot out these themes:

--Liberals undercut our military
--Liberal officers destroyed unit morale
--Liberal bloggers ran wild with the truth
--Good news from Iraq ignored in favor of gore
--Ted Kennedy destroyed the US military

etc., etc...

And your MSM will eat it up, and run with it, and no one will hold the administration or the Congress accountable for allowing the DoD to be run into the ground.

Certainly not Rumsfeld's fault that thousands have been maimed for life because of faulty gear, heavens no! Liberal bloggers are to blame.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has.

Why on Earth not? For one thing, an occupation of 150,000 soldiers is never just 150,000 but actually 450,000 -- for every soldier in Iraq there's also one who's come back from there and is resting and another who's on his way there and is training. And that's only for one tour. Multiply that by the three tours we're up to now and that's a lot of people.

Posted by: Stefan on January 30, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Ever consider that officers are gaining experience to merit promotions at a much higher rate than average. Or that the work they are doing merits a pay raise and that promotion is the best way to get it to them.

Posted by: aaron on January 30, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

"Is leaving the Army or Marines, after serving the commitment one signed up for, cowardly?"

No but then I wouldn't be talking about them now would I ?

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 30, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

for every soldier in Iraq there's also one who's come back from there and is resting and another who's on his way there and is training. And that's only for one tour. Multiply that by the three tours we're up to now and that's a lot of people.

Exactly, and the real wake-up call should be that we've NEVER had enough troops on the ground to do the job. Even Bremer had to admit that they never had enough troops

NYT headline, one year from now:

"LIBERALS KEPT TROOP LEVELS TOO LOW" -says Abizaid.

Those filthy bastards, Ted Kennedy and Pat Schroeder, conspired in back rooms and kept the troops demoralized and wouldn't let the Army fight this war!

-I had to bring back Pat Schroeder because someone last week said that the reason why our military is screwed up is because of her and that's just ludicrous--everyone knows our military is screwed up because of Ed Muskie and Adlai Stevenson. Duh.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has.

Another thing wrong with this statement is that US forces are not in an occupation, as that term is commonly understood (i.e. the occupations of Germany and Japan) -- they're in a hot war in which our troops are taking casualties (though not, thanks to superior evac and medical technology, deaths) at the same rate as the Soviets in Afghanistan or the US in Vietnam.

Redraft Drum's statement to read "I wouldn't have expected a war for three years to have caused as much stress as it has" and it's revealed as the piece of nonsense it is. That's what wars do -- they stress and degrade and destroy men.

Posted by: Stefan on January 30, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

The major reason that more captains have been killed than lieutenants is that there are significantly more captains in the force structure than there are LTs. As of 30 NOV 05, there were 24,407 captains in the Army as compared to 9,472 1LTs and 6,218 2LTs.

http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmid/military/rg0511.pdf

You only spend two years or less in grade each as a 2LT and 1LT before being promoted as opposed to six to eight years as a captain.

Posted by: arkie on January 30, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

I have to say that I've been surprised over the past couple of years to learn how fragile the Army apparently is. I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has.

THe thing to think about is not whether some generic "occupation" would stress our armed forces, but rather whether an occupation devised and executed by the gang of cronies, shills, and incompetents currently in charge would so stress them. The answer was always inevitable.

Posted by: Daddy Love on January 30, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: How come it doesn't say anything like "experts say things going okay.

So, how come tbrosz never points out the same practice being shown at the Washington Times, the National Review, or Faux News?

Perhaps its because he obsesses with Clinton too much.

And, funny, I never heard tbrosz complain while Reagan was alive that Reagan should butt out of contemporary politics and fade into the background.

Given that tbrosz recently claimed that Bush 41 never criticized publically Clinton during the latter's administration, a point utterly refuted with only a few seconds of internet search, it is easy to see how readily he eats up these conservatives lies and disingenuous arguments and spits them out again ad nauseum.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

NYT headline, one week from now:

"LIBERALS CONVINCED ME TO RETIRE" -says Brett Favre.

"Their dastardly destruction of our military has convinced me that if I play one more season, there won't be an America or an NFL or even a Ford Motor Company anymore..." says Favre. "What's it going to take to convince people that liberals should be shot down like feral dogs and used to shore up the food supply for the nation's rat population?"

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

More military analysis by anti-warriors. Where can I get me some more of that?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Americans and their representatives should be going apeshit over this debacle and forcing Bush to get rid of the rogue tyrant heading defense.

Since he hasn't, we can assume he approves of Rumsfeld's work, and therefore is himself fully and completely responsible for it.

Posted by: me2i81 on January 30, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

More military analysis by anti-warriors...

except I'm a veteran. Whoops, I'm also a liberal so I must be a traitor, right?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

except I'm a veteran
So is Kerry, and that doesn't stop him from being the alpha anti-warrior. You will recall those Paris talks with the North extending through memos to gut the military, and sponsoring bills to slash defense spending that were so outrageous he couldn't even get another Dem to co-sponsor.

Of course, he only served because he couldn't get out of it...

And this is an example of someone that you Dems put up after we were attacked. I'll stick with my characterization.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, no, teece, I'm well-aware that the Los Angeles Times is perfectly balanced in its views of Bush and the war.

In other words, teece, tbrosz (and, alas, it appears to be the real one) is indeed obliquely trying to get in one of these brain-dead "liberal bias" points there.

Which, as you point out, is his usual bullshit smokescreen to avoid talking about an unpleasant reality.

Beyond that, you're quite correct: Newspaper headlines are designed to grab attention and thus drive sales. And it's true that they aren't even written by the story's author, but rather by an editor -- and usually column width is the greatest constraint (although that isn't so much a factor online, of course, which is why you sometimes have different headlines in the print and online versions).

As to tbrosz' "How come it doesn't say anything like "experts say things going okay," aside from the fact that, as teece pointed out, that isn't news, there's the fact that, as Al graciously reminded us, the Pentagon's job is to say it's going okay. Rumsfeld, Bush and a whole host of others -- including those DOD briefings tbrosz puts such charming faith in -- have a vested interest in claiming success, which makes their word alone far from convincing (to anyone who isn't desperate to believe Bush's Excellent Adventure isn't a total cock-up, that is).

