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PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO AS MANY PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO WILL APPRECIATE IT AND PASS IT ON TO OTHERS. THIS NEWS NEEDS TO GET OUT NOW.....

http://marinecorpsmoms.com/archives/000320.html

                                   -Forwarded by Charles Muller

Uncle Charles,

I hope it isn't inappropriate for me to send out my dissenting response to your message.

Kerry hasn't lied. This rosy report doesn't refute the reality of an escalating death toll, a real-life back door draft, and a terrorism backlash. Every indication is that Iraq is a hotbed of terrorism, even when there was very little Iraqi involvement in terrorism before we invaded. Bush's cronies are enjoying their tax cuts and insider defense and reconstruction contracts while the debt soars for our children and grandchildren to worry about. The reports resound very clearly that Iraq posed little or no threat -- especially not an immediate threat -- yet Bush was willing to cut the process of diplomacy and inspections short at an arbitrarily chosen time, costing thousands of lives and threatening the economic stability of our nation. Where the United States had an opportunity to unite the world against terrorism, we divided the world and empowered terrorists by flouting international law and decorum. I have friends that served in Iraq and Afganistan both, and they generally tell of two largely different wars: one just and successful, the other misguided and teetering on the edge of failure. John Kerry isn't undermining our military might by looking for new answers; Bush has undermined our military might by overextending our military where no immediate threat existed at a time when we needed to focus on the real fronts in the war on terror, i.e. the hills of Tora Bora and the hearts and minds of would-be terrorists.

The attempts of the Bush camp in recent weeks to

focus on phrases spoken by Kerry and to twist them completely out of context is evidence that they lack any reasonable justification for their actions. Bush & company are trying to paint US policy in terms that are far too simple to make Kerry look weak & indecisive; I can see, as can so many others, that Kerry really has a much firmer grasp on reason and a more intelligent and nuanced set of positions that reflect his thoughtful and brave leadership.

Best,

GregScarver


Dear Greg, I do not know you, but in keeping with your willingness to share your viewpoint with what I'm guessing is a number of strangers on your Uncle's email list, I'm taking the liberty to do the same. Please indulge me for the following observations and comments as this most important election draws nigh. Some of it you no doubt have already heard, but I'm sure some of it will be unique to this particular conversation.

First of all, let me say I DO NOT agree with everything that the President beleives, does or supports. I'm very concerned about his fiscal policies here at home (largely caused by events beyond his or anybody's control at such a late stage in today's world climate of terror attacks). I'm also extremely disapppointed with his treatment of the border issues that I believe pose grave threats to our security.

However, regarding your comment below, which I've highlighted your ending quote in red, SURELY you jest:

"I can see, as can so many others, that Kerry really has a much firmer grasp on reason and a more intelligent and nuanced set of positions that reflect his thoughtful and brave leadership."

My father and his generation fought valiantly in Europe and the Pacific theaters and shed untold blood to beat back and ultimately destroy the face of slavery and tyranny in his day. We're not talking about losing a thousand precious lives in 18, 12 or even 6 months, Greg. We're talking about THOUSANDS A DAY.

You may argue that comparing WWII with the war on terrorism is apples-to-oranges. Certainly, there are great differences, but what is NOT different is the requirement that such inhumane acts perpetrated on our civilian population (mounting terror incidents culminating with 9/11) and on the peaceful countries of Europe was and is worthy of the most measured, resolute and (as much as wisdom allows) swift response.

Saddam had YEARS, over a decade to prove to the world that he had learned his lesson in the Gulf war. HE failed--miserably. He defied numerous UNITED NATIONS resolutions and pleas from respectful and peace-seeking nations around the world time and time again.

Finally, after reaching concensus with the US government and EVEN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY (UN Resolution 1441) George Bush TOOK ACTION. You know, "taking action"? Actually D-O-I-N-G S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G? And yes, it has lead to the unfortunate deaths of coalition forces and Iraqis in the process. War and conflicts almost always do. But you, Greg, may have noticed that the conflict is NOT in downtown Manhattan, where the unmistakable, defining catastrophe was finally recognized by nearly everyone in this country for what it really was--a bold-faced declaration of war on this sovereign United States of America.

What may eventually be realized is by engaging the terrorists in the Middle East we've drawn many of them out of the woodwork (and no doubt encouraged SOME to join in the jihad) on a battlefield of our choosing to be exterminated as they rear their ugly heads. While this is never going to be a clean, easy business, it beats fighting invisible numbers of them ON OUR OWN SOIL. Despite the constant possibility of an attack stateside, there is NO DOUBT that many of the insurgents have travelled to Iraq to do what they realize they MUST---make sure that freedom DOES NOT take root in the Middle East. That is precisely why they fight with such vigor and brutality. If they lose the fight for Iraq and the Iraqi people truly taste of liberty, they've lost possibly the most vital battle in their twisted program of infiltrating and convincing poor, vulnerable people that hate and oppression are viable tools to forge their future.

And PLEASE don't waste our time with short-sighted, unrealistic timelines that ends up spawning questions like, "What is our exit strategy? When will we be leaving Iraq?" President Bush has repeatedly TOLD the American people and his detractors for months and months on end when we'll be leaving Iraq--WHEN THE JOB'S FINISHED, OR WHEN THE LEGITIMATE IRAQI GOVERNMENT ASKS US TO LEAVE.

God forbid if opportunist politicians like Kerry and their blind followers would have held sway when the difficult, uncharted process of rebuilding Japan and Germany was underway.

Greg, do you have any idea of how time-consuming and frustrating that process was? Are you aware that YEARS into that process there were some of the same dissenting voices screeching similar gloom and doom predictions??? Do you know your history, Greg, or will you work vigorously to choose and support the short-sighted, cut-and-run policies that would have left Europe twisting in the wind 60 years ago, only to very possibly end up under another wack-job dictator like the one hundreds of thousands of Americans died to depose???

I'll be 50 years old in a few months (actually, the day that George Bush is inaugurated as president for his second term), and I have a 22-year old son who just graduated from college. I'd be crushed to lose him in a conflict, ANY conflict, no doubt forever wounded till my dying day. But I must not let my emotions overrule what is GOOD and RIGHT and NOBLE. (There are STILL such ideas and convictions worthy of sacrifice.) He did not choose to go into the military, but is 110% behind the president's policy in the Middle East. Some of his high school and college friends are in Iraq tonight fighting for our and millions of Arabs' freedom. And every fallen soldier that does not come home alive DESERVES that their sacrifice NOT count for nothing, that is, the "ground" that they gained must NOT be reliquished in the name of appeasement and compromise. Particularly for the primary purpose of winning a political office. God forbid, Greg.

I firmly believe that what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan right now may well be humanity's best opporutnity at effecting change in the Middle East that could, I say COULD, alter the world map in a tremendously positive way for decades, hopefully centuries to come. Could it fail? Certainly==== There are no guarantees that freedom will take root in a permanent fashion in Iraq and surrounding countries. ====

But the alternative is NOT pretty. I'm convinced NO AMOUNT of John Kerry or anybody else "negotiating" with them has a prayer of deterring their visions of Islam's eventual world domination. The terrorists don't just want "left alone." THEY are the ones that for the last quarter century have been ratcheting up the violence on non-violent cultures and countries, and it's high time they be faced head on, with resolve and every ounce and megaton of might we can muster. Despite the terrorists' media-amplified actions in the current conflicts, the majority of the plain, old folks in the Middle East would rather determine their own destinies, devoid of the "help" of madmen butchers who cut heads off to terrify their potential subjects into submission and subservience. (Witness the unrest in the general population in Iran over the past few years.)

Have you ever come across this statement by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson?:

"The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of tyrants and patriots alike."

