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June 28, 2005

Comments

Good grief. Edward, that is probably the most passionately hopeful and the most pointless post I've ever seen you make. (That's praise, I think, on the whole, if kind of despairing praise.)

Sure, Bush should start telling the truth - not just to the armed forces, but to the rest of the country - but you know he won't. He never has: why would he start?

I'm reminded, reading your post, of Vera Brittain's account of serving in a field hospital in France in 1918, when Field Marshall Haig's General Order to the troops on the Western Front was issued: April 11th, 1918. She wrote that while many have criticised Haig's conduct of the war, and dispraised this general order as meaningless, she was there, and she knew that the morale of those working in the hospital, and the troops on the line, was lifted perceptibly in the days and weeks following.

The full text of the order can be found here, but here's a sample:

There is no other course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause each one of us must fight on to the end. The safety of our homes and the Freedom of mankind alike depend upon the conduct of each one of us at this critical moment.

Here's the thing: the First World War was a war that was begun for no very good reason, continued for no very good reason, and conducted with awesome waste of life.

But Haig meant what he said.

Edward ... "that we haven't abandoned them."

Ah but you have. By enabling the media to hammer relentlessly against the war effort and partner with them to have your regime reimpowered you've aided and abetted the formulation of public opinion (according to the structure of many poll questions). The President may have made a mistake in assuming the elite special interests of the left would forsake their selfish interests, interests which maintain their specific ring of power and funding, to perpetuate the common cause of the attacks of 9/11. You have failed, Edward, and those bedfellows joining you to properly serve the public, and certainly to effectively support our troops. The President will renew his effort to make the facts known to America and somehow allow the truth to filter through.

blogbudsman...re-read the post. It's not me or the media that's driving the West Point alumni out of the Army. That's a cheap, and ultimately useless, shot.

Sure, Bush should start telling the truth - not just to the armed forces, but to the rest of the country - but you know he won't. He never has: why would he start?

Because he's breaking the military now. More is at stake now. At a certain point he must stop being a Republican tool and be the freakin' President of the country.

By enabling the media to hammer relentlessly against the war effort and partner with them to have your regime reimpowered you've aided and abetted the formulation of public opinion (according to the structure of many poll questions). [Emph mine]

What regime, exactly?

The President may have made a mistake in assuming the elite special interests of the left would forsake their selfish interests, interests which maintain their specific ring of power and funding, to perpetuate the common cause of the attacks of 9/11.

Why, I do believe you've just accused the left of being terrorists. How thoughtful of you.

Blogbudsman:

The President may have made a mistake in assuming the elite special interests of the left would forsake their selfish interests to perpetuate the common cause of the attacks of 9/11.

The President forsoke those 'common interests' when he forced thro the invasion and occupation of Iraq on the back of 9/11. That's the root cause of the almost complete disconect now apparent in the polls, not the fawning media, not the ineffectual democratic opposition, but the President's own hubris.

Blogbuds:

By enabling the media to hammer relentlessly against the war effort

How did Edward do this? Give examples, of the media "hammering relentlessly" and explain how Edward enabled them.

and partner with them to have your regime reimpowered

Edward has a regime? Edward, you never told me you had a regime! You should share!

you've aided and abetted the formulation of public opinion

More so than the first-hand reports of troops returning from Iraq? How come?

The President may have made a mistake in assuming the elite special interests of the left would forsake their selfish interests

Which selfish interests are you referring to? (As I recall, the President's recommendation to the US public on how to support the WoT was... to go shopping. Was this an example of an unselfish interest, in your view?)

interests which maintain their specific ring of power and funding, to perpetuate the common cause of the attacks of 9/11

Edward has a specific ring of power and funding? Is this a magic ring? Should we start a quest to drop it into Mount Doom?

You have failed, Edward, and those bedfellows joining you to properly serve the public, and certainly to effectively support our troops.

Who has failed to "effectively support our troops" - the administration who have cut veteran's benefits and army pay and failed to provide the necessary equipment? Or this mysterious regime of "elite special interests" who have, apparently, got the media to "hammer relentlessly against the war effort"? (Examples, please.)