Bullshit like this is why I don't take you seriously even when you choose to debate honestly, tbrosz. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and tbrosz? The media also uses the "experts say gag" to "balance" stories about the science of evolution with the nutbar claims of the Discovery Institute, and to have some paid industry flak insist that tobacco/asbestos/nuclear waste/whatever is actually good for you, so you can stop pretending it is proof of your "liberal bias" canard.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

All smoke and no flame again, cn?

Posted by: Boronx on January 30, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

"Of course, he only served because he couldn't get out of it..."

How odd. I could have sworn that Vietnam was such a popular war that people were practically begging to go. Heck, good patriots like Tom Delay couldn't even get in because so many minorities had filled all the spots, and valiant would-be warriors like George W. Bush were forced to accept cozy National Guard berths, when they really would have preferred to be in Vietnam.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 30, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, he only served because he couldn't get out of it...

He could have gotten married, found a cyst on his ass, or had daddy take care of him. I guess that sort of thing was not unheard of...

Except that Kerry served overseas, volunteered for a combat tour and defended his country in a time of war and won medals. Hey, now what can you come back with to shit all over that, huh?

Because if there's one legacy of the 2004 campaign, it's that the Republican Party will say and do anything to smear and destroy someone who put on the uniform. How much you wanna bet that one bites the GOP in the ass next time around?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, he only served because he couldn't get out of it...

Which is a lie, of course, and one he knows is a lie, but it does serve to bring up the examples of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Lott, DeLay, Frist, Ashcroft, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Quayle, and virtually every other prominent Republican who didn't serve because they found ways to wheedle and connive themselves out of fighting in a war they supported.

Posted by: Stefan on January 30, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Look for this headline in the MSM next year:

WHO LOST IRAQ?

The Republicans will then trot out these themes:

Indeed. tbrosz, just as one example, is already using the loathsome dolschtoss argument in posting his "the liberal media is only reporting the bad news" fantasies.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

All smoke and no flame again, cn?
What are you talking about? That was all flame.

flame
1. An electronic mail or Usenet news message
intended to insult, provoke or rebuke, or the act of sending such a message.
Ain't it great when you can flame with the truth?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

More military analysis by anti-warriors. Where can I get me some more of that?

Jonah Goldberg and Instapundit.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

If it makes you feel better, Gregory, I don't trust them either.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: More military analysis by anti-warriors. Where can I get me some more of that?

Obviously you can get some more of that from your own posts.

But given your history of mendacity and incompetence, the analysis won't be worth squat.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, now what can you come back with to shit all over that, huh?
The last line of my comment. This is the guy you Dems put up for president after we were attacked.

Of course, Kerry looks to be positioning himself for another run. So it could all become useful again.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: So is Kerry, and that doesn't stop him from being the alpha anti-warrior.

See, I just knew you would lie if offered the opportunity and I was right. You even lied before I could get my post up!

You will recall those Paris talks with the North extending through memos to gut the military, and sponsoring bills to slash defense spending that were so outrageous he couldn't even get another Dem to co-sponsor.

Yet more lies.

Of course, he only served because he couldn't get out of it...

Followed up by a third helping of lies.

And this is an example of someone that you Dems put up after we were attacked.

No, it would be an example if what you had said was true, but since it isn't you haven't provided said example.

I'll stick with my characterization.

An obvious typo.

You meant to say "character assassination."


Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

And this is an example of someone that you Dems put up after we were attacked.

The US was attacked on September 11th by Osama bin Laden. What was Bush's response? Was it to capture or kill bin Laden? Or was it to ignore him as much as possible and say, as he did a half a year after the attacks, "I don't really think about him [bin Laden] very much. I'm not that concerned" and "I truly am not that concerned about him"?

Hear the mighty warrrior roar! Tremble, foe, before his implacable wrath!

Posted by: Stefan on January 30, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Of course, Kerry looks to be positioning himself for another run. So it could all become useful again.

Looks like conspiracy nut is positioning himself for another run of lies and defamations, just like his heroes, GWB and Rove.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

but I have to say that I've been surprised over the past couple of years to learn how fragile the Army apparently is.


I think Napoleon put it best: moral is to material as 3 is to 1...


Rummy and Co can blather all day about the "strongest most motivated most professional army the world has ever seen". They forget it cuts both ways: you can bamboozle motivated professionals only for so long, especially at a time when soldiers can read the "internets" (or just chat with their loved ones at home) even on the battlefield.


Posted by: glopk on January 30, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Followed up by a third helping of lies.
Where to begin, well how about the beginning.
Kerry meets with North Vietnamese
Copy of Kerry memo to cut defense programs here
Copy of Kerry bill here Although it's good you challenged me, it was primarily a cut to intelligence spending (since 9/11 was yet to come, a not very timely call for cuts).
Kerry's attempt to avoid service

You know, he was your candidate, don't you know anything about him?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"I'll stick with my characterization."~cnut

Of course you will; you're as stupid as Bush who also won't change his mind.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 30, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hear the mighty warrrior roar!
And yet, with all of that, the US public still re-elected him over the guy you put up. As bad as Bush is, and you still couldn't beat him. Just goes to show how little you have to offer.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

if they are still around, let the chimp and rummy hire the french foreign legion and bring our men home.
BRASS MONKEY

Posted by: BRASS MONKEY on January 30, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Up or out is certainly becoming easier - Now, it is becoming Up and/or out.

See that 50,000 troops have "volunteered" to remain after their tours expire - Courts have not backed those who have opposed this Rumdumb program.

Age level has been raised to 40 and mental scores lowered for inductees - So feel free to join up Ye Cowards of the Right.

Stephen Harper wants Canada to patrol the Northwest Passage - So, conspiracy NUT, join the Canadian Navy - However, our US Ambassador, David Wilkins, the boy with the South Carolina drawl who visited Canada one time 30 or more years ago for a couple of days, has said that the US does not recognize Canada's rights to the Passage - So, perhaps Nut, you might be able to become involved in an "incident". Keep us posted.

More Post traumatic cases returning - My former Rep, Jim McDermott has been absolutely correct all along. Global Citizen knows a great deal about this also.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 30, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

C-Nut will squeal like a stuck pig when we trot this one out:

"McCain Deliberately Allowed SAM to Shoot Down His Aircraft"

McCain is alleged to have told a now-deceased fellow prisoner of war who's veracity and identity cannot be verified that in 1968 he "got tired of living on board the USS Forrestal, what with all the man-on-man dopgpile orgies" and "turned his aircraft into the path of a North Vietnamese SAM in order to get some North Vietnamese grade A poon tang."

