October 21, 2004

Stolen Honor

I have not seen Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal, the controversial anti-Kerry documentary that Sinclair Broadcast Group wants to show all over the country. I've had no desire to see it. I’m a lot more interested in the war we’re engaged in now than the one that ended before I was old enough to read.

But my interest is piqued by the review it received in The New York Times.
“Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," the highly contested anti-Kerry documentary, should not be shown by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. It should be shown in its entirety on all the networks, cable stations and on public television.

This histrionic, often specious and deeply sad film does not do much more damage to Senator John Kerry's reputation than have the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's negative ads, which have flooded television markets in almost every swing state. But it does help viewers better understand the rage fueling the unhappy band of brothers who oppose Mr. Kerry's candidacy and his claim to heroism.

Sinclair, the nation's largest television station group, reaching about a quarter of United States television households, backed down this week and announced that it would use only excerpts from the 42-minute film as part of an hourlong news program about political use of the media, "A P.O.W. Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media.'' That's too bad: what is most enlightening about this film is not the depiction of Mr. Kerry as a traitor; it is the testimony of the former P.O.W.'s describing the torture they endured in captivity and the shock they felt when celebrities like Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden visited their prisons in North Vietnam and sided with the enemy.
I wish I didn’t take a person’s political leanings into account when I read stuff like this. The article ought to stand on its own. And to an extent, it does. But this review is a bit more credible (at least for me) because it looks like it was written by a liberal.

I had never heard of Alessandra Stanley, the reviewer, before. So I punched her name into Google. The first search engine hit is a page devoted to her at Timeswatch.org, a conservative Web site that monitors “liberal bias” at The New York Times.

It wasn’t at all predictable that she would find this movie important. At least it wouldn’t have been predicted by people who watch her career. She is not “the converted.” At least she wasn’t until after she watched it.

I don’t need “permission” from a liberal to watch an anti-Kerry movie. I’m not voting for him. And I’m not about to become defensive about his history or his record – at least not overly defensive. But this film has at least some bipartisan appeal. If it were nothing but election-year hack work the liberal reviewer at the Times would surely have said so.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 21, 2004 09:59 PM
Comments

The review was actually quite negative. Instapundit, I think, mischaracterized it as a "positive review". Right in the part you quoted she calls it "histrionic" and "often specious". The whole piece has a very condescending tone, IMO. Her thesis essentially is that it's a terrible piece of work but seeing it will help you better understand the mindset of these vets attacking John Kerry and to really see that they feel they've been wronged by him.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 21, 2004 10:19 PM

Eric,

I wouldn't be surprised if some of it is specious.

This, for example:

Instead, the film shows lesser-known young, long-haired antiwar activists preparing witnesses to testify to war crimes. In the film these men seem to be prompting a fellow veteran to describe a massacre he did not witness. But one of the veterans, Kenneth J. Campbell, a decorated marine who is now a professor at the University of Delaware, recently sued the filmmakers, claiming the film was edited to take out clips in which Mr. Campbell made clear that only soldiers who witnessed the atrocities firsthand would be allowed to testify.
Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 21, 2004 10:24 PM

MT,

I've seen the movie. It is a very moving piece. The narration is weak and Geraldo-like, but the images, photographic and filmed, are powerful. The testimony of the POW's is delivered calmly and eloquently. It is devastating. Allesandra is correct that one's primary emotional response will be sadness. The second reaction will be (based ONLY on the testimony of the POW's and Kerry's own Winter Soldier testimony) outrage at John Kerry. How could he do this?

It is NOT a great piece of filmaking, indeed it has some significant flaws, but the direct testimony of the POW's is wrenching.

Posted by: spc67 at October 21, 2004 10:47 PM

I'm not so sure that she is a liberal as much as she is an apolitical artsy type. The kind who fail to understand why a crucifix in urine isn't art. And the kind who don't appreciate how negative advertising is designed to surpress voting. The "feel their pain" take is annoying. For the record I would also be opposed to a corporation using corporate money to show F9/11.

Posted by: alan aronson at October 21, 2004 11:42 PM

But Michael, despite Mr. Campbell's desire "that only soldiers who witnessed the atrocities firsthand would be allowed to testify." -- I don't think the WinterSoldier testimony achieved that. The post-testimony investigations by the My Lai-shy/ cautious Army didn't find much in the way of real first hand experience. It DID find witnesses falsely using the names of real Vets, who were unaware of the identity theft.

I haven't seen it, hope to; but the SwiftVet ads are pretty moving, too.

Consider the Seattle anti-globalization protests, with some pre-protest organizers preparing for a riot, and some leaders claiming it would "only be non-violent". When the results are violent, a documentary about it might well cut the leader's pre-protest claims of non-violence. I actually hope the suit goes -- I wonder what happens when falsely identified Vets claim that their names were used, but they did NOT give testimony.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 22, 2004 12:22 AM

Wow. Someone mentioned the "Piss Christ". It's been a while since I've heard anything about that.

About this movie though, and all the hullabaloo over the Swifties and whatnot: John McCain is pretty much Kerry's best friend and I think that speaks volumes. If John McCain has it in his heart to forgive John Kerry for what he did or didn't do AND go as far as to be his best friend, I don't get what the big deal is. IT WAS FREAKING 30 YEARS AGO!!! I'm sick and tired of hearing about what John Kerry did in his late-20s, already. He's not in his late-20s now and that's all that matters.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 22, 2004 01:46 AM

And to relate all this movie controversy to something a little more personal...

I'm the President of the Political Science Student Association at my University. In an effort to increase active membership and bring new people into our group, we organized a viewing of Fahrenheit 9/11 and held a faculty-led discussion afterwards partly endorsing and partly debunking the film's worth. Anyway, we spent allocated student-organization budget funds to pay for pizza and drinks at this event and now conservatives are in an uproar demanding we put on a viewing of FahrenHYPE 9/11 as well.

Before I get into the obvious hypocrisy of conservatives bitching for the politically correct notion of equal time, let me just say that I had no ideological motivations in showing Michael Moore's film. I wasn't out to convert the masses. I wasn't out to skewer Michael Moore as a big fat idiot, either. I simply decided to do it because it would draw in a large crowd based on name-recognition and controversy alone, and increase our membership.

Now, it looks like we might actually have the time and money to finance a viewing of FahrenHYPE 9/11 too. But, regardless, I would like to hear some thoughts on this if I could. Please keep in mind that, had FahrenHYPE been the big blockbuster movie instead, I would have shown it. Was I right to protest at first to the accusations of partisanship and right to of stood my ground when campus conservatives started demanding I spend further budget funds on their movie of choice, as well?

To me, this conservative call-to-arms wreaks of PC-bullshit, which only upsets me even more knowing how hypocritical it is that conservatives are supposed to be viscerally opposed to all things politically correct. I also got pretty hot under the collar when people started accusing me of being unfair because of my personal political leanings. To me, that's an assult on my character and that's some shit you don't take lightly. Anyway, all feedback is welcome.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 22, 2004 02:05 AM

Grant McEntire:

If Moore's film had been a bona fide documentary, I don't think you'd need to give the opposition equal time (although it wouldn't be a bad idea). But since F9/11 is not a bona fide documentary, but is instead a sophisticated and devious propaganda piece designed to destroy a president in an election year--well then yes, it's not just political correctness to show the film debunking it, and to expose its lies; it's your duty, if you're at all interested in seeking and showing the truth.

