Moderator: JOHN THURSTON
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Let me--I--first of all, there is so much more that unites Democrats than divides us. And Democrats have much more in common with each other than they do with George Bush's policy right now. Now Joe Lieberman, I believe, also voted for the resolution which said the president needs to make more clear what he's doing and set out benchmarks, and that the policy hasn't been working. We all believe him when you say, `Stay the course.' That's the president's policy, which hasn't been changing, which is a policy of failure. I don't agree with that. But I think what we need to do is recognize what we all agree on, which is you've got to begin to set benchmarks for accomplishment. You've got to begin to transfer authority to the Iraqis. And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the--of--the historical customs, religious customs. Whether you like it or not...
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
Kerry's comment did not sit well even with leading members of his own party. A number of top Democrats told CNN they were upset with the senator for giving the Republicans election-time ammunition -- even if the GOP was hyping the remark.
"He has already cost us one election. The guy just needs to keep his mouth shut until after the election," a top Democratic strategist said Tuesday.
- James Forsythe in Foreign PolicyPersonally, I buy Kerry's explanation that he was trying to insult Bush's intellect - not that of the troops. Any politician knows that bashing the men and women who serve is the dumbest thing a politician can do and Kerry himself is a veteran. Kerry also seems slightly obsessed with the question of whether he or Bush is smarter. Indeed, one can't help but wonder if he didn't release his Navy records during the campaign because they revealed that he actually got slightly worse grades at Yale than Bush did.
Nevertheless, the Republicans are going to run with this: note McCain's demand for an apology. Today there must be even fewer Democrats keen on Kerry '08.
Valkenar wrote:"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get us stuck in Iraq."
That is, if you're uneducated you might lead the country into a stupid war. Sounds a little fishy, but it's possible he really meant it that way.
Sounds plausible to me, although I find it equally repugnant. I don't know why democrats think it's OK to call the Commander in Chief stupid.
Doesn't matter whether he is or isn't smarter than the average bear, it's just not socially or politically acceptable to call somebody stupid. This belies even a modicum of respect for the dignity of the office, let alone the human being in it.
Anybody can make a mistake in what they say, particularly politicians because they spend so much time talking instead of listening, but this kind of thing from democrats is frequent enough that it cannot be explained away as an accident or a slip, and you can see that in Kerry's response. It's a conscious choice.
.I'm ready for some changes but with such behavior from democrats being now the norm rather than the exception, I keep thinking about frying pans and fire. That was the problem in 2004, and if they keep it up through 2008, they'll manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again
mikemurphy wrote:mhosea wrote: Anybody can make a mistake in what they say, particularly politicians because they spend so much time talking instead of listening, but this kind of thing from democrats is frequent enough that it cannot be explained away as an accident or a slip, and you can see that in Kerry's response. It's a conscious choice.
And the Republicans don't slip???? It's call partisan politics. It's an election year. And how can it be a conscious choice?
Even if you were correct in your assessment that it is only the democrats making a stink[snip]
I think I did say "Anybody can make a mistake". I mean that anybody can let an insult out in the heat of the moment, and I mean anybody. However, I believe that it's been a conscious choice of the opponents of this administration to demean the intelligence of G.W.B. from day one, and Kerry even claims that this was his intent! I have advanced degrees and academic and professional honors stacked in my closet, and I don't call people stupid, at least not in public. I expect as much from people who propose to lead this country.
To use a little "Billism" here, can you show me where some Democrat (person or platform), or anyone for that matter, has come right out and said he thinks Bush is stupid?
My point is that this behavior just plays to their base.
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