October 25, 2004

Instapundit Posts

It sure feels weird posting on Instapundit. The number of readers over there is about 100 times the number here. Good thing for me Glenn doesn't have a comments section!

But I don't want to hide from y'all. If you feel the need to yell at me for my posts over there (see here and here) this would be the place to do it.

Don't forget to be nice to each other while you're at it.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 25, 2004 02:11 PM
Comments

Good thing for me Glenn doesn't have a comments section!

That sucks. what's the point? Some guys have a lot of steam and hot air to blow.

Posted by: David at October 25, 2004 02:26 PM

What's the point of Glenn not having a comments section? The bigger the blog the harsher the comments. That's how it usually goes, anyway.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 25, 2004 02:35 PM

I'm watching to see which one of you posts a "Heh" first...

Congrats, Michael.

Posted by: TmjUtah at October 25, 2004 02:35 PM

TmjUtah,

Who is your money on?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 25, 2004 02:45 PM

You're doing a great job over there.

It's like, like, Glenn's not even gone!

Well, except the lack of "hehs" and "indeeds".

cbk

Posted by: cbk at October 25, 2004 02:49 PM

"The bigger the blog the harsher the comments. That's how it usually goes, anyway."

Or: With Great Traffic Comes Great Imbecility.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 25, 2004 03:02 PM

"With Great Traffic Comes Great Imbecility."

That one is worth framing Jim. It both rings and has ample truth to it.

Posted by: FH at October 25, 2004 03:16 PM

Michael, you must live in Laurelhurst or Irvington. It looks like Kerry/Edwards has 100% coverage in those areas. Not so much out here in Gresham. About 50/50 I'd say.

Still, I see plenty of cars with Bush stickers parked in those blue areas, and haven't seen any keyed or bashed in yet. So, maybe not that dangerous. I worry more about the fact that my neighbors may vote for the OTHER guy because they see how I vote!

Posted by: Mark at October 25, 2004 03:17 PM

Now that the facts have been established, why is it that Libs will call you an asshole for wearing a Bush/Cheney t-shirt, but Libs will only get a shrug of indifference from conservatives if they're caught with a Kerry t-shirt?

Why is that? There's a reason, but I'll let you guys try to work it out first.

Why is it that Libs will burn their heretics and call them drunks and liars and scum, while conservatives who have left the flock are merely told they're wrong and no longer true conservatives?

Please see the treatment Hitchens gets vs the treatment Sullivan gets. Sullivan is wrong and no longer a true conservative because he let the gay thing get to him; but Hitchens is entirely a differnet matter. He's a vile drunk, a liar and scumbag if you believe what Libs are saying about him these days.

Why are Libs so intolerant?

Posted by: David at October 25, 2004 03:24 PM

Ahem.. the wordiness today at Instapundit is a little hard to get used to.

hint

Posted by: Kate at October 25, 2004 03:24 PM

Michael -

I've skewed probabilities by merely mentioning the possibility that it may happen.

It will hinge on which one of you first encounters a story involving somebody in danger of eating crow. That's the pattern I've seen with Glenn.

I like the change of pace. Y'all are doing fine out there.

I don't understand how a big "L" libertarian could seiously consider a vote for Kerry, though, as Ms. McArdle seems to be trying to convince herself to do. Might as well have an entry in the history books where Karl Marx was drafted to run in place of Teddy Roosevelt.

I know that's not an elegant comparison. Marx believed what he wrote and spoke about.

That strikes me

Posted by: TmjUtah at October 25, 2004 04:20 PM

Many members of John Kerry's campaign are not exactly friendly towards Israel. Still, even I was surprised by Richard Holbrooke declaring that Kerry would ‘reach out to the moderate Arab states. He'd put more pressure on Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia above all.’” A subtle form of anti-Semitism does indeed pervade the national Democratic Party. Do I really need to add anything more?

Posted by: David Thomson at October 25, 2004 05:21 PM

Re: "AN INSIDE JOB? The AP reports that the massacre of 50 unarmed Iraqi soldiers may have been an inside job."

