Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall

Carter Responds to Miller:

I see that Talking Points Memo has obtained a copy of a letter by Jimmy Carter, to Zell Miller. You can see the whole thing at Josh's site if you like. After scolding Zell for speaking out against the national party, and suggesting that dissent is improper in a Democrat, Carter says this:

I, myself, never claimed to have been a war hero, but I served in the navy from 1942 to 1953, and, as president, greatly strengthened our military forces and protected our nation and its interests in every way. I don’t believe this warrants your referring to me as a pacificist.
We thank the former President for his service in the navy. This is the first time, however, I have heard it suggested by anyone that the Carter presidency "strengthened our military forces," to say nothing of "greatly strengthened." I wonder if he also believes that he "greatly strengthened" the CIA?

My Way - News

Kerry: I Guarantee Victory for the Enemy

Good lord.

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry on Monday called the invasion of Iraq "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" and said his goal was to withdraw U.S. troops in a first White House term.
I honestly don't know what to say. "Elect me, and I promise that I'll withdraw troops before I leave office" means nothing other than, "If I'm elected, Zarqawi, keep your head down for a few months and I'll hand Iraq to you on a silver platter."

Chairman Mao wrote that a guerrilla campaign had three phases. The first was survival in the face of a superior army. The second, once dispersal and recruitment were achieved, was an engagement of the army. The third phase, when the guerrillas could actually face the enemy, had to wait until the enemy drew down its forces.
Iraq’s insurgents can’t defeat U.S. forces on the battlefield, and the insurgents know it. Unable to advance to a third phase of insurgency, a realistic goal of the insurgents is to stay deadlocked in a second phase until they can drive out the U.S.-led coalition....

The job of U.S. military forces is at minimum to contain the second phase of insurgency and reduce it to the level of the first phase as rapidly as possible.

Offensive operations of the sort begun in Iraq in November will have to continue and emphasize tactical interdiction — finding and destroying enemy capability before it can be used against American and allied coalition forces. These operations have been fruitful and led directly to locating and capturing Hussein.
The second phase is the most costly for a guerrilla movement. They have to engage a superior foe openly, and absorb the losses it costs them. We've seen the costs of such a policy in the fighting in Najaf, where several thousand of Sadr's forces have died since April. Yet the insurgents continue to engage, as failure to achieve anything that can be called "victory" means that the insurgency burns out, and cannot recruit replacements.

As long as Bush is in office, they will continue to engage us against their interests. This is because they know we're not going anywhere. They continue to press the odds in spite of massive fatalities because they have no choice. Elections approach, and time is not on their side. This dynamic will eventually break them, just as it broke the Viet Cong during Tet. There is no NVA to carry on the fight once the VC are broken. Iran, which everone now more or less openly recognizes is bankrolling this insurgency, cannot face the US openly, as no Soviet Union stands behind them to cast a protective arm around their shoulders.

But Kerry has handed the insurgents a promise of pulling out US forces if he's elected. All they have to do is wait. Nine months of relative peace, while the insurgents gather strength and recruit replacements, and he can send the troops home.

Then comes the third phase. What will it look like, when the insurgents overrun the country while President Kerry watches from Washington? Just what it looked like in South Vietnam, where half a million died because the US would no longer support the ARVN, not even with air power. Just what it looked like in Laos and -- dare we say it? -- Cambodia, where two million died at Communist hands, no longer restrained by the proximity of US firepower.

Astonishing: to have run on Vietnam, and to have learned none of its lessons.

UPDATE: Greyhawk thanks Kerry for his support, and requests some of yours.

UPDATE: KGC at Cogicophony has started a topic for this debate.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has noticed this too:
Memo to Fallujah terrorists: If Kerry wins, all you have to do is endure at most four years, then you can have another Afghanistan. If Bush wins, you will die in Fallujah or give up your war.

Could Kerry have done anything more stupid than to telegraph to terrorists everywhere that there is a party of retreat in the United States?
UPDATE: Citizen Smash adds his opinion: "Kerry has just given our enemies in Iraq a goal to shoot for. Thanks, Senator."

UPDATE: BlackFive has something to say also:

My friends who gave their lives knew what they were doing and supported the decision to go to war. I mourn them every damn day, but I don't pity them. I honor them. I remember them. The number one thousand has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with politics.

Then, I heard John Kerry speak, in reference to one thousand, about bringing the troops home. Doesn't he know that he's fueling the fires instead of supporting the troops? What the hell is he thinking?