Posted by: blogaddict at October 22, 2004 02:29 AM

The only thing that concerns me is whether this film is fair to John Kerry. Do the film makers have their facts straight? That’s all that matters. I could care less if it is aired just before the election.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 22, 2004 02:45 AM

I REALLY want to see "Stolen Honor" get played on the public airwaves. I see this as a balance for Dan Rather and 60 Minutes II. Isn't it amazing how the whole phony docs "issue" is just fading into the fog? If the show just provides facts it will be one up on Mr. Rather.

The whole First Amendment thingy seems to have lessened in importance for the Senator Kerry fans since the show favors President Bush.

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 22, 2004 03:41 AM

"But this film has at least some bipartisan appeal. If it were nothing but election-year hack work the liberal reviewer at the Times would surely have said so."

Seems the Times is afraid of calling a spade a spade. According to
Slate it is indeed nothing but election-year hack work.

Posted by: novakant at October 22, 2004 03:50 AM

Michael, your rhetorical crutch of posting "I don't care about [insert this week's right-wing shock meme], but here's an article about it that damages Kerry" is wearing out. Get another one.

Posted by: pdf at October 22, 2004 04:29 AM

But 9/11 changed eveything, anything that happend before that, or before you turn 40, get religion, and marry a "good woman" is off the table.

Posted by: Rick DeMent at October 22, 2004 05:00 AM

Rick DeMent

Which part of President Bush's life has not been examined under the microsocope of the MSM? It's all out there for the public to see. Which part of Senator Kerry's life has not been examined by the MSM? Well he was born. That's about the end of the MSM interest. Kerry STILL has not signed his Form 180, even after stating TO the MSM that he would. The response from the press to that oversight is less than deafening. He is getting a free walk from the press on everything from his medical records to his military records to his Senatorial records. Why?

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 22, 2004 05:10 AM

The movie should be viewed because Kerry's camp sure has done a lot to stop it, must be something they don't like about it. Wh needs the 1st amendment anyway?...For a much more balanced piece of news go here for Kerry's own words on the present day: http://www.wabcradio.com/listingsentryheadline.asp?ID=259078&PT=WABC+News.

Apparently, being a traitor doesn't mean much to those who support Kerry. Maybe he has flipped over to being a Patriot. The man also got a Less than honorable discharge from the military but won't say why or release the records.

Remember, the truth is never an attack.

Posted by: Barney at October 22, 2004 05:22 AM

Finally, after thirty years of forced silence, the Vietnam Veterans are having their say.

All those who wish to keep it all in the past do not realize that for millions of Vietnam Veterans and their families the past was never over because they were never allowed to purge from their lives the damage done to them by Kerry, the Winter Soldier campaign and those Americans who spat and shit upon their honor.

Our Vietnam Veterans are speaking out despite the objections from pro-Kerry controlled media, Americans should at least give them the dignity of hearing their voices.

Our soldiers fight for your right to voice your dissent, please allow them the same opportunity.

Posted by: syn at October 22, 2004 05:27 AM

I totally agree syn.

Posted by: Barney at October 22, 2004 05:31 AM

Grant, again showing what a pup he is:
About this movie though, and all the hullabaloo over the Swifties and whatnot: John McCain is pretty much Kerry's best friend and I think that speaks volumes. If John McCain has it in his heart to forgive John Kerry for what he did or didn't do AND go as far as to be his best friend, I don't get what the big deal is. IT WAS FREAKING 30 YEARS AGO!!! I'm sick and tired of hearing about what John Kerry did in his late-20s, already. He's not in his late-20s now and that's all that matters.

Where ever did you get the idea that McCain is Kerry's "Best Friend"? Or that he has "forgiven" him? How do you know McCain even cares?

I served with guys who got spit on when they came back from Vietnam-It's men like that, and the POWs interviewed in that movie who are still angry about what Kerry did when he testified.

You say Grant, you don't get what the big deal is. I suppose that's not surprising. Since you have not served in the Armed Forces, never will serve, and never even thought about serving, you never will get it.

Posted by: Eric Blair at October 22, 2004 05:35 AM

First, its a 42 minute Documentary and that sounds like Illuminati Productions to me.

Secondly, I personally think that anyone should be able to air whatever they want whenever they want. What bothers me is that one obviously partisan corporation has complete and total control of television in 1/4 of the US market. In this instance, Sinclair has never aired a news special, what are the chances of this honestly being "we'd just like to show the news"?

I don't approve of Dan Rather's reports on Bush's millitary service (I made that clear when the fraud happened). I saw F9/11 only after it came out on video (and then I saw it for free). Again, I believe that it has some valid points, but its obviously a partisan piece of work.

I would be against a single entity preempting 1/4 of the TV market to show any polemic work. I'm less concerned about Stolen Honor (I doubt it will change anyone's mind) than I am about the precedent of faux documentaries becomming prime time 'news'.

After all, do we really want some Soros buying time to run F 9/11 two days before the election? If you're supporting Sinclair, you would have to support Soros. (Unless you're fundamentaly dishonest.)

Moore started a very bad trend, you all agreed with that some months ago. Now that Farenhype, Outfoxed, Why Michael Moore Hates America, and Stolen Honor are out... some of you seem to be defending these polemic works.

Have enough guts to stand up for your ideals, or don't make the pretense.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 06:44 AM

Grant says: " I'm sick and tired of hearing about what John Kerry did in his late-20s, already. He's not in his late-20s now and that's all that matters." He cites the friendship between McCain and Kerry as evidence that it is time to wipe the slate clean.
+++

Grant, I already voted, absentee --- and wrote in McCain.

Your point about life's early deeds being irrelevant doesn't wash. I think back to what I and my children did as young adults --- the significant things that show how one tends to deal with life's issues, things I can remember now in my 60's as "telling" (positive and negative). Taken together they tend to paint a pretty clear picture of how we operate still today and what we value and so forth. By the time one is in their mid-20's, "out in the world" in other words, I believe the die is mostly cast in terms of the fundamentals of who they are. I'm referring to traits, tendencies, what turns them on, value systems, and so forth. (Pete Rose, Pete Rose ....)

Can a person reengineer themselves on a fundamental level after that? I suppose so, but it seems to require something traumatic and/or inspirational (along with a dogged determination to change) before that happens. I don't think you can sort of meander your way into it.

I think I know Kerry better (the troubling side of him, that is) from learning about his early actions; same is true of Bush. Even the SBVFT stuff, whether there's ever agreement and resolution on some of the details, is hugely important in my eyes. Not because of what it SAYS exactly but because so many who got to see the man in action, especially his peer group of officers, formed such negative and indelible impressions. I know a few people like that from my business life -- people who inspired more revulsion than affection among those with whom they interacted -- I would not to want to be led by ANY of them and I WOULD attempt to derail their career advancement if I could.

To this day there is an "odor" to some aspects of Kerry's medal citations, to his active lobbying for an early out of the action in Nam, to his self-promotion, to his consistent way of recasting things always to make himself look better, to his keeping some of his military records under wraps.

If you bring some meat home from the store and notice a little odor to it that's not quite right, what to do about that? Well, that's how I feel about John Kerry. I'd probably go back to the Democratic Grocery Store and ask for something else; unfortunately that "candidate store" is closed so I'm stuck with salad tonight.

Posted by: Terry Ott at October 22, 2004 06:44 AM

Eric,

You nailed it bro. Though don't be too hard on Grant. He's a young pup and we should treat him like he's just wizzed on the carpet.

