Tuesday, August 31, 2004

"Can't 'Win It'" not "Can't Win It"

No, there will not be a V-T day, but there will be a day when any government on earth will see the presence of anti-American yahoos as a lightning rod for US anger and force.

I expect the President will make that more clear. But by now
he should know better than to trust the press to put in the quotation marks.

Thankfully, the guy who proposes we resume diplomatic relations with Iran to give them nuclear fuel is not in any position to exploit this.

Monday, August 30, 2004

He Didn't Say We Can't Win It

He said "I don't think you can "win" it." There will be no V-T Day. I see Sen. Edwards missed that nuance completely.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Stop! Wait a Minute Mr. Postman

Max Cleland, patriot, went down to the President's Crawford ranch to drop off a very lame letter about how honoring veterans and the military itself means unquestioning belief in anything Sen. Kerry says.

He was met at the gate by a Texas Republican with a letter for Senator Kerry from Veterans for Bush. Rather than accept this letter in exchange for his own, Mr. Cleland broke off the mission and vowed to send the letter by mail.

Here's a text of the letter Cleland refused to take:

August 25, 2004

Senator John Kerry
304 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Kerry,

We are pleased to welcome your campaign representatives to Texas today. We honor all our veterans, all whom have worn the uniform and served our country. We also honor the military and National Guard ( search ) troops serving in Iraq ( search ) and Afghanistan ( search ) today. We are very proud of all of them and believe they deserve our full support

That's why so many veterans are troubled by your vote AGAINST funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, after you voted FOR sending them into battle. And that's why we are so concerned about the comments you made AFTER you came home from Vietnam. You accused your fellow veterans of terrible atrocities - and, to this day, you have never apologized. Even last night, you claimed to be proud of your post-war condemnation of our actions.

We're proud of our service in Vietnam. We served honorably in Vietnam and we were deeply hurt and offended by your comments when you came home.

You can't have it both ways. You can't build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it.

You said in 1992 "we do not need to divide America over who served and how." Yet you and your surrogates continue to criticize President Bush for his service as a fighter pilot in the National Guard.

We are veterans too - and proud to support President Bush . He's been a strong leader, with a record of outstanding support for our veterans and for our troops in combat. He's made sure that our troops in combat have the equipment and support they need to accomplish their mission.

He has increased the VA health care ( search ) budget more than 40% since 2001 - in fact, during his four years in office, President Bush has increased veterans funding twice as much as the previous administration did in eight years ($22 billion over 4 years compared to $10 billion over 8.) And he's praised the service of all who served our country, including your service in Vietnam.

We urge you to condemn the double standard that you and your campaign have enforced regarding a veteran's right to openly express their feelings about your activities on return from Vietnam.

Sincerely,

Texas State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson
Rep. Duke Cunningham
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Rep. Sam Johnson
Lt. General David Palmer
Robert O'Malley, Medal of Honor Recipient
James Fleming, Medal of Honor Recipient
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Castle (Ret.)


The letter's up on Bush's website. I can't find a complete copy of Kerry's letter anywhere. The excerpts are bad enough.

But it just goes to show that John Kerry does care about veterans and does care about the unemployed. He found Max Cleland a courier job! And I bet he won't fire him just for failing on the first delivery...

Saturday, August 21, 2004

A Sequel to The Caine Mutiny

That's how Unfit for Command reads. Cowardice under fire, bad ship handling, insubordination, dereliction of duty, deceitful dispatches, and discontent in the ranks.

And that's just the first half. Unfit for Command then describes, in gruesome detail, why the Democratic candidate for the Presidency would have faced a firing squad in a declared war. A Naval Reserve officer seeking to coordinate political opposition to the war with North Vietnamese 'peace' initiatives?!

And Unfit for Command shows why this is relevant to 2004, by citing example after example--as recently as spring 2004-- of Senator Kerry's continued evasion and distortion of his activity in Vietnam and against the war, to further his own ambition.

Unfit for Command is a well-drafted 187-page case against Senator Kerry. I do not know that every charge is true. I await Senator Kerry's response. It'd better be good and thorough.