That is the reality and price of the freedom you and I enjoy this very day, Greg. Forgetting that it requires such precious sacrifice of patriotic Americans risks the cheapening of those who've given of their last full measure, AND, turns a blind eye to the portent that ignorance may well force us to re-learn a most bitter lesson that people like John Kerry seem not to have absorbed as of yet.

From what I understand, many Iraqi police and military men are in the process of shedding their blood along side our brave men and women in the bitter fight for liberty in Iraq. You know, the same Iraqi deaths that your vice-presidential candidate didn't even want to acknowledge at the debate a few weeks ago so that he could make our losses look even worse.

I say shame on John Edwards and John Kerry, who provide aid and comfort to the Islamic butchers by insisting on undermining the brave efforts of the coalition of the willing to solidify freedom in a previously-oppressed country. All this, while proposing to garner the support of France, Germany and Russia, who we now come to find were in cahoots with Saddam and up to their necks in the UN "Oil for Food" scam. "Thoughtful and brave leadership"?? I think not. More like brazen ignorance of the facts surrounding these countries' unwillingness to join in the just fight against a dictatorial animal who murdered his own countrymen with WMD's. They had their hand in the UN cookie jar and just couldn't manage to pull it out, no matter how right it may have been to do so.

Greg, I think you've been sold a bill of goods and history will eventually prove that fact out, one way or the other. John Kerry opposed the steadfast resolve that President Reagan exhibited when dealing firmly with the Soviets in the '80s and was for a nuclear freeze. He didn't get his way, and MILLIONS of people have begun the steady process of determining the course of their lives without bowing to the state at every turn. John Kerry has been on the wrong side of history (as only time can now clearly show) for most of his political career, and when detractors attempt to point that out, he moves to silence them.

God forbid these men be trusted with the tremendous responsibility represented in governing the United States of America. In my estimation, they've not only done little to cause me to turn the reins over to them, they've demonstrated consistent behavior (read that, VOTES in the Senate) that warns against such a foolhardy action on my part.

If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to hear me out.

Most sincerely,

Dave Padula


Dave,

The fundamental problem with your argument, which matches the rhetoric I've heard all over TV and the radio very closely, is that Iraq had virtually nothing to do with the war on terror before we invaded it. There is no way to tell whether we are "pulling terrorists out of the woodwork" or just creating a constant stream of new ones. It's been said that two-thirds of Osama's deputies have been captured or killed. What the Bush camp doesn't want you to know, and what military leaders have been repeating, is that most, if not all of those leaders have already been replaced. I seen no indication that the population of terrorists has declined.

On another note, Sadaam's weapons programs were all but inactive. This means that, despite some nominal resistance from his regime, the sanctions and the inspection process were working. To use UN resolutions as a justification for invading undermines its own reasoning, since half or more of the nations that ratified the resolutions opposed rushing to armed conflict as we did.

Comparing the war on terror to World War II is appropriate, given the lasting impact a victory in the world on terror would have on the world. However, Iraq had virtually nothing to do with the war on terror until we made it a hotbed of terrorism by preemptively invading. Using the UN resolutions as a justification for invading Iraq is dangerous; many countries are in violation of some UN resolution or another, and we can't possibly invade all of them. In WWII there was a grave threat to the entire world. It's been proven that Sadaam was not a grave threat to the world. He was a leader already stripped of his power by sanctions and a successful Gulf War in the 1990's. There are countries all over the world, like Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, which harbor terrorists or persist in developing weapons of mass destruction. The reason we are not invading them is because they do not pose an immediate and grave threat, just as Iraq did not pose an immediate and grave threat. In more general terms, I completely reject the notion that we should wage war to make the world a better place. We should only wage war when a clear and present danger exists. In the absence of a clear and present danger, we should exhaust all peaceable avenues to make the world a better place. The Bush camp showed a refusal to exhaust peaceable avenues. I don't know if it was because they planned to invade Iraq even before 9/11 or if George W. believes that God told him to invade in one of their one-on-ones. The fact is that we waged a preemptive war when there was no imminent danger, and the world is dismayed, if not disgusted, at the brazen nature of the deed.

GregScarver


Greg,

First of all, I want to thank Jeff (your brother, possibly?) for creating a discussion area. Unfortunately, I was unsure if my subsequent comments would reach the original folks that Charlie's original post went to, hence the conventional "Reply".

Thanks for your continued commentary regarding our earlier exchange. I appreciate the serious discussion and willingness to allow for the many shades of gray that exist in such a complex issue. Those looking for a quick-fix answer inevitably end up with an incomplete, ineffective one.

I believe many intelligence sources at the time pointed toward much more WMD activity and stockpiling in Iraq than the invasion uncovered. I have NO trouble believing that possible stockpiled WMDs in existence (more likely chemical and biological as opposed to nuclear) could well have been wisked away to Jordan and/or Syria, so the fact that we haven't found the "smoking gun" doesn't prove that they were not there when much of this negotiating was going on. While Saddam was and is alot of things, stupid isn't one of them.

However, in hindsight (which our leaders did not have the luxury of), even IF Iraq didn't pose the imminent threat that some believed was in the offing, I don't think we have the option of simply returning to the previous state that we found the country in (which, practically speaking, is impossible). And I'm firmly convinced that the majority of Iraqis wouldn't really want to return to the pathetic political morass that existed there 18 months ago. Services that they are without today can be regenerated relatively quickly once the unrest subsides and the full Iraqi and coalition efforts can be funneled toward it.

I hold great hope that with some time (which will be more than anyone will want it to take) Iraq CAN become a nation that is ruled more by its people and less by tyrants, strong-arm military hardliners and/or terrorists.

Wouldn't you agree that IF liberty can eventually begin to soak into some of the fabric of this complex culture, the real possibility exists that people's personal lives can and will improve to the point of being an example of what other Middle Eastern countries could also experience?

I ask you this not only for the welfare of Iraq and other Arab countries. The bigger picture is that if freedom can gain a foothold in that part of the world it may well lead to some real, tangible, NATURAL resistance against the desparate, poverty-stricken conditions that terrorists have able to so easily manipulate.

I'm not under any illusion that Arabs are suddenly going to love America and Americans. I AM under the impression that human beings will eventually adhere to freedom and the many personal advantages that accompany it over time. I guess the HUGE question is, will it ever have ENOUGH time to have those benefits become apparent? I don't believe anyone knows that answer. Contrary to what we'd all like, this is a gamble. But that doesn't automatically make it a WRONG gamble, particularly when the options are essentially doing next to nothing to really confront the Islamic terrorist mindset.

One more quick comment before wrapping my thoughts with a recent opinion column.

Those who attempt to divest Iraq of any ties to terrorism cannot do so to my satisfaction. The idea that dozens of other nations were and are infiltrated with terrorism while Iraq was somehow immune to the same takes a massive amount of assumption and wishful thinking. Saddam himself was blatantly rewarding the families of Palestinian homicide bombers with $25,000 per incident. Nice. What a guy.

Well, here's the promised column, written on 10/14 by Bill O'Reilly.

http://www.billoreilly.com/site/product?printerFriendlytrue&pid18786&saidnull&satypenull

Regardless of your take on Bill views, I think he makes a compelling point that isn't particularly easy on either candidate. For me, one of the main points is there are times when difficult decisions need to be made and difficult actions taken (please reference my previous Thomas Jefferson quote). Also, what might be the outcome in Iraq if more of the international community recognized this as very possibly THE life-or-death battle with Islamic terrorists and united instead of harping on the sidelines and providing inadvertent hope for the butchers. I hope you'll read it and offer your "take".