The President will renew his effort to make the facts known to America and somehow allow the truth to filter through.

Somehow. So far, Bush has consistently lied about the reasons for invading Iraq and the goals to be accomplished by occupying it. I agree with Edward that it would be better if he told the truth - but again, I doubt that's ever going to happen.

One direct response from a soldier about Bush's election:

When you vote for a man who endorses the use of torture on captives, then you endorse the use of torture. Bush's policies have exposed everyone serving in the military to horrors, and more than that they have shamed us as a democracy before other democracies. cite

Wow. I think that has to be the single most offensive, broadly insulting, and reality-challenge comment I've yet to see from blogbudsman. And that's saying something.

There truly is no penetrating the filter through which people like him view the world.

Edward has a regime? Edward, you never told me you had a regime! You should share!

It's in its infancy. Fledgling, if you will. Just two of us at the moment, but we're optimistic and ambitious, so watch out!

I know blogbudsman hurled out a juicy chunk of red meat here, but let's not take the bait folks, OK? His reaction to the post was not unexpected (although disappointing). The point is, again, the Army's officer's are not citing the media or the left's actions as their reasons for leaving.

Edward: At a certain point he must stop being a Republican tool and be the freakin' President of the country.

Must he? Why? (I mean, I can see why he should - but he should have, years ago.)

It's in its infancy. Fledgling, if you will. Just two of us at the moment, but we're optimistic and ambitious, so watch out!

I recommend this website to your attention. No regime should ignore its advice!

Blogbudsman,

On September 11, 2001, and during both the months of September and October of that year, President Bush had over 80% of the nation - 82% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats, and 79% of Independents - supporting war on those who'd attacked us. We sat and stood with bated breath, waiting for the leader of our nation to lead - to determine what sacrifices were needed and to call upon we the people to make those sacrifices. Do you recall what Our Leader told us to do - what we could best do to empower our nation's defense? I do.

Shop. Buy, spend money, and get us over the stagnant economic hump. Carry on business as usual - no sacrifice would be necessary.

There was no engagement of the national will. There was no seizure of the explosion of patriotism, no asking that we give of ourselves for our nation's sake. No, there was no such call.

And when the President determined that there was need to go to Iraq to continue to prosecute the war, there was still no call to action. No engagement, no call for sacrifice, but merely explanations of why this was necessary in the context of the war.

Now there was argument then that we had more than enough military strength to wipe away this troublesome nuisance - that our high-tech toys and extraordinarily competent military and overwhelming economic power would swiftly overwhelm our foes. But even had that been true, the President failed in his duty when he failed to engage the national will. By failing to engage it, he ensured that the inevitable prices the soldiers paid happened to "them", not to "us". By failing to engage the national will, he ensured there was no reserve to call on in the event the plan didn't survive contact with the enemy. By failing to engage the will of the people, he failed to lead us in war.

I think he could turn it around tonight, even if he failed to take blame for any of his other mistakes, if he were to call on the American People to pay the price of war - to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the nation in this difficult time. But I don't think he will. He'll say that it's hard work, but we're on track. That it'll take a bit of effort, but nothing's really wrong - that we just need to stay the course.

He'll squander his political capital - that magnificent 80% approval from EVERYONE in regard to war against our enemies - one more time. The president, Blogbudsman, not the media, failed to lead us. Blaming the messenger will not eliminate that fact.

Edward,

"I know blogbudsman hurled out a juicy chunk of red meat here, but let's not take the bait folks, OK?"

Why? If his codswallop is not responded to (as was done very well already), do you think he and other readers are more or less likely to believe it? I don't think there's any point to piling on, but pointing out both the facts and the implication of treason is necessary.

good points Dantheman. But I agree that piling on is pointless too.

By enabling the media to hammer relentlessly against the war effort and partner with them to have your regime reimpowered you've aided and abetted the formulation of public opinion

Clap, children! Clap!

