Draft column

Why doesn’t Uncle Sam want me?
Or you, for that matter


It was the first American army and an army of everyone, men of every size and shape and makeup, different colors, different nationalities, different ways of talking, and all degrees of physical condition. Many were missing teeth or fingers, pitted by smallpox or scarred by past wars or the all-too-common hazards of life and toil in the eighteenth century.

1776, by David McCullough

My first ambition in life was to be a United States Marine. I was 3 or 4 years old and we lived in Columbia, where my Dad — a career naval officer — was doing a brief tour at the local recruiting depot. I guess the posters made an impression.
    The aspiration never went away, even as I moved on to more achievable goals. I learned that neither the Corps nor the Army nor any other service would take me. They had this thing about people with asthma.
    I accepted it, but couldn’t help thinking, “There’s got to be some way they could use me.”
But no. As long as there was a Selective Service, there was a huge supply of young guys with no black marks on their medical histories. And in the initial decades after the draft ended, the nation’s military needs were met by volunteers.
    But not any more.
    Today, the Army and the Marine Corps need recruits. The Army has increased the maximum age to 42. Not high enough for me, but it’s a start.
    The Washington Post reported just last week that the services plan to ask new Defense Secretary Robert Gates for 30,000 more soldiers and three more Marine battalions. Unlike his predecessor, he might actually say “yes.”
    But where’s he going to get them? Here’s one place:
    The Post reported that in addition to seeking those regulars, “the Army will press hard for ‘full access’ to the 346,000-strong Army National Guard and the 196,000-strong Army Reserves by asking Gates to take the politically sensitive step of easing the Pentagon restrictions on the frequency and duration of involuntary call-ups for reservists, according to two senior Army officials.”
    The post-Vietnam military has been highly resistant to the idea of a draft. Draftees are harder to motivate, train and rely on than volunteers. A positive attitude counts for a lot under combat conditions. But what do you call “involuntary call-ups” if not a draft? Some of those people are older than I am, and some are in worse physical condition.
    Sure, they’re much less likely to complain about being called up, since they volunteered originally. I realize that they are already trained, and generally more experienced than the regulars. I understand that veterans tend to be more valuable in combat than green troops. Experience counts in everything.
    But it’s wrong to keep asking the same brave people to give and give and give until they’ve got nothing left. It’s even more wrong that the rest of us haven’t been asked to do anything.
    Sen. Joe Biden has this speech that I’ve heard three or four times now about how George W. Bush’s greatest failing as president is the opportunity he threw away in 2001. On Sept. 12, he could have asked us to change our lives so that we could be independent of the oil-producing thugs that finance terrorism. We would have done it gladly.
    But we weren’t asked to do that. We were given a free pass while our very best bled and died in our behalf. We weren’t even asked to buy war bonds. To our everlasting shame, we opted for the opposite — we got tax cuts, even as our troops went without the equipment and the reinforcements needed to do the job.
    Personally, I think we should have a draft, and not for Rep. Charles Rangel’s reasons. He seems to think that if more people were subject to a draft, we’d have no wars. I think we ought to have a draft for the simple reason that citizenship ought to cost something. We scorn illegal aliens who risk their lives crossing the desert to come here and do our menial labor, but the rest of us are citizens why — because we were born here? How is that fair?
    We ought to have a draft, but not like the one we had when I was a kid. We need a universal draft, one that will find a use for every man (I wouldn’t draft women, but we can argue about that later).
    Set aside for a moment (but not for long) our immediate, urgent need for a lot more boots on the ground. Even in peacetime, veterans make better citizens, and better leaders. The last generation of leaders had the experience of World War II in common, and we were better off for it. They understood that they were Americans first, and that it was possible to work with people who didn’t think the way they did. They knew citizenship was a precious thing, and they appreciated it as a result. How many people in the top echelons of politics — or the media, for that matter — have that kind of understanding to that degree? Far too few.
    If we’re not going to have a draft, why not let more people who actually want to serve do so, at least in some capacity? Sure, I’m 53 and I take five different drugs to keep me breathing, but fitness is relative — my pulse, blood pressure and cholesterol are all great, and I can do 30 push-ups. Try me.
    A postscript: It reads like I’m setting myself up as far braver than Bill Clinton and his ilk. I don’t mean to. If I had been healthier when I was younger, I might have been the biggest coward in Ontario. If the Army were taking 53-year-olds today, I might shut up. I have no idea. All I can do is write what I actually think, as I actually am.
    And what I think is that more of us have to get off the sidelines and do something to help fight this war, which is going to go on for a long, long time, no matter what happens in Iraq.

162 thoughts on “Draft column

  1. Dave

    Brad, you knocked this one right out of the park. Veterans do make better citizens and after serving feel and express more honor and respect towards their nation. Here’s an idea. Let’s give every illegal alien who enlists immediate citizenship for signing up for a 4 year stint. If they fail to complete their hitch, deportation. Imagine how many of the workers at Swift, Perdue Chicken, et. al. would flock (no pun there) to the armed services. As a soldier, with mandatory English as the fare, these guys and girls would come out as honored American citizens. We could have a new 5 million strong military in no time. People like me can go back in and run the boot camps (can I take a few of these wayward bloggers with me). Brad, I think you are onto something here.

  2. Dave

    Here is an excerpt from what should prove to be an amazing new book from Pat Conroy. He is researching what happened to his fellow Citadel classmates and look at the judgement he passes on himself. Many of the young in America now will be reliving Conroy’s thoughts as they get older and understand how they need to serve this nation in a time of war.

    Start of excerpt:
    Now, at this moment in New Jersey, I come to a conclusion about my actions as a young man when Vietnam was a dirty word to me. I wish I’d led a platoon of Marines in Vietnam. I would like to think I would have trained my troops well and that the Viet Cong would have had their hands full if they entered a firefight with us. From the day of my birth, I was programmed to enter the Marine Corps. I was the son of a Marine fighter pilot, and I had grown up on Marine bases where I had watched the men of the corps perform simulated war games in the forests of my childhood. That a novelist and poet bloomed darkly in the house of Santini strikes me as a remarkable irony. My mother and father had raised me to be an Al Kroboth, and during the Vietnam era they watched in horror as I metamorphosed into another breed of fanatic entirely. I understand now that I should have protested the war after my return from Vietnam, after I had done my duty for my country. I have come to a conclusion about my country that I knew then in my bones but lacked the courage to act on: America is good enough to die for even when she is wrong.
    I looked for some conclusion, a summation of this trip to my teammate’s house. I wanted to come to the single right thing, a true thing that I may not like but that I could live with. After hearing Al Kroboth’s story of his walk across Vietnam and his brutal imprisonment in the North, I found myself passing harrowing, remorseless judgment on myself. I had not turned out to be the man I had once envisioned myself to be. I thought I would be the kind of man that America could point to and say, “There. That’s the guy. That’s the one who got it right. The whole package. The one I can depend on.”
    It had never once occurred to me that I would find myself in the position I did on that night in Al Kroboth’s house in Roselle, New Jersey: an American coward spending the night with an American hero.
    Pat Conroy’s novels include The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and Beach Music. He lives on Fripp Island, South Carolina. This essay is from his forthcoming book, My Losing Season.

  3. Randy Ewart

    Perhaps Dave can actually see combat instead. Then he could share such experience with the “wayward bloggers”.
    I agree with Rangel’s assertion that there would be less war with a draft (if flying jets over Alabama weren’t an option). Those making the ivory tower decisions to send our forces (sons and daughters) into harms way may have a son or daughter of their own and would look at the issue with a greater sense of reality.
    Compare the cavalier attitude of W, Rummy, or Cheney (or Dave) with that of Powell or McCain. Clearly, the latter two have a greater appreciation for the cost of war. While military service should not be a requirement, it certainly can help make informed decisions in such dire matters. I think this has been painfully true in the Iraq “War”.

  4. bud

    Having a draft for the purpose of fighting and undeclared war is immoral. It amounts to forced servitude. I might feel differently if we would just stop sending our troops oversees on false pretenses and bad causes.
    Any discussion of the draft now is really disgusting. If would be akin to discussing the repeal of drunk driving laws right after a school bus full of children is killed by a drunk driver. Maybe we could also consider the repeal of child labor laws, a return to slavery, repeal of of women’s sufferage. A draft to force young men to fight, and maybe die, in a war based on lies falls into the same category of immorality.

  5. Ready to Hurl

    Brad, service to your country can take many shapes.
    You see only one way. You yearn for the path with handsome uniforms, snappy salutes from subordinates, esprit de spirit, fun with big guy toys and swooning females.
    Since you and your keyboard have been responsible for the deaths of nearly three thousand American service people and the grievous wounding of 10,000 in an unnecessary war of choice, I suggest that your contribution should be changing bedpans at a VA Hospital.

  6. Phillip

    Dave might rethink his statement “Veterans do make better citizens and after serving feel and express more honor and respect towards their nation” if he’d known my late father, part of the Greatest Generation, who served in North Africa and Italy in WWII and who later became the most left-wing man I’ve ever known and whose anti-imperialist and pro-socialist views, in spite of my best efforts, influenced me more than any other individual. Of course his criticism of his nation reflected love of his nation, but I’m sure right-wingers would not see it that way. Anyway, I digress.
    I don’t know Rangel’s exact words on this topic, but I think, Brad, as much as he was expressing what he HOPED a draft would do, he was expressing what he thought a draft WOULD do. And can there be any question that decisions to go to war would be considered more momentous, less lightly taken, because of the broader constituency involved, the broader cost to America?
    Your column today is right to ask, why not a draft?—but then you don’t really pursue the answer all the way to the end. I’d be interested to know. To me, it seems obvious that the answer is tied to class and the realities of where political power resides in this nation. Which then naturally leads to questions such as, in whose interests does this nation takes the actions it does, in foreign as well as domestic policy?
    But to really follow through on the question your column raises might then call into question the Wilsonian “assumptions-of-benevolent-intentions” that your foreign policy views embrace. I’m not sure you’re willing to go there, but I’m also sure we’d all be interested to have you really answer the question, “why doesn’t Uncle Sam want me or you?”

  7. Mary Rosh

    Yeah, the reason you stayed out of Vietnam is because they wouldn’t take you. Yeah, you wanted to be a Marine. Yeah, you wanted to be in combat, rather than sitting on your sofa, preaching the glory of wars that other people would fight. Yeah, you wanted to pay taxes to finance wars, rather than receiving $1.38 in handouts for every $1.00 you “pay” in federal taxes. Yeah, you can’t volunteer at the V.A. because the loss to the world would be too great if you weren’t able to sit around and write posts centered on the fact that “rogue” and “rouge” are SPELLED ALMOST THE SAME but MEAN SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. It wasn’t cowardice that kept you out of Vietnam, not at all, oh, no.
    Nothing is keeping you from serving in some capacity. Nothing, that is, except the two pillars on which your life is based – cowardice and laziness. Your calling for a draft has nothing to do with “shared sacrifice”. Your calling for a draft is a call to impose sacrifices on OTHERS – sacrifices which you yourself are not willing to undertake due to your cowardice and laziness.
    You are calling for a draft in order to avoid facing the fact that all your predictions have been proven wrong, that all the predictions made by the detractors of the war have been proven right, that the war has weakened and endangered the United States, that the policies YOU advocated have cost hundreds of billions of dollars, none contributed by you, the lives of thousands of Americans, none of them your relatives or acquaintances, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, again, none of them your relatives or acquaintances.
    You advocate a course of action that has cost untold pain and suffering to untold numbers of human beings, because it makes you feel like a man, but more importantly, because it imposes NO COSTS on you.
    The course of action you advocated is failing, and so, to avoid confronting your failure, you now advocate imposing even more costs on even more people.
    There is no need for a draft. If you want to serve, SERVE! NO ONE is stopping you! Find out what you can do, and then quit your job and GO DO IT. If this war is so important, do everything you can to bear its costs, so it can be brought to a successful conclusion and your dreams can be realized.
    NOTHING would be lost if you quit your job and were replaced by someone else. Nothing would be lost if you quit your job and weren’t replaced at all.
    If the war is important, take up the burden YOURSELF. Don’t content yourself with figuring out ways to impose the burden on others, just take it up yourself. If you think that the war benefits America, figure out what you can do and go do it.
    Or, you can sit around, taking handouts, impugning the patriotism of the 60%+ of the American people who are opposed to the war, while doing nothing in its furtherance.
    Which course of action will you choose? Which path will you take?
    Gee, it’s so hard to predict.