Grant,

Honor is timeless son, as are the aspersions cast upon it. You've managed, above, to create a mental circlejerk, and install yourself as the pivot-man.

To wit:
"IT WAS FREAKING 30 YEARS AGO!!! I'm sick and tired of hearing about what John Kerry did in his late-20s, already. He's not in his late-20s now and that's all that matters."

Then:
"I also got pretty hot under the collar when people started accusing me of being unfair because of my personal political leanings. To me, that's an assult (sic) on my character and that's some shit you don't take lightly."

So, let me get this straight: to you, apparently, there is a statute of limitations on character assault….or is just that if someone else taking the cleanliness of their honor as seriously as you, he/she just needs to relax and not take him/herself so seriously?

A tenuous intellectual position at best.

Want a better understanding?

Take Jack Nicholson’s advice: Pick a weapon and stand a post.

Rick,
Semper Fidelis Marine.

Semper Fi,
Capt Smythe

Posted by: Capt Smythe at October 22, 2004 06:47 AM

Ratatosk: I'm not understanding one point in your post --- where you say that one company has complete and total control of television in 1/4 of the US market. Could you explain? thanks.

Posted by: Terry Ott at October 22, 2004 06:50 AM

I'm with Eric; the reviewer thought the movie was valuable only as insight into the twisted pathology of people who resent Kerry's Vietnam shenanigans.

You want insight? Here's mine (foreword here).

Posted by: dipnut at October 22, 2004 06:55 AM

Um, Michael, I gather from your comment regarding "specious", that you and I are not on the same page regarding the Winter Soldier investigation.

It was a fraud; a disinformation operation; an ad hoc forum for deliberate lies. I'm not saying there were never American atrocities in Vietnam. I'm quite sure, however, that the people who testified at Winter Soldier didn't witness them. Most of them weren't even in the armed forces, or were never in Vietnam.

Just so we're clear.

Posted by: dipnut at October 22, 2004 07:05 AM

Eric,

Exactly. This issue matters a lot to our generation. I can understand why Michael affects disinterest, but that doesn't make it any less important to me. Here is a letter I sent to Sinclair Broadcasting Group (too bad they caved):

I am a Vietnam era veteran. I have felt the stigma of being considered a fool, or worse when I came back to civilian life. I have watched as the movies and books of my time painted Vietnam veterans as less than honorable.

Now during this 2004 election campaign, we have endured Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 911, and the 'critical' acclaim it received. We have had our children flock to it and come back filled with its lies. In this movie, OIF veterans are portrayed as were Vietnam veterans, as dupes to be pitied, not respected for doing what over 70% of the country approved of in the beginning.

I am not a war lover, but when we send these soldiers, our best, to fight and risk the ultimate sacrifice, we should support them and respect them. The logical extension of supporting our troops is to support their mission and to understand the tough choices they are often forced to make. How can you say to them "we support you but you are engaged in an immoral act"?

I have this month seen a documentary on cable, on the Sundance channel, called Unfinished Symphony that paints a sympathetic picture of John Kerry's anti-war activities and that of his group, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Why can't a documentary that dissents from this be shown?

I have paid attention as large segments of the media tried to ignore, then squash, and then ignore again the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. It is not right for John Kerry to use his service in Vietnam time and time again to political advantage, yet brook no dissenting voice.

Free speech cannot be a one way street. If you show Stolen Honor, you will be doing the veterans of all wars, and indeed, the American people a great service.

It is the quashing of free speech by those who have gained the most by it that I object to. Someone who can show some real proof for the WSI will get my attention, otherwise, Kerry's involvement with WSI and VVAW is the clincher that keeps me from voting for him.

BTW - The Unfinished Symphony documentary shows Kerry in a role (briefly) as being one of the testimony takers at WSI.

Posted by: jdwill at October 22, 2004 07:10 AM

Terry Ott,

I'm sorry, I stated that somewhat unclearly.

I said: What bothers me is that one obviously partisan corporation has complete and total control of television in 1/4 of the US market.

I meant to say: What bothers me is that one obviously partisan corporation has complete and total control over stations that reach 1/4 of the US market.

The first statement is obviously wrong, Sinclair doesn't have full control of 1/4 of the market, they reach 1/4 of the market.

Sorry for the poorly worded sentence.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 07:19 AM

First, its a 42 minute Documentary and that sounds like Illuminati Productions to me.

No Tosk. Bush Jr. is 43. No illuminati numerology here.

Posted by: David at October 22, 2004 07:34 AM

Daivd,

Actually there is:

Bush is 43 in 2004

2004*43 = 86172

8+6+1+7+2 = 24

24 is 42 reversed, meaning that Bush is actually the backwards answer to Life The Universe and Everything.

;-)

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 07:43 AM

Thanks, Ratatosk. Got it.

I wonder about the traditional rules re: broadcasters, as licensees, having to be somehow "correct", or "responsible", or "impartial" in their programming. I can see that being beneficial if there were just a small number of TV stations, and if we were still relying on them extensively for our political news and commentary. But that is not the case any more in my view.

What is the harm of having a channel decide they want to be "all bashing, all the time" directed at one political party or one point of view? Surely in this divided society, there would be another ready to take the other side. Its appeal would be limited, just as some politically-orientedtalk radio outlets attract mostly their sympathizers, plus those who like to keep track of what the "other side" is saying that is outlandish, of course.

Maybe I don't understand the rules (in fact I am quite sure I don't), but to the extent there is some grounds in the regs for quieting a "biased" TV network, I don't get the rationale.

Posted by: Terry Ott at October 22, 2004 07:54 AM

What's interesting to me is all this talk about Sinclair Communications and the First Amendment.

I don't remember anyone posting here about "imposing" the First Amendment on Sinclair when it blacked out the broadcast of the American KIAs on Nightline.

Anyone remember that? You can decide whatever you want about Stolen Honor, whether it's biased, whether it's not, ok.

But let's not make any mistake about the agenda of Sinclair. Top donations to the RNC, and with a record of serving their own interests, rather than the public's. It is relatively without precedent for a commgroup to censor a network broadcast, and they went ahead and did it because the names of the dead reminded us all that the war has a terrible price. Right or wrong.

So let's just put an end to the image of a thumb-twiddling halo'd "public-interest" Sinclair, maligned by some DNC sensibility of censorship and authoritarianism. As Sinclair mocked the deaths of the soldiers in Iraq by refusing to state their names, it mocks the constitution by inciting it now that the First Amendment works "for them."

I haven't seen the documentary, so I don't know what it is or is not. But I have seen Sinclair, and I know that they act on deep-pocket Republican bias.,That is what is, but the most shameful part of it is that they pretend otherwise, and that some of the writing up above pretends along with it.

Posted by: slavin at October 22, 2004 08:01 AM

Terry,

I am fine with news stations like FOX offering a counter bias to some of the obviously liberaly biased channels. Everyone with a brain knows that they have a bias and can compensate for that.

My concern in this instance, is not that we have a single television station with a standard operating asgenda, but a company that owns many other stations, dictating that those stations will preempt their regular programming for a report that puts a presidential cannidate (that they don't support) in a bad light.

Is there some truth in Stolen Honor? Probably, but the same can be said of F 9/11.