Truscott--Jefferson's great-great-great-grandson --is a fascinating man, to me. A little googling will demonstrate that he's not greatly loved by many on the right, however. As blogbudsman demonstrates, the Dolchstoß crowd will probably choose to believe the opposite of whatever Truscott says.

Piling on? I don't know, its kind of like Audubon Day, in which you try to identify as many species as trolls as possible in 24 hours.

the sky is blue. what truth are you after?

bush should 'fess up about who misled him into misleading us if he wants to avoid taking the blame in the end, but now's the time for an exit strategy. the people who say we "shouldn't talk about that" are the same ones who didn't want to talk about aluminum tubes, forged documents, and drunks name curveball.

it's absolutely in america's interest to talk about how to get out of iraq without leaving the new government to be slaughtered. this is what i want in dubya's speech, because i'm sick to death of platitudes.

Good post Edward. This guy pretty much says the same. If anyone is betraying or not supporting the troops, it's Bush by denying the reality of the situation.

http://cunningrealist.blogspot.com/2005/06/language-creep_27.html

Edward: great post.

Blogbudsman: do you actually believe what you wrote? (I'm serious.)

Edward--

I agree that piling on is pointless, too. Sometimes what looks like piling on is just the fact that while A is writing a scathing response, B and C are writing theirs, too, and then they all get posted at about the same time before they can read each others' posts. None of the three meant to pile on, it just came out that way.

But my real question is: can I join your regime?

But my real question is: can I join your regime? ,/i>

Sure, we're looking for someone who can parody as well as you do. But we're shy a good jet mechanic as well...any skill set there we should consider? ;-)

I wanna join too! Surely you need an ethicist...

Well, gee, chief--it just happens that when I was a kid I used to hang out down at Speedy's garage and work on jet engines all day long, while swapping comical stories with a small cast of colorful characters! Matter of fact, I cut my teeth on turbojet after-burners!

Okay, not so much. But I did spend four years working as a locksmith, and you should always change the locks after you change regimes.

I wanna join too! Surely you need an ethicist...

Totally without question. You got the job!

But I did spend four years working as a locksmith, and you should always change the locks after you change regimes.

Hmmm...another little detail we hadn't anticipated. This regime change stuff is trickier than flying jets to aircraft carriers and posing before banners, it seems.

Shouldn't your first priority be a double? Maybe you could get Richard Dreyfuss.

This regime change stuff is trickier than flying jets to aircraft carriers and posing before banners, it seems.

No, no, Noooo! Never admit that it is trickier than it seems. 'hard work', yes, 'we are going to have setbacks', yes, 'regime change is messy', alright, but acknowledging that you might have been tricked is strictly verboten!

Shouldn't your first priority be a double? Maybe you could get Richard Dreyfuss.

You think I look like Richard Dreyfuss?

Now I'm really depressed.

You must know that I dove into the gauntlet fully expecting the brickbats. As the famous philosopher P.I. Sailor say, it's all I can stand and I can't stand no more! Let me munch on some spinach and scratch back.

Edward, (sticks and stones) - If the Military Schools are thinning out their peace time Congressional appointed students who didn't figure wartime duty as a consequence, then so be it.

And Anarch - you may not be a terrorist. More liberals are self insulted these days by twisting the words those who disagree with them into the most extreme interpretation of a perceived accusation. If aid and abet implies intention, I'll back off somewhat. If aiding the enemy inadvertently is a result of working against our administration, well the shoe fits.

Postit - we obviously disagree.

Jes - you are delightfully wrong. But persistent.

No Catsy, no filter at all.

Edward again - yes you have a regime. Oh yes.

And Kirk, I am blaming the messenger. That's the whole point. It's the messenger spreads the Gospel. In this case the Gospel is anti-war and anti-Republican, pick your order.

Dantheman - codswallop?

dmbeaster - troll? I truly don't think I fit the definition. But, I am what I think you think I am.

hilzoy - Yes! Passionately.