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well Mr. Rider, it looks like you may get the chance to see if that sells better than the AWOL tale.

If there is more to that, send link. It looks like it could be fun to read.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"How come it doesn't say anything like "experts say things going okay."

If that was the case, Kevin Drum would not have brought it up as a discussion topic. Afterall, folks reading this site is looking for good news (Bush failures).

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 30, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider I remember that book, wasn't it by the fast fighter bomber vets for a stronger America?

Posted by: Neo on January 30, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't have expected an occupation of 150,000 soldiers for three years to have caused as much stress as it has.

Shinseki predicted it would take an occupying force of 300,000, so let's try this perspective:

You work in an office of 10 people doing an appropriately sized job. Senior management decides that the job can be done by 5 people.

Jobs are available in other firms. How long do you work every evening and weekend, foregoing vacations, etc., out of loyalty to the company and your officemates. 1 year? 3 years?

Posted by: Wapiti on January 30, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

This is the guy you Dems put up for president after we were attacked.

Canada was attacked? How come we never heard about this before?

Posted by: shortstop on January 30, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhhh, I think I am starting to see the first hint of 'blame the troops,' coming from the Republican supporters. The troops are in it just for the college education, the wounded officers probably removed their gear

Tripp: I'm not a Republican - not even an American - and I don't support the war.

I'm just trying to understand a rather strange phenomenon, ie more dead captains and majors than lieutenants.

Pale Rider: I'm sure company commander is a tough job, but company OCs shouldn't be going out on every patrol - that's a lieutenant's job (if they're sending officers at all). Majors, doubly so. If more captains than lieutenants are getting killed then, logically, either more captains are in harm's way, or captains are more vulnerable. The first possibility makes me suspect that captains are doing lieutenants' (dangerous) jobs; the second, that captains are being lax about wearing kevlar (or tend to ride in a vulnerable position - good point). I have seen both happen in the field. Good officers like to lead from the front rather than coordinate. And mid-ranking officers tend to ditch their armour and even helmets (Major Chris Keeble, OC 2 Para, Goose Green, for example) if they feel they are being restrictive; who's going to tell them otherwise? In the field you rarely even see anyone above captain.

The profile of having officers up front doing sergeants' jobs, and captains doing lieutenants' jobs, was very common indeed in Afghanistan; the Soviets found that a new lieutenant just wasn't up to independent command. And Soviet NCOs, of course, were proverbially awful.

Common factors between the US army and the Soviet Army, incidentally: 1) they have been put into a bitter insurgency in a Muslim country 2) by a fool 3) and so they are falling apart.


Posted by: ajay on January 30, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

fast fighter bomber vets for a stronger America

No, it's called USS Forrestal Man Sex Veterans Who Want to See McCain Dumped in Favor of George Allen Truthseekers For America and God, Inc.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: As bad as Bush is, and you still couldn't beat him. Just goes to show how little you have to offer.

Just shows how well the defamation and lie machine known as the GOP can work when greased with illegal monies.

It will be a little harder in the future with so many GOP officials and operatives in prison or poison ivy to the voters.

Where to begin, well how about the beginning.

None of which supports your [mis]characterization.

You know a lot, but still lie.

That's a measure of your lack of integrity, not my knowledge.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

We need to ensure that thoughtful Democrats find their way into the armed forces.

Posted by: yesh on January 30, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

but company OCs shouldn't be going out on every patrol - that's a lieutenant's job

Companies fight wars, and company commander's belong with their men. No infantry Captain worth a damn would follow your logic.

Major Chris Keeble, OC 2 Para, Goose Green

Huh? You're talking about a British officer. When the US Army goes to war, everyone wears the same uniform. Anyone who dumps protective gear is out of uniform and is stupid for doing so.

In the field you rarely even see anyone above captain.

I've served in the field--and there were officers everywhere. I have no idea what you're talking about. In Korea, we had the four, the three and the two star generals all over the place and bird colonels as thick as thieves. Go to the field with any tactical unit and its a relief when the officers finally leave the area, simply because they're all of the place.

US Army NCOs lead--officers merely repeat the last lawful order they were given. This system has kept us afloat in Iraq. It has not worked against us, except where NCOs have failed to lead.

The US Army of 2006 doesn't function like the Soviet Army of 1980--that's a ridiculous comparison. The old Soviet doctrine units were not organized or trained like American units. Soviet officers and NCOs did not have access to the level of training or professional development currently in place; nor was there any recourse for lower enlisted Soviet troops. A well founded complaint from a lowly US Army private can get a bird colonel relieved of duty, and it happens all the time.

Comparing the Soviet Army to the US Army is cute and all, but it doesn't really hold up.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm just trying to understand a rather strange phenomenon, ie more dead captains and majors than lieutenants."

Look at the numbers: http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmid/military/rg0511.pdf

There are nearly twice as many captains as LTs in the Army force structure and almost as many majors as LTs. There is no mystery here: LTs are being killed at a high rate than captains and majors just as anyone would expect.

Posted by: arkie on January 30, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many of these people are leaving the army so they can get a contracting job in Iraq making vastly more money (5-10x as much?) possibly even doing less dangerous stuff.

Posted by: jefff on January 30, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

After seeing the graphic picture of a Humvie on CNN this morning, I understand more clearly the advance in IED weapon systems employed in Iraq. The vehicle was riddled. Twig's No Terrorist Left Behind OJT program is working very well. They are quickly learning how to make more sophisticaed IED's and also how to deploy them faster. Twig is amazing in how he understands the need for educating the world.

Fighter against Freedom, how is your armored tricycle brigade coming along?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 30, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

None of which supports your [mis]characterization.
Heh, I defended every nasty thing I said about Kerry; and I'm sure he was the Dem nominee, it was in all the papers.

As far as your wish that my characterization is wrong, well, I can see why you'd wish that.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I defended every nasty thing I said about Kerry

Yes, and isn't this a better country because you can smear a Veteran?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK


al: "Also last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed recent reports including one commissioned by the Pentagon that the Army.."


did you see where rummy said he hadn't actually READ the report he was dismissing?


that made me laugh...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

did you see where rummy said he hadn't actually READ the report he was dismissing?

Look, someone should tell Rumsfeld that you receive the reports you commission, not the reports you wish you'd commissioned.