Iraqi Sites Guide - The Mass Graves

The Mass Graves:

Via Mike the Marine, the mass graves of Iraq. It's hard hitting. The only thing I've seen like it lately are the pictures from Russia.

John F. Kerry's response to President Bush, Republican Convention -- 09/03/2004

John Kerry: John Kerry is Unfit for Command!

I've been thinking a bit about this line from the "Midnight Madness" speech:

Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation.
Now, I watched "The Kerry Iraq Documentary." It's a production of the Bush campaign, and therefore has no cause to be kind to Kerry. Still, it presents Kerry's position in his own words, and in his own voice -- usually through videoclips of him appearing, time and again, over several years, to advocate war with Iraq over WMD.

Kerry eventually voted for the Iraq war resolution, and said at the time that he "fully supported" it.

Kerry had a seat on the Senate Intel committee, although apparently he didn't make much use of it. Still, he has had direct access when he wanted it to the CIA's intelligence on Iraq; to CIA staffers for questions; and to the documentation from the rest of the intel community as well. Whereas Bush had access to this information only after 2000, when he assumed office, Kerry has been 'in the know' for a decade and more. He should have been familiar with the intel backwards and forwards, and indeed in the television spots he makes a big deal about the fact that he was.

And Kerry supported the war resolution, as he supported the President's call throughout 2001 and 2002.

So, what to make of his statement?
Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation.
There are two possible answers. The first is that Kerry is, today, acting in bad faith. He knows that Bush did not mislead the nation, as he himself had the same information and access and advocated the same course. Kerry is parroting the Michael Moore line because he thinks it is an effective attack, not because he believes it to be true.

The second possibility is that Kerry does believe Bush misled the country. In that case, however, Kerry misled the country too. In his own words, he is unfit to lead this nation.

Since we prefer to give veterans the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, I'll choose to believe that Kerry really thinks he is unfit to command. If I'm right to believe Kerry's words, all sides now agree on the point: Vice President Cheney, the Swifties, the Honorable Senator Zell Miller, and now John Kerry himself.

SurveyUSA: Momentum Shifts to Bush; Big GOP Bounce After RNC Convention

SurveyUSA Poll:

We've all recognized that the Time and Newsweek polls are disproportionately Republican. However, here's another poll that says much the same thing. It asks not, "Who will you vote for?" but "Who do you expect to win?" It finds that there's been a thirty-six point bounce for Bush in NYC, in spite of the massive protests everyone got to watch all week; and in other liberal markets, the numbers are bigger still (thirty-nine in LA, for example).

We'll see if it holds.

Clinton Urges Kerry To Sharpen His Attack (

Clinton Calls Kerry:

It's bad when a man undergoing a quadruple bypass calls from the hospital to tell you that you're dying. Kerry seems to be responding with another shakeup of his campaign staff, and another attempt to craft a message. So much for clearing that national defense hurdle, eh?

Google Answers: Defending the infallible Bible

The Infallible Bible:

While looking for something else entirely, I noticed an advertisment for "Google Answers." One of the answers they've recently provided is apparently called Google: Defending the infallible Bible.

You can judge for yourself -- Grim's Hall takes no official position on religious questions. Grim himself does, but doesn't blog about them or discuss them socially. I merely refer you to this because I thought it was a curiousity, seeing experts in the newest technology researching and replying to the oldest questions.

UPDATE: I suppose that's not quite true. I did undertake to defend Forn Sidr, "the Old Way," and disprove atheism on one occasion. The Raving Atheist didn't bother to reply to the challenge, which is odd since he issued it.

Low Casualties

Low Casualties:

I am glad to see someone finally picking up on this. I remain astonished at how low casualties in Iraq have been, considering the numbers of troops, the numbers of operations, and the fact that there has been continuous resistance for more than a year. Back in April, when there was heavy rumor of a draft, I wrote this at FreeSpeech:

Here you can find the official DOD figures for OIF as of 9 April. As you can see, including DOD civilian contractors, there have been 652 American killed and 3269 wounded during OIF. Of the wounded, 1137 were returned to duty within three days. The number not RTD within the three day period was 2,132; of these, some were sent home, and others returned to duty after rehabilitation.

(Compare with Afghan operations, btw, which are just below, and you'll notice that the Afghan theater is actually far more deadly. We've had about 1/6th the casualties, with a force 1/15th the size. Note also that OEF lists KIAs in unspecified areas 'other than Afghanistan.')

To keep the math simple, let's assume that all soldiers not returned to duty in three days don't return to duty at all. 2,784 combat losses out of a force level that approximates 150,000 means that we have lost 1.856 percent of forces deployed in Iraq.