Tad and Edward - appreciate the piling on concern, 'tis a credit to this blog, but passion breeds passion - my grapefruit to the face deserves it. (Sorry Bogey - you were a Stevenson man, weren't you?)

Awww - enough. Looks like the party's getting started up the blog. I'll peek back, but will probably join in above later this evening. It's been a slice...


Blogbuds: you are delightfully wrong. But persistent.

Thank you. I'd say the same about you. Almost. You are profoundly wrong, but I do admire your willingness to accept the brickbats. I do not admire your unwillingness to engage in discussion.

If the Military Schools are thinning out their peace time Congressional appointed students who didn't figure wartime duty as a consequence, then so be it.

Huh? The problem with recruitment is all over - all services, all levels. Whatever you mean by "peace time Congressional appointed students".

who didn't figure wartime duty as a consequence

The US hadn't gotten involved in a land war on the scale of Iraq since 1975. Given this was a known factor, it seems obvious to me that the administration should have provided support for the military who were about to be stressed beyond anything they had come to expect.

From dictionary.com

"cods·wal·lop ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kdzwlp)
n. Chiefly British Slang
Nonsense; rubbish.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Origin unknown.]"

And BTW, after reading "More liberals are self insulted these days by twisting the words those who disagree with them into the most extreme interpretation of a perceived accusation.", my irony meter offered its letter of resignation. It wants to work for Senator Durbin and AI now.

my grapefruit to the face deserves it. (Sorry Bogey - you were a Stevenson man, weren't you?

grapefruit>Cagney

Bogey-Stevenson link
Bogart and Bacall also teamed up with John Huston offscreen, along with several other actors, on a flight to Washington, D.C., to protest the methods of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was investigating Communist influences in Hollywood. Bogart supported several other Democratic political causes and even campaigned for Adlai Stevenson during his unsuccessful presidential bid in 1952.

Surprisingly, it's not noted in the Wikipedia, but I did find this lovely comment from Huston's eulogy

In each of the fountains at Versailles there is a pike which keeps all the carp active; otherwise they would grow overfat and die. Bogie took rare delight in performing a similar duty in the fountains of Hollywood. Yet his victims seldom bore him any malice, and when they did, not for long. His shafts were fashioned only to stick into the outer layer of complacency, and not to penetrate through to the regions of the spirit where real injuries are done.

Thanks lj, I stand corrected. The Huston comment is truly a good one. The flip side I guess would be the proverbial minnow in a turtle tank. Might describe why we have a tendency to move the goal posts from time to time. Might not.

And Dantheman, I actually agree with you to a point - although comparisons to Hitler and Nazi (et al) carry with them their own set of rules. So you say there is no thread of truth (rubbish) that a political defence mechanism is to trump up the accusation to detract from the original argument. So if my actions just also happen to give aid and comfort to the enemy, then you addressing the issue is the same as calling me a terrorist or charging me with treason?

blogbudsman,

Sorry, but I cannot follow what you are saying. Can you rephrase it?

Dan,I think he is saying that he would very much like to call you a terrorist-loving commie but his better nature leads him to seek at least one degree of separation from that accusation. So he will instead pretend that it has somewhere, somehow been established as fact that criticizing Bush for his war-time blunders gives aid and comfort to the enemy. He can then note your treachery in a more-sorrow-than-anger kind of way, and wonder why you take offense at such a simple statement of fact. A very self-insulating approach.

bbm: And Anarch - you may not be a terrorist.

Well gee, thanks for the vote of confidence.

More liberals are self insulted these days by twisting the words those who disagree with them into the most extreme interpretation of a perceived accusation.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

To be blunt: you were the one who just called "the left" traitors, remember? Taking offense at that isn't "self-insulted", it's being legitimately insulted by an illegitimate insult. [Provided we know who you mean by "the left", which isn't at all obvious.] Your responses have been... unenlightening at best; you're demagoguing with the best of the them, but it makes for crappy conversation.

If aid and abet implies intention, I'll back off somewhat. If aiding the enemy inadvertently is a result of working against our administration, well the shoe fits.