  8. bud

    Can anyone spell the name of another country besides IRAQ using just the letters from the word QuAgmIRre? So far I’ve come up empty.

  9. Steve

    I think Freud would have a field day with Brad’s military fantasies. Father – career naval officer – probably means detached, frequently absent – son, looking for father’s approval.
    It’s in all the textbooks…

  10. Herb Brasher

    It is fascinating to me how many people can psychoanalyze others on the basis of a few articles written in a newspaper. Some people who have never even met Brad seem to know as much about him as God, including all of his motives. Really fascinating.

  11. WPJ

    There are many chances to serve. consider becomming a State Constable, a Vol. firefighter, the State Guard, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, your local CERT team.
    You can serve, maybe not with the USMC but with a local group that will directly help the Great State of South Carolina.

  12. Mary Rosh

    Herb, yep, it is astonishing, isn’t it, that even though we lack the powers of telepathy, we are nevertheless able to discern Warthen’s character from listening to what he says and watching what he does.

  13. Doug

    A “few” articles? I think we’re up in the several hundred range for Brad at least. There are 20 main topics alone in the past month. And since it’s his blog, talking about his opinions, I would hope one could infer some opinions about him. If not, he’s not doing a very good job. Really, is there anything he writes now that surprises a long time reader? Much like George W., Brad would rather be wrong than admit a mistake.

  14. Dave

    Brad is performing a public service (i.e. serving) by generating and disseminating information about the military directly, blood drives, and other worthy causes. If we started putting all the 50-70 year olds in uniform, I can guarantee you one draft we would have to have, doctors. Between hernias, bad backs, prostate issues, heart disease, or whatever, the “new” old military would spend a lot of time in the infirmary. That is why the military has age rules on enlistment.

  15. Dave

    Mary showed her full sense of wisdom (NOT!) by defending and supporting the NC prosecutor Nifong many months ago. I told her then that what Nifong was doing (indicting innocent people to gain political power) was no different than the techniques of the communists from the Kremlin to Cuba. She supports that kind of un-American justice. OK Mary, let’s see your apologies now for being so wrong, as you always are.

  16. Herb Brasher

    I wasn’t talking about Brad’s opinions and positions, I wrote motives. Motives are not opinions; they are not even positions–they go deeper than that. Knowing a person’s motives means that you have to know him pretty well–not just what he is thinking, but why he is thinking it.
    Of course we all know that Brad is sitting around thinking of ways to impose burdens on other people. That’s what Brad’s life is all about. He intends to make as many people miserable as he can.

  17. Capital A

    For someone who has made great claims about the motives of God and the people who follow Him, you certainly are having a hard time grasping this concept of inference and circumstantial evidence, Herb.

  18. Brad Warthen

    Phillip, please flesh out the question a little.
    I’d say the first and foremost reason we don’t have a draft is because of the powerful individualistic, libertarian impulses that run through the American character. The idea of an OBLIGATION to a larger society rubs enough people the wrong way to create huge political headwinds against the idea.
    I think you’re looking for a class-struggle paradigm here, but the only justification for that I see is that middle- and upper-income people are somewhat more likely to feel put upon when told to interrupt their lives, because they have a greater sense of what they’re giving up. A kid who’s doing well in an elite university or just beginning a promising career is going to be more resentful of doing a hitch in the Army than one who lacks skills and immediate prospects. The latter might even see it as an opportunity. The former would not, unless he were the sort who would volunteer anyway (and you find people like that here and there in elite combat units today).
    A secondary reason would be that the military really, really doesn’t want it. I can understand that. I don’t hire people who don’t really, really want the job. I want people who are motivated. Anyone would.

  19. bud

    The draft issue goes to the heart of our great experiment in democracy. A war of necessity may require a draft in order to be waged effectively. It’s safe to say than everyone on this blog would agree that if a war is necessary to the nation’s survival then a draft would not be controversial. This question of necessity cannot be separated from the draft issue. If the U.S. becomes engaged in an optional war, for whatever reason, then the draft issue now becomes intertwined with the war issue. If we are fighting a war for any reason other than self-preservation then the war is optional. In that case a draft is morally indefensible. Those who oppose the war would be required to serve in a cause that they may consider unjust. For those who consider the cause just the option is clear, sign on for the fight.
    Many bloggers have pointed out what should be obvious in regard to the Iraq war. It’s an optional war. Had we not fought it we would still survive as a nation. So this optional war, along with all other optional wars, should be fought and paid for only by those who favor the war. Everyone in favor of the war could perform some essential tasks that would help in the war effort. Those not in favor would not be obligated to participate.
    My definition of a necessary war is simple. One of two criteria must be met. (1)Congress can pass a resolution declaring the war necessary for the survival of the nation’s continued existence or, (2) if congress passes a war declaration against a particular nation. If congress passes the necessity resolution it must be re-authorized as such every year. Open-ended resolutions are not acceptable. The current Iraq war is optional in the sense that congress only provided the president the authorization to use force against the Iraqi army. Congress has not passed any further clarification of the war. The American public should demand this clarification. Is this war necessary for the survival of the nation? If so congress should say so. If not, it’s optional and should not be fought with draftees.

  20. Raymond J. Wright

    You wrote – “We scorn illrgal aliens who risk their lives crossing the desert to come here and do our menial labor, but the rest of us are citizenz why — because we were born here? How is that fair?”
    The ansewr to your first question is “yes” unless you were legally naturalized. The answer to your second question is that it’s not a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of Constitutional law — see Section 1 of Amendment XIV. Fairness has nothing to do with it.

  21. Herb Brasher

    So you know Brad’s motives, Cap? OK. I’ll accept your position, but I do find it amazing. Brad hasn’t really written that much about his motives, though I doubt he would characterize them as trying to burden people as much as he can.
    Still, if you are going to question biblical revelation, I suppose there is no difficulty questioning a modern journalist’s motives for his writings. But this is a level of criticism that is truly astounding to me.

  22. Steve

    Brad’s motives are pretty clear. He wants everyone to know how much smarter he is than they are. It’s certainly not to gain wisdom from people who disagree with him
    or to reflect on misguided opinions in an introspective manner.
    It’s Brad’s world and we’re just pawns.

  23. Capital A

    Herb, how do you then know the motives of FOX News? Are you an executive of that network who is on here slumming with us swine?
    If you answer that question, then you set foot on the path that answers the question you posed me.

  24. Lee

    You can serve in the original militias well past the enlistment age for the regular federal services ( 37 ). You can join you State Guard, or National Guard (dual commission, state and federal).
    If you have previous full-time active duty military experience, you are subject to recall at any time, health permitting. I know people with special skills who were put on notice and called for Bosnia and Iraq II at ages of 57, 58, and 63.

  25. Herb Brasher

    Ah, well done, Cap. OK, I must retract my statement about Fox news. However, I will still suspect that we got two hours of Miss USA for other reasons than to expose the double standard of NBC, or whatever. Is this newsworthy stuff?

  26. Capital A

    Actually, Herb, you don’t have to retract your statement. That has been my point all along: Logic and common sense allows humans to notice a pattern and then make sometimes accurate guesses as to what follows or what has come before.
    It’s human. Why pretend to be a robot?
    For the record, I came to the same conclusion as you concerning the motives of FOX News.

  27. bud

    Brad’s motives seem clear enough to me. He’s proposed a draft, ostensibly for the dual purposes of (1) creating a more effective military and (2) improving the citizenship credentials of the American public. I take him for his word but adamantly disagree.
    First, our military was incredibly capable before it was squandered in this endless quagmire in Iraq. If the public supported the darn thing we would still have an effecive fighting force. With 12% (about 36 million people) of the public CLAIMING to support an increase in troop strength we should have millions of people clamouring to fill the ranks. Apparently this is just talk given the continued discussion about troop levels and the draft. Because of the public’s growing disillusionment of the war our military effectiveness is suffering. A draft at this time would create even more disillusionment and ultimately prove counter-productive.
    The citizenship argument is pure nonsense. As many have argued here there are many types of service people can perform. Most of those mentioned would make for better citizens than a stint in the military. The idea that training people to shoot at other people is supposed to make them better citizens is illogical. Many of the soldiers coming back from Iraq are suffering severe mental anxiety, depression and other mental disorders from the ordeal. I doubt that improves their ability to function as good citizens. Actually, one could argue that a deterioration in citizenship may be a necessary cost for fighting a given war.

  28. Lee

    What better place is there to fight the terrorists than Iraq, which had been training, supplying and financing thousands of them?

  29. Lee

    Shirking your duty to defend your country is like not voting or not criticizing bad leadership and administration – you are less of a citizen.

  30. Ready to Hurl

    I think that we ought to find a way for Brad to pay the country back for his citizenship privileges.
    Let’s attempt to simulate (as closely as possible) the affects of being drafted into the military.
    (1) The assignment shouldn’t have the remotest relationship to his current career, his aptitudes or his desires.
    (2) He should be separated from his family for long periods of time.
    (3) If possible, his life should be endangered periodically but otherwise his existence should be as boring and pointless as possible for long stretches.
    (4) He should be forced to do tasks that he finds distasteful and below his capabilities in uncomfortable conditions by people superior to him only in stupidity.
    (5) His job should have something directly to do with our prescence in Iraq.
    (6) Best of all, his new job should pay less than his current job but last at least two years so that his current career is derailed significantly.
    Finding such a position is unlikely. Brad willingly accepting such a position is less likely than Dave volunteering for Iraq. So we’ll have to compromise.
    Any suggestions?

  31. Ready to Hurl

    Shirking your duty to defend your country is like not voting or not criticizing bad leadership and administration – you are less of a citizen.
    You shouldn’t talk about Dave like that, Lee. (And, no, getting your tooth chipped while play-fighting isn’t “defending your country.” Isn’t it finally time for you to stand up against the infidel Muslim hordes threatening our Anglo-Saxon-Christian way of life?)

  32. Doug

    RTH says:

    3) If possible, his life should be endangered periodically but otherwise his existence should be as boring and pointless as possible for long stretches.
    (4) He should be forced to do tasks that he finds distasteful and below his capabilities in uncomfortable conditions by people superior to him only in stupidity.

    Sounds like Brad needs to go work at the DMV…

  33. Dave

    Hurl – Even though I served honorably and have a DD 214 form to prove it, from your postings I don’t think you would survive in the military. As Dirty Harry once said, ” A man needs to know his limitations.” And we know yours.

    Doug – that definition could describe some teaching positions.

  34. Brad Warthen

    RTH makes it sound kind of like working for a publicly traded newspaper company.
    I may be superbly qualified for the military, and didn’t know it.
    Seriously, I love my job, but I wish I could take a break from it some time, do something wildly different. All work, no play and all that.
    As for the pay — it probably would be lower than my current salary, but the benefits would probably be better. FYI, I was well over halfway to this point in my career before I made as much working as my Dad did in retirement from the Navy. Don’t overestimate the compensation of a journalist.
    I have to smile at those who want me to volunteer at the VA. I wish I could still volunteer somewhere. I used to spend a lot of time with Habitat for Humanity; my donations to the community are now reduced to giving blood and other small things that can be done very quickly. Then of course, there’s doing the job itself, which I see as a service, whether y’all do or not. It’s why I do it, anyway.