Thanks again for taking time to read and consider. I've benefitted from your comments and I've made some worthy contributions to the discussion:

Dave



Dave,

  I'm not going to argue whether or not we should have invaded Iraq. The argument that we are bring terrorists out of the woodwork could be compelling if we have any concrete evidence that its true. I don't think we can accurately say for sure either way on that. I personally think we are creating more terrorsts than we need to be, but that is just an opinion. What I think is more apparent is that the way we ended up in Iraq was amateur at best, completely dishonest at worst. The number one reason we were given for invading Iraq was their weapons of mass destruction. There may be good reasons besides, but those good reasons are just as likely to apply to Saudi Arabia, Iran and North Korea. We were told that all diplomatic options would be exhausted. Bush made the right move in talking tough to get inspectors back into Iraq. He made a mistake when he pulled them out though. You can't say we are enforcing UN sanctions without the approval of the UN. We can take this Iraq situation and turn it into a success. Iraq can become a democracy and an important ally in the REAL war on terror. But that is the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is just as likely. We could be giving people thousands of reasons to join the terrorist movement. We can go back and forth about the wisdom of invading Iraq, but we should all be squirming a bit over the way we went about it. I think we could have done a better job on this. The Bush administration's consistent linking of Saddam Hussein to 9/11 is pretty deplorable as well.
  Something else that may or may not be relevent to the conversation: I think it is very interesting that New Yorkers in general are against Bush and this war. The people who seem most gung ho about this war are the ones who watched the  towers come down on their televisions. It's an interesting dynamic where rural folks get their guy into office, he eggs on more terrorists and risks more attacks on an urban population that doesn't support Bush and would rather not be in Iraq. It's easy to jump up and yell "kill 'em all" when 9/11 is something that you saw on TV. Here in New York, everybody knows somebody who worked in the towers. I worked in the North Tower. My shift was set to start at 4pm that day. The person I was to relieve died that morning. I've always felt that just as easily could have been me. Its tough to condone more killing when its your hide on the line. I'm tired of war.
                                                                   JimLong




Thank you for your clear insight, Dave, as expressed in your email observations today. Lucid. Well-informed. Well-stated. And temperate.

Sorry I can't say the same about yours, Greg. In a nutshell, Kerry is about as close to being a traitor as is his friend Jane Fonda. You, sadly, as Dave has obliquely observed, may be a pawn of our great liberal press.

I would support our President and his decisions -- though flawed -- a lot sooner than I would those of a self-serving "3 Purple Heart" 4-month combat veteran. Did you see his face next to Fonda in North Vietnam? I did. I am not entirely sure that you have earned the right to attack a sitting President of the United States, Greg. I have had fellow soldiers just a few feet to my left and a few feet to my right -- die in a pool of their own blood in serving our country. My closest friend, an Infantry Lieutenant in the Second Division of the U.S.Army, had his face blown away by a mortar round 2 weeks after he arrived in Korea. 4 years to rebuild it. I don't forget. Too bad some of our younger citizens who enjoy this hard-earned freedom don't appreciate it more.



Version 1:

And Greg, Have you considered the snake pit that FAILURE in Iraq will bring us? Have you considered the 3,000 souls who were vaporized on 9-11? Do you REALLY believe that this is not inextricably intertwined with world terrorism? Perhaps you've READ about the appeasement policy before the Second World War that resulted in millions of deaths.

  Hope you will give some deep thought to the power that resides in your single vote. And please use this power wisely.  We fought hard for it. Please help me reelect George Bush.


Version 2:


If you can't see that Iraq is inextricably intertwined with world terrorism, I fear for us all.


I ask you to vote for George Bush and I hope that you will give serious thought to your judgments and to the power of your vote. It may well be critical. Many have fought so that you may exercise this privilege. And don't get sucked in by that phony draft talk by the machine. I hope that the next time I see you that you will be standing tall in defense of your country -- and your own future.

With great sincerity, Uncle Ted


Response to version 1:

We all agree that victory in Iraq is now essential. I just don't believe we had to invade in the first place. Now that we are there, we are completely responsible for its future. We broke it, we bought it. So don't confuse a protest of invasion with a desire to now turn tail and run.

We have considered the 3000 people who were killed on September 11th. I consider them every day I look at our city. Problem is, you can't just jump up and yell "Remember 9/11====" whenever it benefits you politically. There are no links between Iraq and September 11th. That is admission of President Bush, it is the conclusion of the 9/11 commission, and it is supported by any and all evidence that has yet been unearthed. Failure to understand that is a failure to understand this entire debate. Kicking and screaming about the victims of the attacks is simply a way to change the subject. We're talking about Iraq; Iraq and 9/11 are not the same subject. Two separate events. ====

The appeasement policy of pre-World War II is a far cry from the containment policies of the 90's. I'm not saying that we should have left Saddam alone, I'm just saying we should have gotten inspectors in there and let them do their work. We had 2/3 of the country under a no-fly zone policy. An example of appeasement would have been if we had let Saddam invade Kuwait. We didn't allow that. We have never appeased Iraq.

Furthermore, calling John Kerry a friend of Jane Fonda is intellectually dishonest. It's sort of like saying that FDR is a communist because him and Stalin were both against Nazi-Germany. Calling him a traitor is just plain wrong. Its funny how some people will hoot and holler about our countries great freedoms and then when someone exercises their freedoms they are called traitors. DISSENT IS AMERICAN. If America's great patriots followed your lead we would all still be British subjects. A Patriot loves his country. A Patriot is never required to love his government or its policies. A Patriot stands up for what he/she believes is right. If you want to talk about the differences in policy and their pluses and minuses, then go for it. Calling people traitors and trying to make people feel foolish or guilty for disagreeing with a sitting president is not an acceptable form of debate.

                                                                   -- JimLong

"Look out for yourself. Nobody else will."

This is true, but it is perceived as "We can do anything we want and nobody can say anything about it because we are the strongest nation, period."

We have great power, but we don't need to flaunt it. We don't need to be perceived as the Rambo of nations. The self elected world police. World police action is our last alternative, at least it should be.

Iraq is a HUGE mistake. It was a mistake that his father did not finish the job when Saddam raped the worlds oil abaze. It was a miracle our texas boys saved the day. Dealing with Saddam then would have been justified. He was, after all, a man propelled into power with major funding and weapons from America, to fight the "evil" Iran. Our dollars killed over a million Iranians in the hands of Saddam. We ought to be ashamed.

I see no way out of Iraq except to elect Kerry. Unfortunately neither of them have a vision for America. I have a vision, it may be wrong, but at least I have a vision. How about JimScarverForPresident, I might just vote for myself.

But seriously, we must choose now to get out of Iraq, before starting world war three. We could find ourselves at the hands of not only the middle east, but africa and china as well. We cannot count on our european allaies. The best choice to make right now to get out is to vote Bush out. If we fail to do that, God help us. I have always hoped Bush had a way out. History proves he never had one. Things can only get worse.

People willing to die for their cause feel helpless against powers over which they have no control. America must stop being such a power and admit fault when it screws up. whether at home limiting my personal rights, or abroad, making criminals of patiots. We must align ourselves with the ordinary mother and fathers who do not want their children dying in war, and will support out right to live the good life in our way as long as we support theirs.

We must look our for ourselves and protect ourselves from our bad children who would destroy rather than create. The terrorist problem is a problem of parenting, loving God's children, so that there is not gunfire in our schools or our society. Enpowered children will seek no further empowerment. My childrem are proof.

As Americans, we are obligated to vote against Bush.

Lovingly,

         -JimScarver



Wow==== ====

That's a lot to swallow.

Let me begin by saying that although Kerry protested the war, he was not friends with Fonda and he opposed her trip to North Vietnam.