Nope, as likely as that sounds, it's incorrect. Bagdhad resident Salman Mohammed gave the scoop to the Washington Post:

"Those people are serving their country, why are they killed?" said Salman Mohammed, 42, as he waited for a friend in a Baghdad restaurant where they planned to break their Ramadan fast at sunset. "I think that there are foreign countries that want to destroy these forces. I think the Zionists are behind that. They want to make this country collapse . . . to extend their state from the Nile to the Euphrates."

Good sleuthing Mohammed.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 25, 2004 06:02 PM

"That one is worth framing Jim. It both rings and has ample truth to it."

Don't I know it!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 25, 2004 07:18 PM

Michael, It's been a long time since I commented here though I read you daily. I usually comment at Marc Coopers blog where I get to needle a few rightous libs. The plain ole libs are good people. But, you are doing a great job both here and at InstaPundit. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: GMRoper at October 25, 2004 07:46 PM

Michael,

Great job over there today.

TmjUtah,

Agree about Megan McArdle. It's downright funny. "Man is a rationalizing, not a rational, animal." Women too apparently.

Posted by: WichitaBoy at October 25, 2004 09:28 PM

Michael, you're doing so well, you might consider an InstaFlatter day on MJT every so often.

I LIKE a bit more comment then Glenn usually has (my own complaint about him -- I know the tradeoff is more links read vs. more insight on fewer links).

You should check out Donald Sensing disagreeing with Johann Hari -- and my own comments too:
http://tomgrey.motime.com/1098731698#363007

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at October 26, 2004 01:21 AM

I have just visited Roger Simon's blog and was stunned to find out from another poster that Richard Holbrooke’s wife is Kati Marton “the author of "A Death in Jerusalem." This should be a major news story. Marton definitely considers Israel as denying the rights of the Palestinians. She is something of a guilt tripped Jew (does that sound more appropriate than self hating?). Now we can better understand why Holbrooke will encourage John Kerry to put more pressure on Israel.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 26, 2004 02:39 AM

Why is it that Libs will burn their heretics and call them drunks and liars and scum?

(....)

Why are Libs so intolerant?

That's just it - it's not the Libs, or even the libs. It's the Leftists that have taken power and caused the liberal descriptor to be lumped into their causes and prejudices.

There are (hopefully) still plenty of "liberals" who have no hatred or fear of the right that the Leftists do, and are honorable and fair in their political dealings. Unfortunately, they're now judged guilty by association with the far left, since they're the ones that get all the press and, apparently, choose unqualified presidential candidates.

Posted by: Barry at October 26, 2004 06:22 AM

David Thomson - "Do I really need to add anything more?"

If you want to be seen as an intelligent political thinker, I would say the answer to this question is "yes."

Only this time, instead of repeating yourself and not anwering the objections people like me have to your assertions, you could address those assertions.

1) You could explain why it is antisemitic to share the same position on the Israel/Palestine question as Tony Blair, along with 95% of the non-jews and non-arabs, and a very substantial number of israelis and jews who know anything about the subject? (That position being that the United States and the rest of the world ought to put more pressure on Israel to stop building settlements, and to make efforts not to kill civilians when going after terrorists, and to make it clear that the Palestinians can have a viable, contiguous, sovereign state in the West Bank and the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as soon as they are willing to renounce their right of return.)

2) You can show what evidence you have that a third of Democratic Party shares this view. You could start by looking at the roll call for House Resolution 460, passed by the House of Representatives on July 24, 2004, affirming Bush's letter to Sharon of April 24, in which he gave Israel the green light to annex whatever existing settlements it wants to. The vote in favor was 407 to 9! The Democratic caucus vote was 186 to 8! Sorry David, but 96% of House Democrats share your view of the conflict, not Tony Blair's and mine.

3) You can explain why 75%-80% of the jews like me who plan to vote for Kerry are such idiots that they plan to vote for an antisemite for President.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 26, 2004 07:52 AM

Those are some mighty early hours on your posts over there. When do you sleep?

Posted by: David R. Block at October 26, 2004 10:01 AM

Ya know, Instapundit just seems like so much spatter and noise, without substance. I guess I'm spoiled by this site.

B esides, How's a chaotic rodent supposed to cause chaos when it can't post?!

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 26, 2004 10:29 AM

David Block: Those are some mighty early hours on your posts over there.