  35. Dave

    Brad, you are doing a service. I know I gave blood twice primarily because you increased my awareness of the need. Multiply that effect many times across the state and there it is. I also think your writings could inspire a young adult to enlist. We may never know but keep up the good work that you do. Don’t let the personal attacks get to you, because they aren’t going to stop as I see on this blog.

  36. Mary Rosh

    “I have to smile at those who want me to volunteer at the VA. I wish I could still volunteer somewhere.”
    You can.
    You have the same amount of time as everybody else; the question is, what do you choose to do with that time. You have the time to volunteer at the VA. You have the time to go over to Iraq and serve there in some capacity. You have the time to perform some sort of service that alleviates the burdens that have been imposed on our soldiers and the Iraqi people by the policies you advocate.
    You have the time to do those things, but you CHOOSE to spend your time another way. You choose to spend your time producing execrable writing and impugning the patriotism of the 60-70% of the American people who disagree with your view of the Iraq war.
    You CHOOSE to spend your time in a totally unproductive way, a way that serves no one, that benefits no one. You call for enormous sacrifices from others, yet you are unwilling to take on any of those sacrifices yourself. You excuse yourself by saying you don’t have the time to take on any of the sacrifices imposed by the policies you advocate, yet you do have the time.
    Yet you sit on your sofa, doing nothing worthwhile, facing no danger, and contributing nothing to the United States. While you live your life in this way, you call for a draft, for a forcing of unwilling citizens into the military, in order to provide manpower for a war that you advocate, but that is opposed by 60-70% of the American people.
    You are calling on citizens to be forced into military service, not to do anything to benefit the United States, but to keep you from having to admit, for a little while longer, that you were wrong. You are calling on the government to force its citizens into military service so that they can be sent to Iraq to die, in order to enable you to preserve your fantasies for a little while longer.

  37. Ready to Hurl

    The infidel Muslim hordes threaten our Christian Nation while Dave and Brad cheerlead enthusiastically for sending OTHER Americans to the meat grinder.
    It’s symbolic symmetry with Dubya as Cheer-Leader-in-Chief.
    Brad takes the Dick Cheney dodge (“I have other priorities”) but he gilds the lily just a little too much when he equates his job to being a public servant. Like lard-butt Jonah Goldberg, he fights the Muslims from his keyboard. I suppose his sacrifice for the cause is forgoing becoming a newspaper publisher.
    Dave, if expecting you to “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk” is a personal attack then I plead guilty.

  38. Steve

    Just wondering which of Brad’s children are planning to enlist? or would they fall in the same category as the Bush children – i.e. we wouldn’t want them being in harm’s way to affect the decision making/opinion writing process?
    Maybe Brad could influence the news editor to print pictures of all the SC residents who have died in Iraq this year on the front page on Dec. 31.
    The death toll will reach 3000 shortly after the New Year based on current rates.
    The psychological impact of those “000” numbers will probably erode support for the war even further. Hopefully, we won’t see 4000.

  39. Brad Warthen

    No, actually becoming a publisher would be a sacrifice. You have no idea. Fortunately, no one would ever put me in charge of any kind of business, so I’m safe.
    And in order to please my detractors, I shall immediately send my sons off to join a regiment. Oh, wait, I forgot — the Middle Ages are over, so I lack that power. It’s up to THEM to decide now, and has nothing to do with what I want or don’t want. Dang.
    Frustrating, isn’t it? You think you have such a slam-dunk argument, and there’s nothing to it. Maybe it will frustrate you enough to agree with me that we should have a draft.
    But agreeing with me might cause you to pull a muscle or something. Poor Mary Rosh would probably do a Rumpelstiltskin, and just self-destruct. By the way, if anyone is talking to Mary, ask her what a “sofa” is. I don’t recall.
    The interesting thing about a blog is, even when you start one with the specific aim of making yourself more accessible and transparent, people INSIST upon believing the most unlikely things about you, and dismissing every word of explanation and clarification you offer. Kind of undermines the motivation to keep going, you know?
    But I’m stubborn. At the very least, you may have noticed THAT.

  40. Steve

    So if you can’t convince your own kids to enlist for the good of the country, why should anyone else’s kids be forced into a draft? How hard have you tried to instill the level of patriotism and willingness to serve that it would take to risk dying for a questionable cause?

  41. bud

    I like Mary’s change in tone. She’s gone from using the word COWARD to CHOOSE when referring to Brad. Brad is choosing not to actively support the war effort. That is abundantly clear. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and not call him a coward. His passive choices are common to many in the pro-war segment of our population. If only a tiny fraction of those who claim to support the effort actually did one damn thing to really support it, we wouldn’t have the ailing military that we have now.

  42. Ready to Hurl

    You think you have such a slam-dunk argument, and there’s nothing to it.
    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Moral blindness is a terrible thing.
    “[…]people INSIST upon believing the most unlikely things about you, and dismissing every word of explanation and clarification you offer.”
    Nah, we just don’t take your weak excuses for opting out of the sacrifices that you advocate for so many others.
    I’m still not clear about why you can’t at least volunteer part-time at the VA Hospital. You’re too busy? You’re too important to your employer? You’re too vital to the propaganda effort for the Iraq Disaster?
    How many reservists, National Guard troops,and potential draftees couldn’t make equally valid arguments? (Well, except for the last one.)
    My proposal for finding a way for you to serve wasn’t rhetorical or theoretical.
    I’d love for you to counsel Iraq vets with post-traumatic stress syndrome; mentor kids orphaned by this fraudulent war of choice; change colostomy bags for IED victims; and, balance checkbooks for those with brain damage due to lack of hummvee armor.
    I’m going to search for clerical openings in the Green Zone for you, also. Your asthma shouldn’t be a problem. Just be sure to wear a medi-alert bracelet at all times.

  43. bud

    The pro-war people have really gotten us into a bind. Mary, and others, have made a very convincing case that the lack of will comes not from those of us who oppose the war, but rather from those who claim to support it. What irony. Brad and Dave rant on and on about the need for a draft. But what they are really saying is they want to draft thousands of Americans who conscientiously oppose the war so that some, including themselves, don’t have to contribute. The more you think about this the more utterly criminal this type of thinking is.
    Here’s my proposal. Let’s have a draft just for those people who say they support the war. Everyone would be required to register thier intentions. If the pool of supporters is insufficient to provide the needed manpower as determined by our military leaders to properly fight the war then the president would have to begin bringing the troops home. If the pool is large enough then those opposed to the war would be subject to a draft into other non-military organizations such as the peace corp. Either way, the people would decide the issue with their feet. This is capitalism at it’s best.

  44. Lee

    Forced labor, whether in the military, or a government program like the CCC, Peace Corps or Americorps, is not capitalism. That sort of thing is a component of socialism. Mao’s Red Guard and the programs of Hitler and FDR offer many examples.
    A good government will have citizens with a universal attitude of duty to volunteer, who will set up the right sorts of programs and run them the right way.

  45. Ready to Hurl

    Who was forced to join the CCC, Peace Corps or Americorps?
    You might have a case with the CCC but then you’d have to admit that unemployment from an economic depression caused by unregulated capitalism was the root force that made people join the CCC.
    I don’t think that the Peace Corps was a way out of the draft during ‘Nam and the Americorps works on an incentive basis (money, experience and scholarships).

  46. Lee

    No one has YET been forced to join CCC or the Peace Corps, but plenty of Democrats have proposed drafting young people into a 2 years of mandatory “community service” at low wages.
    Hillary Clinton, John Conyers, Ted Kennedy and other shirkers are big promoters of socialism work gangs for the little people.

  47. Dave

    Bud, here is an even better idea. The only people who should be allowed to vote are those who have served or serve now in the military. If you want to vote, go serve. An alternative of this would be to give 5 votes to each person in this group. I would include policemen, firemen, and other forms of defense and protective services in that group. That would be the end of the political hacks like Hillary, John “2 Americas” Edwards, Usama Obama, and a cast of thousands. How sweet that would be – and how just.

  48. Doug

    It would be pretty embarrassing for Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh if your idea was
    implemented. Same for most of the neo-cons.

  49. Mary Rosh

    Dave, I have an even better idea. Only give representatives and senators to states whose citizens pay at least as much in federal taxes as they take out. Continue to base electoral votes on how many representatives and senators each state has.

  50. Randy Ewart

    Dave, when you say “serve” does this involve combat like John Kerry experienced or simply spending time in training as you did?

  51. bud

    If you give a monkey a typewriter and an infinite amount of time eventually he will compose a Shakespeare Play. Dave has done exactly that with his Vets only voting rule. Let’s only allow military vets to vote or hold public office. In one fell swoop the Democrats would control everything! If you count real, military service and not phoney Champagne Unit crap, we’d loose Rush, Sean, Deadeye Dick, the Decider, Kinda Sleazy and all the rest of the chickenhawk crowd. Way to go Dave, I’m with you on this one.

  52. Mary Rosh

    In response to this comment from Steve:
    “Just wondering which of Brad’s children are planning to enlist?”
    Warthen says this:
    “And in order to please my detractors, I shall immediately send my sons off to join a regiment. Oh, wait, I forgot — the Middle Ages are over, so I lack that power. It’s up to THEM to decide now, and has nothing to do with what I want or don’t want.”
    giving yet ANOTHER example of the dishonesty that has rendered him a failure as a journalist and as a human being. Steve never suggested that Warthen could force his children into war; he just asked how many of Warthen’s children were planning to enlist. If Warthen actually held the views of citizenship and of the importance of the Iraq war that he claims to hold, he would, one hopes, have been able to inculcate these views into his children. At the very least, Warthen would do everything he could to encourage his children to enlist.
    Warthen, however, chooses a point he’d like to refute, a point different from the one Steve is making. He presents an argument against it, and pretends that he has refuted Steve’s point. He hasn’t, of course, he has just proven once again that to him, the Iraq war is important enough to require sacrifices by others, but not by himself.
    “The interesting thing about a blog is, even when you start one with the specific aim of making yourself more accessible and transparent, people INSIST upon believing the most unlikely things about you, and dismissing every word of explanation and clarification you offer.”
    Believing in the motivations and character Warthen has shown time and time again is not “believing the most unlikely things”. And of course we dismiss every word of explanation and clarification Warthen offers. His words of explanation and clarification show us only what he WANTS us to believe about him. It is by observing what he says and does that we know, not what he wants us to believe he is, but what he actually is – a lazy, cowardly, dishonest, freeloading hypocrite.
    “Kind of undermines the motivation to keep going, you know?”
    Good. It would be even better if it motivated Warthen to produce a better product – for example, by learning to write better, and restricting his arguments to honest ones. But undermining Warthen’s motivation to continue producing his current execrable product is good too. If he quit blogging, that might free some time for him to volunteer at the VA.

  53. Dave

    Bud, I hate to burst your bubble, but Republicans in Congress who have served in the military far outnumber Dems. The last count I could find has it 72-R, and only 46-D.

    And Randy, I guess you were too good to serve and wear the uniform of your nation’s military. Brad has a very real and legitimate reason why he didnt serve. And yours is? Come on, we all need a laugh here. The military does use mathematics after all. But that is OK, people with your impudence and lack of respect for the military would suffer a disaster if they had to join.

  54. Doug

    Mary writes:
    “Good. It would be even better if it motivated Warthen to produce a better product – for example, by learning to write better,”
    I think I’ve made the suggestion before that Brad should seriously consider whether this blog has made him a better writer — which I would assume would be an objective of an opinion editor. I’ve noticed a trend in some of his print columns toward a more “bloggy” style of writing.
    I would doubt that an artist gets better by knocking off ten quick watercolors of an apple every day.
    Brad might learn from Paul DeMarco’s style in the “Here’s how you can help” topic. Acknowledge that people can have a different opinion… restate what others have said and try to take something from it even if you disagree… offer facts and details… try to build to a conclusion.

