Politics ain’t beanbag

I appreciate everything ECB’s been doing to bring to light some pretty egregious anti-woman crap. That said, what did you think was going to happen? Hillary Rodham Clinton has been hated by the Right for years and years. This stuff is not a surprise.

Besides, politics ain’t beanbag. If her political operation can’t handle this stuff, then she doesn’t deserve to carry our banner in November. Plain and simple.

Four years ago, the GOP took aim at a Vietnam war hero, a recipient of the Silver Star, and mocked his war medals. They’re shameless.

There is no reason to think that they’ll be any more reasonable if Hillary is our nominee.


  1. 2

    BH voter spews:

    Republicans often criticize folks who “hate” president Bush, conveniently forgetting that it was they who wrote the book on such behavior, with their relentless 8 years bashing everything Clinton. They shouldn’t be too surprised to see similar attitudes expressed towards their guy, especially one whose shortcomings are far more obvious than those of the Clintons.

    That said, my opposition to Hillary has little to do with her directly and everything to do with her nomination being the catalyst to a united, and energized, Republican Party come November. Wherever one turns in GOP-land, the energy and the vitriol are there, in spades.

    With Obama, however, there is no such unity of opinion, and in fact there are even disaffected Republicans who are ready to vote for the guy. Obama has the potential to create a few million “Obama Republicans”, the mirror image of the Reagan Democrats we saw in the 1980’s.

  2. 3

    Don Ward spews:

    Actually Kerry mocked his own war medals by tossing them over a fence. Or were they ribbons. Or were those the decorations of someone else? Gee, you never can tell with the straight-shooting junior Senator from Massachusetts.

    The reason he is despised by Vietnam veterans, and U.S. service personnel in general, is because he made up lies about the United States committing atrocities in ‘Nam.

    If you were ever around military types you’d know this.

    If the men and commanders in his own unit thought he was a hotdogging show-off bent on furthering his political career then that tells you something.

    It illustrative that you don’t see similar “swiftboat” tactics used against other recent and potential candidates with military records: McCain, Hunter, Paul, or hell even Al Gore who served.

  3. 4


    @ 3

    Don, it’s documented that American soldiers committed atrocities in Vietnam, i.e. killing civilians. If vets are mad at Kerry for saying that this happened, then they’re delusional.

    Second, I don’t know many Vietnam vets, but the ones I do know dislike most politicians, Democrats and Republicans.

    If by “men and commanders in his own unit” you mean the liars from the Swift Boat Vets for Truth (or NAMBLA, for short)… Chris MAtthews interviewed “Swifty” Larry Thurlow, who went about revealing himself to be the total liar he was:


    Read the transcript.

    Don, maybe you don’t remember the presidential campaign of 2000, because I do, and I REMEMBER Al Gore’s Vietnam record being dragged through the mud. (Gore was an Army reporter, and people who didn’t have the temerity to serve in Vietnam called Gore’s service window dressing).

    Even John McCain, who initially hated John Kerry’s guts has now made his peace with him over their disagreement.

    I may think that John McCain is a lunatic mother fucker, hell bent on sending more men and treasure down the rat hole of Iraq, but at least I have the decency not to do to him what others have down to Kerry.

  4. 5

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    No reason to think it will be any better for Obama. If he thinks Bill Clinton is getting rough, he hasn’t seen anything yet. What the Clark County republicans were doing last week is just the tip of the iceberg. Either way Obama or Clinton, the republicans will be up to their usual shit this Fall.

  5. 6

    credulona spews:

    No, Obama will unify the country. There won’t be any negative attacks against him. If they try, he’ll just point out that he’s for turning the page, and he’s not that kind of politican, and that will carry the day.

    If that doesn’t work, he will point out that Ted Kennedy is in his camp. That ought to overcome any partisan attacking that might go on. Doesn’t that prove he’s above partisan politics?

  6. 7

    Reformed republican spews:

    @3: Don Ward
    Sorry Don – the “swift boaters” were full of it and have shown themselves to be liars.

    That real combat heroes have been attacked by the GOP says more about the GOP than it does about Kerry.

    Remember, these are the people who brought us the outing of our own CIA agent for pilitical purposes, the altering of intelligence for the purpose of the Iraq war and who delight in twisting or ignoring science for politcal purposes.

    Their moto is – the ends (politics) justifies the means.

    This is what the editor of science magazine thinks about the Bush administration and it’s use of politics:

    “On the strictly scientific front, progress in climate change research was spectacular. There was new information about the dynamics of the major ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, analyses of paleoclimates, new estimates of sea-level rise, and studies of the impacts of global warming on high-latitude ecosystems and sea ice. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered a summary report at year’s end emphasizing the seriousness of the risks. But on the breakdown side, continual denial by the Bush Administration added to its long history of failing to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases.

    A specimen case of the Administration’s reluctance to acknowledge climate change was added just recently when Julie Gerberding, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was asked to present congressional testimony on the potential impacts of climate change on public health. It is surely no secret that heat spells are a health hazard, or that drought and excess rainfall can influence human susceptibility to pathogen-borne disease–just the kind of thing Congress wanted to know. Gerberding’s testimony was reviewed at the White House and soon made to disappear: Virtually all of what she said about climate change–six pages of it–was blacked out of the document filed with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (see http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/ajc/pdf/gerberding.pdf). There’s an odd behind-the-scenes story here, involving two offices that report to the president. The Office of Science and Technology Policy raised questions about particular statements and made suggestions, but then the Office of Management and Budget, apparently unwilling to work on the suggestions, simply eliminated every section about which questions had been raised. It’s worth a look just to understand what these people don’t want you to know.”

    Quoted under fair use.


    Donald Kennedy is the Editor-in-Chief of Science.

  7. 8

    Hmmmmm spews:

    The words “shameless” and “Clintons” belong together in a sentence, not in opposition. Just ask Obama.

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 No, Hillary is only hated by those on the right. While not all independents or Democrats support her, they only have honest differences of opinion with her. All the hate comes from the right. That’s because Republicans could never win any election with an honest discussion of issues. They have to whip up hate and emotion to get people to turn off their brains because no reasoning person would ever vote for them.

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 “The reason he is despised by Vietnam veterans, and U.S. service personnel in general, is because he made up lies about the United States committing atrocities in ‘Nam.”

    Who authorized you to speak for Vietnam vets, Ward? Are you a Vietnam vet? I am, and far from despising Kerry, I admire the bravery with which he fought in Vietnam. Who do you admire, the Republican chickenshits who got multiple deferments or used family pull to get safe berths in noncombat National Guard units (Bush Jr. and Quayle come to mind)? You know nothing about atrocities in Nam. They occurred, partner. I used to get into arguments with some of my buddies about whether to shoot a Viet Cong who was trying to chieu hoi. They were about equally divided on that issue.

    Do you know what chieu hoi was? It was a program of the South Vietnamese government that involved dropping leaflets over enemy areas promising safe passage to any Viet Cong who wanted to defect to the Allied Side. This program is where many of the “Kit Carson” scouts (former VC who led U.S. and ARVN troops to enemy camps and supply dumps) came from. These scouts were of significant value throughout the war and saved many American lives.