I am not in the same time zone as the blog. I'm on the West coast. I was up late, but not that late.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 26, 2004 11:42 AM

Markus,
All excellent points, of course, but didja really have to phrase them in the form of questions?
There is enough mindless ranting without inviting it....

Posted by: Tano at October 26, 2004 12:02 PM

Hi Michael-

This is in response to your Bush and civil unions post. Volokh is 100% correct, it is even a reversal of his previously attributed opinions. I wrote about this at some length in a few recent posts, triggered by a lengthy essay on the subject but your most recent post prompted me to write a final item on it here: "Just Accept That The FMA Doesn't Ban Civil Unions"

I provide links in some of the referenced posts to the framers' thoughts on it as well.

Also, thanks a ton for the heads-up on the NYT piece.

Best,

--Barry

Posted by: Barry Johnson at October 26, 2004 12:24 PM

MJT,

I read your Instapundit post about the missing explosives. I understand your questions about the 3rd ID being there 1 week before us, but I think I should offer up a military perspective for you. I was with the 101st when we RIP'd (Relieved in Place) the 3rd ID in that region.

380 tons of explosives would require about 40 truckloads to haul it away. It would have taken more than 1 week (and an unbelievable amount of man-hours and heavy-moving equipment) simply to load the trucks. To imply that those trucks could have been loaded and then driven away unnoticed, under the watchful eye of the 3rd ID is absolutely ludicrous. I know you're not a military type, but you're a smart enough guy to understand this.

No, those explosives were moved well before any Americans ever crossed the border. It's the only feasible scenario, and it fits right in with Saddam's gameplan. A retired Iraqi Air Force General (now an employ at Mosul Airfield) explained Saddam's looney strategy to me over tea one day. I wrote about it in my blog post yesterday:

http://2slick.blogspot.com/2004/10/battle-rages-on.html

Read it, and I think you'll have a slightly better understanding of how Saddam did business. Remember when he sent his fighter jets to Iran during Desert Storm? Well, he used a slightly different strategy this time around. It didn't work. But those explosives did get away, and there was no way we could have prevented it with all of our diplomatic wrangling as we "rushed to war."

John Kerry (aided by the media horde) wants to fool the American people with a fictitous story about how we didn't have the manpower and/or capability to guard the most sensitive ammo dump in Iraq. That's not only innacurate- it's downright offensive. We spent a month in Iskandaria, just south of Baghdad, where we had so many people sitting around waiting for our next move, I couldn't even believe it. The truth is we had way more soldiers than we needed. And we easily secured every ammo storage facility that we found- large and small.

How can Kerry claim to "praise the efforts of our brave soldiers" while he spits in our face with false charges of incompitence?

Is it any wonder that the overwhelming majority of us are disgusted by the idea of Kerry as Commander in Chief?

Posted by: $lick at October 26, 2004 01:12 PM

Hi

Further to your comments on the FMA the wording is as follows:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman." Wording of the Federal Marriage Amendment as of 2004-JUL-12.

This seems clearly to prevent only civil unions being mandated by judicial fiat and does nothing to prevent legislation.

I think that putting the wording up on Instapundit might be worthwhile.

Bill

Posted by: Bill Brooks at October 26, 2004 01:18 PM

$lick -- Regarding your universe of voters that is that is "overwhelmingly disgusted" with Kerry as commander in chief, remember that win or lose there's likely to be at least 50 million of your fellow citizens NOT adverse to this.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 26, 2004 01:21 PM

Markus Rose-

I'm afraid you misunderstood me. By "us" I meant military folks. You know, the ones who would have to fight the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time under his "stern" leadership. In a recent poll, 75% percent of "us" supported Bush. Less than 20% favored Kerry. That's an overwhelming majority no matter how you slice it. I'm well aware that there are going to be many millions out there who won't have to serve under him, and could care less about what the troops prefer. Thanks for reminding me, though!!!

Posted by: $lick at October 26, 2004 01:29 PM

$lick,

You're right... what the 'troops' prefer has about as much impact on who I'll choose as President as what I'll have for lunch.

