Arm the teachers. We talked here about the Thai teachers unions back in June. Of course, if there is no formal training in weapons use offered by the government, such carrying would have to be entirely voluntary -- someone who is not trained, or who knows they are not capable of using their weapon, is only putting a weapon in the hands of whoever seizes that classroom.
The suggestion does not go far enough. One of the best ways that we can make terrorism more difficult is by making America a hard target. The way to do that is to arm, and train, the civilian population -- that is, to call up the general militia of the United States, as established in the US Code. These persons should be given necessary training in how to safely and accurately carry and use a firearm; and then they should carry them about their persons. It need not be a long course, that would take people away from their jobs -- not a fully military "Basic - AIT - etc" setup, but rather short series of courses, scheduled around their need to work for a living. Topics to be covered include the carrying of weapons, and range time, both traditional and tactical. It would be good if the order opened military base and police firing ranges to the public, so long as the public's use of them was scheduled around the needs of the authority.
These persons would be able to carry without regard to "exemption" laws, such as usually prevent carrying firearms into schools or courthouses. The 2nd Amendment, whatever else it covers, certainly does cover members of the US militia acting on orders to go armed.
Combined with those Americans who voluntarily carry under the various concealed weapons permits available from the several states (who would still be covered by exemption laws), this should provide a strong "immune system" to hostage crises. It makes them much more difficult and dangerous to execute, but not only that -- it makes them harder to plan. Because these weapons are usually concealed handguns, terrorists scoping out a potential site can't guess how many armed persons they would have to face. That seriously complicates planning and -- as it requires that they act in larger groups, in order to address the unknown threat level -- makes more likely the discovery of the plot or the capture of one of their number by counterintelligence and police.
"Unthinkable!" I imagine many are shouting. "The population would not stand for it!"
Let this happen just once to an American kindergarten, and the population will be demanding it with full lungs. Why, then, should we wait? Must we really insist on paying a blood price in order to recover this traditional, explicitly Constitutional defense of freedom, of our children, and our land?
Arm the teachers. We talked here about the Thai teachers unions back in June. Of course, if there is no formal training in weapons use offered by the government, such carrying would have to be entirely voluntary -- someone who is not trained, or who knows they are not capable of using their weapon, is only putting a weapon in the hands of whoever seizes that classroom.
You have had a moment to laugh over this picture of me playing with my son:
This is what the enemy wants to turn him into:
Zalina Dzandarova cradles her son Alan as he sleeps with his small face buried against her stomach. He is the child Dzandarova was able to save. The child she chose to save, really.This is why we fight. This is what Zell Miller meant, when he said he wanted a President who would defend his great-grandchildren.
It is the other one, little Alana, her 6-year-old daughter, whose image torments her: Alana clutching her hand, Alana crying and calling after her. Alana's sobs disappearing into the distance as Dzandarova walked out of Middle School No. 1 here Thursday, clutching 2-year-old Alan in her arms.
Is there anyone left who fails to understand the stakes? John Kerry said the terrorist threat was "exaggerated." Is that the right way to think about this?
Swear then by all the children you could not save that the next dead little one will not be yours. Wrong. Swear then that you will defeat them whatever it takes and into whatever hell you must go.I so swear.
Another silly rumor.
We have received reports from US sources that Pakistani security forces have captured Osama bin Laden.Of course, the Army is not helping:
According to these sources, bin Laden was captured not far from Chitral in the Northern part of Pakistan (between Chitral and Peshawar), approximately 4 weeks ago....
According to the US sources, the capture of the "Big Fish" will not be officially announced until sometime next month, in what is sure to be "Headline" news throughout the world.
"If you are asking if we are close to getting OBL, the answer is yes," he said, when asked whether the large-scale arrests are leading to the capture of bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.This isn't the first time they've guaranteed his capture. No offense, old son, but show me the money. I don't think it's helpful to be overconfident, as if you don't find him -- and it's a hard thing, as you know better than anyone -- the enemy is encouraged by our failed boasts.
"Our president (George W. Bush) has said we will arrest Osama bin Laden. It is guaranteed," he said, adding it could happen tomorrow, in a week or a month from now.
Now, if you do make good that boast, I know who I'm voting for in 2008.
Call it the Zell Bounce:
Terrorism: 57% trust Bush to handle the war on terrorism, while 36% trust Kerry.So much for clearing that hurdle. Let's talk about health care.
Providing strong leadership: 56% said they trust Bush to provide strong leadership in difficult times, while 37% said they trust Kerry to provide leadership in difficult times.
I have a couple of questions for Kerry, based on last night's speech.