    Stop and think about it, Ward. Half the guys in my front-line combat outfit thought the thing to do when a Vietnamese came out of the bush waving a chieu hoi pass was kill him. This is a guy who wants to lay down his arms, escape living under a tyrannical communist government, and join our side — and their response was to shoot him. How smart was that? More to the point, how moral was it? Apart from the stupidity of killing someone who’s trying to defect, from time immemorial, in all armies, in all wars, in all times and places, killing a surrendering enemy has been considered an atrocity.

    Ward, how much time did you actually spend researching the atrocity allegations presented to the U.S. Senate by Kerry? Do you know where these allegations originated? Do you have any idea whether they were documented or substantiated? Do you know if anyone followed up and checked them out? Kerry was merely a spokesman for a group of veterans who recounted what they had eyewitnessed. I repeat, how much time have you spent investigating this wingnut talking point against Kerry? Twenty seconds? To memorize the wingnut talking point? You ought to look into it, Ward — but only if you’re intellectually honest enough to set aside your political prejudices long enough to consider the matter with an open mind. Are you capable of that? If not, you’re unqualified to be a journalist, and should admit you’re merely a propagandist.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I just want to make one thing clear. Ward doesn’t speak for me on any matters pertaining to the Vietnam war, and so far as I’m concerned, he has no damn business pretending to speak for all veterans and soldiers.

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Just for clarification, 10 of the 11 members of Kerry’s crew vouched for him and actively campaigned for him, and the other one didn’t campaign against him or offer an support for the fabricated accounts of the swiftboat liars.

  12. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” were a GOP front group funded by Bob Perry, the Texas GOP’s biggest donor, and several other big GOP donors. Their claims have been thoroughly discredited.

    “The first SBVT ad was contradicted by the statements of several other veterans who observed the incidents, by the Navy’s official records, and, in some instances, by the contemporaneous statements of SBVT members themselves.

    “Several major newspapers were also skeptical of the SBVT allegations. For example, a New York Times news article stated, ‘on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth prove to be riddled with inconsistencies.’ ABC News’s The Note opined, ‘the Swift Boat ad and their primary charges about Kerry’s medals are personal, negative, extremely suspect, or false.’ Regarding the medal dispute, a Los Angeles Times editorial stated, ‘Not limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: These charges against John Kerry are false.’ The editorial argued this position on the basis that ‘Kerry is backed by almost all those who witnessed the events in question, as well as by documentation.’ …

    “The ABC television show Nightline traveled to Vietnam and interviewed Vietnamese who were involved in the battle for which Kerry was awarded the Silver Star. These witnesses disputed O’Neill’s charge that there ‘was little or no fire’ that day; they said that the fighting was fierce. SBVT supporters question whether these witnesses are reliable because they spoke ‘in the presence of a Communist official’, but their account of enemy fire is substantially the same as that previously given by another former VC to an AP reporter and by the American witnesses, including the only SBVT member who was actually present that day, Larry Clayton Lee.

    “Jerome Corsi has said that a picture of Kerry’s 1993 visit to Vietnam hangs in the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City as a gesture of ‘honor’ by the Communists ‘for his contribution to their victory over [the] United States’, and John O’Neill has stated that Kerry ‘is in the North Vietnamese war museum as a hero . . . one of the heroes who caused them to win the war in Vietnam’. The statement is also repeated in ‘Unfit for Command’ (pp 167-174). However, Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun stated in this regard: ‘While the museum clearly honors opponents of the war from America and other countries, it is not clear that the photo of Mr. Kerry is part of that tribute. The picture of the senator hangs among a set of photos devoted to the restoration of diplomatic relations between America and Vietnam in the 1990s. It was apparently taken as Kerry took part in a delegation President Clinton sent to Hanoi in 1993. Other photos nearby show visits during that period by former American officials who played key roles in the Vietnam War, including a Navy admiral who has since died, Elmo Zumwalt, and a defense secretary, Robert McNamara. A secretary of state during Clinton’s term, Warren Christopher, is also shown meeting Vietnamese officials’ — Josh Gerstein

    “In this connection, the webpage Corsi and another anti-Kerry veteran originally published on the Kerry museum photo contained the picture of Robert McNamara’s 1995 meeting with General Giap, who was misidentified as ‘Mao Tse-Tung’. …

    “In addition, John O’Neill said that in 1971 John Kerry ‘wanted to abandon ship and leave the POWs [in Vietnam]’ and that ‘[o]n the Dick Cavett show and elsewhere, John Kerry‘s position was that we should accept the Madame Binh seven-point proposal, which called for unilateral withdrawal, setting a date after which at some future time, we’d negotiate the return of the POWs. So we would set a date. We would withdraw and then we would begin to discuss how to bring them home’. However, in the Cavett debate, Kerry actually said: ‘Now, if we were to set a date for withdrawal from Southeast Asia, we can – the Vietnamese, first of all, have said it will be settled prior to the arrival of that date, but we can set a time limit on that. If the prisoners of war aren’t back prior to the arrival of that date, then I think we would have – for the first time in all of our history in Vietnam we would have a legitimate reason for taking some kind of reaction to it.’ — John Kerry …

    “More recently, an early member of the group, Steve Hayes, stated that he came to believe that the group was twisting Kerry’s record, and broke with the group and voted for Kerry. Hayes told the New York Times: ‘The mantra was just “We want to set the record straight,” Mr. Hayes said this month. “It became clear to me that it was morphing from an organization to set the record straight into a highly political vendetta. They knew it was not the truth.” Hayes also told the New York Times that he provided a long interview to Kerry’s supporters, backing their version of the incident for which Kerry received the Bronze Star.’

    “SBVT characterized itself as a non-partisan group both in the legal sense and in spirit, yet several prominent individuals who assisted SBVT also have had close ties to the Republican Party. According to information released by the IRS on February 22, 2005, more than half of the group’s reported contributions came from just three sources, all prominent Texas Republican donors: Houston builder Bob J. Perry, a longtime supporter of George W. Bush, donated $4.45 million, Harold Simmons’ Contrans donated $3 million, and T. Boone Pickens, Jr. donated $2 million. Other major contributors included Bush fundraiser Carl Lindner ($300,000), Robert Lindner ($260,000), GOP contributor Aubrey McClendon ($250,000), George Matthews Jr. ($250,000), and Crow Holdings ($100,000).

    “The initial communications consultant for SBVT was Merrie Spaeth, a Reagan administration press officer and a volunteer consultant to Ken Starr in the Clinton impeachment; she was also a spokesperson for ‘Republicans for Clean Air,’ an anti-McCain 527 group formed during the 2000 primaries and funded by Bush supporters who also helped fund SBVT. John E. O’Neill — the primary author of Unfit for Command and a key player in the formation of SBVT — donated over $14,000 to Republican candidates. He co-operated with the Nixon White House in opposing Kerry in 1971, and seconded Nixon’s nomination at the 1972 Republican national convention.”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete article and/or copyright info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....llegations

    In other words, the Swift Boat group was set up and run by Republican operatives, was funded by Republican donors, and even group insiders have called their principal claims false. Vast documentation assembled by news organizations also demonstrated that the Swifties were nothing but partisan liars motivated by an intent to smear the candidate of the opposing party.