Before Iraq:

George W. Bush earned many American's distrust early on in the Iraq debacle. He was present in a critical time in history, with a great opportunity to change the face of the Middle East. I can remember being extremely gung-ho for our President throughout the 9/11 crisis, it's aftermath and through military operations in Afghanistan. However, when America was about to proceed with Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), he was asked some important questions about our justification for the attack. His replies came from a piece of paper on his podium, many of which seemed to have nothing to do with the questions being asked. He just continued to repeat that forcible disarming of Saddam was necessary and there was to be a regime change. As a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve, I thought it was important for the President to articulate to the American people, as well as the world, why the danger in Iraq was imminent and immediate war was the only solution. His reply confused a lot of people. It was hard to tell whether he simply didn't understand the questions being asked or if he just didn't care to dignify the questions with an answer. Citizens of America and the world wondered if George W. Bush really understood the issues surrounding his decision to take us to war. If he did, then what explained his lack of concern for justifying the conflict to his constituents and to the leadership of our allies? The administration's disregard for international relations prior to the start of OIF made the whole conflict appear like a Machiavellian vendetta. American "imperialism" is hated all over the globe. Why give more ammunition to the Al Qaeda recruiters? What a mess.......


Now:

We are occupiers in a foreign land. Over 1000 U.S. Soldiers have been killed. More Iraqi Security personnel are being trained every day. The more of them we train, the sooner our soldiers come home. Things aren't perfect, but they are getting better every day. This society can and will progress towards freedom. Like him or not, George W. Bush's decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq is changing the face of the globe. Operatiom Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) have done more to eliminate terrorism than any previous acts executed by any previous world leader. I have heard liberals everywhere screaming about how many additional terrorists we have inspired by invading Iraq. I don't doubt that it will inspire some. However we are forgetting about one important thing. As free citizens, the standard of living in these countries will steadily improve. Suddenly Iraqis and Afghans have access to media. They can watch TV of surf the net. They can buy any book they want. An informed society is an empowered one. Once they see Magnum PI's red Ferrari, they will want one too. No mother wants her children to be killed, jihad or otherwise. Hopefully their children will, one day, enjoy the same opportunity as American children. They will soon have the opportunity to open their own businesses. Thankfully, with Saddam in prison, "suicide bomber" is no longer a lucrative one.

Ill timed tax cuts will keep our deficit soaring to record levels for some time. The Republicans don't want us to think about how long it will take to pay em back. I guess they're right. That's for our (my generation's) grandchildren to think about. Billions worth of porkbarrel and no-bid contracts have been dispensed to Bush's/Cheney's cronies at companies like Halliburton. Who pays for it? You do. Having a president who comes from the oil state of Texas (and once owned Enron stock), does it surprise Americans that oil prices are at record highs? I wonder how many Texans are getting rich off that.....


Along comes Kerry.....

John Kerry has come on strong lately, being extremely critical of the Bush administration's handling of OIF and it's aftermath. He has pointed out many problems that have been mentioned above, as well as others. He has offered some solutions. He hasn't, however defined himself as a candidate. After three Presidential and one Vice-Presidential debates, Kerry and Edwards have proven themselves capable of pointing a finger as well as the Republicans and not much else.


So what do we do?

Do you vote for a couple of rich lawyers or a couple of corrupt businessmen?

I think that both have some good ideas and some bad.

I implore all Americans to look at these sites EVERY DAY before making your decision.


http://www.georgewbush.com/

http://www.johnkerry.com/index.html


I know I will.


                                -JeffScarver


Jeff has never sounded so reasonable, so non-partisan. Well done. However, I encourage everyone to go back to the very first entry in this thread. Greg stated very concisely what I believe are the most impotant issues in this campaign. After re-reading his comments, try to find (ANYWHERE in the remainder of this conversation) an instance in which someone specifically (and successfully) challenges his points. This challenge goes out to anyone reading this thread. I'm serious, try it.

Dave and Ted make some convincing arguments, however, they do not specifically address Greg's opening statements. Why? Because Greg's words are factually and intellectually irrefutable. The only thing one can do when confronted with such arguments, as evidenced by the presidential debates, is to shift the subject to something no one can disagree with like "We must support the troops". But that's just a catch phrase to a politician; a way to avoid confronting a question to which he does not like the answer.

I am sorry to say that Ted's arguments are all passion and no substance. Just because Greg has not fought in a war does not mean he hasn't earned the essential priviledges of citizenship. (Uncle Ted)-"I am not entirely sure that you have earned the right to attack a sitting President of the United States, Greg." I think that that statement, as well as your argument, reflects the emotion that you feel as a result of your war experience, not your ability to dispassionately analyze facts. As JimLong stated, it is our patriotic duty to challenge our government and our leaders. "A government of the people and by the people". There is nothing more American than challenging the powers that be. It is the duty of every citizen.

I guess the point of my comments is not to offer additonal perspective on either candidate, but rather to examine the debate as it has evolved thus far. And I'm sad to say that I believe that our little discussion is an accurate micrcosm of the nation. After being confronted with the facts, people still believe what they WANT to believe. Just as the candidates had to occasionally re-direct a question so that they could avoid a sore subject, I find that the contributors to this thread sometimes balk at the opportunity to discredit their oponents claims. After reading a passage that they disagree with, they start a new thread explaining (in detail) why they think what they think without ever addressing the points they are supposedly responding to.

After watching three presidential debates, people still think that John Kerry "flip-flops" on issues. The damage was done when the GOP ads ran on TV. The people who wanted to believe that now do and no amount of information to the contrary will sway them==== After three presidential debates, people still believe that G. W. Bush is an intelligent, well educated man with a firm grasp of the issues. Did they watch the same debates that I watched? I was embarrassed for him, and for u.s. ====

Dave and Jeff, the crux of both your arguments for Bush seem to be that although our means of getting into this war are questionable, that good may yet come of it. If that is true, (and it is my sincere wish that it is), I don't see how that is an argument for a Bush vote. We are already embroiled in the conflict and neither candidate has any intention of leaving until the job is done right. Regrettably, we find ourselves in the business of Nation Building. Who do you trust to do a better job? Who will add legitimacy to the entire operation by making it an international effort. An "intervention", if you will. A Broad coalition of many nations must share the cost, the sacrifice of men and women, and most importantly, share the hatred and violence of those who would stop us. The entire world will benefit from a more peaceful and productive middle east, why shouldn't we share the burden of the transition?

So much of what I hear in support of George Bush simply appeals to our emotions and our sense of patriotism. For many Americans, it is enough to get their vote. We learned about "persuasive devices" back in High School. This is not the basis on which to elect a president==== What about facts, words and deeds? Jeff reccommends that we read both their websites regularly. I agree, it is at least something. But when the candidates start pulling at your heart strings, cover your ears! Don't be a sucker. ====

Read the very 1st thread (by Greg) again and take the challenge==== ====


JamesJr


"I see no way out of Iraq except to elect Kerry."

                   -JimScarver


I think you better vote for Gore, then. Because Kerry has no intention of pulling us out of Iraq.

           -JeffScarver

Everybody want to get out. There is no easy way out. A regime change in America is just one of the necessary steps. Reforming Americas image as a world leader rather than a world bully will not be easy either. Kerry is not going to abandon Iraq, but he is committed to the higher road for america. Ousting Bush will tell the Iraqi people and the world that America is taking the higher road and is no longer an agreesor nation and not such a great threat to world peace. Cooperation internationally and in Iraq toward withdrawal we at least be much more possible. Re-electing Bush will make such cooperation nearly impossible.

--JimScarver


Perhaps there was no way out of Germany or Japan


Ted Herrmann Jr.



We aren't talking about Germany or Japan, we're talking about Iraq. It's a common mistake for soldiers of past wars to expect new wars to be like the old ones. They simply aren't. Many people want to attach a nation to our attackers, but that is just old guard thinking. We are in a new war; the new war is not against states, it is against organizations. Think of it like this... If, in the 30's and 40's, the Nazi's were not in charge of Germany but were still killing millions of people, would it still make sense to decimate Dresden? No, you'd just be making more Nazis.