What if the Administration inadvertently aids the enemy, as they have in fact done? Are you prepared to denounce them as traitors and terrorists too? If not, why not?

And for that matter: if telling the truth and facing reality is what passes for "aiding the enemy inadvertently" in your book, then we are screwed. Period. We might as well pack up our bags and whimper under the covers; any polity so hideously delicate doesn't deserve to survive, and won't.

Anarch, I couldn't say you are not a traitor, that would be mind reading and violates posting rules. Fact, I don't believe critizing the government is traitorous. Fact, I believe critizing the government can provide the enemy hope that if they can hold out long enough, critics will sway public opinion and create an opportunity for the tide to turn. Fact, if you are determinedly anti-war and believe our government is wrong, risking those consequences is acceptible. Fact, if your beliefs are primarily political and you merely want your candidate or political party in power, you may decide to tone back and assist in that manner to support the success of our mission. Fact, I fully expect the outcome of this point in our history to ultimately determine the rate of the decline and the timing of the final demise of our country's role as the leader of the free world.

Fact, I fully expect the outcome of this point in our history to ultimately determine the rate of the decline and the timing of the final demise of our country's role as the leader of the free world.

Then why on earth do you support Bush's actions? He's bankrupting the nation at precisely the same time China is rising to become the world's #1 economic power.

"Fact, if you are determinedly anti-war and believe our government is wrong, risking those consequences is acceptible. Fact, if your beliefs are primarily political and you merely want your candidate or political party in power, you may decide to tone back and assist in that manner to support the success of our mission."

I think there's a significant segment of thought excluded by these statements. What if you are not anti-war but believe the war is being handled in an amazingly incompetent manner. Voicing those concerns should certainly be legitimate, as one is hoping it will lead to a change.

Fact, I don't believe critizing the government is traitorous. Fact, I believe critizing the government can provide the enemy hope that if they can hold out long enough, critics will sway public opinion and create an opportunity for the tide to turn.

If I were an Iraqi - a non-insurgent, non-resistor, just keep my head down and hope to stay alive, I would profoundly hope that critics of the government can sway the US government away from its current strategies and into a more successful course - since it is evident to Iraqis living in the Iraq that the US invasion/occupation has created, that the current strategies are not working.

If I were a US soldier in Iraq, I would be profoundly appreciative of all those people publicly criticizing the Bush administration's pro-torture policies, since anything else would not merely be disgraceful: it would be actively dangerous to Americans in Iraq.

Your twin comments do not take any account of how things may appear to people actually in the country the US is at war in.

Fact, if you are determinedly anti-war and believe our government is wrong, risking those consequences is acceptible.

Fact: if you are determinedly pro-Bush administration and pro-war and not in Iraq, risking the consequences of the Bush administration being allowed to wreak merry hell in Iraq may seem trivial. But they're not.

As others have observed, during a war, if you believe the government is wrong, it's ten times your duty to criticize it. After all, it's more than ten times as important that things shall go right. You don't seem to take any allowance for mistakes the Bush administration has made needing public criticism. It's not as if the mistakes the Bush administration has made can be concealed from the enemy: all that could be concealed is whether the people of the US support Bush either because of, or in spite of, the disastrous mistakes he's made.

Fact, if your beliefs are primarily political and you merely want your candidate or political party in power, you may decide to tone back and assist in that manner to support the success of our mission

Fact, if you want to support the success of the mission, the last thing you should do is close your mind and pretend the mistakes that may bring the mission to a disastrous end haven't happened.

Fact, I fully expect the outcome of this point in our history to ultimately determine the rate of the decline and the timing of the final demise of our country's role as the leader of the free world.

Then why aren't you supporting the success of the mission, the successful outcome of this point in history, by vociferously and publicly criticizing the disastrous mistakes made by Bush? You act as if, so long as no one talks about them, they won't have happened. Perhaps to you they won't. But the people Bush most needs to convince that the mission can still succeed - the people of Iraq and the US armed forces in Iraq - know that Bush has made disastrous mistakes. Why are you acting as if the success of the mission matters less to you than that President Bush shall not be criticized?