  13. 14

    G Davis spews:

    I agree Will…I will also add the Reps will have a much tougher time with Obama than the Clintons, not only because of race but it’s his whole meme to get rid of that kind of BS politic.

    Plus, the Clintons bring so much past baggage, have not been vetted since Bill left office, and just the idea of Bill with free, unaccountable range in the WH ought to send the loonies into swoon mode.

    I don’t think she’s electable.

  14. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    People like Don Ward would have you believe there is something shameful about being against war and for peace, when the opposite is true. I am not a pacifist; when you are attacked, you have to defend yourself, and have a right to do so. I also agree with Sherman’s dictum of waging remorseless battle against the enemy, but treating him with magnanimity when he lays down his arms. None of this changes the fact that war is a horror, and all wars are horrible, and that peace is infinitely better than war. Thus, war should never be waged except out of necessity; and the first duty of free men is to keep their leaders honest and hold them accountable, above all, in this gravest of state affairs. How can someone as intelligent as Don Ward get such basic concepts so completely wrong?

  15. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In retrospect, we know the American war in Vietnam did not have to be fought to save ourselves from communism. We know that because we lost, but none of the apocalyptic consequences used to justify the war came to pass.

    Then, as now, America was a politically diverse nation; and the divisions of the country were reflected in the military ranks. The Americans who fought in Vietnam are not now, and were not then, of one mind about the war. Many doubted the wisdom and morality of it while they were over there; while others went over believing in what they were fighting for but came home disillusioned. One of the causes of disillusionment was that, in the later stages of the war, the military failure was plain to see.

  16. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    After World War I, a belief began circulating among some of the former soldiers of the defeated German armies that they had been “stabbed in the back” by homefront conspirators. One of these veterans, who became a demagogic politician, exploited that belief to the hilt, and some of these disillusioned soldiers later formed the core of the organizations this eventual dictator built and then unleashed against the world — they were the worst of the Nazis.

    The “stab-in-the-back” rumor, however it got started, wasn’t true. Germany was defeated by the Allies’ superior manpower and material resources, and, in no small part, by the choking Allied naval blockade thrown in place by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill on the first day of the war.

    However, it is not difficult to understand how this myth gained credence. The ordinary soldier’s view from his trench or shell hole was an extremely narrow one. He knew nothing about the food riots in Germany’s cities, or the flood of American troops, arms, and supplies pouring into the continent. Unlike Germany’s generals and kaiser, he had no view of the big picture, and could not see the inevitability and imminence of Germany’s defeat. After all, there had not been a catastrophic collapse on the battlefield; at the time of the armistice, the German lines were intact and the British and French armies facing them were even more exhausted than they were. Moreover, throughout the war, the Germans had fought more effectively, achieving a casualty ratio of 1:1.35 in their favor. Thus, the smaller German army had more than held its own against superior Allied manpower, and at times, had pushed hard against the Allied lines. In fact, Germany came within a heartbeat of victory in March 1918, when their great spring offensive shattered the French lines and drove the enemy back over 30 miles.

    But the truth was, after the August 1918 reverses, the Germans had little left in the way of reinforcements and supplies, while the growing flood of American reinforcements and materiel would inevitably overwhelm German resistance, given a little more time. A few weeks later, the German High Command’s faith in victory cracked, and the kaiser was led to say, “Germany is at the end of her resources. The war must be ended.”

    Like post-WWI Germany, America has a rightwing, nationalistic, militaristic, political movement. And, just as in post-WWI Germany, ever since the end of America’s military involvement in Vietnam there has been a small but vocal faction within the veteran population who desperately want to believe in a stab-in-the-back theory as a way to rationalize the defeat that rendered their battlefield efforts and sacrifices vain. And, like the post-war German soldiers who felt betrayed, they needed scapegoats.

    And they have concocted scapegoats: Antiwar protesters, John Kerry, liberals, Democrats in general, among others.

    As I have posted before on this board, the real reasons for America’s defeat in Vietnam were military in nature: Principally, flawed strategy and tactics. The fundamental problem was that the U.S. was never able to cut the flow of enemy reinforcements and supplies down the Ho Chi Minh trail (which, contrary to some popular conceptions, was not a path through the jungle, but a swath of jungle over 100 miles wide). (More about this in a moment.) But there was more: U.S. ground tactics were fundamentally unsound. As I’ve pointed out before, U.S. troops were ordered to find the enemy by walking around in the jungle until they got shot at; this approach allowed the enemy to always choose whether, when, where, and how to fight, and frequently allowed the enemy to fight on fortified or prepared battlefields. Any first year military science student would be horrified at these tactics. Why our top commanders thought they could win with these tactics escapes comprehension.

    Other aspects of America’s military failures in Vietnam are a bit easier to grasp if you know something about recent military history. In World War 2, the U.S. literally pounded its adversaries into submission. Thus, it is not surprising that, a mere 20 years later, with young officers of that war now occupying the top positions in the military services, the U.S. commanders believed that lightly armed guerrilla forces would wither under intensive bombing and artillery fire, and be easily mopped up by infantry possessing improved weaponry with vastly greater fire output and the unprecedented mobility afforded by helicopter transport. They were wrong; and subsequent generations of military science students study why they were wrong, what went wrong, why it didn’t work, and “lessons learned.”

    These relatively simple military explanations have not stopped some embittered and gullible veterans, who had rightwing leanings to begin with, from swallowing whole the concocted rightwing betrayal theories. And then you get people like Don Ward, who should know better, helping to perpetuating these absurd myths and falsehoods because he (and other people like him) have a political agenda to sell — one that can’t stand on its own merits.

    And that, my friends — as Paul Harvey would say — is THE REST OF THE STORY.

  17. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I knew we had lost the day I heard some of my buddies arguing that enemy defectors waving safe conduct passes should be shot. It is hard to visualize clearer evidence of a defeated army than that.

  18. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A confident army doesn’t do such things. It doesn’t have to. As Sherman knew, a victorious army can afford to be magnanimous.

  19. 20



    I too am a Vietnam era vet. Unlike you I was fortunate enough to “serve” in nthe US. But I salute your heroism.

    I remember the hge effect Kerry had on us. In the face of phony Reprican calls for heroism and glycerine tears for our dead, Kerry had the immense guts to stand FOR those who served.

    To those who have never served, the men I served with “killers” (marines and pilots in the USN) were almost always more supportive of the Kerreys than of the war harks whose “heroism” always seemed to be born on others backs.

    I also remember the peace movement. FWIW I believed then and still do believe that Vietnam was a just cause mis mamaned by our leaders. Despite that and despite heated arguments the opponents were heroes to thois of us in the military and I NEVER saw this Reprican myth of the anti-war anti-vet,

    Bottom line, the ‘Nam era had two kinds of heroes, two kinds of patriots and, by and large the real patriots for and against the war respected each other.

    The despicable cowards were those who now run swiftboat ads.

