Interesting article on Iraq criticism

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Interesting article on Iraq criticism

Postby illman » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:02 pm

The Biteback Effect
Do we even have a word to describe the new criticism?
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Sometimes even the English language is without the right word to describe a commonplace occurrence. We don't, for example, have a term quite like the German schadenfreude: "Taking malicious delight in someone else's misfortune." The Arab world has no real word to denote constitutional democracy, and so uses our Anglicized form of the Greek dêmokratia.

Take the recent boomerang effect of those critics who critique the war, but in the process achieve the exact antithesis of what they intend. After the spring 2004 butchery of American contractors, we went into, and then withdrew from, Fallujah — apprehensive that global media scrutiny would portray us as storm troopers.

In fact, the enemy considered us too equivocating and claimed the retreat as a great victory. So until we retook the city in November, we fretted that the Fallujah encirclement was an example of our blunt-headedness, while our enemy equated it with softness.

Indeed, throughout this conflict the United States has been apprehensive that it was becoming too brutal in its effort even as the Islamic fascists were convinced that we were too weak to fight such a war.

The Greeks might offer us a term for such ironic turnabout; perhaps something like antiepistrophe — "a turning back against oneself" — since the self-appointed moralist usually ends up looking stupid when his own examples refute the very reasons he adduced them.

But in the interest of simplicity, I'll call it the "biteback" effect. Every time one hears a strident censor bring up a purported American sin, expect that he'll be bitten right back by proving the opposite of what he intended — and looking foolish in the bargain.

Examine a few recent examples of biteback.

We endlessly quarrel over the Patriot Act as an infringement of civil rights. "We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night," John Kerry intoned to Iowa voters during the 2004 presidential primaries. "So it is time to end the era of John Ashcroft. That starts with replacing the Patriot Act with a new law that protects our people and our liberties at the same time."

Yet few Democratic senators, including John Kerry, now seem to want to repeal it. But in terms of what either the British or Dutch are doing, the Patriot Act is pretty tame.

We are hardly arresting Americans for inflammatory speech, closing down madrassas, or stripping suspect naturalized Americans from the Middle East of their citizenship — even in a war where the only real danger to the homeland seems to come from Islamicists who are planning our destruction through cells so far undetected often due to our past laxity.

Our European friends used to equate the Patriot Act with over-the-top cowboyism; now in their brave new judicial landscape it is becoming passé. After the London bombings and the recent American apprehensions of terrorist suspects from New Jersey to Lodi, those who still demonize the Patriot Act prompt the opposite effect of what they intend; rather than safeguarding our liberties, they endanger them.

On the basis of an FBI agent's e-mail alleging loud rap music, cold room temperatures, and the rough handling of a Koran, former president Jimmy Carter and Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin advanced Guantanamo as a national scandal and proof of our amorality in this war.

"I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the USA," Pius Maximus Carter pontificated, adding that the detention center had "given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists." Sen.Durbin earlier had assured us of Guantanamo that, "You would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings."

But the more one learns about Guantanamo, after having it raised constantly by such self-righteous and anguished censors, the more it seems unlike any wartime detention center in recent memory — but in ways exactly opposite from the Stalag its detractors imply.

Rules of interrogation, Korans, prayer arrows pointed to Mecca, visits by U.S. congressmen, Middle Eastern food, inmates as voracious readers of Harry Potter, and the absence of a single inmate lost in captivity: All of that suggests humane treatment toward terrorists — often caught in combat, always out of uniform, and not subject to the Geneva Convention. Guantanamo seems radically different from any prison run by any other current wartime state, much less like anything in our own past when, for example, we summarily shot German agents not in German uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge.

Indeed as a general rule, the more hysterically Guantanamo is cited, the more it seems, after introspection, to be a sensible wartime jail under nearly impossible conditions.

The sexual humiliation at Abu Ghraib was reprehensible, but the reaction of its critics was equally so — as in Ted Kennedy's assertion that "Saddam's torture chamber reopened under new management.

Americans did not systematically kill or torture tens of thousands of innocents. Apprehended terrorists still prefer to be captured by American troops rather than by Iraqi militia and security forces, since it means a trip to a supervised Abu Ghraib — and air conditioning and regular meals where they will not be shot or tortured.