More than that, the precedent of airing biased documentaries as 'news' is somewhat alarming. I, like most posters here are concerned about the subtle left-wing bias of the MSM. I think that this will only exaserbate the problem. I fully expect to see polemic 'news specials' as regular prime time tv.

Ick.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 08:06 AM

24 is 42 reversed, meaning that Bush is actually the backwards answer to Life The Universe and Everything.

I can't believe I missed that. duh!

Posted by: David at October 22, 2004 08:34 AM

Where is the comparison to F-9/11 to "Stolen Honor". F-9/11 was made by an idiot filmaker with absolutely no regard for the truth whatsoever. He found a way to spread his biased views and made alot of money doing so. Are we now considering hollywood as our resources for balanced and accurate reporting? Christ, what a thought.

Stolen Honor is about real men telling about REAL experiences that some of you just don't want to listen to or accept. Atleast give these men who fought for you and this country the respect of not comparing them to Michael Fucking Moore.

Posted by: Cathy at October 22, 2004 08:37 AM

What Kerry did 30 years ago may be relevant to some people, but not to others. Voters are entitled to take it into account if they so desire, or not. Similarly, they are entitled to talk about it if they want to do so.

For me, what someone did 30 years ago sometimes matters and sometimes doesn't. I understand why former POW's may not be willing to forgive Kerry; I'm not sure how I would feel in their shoes. His irresponsibility didn't cost him nearly as much as it cost them. It seems to me, therefore, that they are entirely justified in taking either position.

That said, I doubt I would be quick to forgive in these circumstances if I were a former POW because John Kerry has never shown contrition and asked the people he hurt to forgive him. It seems to me that he cannot claim any entitlement to forgiveness without first saying to the former POW's that he recognizes that what he did was wrong, that he understands that his wrongful conduct hurt them, that he apologizes for it and that he humbly asks them to forgive him. I don't think Kerry ever did this.

Posted by: Ben at October 22, 2004 08:42 AM

A question (or two) for everyone that is SOOOO concerned with Sinclair showing the Stolen Honor show. Where was your outrage when CBS did the 60 Minutes II show. Even if you take out the documents that they knew were forged it was still a public airwaves broadcast with a partisan message from a news organization with an agenda. The press should not be asking now about equal time for Kerry. They should have been asking then about equal time for President Bush. But then that doesn't fit the MSM preferences, does it?

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 22, 2004 08:50 AM

Interesting comments that help me understand the roots of the visceral anger some vets feel towards John Kerry for speaking out. I must admit that I have never forgiven Jane Fonda for going to Hanoi during the war. On the other hand, I am not a veteran, but I know several from the Vietnam war and the Korean war, and they are unanimous in their defense of John Kerry. My brother-in-law, an injured Korean war vet feels that Kerry, having seen first hand combat, earned the right to speak out against the war, and that it must have taken some courage to do so. He goes on to say, "hell, we were fighting for the freedom of people to speak freely".

For the sake of argument, I'd also like to point out that there is some distortion in the reporting of what Kerry said. He made it clear, apparently, that he was stating what other soldiers had told him, not what he himself had seen. Additionally, a good case can be made for the argument that Kerry was trying to bring about the end of a war in which his friends were dying.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 08:51 AM

Cathy,

It may appear that way to you, but any 'documentary' that presents a single side of an argument (especially a charged argument like this right before the election) seems to me, to be just as polemic as F9/11.

Of course, for some people bais only exists if it doesn't fit their worldview

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 08:51 AM

Rick,

Where was your outrage when CBS did the 60 Minutes II show.

My outrage was expressed then as well. So was yours (IIRC), where is yours now?

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 08:54 AM

Dipnut: Um, Michael, I gather from your comment regarding "specious", that you and I are not on the same page regarding the Winter Soldier investigation.

That is probably true. I have paid little attention to it. I'm not voting for Kerry, and this is not the reason. I've also paid very little attention to Bush's Air National Guard record.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 22, 2004 09:16 AM

Mara,

This is America anyone has the right to talk about a war not just veterans. I am a vet by the way. What you seem to forgive is a man who was still in the military talking out against the soldiers not the war. The war may have been wrong in his eyes but there is no excuse to blame the soldiers. He also said he committed war crimes also, which would preclude him from the Presidency, but we'll give this a pass yet because in less than two years the Weapons of Mass Destraction haven't been found are we going to blame the soldiers who fought the war. People say they don't care what Kerry did 30 years ago, I do, and it's not like anything he's done since is any better. I like the way everybody knows that Bush was wrong but Clinton was right when he sent missiles into Bagdad to bomb allegedly WMD facilities. You forget who ever is Pres. is also the Commander In Chief of our military. 75 % of the military support Bush not Kerry and they are fighting the alleged "Wrong War". Nobody has shown me or anybody else why this is the wrong war, we had every right to attack Sadaam just for shooting at our planes which was a break of the unconditional surrender he gave for the first Gulf War. Kerry abandoned his own men and his country and would do it again if people are so blind to ignore his past. I notice nobody calling for him to release all his records like they did to Bush. Bush may not have seen action in the war but just taking a jet up in the military is a brave thing. Only Kerry would talk down the NG when they are activated in Iraq. Put Kerry in and you will see what a traitor and weakling on defense he is on the next terrorist attack in America.

Posted by: Barney at October 22, 2004 09:18 AM

Cathy,

Right on, anybody that disagrees with me is asshole liar. The only institutions that can be trusted are the ones that agree with me, the rest are out to destroy America.

Serioulsy though, the real issue is as Ratatosk points out. What kind of controls do we want on our media? Debate is good, but everybody should have access to the debate. I don't know if I like the current trend where liberals watch network A and conservatives watch network B. I think as citizens we are obligated to try to understand differing points of view. I hope readers of MJT blog are trying to understand the issues and various points of view, not just cheer or jeer when their side wins a point.

Posted by: Mark Hamm at October 22, 2004 09:30 AM

Michael Barone and Jesse Walker both have interesting articles that touch on the whole Sinclair flap.

My take on this is that the American proletariat has always been better at detecting BS than the elite tends to think; and that more information sources has only enhanced that characteristic.

The people who love F9/11 are in a proverbial choir. The people who believe Kerry bayonetted babies sing for the congregation across the street. People who aren't true believers hear the hosannas from both churches and pick and choose what words of wisdom seem to make the most sense.

This is a long winded way of saying let Sinclair and Soros do their worst; Americans aren't sheep, and no one should forget it.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 22, 2004 10:00 AM

Tosk:

"My outrage was expressed then as well. So was yours (IIRC), where is yours now?"

You do remember correctly, kind of. I couldn't understand then, and do not understand now, how anyone could view the CBS article as anything but a partisan hatchet job but it was CBS's right to broadcast that hatchet job. But by the time that show had aired, I had already stopped watching 60 Minutes (on any day of the week) due to the fact that the show had devolved into a Left Leaning Publishing company.

My outrage then and now is against Mr. Rather and his news organization for using what turned out to be obviously fraudulent documents as his "proof" of wrong doing on the President's part. Mr. Rather and CBS still owe the Piper on that bill.

I'm not arguing about either President Bush's actions or Senator Kerry's actions in this thread. My problem is the utter hypocrisy of any news organization calling a foul on Sinclair Broadcasting when none of them called a foul on CBS. The outcry of "abusing public airwaves" we are hearing from the left now was sadly missing after the 60 Minutes show. Maybe it was drowned out by the outcry over the documents? No, that only lasted about 15 minutes and then the wagons started circling.