  20. 21


    On the Hillary vs Obama Issue

    I just posted over at SJ an article from John Harris and a commentary on the article.

    The bottom line is a concern that the Clintons are true patriots whose patriotism and talent are marred by a self reflecting miasma of arrogance that hurts their ability to work with others.

    The last part of my piece raises this question, “who would you rather have as your boss, BHO or HRC?” I do not mean this as an easy question. Before BHO cam on the scene I would have no problem selecting her for her broad knowledge of the issues and long term commitments to the rights of others. Wouldn’t it be great to be her student?

    My essay, however, asks another question, “Who would you rather work with?” I have worked on many projects with people a lot like the Clintons. My strategy has become to campaign for these folks to chair the ctee and then try to get my work done through them. I would much rather serve on a committee led by someone who does not waste my time with fights over leadership. Now it is BHO who seems to me to be a better choice.

  21. 22

    Jim spews:

    Don Ward:
    Please put down the g.d. pipe.
    Also please see what they did to the Georgia Senator, Mr. Max Cleland.

  22. 23

    cracked spews:

    I am very much NOT a Clinton fan based on her politics, but the brutal misogyny of some of the attacks on Clinton coming out of mainstream (including “liberal”) sources should be upsetting to everyone. If you can’t see it, you should look again.

    I’ve been very disapointed at how little outcry there has been. Clearly, the men are in control and want to stay that way.

  23. 24

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    Will: Recently I posted Heilary hasn’t thought of the VRWC for the last 10 years. Yet she brings it up in libbie-speak over and over during the campaign.

    Cracked, people are just using her own words back at her. I find no problem with that. We on the right here us that tactic against most 16%ers here.

    How can you trust such a liar?

  24. 25

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    BH: Clinton was a misogynist. Where is your voice over Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broderick to name a few. Heilary was his enabler cuz she was riding his coattails.

  25. 26

    JamesA spews:

    The GOP must be terrified that Hillary may not actually get the nomination. They have spent so much time and money getting prepared, to the point of having a ‘documentary’ all queued up and ready. They have been busy trying to find any more dirt on Bill from the last 7 years and have all the anti-Hillary material ready to go. They are chomping at the bit to drag out Whitewater, Monica-gate, Bill’s numerous pardons, etc. as soon as she gets the nomination.

  26. 27

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    Will I can’t believe you wrote this: “I may think that John McCain is a lunatic mother fucker, hell bent on sending more men and treasure down the rat hole of Iraq, but at least I have the decency not to do to him what others have down to Kerry.”

    How dare you even think that. McCain ain’t my choice but at least he’s no hypocrite. He could have left the Hanoi Hilton in 1968 but he didn’t. Why?

    “I just knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. I knew that they wouldn’t have offered it to me if I hadn’t been the son of an admiral. I just didn’t think it was the honorable thing to do.”


    Here is a telling story of donkeyism “During the Johnson administration, released POWs weren’t allowed to talk about bad conditions in the prison camps for fear that such complaints would make things even worse for the men still being held.

    That changed under Nixon.

    In August 1969, under pressure, the North Vietnamese began releasing sick and injured prisoners.”

    So how can you swift boat a real American hero Will unless of course you are a JACKASS?

  27. 28

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    Speaking of Politics ain’t Beanbag, look at some more of the 16%ers attacking Ted Kennedy for supporting Barack Obama?

    Are they saying Ted is a misogynist too? Alternet is a misogynist too? Howard Dean is a misogynist too? Progressive Democrats of America are a misogynists too? Democrats.com are a misogynists too?



    Waaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaa

    Scathing commentary placed here by Puddy.

    Hey RudejackASS, The One still Clueless and Goldy’s Minions, you see what happens when a white guy supports a black man? You are labeled a misogynist by other 16%ers!

    Gotta luv that big tent.

  28. 30

    Bottom Breeder Update spews:

    http://www.funpic.hu/en.picvie w.php?id=27346&c=2&s=dd&p=7
    (Roger’s on the bottom.)

    Senator Clinton (D, Wal-Mart) accused Senator Obama of being a capitalist tool for taking money for slumlord Tony Rezco. Then Drudge found a Clinton Sandwich photo, Tony squeezed between Senator Clinton and her husband, violent racist Bull Connor Clinton. Then, mere days ago, Rezco got re-busted for dealing bad bonds. How convenient.

    Someone here told us to toss Reagan and pick up Malcolm X. Did that. During the 1964 campaign for president, proto conservative Barry Goldwater vs. violent liberal racist Lyndon Johnson, Malcolm said you could trust Goldwater but not Johnson. With conservatives, he said, you always know where you stand. With leberals, never.

    Camelot footnote: After JFK’s assassination in 1963, Malcolm talked about chickens coming home to roost. One of those roosting roosters was the Kennedy war against Martin Luther King. Another was the Kennedy psychoiller conspiracy against Castro. Perhaps another (there’s a big gap in the paper trail where a smoking gun would have been) was Kennedy complicity in the murder of American ally Ngo Dinh Diem, a murder that married us to Vietnam for 12 more years.

  29. 31

    Camelot Part Deux spews:

    Some screamer, maybe Chris Matthews, reminded us that JFK ran to Nixon’s right in 1960. Kennedy rode a lie, that Eisenhower had permitted a bomber gap and a missile gap, into the White House. In addition to riding the votes of Cook County corpses.

    Eisenhower’s cautionary tale about the military-industrial complex began as a cautionary tale about the military-industrial-Congressional complex. Ike intended to chastise sabre-rattling war-mongering liars like Kennedy and Stu Symington; then Ike backed down.

    But he knew that Kennedy knew that General Eisenhower had permitted no security gaps in our cold war with the USSR (except for gaps in bombers and missiles that were entirely on our side.)

  30. 33

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    You know I was waiting for someone to say hmmm… do I smell something similar here but too many simple minds can’t see the similarities:

    Google Democrat Southern Strategy Obama Results 1 – 10 of about 618,000 for Democrat Southern Strategy Barack Obama

    I’m sorry, I stepped out of line. hehehe I guess Puddy too dumb to create that search per the idiot gened 16%ers.

  31. 34



    If you’re citing Paul Harvey, you must be a hard core KVI listener. Are you Kirby Wilbur in mufti? Come here to say and do dumb stuff to the adulation of the even dumber HA Happy Hoolihotheads?

    Who knew? Rabbit is a KVI talk show host!

    The Piper

  32. 35



    Max Cleland is a genuine American hero for his service and sacrifice in Vietnam. But that’s not why Georgia voters rejected his re-election bid. He was out of step with his constituents and they told him so.

    Just because you’re a disabled vet running for office doesn’t mean you get a pass when you support bad or dangerous policies.

    The Piper

  33. 36

    exelizabeth spews:

    It would be nice to see just one guy stop being an apologist for the sexist crap about Hillary. Just one.

    Look, hate her on her policies, her personality, her history, whatever. But denounce the sexist attacks. Don’t just say, “Yeah, I guess it’s a shame, but that’s the way things are.” What a pansy-ass thing to say. Yes, it’s the way things are. Should things be that way? No. So if you think they should change, it’s you’re responsibility to say something about it. Not saying something is exercising your male privilege to be completely uncritical of gender issues.