Jes, you are not an Iraqi and not a U.S. soldier, you are Jes, and all your thoughts that are based on who you are. Now if I were and Iraqi or a U.S. soldier...

And being vociferous and public may not be the right tactic, unless you have ulterior motives beyond working toward the success of our government.

Which joins us in to Dantheman's post. Stating positions and opinions and alternatives is one thing. Using those same disagreements to destroy a political opponent is another. And that can be very American. Just don't slap lipstick on it and disguise it as something else. (And Dan, I see what you mean that I may not have covered all the options. Thanks.)

Blogbuds: And being vociferous and public may not be the right tactic, unless you have ulterior motives beyond working toward the success of our government.

Ah, well, that's rather a different thing, isn't it? You want "our government" - the Bush administration - to succeed: and by "success" I presume you mean the President not being impeached, and the Republican candidate winning the next Presidential election, since Bush has already succeeded in winning a second term.

For that, I agree, vociferous and public criticism of the Bush administration is not required - indeed, it must be squelched.

But if you want the US to succeed in Iraq, then vociferous and public criticism of the disastrous mistakes the Bush administration had made is a basic requirement. Evidently, however, this is not "the mission" you put first.

Stating positions and opinions and alternatives is one thing. Using those same disagreements to destroy a political opponent is another. And that can be very American.

Very Karl Rove, in fact, most recently.

Edward writes to LJ:

Shouldn't your first priority be a double? Maybe you could get Richard Dreyfuss.

You think I look like Richard Dreyfuss?

Now I'm really depressed.

No, Richard Dreyfuss is whom I've heard all my life that I look like (with only middling accuracy, but there are worse choices). LJ, I suspect, was referring to Moon">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095654/&e=10342">Moon Over Parador, which is mildly amusing, although owing a debt to such forerunners in the Ruler's Double genre such as Heinlein's Double Star and Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda.

Edward writes to LJ:

Shouldn't your first priority be a double? Maybe you could get Richard Dreyfuss.

You think I look like Richard Dreyfuss?

Now I'm really depressed.

No, Richard Dreyfuss is whom I've heard all my life that I look like (with only middling accuracy, but there are worse choices). LJ, I suspect, was referring to Moon">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095654/&e=10342">Moon Over Parador, which is mildly amusing, although owing a debt to such forerunners in the Ruler's Double genre such as Heinlein's Double Star and Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda.

Edward writes to LJ:

Shouldn't your first priority be a double? Maybe you could get Richard Dreyfuss.

You think I look like Richard Dreyfuss?

Now I'm really depressed.

No, Richard Dreyfuss is whom I've heard all my life that I look like (with only middling accuracy, but there are worse choices). LJ, I suspect, was referring to Moon">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095654/&e=10342">Moon Over Parador, which is mildly amusing, although owing a debt to such forerunners in the Ruler's Double genre such as Heinlein's Double Star and Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda.

Stop that.

Stop that.

"Very Karl Rove..." Why thank you Jes! And you are...ah, very Barbara Boxer! (Compliment, I trust)

Blogbuds, I wasn't actually trying to compare you to Karl Rove - not least because my assumption would be that this would be bitterly insulting to anyone. My point was that Karl Rove is the most recent public figure to "use those same disagreements to destroy a political opponent".

But I'm delighted to be compared to Barbara Boxer. Thank you!

LJ, I suspect, was referring to

Sorry, that was Tim, not me. JFTR, I personally think Gary looks like Randy Bass.

Tim_Hess, LJ, apologies.

I won't comment on baseball folks whose appearance I could only judge after research, and not just from looking at a single web page, but it's true that a modest beard and moustache combo can cover many sins.

I mostly heard the Richard Dreyfuss thing when I was younger, by the way -- and somehow he has always stayed rather older than me. I heard it most back in the Jaws days, when we were both younger, thinner, and less grey, and not at all in this century.

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