I am under the impression that he will want to answer them:
For the past week, they attacked my patriotism and my fitness to serve as Commander-in-chief. We'll, here's my answer. I will not have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq.Well, that really gets right to my questions, so let's start. Unhappily, since Kerry has decided not to give interviews at which people can ask non-scripted questions (his last one was more than a month ago), we are left having to imagine his responses. I'll try to imagine them based on things his campaign, or he himself, has already said.
Grim: Senator, you've been accused of hiding from criticism on every possible issue. Does this answer mean that you will, once again, try to ignore all the questions raised about your record, walk away, and hope no one notices? Or are you simply trying to draw limits around legitimate free speech -- that is, that you won't take questions from people who didn't volunteer for military service, but you will take questions from those who did?At this point, we had to end the interview, so that my second could step in to arrange the duel.
Kerry: Are you a Republican?
Grim: No, Senator. Does that mean that Republicans are also in the category of people who aren't allowed to question you?
Kerry: Did you vote for George Bush? Did you vote for George Bush?
Grim: No, neither one.
Kerry: Well, then I might consider answering your question. What was it again?
Grim: Will you permit combat veterans to question your record, or are you really suggesting that no one may question you at all?
Kerry: Well, that's a complicated question, and the nuances...
Grim: Let's make it simpler, then, to save time. Will you let Bush question you? He volunteered for service.
Kerry: No. George Bush betrayed his country by not serving in Vietnam. Besides, he's a Republican, and I'm sure he voted for himself.
Grim: I see. How about Zell Miller's questions? He's not a Republican, and he served in the United States Marine Corps.
Kerry: No. He is no better than Darth Vader.
Grim: I see. Well, how about all these Swift Boat Veterans, then? They served in the same capacity as you, in the same place, and for much longer. Will you answer the questions they've raised?
Kerry: No. They are nothing but smear artists connected to George Bush.
Grim: There are over three hundred of them now.
Kerry: I won't have my service questioned by them, no.
Grim: By the men who served with you?
Grim: What about Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry?
Kerry: Their leader is a lunatic who hates me.
Grim: How about Vietnam Special Forces Against John Kerry?
Kerry: No. They are also full of hate.
Grim: Ralph Peters? He called you an "eel in a vat of olive oil."
Kerry: More hate speech. See, if someone hates you, you don't have to answer any question they raise.
Grim: Are you sure that every single veteran who is opposed to your candidacy hates you?
Grim: Well, then, a lot of veterans hate you, don't they?
Kerry: Well, why are all these veterans opposed to me? Never mind. Let's move on. I want to talk about the issues.
Grim: Your refusal to answer questions about your record is the issue we're talking about. I have one more question.
Grim: Will you answer to me? We know I'm a Democrat, that I didn't vote for Bush, and that I volunteered for the Marines.
Kerry: Don't be foolish. You're just a blogger. Do you know who I am?
UPDATE: Greyhawk has his own imagined interview. His has audio.
I went by to see the Tolkien and Bible quotes that BlackFive was talking about. What I ended up liking even better was the comparison between North and South:
Stadium Size:Do we know anybody like that?
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.
Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it becomes the state's third largest city.
NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.
When National Anthem is Played:
NORTH! : Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.
The Smell in the Air After the First Score:
NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.
NORTH: "Nice play."
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs."
NORTH: "My, this certainly is a violent sport."
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs."
NORTH: Neutral and paid.
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.
Per Drudge, Bill Clinton is suddenly down with an emergency quadruple bypass. Although we at Grim's Hall have always considered the Clintons bitter foes in the culture war, we remember that even our worst enemy in that regard is an American and therefore, if not a brother, at least a cousin. We wish him well, and a speedy recovery.
The Command Post has a great deal on the Russia hostage crisis, and is keeping on top of updates.
It's clear that this was not what we originally feared: the attack turned into a classic Islamic-terrorist hostage situation, rather than a Qaeda style "wait for the television cameras, then kill the kids for everyone to see." Even so, they apparently killed at least a hundred women and children.
On reflection, I think we can thank Operation Anaconda. Anaconda seems to have gone into the record books as a complete disaster, which has always surprised me. It was clear at the time that the US had managed to draw out Qaeda fighters by the hundreds -- the dangerous ones trained in Bin Laden's Afghan camps -- into a place where US firepower could be brought to bear without fear of collateral damage. Reports from US forces at the time stated that they brought such firepower down that the bodies of men they were tracking by starlight scopes were frequently vaporized in th explosions.