F9/11 has nothing to do with this argument. If people were silly enough to pay to see it, God bless ya, one and all.

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 22, 2004 10:06 AM

I saw "Stolen Honor," as well as the additional interviews on their web site. Mara, one of the POWs said himself that they fought to for freedom of speech, and he specifically included war protesters in that. Another said he could understand why people might have wanted to protest. It's a myth that these guys believe that all anti-war protesting was 100% wrong.

While it's true that John Kerry didn't present any firsthand accounts in his Winter Soldier testimony, he DID start making public firsthand accounts, when pressed. It was on "Meet The Press" in 1971 that he claimed that he, too, had committed atrocities himself - "the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed." It's becoming common, I've noticed, for people to claim that Kerry "never" made these statements just because they don't appear in his Winter Soldier testimony.

Anyway, I think it's a powerful documentary, but I wasn't disappointed to hear that the new "POW Story" documentary will dump the Carlton Sherwood narration and just use the POW interviews themselves. They should be heard.

Posted by: rosyp at October 22, 2004 10:27 AM

Quote - "The people who love F9/11 are in a proverbial choir. The people who believe Kerry bayonetted babies sing for the congregation across the street."

Actually, they're in the same Choir. If the "other side" is the SBV and POWs, they don't believe that John Kerry actually committed atrocities, and some have even publicly defended him against such claims.

Posted by: rosyp at October 22, 2004 10:35 AM

Has the crowd seen the Frontline report on pbs.org entitled "The Choice 2004"? This two hour program, that is available for streaming, provides a little insight into the two candidates. It mentions Swift Boat leader O'Neil and his backing by Nixon to publicly discredit Kerry so that he could not threaten the administration. This concern is on tape. My interpretation is that this campaign has persisted because of humiliation, pride, repetition of inaccuracies, and people taking generalizations and making them personal.(Second Agreement) There are a lot of people out there that just aren't able to critically analyze on a high enough level (vets, vet families, friends, common men on the steet) to be able to separate these intense emotion and emotional appeals from historical truth recorded on audio tape, film, and paper, either because of their intelligence level or the pain that would be associated with confronting the demon of admitting they are wrong. (which many men cannot do) I'm sure that everyone on this blog has done this bit of research, but if not, watch the full debate between O'Neil and Kerry on the Dick Cavett show back in '73, I believe. It is available on cspan.org. O'Neil is, time and time again, put in his seat by Kerry - ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. He was a young guy - think about how demoralizing that would be. Now, consider a 30 year campaign to smear Kerry. I know people can hold stupid grudges for small things; this is SOME grudge and it is understandable considering human nature and what transpired. I wouldn't want to spend 30 years alone - I'd enlist others to help me out, and now you are seeing how O'Neil and company are becoming "important" again. One more chance to prove to his peers and his parents that he was "right". Throw in a tightly contested race and Karl Rove et al, sprinkle with millions of dollars and take a look at what's cookin'.

After watching those two things, I'd be interested to know if people feel like they gathered any further insight and what it was.

Posted by: Jeff at October 22, 2004 10:45 AM

Kerry said that he participated in "free fire zones" as thousands of other soldiers had, and he was equating that with "atrocities". Whether participating in free fire zone is an atrocity can be disputed.

Anyway, my point is, by virtue of having been in combat I think Kerry earned the right to say, "this war is wrong". I think to come back from Vietnam, knowing it was wrong, and say nothing is a bit like sheep munching grass in a field unaware that the butcher is already on the way. In a way, he was obligated to say, "hey, this isn't right". I think it would be reprehensible to say nothing. Kerry was doing the morally correct thing in speaking out, and he may have been aware that some would be offended by that, but to sit by and watch and say nothing would have been wrong.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 10:50 AM

I started to watch the Frontline special, but it was total crap. Usual Frontline hack-job.

Posted by: Eric Blair at October 22, 2004 10:51 AM

"This is a long winded way of saying let Sinclair and Soros do their worst; Americans aren't sheep, and no one should forget it." - Mar Polling

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
-- H.L. Mencken

Humans tend to be sheep. A recent study still shows a frightening number of Americans who believe that Saddam was directly involved in 9/11 and had weapons of Mass Destruction when we invaded. The war may or may not have been just, but those two issues are pretty much dead... and still a large minority believe.

Humans are the same as they have been for mellinia. How many humans, no matter what their religion, examine their worship with a critical eye? How many people examine what their preacher, doctor, lawyer, President, Senator says with a critical eye? There are some, no doubt (our little family here shows us that), but we, my friends are not the norm.

F 9/11 was Free Speech, but I think it was irresponsible speech, particularly because it was designed to sway voters with half-truths. So too is this, at this time, broadcast in this way. I'll defend their right to do what they want, but I cannot respect their decision to do it.

Sinclair, according to most market reports is suffering for their decision to be partisan during a time when more division isn't exactly helpful. I only wish Michael Moore would have had the same experience.

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 22, 2004 10:56 AM

OK lets be fair and balenced. clearly anti-kerry conservatives are idiots and liberals are not. Thanks Grant!

Posted by: Tbone at October 22, 2004 11:15 AM

Quote - "Anyway, my point is, by virtue of having been in combat I think Kerry earned the right to say, "this war is wrong"."

And it's a valid point. But is it wrong that people should be made aware of the consequences of making certain types of statements during war time, even if those consequences are unintended? These POWs never had a 60 Minutes expose. They were never featured in a Frontline story. I'm not saying that everyone has to take what the POWs are saying without question, but they should at least be able to be heard.

Posted by: rosyp at October 22, 2004 11:23 AM

That's a good point, too, and they are entitled to their opinions. It has never been proved, however, that what John Kerry said when he came back affected the treatment of prisoners in Vietnam. My guess is that these POW's are holding John Kerry personally responsible for the behavior of the entire anti-war movement. That strikes me as unfair and unwarranted. Again, they're entitled to their opinion, even if it is unjustifiable.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 11:53 AM

Quote: "It has never been proved, however, that what John Kerry said when he came back affected the treatment of prisoners in Vietnam."

Only if you don't consider the words of the POWs themselves a proof... at least some were forced to listen to tapes of Kerry speaking about war crimes while in prison, and told that because he was a Naval Commander, it was proof that they were lying when they denied committing war crimes. I think the best Kerry defense would be that he didn't intend for that to happen - not that there's no proof.

"My guess is that these POW's are holding John Kerry personally responsible for the behavior of the entire anti-war movement."

I think, if you watch "Stolen Honor," (or even just watch the free interview clips on ther site, which strips it down from the propogandistic trappings of the documentary itself), you may change your mind about that. I think there is a lot of anger towards the antiwar movement as a whole, but they cite specifict acts that caused them to suffer more. They don't lay all of the blame on Kerry. But they're not saying things like "Oh, I saw a picture of John Kerry sitting behind Jane Fonda at a rally, and that really hurt my feelings," either.

Posted by: rosyp at October 22, 2004 12:14 PM

"My outrage was expressed then as well."

Was your outrage over the use of forged documents or showing the story at all?

In the San Francisco bay area there are 11 movies that are implicity or explicitly anti-Bush. Stolen Honor and Farenhype will never play here (in general it's foolish to predict the future with certainty but I feel this is an appropriate exception). I don't like the fact that theatre owners are doing this but I understand that it is there right to do so. Just like the theatre owners, Sinclair has the right to show its customers what they wish to show. As a customer it is your choice to watch or not.