JimLong



JeffScarver sent Weldon this:

http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/blbushresume.htm


Jeff,

You need to stay away from these left wing web sites. Most of the stuff in this email the President, whoever it is, has absolutely no control over. And shouldn't. Things like the stock market, job creation or loss, the actions of terrorists, the electorial process outlined in the Constitution, foreclosures, corporate fraud, and on an on. What he has done is restore integrity to the White House, kill or capture 75% of Al Quadia leaders, rid the world of a brutal dictator, reverse the recession he inherited and sustain the highest growth of our economy in 20 years, stimulate an ecomomy that has created 1.9 million new jobs, lead our nation after the worst attack in our history and for whatever reason we haven't been attacked since. He also has passed a drug bill for seniors, prosecuted the corporate criminals that thrived during the Clinton administration, is trying to stop the hideous killing of babies because it is incovenient to be a parent and accept responsibility for ones actions, demonstrated the importance of God in our world and his life, tried to reform our educational system so we don't keep passing kids who can't read, write or do math. Yes he has spent money to fight two wars which have freed 50 million people and allowed them to vote for the first time in their country's history. Freed women in those countries to vote and not be treated like sheep or some other form of property. And as for the United Nations and our withdrawal from their ranks GREAT=== The world community is more corrupt than Enron ever was and have stolen more money from needy people, mismangaged everything it touches and are totally ineffective as a peacekeeping force. ===

I could go on and on but the bottom line is we have a choice to make on Nov. 2 that will affect our future as a country for the next 50 years. We know what "W" stands for and his positions on the war on terror, taxes, family values, marriage and abortion. With Kerry it will depend on the what the polls say that day and who he is trying to impress. His record is very consistent. Weak on defense, weak on the military, for tax and spend, for big government and for allowing our national security to be determined by the Global test. He is for abortion on demand, for same sex marriage and his wife is an absolute dingbat=== He views terrorism as a law enforcement issue and we only react after we have been attacked. Not good enough====! =======


Weldon


"With Kerry it will depend on the what the polls say that day and who he is trying to impress. His record is very consistent. Weak on defense, weak on the military, for tax and spend, for big government and for allowing our national security to be determined by the Global test. He is for abortion on demand, for same sex marriage and his wife is an absolute dingbat=== He views terrorism as a law enforcement issue and we only react after we have been attacked. Not good enough====!" =======

Did you read that out of the Bush campaign manual or something? Bush has just as many 'flip-flops' as anyone else. You wanna talk about blowing with the wind? He was against the 9/11 commission until their victims families made some noise about it. He was against the Homeland Security Department until the winds of popular demand blew the other way. He was against NATION BUILDING as a presidential candidate. No wonder he stinks at it==== He never wanted to be part in the first place. Kerry's voting record that you would cite to show he's weak on defense are votes he made from Defense Secretary Dick Cheney's recommendations. A Global test is not the same as allowing other countries to determine our defense actions. Americans will always dictate America's defense policies. We can protect ourselves without pissing everyone else off though. Not every good policy decision can be fit into a simple bush-ism sound-byte. Its too bad that our voters have such a hard time with nuance. Nobody is for abortion on demand. Do you honestly think that if abortions are illegal they will stop? If abortions are not SAFE, then more people will be UNSAFE. Not to mention that fact that if you don't like abortions you can just choose to not have one. Kerry has come out against same sex marriage repeatedly, its documented. But I would say to you and to both candidates, when did it become your business who anybody else marries? You want to save the santity of marriage? When exactly was marriage so santified? Was it when women were property to be traded among men? Was it when women could be beaten or raped by their husbands legally? or was it since the dawn of time when men and women have cheated on each other? A marriage is as sacred as YOU make it. Are we voting for the president's wife too? Are you threatened by a woman who doesn't bow to her husbands commands? Does that scare you? Do you honestly think anybody as president is willing to sit around and wait to be attacked? Do you think that John Kerry made a name for himself by being a completely moron? No. I wouldn't even say that about Bush (who has proven his intellectual mediocrity quite often enough thank you). I wish the world was as simple as you make it out to be, but its just not. ====

Your rhetoric is just ridiculous. I forgive you because I know you are just reading off of Carl Rove's talking points.

JimLong






Hi all! Stealing some nonexistent time to check into this discussion I now understand how my lemming like caricaturists have allowed the right wing media access to stretch my heart strings taut and inject me full of their venomous rhetoric. Thanks for the insight. Since I am incapable of forming an independent opinion based on upbringing, life experience, conscious thought, or common sense, I will now proceed to regurgitate that which has been jammed down my throat. But first… Congratulations to The Australian Prime Minister John Howard on his re-election, October 9, 2004. Winning a fourth term by a landslide despite Diana Kerry’s attempt to influence an election in a foreign country. Glad she is now back in the states to “help” with her brother’s campaign.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45794-2004Sep23.html

Winning by a landslide confirms for me that at least one country on the planet does not hate America and is solidity serious about fighting the war on terror.

Congratulations to The People of Afghanistan on the thrilling success of your first election.

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20041011-123947-6997r.htm.

I don’t think it is a stretch to assume that the people of this fledgling democracy are grateful to America (i.e. don’t hate us) for their new found liberty and predict a staunch ally in our efforts against terror.

I would like to know how it has been possible to discuss the candidates for a little more than a week now, focusing mostly on the war on terror and the war in Iraq, one and the same in my minuscule lemming brain inseparable from my lemming heart, and not once mention Israel. Where do we stand on Israel? Brother Jim, have you considered that an immediate withdraw from Iraq corresponding to warmer relations with France could mean a death sentence for Israel. Kerry and Bush claim multilateralism will win the war on terror and that makes total sense. Honest free people worldwide will not sit idly by while basic human rights are being violated by the islamo-fascist. Ultimately though, it will take more than the half hearted placatory “thank you” military action Kerry might receive from the French for removing world wide scrutiny of their illicit dealings with Saddam Hussein. The rise in the strength of Islamic fundamentalism in France and the country's sharp anti-Israel stance suggest to me that John Kerry does not give a damn what happens to Israel. He seems frighteningly willing to exchange a staunch democratic ally for a staunch socialist rival. Kerry, nor anyone else, can ally with France and Israel simultaneously. Bush’s decision on Israel may cost his re-election, but it was based on the hope that Palestinians and Israelis can learn to coexist peacefully in Israel, not on political advantage.

Jim, thanks for eloquently making my case that sanctions can not work with your abortion argument. Making something illegal does not stop it. If a demand exists, someone will find a way to fulfill it. In the case of Iraq, Oil for food built some amazing palaces, filled Swiss bank accounts, and in my opinion funded and is still funding terrorism around the planet. Anyone who believes sanctions work is smoking something and, case in point, most likely something illegal…

I haven’t forgotten you James and I accept your challenge. My rebuttal of Greg’s opening lines will have to wait till I steal more time.

Uncle Ted, I want expressed my deepest appreciation for your service to this country. Thanks to you and millions like you we live in the greatest freest nation the world has ever known. America has done more to advance the cause of freedom and has liberated more people worldwide, including the French, than any other nation in the history of mankind. Thank you.

"Uncle" BobScarver



Ted, I REALLY appreciated your comments (scroll down to bottom of entire message) and trust that reason and common sense will rule the day next week.

I'm sending this to you and to a host of others that were originally in on the early discussion. I tried to post it to the bulletin boad that Jeff W. had created, but was unable to do so. I sent Jeff an email requesting help about 4 days ago but haven't heard back yet. It'll be my last unsolicited email to all you and all these folks. The article below for the most part sums up what I believe the truth to be regarding the war we and the rest of the civilized world find ourselves in.

It's NOT a reactionary piece that derives its energy from temporal or fleeting emotion, so if you're looking for a simple answer to the complex issues that surround the Iraqi war, you'll be wasting your time reading it.

However, if you're goal is to broaden your understanding of the forces that are at play in the Middle East and subsequently in the current election, please continue. That is undoubtedly the most articulate discussion of the war issue and I hope you'll give it a go.