Yet the news coverage focused on the relatively few American deaths, and the row between US and UK forces. This last was to be expected, the first time two allied armies tried to work together; such things take a while to smooth out. (The article to which I linked includes only the American side of the complaint, which I noticed Kerry recognize the other day at the American Legion, when he said that he would have used only US troops in Afghanistan. The UK side of the complaint was made by the SAS, which was the US fear of civilian casualities kept them from capturing Bin Laden. You can read the UK's side of the story here.)
In spite of the personality conflicts, which perhaps prevented even greater success, Anaconda was a great blow against terrorism's most terrible shock troops. If they had not been killed where they were, we might well have seen some of the brutality they imagined acted out. Thanks to the US Army, and every bit as much also to the brave forces of the United Kingdom, we did not have to.
Today, of course, we must think of the Russian forces. They can have only little joy in knowing that it could have been worse.
From Lizard Queen, we see that Bush has done just what was expected: distance himself from invited guest Zell Miller.
The whole point, from the Republican point of view, was to let a Democrat say what they lacked the guts to say. Now, by publicly scorning the Hon. Zell Miller, they can erect a nice wall between themselves and his comments. No one can accuse any Republican of anger, no... anger is unseemly, improper, not wanted in the America of Bush's "New Freedom." Such variance should be medicated by your new doctor, until you feel much, much better.
Of course, I understand that the election is within four percentage points, and they're scrambling for every advantage. I doubt Zell minds, as he got what he wanted in the chance to dress down our own deviant Democrats, in the hope that they might -- perhaps after a debacle in November -- find their way home.
But still, this is a fine reason to stay and fight for the soul of my own party, instead of switching, if I needed another. At least the national Democrats are honest when they say they hate you and everything you stand for. They don't shake your hand and applaud you, and then pretend they never knew your name.
Scoundrels. It's still important to defeat Kerry, but I am disappointed at this display of cowardice by the "God-fearing" man "with a spine of tempered steel."
I see via Sovay that someone has declared Zell's speech to have been based on an email hoax. Snopes has shown that many of those weapons systems Kerry voted against were procedural votes, which don't necessarily mean that you are actually opposed to the weapon system.
That's a fair and substantive argument against Zell's speech. It is not, however, a correct one. As Captain's Quarters shows, Kerry didn't just vote against these systems -- he campaigned against them. There's no getting out of the fact that he was against them. The fact that an email went around saying so for spurious reasons doesn't change the fact that legitimate reasons exist.
Another fallen Jedi -- er, veteran -- in need of slandering and character assassination. Ralph Peters, retired Army officer, author of many books on military science and history, PBS Commentator, and contributer to the Army War College's Journal Parameters has a piece in the NY Post that makes our Zell look tame:
Kerry's the guy who, at the beginning of August, stated that we need to withdraw troops from Germany and South Korea. Then, as soon as President Bush announced a plan to do so, Kerry thundered against the idea. Confronted with his own remarks -- made only two weeks earlier -- he claimed that, well, yes, he thought we should withdraw troops, only not the way the president proposed to do it.I'm sure we can expect to hear from one of Kerry's spokesmen, soon, that this fellow is an out of the mainstream radical. I'm sure we can expect to see his character described with words like "liar," which seems to be a particular favorite term for Leftists who wish to describe anti-Kerry veterans. But since both Darth Vader and the Emperor are used up, will we have to call him "Darth Maul"?
The guy is an eel in a vat of olive oil.
Yesterday, John Kerry tried to pander to America's heroes, conveniently forgetting that he'd trashed them for political gain, then shortchanged them throughout his Senate career. Suddenly, Kerry was the man who had fought for benefits for his fellow Vietnam vets, the man who felt their pain (Kerry makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity).
The only veterans' benefit young John Kerry fought for was the right of vets to be spit upon in public.
UPDATE: When they do, let's remember that he was called "A military analyst generally respected by both left and right," by CalPundit, back when he was critical of Rumsfeld.
On NPR today, asked about Zell Miller, Terry McAuliffe said that Zell Miller was "the Democratic Party's Darth Vader." Buzzflash, on the other hand, says that he is really The Emperor Himself.
So, the Kerry campaign assassinates the character of yet another veteran, just because he is vocally opposed to Kerry's candidacy. This is in keeping with Kerry's preferences: ignore the issues, slander your opponents, try to move on and hope no one remembers what was said.
From yesterday afternoon's Washington Post:
Despite losing ground in polls, Kerry believes he has cleared the national security hurdle with most voters and plans to focus mostly on health care and the economy leading up to Nov. 2, Lockhart said.Emphasis added. Zell Miller's sixteen minute speech will require Kerry to scrap this plan, or let those charges hang unanswered over his head. Zell put up a brand new national security hurdle, taller and wider and solid concrete.