We bandy about Abu Ghraib as something out of the Inquisition, but for those on the frontline it means something far different from the ritual beheading, torture, and murder that characterize the enemy's way of doing business.

Every time Cindy Sheehan tries to adduce another writ against the current administration (a.k.a., "Bush crime family," "evil bastards in the administration," "f***ing hypocrites," "biggest terrorist in the world") — whether demanding a second private presidential meeting before so many other grieving families have had even one, or blaming Israel for the deaths of American soldiers — it has the opposite effect of what she intends. Under the sad logic of biteback, she reverses her own original position from the legitimate lament of a grieved mother trying to make sense out of the tragic loss of her brave son, to a deeply disturbed object of cynical partisan manipulation by the Michael Moore/Moveon.org Left.

So why do we see so much biteback these days?

In the age of utopianism we demand impossible standards of perfection. Then when they cannot be met, we conclude that we are not good at all, but the equivalent of a Pol Pot, Hitler, or Saddam himself — an elected American president who is a worse terrorist than Osama bin Laden.

And in a war with enemies like few other in our recent history, the contrast between rhetoric and reality is only accentuated: panties over the head of an Iraqi inmate, no head at all on an American prisoner; Korans given to the enemy terrorists in jail, Bibles outlawed for visitors to our friends the Saudis; our elected president becomes a member of the "Bush crime family" as we worry about proper barristers for Saddam Hussein's genuinely criminal family. As we fear that we have fallen short of the postmodern therapeutic age, Islamic fascists brag they are avatars of the Dark Ages.

Second, we don't believe that we are in a war anymore. Jimmy Carter thinks that something we do in Guantanamo galvanizes terrorists, as if the camp had been in existence since 1979, when under his watch this present quarter-century cycle of killing and terrorizing Americans with impunity in the Middle East began in earnest. Thus instead of joining in the effort to defeat Islamic fascists, the opposition and our pundits nitpick and moan, hoping for media attention and political points, convinced that none of their triangulation aids the enemy — since we aren't really in a war at all.

There is a third reason as well for biteback. The offenders are often old-line partisans like Sen. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, or Sen. Durbin, in addition to the more hysterical Left like Michael Moore or Moveon.org. For the most part, under our system of democratic majority rule, despite sizable support in the electorate, they are currently without real political power, lacking majorities in the House and Senate, without the presidency, behind in the state legislatures and governorships, and losing the Supreme Court.

Instead of advancing a comprehensive counter-agenda to the president's, too many on the Left turns to hysterics.

Yet the United States itself has not changed its character under Republican hands. Its government and people are as they were, thus ensuring the more the Left lashes out about losing the republic, the more their charges seem strident and extremist — bringing them shame as the additional wage to their irresponsibility.

Biteback occurs because the truth cannot be warped or distorted by its assailants: We are waging a moral war involving rules of engagement, the promotion of democracy, freedom from fascism, and billions of dollars in aid to others.

Once one is familiar with the nature of biteback, it hardly seems so bothersome since it only damages those who induce it.

There is also the biteback not just of hysterical slurs, but equally of counterfeit praise.

More pious praise for the United Nations? Thanks for conjuring up the memory of the Annan clan, Oil-for-Food, and the slaughter in Darfur. When Jimmy Carter talks of morality, I brace for even more amorality — like his contrived 2003 broadside against a sitting president in order to win a Nobel Prize from anti-American European judges. Dan Rather still lectures on journalistic standards — which reminds us of the protocols of forged memos.

Anticipate that when the full complexity of biteback is mastered, future allegations from Sens. Durbin and Kennedy that we are Saddam-like or Nazis will be taken as proof that, on the contrary, we are probably too naïve and too lenient — and that they still sound unhinged.

©2005 Victor Davis Hanson
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Postby kgb » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:12 pm

And in a war with enemies like few other in our recent history, the contrast between rhetoric and reality is only accentuated: panties over the head of an Iraqi inmate, no head at all on an American prisoner


Hmmm, perhaps he didn't see the naked dog pile and grinning Americans over dead Iraqi prisoner photos that I did.