This is not accurate, however, due to troop rotations--I MEF fought in the invasion, rotated out and was replaced by 82nd Airborne, then rotated back in; 3rd ID rotated out over the summer, but 4th ID rotated in, etc. 150,000 is the approximate number of troops in country at any given moment, but the actual number of American soldiers who have served in Iraq this year--that is, who have given the enemy a chance to kill them--is far higher. As a result, the loss level is much lower than the almost-two-percent we calculated above. I'm not sure what the exact numbers are for all forces, so I can't calculate the exact level, but my impression is that it would be around one percent.

Any military that can't keep up with a wartime loss rate of two percent is in trouble--and as I said above, our rate is lower than that, especially if you take into account the troop rotations. We have no need to consider a draft.
The Sage of Knoxville picks up an article from Strategy Page that says the same thing in a different way:
American combat losses continue at a historically low level. Since March, 2003, American troops have suffered 7,900 casualties (including 976 dead.) This is an unprecedented killed to wounded ratio of 1:8. In past wars, the ration had been 1:4 or 1:5. American combat deaths over the Summer were 42 in June, 54 in July and 66 in August. There are the equivalent of three American combat divisions in Iraq, each running several hundred patrols and other combat operations each day. Never have combat divisions, operating in hostile territory, kept their casualties this low. The news media, concentrating on any losses as the story have generally missed the historical significance of the low casualties. The American armed forces have developed new equipment, weapons and tactics that have transformed combat operations in an unprecedented way. This is recognized within the military, but is generally ignored, or misunderstood, by the general media.
I suspect that the reason this doesn't get much play is that it is misunderstood, rather than ignored. We've talked about the media's lack of understanding of military science before (many times), and this looks like one more effect of it.

There may be an additional cause: media outlets may be afraid that, by talking about the remarkably low loss rates, they could appear to be downplaying the value of those who have died. The fact that the military has learned to fight with so few casualties is of tremendous importance to you if you are the mother of a Marine; but if you are the mother of a Marine who was killed yesterday, hearing about how few Marines die will not comfort you. Sensitivity to the dead may be a primary cause of this underreporting. If so, it's a noble reason to underreport.

However noble, it is the wrong tribute to pay to the dead. The focus on rising numbers makes it more likely that the American public will misunderstand Iraq as a losing war, rather than a war that we are winning, but which will take time. This underreporting makes it more likely that the American people could vote to withdraw forces from Iraq before the war is won. The cost of this tribute to the dead would be, finally, that they died in vain.

That is no kindness.

BLACKFIVE: Veterans'Day '04 Will Come Nine Days Early

Some Call It Treason:

A few days back, I suggested that I didn't know anyone who had actually accused Kerry of treason, excepting one fellow with a Veteran license plate and a bumper sticker to that effect. Well, make that two:

How liberals do defy the mind
For nothing in theirs’ can we find,
That willingly will look with reason
At how their man committed treason,
Skulked off to Paris this effete
To grovel at the Madame’s feet,
Betraying his sworn officer’s oath
To become the turncoat we so loathe.

Our law is clear you shall not treat
With America’s foes nor their cadres meet;
Give aid nor comfort to enemy forces
Nor espouse a view from hostile sources.

Without a mandate from the state
Wherefrom your right to negotiate?
Was treason, John, and is treason still
To this very day your unpaid bill.

Don’t try to hide behind your youth.
You knew the law you knew the truth.
You knew your faux negotiation
Would further tear our war-torn nation

And all for what, John, your career
So you can shameless brazen here,
And claim now that you’re fit to lead
The very nation you made bleed?

And yet before us there you stand
With medals blazing you demand
Such treachery we must ignore
Your treason that lost us our war.

But hold on, John, we veterans say,
You had your turn, now comes our day.
You thought we slept, forgot your crime?
Oh no, John boy, it’s come our time.

Some say let you apologize
But that won’t do it in our eyes.
A man astride of each position
Could we believe your true contrition?

The vindication we’ll accept
In settling up this long-held debt,
Is each of us will do his best
To deny you, John, your lifelong quest.

Listen carefully John to what we say,
November 2nd is Veterans’ Day.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66
November 2nd is Veterans' Day. There's something to be said for that idea.