  55. Randy Ewart

    Dave, you dodged the question. Would service, as a mandate for voting, involve actual combat like John Kerry experienced or would training like you experienced be sufficient?
    You intiated this line of discussion so don’t blame others for asking for clarification.

  56. Brad Warthen

    Randy, nobody gets a choice on that. You may want combat and never get it. You could be in an elite light infantry unit (and most people who seek that are rejected) — the most likely to be sent in — and not see action. So it would be unfair to exclude you from voting on that basis.
    If you volunteer, and serve where you’re told, you should get the franchise — if we went to such a system, which we never will.

  57. Preston

    Brad, please remove Dave from the blog. The “Usama Obama” xenophobic, redneck, passive racism has no place here. That crap makes me sick. He offers no insight, merely redneck drivel.

  58. Ready to Hurl

    Unfortunately, Preston, Dave represents many white South Carolinians. In some ways he’s more tolerable, if not tolerant.
    At least he hasn’t threatened to blow my head off.
    I say let us encourage Dave to post. He actually attempts to support his positions in reasoned discussion, of a sort. That makes him head and shoulders above most of his compatriots.
    By analyzing his “thinking” and reactions we can devise counter-measures which might help enlighten his more knuckle dragging friends.

  59. Randy Ewart

    RTH, how did Dave attempt to support his claim that democrats are “anti-semtic” but then hypocritically suggested Jewish students sit quietly during Christian prayer in school so they “could learn something”. What about his claim that Angelina Jolie is a “whore” because she had sex out of marriage and dismisses her adoption of needy children as collecting “bottle caps”.
    Brad, my point about service is that Dave dimisses John Kerry’s combat service as a joke yet Dave never saw any combat. I was prompting Dave to define all the boundaries he’s generated for our rights as citizens.

  60. Ready to Hurl

    You’ve got me on those instances, Randy.
    Nevertheless, I think that Dave represents a large segment of white people around the nation. He embodies the Rush Limbaugh/Bill O’Reilly audience which numbers in the millions every day.
    Disproving his positions or exposing his errors, ignorance and biases is a public service. (That’s why Rush doesn’t allow any debate– even from callers. He doesn’t want to be exposed. That’s why most Reich-wing bloggers don’t allow comments.)

  61. Lee

    Mary, RTH, and other posers – in what branch of the military did you serve, and in what wars did you fight? If none, what makes you think you have any right to assert that others have no right to support the war you try to shirk?

  62. Dave

    Randy, service is service, plain and simple. Because there was no armed conflict when one was in the service, or possibly the military did not send that person into the armed conflict, does not discount that service. Active duty is active duty. So I do commend Kerry for actually having been in the service, even if he used his service record fraudulently (he still never released his Form 180) and has proven to be a traitor to the cause of this nation.

    Preston – newsflash for your peanut brain, Ted Kennedy called him Osama Obama. I was only quoting Teddy. You can look it up.

    Lee, my bet is you wont get an answer from Hurl, Mary, and a few others about their military service. These people “loathe” the whole concept of military and given the chance would disarm this nation. After all, they claim, if we would just be nice and sit down and talk with the radical Muslims, the madman in N. Korea or Iran, all problems would go away. These are our modern day Pat Conroys. Although I gained a massive respect for Conroy for publicly admitting that he was an anti-war coward in his younger years. Everyone deserves a second chance and especially if they own up to past deeds. OK, cowards, fire away.

  63. Dave

    Randy, what is the name of the silly old fool Jimmy Carter’s latest book. Israeli Apartheid or something. It is so anti-semitic (anti-Jew really) that the head of the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta resigned over it. He does speak for a large portion of the Jew resenting leftists in this nation, Michael Moore, now David Duke, and a cast of probably millions. Ward Churchill, for example, claims that the Joos pulled of 9-11. I dont have enough time in my life to document all the Jew hating from the left. But hows this for size – Joe Liebermann rejected by the far left in his own state as loyal to Israel first. Now that is sick.

  64. Lee

    Democrats have policies of creating human failure, such as an education system which produces immoral dummies.

  65. Ready to Hurl

    Dave’s hypocrisy knows no limits.
    He refuses to re-join the military and fight what he believes is the existential threat of the century to our freedoms, his religion and our nation.
    How much larger does the threat have to be for YOU to actually walk your talk, Dave?
    Are you disabled by that chipped tooth? In another thread you boasted about how the military filled its recruiting goals last year. You failed to note that they offered signing bonuses as high as $40,000; raised the age limit to 39; accepted recruits with lower scores on aptitude tests; signed-up high school drop-outs; and, took applicants with serious criminal records.
    Surely, the recruiter would be ecstatic to see you– a macho-macho vet eager kill Muslims– walk through the door.
    There is a psych doctorate and potential bestseller awaiting someone willing to study reich-wingers like Dave who project their own neuroses, biases, and short-comings onto their opponents.
    Who’s really the coward, Dave?
    Are those of us who think that Islamic terrorists represent a minute fraction of Muslim world who can be dealt by intel agencies, political methods and revised legal mechanisms cowardly? Or, are the cowards really people like you, Brad, Jonah Goldberg et al who think that everyone else should die pointlessly in a sectarian civil war?
    The answer is as close as you mirror, Dave.

  66. Ready to Hurl

    Mary, RTH, and other posers – in what branch of the military did you serve, and in what wars did you fight? If none, what makes you think you have any right to assert that others have no right to support the war you try to shirk?
    URGENT TO LEE: Check your meds and ask the nice orderlies to contact your psych doc.
    What am I “posing” as?
    I have never claimed to be a vet. That doesn’t disqualify me in the least from having an opinion and exercising my constitutional rights.
    It’s too bad that you really can’t deal with freedom of speech when people differ from your wacko theories. You obviously don’t really believe in freedoms or rights. At heart, you’re obviously an authoritarian.
    I challenge you to show where I’ve asserted “that others have no right to support the war…” You, Dave and Brad have every right to support the war. However, when you “support” the war but refuse to actually contribute in any other meaningful way besides pounding your keyboard then you open yourself up to well-founded charges of hypocrisy.
    It’s too bad that the shoe pinches but you, Dave and Brad choose to wear it.

  67. Randy Ewart

    Dave, the “silly old fool” knows a little more about Israel than you do, especially considering your clouded judgement – prejudice and hate mongering towards non-Christians.
    This hate that permeates most of your posts is certainly not founded on Christian ideals as you would have others believe.
    According to the King Dave version of the bible and the Dave the Floundering Father, only certain “native” Americans (those with roots dating back more than a generation but not Injuns) with the correct Christian beliefs (including hating others) who served their country not necessarily in combat but honorable as defined by Dave are the ones who matter.
    Carter’s service included a stint off of the China coast in 1949 – another veteran who saw more action than Dave. Of course, chipping a tooth in training while tucked safely away in a military base in the US is worthy too Dave. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

  68. Dave

    Randy, do you remember the Saudi prince who gave something like 50 million dollars to Harvard U a few years back. Harvard returned the money after this prince said that the Jews actually artificially created their holocaust, and it was the Jews who did a holocaust on the Germans. Guess what, Carter expressed all kinds of exemplary statements about his personal friend, the prince. Carter is an out and out Jew hater, even if he smiles while selling them out. So do you want me to give you direct posts about what I just said as I may have mispoke but the facts are there.

  69. Lee

    Randy, we know you are not a veteran, and that you know nothing about military matters, or about Iraq, and that you don’t care about the threat of Islamic terrorism.
    Yet we still defend your right to spout your nonsense and for your vote to cancel the vote of thoughtful, informed, and patriotic Americans.
    It is your illiberal buddies who rant about how everyone who is not a veteran that agrees with them – from Brad Warthen to Dick Cheney – is unqualified to have an opinion, much less hold office. When a veteran happens to disagree with their cowardly, selfish political agenda, they revert to their normal mode of dismissing the military.

  70. Dave

    Hurl – AS a conspiracy theorist, you are beginning to go off the deep end. Here is some scoop on Carlyle. Do you think getting into the donuts business is a secret code for “making the dough”?

    Current portfolio and major acquisitions
    Though known for its expertise in aerospace and defense, more than thirty percent of Carlyle’s invested assets are in the telecommunications and media sector. Noted portfolio companies are Dex Media, the former directories business of Qwest Communications; Willcom, a Japanese wireless company; Casema, a Dutch cable company; and Insight Communications, the ninth largest cable company in the U.S.
    Brand-name companies that Carlyle owns include: Dunkin’ Brands, which owns Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, and dental hygiene company Water Pik. Carlyle also recently took rental car company Hertz public.

  71. Tim

    Just a note to anyone that thinks the military machine would not welcome a reinstatement of the draft.This is not college sports,and if the brightest and best do not volunteer,they will gladly take what they can get.In 1968 there was a choice
    of 2S deferments,fleeing to Canada,getting drafted,enlisting as well as other options.
    For reasons I thought were the right thing to do that same year,I chose to join the Army for three years.Make no mistake,the “machine” would jump at the chance to have an endless supply of recruits at their disposal.Lack of “motivation” or “commitment” is not a hurdle to the military – it is an assumed challenge they are prepared to address with
    each new recruit.

  72. Lee

    Tim repeats the lies of John Kerry and other Vietnam-bound leftists, that our military is composed of lower intellect losers who can’t find work in the private sector.
    The reality is that the average soldier, flier or sailor is far more intelligent and educated than the average population, much more than the average liberal.

  73. Dave

    Tim, nearly all professional soldiers want nothing to do with a draft. With draftees, you get the lazy, bad attitude, ne’er do wells of society and of course you get some talent. But who wants to deal with the former. This would make the military just like our public school system, a babysitting service for many who have no business getting free babysitting. But I do commend you for doing your stint no matter what you think now. You earned the respect of America.

  74. Ready to Hurl

    Dave, of course recruiting high school drop-outs, criminals and low-testing aptitude applicants produces the best and the brightest.
    That’s what the military has been forced to resort to since the Iraq Quagmire.

  75. Ready to Hurl

    Actually, Lee, Kerry neither implied nor stated any such defamation of our military.
    If you’re referring to the botched joke in California, Kerry was ineptly taking a shot at Bush’s intellect and abilities.

  76. Lee

    Kerry made the same insult in California that he made many times as a war protestor financed by the KGB back in his youth. He wasn’t joking then, either.

  77. Tim

    As for Lee’s comment on “Vietnam bound leftists”,I personally had no preconceived notion of left or right.I never knew anyone that had it all figured out and some of us still don’t I’m sure.As for Kerry,I did not and can not support his view.Kerry has to answer for himself.I have the highest respect for the military and those that make it what it is. And by the way,no respect,for those who would weaken this country.

  78. Mary Rosh

    RTH, Kerry actually didn’t botch the joke. Whether you say “get stuck in Iraq” or “get us stuck in Iraq,” the meaning is clear. When you talk of someone getting “stuck” in a theater of battle, it’s the commander you’re talking about.
    Lee, Dave, Warthen, and the other chicken-hawk Republican apologists deliberately misinterpreted what Kerry said, and blame him for their misinterpretation. It’s as if Kerry was under some obligation to phrase everything he said so as to shield it against deliberate distortion.
    What Kerry said was clear in context or out of context. In context, he made his remark in the midst of a series of riffs on Bush, and the students all laughed at his remarks. In addition, as I said above, the meaning of the remark was unmistakeable. You have to be stupid (as Lee, admittedly, is) or dishonest (as Lee, admittedly, is) to interpret the remark the way Lee interprets it.
    What’s clear, too, is that neither Dave, Lee, Warthen, nor any of the other chicken-hawks cares anything at all about our soldiers, past or present. They don’t actually care if our soldiers are insulted or not. They don’t see our soldiers as human beings. The only time they think about our soldiers is to use them in the abstract to silence the views of others.