Whatever, this article's shit anyways.
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Postby Dim » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:23 pm

True Patriots

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu" . . . "We had hoped that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would be clear to our fellow citizens. Public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm's way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies."


Editor & Publisher
American Legion Declares War on Protestors
August 24, 2005

Dear Mr. President:

The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''

The National Executive Committee of The American Legion, meeting in Indianapolis today, adopted Resolution 44, titled "The American Legion's Statement on Yugoslavia.'' This resolution was debated and adopted unanimously.

Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

* That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;

* Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;

* That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people; and

* That it be made clear that U.S. Forces will be commanded only by U.S. officers whom we acknowledge are superior military leaders.

It is the opinion of The American Legion, which I am sure is shared by the majority of Americans, that three of the above listed conditions have not been met in the current joint operation with NATO ("Operation Allied Force'').

In no case should America commit its Armed Forces in the absence of clearly defined objectives agreed upon by the U.S. Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.

Sincerely,
Harold L. "Butch'' Miller,
National Commander


American Legion
Letter to President Clinton
May 5, 1999
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Postby illman » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:39 pm

Whatever, this article's shit anyways



Hey, thanks for the insight. I never looked at it that way.
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Postby Kurt » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:42 pm

Interesting Article on Victor Hanson:

http://www.exile.ru/2005-July-28/victor_hanson.html

I've survived some terrible summers, but this is the worst. Somebody kill me. Fresno's been putting on a show, crunching a whole lifetime of stupid misery into a few hot months. And I mean hot. We've been setting records down here. Today it hit 107 degrees. Tomorrow we're due to reach 109. Luckily, Thursday should be a cool, breezy 103.

I had figured this summer would be a little easier to handle now that I've shucked off a layer of blubber (I slimmed down a bit to try to ease my kidney situation). But no, God just made it a few degrees hotter to make sure I stay as sweaty and miserable as ever, cooking in my own fat.

People here have been going crazy since it started heating up. The Fresno PD managed to get our fine city some international press with a new approach to fighting crime: cracking down on 11-year-olds. In case you didn't read about it, what happened was this 11-year-old girl threw a rock at some kids who were splattering her with water balloons, so the Fresno cops swooped down with three squad cars and a chopper. They wrestled her down, cuffed her and charged her with felony assault. She did a week in juvie isolation, with no access to even her parents, before they let her go.

Jailbait: Fresno's Most Wanted!

Naturally her lawyers yelled racism, because she's Mexican. I don't buy that. It's not racism, it's plain cowardice. That's the key to understanding what's happening in the world today: plain old cowardice. Somewhere along the line we lost all the brave people. Now we've just got a lot of phony blowhards. The cops who wrestled that little girl around were just like the cops you see on Reno 911, playing tough once they were sure the suspect couldn't fight back. I drive past gang corners every damn day, and I never see the Fresno PD giving those bastards any trouble-they're too scary. So they wait till it's a little girl who defended herself against a bunch of bullies, then they swarm her like a SWAT team.

We've got this Fresno intellectual who likes to strut the same way in the local paper. He's one of these snotty assholes with three names: Victor Davis Hanson. Oh, sorry: Doctor Victor David Hanson. He's got a Ph.D. and he teaches at Fresno State.

This fool passes himself off as a military historian, writing columns about Iraq and Afghanistan and everything else he feels like babbling about, but he doesn't have a clue about contemporary warfare. Every war nerd on the net knows more about what's happening in Iraq than he does. But that doesn't stop him. He teaches Classics, he's written a half dozen books on ancient warfare, and he never lets you forget that he's a professor and you're not.

In his last column for the Fresno Bee, he sneered at people who don't have Ph.D.'s for daring to have opinions about the war in Iraq: "What do a talented Richard Gere, Robert Redford and Madonna all have in common besides loudly blasting the current administration? They either dropped out of, or never started, college. Cher may think George Bush is 'stupid,' but she-not he-didn't finish high school."