Can Kerry afford another two weeks of "crisis planning" to set up a third campaign strategy? Or will he just trudge on with this one, in spite of its newly obvious deficiency?
The AJC has a writeup on the speech called "Miller skewers his own party." It's surprisingly fair minded for the AJC, which is one of the most liberal newspapers in the country.
What is especially interesting is their online poll of readers. Even though they serve primarily the liberal public of the Atlanta city limits -- the D.C. of the South -- the poll is running over 70% in favor of Zell's speech. Of course, online polls, etc... but it's surprising given their primary readership, and shows the love with which Zell is regarded by Georgians.
Ace also had some comments on the speech:
[Zell] was drawing a contrast between those who call our troops liberators -- occupiers for a noble and good purpose -- and those who call them oppressive occupiers for the pecuniary gain of Bell Helicopter, Halliburton, and GE.Sadly, yes.
Between those who call them liberators and those who call them invaders who ravage the countryside like 'Jenjis Khan.' (Several searches of on-line encyclopedias have as of yet yielded no insight into who the great ravager 'Jenjis Khan' might be. I'm still looking-- when I know, you'll know!)
He was drawing a contrast between those who call our military heroes and those who call them war criminals, the sort of people who might be inclined to cut off ears, cut off heads, rape, blown (sic) up bodies, shot cattle and livestock without cause, fired indiscriminately at civilians, etc.
Know anyone like that, spinners?
Having been watching Hardball all night, Ace says that Chris Matthews was railing about Zell to everyone, before Miller came on the show:
[Chris Matthews] badgered Kay Bailey Hutchinson about [Miller], then suggested that Miller should, in the interests of honor, stop drawing checks from the Senate, and actually quit the Senate. (No such suggestions were offered to Jim Jeffords, natch.)Why would he do that? He is still performing his duty as a Senator, so naturally he should draw his pay. The only reason I know of that would prevent you drawing your pay as a Senator is not showing up for work:
Section 39 of the United States Code Service requires the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House to deduct daily pay from members for each day they are absent.Zell Miller's been right there doing his job. Where is John Kerry? Where is John Edwards? Is there a reason for this lawbreaking, other than that it is convenient for them to continue to receive public money which they are legally forbidden from receiving?
The only legal excuse is if the senator or representative, or one of their family members, is ill, the law states.
Thanks for reminding me, Mr. Matthews.
James Lileks said:
Big banner: “A MORE HOPEFUL AMERICA.” Lame. Why not “FLUFFIER KITTENS” or “BRIGHTER LAUNDRY.” I want A CHAIN-MAILED FIST CRUSHING THE FORCES OF JIHAD!
Well, son, there you go. The last ride of a great man. Semper Fidelis, Senator.
UPDATE: Allah says: "The guy was stupendous. If Cheney wants to follow this, he had better come out with Bin Laden's head on a f***ing stick."
Tonight, watching Senator Zell Miller's speech, my mother said, "Kerry and Kennedy really pissed off Senator Miller."You said it. Ooh-Rah!
Me, "No, Mom, they pissed off Sergeant Miller." That's worse...
UPDATE: See also my tribute to Zell from a few days back.
UPDATE: The Sage:
Democratic spin from Tad Devine: It's the politics of fear. (It must be: he looks afraid.)
UPDATE: Several sources say that Miller, on Hardball, challenged Chris Matthews to a duel over Matthews' comments, and Matthews backed off. He's wise. It was not a joke. I know, who comes from where Zell does, and who bears a scar or two of my own.
UPDATE: My first reaction to this was to say, "They obviously said that, since Zell is a Democrat, he can go after them with both barrels and a Bowie knife." On reflection, I remember Hill's Celtic Warfare, which used military science to suggest a strong cultural connection between Scottish Highlanders and Appalachian Southerners. This is how he described "the Highland Charge":
They advance rapidly, discharge their pieces when within musket length of the enemy, and then, throwing them down, draw their sword, and... dart with fury on the enemy through the smoke of their fire... Their attack is so terrible, that the best troops in Europe would with difficulty sustain the first shock of it; and if the hordes of the Highlanders once come in contact with them, their defeat is inevitable.Both barrels, and the Bowie knife.
Welcome, Southern Appeal and Right on Red readers.
Welcome, National Review readers. John Derbyshire doubtless does not know this, but he and I have exchanged mail on several occasions under my real name. He sent me a kind congratulations on the birth of my son, and his name and website appear to the right, in the permanent collection of "Admired Voices."