If people volunteer for an army, good for them. If they go do the bidding of the commander-in-chief, good for them. If they want to weigh in on persidential issues, I'll give them the same (though sometimes slightly less) consideration that I would any American citizen.

My Grandfather and all of his VFW buddies taught me one very important thing about millitary people. They follow the lead of the President. I can't remember how many time I heard growing up "He's right because he's the President."

That's a fine attiitude for the millitary. Its not one I'd consider when it comes to politics.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 26, 2004 01:35 PM

Tosk,

First off, thanks for counting me as "slightly less" than any American citizen because I'm a military guy.

Forgive me for being insulted, but I think I'm just as capable of assessing politics as you are.

Your stereotyping of us is absolutely offensive, but lucky for you, we put our lives on the line so you can ridicule us with impunity. Isn't it neat how that works???

Posted by: $lick at October 26, 2004 01:42 PM

Tosk,

One more thing- I served in the military for 8 years under President Clinton. During that time, I never heard one soldier say "He's right because he's the President." But I heard lots and lots of questions like "Hey, how come WE get court-martialed for commiting adultry, but he gets nothing but dirty looks from Hillary?"

Now that I think of it, I never heard anyone say "He's right because he's the President" about Bush either. Hmmm.

Oh well, what the hell do I know about military people? I just happen to be one. YOU had a grandfather or something, so clearly you know quite a bit more than I...

Cheers,

$lick

Posted by: $lick at October 26, 2004 01:48 PM

$lick -- that's cool. i won't put down the military. In fact I know I could have used a little of the discipline and sacrifice you guys have developed myself. what's the deal with getting busted for adultery, though? my understanding is that providing massages with the happy ending to our GI's is the number one occupation of the young filipino, okinowan and korean girls that live near US bases. Those guys aren't all single, are they?

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 26, 2004 02:06 PM

$lick,

What do you care how I weigh your political views?

I am so sick of people who volunteer for the army expecting me to treat them any differently than I do anyone else. I don't know how many times I've heard "We put our lives on the line..."

Good for you. You decided to be a millitary person, good job. Get over it.

I'm sorry if I'm offensive to you, but I really don't care what people in the millitary think about the president.

I have heard from so many people "Well I'M in the millitary and blah blah blah"... it wasn't you in particular that I was ranting on, I had a recent run-in with someone who just came out of Iraq. They were personally insulted that I wasn't going to vote for Bush, wshen they said that's what the millitary wanted.

Carrying a gun for this country does not make someone an expert in politics, domestic issues or even i
nternational politics. Hopefully, it makes them an expert in shooting people (or whatever the hell their job is).

Joining the millitary means you are going to do the will of the President, whoever that President is.

I've found some of your posts in the past to be thoughtful, your earlier post today though hit a nerve.

I probably should have counted to ten before posting.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 26, 2004 02:08 PM

I thought Michael said to be nice.......

Posted by: David R. Block at October 26, 2004 03:15 PM

I actually agree to Ratatosk to a large extent. I think a good indicator of a country is how it views/treats it's military. In an idealistic world, I would like a country that not only gives more extended benefits to active duty and guard servicemen (especially healthcare), but higher pay and benefits in the private sector that amounts to more than a 5% discount at certain retail stores.

But if the opinion of ivory tower elites is no more valuable than my own, I don't see why the opinion of someone in service should be either. I see these polls about what servicemen think of each candidate and all I think is "who cares?" I respect the job they do to defend me and my country and support their right to organize themselves in special interests, but I don't consider the military's overwhelming support of republicans on the basis that they protect and defend me anymore important than the Police or fire department's overwhelming support for democrats on the basis of doing the same thing.

Posted by: Epitome at October 26, 2004 03:15 PM

Josh Marshall is going off the rails on the explosives story. He links to an article about the 3rd ID being first to al Qaaqa, but then completely fumbles his discussion. First, we don't know what kind of search, inspection or inventory the 3rd ID conducted. The "quick spot check" he alludes to in the article refers to the UN inspectors' last visit to the site(on March 7, 2003), NOT to what the 3rd ID itself did. Next, he implies that the discovery of "thousands" of tiny vials of high explosive might indicate the RMX/HMX was there. But the explosives we're talking about totalled over 350 TONS. Finally, he fails to note that the roads around the complex were under Coalition control. Obviously, the notion that hundreds of tons of explosives were spirited from the site under the noses of our troops is patently absurd. But rather than the truth, Marshall et al seem interested only in obscuring the facts to give this dead story legs for a few more news cycles. Pathetic.