As I reflect on the Senator's behavior so far this year...citing Al-Sadr as " legitimate voice" and calling for a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq...I question whether he has learned anything from Vietnam.

Rood Supports Swift Vets

I doubt William B. Rood read Unfit for Command before he dashed off his article condemning the Swift Vets.

As Daily Pundit notes, he actually endorses most of the charges made against Kerry in the book.

Here's Kerry's Silver Star commendation, cited in Unfit for Command:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Coastal Division ELEVEN emerged in armed conflict with Viet Cong insurgents in An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 28 February 1969. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY was serving as Officer in Charge of Patrol Craft Fast 94 and Officer in Tactical Command of a three-boat mission. As the force approached the target area on the narrow Dong Cung River, all units came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from an entrenched enemy force less than fifty feet away. Unhesitatingly Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered his boat to attack as all units opened fire and beached directly in front of the enemy ambushers. This daring and courageous tactic surprised the enemy and succeeded in routing a score of enemy soldiers. The PCF gunners captured many enemy weapons in the battle that followed. On a request from U.S. Army advisors ashore, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered PCFs 94 and 23 further up the river to suppress enemy sniper fire. After proceeding approximately eight hundred yards, the boats were again taken under fire from a heavy foliated are and B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94; with utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets, he again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position, and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy. Upon sweeping the area in an immediate search uncovered an enemy rest and supply area which was destroyed. The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


The Swifties argue in Unfit for Command that this recommendation was misleading because it did not note that the beaching tactic had been planned in advance in case of any ambush; that the boats were full of South Vietnamese troops with American advisors, making any claim of a 'superior enemy force' highly suspect; that the routing of enemy troops on the beach was mainly by South Vietnamese and Army, not "PCF gunners"; and that Kerry's only encounter with VC on the beach was a lone grenadier already wounded in the leg by M-60 fire.

The only point Rood's article contradicts is the lone VC. Rood says there was firing from the tree line, spider holes, and the opposite bank.

In fact, Rood indirectly endorses the Swifties' argument that Hoffman and others up the chain of command were given incorrect information:

There's at least one mistake in that citation. It incorrectly identifies the river where the main action occurred, a reminder that such documents were often done in haste and sometimes authored for their signers by staffers. It's a cautionary note for those trying to piece it all together. There's no final authority on something that happened so long ago—not the documents and not even the strained recollections of those of us who were there.


Rood emphasizes that there were only three officers present that day: Rood, Kerry, and the late Lt. j.g. Donald Droz. So who inaccurately described the action to Adm. Zuwalt?

The Swifties think they know the answer.

Friday, August 20, 2004

New Swift Vets Ad

Here's the 2nd Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Ad

Here's the official Kerry campaign response:

To: National Desk, Political Reporter

Contact: Chad Clanton or Phil Singer, both of Kerry-Edwards 2004, 202-464-2800; Web: http://www.johnkerry.com

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Kerry-Edwards campaign spokesman Chad Clanton released the following statement today about the new Swift Boat Veterans for Bush ad:

"This is another ad from a front group funded by Bush allies that is trying to smear John Kerry. The newest ad takes Kerry's testimony out of context, editing what he said to distort the facts. He testified as a 27 year-old Vietnam veteran. He opposed a war that, at that point, cost over 44,000 lives of the 58,245 names that are on the Vietnam Memorial wall. It says a lot that the President refuses to condemn this smear. The American people want to hear how we're going to cut health care costs and strengthen the economy, not smears."


Here's Kerry's testimony to the Senate from which the audio for the ad is taken, so you can decide whether it's out of context.

I don't think it was taken out of context, and the Kerry campaign talk of high Vietnam casualties seems to be a defense of what Kerry was trying to put over. I think Kerry will have to address the substance of these ads instead of just clamoring about a Texas fatcat conspiracy to bring down a po' boy from Martha's Vineyard.

I think most Americans recognize what the antiwar movement did to veterans was despicable--it's the basis of the whole "Support the Troops" attitude--and Kerry had better credibly renounce his role in promoting the 'babykiller' wing of the anti-war movement, or go down in flames on Election Day.