One of the two signs of spiritual health in a man is that he takes pleasure in the play of children. (The other is that he finds joy in life, in spite of its hardships.) I don't spend as much time as I might to talking about that here, because the readership of Grim's Hall is all adult, although some of you have children (I'm looking at you, BlackFive).
Today I bought my son Beowulf a couple of toys. All I can say about these things is that I wish we'd had them when I was a boy. They are from a company called Papo-France, and I am honestly impressed.
One of the toys I bought was from the "L'antiquite" page, and is the finest example of a Viking warrior toy I've ever seen. The details are correct, from the chain mail (rare but prized by Vikings) to the nasal helmet and round shield. The horned-helmet fellow on the same page is not a Viking, but an ancient Gaul, for whom the horns are correct. The only complaint I have is the sword, which has a high central ridge (appropriate for a stabbing weapon, rather than a Viking slashing sword which would have had a central groove and high ridges along the edge). Otherwise, it's beautiful.
I also bought a dragon (from Contes et legendes). With the two together, I have a functional "Beowulf and the Dragon" set to use in teaching my son about the poem that is his namesake.
Not shown on the website, but in the print catalog they gave me, is a Richard the Lionheart, a Joan of Arc, and several other historic figures. There are also knights from various periods, again with arms and armor that are largely correct -- a shining departure from the norm.
If you're looking for a gift for a boy, say five to twelve (and possibly older if they love Tolkien, or play Dungeons & Dragons), this seems a good bet to me.
Hugh Hewitt offers some warm hospitality to Terry McAuliffe:
HEWITT: Sitting across from me Terry McAuliffe. Strike me dead. It's so good to see you here Mr. Chairman. It's good to have you at the Democratic National Convention and at the Republican National ConventionYou have no idea if you believe it?
MCAULIFFE: Who would have thought that I'd be going around with a credential at the Republican Convention.
HEWITT: Can you stay for a couple of hours?
MCAULIFFE: Love to. Love it here. Everybody is being hospitable to me.
HEWITT: I want to start with some very easy questions.
HEWITT: Do you believe that John Kerry took a CIA man into Cambodia and kept his hat?
MCAULIFFE: Uh, I have no idea.
I repaired the "Democrats for Bush" link, which had been broken after they moved house. I've also added two new permanent links: one to Lizard Queen's site, and one to Marine Corps Moms. The first is under "Other Halls," and the second, under "Honor & Virtue." Marine Corps Moms have both in abundance.
About 20 armed men and women wearing explosive belts seized a school in southern Russia and are holding at least 300 hostages, including children, the country's fourth terrorist attack in the past eight days. As many as 10 people died.From the Village Voice, 2 July 2002:
Three people were killed when the school was taken, and between 300 and 400 hostages are being held, said Alexander Osiptsov, a spokesman at North Ossetia's presidential administration. Seven people died in hospital, Itar-Tass news service said, citing the local hospital that treated them....
NTV television said a blast was heard inside the school, without giving further details. Rossiya television showed troops surrounding the school and a girl running from the area. Shooting was audible on the broadcast.
``The terrorists aren't willing to negotiate so far,'' Osiptsov said. ``This is why it's absolutely unclear where exactly in the school the explosion took place'' and whether more people were killed.
The terrorists threatened to detonate their explosive belts if rescuers attempt to storm the building and said 50 children would be executed if any of the hostage-takers is killed, Itar-Tass said, citing Kazbek Dzantiyev, the head of Northern Ossetia's Interior Ministry....
The gunmen seized the school during a ceremony to begin the Russian school year. Festivities are usually held in schools across Russia on Sept. 1, with children coming to school in their finest clothes and carrying flowers for the teachers, parents coming to meet staff and songs being played over the public address system.
An e-mail recently making the rounds of military and law enforcement circles describes a captured Al Qaeda training tape said to reveal the group's expertise in small arms and close commando situations in urban settings like New York, Washington, and Chicago.... For bigger raids, terrorists carry concealed weapons into a building, say a school or a financial institution, then in a swift show of violence take over the room, marching people up to the roof. TV reporters and photojournalists are allowed in. The kidnappers then begin to execute prisoners one by one in front of the cameras. The tape suggests planning several simultaneous raids to gain maximum exposure. The key point is that absolutely no one is left alive—men, women, children, all are killed.I remember these captured videos from Afghanistan from two years ago. I've been expecting an attack of this type ever since then, and wondering when it would come.
In advice to law enforcement, one analyst of this training tape urges cops to begin shooting as soon as they recognize what's going on, and not to wait for any SWAT team or other support. Complying at any point is useless, since everyone will be ritually executed on the roof.