Posted by: Darse at October 26, 2004 03:37 PM

“3) You can explain why 75%-80% of the jews like me who plan to vote for Kerry are such idiots that they plan to vote for an antisemite for President.”

I am not ignoring you---but I’m very busy. In the meanwhile I ask that you read the following article:

“FOR NEARLY SIXTY YEARS, since the birth of Israel, American Jews have faced accusations that they care more about the well-being of their ancient homeland than of their home. Well, barring some unforeseen circumstance, the canard of dual loyalty should be retired forever on November 2, 2004. On that Tuesday, Election Day, up to 80 percent of American Jews will pull the lever for John Kerry, thereby proving that they not only do not care about Israel's well-being, but that they don't mind making common cause with people who wish them ill. Or worse.”
http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/833ifcua.asp

I promise to get back to you tomorrow. Have a nice evening.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 26, 2004 04:54 PM

What's up? It's been like an hour and a half without a post! And there's three of you. Glenn would have had ten posts up in this time.

;)

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 26, 2004 05:00 PM

Tosk, it's kind of funny the Dems put up a bozo BECAUSE he was in the military AND he frequently demands to be treated differently. I am sick of Dems attacking Bush's National Guard danger-fun pilot because Kerry "was actually IN Vietnam" blah blah -- and then came home and said he committed war crimes and all the soldiers did.

You want to treat all the same? You have to vote for Bush -- it's Kerry who "refuses to answer questions about his patriotism" because he served.
(see This Land again -- always funny! Sometimes a brain can, come in quite handy. But it's not gonna help you, because I won 3 purple hearts!)

Posted by: Tom Grey at October 26, 2004 05:03 PM

Michael, maybe set Marc Cooper straight on the explosives?
http://marccooper.typepad.com/marccooper/2004/10/untidy_news_bus.html

But I tried to make the point there that missing explosives is not the problem. Deaths are. Even if this is a US mistake, not sure but even if, the problem shows up as deaths.

Given 2500 dead from the Towers; some 1100 - 1500 in liberating Afghanistan and Iraq and creating two new democracies seems like great work.

Anybody who says Bush is failing in Iraq needs to be challenged -- how many deaths would be a big success? a fair success? a small failure? a big failure? It's easy to criticize Bush with implicit Unreal Perfection.

You fall for the PC press assault as well -- but try putting some numbers down. (I say, losses up to 2500, to get 2 democracies -- GREAT job.)

Posted by: Tom Grey at October 26, 2004 05:08 PM

first John Kerry didn't accuse anyone of war crimes.

second, where are you getting your Iraq/Afghanistan casualty figures from?

Posted by: Epitome at October 26, 2004 05:34 PM

Tom Grey -- we don't have two democracies yet, and by the time we do, if we do, there'll probably be more than 3500 - 4000 deaths. (And there's no reason not to count the Iraqis who died being liberated is there?)

I hope we do eventually have two democracies there, and I hope when that happens they will be pro-US and pro-west. And I agree the recent elections in Afghanistan (which Democrats overwhelmingly supported, if you remember) are a very positive step forward. But even with this step, we ought to face reality and admit that right now, we're a long way from achieving our goals, and we have no clue if we'll be happy (or safer) even if we do.

Posted by: Markus Rose at October 26, 2004 06:01 PM

Tosk,

Yes, our military are fighting of their own free will. There were no letter's from Uncle Sam demanding they do their patriotic duty and defend our Country. Some of them watched thousands of people die on 9/11 and made the decision that they wanted to be a part of our Countries defense against terrorism. They made that decision knowing that they may never return from this war. They stay up for 72 straight hrs, sleep in holes, and every day they wonder if they get to see tomorrow.. They walked away from their spouses, children and parents to fight against something that is so very evil that they believed they could help make a difference for all of us.. And, they did it of their own free will! Sounds like something to be proud of to me!