Since I never even finished my AA degree, I took that kind of personally. I guess it's my fault for not getting into Yale on pure merit like Bush did. That column got me so furious I daydreamed about driving down Highway 99 to Hanson's farm and setting all his orchards and vineyards on fire. I kept thinking of what the Spartans said when one of their neighbors threatened them: "Your cicadas will chirp from the ground," meaning, "We'll burn your fucking olive orchards if you mouth off again."

Professor Hanson is one of these "back to the land" assholes who can afford to live on a farm because he's got tenure for life at Fresno State-they can't fire him for anything less than a major felony. It's classic welfare state socialism that funds his estate, but that doesn't stop him from moralizing about the benefits of free market solutions. So he writes these columns from his farm in Selma, a few miles down the road from Fresno, about the sanctity of private land and private enterprise and the life lessons of farming.

He doesn't even suspect what a total hypocrite he is. According to his official online bio, Hanson graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1975. I don't know if you non-Californians understand what that means. UC Santa Cruz is the official sex-and-drugs campus of the whole UC system. It's so hippie-cool and mellow it doesn't even give grades, which are just too bourgeois. You just get little notes from your teachers. The kids who go there are rich brats who don't have to worry about getting a job-because graduating from there is like telling your future employers you were stoned for four straight years.

And Hanson graduated from there in 1975. I can only dream about what it must've been like to be a student at Santa Cruz back then, at the climax of the hippie days. I seriously doubt if anybody on that campus was un-stoned from enrollment to graduation, or un-laid for more than a week.

So here's a question for you, Professor Hanson, Mister Morality: how many coeds did you screw when you were at UC Santa Cruz? And how many drugs did you take?

But you know, I could take all Hanson's hypocritical pompous bullshit if he only knew something about contemporary warfare. He doesn't. All he knows is that he's in favor of Gulf War II, and to defend that mess he's willing to slander Bush Sr's magnificent victory in Gulf War I. This is insane, really insane-taking America's only outright strategic victory since 1945, our most glorious campaign since Inchon, and turning it into a defeat just so you can make Bush Jr's fiasco look a little better. Here's Hanson's treasonous account of Gulf War I:

"War I (January 17 to March 3, 1991)

"The First Iraqi War : started over Saddam Hussein's August 2, 1990, invasion of Kuwait. His occupation precipitated the American-led coalition's efforts to reclaim Kuwait through land and air attacks. Saddam's complete capitulation was seen as satisfying the war's professed claim of restoring the sovereignty of Kuwait.

"But despite retreating from Kuwait and suffering terrible damage to his armed forces, Saddam, like the Germans in 1918, claimed that his armies had been repelled while on the offensive. So he passed off a setback as a draw against the world's superpower - and thus a win by virtue of his own survival against overwhelming odds.

"In any case, we called off our forces before the destruction of the Republican Guard. We also refused to go to Baghdad; we let rebellious Shiites and Kurds be tragically butchered; and we failed to enforce all the surrender agreements. Apparently the U.S. wished to bow to the U.N. mandates only to expel Saddam from Kuwait, or was worried about our Sunni partners who wanted a lid on Kurdish tribalism and Shiite fervor inside Iraq."

There are so many evil lies here, I don't know where to start. First there's the phony comparison to Germany after WW I. There's no comparison at all. Saddam's Kuwait invasion wasn't a nationalist war like WW I, and no matter what Saddam said, every dog in the street in Baghdad knew perfectly well that the Iraqi army had been outclassed and savaged. Moreover, the Germans fought for four years and nearly won, whereas Saddam got his ass completely whipped in a three-day land war. Fact is, we did it right in Gulf War I. We neutered Saddam, destroyed his ability to threaten anybody, and left him in charge of his hellhole country. It was American diplomacy combined with military power at its finest. And this pig tries to say it was a defeat!

Hanson goes on to say that we "refused to go to Baghdad" because we wanted to please the UN. Bullshit. We used the UN to build a huge alliance (something Bush's idiotic son didn't think was necessary), and we stayed out of Baghdad because Powell and Bush Sr. knew what would happen if we tried to occupy Iraqi cities. We're going through the consequences of that mistake right now; how can anybody pretend not to understand, by now, why it was a bad idea, and why Bush Sr. was right the first time?