Forget "9/10 Candidate"; Kerry is 20th Century

Drudgereport has a developing story that Kerry's campaign is pushing to have the publisher of Unfit for Command withhold publication.

This is the highest form of stupidity. Not only is it petty, it's futile. Hugh Hewitt notes that 966,000 people viewed the Swift Vets site in a single week. A second free chapter of their book is available online.

I doubt Kerry will succeed in pressuring the publisher to withdraw. Apart from the fact that Kerry has been unable to prove the Swift Vets are lying, the book is already a bestseller. A publisher that won't stand up to this sort of pressure will simply lose out on the booming market in political-sniper books.

But even if the publisher caved, the Swift Vets will not. They are not going forward in pursuit of profit. They want their story heard. And they would simply post ALL chapters of the book on their website.

Kerry is plunging headlong towards the fatal day when all questions regarding the Swift Vets will be referred to his lawyers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Kerry for SuperSenator

Is it just me, or does Senator Kerry fundamentally misunderstand the office he's running for?

He wants to be elected top representative from this area, so he can form a committee of like-minded peers, and hammer out a consensus on solutions for our problems. He can't give specifics as to those solutions, because those decisions will be made by the committee as a whole, but he can guarantee the broad principles on which those agreements will be made.

Which would be a fine approach for a Senator heading into the Senate. But as head-of-government, President Kerry would have to stand on his own two feet and issue yes/no decisions under his own signature...something he seems very unwilling to do, and has no clear history of doing.

And as American head-of-state among other heads-of-state, President Kerry would have to learn to use third-parties to successfully fulfill his committments...another trait he seems to lack.

If he takes the SuperSenator routine into the debates against this President, he will be crushed.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Kerry Vs Naval Historical Center

By Sea, Air and Land by Edward J Marolda. From Naval Historical Center website.

From Chapter Three, a description of PCF 'swift boats':
...To augment the inshore patrol, the Navy bought 84 Swift (PCF) boats designed by the Louisiana-based Stewart Seacraft Company and deployed them to South Vietnam. These 50-foot, 23-knot vessels, armed with .50-caliber machine guns and an 81-millimeter mortar, became the mainstays of the Navy's Coastal Surveillance Force.

and from that Chapter, in the subsection on "River Patrol":
The PBR, the ubiquitous workhorse of the River Patrol Force, was manned by a crew of four bluejackets, equipped with a Pathfinder surface radar and two radios, and commonly armed with two twin- mounted .50-caliber machine guns forward, M-60 machine guns (or a grenade launcher) port and starboard amidship, and a .50-caliber aft.
…The River Patrol Force commander led other naval forces, including the highly trained and skilled SEALs.
…These elite naval commando units carried out day and night ambushes, hit and run raids, reconnaissance patrols, salvage dives, and special intelligence operations. Normally operating in six-man squads, the SEALs used landing craft, SEAL team assault boats (STAB), 26-foot armored trimarans, PBRs, sampans, and helicopters for transportation to and from their target areas. Mobile, versatile, and extremely effective in their dangerous work, the SEALs were a valuable fighting force in the riverine environment of Vietnam.

Douglas Brinkley, the author of the Kerry biography Tour of Duty, is telling the London Telegraph that Kerry did ferry SEALs among other special ops forces:
But Mr Brinkley rejected accusations that the senator had never been to Cambodia, insisting he was telling the truth about running undisclosed "black" missions there at the height of the war.

He said: "Kerry went into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions. He had a run dropping off US Navy Seals, Green Berets and CIA guys." The missions were not armed attacks on Cambodia, said Mr Brinkley, who did not include the clandestine missions in his wartime biography of Mr Kerry, Tour of Duty.

"He was a ferry master, a drop-off guy, but it was dangerous as hell. Kerry carries a hat he was given by one CIA operative. In a part of his journals which I didn't use he writes about discussions with CIA guys he was dropping off."

