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Friday, August 06, 2004
 
Idiots and Revisionists

Michelle Malkin has published a book, In Defense of Internment: The Case for "Racial Profiling" in World War II and the War on Terror. I won't even try to debunk it because the premise is so incredibly misguided and slanderous.

Instead, I will let the preeminent chronicler of right-wing racism and hate crimes sink his teeth into her. Take a few minutes (OK, several minutes) and read David Niewert's two current posts on Malkin: Here and Here.

Follow the links he provides. It is astounding what passes for scholarly work in the far right netherworld.

***UPDATE: Don't miss the General JC Christian's Amazon.com review of the book:
It doesn't go far enough, August 4, 2004
Reviewer: Gen. JC Christian, patriot (Tremonton, UT United States) - See all my reviews

While I agree with Malkin's thesis that sometimes concentration camps can be a good thing, I think the addition of an argument for public humiliation, and perhaps even stoning, would make the book more complete. Why should good, God-fearing, Christian Americans be denied an opportunity to taunt these unbelievers by poking them with pointed sticks? Why can't we put dunce caps on their heads and parade them through the streets before we subject them to public criticism? Allowing these acts would do wonders for our collective stress level.

 
 
Katherine Harris...
is a liar and political opportunist?

Who knew!!?!?

(and don't forget the 1.5 million ballots in 18 counties that she exempted from Florida's automatic recount law which mandated a recount for races within the 0.5% margin. If the Dems win a Chamber of Congress, I still think hearings into the recount mess are warranted. Let's put Ms. Harris under oath.)
 
Thursday, August 05, 2004
 
What is it about TV, anyway?
The Swiftboat Wingnuts for Bush buy airtime for a false and libelous 60 second summary of their website's lies, and all of a sudden they're "raising questions" about Kerry's record, according to some media outlets.

No, they're not.

They are lying. Just like they were lying last month. And the month before. Here is an excellent summary of these dingbats, in addition to the one I posted previously:

http://mediamatters.org/items/200408050007

The one good thing that may come out of this is that Limbaugh and Hannity will end up with serious egg on their faces due to their enthusiastic embrace of these despicable psychos.

Of course, I'm assuming that the media will do their job.
 
 
So, how's it going?
Sovereignty. That was the big deal earlier this summer for Iraq, right? It was going to be the "turning point". Well, I guess in one way at least, it was. The press has decided that the ongoing (and worsening) violence and chaos is not as newsworthy since it has been magically transformed into an "Iraqi" issue.

The only problem, of course, is that Iraqis and Americans are dying in greater numbers than before the handover.
"...A kind of violence fatigue has descended over news coverage of Iraq. Car bombings that would have made the front page a year ago get scant mention these days.

Assassinations and kidnappings have become so common that they have lost their power to shock. More U.S. soldiers died in July (38) than in June (26), but that didn't make the nightly newscasts, either. .."
River has started posting again on her blog, and doesn't paint a very pleasant picture from Baghdad, either. But it doesn't matter: the US media is making great progress in transforming all of this into an "Iraqi" problem for us.
 
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
 
Rebuttals.
My mailbox seems to be filling up with anti-Kerry (li)Emails these days. Most of them cover the same territory over and over, to wit:

1. Kerry is the most Liberal voting Senator. Well, no. Point your friends here for an attempt at a real analysis, instead of the RNC/Ed Gillespie talking point.

2. Kerry's record in Vietnam is fabricated or exaggerated in some way. This falls into the category of truly despicable slander, in my view. Here is a link to a fairly complete rundown of what his actual shipmates thought of him, and who is financing the charges of fakery.

3. Kerry is a "flip-flopper". There is a difference between changing positions on an issue as more data comes in, and resolutely "staying the course" no matter how wrong your initial stance is proven to be. One makes sense; the other is a symptom of idiocy. Of course, "flip-flopping" due to plain old mendacity falls into another category entirely.

Evidently, the Republican strategy for this election will be to attack Kerry relentlessly, regardless of how outlandish the claim is, while hoping that no one notices the empty suit in the Oval Office.
 
Monday, August 02, 2004
 
The 43% Solution

Two days ago I learned that an extended family member is being shipped off to Iraq. His upcoming mission will be “to protect the new Iraqi government.” This obligatory service would not have bothered me if he were serving in the US Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines. No, what is sticking in my craw is that this young man is a member of the Minnesota National Guard.

He enlisted in the US Army in the 1990s and was honorably discharged in 2000. Since then he has acquired a wife, two baby girls, a career and a small mortgage. His National Guard obligation was supposed to be up next month, but due to his unit’s activation, he will instead be on a troop transport with dozens of other Minnesotans heading for Baghdad International Airport in October. He has been told to prepare for up to two years of service. Like any good soldier he is bucking up and preparing for duty.

My family has a long military tradition, both past and present. I hold the men and women who serve in uniform in the highest regard. It is precisely because of this that these events are causing me earnest indignation. This extended reliance on the Guard and Reserves is an abuse of the system, the soldiers and the taxpayers.

For the first time since the Korean War, the Reserves and National Guard are being activated in incredibly large numbers for extended duties that would normally be performed by the regular military. John Kerry has coined this phenomenon a “back door draft”. Unfortunately I have to agree.

Last year, during major combat operations, 25% of the troops on the ground in Iraq were Reservists or National Guard. Currently that number his risen sharply to 39% and it is not getting any better. On July 7, the Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Gen. Norton Schwartz, told Congress that in 2005 he expects non-regular military to reach 43% of all troops in Iraq.

Did you catch that? Almost half of our 130,000 soldiers in Iraq will be “Weekend Warriors”.

That translates to approximately 56,000 men and women who have established civilian lives with families, bills and obligations. In general they are much older than enlisted soldiers. Many of them will be force to sell homes, move their families or make other drastic adjustments. Gaurdsmen, reservists and their families are not eligible for many of the services and benefits that the regular military receives. Not-so little things like healthcare, family support and job security are not guaranteed. This is a scurrilous affront to those troops who are activated for long stretches of time. Those politicians who are not hastily working to remedy this should be ashamed.

For the most part these patriotic individuals signed up to serve their country as the last line of military defense, the traditional role of the Guard and Reserves. Dire times, such as an invasion of America or major world conflict are the ultimate mission of these part-time soldiers. Somehow I doubt most them think that being sent into frontline duties in Iraq fits that bill.

In my opinion, the National Guard should be viewed and treated as a special and unique case because of their obligation to serve their home state. It remains to be seen how these “federal” deployments will affect these state duties. Governors have long relied on the Guard for such crises as urban unrest and natural disasters. Who are they going to call?

These troops are simply political cover for a mission that has spiraled beyond the worse case scenarios that the administration projected. It would not behoove the President to have to admit to the world or the American people that our military has been stretched way too thin. This tacit revelation may be the biggest strategy blunder of our generation. I am sure that our potential opponents have taken notice.

Military recruiters say they have met their goals but they have not been able to actually increase the size of the volunteer army. And while reenlistment numbers and stop-loss orders appear to have stabilized the troop levels of the regular forces, the Reserves and Guard have seen a notable decline in both retention and new recruits. Gee, I wonder why?


**Updated to reflect the Korean War deployment of Guard and Reserves
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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