  79. Lee

    Kerry’s insults about our military today are exactly the same as in his days as a KGB stooge, yet his apologists claim to be able to detect a different tone of humor this time.
    John Kerry, comedian…NOT!
    It’s the same free pass of “interpretation” that Gore and the Clintons get when they let slip some racial slurs.

  80. Lee

    By the way, Mary, this “chicken hawk” was graduated from a military college and is still in uniform.
    So go peddle your anti-American BS at the coffeehouse, where your uneducated liberal buddies are ready to inhale the smoke you blow.

  81. Ready to Hurl

    Holy Crap, Lee! I hope that the uniform you wear is a crossing guards’s. The thought of you armed with weapons and explosives is chilling.
    Lee, anytime your can actually debate with some facts (and references) then I’ll be all ears.
    What exactly is a “Vietnam bound leftist?” In your view I’d guess that it means someone more liberal than Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy who actually learned rational lessons from Vietnam. Naturally, this would include former-General Colin Powell.
    If der Decider had followed Powell’s advice then the U.S. military wouldn’t need to lower standards for new recruits or bribe current military with large incentives to fill the ranks.
    Until you can provide reliable evidence proving a relationship between Kerry and the KGB then you should shut the hell up.

  82. Ready to Hurl

    Tim, nearly all professional soldiers want nothing to do with a draft.
    Dave, do you base this sweeping statement on
    (A) your glorious military career;
    (B) actual statements from the current military leadership; or
    (C) a reputable survey of “nearly all professional soldiers?”
    Again, Dave, if war supporters like yourself would just seize this chance join the military and kill Muslims, then we wouldn’t be discussing a draft. Are you concerned that you wouldn’t be allowed to indiscriminately kill Muslims if you volunteered for Iraq?
    BTW, if your answer involves “A,” then please tell us your highest rank: general, colonel, major, pfc…

  83. Dave

    Hurl, if things are so bad in the military, why are the Iraqi campaign veterans re-upping in record numbers? Why would I tell you my rank, you dont know a thing about the military in any case, how it functions, its capabilities, or military leadership. If you were truthful on this blog you would admit you have disdain for the soldiers coming in and out of Ft. Jackson, and look down on them as the dregs, losers of society. When actually you should thank every veteran you have occasion to meet. They are the reason you can spout off your silly pacifist naive rantings in a free nation. Veterans have paid in blood to stop tyranny and terrorism, but oddly the liberal left has no understanding of that sacrifice. Why fight when you can surrender is their creed.

  84. Mary Rosh

    Dave, when you say you “paid in blood”, do you mean that you experienced combat the way John Kerry and Jack Murtha did, or do you mean that you took up space and collected a paycheck?

  85. Dave

    Mary, by doing my service in the US Army, I have served the nation beyond what you will ever do. So save your goofy comments for yourself and other military hating cowards who would surrender this nation to terrorists if they had the opportunity to do it. My guess is Kerry has more combat trauma from Teresa than he ever got from his paper cut wounds in Vietnam. And Murtha, the traitor, I would let his fellow Marines pass judgement on him. I can stay out of that one.

  86. Mary Rosh

    But Dave, what service did you actually do? You say that you were IN the U.S. Army, but you don’t tell us how (or if) you actually SERVED. YOU introduced the idea that there are different “levels” of citizens. I deny such a claim; like other loyal Americans, I believe in the founding principle of America that everyone has an equal claim to citizenship.
    But it if were legitimate to give someone a higher status of citizenship based having been recorded as a member of the military, why does the analysis have to stop there? Why shouldn’t the superior military service of John Kerry and Jack Murtha give them a higher status than someone who, like you, simply marked time and did not make any contributions or perform any useful service?
    Your use of military “service” (as if you had actually served in any reasonable meaning of the term) is simply a way to claim superior citizenship rights for yourself. You base the definition of “service” on your limited or insignificant contributions, use that definition as justifying your claim to a higher status, and fail to acknowledge that the superior service of John Kerry and Jack Murtha would entitle them to a higher status than you.
    Of course, none of this is really relevant. Veterans are simply citizens of the United States, equal to every other citizen. Nonveterans are citizens. Veterans with expemplary service, like John Kerry and Jack Murtha, are citizens. “Veterans” like you, who took up space and collected a paycheck, are citizens.

  87. Ready to Hurl

    Why would I tell you my rank, you dont know a thing about the military in any case, how it functions, its capabilities, or military leadership.
    Oh. I guess that means that your military rank doesn’t really support your claim of expertise in military strategy or knowledge of the thinking of “nearly all professional soldiers.”
    If you were truthful on this blog you would admit you have disdain for the soldiers coming in and out of Ft. Jackson, and look down on them as the dregs, losers of society.
    Wow, Dave, have you volunteered your psychic powers to help find Osam bin Laden?
    I have never posted any statements supporting such views. You have absolutely no basis for such statements.
    For the record, the statement above is entirely incorrect– but readers of your posts probably take that for granted by now.
    Also, for the record, I don’t think that joining the military automatically confers any “super-citizen” status. I don’t think that soldiers automatically merit the term “hero.” And, as is obvious from your posts, military experience sure doesn’t ipso facto make you particularly smarter.
    Many people have joined the military since 9/11 believing that they would protect Americans from terrorism. Unlike you many of them probably didn’t aspire to murder Muslims. Unlike you, many of them saw a threat to the USA and sacrificed in order to protect America.
    I salute those Americans and mourn the stupid way you, Bush and Brad take advantage of their patriotism.

  88. Ready to Hurl

    Hurl, if things are so bad in the military, why are the Iraqi campaign veterans re-upping in record numbers?
    Dave, you cling to this one misleading factoid but refuse to deal with the lowering of criteria for new recruits.
    Are you comfortable with military training for members of the Aryan Brotherhood? Well, maybe YOU are but most Americans wouldn’t want domestic terrorists like the OK City bombers trained in explosives, small arms and military tactics.
    from the AP:
    The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year, helping the service beat its goal of 80,000 recruits in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties.
    The Army recruited 80,635 soldiers, roughly 7,000 more than last year. Of those, about 70,000 were first-time recruits who had never served before.
    [This indicates how misleading YOUR stat is, Dave.]
    The recruiting mark comes a year after the Army missed its recruitment target by the widest margin since 1979, which had triggered a boost in the number of recruiters, increased bonuses, and changes in standards. The Army recruited 80,635 soldiers, roughly 7,000 more than last year. Of those, about 70,000 were first-time recruits who had never served before.
    According to statistics obtained by The Associated Press, 3.8 percent of the first-time recruits scored below certain aptitude levels. In previous years, the Army had allowed only 2 percent of its recruits to have low aptitude scores. That limit was increased last year to 4 percent, the maximum allowed by the Defense Department.
    The Army said all the recruits with low scores had received high school diplomas. In a written statement, the Army said good test scores do not necessarily equate to quality soldiers. Test-taking ability, the Army said, does not measure loyalty, duty, honor, integrity or courage.
    About 17 percent of the first-time recruits, or about 13,600, were accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests or drunk driving. That is a slight increase from last year, the Army said. Of those accepted under waivers, more than half were for “moral” reasons, mostly misdemeanor arrests. Thirty-eight percent were for medical reasons and 7 percent were drug and alcohol problems, including those who may have failed a drug test or acknowledged they had used drugs.

  89. Lee

    Kerry’s Soviet Rhetoric – The Vietnam-era antiwar movement got its spin from the Kremlin.
    February 26, 2004, 8:28 a.m. By Ion Mihai Pacepa
    Part of Senator John Kerry’s appeal to a certain segment of Americans is his
    Vietnam-veteran status coupled with his antiwar activism during that period. On
    April 12, 1971, Kerry told the U.S. Congress that American soldiers claimed to
    him that they had, “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned on the power, cut off limbs, blew up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.”
    The exact sources of that assertion should be tracked down. Kerry also ought to be asked who, exactly, told him any such thing, and what it was, exactly, that they said they did in Vietnam. Statutes of limitation now protect these individuals from prosecution for any such admissions. Or did Senator Kerry merely hear allegations of that sort as hearsay bandied about by members of antiwar groups (much of which has since been discredited)? To me, this assertion sounds exactly like the disinformation line that the Soviets were
    sowing worldwide throughout the Vietnam era. KGB priority number one at that time was to damage American power, judgment, and credibility. One of its favorite tools was the fabrication of such evidence as photographs and “news reports” about invented American war atrocities. These tales were purveyed in KGB-operated magazines that would then flack them to reputable news organizations. Often enough, they would be picked up. News organizations are notoriously sloppy about verifying their sources. All in all, it was amazingly
    easy for Soviet-bloc spy organizations to fake many such reports and spread them around the free world.
    As a spy chief and a general in the former Soviet satellite of Romania, I produced the very same vitriol Kerry repeated to the U.S. Congress almost word for word and planted it in leftist movements throughout Europe. KGB chairman Yuri Andropov managed our anti-Vietnam War operation. He often bragged about having damaged the U.S. foreign-policy consensus, poisoned domestic debate in the U.S., and built a credibility gap between America and European public
    opinion through our disinformation operations. Vietnam was, he once told me,
    “our most significant success.”
    As far as I’m concerned, the KGB gave birth to the antiwar movement in America.
    In 1976, Andropov gave my own Romanian DIE credit for helping his KGB do so.

  90. Mary Rosh

    “The exact sources of that assertion should be tracked down. Kerry also ought to be asked who, exactly, told him any such thing, and what it was, exactly, that they said they did in Vietnam.”
    Lee, this Ion Mihai Pacepa guy is maybe the stupidest person in the world other than you.
    This is from the testimony of Scott Camile, in the Winter Soldier investigation:
    “My name is Scott Camile. I was a Sgt. attached to Charley 1/1. I was a forward observer in Vietnam. I went in right after high school and I’m a student now. My testimony involves burning of villages with civilians in them, the cutting off of ears, cutting off of heads, torturing of prisoners, calling in of artillery on villages for games, corpsmen killing wounded prisoners, napalm dropped on villages, women being raped, women and children being massacred, CS gas used on people, animals slaughtered, Chieu Hoi passes rejected and the people holding them shot, bodies shoved out of helicopters, tear-gassing people for fun and running civilian vehicles off the road.”
    How retarded does this guy have to be to say that the guys who told Kerry these things should be identified, when a TRANSCRIPT OF WHAT THEY SAID has been in existence for over 30 years?
    How retarded do you have to be to quote him as an authority?

  91. Ready to Hurl

    Wow, Mary. I guess Lee decided to demonstrate exactly HOW retarded he could be in his next post.
    Claiming that Kerry is a Communist-dupe because supposedly some Spanish Socialist endorsed him is the height of stupidity.
    Say, Lee, whaddya make of this article: Islamists Declare Spain Truce, Endorse Bush?
    You just can’t cure stupid.

  92. Dave

    Scott Camile, leader of the group, who with John Kerry present, planned the assasination of 7 US Senators. A group of subhuman scum, all traitors to the nation, and the Dems ran one of them as their presidential candidate. How fitting. And now Mary is quoting this mentally deranged traitor to make a point. How fitting again.

  93. Lee

    Several other former Soviet KGB agents, as well has British historians who have researched the KGB archives, have also told how the KGB funneled cash and coaching to leftist anti-military groups in the US during the Vietnam era, including Kerry’s. Kerry was not the one getting the money – he was just a mouthpiece. But all of them benefited from illegal cash which they did not report to the IRS.