When the spin finally winds down and the dust settles, history can prove a wise instructor. As the saying goes, "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it." Folks, this IS life and death for millions of people, first our and the coalition military and the Iraqi nationals, but not far behind are all of us currently sitting in relative comfort on this side of the Atlantic. If for no other reason, spend the 5 or 10 minutes to read the following in honor of just one of the 3000 folks who were burned, fell to or were crushed to death on September 11, 2001.

=

It Will Be the Death of Liberalism

       Sixty-three years ago, ............

http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=10276


Actions speak much louder than words. Before leaving the house to vote this coming Tuesday, I trust that we'll ALL look ourselves in the mirror and really determine who we're voting for and, just as importantly, having a factual basis for doing so. One not rooted in transparent rhetoric, but founded on fact and the rich lessons history have hopefully taught us.

Sincerely,

Dave Padula




You are right about one thing Dave; Those who ignore the lessons of the past are condemned to repeat it. You stated yourself in an earlier post that comparing any of today's conflicts with WWII is like comparing apples and hand grenades. Now a lengthy comparison is worth posting? I'm not sure I really understand your point.

Liberal bashing is fun- hey, we're all guilty of doing it from time to time, But all I read was a bunch of "Feel Good" "Go America" "Let's reassure ourselves that we're right again" baloney rhetoric. What is it's place in this discussion?

Elect Bush because Kerry is Liberal?   Is that all you have left?  I am sorry.    You are going to have to do better than that.
Bush and Kerry are PEOPLE.   We elect a MAN- not just a political ideaology.  I will not vote for Bush the MAN.  I

will vote for other conservatives- other republicans- when I have confidence in their intelligence, integrity, and knowledge of issues and diplomacy. And don't confuse diplomacy with pacifism. I'm not anti-war.

I would define diplomacy this way:
Imagine a man who gets into a disagreement with his neighbor.  After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the problem,

the man realizes he has no choice but to take the neighbor to court. Assume that the man is in the right and the neighbor is in fact guilty. A man without diplomacy will act aloof, self-righteous or brazen, and will not communicate well with his other neighbors. He knows he is in the right- why should he be couteous or apologetic? Why should HE take time to explain the situation to the rest of the neighborhood? The result will be that the other people in the neighborhood will become suspicious of the man despite the fact that he has every right to sue his neighbor. Now, before anyone goes and tries to point out how this situation doesn't mirror the Iraq conflict accurately, let me say that that is NOT the point==== The point is that given two identical situations, a diplomatic person who by nature treats his fellow man respectfully will not only BE in the right, but will also be PERCEIVED as being in the right. ====

All I ever see in Bush ads are pathetic scare tactics and meaningless appeals to patriotism. If they're not trying to scare soccer moms and dads into voting for W. then they are trying to convince them that a vote for Kerry amounts to

"not supporting the troops" or is somehow "unpatriotic".  Nonsense.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"  Thomas Jefferson.

Bob, you felt the need to tell Ted how much you appreciate his service in a discussion about candidates. Once again insinuating that voting against Bush (or being Liberal) is somehow an anti-war, anti-veteran position. Call Ted on the phone to tell him how you feel. It has no relevance in this discussion- it's just a rallying point in the place where fact based arguments should be.

And this is what I'm talking about. Good arguments by Greg, JimLong and others are rebutted with irrelevant anecdotes, peoples' personal feelings, and patriotic "feel good" propaganda.

The analogy to WWII is nothing but an appeal to our emotions and nostalgia. It bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to these modern conflicts. It is precisely this kind of thinking that has landed our military in a quagmire and our nation's image in a shit-bin. Besides, the more you point out what was right with WWII, the more you illuminate what is wrong with our War in Iraq. Dangerous ground to tread for the historically "slightly informed".

The author you quote above tells you what you want to hear and it makes you FEEL right. You need to look deep inside yourself and free yourself from this kind of self-fulfilling political research. You're like the scientist who proves a relationship exhists where it does not because of his desire to discover that relationship.

Let me say one more thing.

Many people at one point or another in their lives have a beef with their government. We live in a nation where we are encouraged to become a part of the solution when we detect a problem. When John Kerry came back from Vietnam, I have a hunch that what he saw and what he was a part of made him feel ashamed to be an American for the first time in his life. So what did he do? Bitch and moan? Commit suicide? No. He came back and immediately got involved to help make right something he believed to be terribly wrong. Now wether or not you agree with him, THAT IS THE MOST AMERICAN THING A PERSON CAN DO.

I always find it interesting that when they play the Bush ad where Kerry is making these gruesome statements before Congress that the Veterans who criticize him in the ad never ever say that one word he said was false. They never challenge the content of the testimony. They simply say that they FELT betrayed. I don't blame them. They are entitled to feel betrayed- it is reasonable. That does not mean, however, that he was wrong to express his opinion- to excersize his dissent. That is arguably the most patrioticthing he ever did before running for President.

What's even more interesting is when you learn that all the gruesome quotes they use- the words you hear the young John Kerry saying were NOT EVEN HIS OWN WORDS====== He was reading written testimony by OTHER VETERANS in a hearing before Congress. What a blatant and cowardly distortion. ======

No one has put so much as a dent in Greg's original statement (see top)

JamesJr




Dave:

After your well-thought and intelligent posts, I'm surprised to see you forward this questionable content. (Kraft(asshole) should try comparing apples to apples)

Many things that Mr. Kraft says are true, but his placement and context are confused. He has ignored almost every issue facing America today. He has also asked questions that are so ridiculous that his propaganda couldn't be more transparent==== ====

"Why don't we see liberal peace activists demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places in the world that really need peace activism the most?"

Hmmmm......


lemme think.......


Perhaps because they don't want their heads cut off?


XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Graphic Beheading XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

http://www.mensnewsdaily.com/video/johnson-murder.wmv

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Ok, let's get real here. I would love to kill these barbaric bastards myself. I guarantee you I wouldn't lose a day's sleep over it.


Questioning authority doesn't make me un-American does it?


You can vote for whatever crook you want to.


But don't hand me a pile of dogshit and call it peaches & cream==== ====


Jeff for president== ==


[[|103_0381.JPG pic]]


(sorry, just tryin' to lighten up the mood====) ====





James,

After careful consideration of Greg’s Michel Moore rhetoric filled ranting, I have found an indisputable tare in his thread big enough to drive a suicide bomber truck through. Greg implies the war in Afghanistan was “just and successful.” He also states,

“We should only wage war when a clear and present danger exists. In the absence of a clear and present danger, we should exhaust all peaceable avenues to make the world a better place.”

But, there was no clear and present danger after 9/11, for sure lots of “chatter,” but “chatter” is neither a clear nor present danger. And if a threat was found to exist surly we could have thwarted it by actually conceding to Bin Lad en’s demands, in the interest of exhausting all peaceable avenues. If you argue that meeting his demands would not make the world a better place I will simply respond with, “How do you know that?” We did not make any attempt to negotiate with the terrorist. We rushed to war with Al-Quita without perusing any peaceable avenues whatsoever.

I can only conclude one of two corrections for this fractured logic. Either we unjustly waged war against Al-Quita in Afghanistan or all war is unjust. Sadly I suspect the latter to be true for most readers voting for Kerry. "Sadly" because I believe if the entire free world would step up to the plate this world wide terror threat could be reduced to a world wide mop up operation. "Sadly" because I believe the anti-war movement is making the world a more dangerous place. And "sadly" because the anti-war elitist, John Kerry, may soon become president of the United States.