Posted by: Matthew Ryan at October 22, 2004 12:20 PM

Only if you don't consider the words of the POWs themselves a proof... at least some were forced to listen to tapes of Kerry speaking about war crimes while in prison, and told that because he was a Naval Commander, it was proof that they were lying when they denied committing war crimes.

If they said they were forced to listen to tapes of Kerry speaking about war crimes, I can only conclude that this must be true. However, that begs the question, should he and others who felt morally obligated to speak out in an effort to bring a conclustion to an immoral war, have remained silent? Should the prisoners' anger trump freedom of speech?

I understand their anger, but my guess is that it is misdirected anger. They should really be angry that the war was "run" badly, not that people returned home and spoke the truth.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 12:28 PM

Sinclair has the right to show its customers what they wish to show. Not on publicly owned airwaves.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 12:30 PM

/Eric Blair said:/
/I started to watch the Frontline special, but it was total crap. Usual Frontline hack-job./

Wow. Really?

IMO, it was remarkably respectful to both candidates, a nice respite from all the name-calling that has characterized most of this campaign.

It cemented my opinion that Bush makes decisions based on his strong beliefs while Kerry is more analytical. Most Bush supporters I know like his "cowboy" style. If you like that about him, I don't know what there was in this documentory that would offend or displease you. (Except maybe Kerry being depicted as something other than the embodiment of pure evil.)

Posted by: sivert at October 22, 2004 12:32 PM

Jeff,

You are wide of the mark in attributing a 30 year campaign to O'Neill. Check out
Hanna Rosin's WAPO Article on Roy Hoffman. And, if you haven't read Tour of Duty by Brinkley, then you are missing an important piece of the puzzle. I am about 1/3 of the way through and it is very enlightening about Kerry. He really was anti-war before going to Vietnam and saw everything there throught that lens - and frankly, he is or was a bit of a whiner. It was Tour of Duty that set Hoffman off, and the rest of the Swifties followed.

Posted by: jdwill at October 22, 2004 12:33 PM

Mara,

Should the prisoners' anger trump freedom of speech?

Sinclair has the right to show its customers what they wish to show. Not on publicly owned airwaves.

No contradiction here?

Posted by: jdwill at October 22, 2004 12:37 PM

Is there a contradiction? Given that those who use publicly owned airwaves have an obligation to be even handed, how does this contradict with the fact that former POW's are angry at Kerry for speaking out? You've lost me.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 12:48 PM

Most of them weren't even in the armed forces, or were never in Vietnam.

This is not accurate.

Posted by: FactCheck at October 22, 2004 01:02 PM

Mara,

It seemed to me that you indicated that the POW's anger was not to trump Kerry's right to speak out against the war (using public venue's). How then is Kerry allowed to trump the POW's right to speak out against him?

As to an evenhanded media, I think it is a myth in both directions. Better to let all points of view get a hearing.

As to public airwaves, try telling PBS what to show, and see where your ownership takes you.

Posted by: jdwill at October 22, 2004 01:05 PM

Sinclair has the right to show its customers what they wish to show.

Mara: Not on publicly owned airwaves.

Then I assume you support FCC rulings against CBS and Janet Jackson for nudity and all cases of swearing and other indecent broadcasting.

Posted by: Court at October 22, 2004 01:15 PM

It seemed to me that you indicated that the POW's anger was not to trump Kerry's right to speak out against the war (using public venue's). How then is Kerry allowed to trump the POW's right to speak out against him?

I asked a question: should POW's anger trump anti-war activists freedom to speak out against the war. I am not suggesting the POW's don't have a right to speak out - they do, but they don't have a right to free time on public airwaves anymore than Michael Moore would. Michael Moore made a movie and people lined up and bought tickets to see it. I would suggest the people who made Stolen Honor do the same. They have a right to speak out, but they don't have a right to free air time. That's the difference.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 01:36 PM

JDWILL-

I read the article and it speaks to what I was talking about. Some people who were "just doing their duty" don't want to admit that they might have done something "wrong". They can't and won't. They get extremely defensive and can't look at their own actions critically, because to do so may lessen the worth of their life or fuzz up their notion of who they are - their self-identity. Others like Kerry and other Vets and just regular people on a day to day basis are able to look back upon their thoughts and deeds with critical eye and say to themselves, "Did I do the right thing? Could I have done something different? What could I do or say now that might right a wrong or at least heal a wound, etc. If one doesn't reflect on these types of things regularly and consciously, one may fall into patterns, only to repeat "mistakes". It is the STRONGER man or woman who does this and then admits they are wrong or made a mistake. If one realizes that humans make mistakes, they may ease the pain found upon this type of reflection and I feel they are better for it.

Posted by: Jeff at October 22, 2004 01:41 PM

Mara, there might indeed be a BIG difference. One is fiction one is non-fiction. Most folks do go to a movie and buy a ticket to see a hollywood produced fabrication. It's called entertainment. There is no place on the local news for it. POWs speaking out about REAL experiences during a war is not in any way a comparison to a Hollywood produced piece of smut.

Posted by: Cathy at October 22, 2004 02:38 PM

One is fiction one is non-fiction.

Cathy,
It's so mind boggling that you can write this. All of the so called "facts" in the Swift Boat ads have been knocked down, one after another, and I have no doubt that much of Stolen Honor is based on the same sort of misleading innuendo.Interviews with individuals who are upset is hardly news or facts. Fahrenheit 9/11, on the other hand, has been fact checked, ad nauseam, and while I agree that there's plenty of unsupported innuendo in the film, there are no lies.

Posted by: Mara at October 22, 2004 03:27 PM

Mara...Michael Moore had a hard-on for President Bush since the second he was declared the winner of the 2000 election. He has admitted that and given interviews about it. Here is one that he made right before the release of F-9/11 to a reporter. You can read it yourself at http://www.indiewire.com/people_040624moore.html

He stated..."This is a movie about the 4 years of Bush. It begins with the first act of immorality; the reason it begins there is that it all rots from there. "He added," "If you allow someone to steal your White House, to steal your election, what else will these people do?" "Thus began the decline from that moment in Florida to the lie after lie after lie to manipulate the people, all for their own gain and their friends gain."

I'm not even real sure exactly what he is saying, except, that he believes Bush should have declined the Presidency and handed it over to Moore's guy Al Gore. Moore basically used a horrible National Crisis to get back at Bush for some unjustice that he felt was done during the election process.

Moore also states.."I make movies." I don't write non-fiction books," he continued, referring to his successful career as an author. "I don't call it non-fiction, I call it a book."

As this article states; "Were F 9/11 a straight documentary about the war in Iraq and the Bush administration it would not have debuted in 800 theaters."

F-9/11 is Moores punishment, to the Republican party, I can't think of a more horrible example of an American than Michael Moore..

He is the ultimate "Mental Midget" and nothing about him or anything he writes should be compared to our Vets.

Posted by: Cathy at October 22, 2004 04:26 PM

Some people who were "just doing their duty" don't want to admit that they might have done something "wrong".