They are the one's who happen to be in that part of the world. They're the one's experiencing first hand while a country fights for freedom and they are the ones who see the good us being there is doing. It's a shame you can't even afford them the courtesy of listening. The choice to be there was their's. They absolutely have every given right to speak about their experiences and to voice who they prefer to continue being their leader in a battle THEY are fighting!

You think the cops and firemen of this country don't have negotiations and disputes with their leadership? Trust me, they do. Their bosses are not the President of the United States!

Posted by: Cathy at October 26, 2004 07:10 PM

This post by Megan McArdle has to be one of the boldest blog entries I've ever read.

:)

Michael, you may wanna close a tag or something.

Posted by: Rob at October 26, 2004 07:27 PM

I'm getting really confused now.

From Al-Qaqaa spokesman says no weapons search: The first U.S. military unit to reach the Al-Qaqaa military installation after the fall of Baghdad did not have orders to search for the nearly 400 tons of explosives that are missing from the site, the unit spokesman said Tuesday. When troops from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade arrived at the Al-Qaqaa base a day or so after coalition troops seized Baghdad on April 9, 2003, there were already looters throughout the facility, Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, deputy public affairs officer for the unit, told The Associated Press. The soldiers "secured the area they were in and looked in a limited amount of bunkers to ensure chemical weapons were not present in their area," Wellman wrote in an e-mail message. "Bombs were found but not chemical weapons in that immediate area. "Orders were not given from higher to search or to secure the facility or to search for HE type munitions, as they (high-explosive weapons) were everywhere in Iraq," he wrote.

And, from this: The troops searched bunkers and found conventional weapons but no high explosives, the officials said. Six days later, the 101st Airborne Division arrived. Neither group was specifically searching for HMX or RDX, and the complex is so large — with more than 1,000 buildings — that it is not clear that the troops even saw the bunkers that might have held the explosives. The Iraq Survey Group discovered that the stockpiles of HMX and RDX were missing on May 27, seven weeks after the last visit by U.S. troops.

Posted by: The Lonewacko Blog at October 26, 2004 10:33 PM

I'd also like to suggest that those who are trying to downplay the loss of the 380 tons of explosives (give or take) should steel themselves for future reports.

The bottom line is that Saddam's weapons were largely contained. Because of the invasion, a huge portion of those weapons have now ended up in the hands of terrorists or terror-sponsoring countries. Now, certainly, many of those weapons are available on the black market, but that doesn't mean we should feel good about the likely transfer. And, some of the things that have gone missing are probably things that are really bad, like nuclear-related equipment.

Posted by: The Lonewacko Blog at October 26, 2004 10:39 PM

Markus Rose said: "my understanding is that providing massages with the happy ending to our GI's is the number one occupation of the young filipino, okinowan and korean girls that live near US bases. Those guys aren't all single, are they?"

I certainly won't deny that there's plenty of THAT going on. But it's not sanctioned by the military. Of course, military people commit adultery every single day. When they get caught (which is VERY rare, but it happens), they get punished accordingly. Clinton was one of the very few who got caught, but he still kept his job as Commander in Chief- as an Army Captain, I would have been booted from the military for a similar offense.

Tosk said:

"What do you care how I weigh your political views?"

Easy, killer. I couldn't care less about how you weigh my political views. But if you tell me I'm less capable of understanding politics because I'm in the military, then I'll quickly disagree with you.

"I am so sick of people who volunteer for the army expecting me to treat them any differently than I do anyone else. I don't know how many times I've heard "We put our lives on the line..."

Funny you should say that, Tosk. Because the last thing any of us want is to be treated any differently than anyone else. For you to claim that you DON'T treat us any differently is absurd. Let me highlight:

"If they want to weigh in on persidential issues, I'll give them the same (though sometimes slightly less) consideration that I would any American citizen."

Why "slightly less," Tosk? Because we're a bunch of idiots who blindly follow any Commander in Chief that you kind citizens lay out before us? Forgive me if that's how I took your offensive comments. We don't want to be treated any better or ANY WORSE than anyone else. It's the ANY WORSE part that has you stumped.

"Good for you. You decided to be a millitary person, good job. Get over it."