So I guess somebody should ask Mr. Marolda what sources he used to come up with this list of SEAL transports:
"landing craft, SEAL team assault boats (STAB), 26-foot armored trimarans, PBRs, sampans, and helicopters"
and why PCF 'swift boats' aren't on it.
And also ask Mr. Brinkley to publish those segments of the journal that contradict this official history of the US Navy in Viet Nam.

BTW: This ad on that London Telegraph website is rather odd:
Help John Kerry Win
The Democrats need you to win
in November. Join the cause today.
www.dncpartners.com

Of course the DNC site stresses the help sought is from Americans. Because if foriegn nationals, like British subjects, were to click on the buttons and send money to Kerry's campaign, that would be illegal...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Lame Donkeys

Senator Edwards sought to rebut VP Cheney’s ridicule of Senator Kerry, who has promised a “more sensitive war on terror”:

"He took that word and distorted and tried to use it to argue John Kerry will not keep the American people safe," Edwards said. "He's talking about a man who still carries shrapnel in his body. He's talking about a man who spilled his blood for the United States of America."


So what was meant by the word “sensitive”, Senator? The President of the United States cannot defend America by spilling his blood, he must do it by creating a coherent plan of action and effectively arguing it at home and abroad.

When people complain of “Bushisms” I tell them I prefer a President who thinks sense and speaks in spoonerisms, than a President who spouts nonsense with perfect diction.

The Washington Post today has an op-ed by former Sen. Bob Kerrey. His piece is the most concise misstatement of Senator Kerry’s philosophy I’ve seen:

…But at the top of my list of reasons for believing Kerry can and will do this most difficult of jobs is that he has the requisite sympathy for the men and women who give up many of their rights as citizens in order to defend ours. My confidence also comes from knowing that he knows what it's like to have served under leaders who lacked the moral clarity or the political backbone to sustain an effort from beginning to end.

He also understands from personal experience and practice that strong and determined diplomacy can enable the United States to avoid having to send our sons and daughters into harm's way in the first place.

Evidence backs up my claim in each of these three areas. Kerry demonstrated time and again the sympathy I speak of by fighting for veterans' health and educational benefits. Can his opponents cite one instance in which he failed to put his political career on the line for those who have already served? …He knows how vital it is that we sustain whatever it is we begin, and that we support our troops all the way to the end.

He also knows that the troops count on their leader to be a visionary capable of planning for each and every possibility. No soldier, sailor, airman or Marine wants to follow someone who substitutes rosy scenarios for hard-headed calculation of risk. No one wants to follow someone who believes political jargon is more important than detailed planning and execution.

Almost every person in uniform will tell you that the best war is the one we deter because our enemies know we have the capability and will to strike back with relentless and deadly force. It is also the one we prevent because we used our diplomatic and economic muscle to reduce threats before they grew into the real thing.

Again, John Kerry has a tremendous amount of experience working with Republican and Democratic presidents to negotiate and prepare for the peaceful world most of us prefer. In Southeast and Southwest Asia, in the Middle East and in Latin America, Kerry has been involved in some of the most difficult and successful of our bipartisan foreign policy efforts. No one will have to remind him as president that partisan politics should be kept at the water's edge to respect and honor those who continue to serve us.


One instance? How about his testimony before the Senate in 1971, when this man of sympathy declared that the entire war in Vietnam was a brutal racist aggression carried out by ‘monsters’ against a people who merely wanted Communist tyranny?

Was voting against the $87 billion for the war in Iraq ‘supporting our troops until the very end’? Is floating trial balloons about pullout dates showing the moral clarity or political backbone to sustain whatever we begin? Is a promise of European troops and money—not augmenting a US commitment but explicitly to relieve us of our burdens—anything but a ‘rosy scenario’? What detailed plan has Senator Kerry proposed? What detailed plan can he propose if his entire scheme rests on the cooperation of third parties?

Sen. Kerrey knows full well that Senators review the completed diplomatic efforts of the professionals. They do not negotiate with anyone but the President, and they have no direct role in foreign policy. Everything else he says about Kerry could be put down to monumental ignorance, but this misstatement of the very job Sen. Kerrey performed is nothing but a lie. A damn dumb lie, at that.