Sounds like you have bought into the media storyline pumped by years of books and movies that most/many of the vets did something wrong. The dilemma in this is that when you take 19 year olds raised in essentially a peaceful Christian country (think Garrison Keilor, the epitome of the midwest) and drop them into a war, especially one with confused fronts and an enemy that hid in with the civilian population, they are going to think it is evil and immoral. But doing their duty does not belong in quotes. I am on the road on dial-up, so I won't go hunt down links now, but the math is that about 3.5 million Americans served in-country in Vietnam, with about half of those seeing combat. The documented atrocities (and remember the press had pretty free rein there) involve 100-200 soldiers. Few armies have had this good of a record. Further, the Viet Cong were absolutely brutal (possibly because of French tutelage).

From what I have read so far (1/3) of Tour of Duty, John Kerry went there with a bad attitude and saw what he expected to see. I personally have heard soldiers talk tough, but I also know from personal experience, they were a minority.
Further, Kerry was a real lilly amoung marigolds there. They rubbed him the wrong way and vice versa.

Finally, no one on this thread has addressed the fact that Kerry was a founder of VVAW, participated in WSI, and was not some innocent bystander at a peace rally that got caught up in it and then wound up testifying some 'hearsay' before Fullbright's committee. For those who remember, or even willing to look, the train of his thought is available, even in Brinkley's 'hagiography'.

Posted by: jdwill at October 22, 2004 04:36 PM

I was hoping you all could help me understand why Sinclair feels it has full constitutional prerogative when it airs an anti-Kerry message, but is then equally comfortable blacking out the sober names and faces of the American dead.

Thanks for clarifying that by dragging in the mud of Dan Rather and Michael Moore. You collectively have done much to bolster the argument that Stolen Honor reflects some greater, objective truth.

I look forward to checking in again, the next time you have to erase a line that's just been crossed.

Posted by: slavin at October 22, 2004 04:56 PM

Mara,

I disagree about SBG showing Stolen Honor amounting to free air time. The way it usually works it that somebody produces a documentary/film/movie, and the network decides to show it and usually pays royalties to them. The air is not free, it is paid for by advertisers. If a network puts on shows that don't interest the public, they lose ratings and advertisers pull out. If SBG likes Bush and wants to help him that is just as fair as CBS and Rather hating Bush and wanting to hurt him. Both decide what to air and take their chances with the public's reaction. Your vote is in your remote.

I say let the free market sort it out. This works when many channels of communication are available. In the old days when we had three channels, the major networks tried to act like they were impartial, but that is really impossible. Their idea of mainstream, or center, was based on their POV, and that POV was essentially elitist. I like some of NPR and PBS, but I don't want to trust my worldview to them.

Further, this idea of public airwaves that you would like to show only what you approve of just isn't going to happen. As cable, satellite, the Internet, and others progress, real competition will sort things out and suppression of other POV's will be harder to acheive. I want F911, South Park, Team America, Stolen Honor, and all of it out there for people to see and choose.

Posted by: jdwill at October 22, 2004 05:05 PM

slavin

The First Amendment. Questions?

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 22, 2004 05:47 PM

Yes, here's a question about the First Amendment, Rick, prompted by Sinclair's press release about the New York Times, which claims that the Times "employs at least one writer who continues to understand the importance of free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."

My question is where that Amendment was when it was useful against Sinclair, back in April, when it was censoring Ted Koppell's respectful recitation of the American casualties in Iraq.

Here's a quote from Sinclair in reference to it's decision to black out a network broadcast:

"Mr. Koppel and 'Nightline' are hiding behind this so-called tribute in an effort to highlight only one aspect of the war effort and in doing so to influence public opinion against the military action in Iraq"

If you can find precedent for a broadcast network's censorship of affiliate content, lay it on me. It's analogous to a refusal by some trucking company to deliver today's New York Times, because the NYT might "influence public opinion."

I would have been happy to defend Sinclair's position, if it was based on interest in the truth (or the constitution), rather than its well-worn partisan monomania.

Is there some piece of this imbalanced calculus that's unclear? Or is that the First Amendment only works when it works for you?

Posted by: slavin at October 23, 2004 06:27 PM

In addition, since you asked if there were any questions about the First Amendment, perhaps the journalist (and Emmy / Associated Press Award award winner) Jon Leiberman might have a few.

Is that what you mean by Semper Fi?

Posted by: slavin at October 23, 2004 06:38 PM

slavin:

After all was said and done it seems that Sinclair didn't play the hatchet job that the Kerry base was so worried about (and I was hoping for). I wasn't in an area where it was shown but from what I've heard about it on the TV they showed about 4 minutes of Stolen Honor but also showed pro-Kerry film.

Mr. Leiberman was fired for violating company policy, not for his political views. Sinclair would be insane to terminate employment without documented cause. Leiberman would end up owning SBG if he could prove it.

As for the article you link to, it's from CBS News. Ever heard of Dan Rather? How about Mary Mapes? 60 Minutes? They exercised their First Amendment rights on the public airwaves. They did it with evidence that they were told by their own experts was false. Same question as earlier. Where was the outrage against them? Why was it ok for them to run their hatchet job but not Sinclair? Publicly traded company. Public airwaves. Where is the difference?

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at October 24, 2004 08:19 AM

Michael:

You should watch "Stolen Honor."

I simply don't understand why everyone in this country - who is a Kerry supporter or who at least has Kerry sympathies - is so willing to call literally hundreds of decorated Vietnam combat veterans "liars" and "partisans" - for simply daring to tell their story. I think it's shameful.

These combat veterans have earned the right to at least be heard. You can certainly make up your mind about their commentary after hearing it. But refuse to hear it? The word "ingrate" comes to mind.

This is especially true in light of the fact that John Kerry has served as an advocate for Communist views - both by collaborating with the enemy during the Vietnam War - and continuing to today.

During the debate on the Dick Cavett Show, John Kerry claimed there would be no bloodbath if the U.S. abandonned Vietnam. Kerry claimed - like a rich patrician counting the meaningless deaths of lesser men - that maybe 4,000 or 5,000 people would die. In fact, Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand (3,800,000) people died when the U.S. abandonned Vietnam - as the North Vietnamese promptly broke their treaty with the U.S. and descended on South Vietnam. Accordingly Vietnam is still a communist nation today - over 30 years later.

Again, Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand (3,800,000) people died when the U.S. abandonned Vietnam - as the North Vietnamese promptly broke their treaty with the U.S. and descended on South Vietnam. And this was the the result of the "peace plan" proposed by the Vietnamese Communists and their mouthpiece in America - John Kerry.

Kerry has consistently been on the wrong side of history when it comes to American foreign policy. Kerry also opposed Reagan during the Gipper's confrontation of the Soviet Union during the 1980's. Kerry even supported legislation to cut America's intelligence cababilities AFTER the first terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, in 1993. Can America afford yet another Kerry miscalculation today?

See:

http://nikita_demosthenes.blogspot.com/2004_10_24_nikita_demosthenes_archive.html#109865534904312574

Posted by: nikita_demosthenes at October 24, 2004 07:22 PM

Nikita, I just heard john Kerry talking to Katie Couric on Dateline tonight, what I heard him say sent a chill down my spine. He promised the American people, straight out, that if he is elected there would be no more terror attackes. He is desperate beyond words...Granted, that would be a wonderful thing. But is this man so very far out of touch with reality that he believes himself to have God powers? All these promises and no indications of how to achieve them.

He continues to talk about how he will vastly increase the military without a draft. Again, God powers? There are only so many ways to increase a military, he best not be counting on volunteers because it isn't going to happen.

I think he is having a breakdown!