What's amazing is that Hanson is actually trying to blame Bush Sr. for not jumping off the cliff first, before his idiotic son did. Like I said, it's insane-until you realize it's being done just to make Junior's disaster look good, which Hanson needs to do because he's been shilling for Bush Jr.'s war from day one. Hanson isn't just insane. He's one sleazy dude.

He proves his sleaze when he moves on to Gulf War II:

"War IV. (April 2003 to present)

"The Fourth Iraqi War ("The Insurrection," "The Occupation") began immediately after the end of the conventional fighting and continues today. It was framed by the fact that the United States would not simply leave after toppling Saddam yet had never really gone into the Sunni Triangle in force during the three-week victory. War IV was waged by a loose alliance of Wahhabi fundamentalists, foreign jihadists, and former Baathists against the American efforts to fashion an indigenous Iraqi democratic government."

Here again, there's so many lies it's hard to know where to start. Like, what the hell does Hanson mean by saying we never attacked the Sunni Triangle? As military history, that's pure nonsense. The only reason he says it is because he has to explain to himself how come the insurgency was able to come on so strong after we kicked ass in the conventional war. And see, Hanson can't admit to himself that there was a difference in the kind of war being waged, a transition from conventional to urban-guerrilla warfare. If he once admitted that we're dealing with an urban guerrilla war now, he'd have to face the historical fact that modern armies still don't have an effective counter for that mode of warfare.

Victor Hanson: American Traitor disguised as a fit, likeable "doctor" of Classics

And all that ancient Greek stuff won't help Hanson deal with urban guerrilla war, because there was nothing like it in the ancient world. In those days conquerors wiped out cities the second they showed any sign of uppity behavior. Urban guerrilla wars were pretty quick and pretty unsuccessful: rise up against the occupier, and literally every man, woman and child gets slaughtered, and the offending city covered in salt. End of story.

One of my favorite examples of Roman "pacification" policy was what happened to the Helvetii, a Celtic tribe that used to live where Switzerland is now. Europe was a feisty, tricky place in those days, like Africa is now. Tribes were always on the move.

The Helvetii decided they'd make a move on Northeastern Gaul, grabbing the land and wiping out the Roman-vassal tribes occupying the land. The entire Helvetii tribe numbered about 370,000, and from that they could field about 110,000 fighting men-every male who could hold a spear. They smashed into the settled Gaul tribes easily, grabbed a swathe of territory and prepared to keep advancing until they had enough good land to support the whole tribe.

What the Helvetii hadn't factored into their big move was the Romans. Julius Caesar got a message from his Gaul vassals pleading for help against the Helvetii. At this point he had six legions under him in Gaul, almost 300,000 men. But he wanted more, because he had something a little more drastic in mind than just defeating the Helvetii. He was out to exterminate them. So he called up another two legions, which meant he had 400,000 trained soldiers against 110,000 part-time tribal warriors.

It was no contest. The Romans surrounded the Helvetii and started stabbing their way through the mass of warriors, then the civilians. As they advanced, the legions would herd a few saleable-looking women and children away from the killing. They were sent to holding pens in the rear to be sold as slaves. The main body of Roman soldiers kept working through the mass of Helvetii, stabbing and stabbing. Roman soldiers were taught to use the short sword-"gladius," which is where "gladiator" comes from-to stab, not slash. Stabbing made a deeper wound, more likely to tear up a guy's guts and give him a fatal infection. The stab was also quicker than the big dramatic downward smash those hammy heavy-metal barbarians were addicted to.

At the end of the battle, they had slaughtered 220,000 men, women and children-60% of the whole tribe. Must have been exhausting too. Imagine the sheer hard work it took to kill that many screaming, scrambling people with the Roman short sword, not much bigger than a Bowie knife.

We could do it, way more easily than the Romans. We'd burn only as many calories as it takes to press a button. If we had the will, we could wipe out the whole population of the Sunni Triangle in a few days. If we used neutron bombs, we could do it without even messing up the area too badly. It would sure stop the insurgency.