  94. Ready to Hurl

    from Wikipedia
    During a meeting in Kansas City, Missouri in mid November 1971, Scott Camil a radical leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War proposed the assassination of the most conservative members of Congress, as well as any other powerful opponents of the antiwar movement.
    […] In Camil’s words, “I was serious. I felt that I spent two years killing women and children in their own f****** homes. These are the guys that f****** made the policy, and these were the guys that were responsible for it, and these were the guys that were voting to continue the f****** war when the public was against it. I felt that if we really believed in what we were doing, and if we were willing to put our lives on the line for the country over there, we should be willing to put our lives on the line for the country over here.”
    The plan was voted down, although the closeness of the vote is debated. Although John Kerry claims he had resigned from the organization prior to the Kansas City meeting, one account indicates Kerry was present for the vote, voted against it, and simultaneously resigned from the organization in disgust. Kerry, however, continued to speak at anti-war events for several more months.
    Meanwhile, Dubya partied AWOL from the Champagne Unit of the Texas Air National Guard– merrily ignoring the deaths of Americans in a civil war we entered on fraudulent pretenses.
    Somethings never change.

  95. Ready to Hurl

    Dave, how does your military record (and Bush’s) compare to Scott Camil’s?
    He enrolled in the Marines delayed enlistment program while still in high school, and entered boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island three days after graduating.
    He served with the Marines from 1965 to 1967, earning two Purple Hearts, Combat Action Ribbon, two Presidential Unit Citations, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three stars, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Leaf, and Vietnam Campaign Medal during two tours in Vietnam. With Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, he acted as a forward observer for artillery. He was a sergeant when honorably discharged.
    Camil, like Kerry, saw American lives being wasted in a quagmire, a civil war that the U.S. had no business in. Camil, like Kerry, came home determined to stop more Americans from dying for no purpose. Camil, unlike Kerry, advocated violence to stop the war. Kerry advocated working within the democratic political system. Kerry left the organization even though the it rejected the violence.
    Dubya’s family connections put him ahead of hundreds of other people who wanted to avoid Vietnam by joining the TANG. Dubya didn’t even fulfill that obligation.
    Dubya didn’t care that Americans were dying needlessly then. He doesn’t now. The only difference is that he could change it today– if he cared.

  96. Dave

    Hurl – lets all hear about your military record or non-record as the case likely is. Anyway, the guy who blew up the OKC Federal building was a Marine too, and Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marine. Bad people do serve in the military. Camil is one of those, like Kerry, who turned traitor on his own country. The enemy within.

    As for Dubya, he wore the uniform, and has also had 6 plus years as Com in Chief. That counts, just like it did for the Slickmeister. Or do you want to bring Mapes, Rather, and Burkett back out of mothballs.

  97. Ready to Hurl

    Kerry, who turned traitor on his own country.
    Prove it.
    The Constitution is pretty specific about treason.
    Kerry served honorably and with distinction in a war that he didn’t believe in, Dave. You won’t even volunteer for a war that you believe will save your country. Yep, you’re determined for other Americans to fight until the last drop of their blood.
    Who’s the real patriot, Dave?

  98. Lee

    The lies about G.W. Bush “being AWOL” from the Texas ANG were investigated by The Boston Globe, a Kerry cheerleading rag, and even they admitted it was all bunk – in fact, Bush had so many extra hours of drill and flying that he was asked to fly less. When he needed an early out to matriculate at Harvard Business School, his extra drill hours made it no problem.
    Meanwhile, the FBI testified before the House on the communists associates of John Kerry.

  99. bud

    This whole “who served more honorably” in Vietnam issue has been rehashed so many times. Here are the only two points that really count:
    John Kerry served in Vietnam and participated in combat against the enemy. He was awarded a number of medals, by the United States Navy, demonstrating his valor in combat.
    George W. Bush somehow managed to get into the TANG where it was widely regarded that the odds of facing combat in Vietnam were slim. (I personally remember this vividly. Everyone sought to get into the National Guard where it was believed going to Nam was highly unlikely.) As a pilot he was required to get a physical in order to continue flying. He failed to get that physical and was grounded as a pilot.
    Everything else concerning this issue is to some extent speculation, but these two points are factual. Even the Decider himself conceded that Kerry had a more substantial service record.

  100. Lee

    Kerry thought his odds of going to Vietnam were slim when he joined the Naval Reserve to avoid being drafted into the infantry.

  101. Ready to Hurl

    Kerry thought his odds of going to Vietnam were slim…

    Lee adds “forensic mind reader” to his resume.

  102. Ready to Hurl

    What’s next, Dave, an “American Foreign Legion?” Maybe we’ll be able to rent them out as mercenaries to cover our “free trade” deficit.
    Yep, everything is just dandy with our armed forces.
    George. Bush. Worst. President. Ever.
    Military considers recruiting foreigners
    Expedited citizenship would be an incentive

    By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | December 26, 2006
    WASHINGTON — The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks — including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer — according to Pentagon officials.
    Foreign citizens serving in the US military is a highly charged issue, which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is essentially using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts voice concern that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could jeopardize national security or reflect badly on Americans’ willingness to serve in uniform.
    The idea of signing up foreigners who are seeking US citizenship is gaining traction as a way to address a critical need for the Pentagon, while fully absorbing some of the roughly one million immigrants that enter the United States legally each year.
    The proposal to induct more noncitizens, which is still largely on the drawing board, has to clear a number of hurdles. So far, the Pentagon has been quiet about specifics — including who would be eligible to join, where the recruiting stations would be, and what the minimum standards might involve, including English proficiency. In the meantime, the Pentagon and immigration authorities have expanded a program that accelerates citizenship for legal residents who volunteer for the military.
    And since Sept. 11, 2001, the number of imm igrants in uniform who have become US citizens has increased from 750 in 2001 to almost 4,600 last year, according to military statistics.
    With severe manpower strains because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and a mandate to expand the overall size of the military — the Pentagon is under pressure to consider a variety of proposals involving foreign recruits, according to a military affairs analyst.

  103. bud

    It appears that a battle is going to be waged over the issue of increasing troop strength in Iraq. Hopefully this is a sign that the Democrats have grown a spine. This disasterous idea should be fought tooth and nail by all those who favor peace, prosperity and security.
    Now that the Iraq war has claimed more lives than the terrorist attacks on 9-11 what sane person could argue that it’s a good idea to continue with this failed endevour? The right-wing nuts claim our goal in Iraq is to prevent another 9-11. But by fighting in Iraq we’ve actually caused the deaths of more Americans, wounded 10 times more and caused billions of dollars more in damage than did the terrorist on 9-11. So by what logic can anyone use to justify this ongoing fiasco?
    It’s about 3 years past time to recognize that total victory is not possible. There will never be a Jeffersonian Democracy in Iraq. Iraq will never serve as a beacon for hope in the middle east. The various warring factions will not lay down their arms any time soon and probably not until U.S. troops are long gone. How many more artificial 9-11s do we have to subject our armed forced to before the obvious is recognized? Wake up America. This war cannot be won in the traditional sense of the word. Our best bet is to contain the quagmire within the Iraqi borders and let them duke it out. And they are plenty capable of doing that without U.S. troops present.

  104. Lee

    While GW Bush was flying jets in the Texas Air National Guard, Bill Clinton was fugitive draft dodger being hosted by the Soviets in Moscow, Al Gore was protesting with Jerry Rubin outside the Democratic Convention, and John Kerry was in an “anti-war” group financed by the KGB and filled with members of various socialist and communist groups.

  105. Lee

    You liberals don’t know what Jeffersonian democracy is, and no one in the Bush administration has even suggested that we institute it in Iraq. America is not even supposed to be a democracy, for God’s sake.
    We just overthrew a dictator who was arming and training terrorists, bombers, and hijackers, whom Clinton was leaving in power and winking while the Europeans he needed to salvage some semblance of “a legacy”, and vote him into a UN pie job, took bribes hand over fist from Saddam.
    Goat Boy sold out America, and the Democrats are in denial about Sept 11, as if the rest of us just randomly attacked the Taliban and Baath extremists.

  106. Dave

    Bud, if 9-11 had nothing to do with Iraq, why are making a scorecard comparison? Isn’t that like saying since a pro football team scored 50 points to beat another team, now they NY Yankees have to get 50 runs in one game. Where is your logic?

  107. bud

    Dave, you completely missed my point. I’m not saying Iraq had anything to do with 9-11; that’s a right-wing meme. But, even if I conceed that point continuing in Iraq makes no sense. The numbers suggest we are artificially creating a 9-11 every 3 years in order to prevent one everty 20. That makes no sense. If fighting the WOT is really important let’s actually fight it, not squander resources in Iraq. Frankly, some good police and intelligence work combined with a bit of diplomacy would pretty much eliminate most of the terrorist threat we face. And at a whole lot lower cost than what we’re doing now.

  108. Lee

    Bush’s military and law enforcement efforts have already thwarted over 150 other terrorist bombings since Sept 11, 2001.
    We had major attacks on US soil every year while Clinton was in office. Anyone with any sense doesn’t want to return to those days of living in denial.
    And yes, we know Saddam paid the families of suicide bombers, operated hijacker training camps, gave asylum to Zarqawi and other terrorists, and supplied them with money, bombs, and bio-chem weapons to attack the US and Israel.

  109. Steve Gordy

    Thank God I’m too busy trying to meet my customer’s needs to have much time for Lee’s and Dave’s GOPbot routine. However, with regard to Scott Camill, a policeman I know who was part of the case investigation said “Scott was stoned to the gills, but he wasn’t plotting to kill anybody.” Furthermore, W’s lackeys in Texas fed his actual TANG service records into the shredder during his term as governor, so we have only his say-so about what he did.

  110. Dave

    Steve, all military records are maintained in a central repository in St. Louis. No one shredded W’s records as you maintain. But the real question still remains is why wont Kerry release his military records like Bush did. And Clinton, unlike all other presidents, would never release his medical records. So Bush has been totally open while Kerry and Clinton are hiding something. Most of us have a good idea what these two are hiding.

  111. Lee

    The Boston Globe did a one-year investigation of G.W. Bush’s National Guard service, and found that he had over 600 extra hours of drill, and was flying so much that the officers asked him to cut back. With the end of the draft and and troop cuts, they had no problem releasing him and other officers early into a reserve status.
    The initial stories were, as usual, all lies, ginned up by some vindictive bureaucrat who didn’t get a pie job from Governor Bush, and floated by the Democrat news media for as long as possible.

  112. Mary Rosh

    Dave, as far as that goes, why not release your “service” records? Are there any records that actually reflect any actual service on your part? That is did you do anything at any time that improved the military posture and readiness of the United States? Or were you simply a drag on the military, the same way you have spent the rest of your life as a drag on the United States?
    It’s interesting, you claim the right to denigrate the decorated service of men like John Kerry, yet you claim an exalted and superior status simply for wearing (or claiming to wear) the uniform of the United States. But wearing the uniform isn’t particularly exalted. To wear the uniform of the United States simply demonstrates the ability to put clothes on. Now, if, as I suspect, you rode the short bus to school, that does represent something of an achievement for you, but it nevertheless does not put your “service” on the same level as John Kerry’s.
    Wearing the uniform isn’t what’s important. What’s important is what you do WHILE WEARING THE UNIFORM. John Kerry served valiantly, upholding the highest military traditions. You, evidently, simply put on the uniform and let your “service” begin and end with that act.

  113. Mary Rosh

    So Lee, are you admitting that you don’t actually care whether someone actually pulled his weight in the service, so long as he shares your policitcal views? Kerry served with honor and distinction, yet you denigrate his service; from the information Dave has given us, his “service” appears to have been negligible. Yet you exalt his service, and claim for him an exalted status of citizenship, suggesting that the fact that he wore a military uniform (whether or not he actually did anything while wearing that uniform) entitles him to respect.
    If you honor Dave for his negligible service, you have to honor Kerry for his superior service.
    Of course, if you were willing to do that, you would honor the liberals whose taxes pay for your handouts, and afford to them a status superior to yourself and other conservative freeloaders. But you don’t.
    We aren’t asking you to afford us a superior citizenship status because we support ourselves and you, and you sponge off of us. But can we at least ask you not to claim an exalted status for yourself?
    We certainly realize you can’t pay your own way. We admit that it is difficult for you to express gratitude for the handouts you receive. But can you at least admit that the people who pay for the handouts on which you depend for survival are entitled to a citizenship status equal to yours?