The terrorists' only salvation is that they are doing this in Russia, and not the United States. Even so, when they start executing the children for the news cameras, the world will change again.
US News & World Report runs with a quite insightful article called "No Truce in the Culture War." It looks at the relative unimportance of abortion and gun control in the current national debate, explains it, and then posits similar resolutions arising with the remaining "hot button" domestic issues.
What the author is not able to explain -- probably because it is too obvious for an analyst to see it -- is why the fury exists in the current campaign, given the relative peace on the traditional "hot buttons." As to that, the Belmont Club explains it:
Three stories -- all related to the war in some fashion -- are at the heart of the news. Topping the bill is the dispute between John Kerry and the Swiftvets over the legacy of Vietnam. In second place are the continued developments in Iraq...I think this is correct. At this point, even Iraq has taken a backseat to Vietnam. Iraq is about stopping a terrorist threat from forming down the road. Vietnam is about who we are now: anti-warriors, and warriors, and which side will command our destiny.
The original accusations by the Swiftvets group against John Kerry's Vietnam service claims have set off a chain reaction, which is at one level about the past, by restarting an unfinished civil war in which neither side won a decisive victory, but settled for an indefinite armistice. That truce may now be broken. Tensions began to rise in the political demilitarized zone between the two halves of America with the War on Terror, but when first Kerry and then the Swiftvets crossed the lines the battle may once again be in full swing. The story the Mainstream Media refused to acknowledge is threatening to push every other headline below the fold, a blasting cap dismissed as insignificant before everyone realized it was connected to the main charge.
The war on terror began to reawaken the old wounds of Vietnam, and the Iraq war inflamed the sinister Left (that is, literally, the "left Left"), whose current ideology was formed in the Vietnam period. The country has grown used to seeing large-scale protests in its cities again, as these teams of anarchists and other professional protestors show up at every event, supplemented by whoever they can sucker into buying their line for a time. This time, however, there is a large section of the dormant Left aroused to join them. Allah today links to a story about a group of elderly protestors, who would have been the 50-somethings in the Vietnam era, and who have come back to rage against war--not just this war, but any war, at any time. War cannot be banished as they wish; but rather than recognize this, they simply choose to put anti-war sentiment in a category with all unfixable social ills. Rather than admit that war can't be banished, they would rather pretend that all evil can be, and protest that it has not.
But we have seen an angry Left before; constantly during Reagan's terms, which were generally peaceful and easy times. If the Iraq war were all there was, though the Left would still be up in arms the majority of the nation would be calm. What turned this into the most bitter of campaigns was the awakening of the military right. The fault for that belongs to John Kerry's incessent, insistent invocation of Vietnam, added to his explosive personal role in the slanders of the antiwar movement. It has aroused fury in the majority of military men (65% registered Republicans in 2000) that so prominent a slanderer of the military should be nominated as Commander in Chief, at a time when they are being called upon to serve under conditions properly called "stretched." At a time when they are sacrificing for the good, the Democratic Party appointed as its candidate for their new commander this man:
Why is Vietnam a ''wound'' and why won't it heal? The answer: not because it was a military or strategic defeat but because it was a national trauma. And whose fault is that?This has enraged even more that majority of Vietnam Veterans who have always considered Kerry the owner of a personal affront. Both communities are dispersed throughout America, although somewhat concentrated in the South. Their wrath -- expressed in Unfit for Command, in Stolen Honor, in the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, in bumper stickers ("Hanoi John! American TRAITOR!" read one I saw today on a car with an Armed Forces Veteran license plate), letters to the editor, and private conversations -- their wrath has raised the temperature to boiling.
Well, you can't pin it all on one person, but, if you had to, Lt. John F. Kerry would stand a better shot at taking the solo trophy than almost anyone. The ''wounds'' McCain complains of aren't from losing Vietnam, but from the manner in which it was lost. Today Sen. Kerry says he's proud of his anti-war activism, but that's not what it was. Every war has pacifists and conscientious objectors and even disenchanted veterans, but there's simply no precedent for what John Kerry did: a man who put his combat credentials to the service of smearing his country's entire armed forces as rapists, decapitators and baby killers.
As not in a generation, what BlackFive calls "America's Warrior Caste" is involved and angry. The sinister Left, meanwhile, is convinced that Iraq is not merely 'another Vietnam' -- they believe that it is Vietnam, that Iraq was an excuse for the vipers who nest in illegal secrets, CIA evils, and a military best exemplified by Abu Ghraib -- extended to include all American prison camps, and indeed all American prisons. "Free Mumia!" say signs along side those that say "No War!"