Greg, in one sentence you expound the virtues of Kerry’s nuanced set of positions and in the next you categorically reject anything other than a completely ridged set of criteria that must be met to justify going to war. What does a nuanced set of positions mean; it frightens the hell out of me. I’m not intelligent enough to understand his BullShit (not a BobScarver link.) I want my president to be cut and dry, black and white. I want clarity and so does the rest of the world except for some of Hollywood’s self-appointed arbiters of national morals, some softheaded Europeans who think engagement and dialogue with mass murderers is the way to achieve lasting peace. Right now Kerry’s position is; any bad news from Iraq is good news for Kerry. Any bad news for America is good news for Kerry. Any bad news in the world is good news for Kerry. Any good news for America is bad news for Kerry so don’t highlight anything good about America or Iraq and emphatically emphasize anything bad.... Senator Kerry makes me sick and he makes 75 percent of our troops sick. Bushes reasons for going to war in Iraq may not meet your criteria, no potential war can ever meet your criteria, and it may well have been a mistake but in my humble opinion Bush went to war for the highest good sense reasons. Making America safer. Advancing the cause of freedom worldwide. Liberating millions. Making the world a better place.

Respectfully, Uncle BobScarver



Right On Bobby== Well said==== ======

Uncle Bill...


Kerry said:

The wrong war at the wrong time, the wrong president wearing the wrong tie, blah blah blah.......

Bush says:


[[|victory.jpg pic]]



Don't believe me?


http://static.vidvote.com/movies/bushuncensored.mov


           -JeffScarver



Dear Uncle BobScarver

One of the reasons I praised Senator Kerry's capacity for nuance is the difficulty of actually applying these liberal mantras -- "exhaust all peaceable avenues" and "go to war only when a clear and immediate danger exists."

You said Bush took us to war for "the highest good-sense reasons," and I agree with you completely. Unfortunately, I find that, though his mind was filled with good reasons, his judgement was ultimately poor. An overwhelming majority of Senators of both parties voted to grant Bush the power to use force in Iraq at a time when UN Resolution 1441 was being violated by a defiant Sadaam. At that stage of the game, I don't think Bush or the Senate had yet made a mistake.

Please bear with me. You said the Iraq war "may well have been a mistake." Although you may not really think of the war in Iraq as a total mistake, certainly you see why someone might think it was a big mistake, i.e. the lack of weapons of mass destruction, and the lack of ties to Al Qaeda. Well, in the days running up to our invasion of Iraq, there were MANY voices warning that we should wait and collect more evidence. Many of the same senators that voted to give Bush the authority to use force were asking the administration to allow more time for the inspections to work. Hans Blix, the lead UN inspector, posited that they were making progress DESPITE Sadaams meager obstruction efforts, and that he could accomplish a lot with a little bit more time. There were military leaders and political figureheads of BOTH PARTIES who could see that Iraq wasn't going to be a slam-dunk. In fact, if you give any consideration at all to the voices of leaders around the world, there was a resounding majority of people who thought that, at the very least, we needed to give the inspectors more time in Iraq. So, while talking heads and radio personalities are saying "well, maybe it was a mistake, but he was strong and did the best possible thing based on our knowledge at the time," consider that many very smart people inside and outside our country suspected and advised that RUSHING INTO IRAQ, CUTTING SHORT THE UN's PROCESS OF INSPECTION was a mistake. Bush is known for tuning out all dissenting voices all the time. The Iraq war was an instance of that practice backfiring on him immensely.

You mentioned that Afganistan may not have represented a "clear and present danger," and that, according to my criteria, we couldn't have invaded there either. I counter that Afganistan, being the known home-base and training camp for Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda forces, a group that showed many times before 9-11 a willingness to attack Americans, represented a "clear and present danger" before 9-11. Now, to introduce a nuance, I think both Bush and Clinton before him naively downplayed the scope of the danger Al Qaeda represented, and my opinion in this case is supported by the 9-11 commission report. After 9-11 not only was Afganistan a "clear and present danger," but we had the "luxury" of knowing in hindsight that we underestimated the threat they represented. As an aside, I think we can blame both parties and the entire intelligence culture of the US for the shortcomings in our knowledge. However, it is said the Bush only finally got to reading the dossier on Al Qaeda that the previous administration provided him in August 2001, while he was on vacation in Texas.

In any case, there is a threshold of danger and immediacy that should be met before we use force. To exercise a bit of hyperbole, if there is a 13-year-old with a potato gun pointed at the US from Alberta, that may represent a clear and present danger to the American cattle industry, i.e. a cow owned by Lionel Hutchinson of Washington County, ND, but that doesn't mean we should invade Canada. I don't envy the president his job, and I don't think I'm personally cut out to be the man who decides when the threshold of threat and immediacy has been met that requires our troops to be put in motion; I simply think that Bush has shown weakness in the department of discernment, and he rushed us into what "may have been a mistake" when many experienced and intelligent voices were yelling "HOLD ON==== LET'S WAIT AND SEE IF THIS IS GOING TO BE A MISTAKE." ====

I have no doubt that some good will come out of the war in Iraq. I'm not a peacenik or a conspiracy theorist. I do not and have not questioned Bush's intentions. However, there are many places all over the world where spilling the blood of American soldiers may bring some good. There is more to the decision-making process of a commander-in-chief when America is under attack. Before we invaded Iraq, my gut told me we should give the UN Inspectors more time. Many people worth listening to said the same thing. I believe the moment Bush decided to invade Iraq was an ARBITRARILY CHOSEN TIME -- a time when Iraq was weak and Afganistan was a very high priority. You may completely disregard the words of a liberal 23-year-old, but the sizeable minority of decorated military leaders, some of whom risked their careers, that have cried foul should be enough to make everyone pause and question whether our commander-in-chief has shown sound judgement.

GregScarver


Worthwhile reading:


http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorialopinion/oped/articles/2004/10/28/radicalbushvsreactionary_kerry/


JeffScarver


The article quotes Kerry as saying, "Kerry himself, embracing the pre-9/11 view of fanatic Muslim violence, has repeatedly insisted that the conflict with the jihadis "is primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation," not a military struggle. "We have to get back to the place we were in the '90s," he told the Times -- back to viewing terrorism the way we view prostitution and gambling: "a nuisance" that "we're never going to end . . . but we're going to reduce."

Notice that where the article says "back to viewing terrorism the way we view prostitution and gambling:" it is not part of Kerry's quote. Kerry is not saying that we need to view terrorism as a nuisance. It is pretty lame how people are construing a quote to sound as ludicious as possible and then passing it off as a view point of the candiate they oppose. Kerry is saying the same thing that Bush said previously. We are never going to 100% eliminate terrorism. In the same way we are never goign to 100% eliminate Nazis. We broke up the world-wide threat of Nazi Germany in the 40's, but there are still people who claim to be Nazis and who glorify the Nazi viewpoint. Nazism however, is no longer a major threat to world people. It is the philosophy of a vast minority who are completely marginalized and who have little to no impact on the world. Something you might even describe as a "nuisance".

This election is extremely important. On that we can agree. But it is not a choice between one candidate who understands that terrorism is a threat and another candidate who thinks we can just ignore the problem. I wish it were that simple of a choice. We have two candidates who both see terrorism as the major threat of our generation. The question we really are voting on is how do we want to handle the terrorist threat. I'm a democrat. I do work for the democratic party, I believe in its ideals and I work to change the things about the party that I do not like. I'm not going to change my mind about that and I don't expect a conservative suburbanite to change his mind either. What I think IS a reasonable expectation, however, is to break this choice down to what it really is about and refrain from the smear tactic mantras. I think Greg and I have done that. We've presented Bushs views as he represents them himself, but we disagree with his premises and conclusions. Bush supporters on the other hand are time and time again mis-representing what Kerry says and then taking their own delusional interpretation as a reason not to vote for Kerry. I think if Kerry wanted to treat terrorism like prostitution, withdraw from Iraq prematurely, hated our troops, and blew in the political winds like a pro wind-surfer then there would be no need for this discussion. We would all agree to emigrate, or vote for Bush. The thing is, that its not that simple of a choice. The fact that GregScarver and I have to point that out, simply expounds on our point. The point is that Bush is presenting things for the least-common denominator. At the very least, let's bring this discussion into the realm of the cerebral. Otherwise, we might as well arm wrestle to decide who should be president. Then would have to deal with a President JeffScarver.