  114. Lee

    Steve, reread my post. The source is THE BOSTON GLOBE, the hometown paper of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
    If you did not already read those articles, it means you were not keeping up with current events, which is why you have only the vague, false notions planted into your mind by the Democrat media.
    Your wikipedia article is just another repitition of their propaganda, duping you. Wise up, man.

  115. Lee

    The fact that Kerry didn’t pull his weight in his very brief military service is precisely the issue raised by his crew and the other Swift boat crews – he is a slackard and a phony.
    We saw the real Kerry after he came back, as a mouthpiece for KGB-financed communist groups.

  116. Mary Rosh

    Even if what you say were true, Kerry’s military service, and his contributions as a citizen, would STILL be superior to yours and Dave’s. In following this line of argument, you illuminate a key to the reason it is so important to follow the founding principles of the United States, and treat everyone as having an equal right to vote.
    You argue for an exalted status for yourself based the supposed superioroty of your contributions as a citizen, but you can only make such an argument because you do not judge yourself and others by the same standards. By your lights, nothing a conservative does is wrong, and nothing a liberal does is right. Therefore, you denigrate and dismiss the superior contributions of liberals, and you exalt the nonexistent or detrimental “contributions” of conservates.
    For example, Dave apparently made no postive contributions to the United States during his military “service”. From what he has told us, his “service” was essentially a mechanism for receiving handouts. Yet you exalt him simply for the fact that he “served”, but denigrate those who made superior contributions in their service.
    Similarly, during your life, you have never been anything other than a lazy, shiftless, ignorant, worthless, freeloading loser, surviving through handouts taken from federal taxes that are available only because of the superior initiative and industry of liberals. Yet you somehow claim an exalted status for yourself, even though a fairer assessment would question whether you should be given the right to vote, or even to live in America, at all.
    By treating everyone equally, and treating everyone’s vote equally, we avoid questions of whose citizenship is superior. We know that if losers, freeloaders and cowards like you, Dave, and Warthen decide what criteria should give someone superior voting rights, your decision will always be based on whatever criteria you can invent that will afford superior voting rights to yourself.
    By acknowledging everyone’s equal right to vote, we avoid placing control of voting rights in the hands of lazy, shiftless, ignorant, cowardly, freeloading losers, who can be expected to afford superior voting rights to lazy, shiftless, ignorant, cowardly, freeloading losers like themselves.

  117. Lee

    If what Kerry’s fellow sailors and officers say is true, Kerry fabricated the short military service which you Democrats suddenly found so enchanting.
    Of course, we know Kerry and his supporters actually cannot hold him in high esteem for military service and at the same time express their daily contempt for the rest of our soldiers as “war criminals” and “baby killers”.

  118. Mary Rosh

    Yes, if the lies told by the gang of broken down alcoholics paid by Bush supporters to spin their lies were true, then yes, Kerry would have fabricated his military service, by magically altering DOD records and magically implanting memories of his valor in those who served with him, as well as fabricating bullet holes in his boat and other boats.
    This is yet another reason why it is so important to follow the founding principles of America and treat every citizen as having an equal right to vote. You claim a superior citizenship status for yourself, even though you are nothing but a lazy, shiftless, uneducated, worthless, freeloading loser. You denigrate the service of men like John Kerry, even though he has acted according to the highest principles of American citizenship, and performed service to America far beyond your miserable “contributions”. You denigrate Kerry’s superior service by positing various impossible propositions, and saying that “if” these propositions were true, Kerry would not deserve a higher citizenship status. Of course, the propositions are not true; they are simply invented in order to provide a justification for claiming superior rights for yourself and denying them to others whose service is greater than yours (not difficult, as your “service” consists in total of providing a place to deposit handouts).
    And that is the whole idea behind Warthen’s call for different classes of citizenship. You don’t actually care about who contributed more to America; you care about claiming superior rights for yourself. Again, by affording equal citizenship rights to everyone, we avoid having the value of this person’s or that person’s contributions, and associated citizenship rights, arbitrated by a coterie of lazy, shiftless, uneducated, ignorant, worthless, freeloading losers.

  119. Lee

    It doesn’t take much to smoke out the seething contempt and hatred which illiberals like Mary Rosh hold for our military: “…broken down alcoholics and liars…”
    Democrats are the party of lazy, shiftless, uneducated, ignorant, worthless, freeloading losers.

  120. Dave

    Mary and her ilk truly loathe the military. Afraid of military strength and power, they would downgrade our armed services to the level of parking lot security guards. This is exactly what Clinton perpetuated during his 8 years and the weakened military Bush inherited is owed to Clinton’s handiwork. Mary is in awe of John Francois Kerry exactly because he turned traitor to the American military. His hidden records would show a dishonorable discharge for meeting with the enemy while on activated service. Jimmy Carter or perhaps Clinton may have gotten that changed but this is why Kerry wont open the records. Proof of an American traitor.

  121. bud

    Dave and Lee provide more proof that the right fails to see issues in any way other than black and white. The real issue (with the draft) is not liberal “loathing” of the military. Rather, it’s an issue of gross misuse of the military. Do we loathe chainsaws if some sicko hacks a person to death with one? Do we despise automobiles if a drunk driver kills and innocent child? Of course not. But that doesn’t stop the right from setting up this phony straw man of left wing hatred of the military whenever issues that would restrict the use of our armed forces are raised. After all, it was Republican president Dwight Eisenhower who warned us of the military industrial complex. His words resonate loud and clear in 2007.

  122. bud

    I love this. From Bartcop:
    “As Al Gore faces his final years in the White House, history will view his two terms as disappointing.
    After a razor-thin victory over George Bush in 2000, the new President was ultra-cautious.
    Republicans labeled him “Al Bore” for failing to pursue a muscular foreign policy and for endless
    consultations with UN members, NATO allies, even potential adversaries such as North Korea and Iran.
    Then he overreacted to such criticism, using an intelligence report in August, 2001, as pretext for striking
    defenseless camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, arousing protests throughout the Middle East over the
    death of a populist leader, Osama bin Laden, and his followers.
    Even more controversial was Gore’s expulsion of fifteen visitors from our ally, Saudi Arabia,
    for what Rush Limbaugh sarcastically termed “the heinous crime of taking flying lessons.”
    The furor drove oil prices to $30 a barrel, with public protest
    bringing the President’s approval ratings down to 50 percent. ”

  123. Dave

    Bud, if we had not done regime change in Iraq but instead sat on our thumbs like most pacifists prefer, we would have suffered several domestic terrorist events like 9-11. Then the same surrender monkey crowd would be screaming for W’s scalp for not protecting them well enough. The military has been put to excellent use with excellent results in Iraq. Al Qaeda is splintered and decimated, and now AQ is fighting with moderate Arabs, not the USA. The best result for our national security. History will judge Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney as geniuses for this outcome.

  124. Lee

    Under Clinton, we had a major terrorist bombing on US soil every year.
    Since Sept 11, 2001, we have had none.
    We have thwarted over 150 attacks, and captured or killed over 10,000 terrorists.

  125. Ready to Hurl

    Here’s what you might have read in Kerry’s “hometown newspaper” if you were “keeping up with current events.” (Of course, if you were just parroting wingnut crap you might not realize that the Boston Globe apparently isn’t a cheerleading rag for Kerry– or Ted Kennedy.)
    from Slate
    The instances of Kerry-bashing at the Globe are too numerous to cite here, but let’s review some highlights:
    * In March 1989, reporter John Robinson mocked the newly divorced Kerry as “the Senate’s Romeo,” and wrote that Kerry “reportedly courted” the actress Morgan Fairchild “on the QT while dating another woman.”
    * In October 1996, in the midst of a heated Senate re-election campaign, Globe columnist David Warsh suggested that Kerry won a Silver Star in Vietnam for “finishing off” an enemy soldier who was wounded and therefore posed no threat. This was untrue; the enemy soldier, though wounded, quickly got back on his feet.
    * In March 2003, reporters Michael Kranish, Frank Phillips, and Brian C. Mooney reported that Kerry had tried to pass himself off as Irish to boost his popularity in Massachusetts, which has a large Irish population.
    * In November 2003, columnist Joan Vennochi wrote, “John Kerry’s presidential campaign needs more than a new campaign manager. It needs a new candidate.”
    * On Jan. 18, reporter Patrick Healy nailed Kerry for falsely claiming that he’d been endorsed by John C. Land III, the Democratic leader in South Carolina’s State Senate. In fact, Land endorsed John Edwards.
    Yeah, the Globe is a real “homer” newspaper, alright.

  126. Mary Rosh

    Bud, it isn’t that Dave and Lee see issues in black and white. This issue, in fact, is pretty black and white, and Dave and Lee are twisting themselves into knots to try to avoid it. Dave and Lee evaluate everything based on group identification. If they identify a person as “one of us”, nothing that person does can be wrong; if they identify a person as “not one of us”, nothing that person does can be right.
    The fact is that Kerry’s military service was superior to Dave’s in every way, as far as we can tell from the little Dave is willing to reveal about his service. Kerry did more than Dave, performed better than Dave, faced more danger and hardship than Dave. Dave took up space and drew a paycheck. Yet somehow, Lee and Dave disparage Kerry’s service, both lying about what Kerry did, and making up imaginary rules that Kerry’s conduct supposedly violated.
    Lee describes my identification of a gang of liars and broken down alcoholics AS the liars and broken down acoholices they are, as displaying hatred for the military. Of course, I’m not describing the military as a whole, or veterans as a whole, I’m describing a gang of individual veterans whose conduct brings them dishonor and makes them unworthy to call themselves veterans. To Lee, any criticism of any veteran with whom Lee identifies betrays “hatred of veterans”. Of course, this line of argument by Lee is another example of the same cowardice that keeps him from volunteering to fight in Iraq. He is afraid to support his arguments, so he seeks to shield them from criticism by casting any criticism of his arguments or those who support his arguments as an attack on the military or on veterans.
    Similarly, Dave and Lee are worthless freeloaders, yet somehow they do not see the fact that they are worthless freeloaders as grounds for denying them the special “enhanced” citizenship rights they claim. They evaluate their claims to superior rights of citizenship based not on merit or contributions, but on group identification. They see themselves and other lazy, shiftless, ignorant, uneducated, worthless freeloaders as somehow entitled to superior rights of citizenship, while the liberals who pay the taxes that make it possible for Dave and Lee to collect the handouts on which they depend, are somehow not entitled to full citizenship rights.

  127. Dave

    Bud, watch out, Mary is now putting you in her domain, ie you are “us”. Even though you believe some liberal thoughts, I cant even put you in bed with the witch.

  128. bud

    Dave writes:
    “The military has been put to excellent use with excellent results in Iraq.”
    Not even the Decider himself would dare make such a ludicrous claim. Dave’s credibility, if he ever had any, is completely gone now. Here are some comparable statements about some historical events:
    The trip to Dallas was a resounding success. The crowds, the weather, the ride. Only the minor incident at Dealy Plaza slightly diminished the otherwise wonderful experience for the Kennedys.
    With 29 downed Japanese aircraft December 7, 1941 will go down in history as a spectacular victory for American armed forces.
    A large number of passengers who sailed on board the Titanic made it safely to New York. This proves the adequacy of the safety features, especially the sturdy construction of the lifeboats.

  129. Lee

    There was a good radio interview with some Yale historians this weekend, who were discussing the facts about how successful this war in Iraq has been, and how the critics of the war avoid any recognition of the facts that Iraq was helping the terrorists who had been bombing America throughout the Clinton administrations.