    Of COURSE we expected this to happen to the first women presidential candidate. But please explain to me why, just because something is expected, it should be accepted without a peep? Because that is exactly what you are saying those of us who oppose sexism and misogyny should do.

    Any racial attacks on Obama are met with disdain from me and many white people. Why aren’t sexist attacks on Clinton met with the same disdain from men?

  34. 37

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    So Ms. exelizabeth: You agree or disagree with the NOW attack on Ted Kennedy?

  35. 38

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Will said:

    Four years ago, the GOP took aim at a Vietnam war hero, a recipient of the Silver Star, and mocked his war medals.

    Why don’t you remind us what kerry proved was lies.
    I remember his war medals thrown over the fence in protest being outed as a lie. His hat story. And lets not forget the memory seared into his mind which was a lie he repeated over and over. Kerry NEVER released his medical records so he didn’t prove a single thing was a lie.
    Of course you believe he proved the truth, gotta link? hahahaha

  36. 39

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #3 Don Ward says:

    The reason he is despised by Vietnam veterans, and U.S. service personnel in general, is because he made up lies about the United States committing atrocities in ‘Nam.

    If you believe Kerry was telling the truth about Vietnam, ask the rabbit how many women he raped. How many children he killed. Ask the rabbit if he did rabbits proud and in retaliation for rabbits feet he collected ears of the vietcong.

  37. 40

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #13 Roger Rabbit says:

    The “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” were a GOP front group funded by Bob Perry, the Texas GOP’s biggest donor, and several other big GOP donors. Their claims have been thoroughly discredited.

    Does that mean you believe Kerry threw his own medals over the fence in protest? He said he did.
    Does that mean you believe he was in a boat on christmas eve under the orders of nixon? Kerry repeated that truth for years. Is he truthful or lying?

  38. 41



    William Tecumsah Sherman invented modern scorched earth warfare by burning and killing everything in his path in a wide swath of Georgia from Atlanta to the sea.

    I’m reading a book, 11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944, but Stanley Weintraub, and he writes the following:

    “Bestial SS behavior was another matter, beyond logic. By the second day of the (Battle of the Bulge) offensive, rumors, mos of which were well-founded, spread that SS units were murdering prisoners – soldier and civilian. At least 350 Americans and 100 Belgians were murdered at thirteen locations, 86 alone in the ‘Malmedy massacre’ where soldiers who lllked alive after the shooting were dispatched by bullets to the head. A few who feigned death survived and were recovered.

    “American outrage — and reciprocity — was inevitable. A regiment of the 26th Division issued orders on December 21, which were later publicly if not effectively rescinded: ‘No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prosiner, but will be shot on sight.’…Bitter at SS behavior, American troops killed some captured German troops who wore black, which they identified with the SS. Tank crews, however, were also uniformed in black.

    “Becoming a prisoner was a chancy matter for both sides. Reportedly an American officer in the 90th Division asked about hte disposition of nineteen prisoners sent to the rear, and was told that only five had arrived. On Christmas Eve, General (Omar) Bradley evinced surpirse on learning that four prisoners from the 12th SS Panzers had actually mae it to a POW cage. ‘We needed a few samples,’ an officer explained.”

    You experienced a reality of war, but it wasn’t unique to that or subsequent ones; it’s in the nature of all wars.

    When magnanimity gets your buddy killed because some erstwhile “defeated foe” is actually a suicide attacker, it loses its allure.

    What was so irksome and sickening about John Kerry was his pandering of his record and his unwillingness to admit that his overblown accusations of atrocities during his post-service Congressional testimony days was inaccurate and something for which he owed Vietnam veterans an apology.

    Listening to that testimony today, you come away thinking that every soldier and Marine was a butcher and war criminal and that the stated policy of the United States was to kill women and children. Per his B.S., that includes you.

    I remember well those days. Protests where SDS-types screamed about “baby killers” and “rapists” and encouraged the assembled masses to hate anyone in uniform. The left in the 60’s and 70’s didn’t support the troops, they hated and accused them. While some vets took to opposing the war and tossing their medals, remember that for a lot of that time, it was a liberal Democratic occupant of the White House who was the target of those efforts.

    As Jane Fonda was photographed sitting in a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun seat with an admiring grin on her face, the targets of that gun were languishing in North Vietnamese prison camps being tortured and abused.

    Any wonder surrendering VC were regarded with some suspicion?

    With John Kerry, the Swift Boat accusations resonated so quickly and easily because viscerally he was already regarded by millions of American voters as a fake and a phony. The “How to Marry a Millionaire,” designer-wetsuit wind surfing, multiple-SUV owning (in his wife’s name, of course) green John Kerry who was for before he was against whatever (or is it the other way round?) was so un-straight about so much, why expect anything else when it comes to his war and post-war record?

    That Vietnam era POWs came out so strongly against him and joined the Swift Boat effort ought to tell you how he was regarded among those American heroes.

    Yet it’s disingenuous of you to rail on this subject and not be similarly outraged at how President Bush was maligned by the likes of Mary Mapes and Dan Rather with their faked documents and phony news stories.

    What all this proves is that you have zero objective credibility. An admitted liberal Democratic Party hack, everything you say then must be filtered through the lens of political results; you’ll say anything in support of your cause, the truth be damned.

    You see, Rabbit, you’re hoist upon your own petard.

    The Piper

  39. 42

    rhp6033 spews:

    RR at 14 ~ 17. Well said, and very accurate.

    I know quite a few Vietnam vets. Which end of the political spectrum they end up on has a lot to do with when they served. Those serving prior to 1968 tend to have a different (more optomistic) outlook towards U.S. involvement than those serving in Vietnam 1968 and onward. Perhaps that is simply because prior to 1968, there was a perception that their efforts might be making some progress, but after 1968 there was a realization that they were fighting (and some were dying) in a war that wasn’t going to be won, and it was just a question of how long the U.S. would take to withdraw? (Note that the 1972 Peace Accords weren’t substantially different from the ones proposed and rejected by Nixon in late 1968 – early 1969? I also found that reservists and other state-bound soldiers tended to be far more “hawkish” than those who returned from Vietnam, regardless of when they served.

    I still mourne one fellow I knew well. He was in my Boy Scout troop, age 17 when I joined at age 11. Obviously, I looked up to him. At age 18 he volunteered for the Army, eager to serve his country and liberate Vietnam from the communist threat. He was sent to Vietnam after training, was in combat as an infantryman, and returned after his tour of duty. Upon return, he was clearly not the same person – within a few months he was clearly an alchoholic, and soon also a drug addict. I lost track of him a couple of years after that. Physically, I don’t know if he is alive or dead, but the man I mourne, the 17-year-old good-natured, optomistic, all-American patriot clearly died (spiritually) somewhere in Vietnam.