It would be difficult to further inflame the electorate. Even a terrorist attack would probably be calming, as it would likely cause us to set aside differences for a time and remember that we have crueler enemies than each other.
And the thing few seem to remember is that there is a darker future out there awaiting us. Terrorism takes advantage of the freedoms of the West, and there are still unguarded freedoms it can use to hurt us. We have only begun to be tested, and there is, finally, no hope of retreat or negotiation. Whoever wins, and whatever harm their victory does to our society, worse things wait for us. All roads darken, and the sea rises higher.
The Mudville Gazette has an interesting story today about an elected-official who is also a soldier:
State Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo, a National Guard soldier who volunteered for service in Iraq after she had filed for re-election, said yesterday she will not campaign for a second term.That shows exactly the honor and commitment to duty that I expect from a serving soldier, and wish were more common among politicians. I salute this lady, who -- I say without looking up, or caring about, the specifics of her politics -- is one of America's best.
'After thorough research, it is clear that Department of Defense rules will prohibit me from performing my legislative responsibilities while on active military duty in Iraq,' she said at a press conference yesterday at the state Capitol....
Because Department of Defense regulations limit campaign activities, Tamayo, D-42nd (Waipahu, Honouliuli, 'Ewa), said she felt prohibited from disclosing much about her political intentions. She said she had stopped all political activities after being placed on active duty two weeks ago.
During the press conference, Tamayo called the possibility of being elected and being unable to perform her duties 'unacceptable.'
'My goal is to actually be of service, not just to hold onto my position,' she said.
Somebody's dug one up:
I think Kerry was "a" leader, not "the" leader of VVAW, but it's still pretty rough stuff. It reminds me, and I suspect it will remind others, of this political stunt:
A US Infantry Company Just Came Through Here!
If you had been Vietnamese....
We might have raped your wife and daughter.
"Notice: These men are Potential rapists."I quote an approving review, showing that there were (and still are) some Americans who thought it was clever. The effect on early 1990s American culture was to help out the already-begun death spiral of feminist credibility. Opponents could say, quite honestly, that feminist theory 'teaches that all young men are potential rapists.' It played well with "performance art critics," but not so well with the average American father and mother.
This banner headline advertising an anti-rape performance art piece appeared on campus kiosks at the University of Maryland at College Park on the evening of April 29, 1993. The following afternoon another version, "Any of these Men May Have the Potential to Be Rapists," was mounted for about two hours on a temporary wall on the campus quad. The clincher was the sea of names: some 4,500 identifiably male names culled from the student directory were presented as the local population of potential rapists.
You can imagine how happy you'd be to see your name on a list of "Potential rapists." You can imagine how happy US Infantry companies were to find themselves painted with the same brush as University of Maryland students. You can imagine how happy Kerry will be to find himself asked, "Do you still believe, as your organization stated in the 1970s, that American soldiers are potential rapists? Do you still believe the Army's effect on young men is to 'turn them into a butcher or a corpse'?"
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does some actual investigative reporting. The Atlanta city limits (and parts of DeKalb county immediately adjacent) are home to liberal Democrats who shelter there from the largely-conservative rest of the state. Like the national Democratic party, which has gone hard left in recent years, they have confused the Democratic Party with the Liberal Party. They don't think that any conservatives belong in the "D" column, regardless of how traditional his views are for a Democrat. They've recently begun an effort to flood Zell's office with email demanding he leave the Democratic Party. Their reasoning lists this as the number one reason why Zell shouldn't be a Democrat:
1) The non-partisan National Journal's 2003 ratings place Zell's voting record as more conservative than 23 Republican senators and more conservative than 73% of all Senators.So: conservatives have no place here! We will have ideological purity! If you're not a liberal, you can't be a Democrat! Get out!
National Journal, National Journal Group Inc. Friday, Feb. 27, 2004
This, from the party whose critique of President Bush is that he has driven off his natural allies with "my way or the highway" rhetoric. Bush's failure to recognize legitimate European differences of opinion, they state, is a kind of arrogance that they will not repeat.
Who is a more natural ally than a lifelong member of your own party? If you can't work with Zell, or even deal with him better than to provoke open defiance, why should we believe you'll be able to work with Turkey or France?
Well, the AJC left the Perimeter (I-285, that is) and went up into the mountains to ask around. That takes guts -- when I was at Georgia State University, downtown Atlanta, I frequently heard such liberals wonder aloud if people who went up there would ever come back. "You can sure get lost in the Loo'siana bayou," as the song goes, and the Applachians too.