Posted by: Cathy at October 24, 2004 07:44 PM

Cathy,
I think you need to take a deep breath. Your comments about Kerry being desperate are laughable when you consider that the incumbent president's job approval rate is below 50%. In addition, practically the entire administriation, including Condoleeza Rice and 'non-political' Tom Ridge are out stumping for Bush. I think its Bush that's desperate. Last time I looked Powell is the only one actually on the job.

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 09:16 AM

Michael, if this film had been shown, Kerry would have dropped 3-4 points in the polls overnight, and perhaps another couple afterwards.

Posted by: Brainster at October 25, 2004 10:10 AM

Mara, next Tuesday will tell the story. If I'am wrong I will meet you back here with apology in hand. But, after what I saw yesterday I beg to differ with you. I live in Lima, Ohio where John Edwards held a rally at about 4:30 pm yesterday afternoon. My husband worked security for this event and reported it to be a fizzled attempt. On the other hand President Bush will be 30 miles N of me in Findlay Ohio on Wednesday, tens of thousands of tickets have already been requested and handed out just in this area and thats not counting Hancock county where it will actually be at. I will be attending that rally and will inform you of the turn out.

Posted by: Cathy at October 25, 2004 11:17 AM

Your husband wouldn't be a nonbiased observer at the Edwards event now would he?

I'll be waiting next week! Only 9 more days of the Bush disaster!

Needless to say, whoever wins will have to work hard to clean up the mess made by the four years of incompetence.

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 11:51 AM

Cathy,
In the latest Gallup poll Kerry/Edwards leading by 5 points in Ohio despite "tens of thousands" for Bush.


http://cgi1.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/polls/2004-10-21-ohio-poll.htm

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 11:57 AM

Mara, it depends on what portion of these survey's you choose to look at and believe. Do you want to believe the "likely voters" more than the "registered voters" or vise versa? People "most likely" to vote in that survey, (done almost a week ago) showed only a (1) point difference. Either way it is to close to call in Ohio and I imagine it will stay that way until the esculating moment next week.

As for crowds at some of these rally's...Since my husband, over his 30 year career in law enforcement, has spent many off duty hours working crowd control from everything to Presidential visits to football games ,I have to trust his estimation of crowds. He's actually quite good at it.

As for "The Mess" (as you refer to it) of the last 4 years needing to be cleaned up, let us not forget the 8 years of total and complete incompetency prior to that time frame. Not to mention complete lack of morals and blatant lies told to the American public during those years.

If that administration hadn't been so busy trying to cover up their bosses, office hours liasons, they might have noticed a group of terrorist planning and training to destroy us.

Posted by: Cathy at October 25, 2004 12:36 PM

As for "The Mess" (as you refer to it) of the last 4 years needing to be cleaned up, let us not forget the 8 years of total and complete incompetency prior to that time frame. Not to mention complete lack of morals and blatant lies told to the American public during those years.

Yeah, let's not forget the 8 years of balanced budgets, surplus, great economy. As far as "lies", let's not forget that 'no one died when Clinton lied', and you sure can't say that for Bush. Incidentally, the level of lies and secrecy in this administration has left every other administration in the dust, including Nixon's.

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 02:57 PM

Generally speaking, registered voters are a more accurate gauge up until a day or two before the election. Anyway, "analysis of the Gallup RV data shows several patterns very favorable to the Kerry campaign:

1. Kerry leads among independents by 5, 49-44.

2. Kerry leads among moderates by 18, 57-35.

3. Kerry leads in the battleground states by 2, 49-47, and Bush's approval rating in these same states has sunk to 46 percent."
see: The Emerging Democratic Majority

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 03:31 PM

Mara, Have you checked TODAY's GALLOP polls? If you did you will see that BUSH is again in the lead.

As for your remark "Noone died when Clinton Lied." Up until the moment you typed that I thought you honestly believed this stuff you talk so adamantly about. I now know you are just jerking my chain. Refresh my memory, was it not Clinton that had Bin Laden and allowed him to walk away? Was Bin Laden not the leader of a terrorist organization called Al-Quada? Was Al-Quada not resopnsible for killing more than 3,000 people on American soil? You seem to be very intelligent so I'm sure I need not break it down any further for you.

Posted by: Cathy at October 25, 2004 03:50 PM

Cathy,
It has not been proved that the Clinton administration EVER had Osama in it's sights - in fact, I recall reading that they definitely did not despite rumblings to the contrary. On the other hand, we now know that the Bush administration definetly DID have Zarqawi, but refrained from taking him out. At last count this guy has been responsible for 1,000 deaths including beheadings.

They're fond of mocking Clinton's pre-9/11 penchant for "lobbing a few cruise missiles at some tents," but it appears Bush wasn't even willing to go that far. And the end result is that the one guy in Iraq who really was trying to produce WMD for use in global terrorism got away. And the last I looked, Zarqawi's death toll since 2002 was up to nearly a thousand.
Selective reading won't help you round out your world view.

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 04:04 PM

By the way, those are TODAY'S polls I'm quoting from: Kerry's ahead.

Posted by: Mara at October 25, 2004 04:06 PM

Mara, today's CNN gallup polls have Bush up 51% to Kerry 46% among likely voters, and Bush up 49% to Kerry 47% among registered voters. I know you and I would love to settle this election right now, but I do believe we have to wait another week.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/25/national.poll/index.html

You and I will never change each other's views of things or our opinions. I agree with almost nothing you say and share none of your beliefs. But, I do respect your opinion, and Im sure John Kerry also respects it.

Posted by: Cathy at October 25, 2004 04:31 PM

Mara,

You say no one died under Clinton. How soon we forget the dead in Kosovo and Bosnia. Now who voted for these? Not our congressman or yours. What legal reason for these was there. What were the threats to us from these places. All we did in Kosovo was move the Serbs who were then shot in the back by the Muslims. You really have to quit drinking the Kool-aid it is making you highly irrational. Kerry wins, we all lose. Bush is nothing great but he is a much better choice than the loser Kerry. Lets also not forget the 29 people from Clinton's administration that committed suicide by shooting themselves in the back of the head.

Posted by: barney at October 25, 2004 06:43 PM

You know, Barney, if you're going to blame Clinton for the death of thousands in Kosova and Bosnia-Herzegovenia, I guess you should blame Bush for the death of thousands in Darfur - and Bush isn't even coming to their aid!

I have no idea about people being shot in the back of the head during the Clinton administration, but I'm sure you'll enlighten me. On second thought, don't bother. You're last reference on the other thread was too biased to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Mara at October 26, 2004 10:27 AM

Cathy,
New Gallup Poll Shows Movement Toward Kerry

The new Gallup poll shows the race moving in Kerry's direction. In their last poll, October 14-16, they showed Bush with a 4 point lead, 50-46 in their 2-way RV matchup. This poll, conducted October 22-24, has Bush's lead shrinking to a single point (49-48).

I think we'll have to give duelling polls a rest and wait until Nov. 2. My gut tells me that Kerry republicans are going to push the ball over the net for him on Tuesday. Democrats are very motivated and energized. REpublicans are split: conservative Christians and rural voters will vote for Bush, but common sense Republicans on the coasts will split 3 ways: some will hold their noses and vote for Bush, some will hold their noses and vote for Kerry, and the remainder will simply stay home. Factor into this mix new voters, and the youth vote, both of which trend to Kerry, and I think the only thing that's unknown at this point is whether it will be a Kerry squeaker or a solid Kerry win.

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