    As for a strategic and military failure, I would point out that the U.S. blundered into Vietnam not having the slightest idea of what was going on in the country, politically. The U.S. political and military leaders saw this as a “freedom vs. communism” crusade. But to the Vietnamese, the S. Vietnamese President was just one of several strong-men in the country, one that represented the Catholic elite who were the French toadies and inherited power after the French withdrawal, and with U.S. support. The majority of the peasants were Buddist, living a traditional communal village lifestyle on ancestoral land, and resented efforts by the government to resettle them into larger villages or cities where the leaders extorted bribes and rent in return for homes and supplies supplied for free by the U.S. Government. In Saigon, the government kept the most reliable S. Vietnamese forces not as protection against V.C. attack, but to protect against coups and to exert control over areas managed by other warlords.

    In that fight, the U.S. was effectively used by sharp operators using Machiavellian politics to establish and maintain their control in a multi-faction civil war. We were the rubes in the woods – all the government had to do was to point to an adversary, declare them to be communist, and let us do the hard work to knock them out.

    Note that whenever we get involved in a civil war, we tend to be used this way. We just aren’t very good at operating in such an evironment, where the local leaders have learned to stay alive by sophisticated alliances, turning opponants against each other, and using deception and intrigue to get the support of a much larger force, such as the U.S. The most recent examples which come to mind are Somalia and Iraq. (Strangely, Afganistan worked out rather well, so far, although it could fall apart at any time now).

    Yet the current Pres. Bush and those of his ilk continue to look at the war through dim glasses. They repeat the “conclusions” agreed to over cigars and brandy by country-club Republicans during the war, that the war was “winable” if only the Democratic Congress and the News Media would let them win it, and isn’t young Lt. Bush cutting a fine figure in his Texas Air Nat. Guard uniform, but if he drinks to much at the bar will somebody remember to call his commander and give an excuse for him not showing up for drill?

    Now Pres. Bush, and those who surround him, think that Vietnam is an example of the good results which are derived when “we have persistance and stay the course”.

  40. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 A handful of uninformed or misguided anti-war protestors glorified the NVA/VC, waved VC flags in demonstrations, and chanted “Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh is gonna win!” I suspect these were provocateurs from left-fringe parties (socialists and communists) seeking to co-opt the anti-war movement for their own (unpopular) political ends. They were very unrepresentative of the mass anti-war movement, and the overwhelming majority of anti-war protesters did not cooperate with them.

    Make no mistake, the Vietnamese communists weren’t boy scouts. The U.S. government miscalculated in perceiving them as a piece of a monolithic global communist threat, when in fact they were primarily anti-colonial nationalists who happened to be communists. Had this been better understood at the time, perhaps our leaders would have seen that, if they took over Vietnam, they would more likely act as a bulwark between South Asia and the communist world (Soviets and Chinese), rather than as an extension of the latter. The fact Vietnam fought a border war with China shortly after we left Vietnam serves to confirm this.

    The offspring of the Viet Minh — the North Vietnamese regime and the VC — weren’t a desirable replacement for the French colonialists from our point of view. But the main point is they weren’t the malevolent threat to South Asia and the Far East that our government thought they were, either. After America left Vietnam, there was a communist genocide in Southeast Asia, but it wasn’t perpetrated by the Vietnamese communists. In fact, it was the communist Vietnamese government that ended it by invading Cambodia and overthrowing the Khmer Rouge — yet further evidence that, far from being an instrument of global communist domination, the Vietnamese communists were focused on their national interests and were not above fighting their communist neighbors when the latter clashed with the former.

    Having said all this, one must add that Vietnam’s communists, like communists everywhere, were thugs who sought to seize and keep power by force and who suppressed opposition by violent means. But one can say the same thing about virtually every rightwing dictatorship the world has seen in the last 100 years, the junta in Myanmar (Burma) being a recently prominent example. In fact, it’s hard to see much difference between the Vietnamese communists and the violent rightwing regimes in our own hemisphere with which our government had entirely too much truck — and for whom rightwing Americans unabashedly led the cheerleading (much as the fringe-left cheered the Vietcong) simply because their particular brand of thugs happened to be anti-communist.

  41. 44

    John425 spews:

    The GOP didn’t take aim at his medals, individuals did- and then a protest group did- so quit the fucking lies.

    Hillary is ten times more arrogant as you claim Bush to be, and Obama is as useless as Hillary claims.

  42. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @31 So the missile gap wasn’t real, booo – fucking -hoooooo, how do you liars like a mild taste of your own medicine? Fucking sissies.

    Republican myth: Mayor Daley and/or the Mafia stole the election in Cook County.

    Reality: Regardless of what did or didn’t happen in Cook County, Kennedy didn’t need Illinois’ electoral votes to win. Had Illinois’ 27 electoral votes been awarded to Nixon, JFK still would have won 276 – 246 (instead of the actual result of 303 – 219). Overlooked in this phony argument is the fact the electoral vote was not close and Kennedy could have lost several more of the smaller states and still had a majority of electoral votes. Also overlooked in this argument is evidence of GOP voting fraud that could have offset (or more than offset) any Democratic voting fraud in Illinois.

    Republican myth: Nixon graciously conceded the election rather than risk a constitutional crisis.

    Reality: Only for public show; behind the scenes, the GOP challenged the results in 11 states, and all of these challenges failed on the merits.

    “Some Republicans and historians have alleged that Kennedy benefited from vote fraud, especially in Texas and Illinois, and that Nixon actually won the national popular vote despite the fact that Republicans tried and failed to overturn the results in both these states at the time–as well as in nine other states. …”

    “According to Nixon partisans, the Republican party urged Nixon to pursue recounts and challenge the validity of some votes for Kennedy, especially in the pivotal states of Illinois, Missouri and New Jersey, where large majorities in Catholic precincts handed Kennedy the election. Nixon publicly refused to call for a recount, saying it would cause a constitutional crisis; he also convinced Mazo and the Herald Tribune to not print any stories suggesting that the election had been stolen by the Democrats.

    “Privately, however, Nixon encouraged Republican National Chairman Thruston Morton to push for a recount, which Morton did in 11 states, keeping challenges in the courts into the summer of 1961; the only result was the loss of the State of Hawaii to Kennedy on a recount petitioned by the Kennedy campaign.

    “Kennedy’s defenders, such as historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., have argued that Kennedy’s margin in Texas (46,000 votes) was simply too large for vote fraud to have been a decisive factor; in Illinois Schlesinger and others have pointed out that even if Nixon carried Illinois, the state alone would not have given him the victory, as Kennedy would still have won 276 electoral votes to Nixon’s 246 (with 269 needed to win). More to the point, Illinois was the site of the most extensive challenge process, which fell short despite repeated efforts spearheaded by Cook County state’s attorney, Benjamin Adamowski, a Republican who also lost his re-election bid.

    “Despite demonstrating net errors favoring both Nixon and Adamowski (some precincts – 40% in Nixon’s case – showed errors favoring them, a factor suggesting error, rather than fraud), the totals found fell short of reversing the results for either candidate. The Republican-dominated State Board of Elections unanimously rejected the challenge to the results. Furthermore, there were signs of possible irregularities in downstate areas controlled by Republicans, which Democrats never seriously pressed, since the Republican challenges went nowhere.”