Trouble is, that kind of genocide just isn't popular these days, and nobody, not even Professor Hanson, is ready to argue for it. It's hard to argue you want to bring democracy to the Sunnis by making them extinct. And what Hanson and morons like him won't admit is that short of genocide, there is no military solution to urban guerrilla warfare.

So Hanson cheats like a ninth grader, trying to avoid facing the urban-guerrilla problem. He makes fake lists like this one: "From the various insurgencies of the Peloponnesian War to the British victory over Communist guerrillas in Malaya, there remain constants across 2,500 years of time and space that presage victory or defeat."

Oh, like we're supposed to believe he chose that Malaya example just by chance, huh? It so happens that the Malayan insurgency of the 1950s is the ONLY guerrilla war that was won by the occupying army, in this case the Brits, and that's why Bush's spinners like to cite It. You know why the Brits "succeeded"? It's real simple: the insurgents were all ethnic Chinese, and the Malays hated their guts. They were a small, easily identified ethnic minority. The Malays never needed much of an excuse to start chopping up Chinese people, and when the Brits gave them license to kill they went at it full time. Then the Brits up and left.

It was a relatively small affair: over 12 years, some 7,000 MRLA guerrillas were killed. Just to give you a real comparison, one American general recently said that in the last year alone, we've killed or captured 50,000 Iraqi insurgents, yet, this same general admitted that the insurgency is only gaining strength.

If Hanson thinks we can chop up millions of heavily armed, aggressive Sunni Iraqis the way the Brits mopped up a few thousand Red Chinese in Malaysia, he's insane. And maybe he is-all those years of the state subsidizing his phony "farm" and students sucking up to him for a good grade have driven him into a psychotic delusional state.

But I don't really think he's insane-just a traitor, a liar willing to keep shoving American troops and money into a meatgrinder just so he doesn't have to admit he was wrong. Sooner or later we're going to have to face it: these NeoCons don't care about America any more than Stalin cared about Russia. They're not just wrong. They're traitors.
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Postby illman » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:51 pm

Click on the link provided by Kurt, and look at the picture of the "author."


It amazes me that the left criticizes the right when they say the anti-war crowd helps the insurgency. Now, the left is calling the neocons "traitors" for their beliefs.

Want to read about Hanson ? Check this out

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... _n13503299
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Postby kgb » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:57 pm

illman wrote:
Whatever, this article's shit anyways



Hey, thanks for the insight. I never looked at it that way.


I bet you'd take a C&P from The Nation just as seriously.

In the future, post something that at least pretends to invoke critical thinking skills. My time is valuable and I don't want it wasted on this crap.

I'll send you a bill the next time it happens, along with my attorney.
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Postby Kurt » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:57 pm

What does the picture have to do with the author?

And he is not a leftist. Neither am I.
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Postby el3so » Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:30 am

illman wrote:Click on the link provided by Kurt, and look at the picture of the "author."
ok.
Now what?
This town's leadership doesn't understand that we can compromise with these savage, merciless bisexual rapist-killers.
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Postby Billy D » Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:17 am

Dim wrote:True Patriots

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu" . . . "We had hoped that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would be clear to our fellow citizens. Public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm's way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies."


Editor & Publisher
American Legion Declares War on Protestors
August 24, 2005

Dear Mr. President:

The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''

The National Executive Committee of The American Legion, meeting in Indianapolis today, adopted Resolution 44, titled "The American Legion's Statement on Yugoslavia.'' This resolution was debated and adopted unanimously.

Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

* That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;

* Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;

* That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people; and

* That it be made clear that U.S. Forces will be commanded only by U.S. officers whom we acknowledge are superior military leaders.

It is the opinion of The American Legion, which I am sure is shared by the majority of Americans, that three of the above listed conditions have not been met in the current joint operation with NATO ("Operation Allied Force'').

In no case should America commit its Armed Forces in the absence of clearly defined objectives agreed upon by the U.S. Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.

Sincerely,
Harold L. "Butch'' Miller,
National Commander


American Legion
Letter to President Clinton
May 5, 1999


Very interesting contrast. Usually the generation the American Legion primarily draws from wouldn't speak out against a President in war time, maybe they didn't consider the Yugoslavia dealy to be a real war... or maybe they hate Clinton, you make the call.
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