When did I ever ask for accolades? Insult me, and I'll defend myself. I've never demanded praise, and I never will.

"I have heard from so many people "Well I'M in the millitary and blah blah blah"... it wasn't you in particular that I was ranting on, I had a recent run-in with someone who just came out of Iraq. They were personally insulted that I wasn't going to vote for Bush, wshen they said that's what the millitary wanted."

OK, I got it. You meet one jerk from the military, and that makes us all jerks. Fair enough.

"Carrying a gun for this country does not make someone an expert in politics, domestic issues or even international politics."

Agreed. Anyone who claims otherwise should be working for bin Laden.

"Joining the millitary means you are going to do the will of the President, whoever that President is."

Tell that to those 19 soldiers from the 343rd Quartermaster.

"I've found some of your posts in the past to be thoughtful, your earlier post today though hit a nerve."

Sorry. I was just defending the dignity of my military brothers and sisters. Didn't mean to strike a nerve.

Posted by: $lick at October 26, 2004 11:21 PM

$lick,

I am terribly sorry. I let an angry rant that I had earlier in the day bleed over and I wish that I could delete that post.

I'm sorry that I insulted you and our millitary.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 06:42 AM

David Thomson -- I appreciate your cordial tone and so I will apologize for my condescension and try to tone it down. I did read Joel Engel's article in the Weekly Standard that you directed me to and I'm afraid I found it to be idiotic. I gathered from it that a Jewish American who is a hardliner on Israel ought to ignore the 96% of elected Democratic representatives who endorsed Sharon's annexation plans I previously mentioned, and instead pay attention to three men who will NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS hold elected office but who attended the Democratic convention: a man who is one of our two living former Democratic Presidents, a film maker invited by that former President (not Kerry or the DNC), and the former road manager for James Brown. And I'm supposed to be angry at the fact Michael Moore attended the convention not because of Farenheit 911, in which he never even mentioned Israel once, but because he used the word "occupation" at a rally fourteen years ago and because he dedicated an earlier book to Rachel Corrie.

Sorry, that sounds pretty weak to me. I repeat, none of these men will ever hold elective office.

By the way, apropos your comments about the American Conservative, David Duke's endorsement, et al...I note that good old Pat has endorsed George W. Now...should I care about THAT?

Posted by: Markus rose at October 27, 2004 07:18 AM

A lot of apologies today. I'm weepy.

Posted by: David at October 27, 2004 07:32 AM

“And I'm supposed to be angry at the fact Michael Moore attended the convention not because of Farenheit 911, in which he never even mentioned Israel once, but because he used the word "occupation" at a rally fourteen years ago and because he dedicated an earlier book to Rachel Corrie.”

Yes, you most certainly should be enraged. It is very sad that you are not. I also found it appalling that you believe that Israel does not employ extraordinary measures “not to kill civilians when going after terrorists.” This is an inexcusable slander. The hatred towards Israel has little to do with the settlements issue per se. This is a mere smoke screen. The reality is that a large number of United Nations bureaucrats and American liberals have no hesitation of sliming Israel while ignoring the vastly more serious outrageous committed by other nations. A rational person considers this as proof of Jew hatred.

Posted by: David Thomson at October 27, 2004 07:43 AM

I wasn't sure if that information had made it to open sources yet, but I just found the above posted on Captain's Quarters so I guess I'm free to discuss it. Yes, our intel tracked a large number of trucks streaming into Syria before the invasion. I'd bet the farm that's where the explosives (and who know what else) went off to...

If that is the case, why was it not mentioned among the casus belli? Why was apparently nothing done? Consider what General Christman said in my previous post:

"If we found Saddam moving weapons around, that issue could trump the issue of whether you wait for the right moon phase."

If it's accurate, it seems much more firm than the Niger documents and the INC shills presented to the CIA.

Posted by: Randy Paul at October 27, 2004 08:42 AM

One way or another, I think Bush has only himself to blame for this 'missing explosives' story. If we knew in May of 2003, why are we only finding out about it in Oct. 2004?

A number of times, I've discussed Bush's failure to be a good communicator and how it impacts his presidency. This, I think is a great example. If Bush had been forthright, explained that somehow lots of ammo was missing, it would be a non-issue now, instead of a big stink days before the election.