Posted by: Stefan on January 30, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't yet read the article, but it would be interestng to determine if the Navy, Marines, and Air Force are experiencing similar difficulties.

Offhand, I would anticipate that only the Marines would.

Posted by: Thinker on January 30, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Look, someone should tell Rumsfeld that you receive the reports you commission, not the reports you wish you'd commissioned.

You have utterly destroyed the man. Good day to you, sir.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

It reads like some of the military are voting with their feet. It's a wonder Rummy hasn't put a stop to it.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on January 30, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, and isn't this a better country because you can smear a Veteran?
The truth is a smear? I suggest that if the truth is a smear, then a smear is called for.

Is that what I was supposed to do, throw my unconditional love at Kerry because he's a veteran? What about those Swifties that the left expended so much vitrol on, they're veterans, too. The participants at My Lai were veterans, too. There are 2 things about being a veteran:
1) It's a factor
2) It ain't the whole story

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

1) It's a factor
2) It ain't the whole story

The factor is what O'Reilly calls his show.

The whole story is, the only reason why anyone smeared Kerry with lies is because his resume was too strong to run against.

See, you can't hit the guy because of his ideas. It's gotta be because of something that happened during the Vietnam War.

Otherwise, it's kinda hard for a bunch of physical cowards, shirkers and ne'er do wells to win elective office.

But I will say this: as soon as the election was over, and as soon as the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth issues were handed over to the US Navy, they dismissed out of hand any effort to have Kerry's medals revoked and no effort to date has been made to have Kerry:

1. Censured by the US Senate, which is in Republican hands.
2. Removed from office for these so-called 'truths' you have highlighted (again, the Republicans control the Senate--they could expel Kerry in a heartbeat if these issues had merit).
3. Charged with falsification of military records.
4. Charged with lying to obtain military decorations.

So when does the follow-through on these matters happen? Six months into the next election?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

sheerahkahn: It reads like some of the military are voting with their feet. It's a wonder Rummy hasn't put a stop to it.

Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty

By Will Dunham

Sun Jan 29, 10:54 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called "stop-loss," but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 30, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

why anyone smeared Kerry with lies
I smeared Kerry with the truth. As for the Swifties, the best thing that can be said about them claiming his medals were undeserved is: they were unconvincing. And Kerry does have his medals. I look on that kind of like Bush's honorable discharge; when they have them, you're going to need conclusive proof to refute.

Here's my position. First, there's definitely something dodgy about Bush's TANG service. And there's something dodgy about Kerry's swift boat service (Unless you can point me to the other Navy ensigns that got 3 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star in 4 months of service. Bonus points if they didn't lose a day over the injuries.) But neither of these bother me. I remember Vietnam, and people did all kinds of dodgy things because of the war it was. That shit was too common to spend any thought on.

Second, Kerry relied heavily on his service for his campaign. Bush was brighter than to take an obviously dodgy part of his past and thrust it into the light of day for examination. I submit the Swifties would have been as ineffectual with Kerry's service as the left has been with Bush's had Kerry not relied so much on it. Kerry made it a centerpiece.

And the strange thing is, Kerry opposed the war before going, he opposed the war when he got back. The meeting with the North, the repeating the lies of others at the Winter Soldier hearings. And that clown thought everyone was going to forget all of that for 4 months of swift boat service (laudable though that is)? When only 2 of the people in his official photo supported him? And then his Senate voting record?

You can't tell me that Kerry was the best the Dems could do.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

C-Nut,

We're looking at a glorious opportunity here--

1. Simply take all of your obsessively compiled anti-Kerry Swift Boat documents in a plain leather bag up to the US Senate offices.

2. Explain to them why Kerry should be thrown out of the Senate.

3. Once Kerry is thrown out of the Senate, Gov. Mitt Romney can appoint a Republican to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate.

I mean, come on--if even half of what you're saying is true, no reasonable person could allow Kerry to continue to serve in the US Senate.

Right?

So when do they start hearings on kicking him out? I mean, it's not like Bill Frist can't get the dang thing started and get it on the calendar, right?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

And there's something dodgy about Kerry's swift boat service (Unless you can point me to the other Navy ensigns that got 3 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star in 4 months of service. Bonus points if they didn't lose a day over the injuries.)

Exactly.

So take that up with the Senate, get the guy kicked out, Romney puts in a Republican, Bob's your uncle, everybody gets to shag, and that's the way it is.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I meant to address your follow through. That would be some petty ass shit and I couldn't support it. The Swifties claiming he didn't deserve the medals without proof was as low.

Now their putting out the opinions of other Swifties, and pointing out the talks with the North, etc. That looked like fair game to me.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

The Swifties claiming he didn't deserve the medals without proof was as low.

But they were right about everything else?!?

Bullshit.

The medals were the MAJOR focus of their efforts to discredit Kerry.

Better lies, please.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

As for your contention that it's difficult to obtain medals, please review the career of Col. David H Hackworth, now deceased, and how he seemed to earn so many medals. It got to the point where the Army had to stop processing his awards because the guy had too many.

Just a hint: he earned them, despite the flap over his Ranger tab.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Simply take all of your obsessively compiled anti-Kerry Swift Boat documents
Mr Rider, I applaud him for going, and I applaud his service. I accept that he probably did some dodgy things, and that does not bother me. And I have stated the reasons for that.

But I'm also bright enough to know that those 4 months are not the measure of the man. I've pointed out some things I weigh against him.

But I'm not going to apologize for not wearing blinders.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

But they were right about everything else?!?
Yes. They were right about the talks with the North. And they were right that those were their opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and they are entitled to raise funds to put those opinions on TV. It's called free speech.

The medals were the MAJOR focus of their efforts to discredit Kerry.
They had multiple TV commercials (4 that I remember), only the first one dealt with the medals. The only reason it would have been a major focus is because that is all anyone else wanted to talk about after that. Everytime they went on a TV talk show it was all Kerry's medals all the time.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed recent reports including one commissioned by the Pentagon that the Army was facing a looming personnel crisis, and said the "battle-hardened" military was as strong as ever."
Posted by: Al on January 30, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Well if Donny Rumsfeld said it it must be TRUE. I mean he hasn't been wrong about anything.
EVER.

Ah huh.

Posted by: Nemesis on January 30, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Unless you can point me to the other Navy ensigns that got 3 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star in 4 months of service.