And what is this nonsense about deterrence and avoiding war in the first place? We are at war right now, a war we are winning and must fight further to win. If I had to pick one word to define a “9/10 politician”, deterrence would be at the top of the list. And this from a 9/11 Commissioner? Pathetic.

Still I must feel a little bit of sympathy for Senator Kerrey. He must have written this op-ed a few days ago, before the Kerry campaign backed off the Christmas in Cambodia story. Yet the Washington Post went to press with this paragraph still in the piece:

Tellingly, the attacks on Kerry's war record have been orchestrated in large part by the same Texas publicity firm involved with notorious television advertisements meant to derail the last veteran of the Vietnam War who ran for president, John McCain. Kerry's service in Vietnam was extensively documented by the U.S. Navy, especially in connection with his awards, and has been reviewed numerous times by historians and news organizations.


It must be hard on a man, to no longer enjoy the privilege of a phone call from the Washington Post editorial board, urging a last minute rewrite to avoid looking like a complete ass. Then again, that would have meant scrapping the entire article.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Sad

Master of None has a link to Marine Corps Moms, with a short reminiscence by a Casualty Officer.

What leapt out at me was this paragraph:

When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, “All Marines share in your grief.” I had been instructed to say, “On behalf of a grateful nation.” I didn’t think the nation was grateful, so I didn’t say that.


It's especially sad to consider there are people in the US today who are still ungrateful, and are willing to say so publicly:
"1000th US death in Iraq looms for Bush."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

John Kerry's Honor Lies A'Moulderin' In The Grave

From Human Events Online:

But today, on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," Kerry Campaign Advisor Jeh Johnson had this to say to the show's co-host Brian Kilmeade:
JOHNSON: John Kerry has said on the record that he had a mistaken recollection earlier. He talked about a combat situation on Christmas Eve 1968 which at one point he said occurred in Cambodia. He has since corrected the recorded to say it was some place on a river near Cambodia and he is certain that at some point subsequent to that he was in Cambodia. My understanding is that he is not certain about that date.
KILMEADE: I think the term was he had a searing memory of spending Christmas - back in 1986 in the senate floor in Cambodia.
JOHNSON: I believe he has corrected the record to say it was some place near Cambodia he is not certain whether it was in Cambodia but he is certain there was some point subsequent to that that he was in Cambodia.


But what would you expect from a man who faked being Irish?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Information Revolution

The Cambodian Christmas debacle keeps growing. Hugh Hewitt, Powerline, and Captain Ed have a great amount of detail and links about the growing scandal.

This may be conservatives spinning their wheels. It may be that America learns that John Kerry is willing to look them in the eye and lie about his war record in order to gain their trust, and shrug it off.

What has been proven, I think, is that finally the American Right has found a combination of media effective against the liberal stranglehold on the print and broadcast outlets. Those are talk radio, and the Internet.

Talk radio came first, as Rush Limbaugh reinvented the newly deregulated format and proved that Americans will listen to hours of political talk. But conservative talk radio had its limitations; like all broadcast media it must be brief, and like anything driven by talent, second-hand accounts of "what Rush said today" pale in comparison to the actual performance. You had to actually commit to listening to Rush before you got his message.

But the Internet provides privately controlled political content of nearly unlimited length, beyond what any print or broadcast media could offer. Want to see the complete texts of Kerry's statements about Cambodia over the years? Publish the text or the links or both. Would a map be helpful? Then add one. And the readers can comment and argue about what they're reading.

The only real limitation to Internet publishing is the volume of sites. How to make your voice stand out? That's where radio complements the Internet, by publicizing websites. And by offering the listener a quick reference to a free source to check out the entire story, the radio host is able to have serial, short discussions about a topic over several days.

The Cambodian Christmas tale is a good example. The Swift Boat Vets put up an ad with extremely limited air time on television, but available 24/7 on their website.