The Australian: Mark Steyn: No other word for it but slaughter [September 06, 2004]


Mark Steyn has a stemwinder of his own, on the Russian dead and what it means:

What happened in one Russian schoolhouse is an abomination that has to be defeated, not merely regretted. But the only guys with any kind of plan are the Bush administration. Last Thursday, the President committed himself yet again to wholesale reform of the Muslim world. This is a dysfunctional region that exports its toxins, to Beslan, Bali and beyond, and is wealthy enough to be able to continue doing so.

You can't turn Saudi Arabia and Yemen into New Hampshire or Sweden (according to taste), but if you could transform them into Singapore or Papua New Guinea or Belize or just about anything else you'd be making an immense improvement. It's a long shot, but, unlike Putin's plan to bomb them Islamists into submission or Chirac's reflexive inclination to buy them off, Bush is at least tackling the 'root cause'.

If you've got a better idea, let's hear it. Right now, his is the only plan on the table. The ideology and rationale that drove the child-killers in Beslan is the same as that motivating cells in Rome and Manchester and Seattle and Sydney. In this war, you can't hold the line against the next depravity.

The Politburo Diktat: Death Wish

Beautiful, Comrade:

The Commissar composes an open letter to Chechen rebels, to explain why their murderous tactics won't work against the Russians like they work against America or Israel:

Perhaps you don't understand the rules. As Yogi Berra might say: 'Ninety percent of the world's problems are America's fault; the other half are Israel's.'...

If the Americans arrest four hundred Iraqi fighters, headlines follow. More editorials and self-righteous denunciations of America. And foreigners won't like it either.
Sadly, that's all too true.


From Sharp Knife:

Noel of Sharp Knife sends this story, for your reading pleasure. It is from the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" (which, oddly enough, seems to be down this morning).

Noel adds, "Somewhere, Mr. Jackson just chuckled, if not Mr. Hamilton."

In the wake of Zell Miller's fiery denunciation of John Kerry at the GOP convention, the national media has been working overtime to remind people that Mr. Miller once worked for Georgia's axe-handle wielding segregationist Governor Lester Maddox backed in the 1960s. Curiously, this is something they never brought up when Mr. Miller was a loyal Democratic Governor or Senator.

But last night at a Club for Growth reception honoring Mr. Miller, Herman Cain, the former chairman of Godfather's Pizza and an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Mr. Miller's Senate seat this year, isn't having any of it. An African-American, Mr. Cain says attacks on Mr. Miller are 'bunk.' 'When I campaigned and people asked me who I wanted most to be like in the U.S. Senate, I always said Zell Miller,' he told me.

Later, Messrs. Cain and Miller embraced on stage and Mr. Miller was presented with a pair of 18th-century dueling pistols -- an obvious reference to the duel he said he'd like to have with Chris Matthews of MSNBC as the two tangled on air Wednesday night after Mr. Miller's controversial speech.
There really is something to be said for a return to duelling. Even the reminder of the institution, though, is clarifying. Consider the "Go to Hell, Zell," John Kerry Infant creeper, for those who think that American life isn't sufficiently profane for children. This shirt allows those of a particularly cowardly persuasion to express obscenity without fear of retribution. No reasonable person would take the baby to task (the baby would be just as happy if the creeper said "Vote Bush, 2004," or said nothing and was decorated only with carrot stains). No decent man would engage the parent in front of the child, as anyone bent out of shape enough to dress an infant in such garb would surely cause a scene upsetting to the innocent.

Or consider this interview with Zell, from the Imus program. He was asked about his defense of Michelle Malkin, whom he doesn't seem to have known at the time (during the Hardball interview, he called her 'that young lady you had on the other day'):
[I] ought to stay down in Young Harris with [my] two yellow labs, Gus and Woodrow, and let the world go by, I guess. I had just been holding one for Chris Matthews ever since I saw him browbeat Michelle Malkin on his show that night. He wouldn't let that little 5'2", 95-pound girl say a word, and I just said to myself, 'If he ever gets into my face like that, I'm gonna pop him.'
The image of the crossed pistols reminds us that men used to take responsibility for their words -- that the things they said were things they would risk death to defend. They remind us that once men would not permit women and children to be abused, which is no longer a popular sentiment. Today women wish to defend themselves, which is excellent. It nevertheless speaks very well of a man that, if he should see the strong abusing the weak, whether strong from size or from position of power (e.g., anchor of the news program), that he should take their part.
"I should in that case hold you,'' replied the yeoman, "a friend to the weaker party.''

"Such is the duty of a true knight at least,'' replied the Black Champion; "and I would not willingly that there were reason to think otherwise of
Malkin, who has certainly proven quite outspoken in her own right, still appears to have appreciated the courtesy.