  130. bud

    Here are some facts Lee:
    113 American soldiers killed in December. The highest toll since November 2004.
    A record number of journalists have been killed in Iraq war.
    Cost of Iraq war approaching $400 billion.
    Over 16,000 Iraqis, many young children, killed in 2006. As the new year begins violence continues unabated. (Many analysts regard this figure as unrealistically low.)
    Duration of American involvement is now approaching 46 months, just 2 shy of American Civil War.
    Tens of thousands of Iraqis are fleeing the country.
    Basic electric and water service continues in short supply.
    An increasing majority of Iraqis consider Americans as occupiers.
    So what are the facts supporting the success of the Iraq war? Are they as ridiculous as the facts supporting the successful maiden voyage of the Titanic?

  131. Lee

    16,000 Iraqis mostly killed by the remaining Islamic terrorists.
    Compare that with the 125,000 Iraqis killed every year by Saddam Hussein, or the 1,000,000 innocent Iraqis starved to death by the UN and Saddam stealing their Oil for Food money.
    All we need to do is kill about 15,000 terrorists, and the number of our soldiers, journalists and innocent victims will drop into a few hundred next year.

  132. Dave

    Bud, 4000 Californicators died in traffic accidents last year. The 3000 in Iraq is sad but its a pittance to the annual killing and deaths in America every year. Stop your whining over this small number.

  133. bud

    Dave, the exact number of California traffic deaths in 2005 was 4,329. With a population 1/8 as much we had 1,093 traffic deaths in SC. Part of the problem is we’re not devoting the necessary resources to combating drunk driving, aggressive driving, unsafe roads and a miriad of other maladies we face on a daily basis while driving. And why don’t we have the resources to properly address these problems? Because we waste hundreds of billions on stupid, counterproductive, hairbrained ideas like fighting a war against a nation that poses no threat to the U.S. In effect we lose 2 ways. First we send thousands of soldiers to die needlessly. Second, because we squander our resources away we reduce the effectiveness of police efforts at home.
    And besides, since when are 3,000 dead soldiers considered a “pittance”. Tell some of the widows of the war dead their deceased husband was just a pittance. You disgust me with your insensitivity.

  134. Ready to Hurl

    Dave, when you back your words with actions then maybe you have the moral right to minimize the loss of 3,000 American lives in a fraudulent war. I bet that a few Humvee patrols in Baghdad would change you mind about the “pittance.”
    You’re so damned cavalier about the deaths of our military. Why don’t you tell Specialist Douglas Logan Tinsley’s family that his death means no more than the death of a drunk driver in California.
    You disgust me.

  135. Dave

    8,000 American soldiers died to take a worthless little island called Iwo Jima. Its a good thing the wussie bloggers here weren’t the people leading us in WW2. Every American military death is tragic and sad, and every death represents the ultimate sacrifice. But I can guarantee you these soldiers do not want weenies like you surrendering to the terrorists so you all can feel better about yourselves. How noble, we ended the war, but did it by surrendering to a bunch of savages. Shame on the whole bunch of you.

  136. Steve Gordy

    Dave, people like you who whine about inconveniences (I remember your whining about airport searches a few months ago) have no right to demand sacrifice of anyone. Why don’t you take Dick Cheney’s advice to Patrick Leahy of a couple of years ago?

  137. Ready to Hurl

    More of the bogus WW2 comparisons, Dave?
    No one here wants to “surrender to terrorists.” (Another of Dave’s insulting straw man arguments.)
    But, let’s just go with your framework: the entire White, Jesus-worshiping, Western World is threatened by Brown, Muslim Hordes.
    Other than posting on Brad’s blog, what are YOU, Dave, doing to save White, European culture and our women-folk from being ravished by alien hordes?
    In Dave’s World, Iwo Jima was worth 8,000 lives to save the world from Japanese domination but in our current existential struggle Dave can’t be bothered.
    I can’t decide.
    Do you really believe this stuff and are too, uhm, “self-absorbed” to help save Western Civilization? Or, are you just parroting the neo-con party line because otherwise you’d have to admit that you’ve been bamboozled by Dear Leader?

  138. bud

    RTH, you should think about your statement concerning comparing the drunk driver who died with a soldier in Iraq. You implied one was more valuable than the other. The lives of both are valuable to them and their families. I think it is a tragically flaw mind-set in this country that accepts the slaughter on our highways without a second thought. We should be doing much more to reduce the needless carnage on our highways. A good start could be made with just a fraction of the money we are wasting in Iraq.

  139. Ready to Hurl

    bud, the drunk driver made his homicidal and destructive decision freely and with no coercion. He alone decided that driving a two ton highway missile while impaired was preferable over the expense and inconvenience of calling a cab or planning ahead.
    The soldier was ordered to risk his life on fraudulent pretenses.
    Dave equates the two because he’s a partisan hack defending an incompetent administration who took us to war with the same degree of carelessness as the drunk driver. He’s reduced to throwing out irrelevant red-herring arguments because he has no rational justification for this tragic disaster. Highway deaths in the U.S. have zip to do with casualties suffered occupying a foreign country after a war of choice.
    I don’t mean to suggest that one life is more important than the other– just that safety of one life was entrusted to the government while the other was risked solely at the individual’s whim.
    We owed the soldiers so much better decision making.

  140. bud

    RTH, I partially agree. We do owe the soldiers much better decision making. But we owe motorists a safe highway environment too. And the 2 are, at least indirectly, related. We squander hundreds of billions of dollars on military whims. These dollars could help provide a safer motoring environment.
    The life taken by the drunk driver may not be his own but an innocent victim. We’ve devoted far too little attention and resources to solving domestic problems, one of which is the staggering highway death toll. Health care, crime and poverty are other important problems. Yet, as this blog clearly reflects, too little attention is given to these issues. If we end the debacle in Iraq, even if it doesn’t include an outright victory, we win in the end if it leads to a refocusing of our attention.
    The Clinton years should serve as an inspiration for what is possible. In practically ever measure of quality of life the American people improved in the 90s. Let’s get back to that. The dedicated soldiers and marines in Iraq are the most visible victims of the Decider’s poor policy decisions, but they’re not the only ones.

  141. Ready to Hurl

    bud, the trillion dollar bill for Iraq is in the mail. We’ll be paying for it economically for decades– just like Vietnam. The damage to our reputation abroad and the transformation of probably tens of thousands of Muslims into anti-American Islamic radicals is a “cost” that Der Decider incurred for us right now.
    George W. Bush. Worst. President. Ever.
    What a legacy.

  142. Lee

    The Democrat policy of hiding under the desk got us 8 years of terrorist attacks under Clinton.
    Where do you liberals think we should fight the terrorists, if not in Iraq?
    We have heard lots of Democrat whining about how we should have focused more on Afghanistan. Now they are in power – but silent on boosting troops to Afghanistan.
    Why? Because they are liars, and not interested in fighting our enemies.

  143. Ready to Hurl

    Lee, despite your self-proclaimed expertise in government, law, economy, climatology, engineering, ad nauseum you continue to betray your ignorance (or simple-minded partisan hackery).
    The Democrats won tenuous control over the LEGISLATIVE branch of the government. Unfortunately, Dear Leader is still the COMMANDER AND CHIEF– until he’s impeached, tried and removed. The CnC is charged with waging war with loose supervision from the Congress. Checked and Balanced. The Dems in the LEGISLATIVE branch really only have one direct way to change the course of the war: withdrawing funding.
    As much as you and the other Bushbots would like to use the opportunity to accuse Dems of treason; stabbing soldiers in the back etc., the Dems are unlikely to use this tactic.
    However, they will start requiring the administration to explain in detail how that money is spent and why. They will hold hearings to let the American public know that there are other options than the “change the name” option currently being readied. They will hold hearings to demonstrate how invading Iraq, a country which was no immediate or imperative threat to America, has sucked resources away from Afghanistan.
    The Bush Administration demonstrated an absolute lack of interest in terrorism until 9/11. The Clinton Administration focused cabinet level national security advisers on Bin Laden and terrorism. Those of us in the reality-based community understand that the comparison is pretty bleek for your side.
    The Clinton Administration hardly “hid under the desks.” They were notably criticized by such craven, Rethuglican accusations as “wag the dog” after firing cruise missiles into Afghanistan and the Sudan.
    Many of us liberals thought that Dear Leader should have finished the job of exterminating Al Qaeda and the Taliban when we had the chance in Afghanistan– NOT Iraq.

  144. Dave

    Lee, Bush just gave another answer to where will we fight the terrorists, in Somalia, and its about time that rat’s nest is cleaned out. But wait, the liberals are now checking to see if Somalia has oil and when did Somalia ever attack us. So they want to surrender to Somalia now I bet. The liberal’s answer is to not fight anywhere, just do like the French, surrender, sit back, and drink some wine.

  145. Ready to Hurl

    Ever read the U.S. Constitution, Dave? Or, is it outdated?
    Should we just forget about requiring a declaration of war to attack other countries?
    Since 9/11 “changed everything”– notably the rights of habeus corpus and protection against “unreasonable searches”– perhaps we should just write a new constitution.
    Dear Leader is already making a mockery of the original, anyway.

  146. Dave

    Hurl – Let me educate you. Congress voted for Bush to attack terrorists ANYWHERE he finds them. He is within the constitution. Anywhere in the entire universe. Martians, watch your step.

  147. Ready to Hurl

    So, if it’s unconstitutional yet “Congress votes for it” then it’s OK?
    So much for rule of law vs. rule of a man.
    BTW, can you cite the legislation that Congress approved to allow Dear Leader to attack any country that he desires?

  148. Dave

    The Congressional resolution that Kerry and Hillary voted for:
    Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
    Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
    Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and
    Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

  149. Ready to Hurl

    Dave, it’s apparent that the AUMF was aimed at “those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations.”
    That leaves Martians safe and doesn’t give Dear Leader unlimited authority to nail any ole nation in the world.
    Are we to find out now that Iran also helped AQ launch 9/11?
    In fact, Dear Leader’s first version of the AUMF was rejected because it was too open-ended.
    People will study Dear Leader’s administration for many years as an object lesson on the threat to liberties that fearmongering and panic represent to constitutional government and civil rights. It’ll be a blot on our history like the internment of Japanese-Americans and the Alien & Sedition Acts.

  150. Michael Gass

    I’m posting a written exchange between me and Mr. Warthen:
    Mr. Warthen,
    I just finished reading your blog article. I have to say, I agree with most of your points.
    I hated Bill Clinton. Seriously, I hated him. The minute he started the whole “define what sex is” garbage, I hated him. He thought I was stupid. I hate George Bush and Dick Cheney for the same reason. They think I’m stupid.
    But, at least Clinton never assaulted my Constitution and I can, looking back, say he was a good President who presided over a booming economy.
    Your blog article touches on something that is brought out in the Marine Corp Times article: the draft is political death. Nobody wants to be “the one” to draft kids unvoluntarily to fight, yet, our military is now broken. Not tomorrow. Not next year. NOW.
    That leaves us with the following options:
    1) Draft. Not happening. The minute there is a draft, the Iraq war is OVER.
    2) Allow gays/lesbians to openly serve. Not happening. Military and political leaders who are conservative won’t stand for it, especially after demonizing gays and lesbians the past 6 years.
    3) Allow foreignor’s to serve for citizenship. Not happening. Blood for citizenship? That won’t go very far as a “guest worker program”.
    4) Open combat slots to women. More viable, but, as the Lynch “rescue” reminds us, women in Iraq are already in combat even if they don’t have “combat jobs”. Besides, it is a matter of numbers, not where they are.
    5) Use mercenaries such as Blackwater. We already are, and as the Marine Corp Times points out, they are already COUNTING them.
    6) End the debacle and come home… but, can conservatives embrace that after openly deriding democrat’s for pushing that very stance? Nope.
    And that leaves our military exactly where it is… which means it is going to get worse…

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