In other words, if you sign up for service, get deployed, and one week into your deployment you save the lives of 100 soldiers, getting wounded at the same time, and get the Medal of Honor for it, you deserve to be criticized if no other soldier ever got the Medal of Honor after serving only a week, cause "it's dodgy."

The only thing that's dodgy is your logic, cn.

But neither of these bother me.

And yet you raise the issue over and over and over and over and over and . . .

Kerry relied heavily on his service for his campaign.

Imagine that. A veteran war hero relying in part on his service in his campaign to be Commander in Chief.

And a single statement from the campaign becomes "his entire campaign was based on his service."

Bull. Shit.

. . . repeating the lies of others at the Winter Soldier hearings.

He repeated the statements of others that he heard in good faith.

That some of them later proved to be untruthful is not a reflection on Kerry.

He never held them up as true, but only something reported that should be considered and investigated.

Implying he knew they were true, by the use of "repeated" marks you for the liar and defamer that you are.

But I'm not going to apologize for not wearing blinders.

You wear Bush blinders, you blithering idiot.

You can't apologize for not wearing blinders because you are wearing blinders.

It's called free speech.

Free speech does not permit defamation.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 30, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry Afg, maybe Mr Rider will come back and give a real response.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

CN, here is a real response. Consider it properly:

The Swift Boat guys go back to the fellow Nixon recruited to discredit Vietnam Veterans against the War.

Nixon, you will recall, never once considered even attempting to WIN the war -- his sole focus was to sacrifice the lives of Americans (not to mention Vietnamese) symbolically. He expanded the war into Cambodia secretly (kindly explain the Constitutional or moral rationale for that), which destroyed the dikes and pushed the NVA all over that poor nation. (Before Nixon, there were perhaps 5,000 Khmer Rouge. After Nixon's bombings and invasion crippled and tortured Cambodia, there were 500,000: when they took over Phomn Penh, there was no way to feed the 3 million people in the capitol. This doesn't excuse the Rouge for being genocidal -- but it DOES explain why some folks realize that Nixon was a criminal: the Pottery Barn analogy.)

Kerry's famous question was what Nixon sought to discredit: "How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

You can NOT defend Nixon with the bullshit that he was, too, trying to win the war, or that he was, too, trying to correct the mistake (if you believe that was what the American involvement in Vietnam was, or for that matter if you believe it was a noble cause and deserved a nobler finish). Nixon wanted a 'decent interval', and was trying to tar his enemies so he could get it.

THAT's where the Swift Boat guys came from.

Kerry testified that American tactics in Vietname were indefensible. He was right. Blowtorch Bob Komer -- ring a bell? Colby? The Phoenix Program? Free Fire Zones?

If you want to DEFEND those, go ahead. But don't cop the bullshit that because Kerry presented what he heard from guys who lied about their service as if it was true (what, you're so stupid you don't think SEGRETTI planted that crap?) as if that means the Viet Vets against the War didn't know what they were talking about. They were there.

Bob Kerrey won the Congressional Medal of Honor -- gonna dis him, too? Turns out he did it in an engagement that, strictly speaking, was probably a war crime: whose service is more honorable, Cnut?

Bob Kerrey's -- or W's? Cheney's?

"they scoff at scars that never felt a wound"


Posted by: theAmericanist on January 30, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

C-Nut,

Why bother? Am I going to change your mind about anything?

Hardly.

You're not going to change my mind, either.

I will take exception to the Americanist's wacked out version of reality. First of all, the tactics of the North Vietnamese Army, the Viet Cong, the US military are not worth discussion because war transcends a backwards look at the way that it was fought. The US Army tried and punished those who committed war crimes and that's a damn sight more than any other military in the world can say.

Second, he gets the facts on Kerrey completely wrong. He's probably thinking of that other effort to derail Bob Kerrey as a presidential candidate, should he choose to run, which is the now discredited attack on actions that Kerrey was involved in where he was given the Bronze Star. Here is the Medal of Honor citation (this is the preferable name and the 'Congressional' part is unnecessary), and there isn't a whole lot about killing babies in it:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL team leader during action against enemy aggressor (Viet Cong) forces. Acting in response to reliable intelligence, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey led his SEAL team on a mission to capture important members of the enemy's area political cadre known to be located on an island in the bay of Nha Trang. In order to surprise the enemy, he and his team scaled a 350-foot sheer cliff to place themselves above the ledge on which the enemy was located. Splitting his team in 2 elements and coordinating both, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey led his men in the treacherous downward descent to the enemy's camp. Just as they neared the end of their descent, intense enemy fire was directed at them, and Lt. (jg.) Kerrey received massive injuries from a grenade which exploded at his feet and threw him backward onto the jagged rocks. Although bleeding profusely and suffering great pain, he displayed outstanding courage and presence of mind in immediately directing his element's fire into the heart of the enemy camp. Utilizing his radio, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey called in the second element's fire support which caught the confused Viet Cong in a devastating crossfire. After successfully suppressing the enemy's fire, and although immobilized by his multiple wounds, he continued to maintain calm, superlative control as he ordered his team to secure and defend an extraction site. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey resolutely directed his men, despite his near unconscious state, until he was eventually evacuated by helicopter. The havoc brought to the enemy by this very successful mission cannot be over-estimated. The enemy soldiers who were captured provided critical intelligence to the allied effort. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey's courageous and inspiring leadership, valiant fighting spirit, and tenacious devotion to duty in the face of almost overwhelming opposition sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

So there you go, C-Nut. We talk and argue, and then I end up turning on someone who interjects a few misguided hippy-dippy comments for no reason, and then we do it all over again tomorrow.

What a blast. Can I quit this blog thingy now? Jeeezus...when does Wavy Gravy show up and say 'no blood for oil?'

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Pale: even Bob Kerrey has conceded what I wrote about the action in which he earned his Medal.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 30, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

even Bob Kerrey has conceded what I wrote about the action in which he earned his Medal.

Which Medal? His Medal of Honor or his Bronze Star? Because if liberals can't figure out the difference, how the hell are they going to defend a Democrat the next time someone Swift Boats a candidate?

This is what pissed me off during the 2004 campaign: liberals couldn't tell the Purple Heart from the Silver Star and had no way to talk about why they were right about Vietnam. A complete ignorance of the military, of the way we fought that war and failed to support our troops caused plenty of decent people to somehow forget that Kerry was right, Nixon was wrong, and that there's a huge difference between supporting the policy and supporting the troops.