How many times have I had to hear people toss around the words "lie!" or "liar!" in this election? It seems to be the very first line of defense, when anyone says anything you'd rather not believe. Not only do these people hide behind children, they sound like children. They spit deadly insults freely, knowing that they can never be called to account.

The end of the duel may have brought some good effects, but it has also ended the culture of responsibility that went with it. No one is called to account for their slander. That John Kerry of the VVAW is a candidate for the highest office in the land says this as truly as anything.

I'm with Zell. It is a shame that duels are no longer legal. Duels were private wars, and like wars they could be just. Like wars, for all the harm they did, they often did more good. In a world fallen from hope of perfection, that may be the best you can ask.

Dave Kopel on Guns, Terrorism & Teachers on National Review Online

An Excellent Suggestion:

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?

And now, think.

And Now, Think.

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:

A little thought:

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.

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.
This is why we fight. This is what Zell Miller meant, when he said he wanted a President who would defend his great-grandchildren.

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.


"It's Hard to Criticize John Kerry These Days"

Glenn Reynolds, in his MSNBC clothing, picks up on a theme that has been bothering me for a while now.

Osama bin Laden has been captured in Pakistan?


Another silly rumor.

We have received reports from US sources that Pakistani security forces have captured Osama bin Laden.

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.
Of course, the Army is not helping:
"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.

"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.
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.

Now, if you do make good that boast, I know who I'm voting for in 2008.

Deserving victory

S.F. Gate:

Today the San Francisco Gate carries an editorial that says that Republicans deserve victory, and the Democrats "deserve to lose, and I think they know it." The reason? Read "Deserving Victory."

Hat tip: Allah. Print Page: Press Releases -- Campaign 2004: Bush Opens Double-Digit Lead


Call it the Zell Bounce:

Terrorism: 57% trust Bush to handle the war on terrorism, while 36% trust Kerry.

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.
So much for clearing that hurdle. Let's talk about health care.

John F. Kerry's response to President Bush, Republican Convention

An Imagined Interview:

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?

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?

Kerry: No.

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?

Kerry: Yes.

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.

Kerry: OK.

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?
At this point, we had to end the interview, so that my second could step in to arrange the duel.

UPDATE: Greyhawk has his own imagined interview. His has audio.

Logic & Sanity: School seized in Russia.


Per the wolf, you can see some of the images coming out of Russia here. We should all see them.

strider172's Xanga Site - 9/3/2004 2:23:04 AM

Game Day:

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:
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.

Commentary (Male):
NORTH: "Nice play."
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs."

Commentary (Female):
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.
Do we know anybody like that? : Bill Clinton to Have Multiple Heart Bypass

Good Luck, Bill:

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 - A Newsblog Collective


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.

The Blue Bus is calling us...: GOP backs away from Miller�s blast

Betrayal, AKA, "Another Reason Why I Will Always Be A Democrat":

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."

Captain's Quarters

Ahah! A Substantive Complaint!

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.

New York Post Online Edition: postopinion

Hate Leads to Anger:

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.

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.
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"?

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.

NPR : GOP Keynote to Cap Zell Miller's Turn from Democrats

Zell Miller: Really Evil, or Irredeemably Evil?

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.

Kerry Sharpens Contrast With Bush (

Drat, Another Campaign Strategy Down the Tubes:

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?

Miller skewers his own party

AJC on Zell:

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 of Spades HQ: Occupiers Vs. Liberators?

Ace on Zell:

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.

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?
Sadly, yes.

Ace of Spades HQ: Was I on crack, or did Zell Miller challenge Chris Matthews to a duel tonight?

Ace on Matthews:

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.

The only legal excuse is if the senator or representative, or one of their family members, is ill, the law states.

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?

Thanks for reminding me, Mr. Matthews.



James Lileks said:


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."

UPDATE: BlackFive:
Tonight, watching Senator Zell Miller's speech, my mother said, "Kerry and Kennedy really pissed off Senator Miller."

Me, "No, Mom, they pissed off Sergeant Miller." That's worse...
You said it. Ooh-Rah!

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 Night Only:

If you can get by there before tomorrow morning, Drill Sergeant Rob is running a "Name My New Platoon" contest at AnAmericanSoldier.

figurine peinte : fabrication et distribution de figurines peintes Papo

Something Good From France:

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 Convention

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.
You have no idea if you believe it?



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.

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

The End of the Beginning:

From Bloomberg:

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.

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.
From the Village Voice, 2 July 2002:
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.

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.
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.

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.