Here's what they found:
So as Democrats from Washington to Atlanta step up their demands that Miller get out of the party, Georgia's retiring senior senator just shakes his head and says it one more time: He was "born a Democrat" and will die one.I wonder if this violent rhetoric has anything to do with the fact that retired truck driver Leroy Adams has had to become accustomed to watching everything he believes in scoffed at by the party he's voted for and served his whole life? But let's continue:
"No one can understand it except those folks who live in Appalachia," Miller wrote in his latest book, "A National Party No More," a smash-mouth appraisal of a Democratic Party that Miller says abandoned him and the American mainstream by tilting too far left.
Indeed, many of those living in the swatch of Appalachia that cuts across northern Georgia, where Miller was raised and still lives, said in interviews last week that they have no problem with Miller siding with Republicans.
At Miller's regular lunch spot, Mary Ann's Country Kitchen and Grill in his hometown of Young Harris, retired truck driver Leroy Adams offered that he's no fan of Bush or his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. But like Miller, he said, he'll back Bush.
"I know some Democrats say Zell Miller has stabbed them in the back by going with the Republicans," Adams said. "But I think some of these so-called Democrats need to be stabbed in the back."
"He don't pull no punches," said Gribble, who considers herself a political independent. "We like people who talk straight. It's how we were brought up. Up here, we were taught that a handshake is better than anything wrote on paper."Just so.
"The Democrats are mad at him, but so what?" said Bateman, a retired Baptist minister who, like Miller, is a lifelong registered Democrat, though he votes for Republicans, too.Hmm... sounds like a movement of the people united behind common principles. What's the word for such a movement again? Oh, right: democratic.
"Senator Miller is of the old school. He represents the people of Appalachia and Georgia, not the Democratic Party, as such," Bateman said....
"Kerry represents exactly what Zell doesn't want the Democratic Party to be," Black said. "And I think Zell represents the view of most of the people in the area he comes from. I would think most of them would not be voting for Kerry this fall."
The leftward tilt of national Democrats has angered and alienated conservative Democrats like Miller, Black said. Many already are voting Republican at the national and state level and that trend has trickled down to the local level.
"Conservative Democrats are already isolated and marginalized in the national Democratic Party," Black said. "They have utterly no influence."
A last note on Georgian sentiment about Zell:
In the last legislative session, state Republicans sought to embarrass Democrats by proposing that a statue of Miller be erected on the statehouse grounds. Democrats finally managed to quietly stall the proposal in committee, but few publicly rebuked Miller.The AJC is no fan, and there is a lot of rhetoric here that assumes the national party is right, and all these Georgia Democrats are wrong. The article sides against them, but tries to explain to the reasonable Atlanta reader why these "hard headed mountain folk" are insisting on being wrong.
That statue can't be stalled in committee forever. There is an irony, of a sort, that a man who as Governor worked to try to remove a divisive image from the statehouse grounds -- the Confederate Battle Flag portion of the Georgia State Flag -- may become just such an image himself. The statue is appropriate. It is of a type with the others already there, governors and Generals and Senators and one English Knight, Sir James Edward Oglethorpe. All were controversial in their day, far more than Zell. Each one put his stamp on Georgia; and, like Zell, nearly all were Democrats, though only one, Jimmy Carter, would today be welcome in the national party.
Sic transit Georgia's last Democratic senator. With him goes the South; and with the South, the Democratic Party's hope of regaining control of the Senate, the Supreme Court, or the future of the nation.
A story from Deuddersun states that the USMC is having to cut combined arms exercises in half. The article says that the need for new Marines is so high that the Corps isn't being given the traditional training periods.
Well, training makes the man, and especially the Marine. This is cause for concern.
Remember this picture?
This picture is a Camel Spider, which has been "adjusted" to look giant through the creative tricks of a camera lens.
Here is how Americans responded, via Snopes:
According to most spider experts, these claims are all false. Camel spiders (so named because, like camels, they can be found in sandy desert regions) grow to be moderately large (about a 5" leg span), but nowhere near as large as dinner plates[.]And here is the response from Iraqi Insurgents:
Some people describe the image as merely two camel spiders joined together. But many Fallujans say the picture shows a giant spider sent by God to attack US troops in the battle for their town in April.Sovay's response, when I mentioned it to her:
"The soldier says that it runs fast - about 40 kilometres per hour. It is poisonous and it makes a screaming sound," said a poster in the mosque, entitled "Miracle of God in Fallujah"....
Although no Fallujans interviewed by IWPR claimed to have seen the beasts, many had heard tales about them.
"A spider emerged from the railway tracks near the Golan neighbourhood," said Abid Bin Allawi Ubeid, 32, a public servant in Fallujah's electricity department. "It killed 60 Marines."