I can't think of a single reason to 'not' make this info public.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at October 27, 2004 09:10 AM

Am I totally dense? I thought a big part of Kerry's chief complaints was that we invaded a country that had NO significant weapons. Did he just figure out he was wrong about all that? Now all of a sudden there are missing weapons that until about 3 days ago Kerry told us wern't there in the first place? Does someone need to inform him that our militarty in Iraq has been destroying dangerous weapons each and every day. The reasons we have been doing that is because (surprise) Saddam was a dangerous man that hates our guts. It is sick to hear some of you talk about these "Missing" weapons when a few days ago you were the same ones screaming there were none.

Kerry disgusts me more every time he opens his mouth. I had 3 friends tell me today that they are now voting for Bush...These are democrats who have always been democrats....It took this latest weapons thing for them to see through him and this scheme he is trying to pull off..3 votes taken away from Kerry and given to Bush may not seem like much, but in Ohio (where every vote will surely count)it could mean alot.

Posted by: Cathy at October 27, 2004 03:27 PM

Aw C'mon, Tosk-

I know you didn't mean it. I was probably being a little oversensitive- we're all a bit edgy since Michael Moore started his campaign to make us look like a bunch of moronic barbarians. I think I know what ticked you off- I brought up the old "our military wants Bush- the terrorists want Kerry- let your conscience be your guide" thing. I understand this upsets people, and I probably shouldn't bring it up as often as I do. I'm offended when people like Cher try to make me feel guilty for my vote by saying that a Bush win would lead to gay leper colonies (although I think that's a bit more of a stretch than the terrorists for Kerry slant). Several members of my own family are voting for Kerry, mostly because they don't see the War on Terror as the "biggest thing out there." That's their call and I don't blame them one bit. My stepfather is a teacher, and he doesn't like Bush's stance on education- so he's voting for Kerry. He has his thing, I have mine, and of course you have yours. Bottom line- sorry if I threw a "guilt trip" at you with the "troops for Bush" theme- it wasn't my intent. Apologies all around, let's all just get along...

Cheers,

$lick

Posted by: $lick at October 27, 2004 04:56 PM

Cathy,

I share your disgust for John Kerry. I don't know what it is about him- he just makes me despise him more and more each day. I really can't make any sense of it. I LIKED Clinton (in a strange "hey this guy's pretty funny" sort of way)! But Kerry just sickens me. Let's hope a lot of people feel the way we do when the votes are cast...

Posted by: $lick at October 27, 2004 05:34 PM

Yes $lick, Lets absolutely hope so...I liked Clinton also. He just has that something that no matter what he did, or didn't do, it was hard to not like him. I imagine that has been Hillary's dilemma for a good number of years.

John Kerry scares me, maybe because I come from a long line of a Military family and I so don't want my loved ones under his command. Then there is also this; Teresa Heinz Kerry, as first lady, just has a feeling of wrongness to it.

$lick, Thanks for being in the Military and fighting for us!

Posted by: Cathy at October 27, 2004 11:02 PM

Markus,

Thanks for your thoughtful input. You respresent a demographic, the thoughtful liberal, that is woefully underrepresented in our political culture. I'm one too, though my thoughts very from yours.

You say:

"we're a long way from achieving our goals, and we have no clue if we'll be happy (or safer) even if we do."

Yes, but we do know that we won't be (happy or safer) if we don't. Isn't that what matters?

You ask why we should give credence to the political views of those on the ground in Iraq.

In general, it's a bad idea for the military to have too much political power, hence civilian CinC. This case, however, presents some extenuating circumstances.

One candidate is basing his campaign on the incompetence of the CinC. Those in the best position to judge the validity of that claim are those most directly effected by alleged incompetence, no?

Should we ignore their judgement?

Particularly as the challenger rhetorically attempts to draw parallels between the present conflict and Vietnam, where morale in the field seems much different, or am I mistaken?

Looking forward to your input.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at October 28, 2004 04:54 PM

verrily they vary, apparently...

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at October 28, 2004 04:56 PM

$lick,

If you're ever in Central Ohio, I'm buying the first round of drinks.

Ratatosk

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