When the DNC sent letters threatening TV stations with FCC complaints if they didn't pull the ad, the full text of the letter was available online. The full text of the Swift Vets' response was also published, and this contained the refutation of the Cambodian Christmas. None of these documents were published or broadcast in full. They were fully available online. Commentary by viewers led to a compendium of Kerry speeches, interviews and press reports regarding the Cambodian Christmas, and these were fully published online. Talk radio publicized these sites. The more viewers, the wider the web of collective memory and the fatter the file on Kerry's duplicity.

Until now, less than a week into the story, the buzz about the story--and about the total lack of coverage by the mainstream media--has forced the press and broadcast networks to take notice.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Von Kerry's Express

What happened:

A crowd of hundreds -- some estimated more than a thousand -- of
John Kerry supporters waited several hours Friday night on a train platform in Lawrence, hoping to hear a few words from the Democratic presidential nominee as he made his way across Kansas by train.

It didn't pan out.

...Kansas Democratic Party officials said the Kerry camp told them the
candidate's train would slow to a crawl at about 11:30 p.m. Friday when it
reached the Lawrence Amtrak station at 413 E. 7th.

The creeping train would give Kerry and running mate John Edwards "five to eight minutes" to address supporters, said Mark Simpson, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party.

But the train didn't stop, likely the result of Kerry's train leaving Kansas City, Mo., more than an hour behind schedule.

The train continued through the night to Lamar, Colo., where Kerry and
Edwards had a campaign stop slated for mid-morning Saturday.

All Friday evening, Kerry backers stood shoulder to shoulder on the train platform, talking about the candidate's own platform.

"Hope is on the way!" several people shouted, a double reference to one of Kerry's favorite campaign slogans and to the train carrying the candidate toward Lawrence.

But hours later, as Kerry's train rumbled away into the darkness, the crowd was blanketed with an awkward silence that eventually was broken by attempts at lightheartedness.

"Hope just left!" several people cracked.

How the national press covered it:

But Democratic supporters were left bewildered and confused as the
train chugged right on by them and kept going. The inadvertent snub was blamed on a late-night miscommunication.

...The Edwards family will return to Lawrence on Sunday for a 1 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) rally at a local park.

The Kerry campaign had not planned any official stops in Kansas, a solidly Republican state where President Bush won a 21-point victory in 2000. Saturday, the train journey continued through Colorado and New Mexico.

How Ms. Edwards explained it:

Missing Lawrence
After an unbelievable rally in Kansas City -- I mean 25,000 plus people who were really alive with energy, people as far as you could see, people who started gathering before 5 for a 10 PM rally -- we boarded the terrific train again. It was getting late by then, and we had no news of any crowds waiting for us as we sped in the darkness through Kansas. People onboard started falling asleep, dropping off slowly, pulling out pullmans, grabbing a pillow and blanket and curling up in a chair for our overnight on the train.

I was sitting up in the small lounge at the back of our car when I
heard it: the growing sounds of cheers and screams, and then I saw it --
speeding by too fast to count, on both sides of the track, was it a thousand or more people waiting for us in Lawrence, Kansas? They were cheering and waving and smiling. We raised our hands to wave, but the engineer hadn't slowed and by the time we had waved even a little to the signs and cheers and camera flashes, it was dark again. We sat frustrated -- but we knew we were not as frustrated as the people of Lawrence, Kansas, who stood until 1 AM for the train to pass through -- a whistle stop, a slow roll, whatever. And then "whatever" was just a glimpse, a half-wave.

So we awoke this morning, scrambling to find a way to show Lawrence the same affection it had shown us. Our promise to Lawrence: we are juggling right now so that we can visit and thank you in person for that great gift in the darkness.

Why the people of Lawrence showed up...

If the candidates didn’t feel committed to stop and speak in Lawrence, why did the campaign staff feel it could advertise a campaign stop?
If the candidates wanted to stop in Lawrence and speak, why didn’t they make sure the engineer knew that?
Or was it that the campaign advertised a stop, and the candidates weren’t aware of the hype, and enough people were lured out that they feel it necessary to skimp on some other appearance to make up for it?

Now for failing to slow down and wave, Edwards has lost a whole day off his schedule.