  43. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @46 Also, let’s not overlook the fact that regardless of how the 1960 election was won, the better man became president, as subsequent events demonstrated. That was decidedly not the case in 2000 and 2004, as current events demonstrate.

  44. 48

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    Ms exelizabeth: Crickets chirping… Birds tweeting… rats scratching…

  45. 49

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    Pelletizer@46: You are the biggest decrier of vote fraud on this site. You deliver anecdotal story ad nauseum on it. So when someone else delivers opposite party donkey vote fraud, you gloss over it?

    You are the biggest hypocrite – Goodbye!

  46. 51

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @41 Piper, you seem to have completely missed the point of what I posted so I’ll spell it out for you: I agree with Sherman’s dictum of waging war ruthlessly to force the enemy to give up the fight, and treating him with magnanimity after he surrenders. For example, Grant’s pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia from Petersburg to Appomattox was designed to cut Lee off from his food supplies, and the Confederates were plenty hungry when Lee finally forked over his sword, but the first thing Grant did after accepting Lee’s surrender was to order supply wagons moved into the Rebel encampment to feed his former enemies.

    You seem to be drawing upon Malmedy to justify my buddies who wanted to shoot chieu hois. Let me explain something to do. First, it was a theoretical argument, because it took place on a base and there weren’t any Viet Cong walking toward us waving safe conduct passes when this discussion took place. It was an after-duty-hour confab that took place over beer and cigarets to pass the time. Second, when VC came out of the bush with their hands up, they were half-naked or flimsily attired and any idiot could see they didn’t have a bomb strapped to their bodies or any kind of weapon. Third, Americans prisoners weren’t slaughtered in batches in Vietnam like they were at Malmedy. American soldiers were captured infrequently in Vietnam, and usually singly when it happened, and the enemy didn’t shoot them in the head and dump their bodies in fields or along roads as the Germans did.

    Here’s what happened to Americans captured in the Vietnam War. First of all, about half of the 2,200 MIAs were KIAs, not captured. Because of the reporting system in use at the time, a soldier or airman was listed as “missing” if a body wasn’t recovered, even if eyewitnesses confirmed him as killed in action. Thus, the MIA lists included infantrymen who were blown to bits (and their buddies saw their bodies disintegrated), crews of helicopters that crashed and burned, and pilots who went down at sea and weren’t recovered (even though, in some cases, mangled wreckage was spotted).

    Second, of the American soldiers who were captured by enemy forces in Vietnam, those captured in North Vietnam (mostly flight crews shot down over the North) or captured in South Vietnam were entered in North Vietnam’s accounting system. Not all made it home — some succumbed to their injuries — but we know what happened to them because the North Vietnamese government kept records, and after the war made those records available to our POW searchers.

    The story in the South was different. If you were taken captive in the South, your fate hinged on whether you were turned over to an NVA unit willing to take you to the North. The typical disposition of captives kept in the South was they were kept alive for a while, then executed in retaliation for U.S. bombing attacks against the capturing unit. These executions usually took place when the pressure on the enemy unit was particularly intense, the enemy unit was taking a lot of casualties, and morale was flagging. Executing these prisoners was used to boost the morale of the dispirited VC or NVA troops, and very few (if any) of those who weren’t send north (almost always via the Ho Chi Minh Trail) survived very long. That’s because the enemy formations operating in South Vietnam had trouble feeding themselves let alone prisoners for a prolonged time, plus they had to expend manpower to guard the prisoners.

    How do I know all this? From correspondence I conducted with a former head of the U.S. government’s POW/MIA office. The reason for that correspondence is that my unit has a still-missing-and-unaccounted-for MIA. It appears we are never going to know what happened to him. The only evidence of his fate is eyewitnesses who saw him being led away by enemy soldiers during the firefight, and a defector’s report of having seen a U.S. captive several months later that appeared to match our MIA in description and place. Also, military intelligence knew the capturing unit continued to operate in the vicinity after the capture, which argues against a possibility of the prisoner having been moved out of the area and fed into the POW system. In all probability, he was eventually killed, either as a morale demonstration as described above, or because keeping him became too burdensome for the capturing enemy unit. This would occur if attrition continued to reduce their manpower and/or they encountered growing difficulties in getting resupply especially food.

    But there were no Malmedy-type incidents against Americans in Vietnam, so your attempt to draw that parallel is inapt (and inept).

    There is no need to comment at length on the rest of your post. Rightwing partisans hate Kerry for publicly opposing the war. No one except them believe Kerry was impugning our troops in general; intelligent people understood that he was calling attention to facets of the war that people of conscience would consider immoral. Today’s rightwing propagandists would have you believe the atrocity stories that Kerry conveyed to the Senate were fables that have been debunked; the opposite is true. The specific incidents that were the subject of Kerry’s Senate testimony have never been debunked by the right and most or all are supported by evidence. One can ask what is the point of publicizing one’s own side’s atrocities while a war is still in progress, given that atrocities occur in all wars, and war by its nature is inherently immoral. The answer is that in a democratic country like ours a free people have a right to know. What they do with that information is up to them.

    There is overwhelming evidence that what Rather and Mapes broadcast about Bush’s TANG service is true, or at least substantially true, erring only in minor details. In fact, the documents in question have never been proven to be forgeries. While it seems to me unlikely they are original documents, the secretary for the colonel who purportedly authored them has publicly stated that their content is true. Thus, even if these documents are fake, their content is not and they paint an accurate picture of what occurred.

    However, the journalism profession’s ethical standards do not permit using fake evidence to corroborate true facts. Rather and Mapes were disciplined because they failed to adhere to their network’s verification policies, not because what they broadcast was untrue. It probably was true. We also know that many records of Bush’s TANG service were deliberately destroyed after he became a powerful politician in his own right; that’s not the action of an honest man who has nothing to hide.

    Far from “hoisting” me on a “petard,” you have once again demonstrated the shallowness of your knowledge and the superficiality of your grasp on reality.

  47. 52

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “Second, of the American soldiers who were captured by enemy forces in Vietnam, those captured in North Vietnam (mostly flight crews shot down over the North) or captured in South Vietnam were entered in North Vietnam’s accounting system.”

    should read

    “Second, of the American soldiers who were captured by enemy forces in Vietnam, those captured in North Vietnam (mostly flight crews shot down over the North) or captured in South Vietnam and transported to North Vietnam were entered in North Vietnam’s accounting system.”

    The critical fact is whether the American POW was taken to North Vietnam. If he was, he survived (unless too ill or severely injured); if he wasn’t, he didn’t.

  48. 53

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @42 “I still mourne one fellow I knew well. He was in my Boy Scout troop, age 17 when I joined at age 11. Obviously, I looked up to him. At age 18 he volunteered for the Army, eager to serve his country and liberate Vietnam from the communist threat. He was sent to Vietnam after training, was in combat as an infantryman, and returned after his tour of duty. Upon return, he was clearly not the same person – within a few months he was clearly an alchoholic, and soon also a drug addict. I lost track of him a couple of years after that. Physically, I don’t know if he is alive or dead, but the man I mourne, the 17-year-old good-natured, optomistic, all-American patriot clearly died (spiritually) somewhere in Vietnam.”