What we're doing right in 2006 is that we're NOT blaming the troops for the war. What we're doing wrong is that we're not doing enough to get them out of harm's way and bring them home. Every single Democrat should have lined up behind Rep Murtha but they didn't--no, even that idiot Kerry wouldn't get behind Murtha.

And around and around we go.

Anyway, rant over. Broze Star, Medal of Honor--big difference between them.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 30, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

So PL,

Please explain to me the lack of lewies.

When I was in [this is an aproimation] every company had an Captain and at least four platoons each with it's own lietenut 1st or 2nd. The lewies were supposed to be there to learn from an NCO. What's changed?

Posted by: S Brennan on January 31, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

S Brennan: don't bother asking. Pale will just rant at you that EVERYTHING THE ARMY DOES IS PERFECT and there is NO COMPARISON AT ALL with any other army and NO US OFFICER EVERY DOES ANYTHING WRONG EVER EVER EVER. He'll also start talking about company commanders going out with every patrol and seeing four-star generals in the field during combat in Korea.

It's ironic, really, because 'US inability to listen' is one of the reasons the Iraq campaign is going rather badly.

Posted by: ajay on January 31, 2006 at 5:21 AM | PERMALINK

See, this is an example of something almost politically pathological amongst progressives online (and in meatspace): never missing a chance to miss the point.

I noted to Cnut that, as Pale put it, that "Kerry was right, Nixon was wrong", which is the origin of the Swift Boat guys.

As evidence for how Kerry was right, I cited two things: 1) the general one that Nixon was making no effort to win the war, he simply wanted Americans (and Vietnamese) to die in large #s for his "decent interval" and great power symbolism, and 2) that no less a hero than Bob Kerrey, Medal of Honor winner, was guilty of what was probably a war crime.

The first truth eliminates any moral claim whatsoever to defending the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry.

The second backs up the truth of Kerry's experience and service.

So Pale decides that somehow the IMPORTANT thing is that I said Bob Kerrey earned his Medal "in the engagement" in which his SEAL team killed a number of civilians.

He's right, and I was wrong: the way I phrased it unintentionally conflates two separate incidents that happened in the same area under the same rules of engagement. Pale adds, with all the implications that progressives don't understand the military, that we can't defend our heros if we don't know the difference between the Bronze Star and the (ahem) CONGRESSIONAL Medal of Honor. (And I still say the single most practical observation in this thread is that the reason for high casualty rates in ranks from NCOs -- corporals are NCOs in some services, not in others -- up through the brass is simply who rides shotgun: the most vulnerable place in the vehicle.)

So Pale throws in "hippy dippy" and conjures up Wavy Gravy (God only knows why), which, having distracted everybody manages to confuse the CENTRAL FRIGGING POINT, which is that Cnut is repeating slurs against Kerry that were not only originally made against him by Richard fucking Nixon, but (note Segretti) quite possibly INVENTED by Nixon's goons in the first place. (Somebody may want to check if the bogus atrocity testimony cited by Kerry wasn't planted by Segretti, et al, to discredit Vietnam Vets against the War.)

In general, you don't see this sorta thing on the Right: it's almost a cultural difference between progressives and conservatives.

As self-consciously part of a movement, conservatives generally recognize the point of a particular argument, e.g., that the origin of the Swift Boat slurs is that Kerry was right and Nixon was wrong,and disregard secondary or tertiary disputes as distractions. When Murtha proposed essentially what is, in fact, Bush's strategy, conservatives LEAPED to discredit it by caricature: no 'cut and run'. Just as you didn't see Democrats patriotically offering Bush OUR idea for how to win the war, you didn't see conservatives attacking each other over nuances of the difference between what Bush is doing and what Murtha ACTUALLY proposed, much less when those distinctions are embedded in a failure to parse "the engagement" from "two incidents a few days apart".

But progressives are eager to subdivide folks on OUR side, which tends to unite the bad guys.

What's up with that?


Posted by: theAmericanist on January 31, 2006 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

Pale will just rant at you that EVERYTHING THE ARMY DOES IS PERFECT

Hardly. The Army was, and always has been a pretty screwed up organization. But my point here has always been that if you want to see Democrats elected to public office to put a stop to the insanity of the Iraq war, condemning the troops ain't gonna get you there.

and there is NO COMPARISON AT ALL with any other army and NO US OFFICER EVERY DOES ANYTHING WRONG EVER EVER EVER.

Well, there really isn't. Sorry if it bursts your bubble, but the US military really does separate itself from that which is fielded by other nations. They would love to have our volunteerism, the professional schools that educate all ranks and the proficiency used by our manuever units. Try reading some books--might help you with the whole cap lock mentality we usually see with 'Patton/Alice.' And as for officers who do things wrong, hello--I was posting stories about officer malfeasance not too long ago...on another thread...I seem to remember pointing out that there were entirely separate rules for them.

He'll also start talking about company commanders going out with every patrol and seeing four-star generals in the field during combat in Korea.

If the Company I was in ever went to the field, we never left garrison without my Company Commander leading the unit alongside his First Sergeant and all the other officers. If you are thinking that the Army is like the movie Stripes and that all US Army Captains are like John Larroquette, I think you need to read a few more books on top of what you should already be looking at. Company Commanders are the most important leaders in the entire US Army and they lead from the front and do things that would shatter your childish grasp on reality.

Of the generals I have seen in the field, count LTG Honore among them. He was all over the place when he was MG Honore and commanded 2ID in Korea. Right along behind him was the 8th Army Commander, and the theater commander. We saw those guys all the time. Of course, I realize that you cannot believe these things, but hey. It got to the point where we had more coins from these guys than we could count.

You do understand what being given a coin means, right? Generals give out coins when they go out into the field. Sheesh. It's like talking to a bunch of hippies...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

But progressives are eager to subdivide folks on OUR side, which tends to unite the bad guys.

Actually, watching boneheads prattle on about things they know nothing about feeds the wingnuts red meat. If you can't take a little criticism from people on the same ideological side as you, what the hell good are you going to be up against a wingnut troll?

Hello? Every time I've actually learned something on this frickin' blog has been when someone from the left ripped me a new one. Sure, it pisses you off and gets you hopping mad, but when all's said and done, you're a better person for it. If you can take the heat.