Here is what it comes down to. Bush believes in decisive action. He is a hard-charger. He welcomes allies, but will go it alone if need be. Kerry believes in deliberative action. He wants to evalute options, keep his options open, find the best path to victory, and take it. There are potential pluses and minuses to both. If President Kerry studies his options too long, he may find himself out of options. If President Bush charges into every potential threat with more zeal than facts, he may create more enemies than he vanquishes. That is about as non-partisan as I can put it. Now, I challenge all of you to write something that is actually relevant to the actual reality and issues of this election. If you require pleas to emotion, and find it impossible to address facts, it would behoove us all for you to re-think your position before spouting on and on about whether or not I, as an American citizen, have a right to critisize my elected officials.

      -JimLong



GregScarver, and JimLong,

I have already raised issues of profound nuance (I love that word now) and relevance to this election. In My first post I questioned the candidate’s position on Israel. I’m surprised none of you jumped on this. The fact that this is a key issue was bolstered just yesterday by OBL himself. Stating in his video, the U.S.-Israeli alliances were a main catalyst for the 911 attack and they remains a major cry to battle today.

If you search, as I did, http://www.johnkerry.com/index.html you will find many references to John Kerry’s strong posture for continued support of Israel both financially and ideologically. I found, as you will, specific Kerry quotes reaffirming Israel’s right to continue construction of its West Bank barrier wall. In othr words, the status quo, no pioneering creative vision/solution. On the other hand the Kerry's plan for winning the war in Iraq includes bringing together a large coalition of countries and institutions that have been abandoned by Bush. This presents a HUGE challenge for Kerry if elected.

The UN General Assembly, led by France, voted overwhelmingly in July 2004 on a resolution demanding that Israel comply with a World Court ruling to dismantle the 370-mile barrier. 150 countries voted in favor of the resolution, including all 25 European countries. The United States was among six countries voting against the resolution. The French Interior Ministry figures show 510 anti-Semitic acts in the first six months of 2004. "Without a doubt, anti-Semitism is increasing in our country," said French anti-racism campaigner Nasser Ramdane. France has the world's third largest Jewish community and French Jews are outnumbered 10-1 by Muslims.

I will ask a second time, how does President Kerry proposes to manage these mutually exclusive forces. I find no clue on his web site. Does anyone out there know how he plans to nuance his way through this, the real reason so many rough nations are not supporting our efforts against terror, the real reason Bush had to proceed unilaterally in Iraq.

Though, I do not emphatically claim that Bush has demonstrated bad judgment in Iraq, he may have, and I am totally opened minded to that possibility, I reserve the nuanced position that the war on terror will be long and difficult and wrought by mistakes and successes. Time will tell. It is one of those “facts of life” that the greater risk generally holds the greater reward. D-day was an enormous risk with the best case scenario costing thousands of lives. In deed WW2 did cost over 250,000 U.S. lives and cost over $300 billion. In today’s dollars, that’s over $3.0 trillion, (with a T====) We are at war. No war is immune from mistakes. The stakes today are much higher than they were during ww2. One nuclear device detonated in lower Manhattan will slaughter all wartime records. I advocate in this response, as I did in my last two, that we all, world wide, do everything in our power to annihilate this threat. I call on John Kerry to do everything in his great power to assist in this effort. To use his capacity for nuanced judgment to strengthen and bolster America, not our enemy. ====

JimLong, in a recent conversation I claimed my knowledge of the Vietnam War was insufficient. Since then I have researched the subject slightly. I have been totally blown away by the revelation that VC and the United States were fighting for the same thing. An independent and united Vietnam. Adapting principles of liberty, Ho Chi Minh petitioned the United States at the conclusion of ww1 for help in quest for independence from France. The birth place of modern liberty. The ironies are crushing me. I am shaking just thinking about it. The U.S., “tired of war” declined to help. Ho then turned to The Soviet Union. In his autobiography Ho Chi Minh describes how his military was against the ropes and on the brink of defeat when the tide of the anti-war movement in the U.S. made inroads into U.S sentiments and policy. He describes how KNOWLEDGE of this revitalized and redoubled his last stance efforts in the hope they may hold out longer than Americans resolve. And he describes how this ultimately did turn the war in his favor

As bad a call as Iraq may have been, by providing the enemy detailed descriptions of our shortcomings and weaknesses, John Kerry and Michel Moore are unwittingly providing them with a tremendous advantage. This may be analogous to taking away the 13 year olds potato launcher and replacing it with a list of the cattle industries most sensitive vulnerabilities. With this KNOWLEDGE, he now become a much more effective threat. Read the transcript of the OBL tape.

  http://www.paulreveresociety.com/OBLTranscript.html

It contains lines and images directly from Michel Moore’s Fahrenheit 911. I am outraged by this. I see the potential that this film and this campaign has/had the affect of emboldening our enemy and disheartening our troops, does anyone else? MM has demonstrated horrific judgment by the release this film at this time. I would not loose a wink of sleep if Michel Moore was tried and convicted of treason for aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States during a time of war, and summarily executed by firing squad on the Whitehouse steps.

I question Kerry’s raison d'être for the campaign strategy he selected. He positioned himself so that any bad news in Iraq, and in America, is good news for his presidential bid. He did not have to choose this option to win. The consequences of this shortsighted and desperate smearing of the President and the military, for political gain, may be catastrophic to the very effort, of removing the terror threat, he claims he will champion. His first job as president may be his toughest; regaining the trust of the military and patching the holes he has blasted in our worldwide image of strength and unity. He will have help in this task form foreign nations once France and Germany are confident they won’t be held accountable for their illicit dealings with Saddam Hussein and our strong ties with Israel have dissolved. I think this is Kerry's plan and i think I'm going to puke.

BobScarver


Bush has done more to create world wide hatred of America than any president I can think of. Be stong enough to admit our mistakes. America right or wrong was wrong in Veitnam, and it is wrong now. We had a personal beef with Saddam, and he is out, so lets get out as quickly as possible.

Kerry echos policies of Nixon and Clinton. We can expect his policies to change with the weekly polls. His liberal allignments are ballanced by capitalist allignments. His legislative and political skills are commendable. His international posture for america is a positive one, it is one that balances power, cooperation, and reponsibility. We have already lost in Iraq as we had lost in Vietnam, by moral defincienty. The situation was different there, our refusal to hold elections gave the Vietcong the moral victory.

The Moslems are good, Godly people, stuck in a feudal society by the inertia of fundimentalism. If we bring on their wrath it is only because of our percecution of them according to the law of Muhhamud. If you deny this you are blatently exposing your guilt of persecuting the children of the God of Abraham, God help you.

Affimative action is necessary because we are responsible for Saddam's reign of terror, we financed it. America must win the worlds forgiveness for our sins one heart at a time, by obeying God's Law of Confession.

If you deny the freedom of religion, then you deny the freedom that is the heart of America. Go someplace else. I will fight you. It you deny God, you may not have reason for America to seek redemption for its evil acts. But if you desire peace over death and destruction, then vote for Kerry so that America pertrays itself as a good neighbor instead of a threat that must be annhilated. If, like the Muslems, you repect the way of the prophet Jesus, then consider the posture he would choose for America.

Vote against America as the bully of the world. Vote for America as a good neighbor. Vote against Bush. Do not support an America which is the police state of the world. While the battle in Iraq may be lost, you can save many lives by your vote. You will make many friends for America, and restore her respect amoung nations, by virtue of her striength and pricipals, rather than by her aggression.

--JimScarver

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Sorry about that.... but this is really too long, maybe we should be using a yahoo group...

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