    One of my buddies in Vietnam drove a car into a bridge pillar at 100 mph four days after he returned to the States, obviously a suicide. At least two went crazy in Vietnam and had to be shipped home prior to the scheduled end of their duty tours. Last week, I received a request from a veterans counselor in another part of the country to furnish him with a signed affidavit and other documentation to support a claim for VA disability benefits for PTSD being made by a survivor of my unit’s battles.

  49. 54

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @42 “But to the Vietnamese, the S. Vietnamese President was just one of several strong-men in the country, one that represented the Catholic elite who were the French toadies and inherited power after the French withdrawal, and with U.S. support. The majority of the peasants were Buddist, living a traditional communal village lifestyle on ancestoral land, and resented efforts by the government to resettle them into larger villages or cities where the leaders extorted bribes and rent in return for homes and supplies supplied for free by the U.S. Government. In Saigon, the government kept the most reliable S. Vietnamese forces not as protection against V.C. attack, but to protect against coups and to exert control over areas managed by other warlords.”

    The underlying cause of the Vietnam War is more specific than this. Vietnam was occupied by Japan in World War II (they walked in with the cooperation of Vichy French officials). After the Japanese surrender and re-establishment of a French government in post-war Europe, the French tried to reclaim their former colonies in Southeast Asia, but were defeated on the battlefield and negotiated a settlement with Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh government in the Geneva Conference, which provided for a temporary division of Vietnam at the 17th parallel, with reunification and elections to take place later. It was the U.S. that reneged on the promised reunification and elections, and the reason we did was because our government figured Ho Chi Minh would win.

  50. 56

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @44 Bullshit. The SBVFT was a GOP front-group organized by RNC operatives and funded by GOP donors closely connected to the Bush/Cheney campaign. Of course it operated independently; it wasn’t necessary the campaign to control SBVFT’s activities, and the campaign didn’t want its fingerprints on this operation for obvious reasons. But to portray SBVFT as an independent group of veterans expressing their personal opinions about a fellow veteran is sheer nonsense. SBVFT spent over $17 million. It was a big organization that ran national TV spots and a well-oiled publicity campaign. Its top functionaries were the Republican Party’s best political and campaign professionals — people who made their living waging political campaigns and had been doing this stuff for years.

    You’re blowing smoke out of your ass.

  51. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @49 Feel free to explain how Nixon could have won with Illinois’ electoral votes.

    You, too, puddy are blowing smoke out of your ass.

  52. 58



    Actually, your Vietnam info is both interesting and fascinating, and we all profit by your sharing of it. Seriously…thanks.

    But you yourself acknowledge that evenhandedness isn’t exactly your strong suit, so vehement denunciations or defenses of yours suffer in their credibility by your self-confessed bias. You said it, not me.

    You also can’t deny that John Kerry had massive credibility issues as a candidate, as I pointed out. Why, then, shouldn’t his credibility about other things come into question? I don’t care how much of Theresa’s catsup you slather over him, he still looks and tastes the same.

    Technically, the point made about magnanimity after Appomattox is correct, though Sherman wasn’t there at the time. He was in the Carolinas chasing Confederate Joe Johnston from whom he subsequently received a surrender with generous terms that were themselves disavowed by Secretary of War Stanton.

    But those were different times, gentlemanly times where eveyone fought by the same rules and each side respected and had friends and family on the other; it literally was brother against brother. Still, before hostilities ceased, war was waged relentlessly, and friend killed friend because it was their duty to do so.

    Nevertheless the original point about retribution and playing fast and loose with the rules of warfare still holds not because of wholesale treatment of large numbers of American POWs in Vietnam, but because what did happen to those who were imprisoned and the nature of the enemy faced by Americans fighting on the ground.

    It’s one thing to know who to shot at – aim for the guys in gray uni’s wearing those coal-shuttle helmets – versus not knowing if the woman in the rice paddy today had a hand grenade yesterday.

    Just exactly who was the enemy?

    I don’t seek to justify anything; I seek to try to understand something so horrible only those who’ve been there can ever fully understand. And I try to avoid judging the actions of those in those situations who were subject to pressures no one by they themselves can comprehend.

    It’s in this context that the actions of Vietnam-era anti-war types are best understood. No sense of perspective, no sense of understanding, no sense of empathy for those going through a drafted Hell on earth all for the vanity of LBJ and Robert McNamera…just denunciation that ALL American soldiers and Marines were baby killers, ALL were Lt. Calley’s or worse, and ALL deserved denunciation and to be spat upon.

    John Kerry’s post-service testimony fell right into that school.

    Even the popular music of the day mocked those who served and lauded those who sided with the Communists. Take for example Country Joe and the Fish’s “Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die Rag,” which described mindless soldiers “blowin’ ‘em to kingdom come!”

    Anyone who has the temerity to suggest that the left “supported the troops” during the 1960’s and 1970’s wasn’t alive during those times.

    The voices of those who were held as POWs during Vietnam are worth listening to. And they were pretty strong in denouncing John Kerry for what he said, and no amount of Kerry flip-flopping can erase the pain and damage his words caused those men.

    The Piper

  53. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @58 The 2004 election is over, piper, and Kerry isn’t running in 2008. I admire Kerry for his military service in Vietnam, I also admire him for his principled opposition to the continuation of a profitless war, I additionally admire him for his hard work in the Senate on POW issues (including addressing the shameless exploitation of MIA families by MIA-search entrepreneurs), and finally I admire his spirited and principled 2004 campaign against the worst incumbent president of the last 100 years.

    Impartial? No, I’m not. But my partisan loyalty is based on the best fact-based judgment I can bring to bear on the task of being a good citizen and voting for the best interests of my country and fellow citizens, not slavish loyalty to a party or ideology. The operative word here, piper, is “judgment” not “bias.” Unlike most Republicans, I do not hesitate to criticize Democrats where criticism is deserved.

  54. 60



    Agree completely that the 2004 election is over, which means why are all the HA Happy Hooligans still campaigning against George W. Bush?

    On Kerry, I see Theresa Heinz’s gigilo husband who has more flip-flops than Fred Meyer in May. A principled campaign? More like a highly criticized campaign by one of the Democratic Party’s worst candidates since Adlai Stevenson, who was roundly hated by the Kennedy’s.

    On the judgment/bias dichotomy, I’ll agree with you up to a point. When was the last time you used judgment to praise a good Republican move or effort? The sword cuts both ways, you know. And I, too, both praise and criticize those in my own party, but I’ve also written in praise of Barack Obama’s campaign to date and how he’s positioning himself. I’ve praised the Clinton political machine for its technical expertise, though it seems to be choking on its own genetic hubris and racism. And I’ve praised FDR as a war leader.

    Last time I mentioned Ike, you slammed him harder than a WWF title holder would a 97-pound weakling opponent.

    Still…and truthfully…you’ve written more concrete and respectful posts on this thread than perhaps ever.

    Atta bunny!

    See…even the Ol’ Piper can give you a kudo carrot every once in a while.

    The Piper