But if you think you made a point, holy cow. I couldn't fish one out of there with a stick of dynamite.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

ROFL -- then trying reading this part slowly: "The Swift Boat guys go back to the fellow Nixon recruited to discredit Vietnam Veterans against the War."

That's what's known as a significant fact. I commend their use to you.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 31, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

It is uncharacteristic of a real military man to taught his service. Usually they might just mention it in their bio. Kerry's behavior gave credit to the SBV because he didn't behave in the manner that the public is accustom to from those who serve honorably. Most veterans are modest about their service.

People knowing that he served is enough. It is bad form to campaign on it.

Posted by: aaron on January 31, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

"The Swift Boat guys go back to the fellow Nixon recruited to discredit Vietnam Veterans against the War."

Where did I say that that wasn't the case? I've actually seen the debate between Kerry and that 'prig' on the Dick Cavett show. (Cavett is a national treasure, by the way.)

Everyone knows that Nixon sent these clowns after Kerry. And because Kerry was getting great campaign advice from Cahill and Shrum, he didn't do a damn thing about it when they went after him a second time.

So they got Kerry with the same shit twice. Whining about it does what to solve the problem?

aaron says:

Most veterans are modest about their service.

And that's how Kerry should have been. Amen for posters like aaron who know what the hell they're talking about.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mr Rider
What a blast. Can I quit this blog thingy now? Jeeezus...when does Wavy Gravy show up and say 'no blood for oil?'
I will swear on a Bible to the truth of this: I learn things when I come out here (not as much as I used to when this place was civil, though).

You are right that you are not going to change my mind on this, and I have no illusion that I am going to change yours. But I don't hold my position because of any visceral hatred. We both take into account Kerry's service and Kerry's other actions. What happens is that we weight them differently, and hence come to different conclusions. The facts are not so much the difference here as how we weight those facts.

But as for continuing to argue when no change is foreseeable, do you think we would be better off not knowing the other side's position? I don't think I'd be better off, that's why I keep coming out here irritating people. At the end, I still reject your position, but I do understand it better.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

At the end, I still reject your position, but I do understand it better.

Hold on, my homies are trying to kick my ass this morning.

What the hell do you mean that you 'used to learn things when this place was civil?'

Have you actually looked at the Calpundit archives? Every thread there was this nutbag poster who...oh, sorry. That was you. My bad.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

The numbers don't seem to add up to me.

The article states "the portion of junior officers (lieutenants and captains) choosing to depart for civilian life rose last year to 8.6%, up from 6.3%."

But the article also states that "97% of all eligible captains to the rank of major, Pentagon data show. That was up from a historical average of 70% to 80%."

Well, the re-enlistment rate has only changed 2.3%. But the promotion rate jumped say 25%. Where are the remaining 20% of the promotions coming from?

The data in the original article Kevin linked to seems incomplete.

My bet is this is most likely a 'bloating' of the officer core.... Seems like a trend all across government for Bush...

Posted by: mark on January 31, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Have you actually looked at the Calpundit archives? Every thread there was this nutbag poster who...oh, sorry. That was you. My bad.
Ah, recent history. Look back about 3 years or so. There were still some idiots from both sides, but there was a lot of good discussion going on around the rock throwing. It degenerated into a fever swamp during the '04 Dem primaries, and became untenable for people that breathe through their nose after the election.

The degeneration also fairly well corresponded with the move to Washington Monthly. I've often wondered if Kevin's corporate paymasters demanded he post moonbat bait to compete with Kos...

What the hell do you mean that you 'used to learn things when this place was civil?'
That was a really bad paraphrase of what I said.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

That was a really bad paraphrase of what I said.

Sorry.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

The degeneration also fairly well corresponded with the move to Washington Monthly. I've often wondered if Kevin's corporate paymasters demanded he post moonbat bait to compete with Kos...

I think the 'freepers' have engaged in much of the disruption that you lament. 'Hostile' is a freeper, no doubt, who tries to smear the left with off-the-wall moonbattery.

This place and Kos are two separate communities, and Atrios is something unto itself. Someone like myself would never be allowed to post diaries on Kos--and God knows they need it, what with all the ignorance of the military over there. They take about progressive Democrats over there all the time. The ridiculous lefty milblogger Jason Sigger didn't allow my posts to stand for more than an hour on BlueForceBlog or whatever, either.

So, because I get banned by righty and lefty blogs on a regular basis, just for being my loveable Pale Rider self, I get to hang out here with the wingnuts and moonbats and watch everything go to shit.

I've secretly hoped that I would get banned here too. I'm certainly bored and not learning much these days.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

"It is uncharacteristic of a real military man to taught his service."

Tout, actually.

This isn't quite true, though -- what really works is the studied understatement, e.g., when JFK was asked by some little boy, so the legend goes, how he got to be a war hero, Kennedy is supposed to have said: "It was purely involuntary. They sank my boat."

I like McCain's take, too (from memory) in his Faith of Our Fathers (in which, with real class, he unselfconsciously recognizes his ghostwriter): he notes that the Navy had spent something like a million dollars training him in escape and evasion techniques in case he was shot down, and then all that taxpayer money was wasted: 'I was shot down in the middle of the day, in the middle of a city, in the middle of a pond, and I was unconscious. Escape would have ... challenging.'

On the other hand, no serious student of the role of military service in American politics can fail to miss the McKinley monument at Antietam, which commemorates a President who was there on the bloodiest day in our history... serving coffee and sandwiches. (I'm not kidding.)

I was never a fan of Kerry before his nomination, which didn't change my opinion of him. So if bloggers want to have a REAL political goal -- change the nomination process so the person who gets the nomination can win the damn election.


.

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 31, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

I'm certainly bored and not learning much these days.
With me around?! Come on. Never a dull moment, and as a wise man once said: I never learned anything from someone that agreed with me. Since I'm disagreeable by nature, I'm an exercise in learning.

Good looking, too, did I mention that?

Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble,
When you're perfect in every way...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

So if bloggers want to have a REAL political goal -- change the nomination process so the person who gets the nomination can win the damn election.
Hey, the guy that won our nomination won the election. Maybe you Dems should model yourselves after Repubs if you're interested in getting elected.

Anyway, poking fun at what happened to you in the military is hardly blowing your own horn.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

C-Nut,

Well, what sensible person could argue with what aaron said earlier? Blows everything I wrote out of the water. That's the essential argument against Kerry--he should have shut up about his service to begin with.