I mismanage my time too, but I don’t go around pretending I should be President…

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Welcome!

Welcome to new Bear Flag League members!

Doggy Diaries

OC Blog

Roscoe’s Blog

All up and running for some while, but new to the BFL!

UN: Some Terrorists Have a Point, Y'know

From Reuters:

A United Nations investigator has called on governments to stop whipping up exaggerated fears of terrorism among their populations, in an apparent reference to the United States and Britain.

And in implicit criticism of Russia and China, Greek Lawyer Kalliopi K. Koufa said in a report that the world community should be more alert to a growing trend to label as terrorists groups seeking to exercise the right of self-determination.

Fear of terrorism "out of proportion to its actual risk and generated by states themselves or other actors" can be exploited to make people accept "counter-terrorism measures that unduly curtail human rights and humanitarian law," the report declared on Thursday.

…But U.N. diplomats said it was clearly intended to cover such developments -- and could also be linked to the heavy security being enforced in Athens, under pressure from major powers, for this months's Olympic Games.

Although Koufa did not identify any offending governments, it was clear the major powers were the main target of her strictures, according to the diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity.

…"Fear of terrorism is heightened by repeated and often
exaggerated, if not unlikely, references to weapons of mass destruction potentially in the hands of terrorist groups or certain states, even though nearly all terrorist acts have been carried out by traditional methods," she wrote.

In responding to the problem, governments should ensure that
they were accurately reflecting "real risk....and (should) refrain from generating undue fear of terrorism," Koufa's report declared.

The U.N. investigator said the international community should be more attentive to the distinction between armed conflict and terrorism "with particular attention to conflicts to realise the right to self-determination and civil wars."

… U.N. diplomats said her phrasing left little doubt she was
thinking of Russia and its war against separatist forces in the rebel region of Chechnya, as well as China which has labelled as "terrorists" its own Moslem rebels in the north-west.

Blather. Terrorism is a tactic. Individuals who employ this tactic are terrorists. Organizations devoted to the use of terrorism are terrorist organizations.

The end goal of Chechens and Xinjiang terrorists may be territorial autonomy. Their tactics are separate from their goals, and in labeling them as terrorists we are condemning their tactics. When Chechen separatists captured a theater full of Russians and held them without food or water until the Russian military staged a rescue, that was terrorism. When Xinjiang separatists die alongside Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, they are not pursuing any goal but the defense of terrorists.

As to the vast majority of attacks being “conventional”, most attacks involve mortars or bombs. The vast majority of casualties however sprang from ramming hijacked airliners into buildings. Terrorists don’t stand on precedent.

Complaints about enhanced protection at the Olympics are especially ridiculous, since terrorists have hit the Games twice.

To all the multilateralists: this is why we didn’t go to the UN in September 2001.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Swift Boat Vets Run Gauntlet

Kerryspot has almost all the story, and links to the ad itself.

The letter written by DNC and Kerry/Edwards lawyers is here.

The Swift Boat Vets answer McCain is here.
I think it's too soon to say what effect the ad will have, if any, but I think Kerry made a big mistake, in not speaking directly about the issue before having lawyers try to muzzle the ads as libel.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Blood on the Water III

QandO has quotes from Sen. Kerry backing away from promises about deficit reduction.January 20th is the date of the inauguration, but it is irrelevant to the budget figures, which will be the same hypothetical projections going into the February budget battle. There should be no ambiguity justifying another 'I worked harder than I ever have in my life..." speech, and the Senator knows it.
Rush Limbaugh has links about Sen. Kerry's secret plans for Iraq and the economy. They are so delicate they won't survive the harsh glare of the election cycle media.
The bad news for Sen. Kerry is that these revelations are being met with open ridicule. Very bad news, to have George Stephanopolous compare your message to that of Richard Nixon. And worse, to respond with "I don't care what it looks like..."
Bush can't control everything at the convention, but I expect that contrary to the spin, he should enjoy a bounce, especially notable compared to Kerry's flatline.
But given this vapid posturing, I expect the debates to be truly decisive.