Damn, aaron--you should have posted here yesterday.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

nut,

Since I'm disagreeable by nature,

Simple contrarianism is lazy and teaches no one anything.

I see it frequently in the immature who are trying to discover what it is that they actually believe.

If you told me you were in your teens I'd forgive it but otherwise my advice is to "grow up."

Posted by: Tripp on January 31, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"serving coffee and sandwiches"

Well, perhaps it was not as gallant as Custer riding wildly around the field, nor as Stupid as Burnside for ordering his troops across the narrow bridge, but Sgt Mckinley was not exactly running a "Starbucks" stand. He was promoted to 2nd Lt for his actions in bringing the coffee and sandwiches up to the front lines near the Burnside Bridge - McKinley was not a political appointee - He enlisted as a private, fought in West Virginia at South Mountain and eventually rose to the rank of Brevet Major during the Shenandoah campaign.
However, following the Civil War, it was to the advantage of Republican politicians to "wave the bloody flag" of their service in the Grand Old Army in order to be elected.

Mark, up thread, mentioned something that I recall reading recently - It was something about the problems in the US Army with retention of officers and an inordinate amount of officers being promoted too rapidly in order to fill vacancies. Don't know where I read the article, but CN's Kerry thread seems to dominate this particular one. Another hijacking, CN - job well done, Mr Canadian.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Well, what sensible person could argue with what aaron said earlier?
I'm trying hard, but I just can't do it. Must not be insensible enough yet, I'll keep working on that.

In fact, I tried to say the same thing. Yesterday at 3:14 PM

I submit the Swifties would have been as ineffectual with Kerry's service as the left has been with Bush's had Kerry not relied so much on it. Kerry made it a centerpiece.
Kudos to Aaron for getting the point across. And maybe I should have spent more time studying my writing instead of my mathematics...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Tried my best to get there earlier from Harpers Ferry - Heard that there was a great Starbucks stand serving espresso down there by the bridge.

Dang it all, if I and my men could have had double shots, we would have run those Yankees back to Washington. Heck, triples and we would have won the war.

Posted by: James Longstreet on January 31, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

otherwise my advice is to "grow up."
Thanks for the advice, I have no doubt it was meant well [/sarcasm]. Here's my deal for ya: you work to clean this cesspool up and I'll help. But lefties created this swamp, and lefties can make the first move draining it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Another hijacking, CN - job well done
Thank you, it's always nice to be recognized for my hard work.

Don't know where you got the idea I'm Canadian, though; do I type with a French accent?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"a cesspool"

For myself, I think of this site as a vibrant tidal pool - However, one must always be on alert for the predators who wish to sweep all to sea.

For the flotsam and jetsam, contact NRO.

And now, back to listening to the music of Franz Schubert, whose birthday is today.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, PttO,

Let's fish the wingnuts out of lake where we can to keep the thing from being contaminated, shall we?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

A little bit of CN is like a little bit of Kudzo.

Posted by: stupid git on January 31, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Another classic military understatement by a politician (a Brit, alas): "There is nothing so exhilirating as to be shot at without result."

Somebody (Jake in Slate, maybe) that for quite some time the 2000 campaign was a very odd bit of father/son one upmanship being played out: McCain came from a long line of Navy men; Gore went to Vietnam largely because his father was a dove, and of course W is still trying to outdo his Dad.

McCain and Hagel are prominent vets likely to run in '08 -- are Democrats likely to field anybody who's been shot at?

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 31, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I've lived in and around military long enough to know the 'community'. I'm also comfortable making a few dreaded 'generalizations' about the demographic that 'enlists'.

Air Force officers are excluded, because they generally come from a different political class.

Bush is building an army of mercenaries. They aren't MY boys. They aren't YOUR boys and girls.

They are the same people who become policemen, [if they don't have a record yet] - security guards, prison workers, and of course, the dregs at airport security. The harmless ones end up at the post office or DMV.

That said, I really don't give a horses ass how many of 'our boys' are killed or wounded. They enlisted to go kill brown people. Yes, I think the military taps into racism, xenophobia, and redirected aggresssion.

Blacks, latinos, and redneck whites are kept busy killing the enemy du jour, rather than preying on us and each other.

THAT is what I think of today's army, navy and marines. Low I.Q ner do wells - trained killers.

These aren't MY boys. Or yours.

They are Bushbots. And that scares the hell out of me. Today it's Arabs, tomorrow it's, who?

These are scary times. Bush is a scary mother fucker. But his 'troops' are even scarier.

I challenge anyone to live next to these assholes in places like Colorado Springs, and not get a bit nervous. Check out the stats for domestic violence in cities with army and navy bases. These are the dregs of our society. Armed, dangerous, and illiterate.

We now have an imperial presidency and a huge mercenary military machine aimed at ???

Posted by: Tj on January 31, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

are Democrats likely to field anybody who's been shot at?

I dunno--Wes Clark ring a frickin' bell?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

I challenge anyone to live next to these assholes in places like Colorado Springs, and not get a bit nervous. Check out the stats for domestic violence in cities with army and navy bases. These are the dregs of our society. Armed, dangerous, and illiterate.

TJ,

You're a fucking freeper troll and no one's buying your line of bullshit.

'Armed, dangerous and illiterate?'

Sorry, these are American citizens you're talking about. And, in point of fact, they're not armed--the military actually practices some of the most stringent gun control in the world.

Fuck off, TJ. You're not worth another word.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Only a shithead would take the LA Times seriously, especially on defense.
Are you ever going to get your head out of your ass Drum?

Posted by: Chaufist on January 31, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider - Bushbots are mindless red state gopers. I know because I've lived among them.

Nobody with choices in life enlists to go kill A-rabs. Bush employs redirected aggression among minorities and ignorant whites to feed his islamophobic armies.

Freeper? -- they would lynch me

Posted by: Tj on January 31, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, Pale, the Check out the stats for domestic violence in cities with army and navy bases. isn't something a wingnut would be likely to come up with.

The rest of it is non-determinant. I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward wingnut. If it is genuine moonbat, keep this one away from your political process or the Dems are done for.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 31, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, he's worth two more words: fuck you, TJ.

I had forgotten Clark (which is pretty damning, being as how I supported him early on last time). I don't think he campaigns well.

We need fewer legislators and more executives to nominate from: DRAFT OPRAH!

Posted by: theAmericanist on January 31, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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