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George Bushes's military record: critical analysis
September 8, 2004 10:19 AM   Subscribe

George Bushes's Military record: a critical analysis This pdf file is about as definitive a look as we are likely to get on the Bush military record. Clearly most post4ers/readers of Metafilter do not support Bush, but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics
posted by Postroad (64 comments total)

 
Bushes's? post4ers? militaryrecord? Another post about this? And you think it's likely to change people's minds?

You're drunk, aren't you?
posted by stonerose at 10:25 AM on September 8, 2004


One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three...
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:28 AM on September 8, 2004


I get the feeling it's Kerry that keeps the topic alive. I'm so bored of this crap I'm running back to Europe for a fortnight.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 10:32 AM on September 8, 2004


Bush isn't running on his Vietnam record. Kerry is however, hence the criticism of Kerry's record.
posted by reverendX at 11:01 AM on September 8, 2004


Bush is running on Kerry's record. Kerry spent under a minute in his convention speech to point out that, even if he's lying as much as the Swifties say he is, his personal military record is WAY more honorable than Bushie's.
posted by wendell at 11:04 AM on September 8, 2004



And he told everyone he'd quit drinking!
I'm shocked! Shocked!!
posted by wendell at 11:11 AM on September 8, 2004


Bush isn't running on his Vietnam record. Kerry is however, hence the criticism of Kerry's record.


Well, Bush is choosing to wrap himself in the flag, and refer to himself repeatedly as a War President, not something he ran on the first time out. So, wouldn't it make sense to examine Bush's past experience with the military, considering the fact that he is so heavily identifying himself with the Comander in Chief role today?

Kerry ran on his vietnam record especially to address the issue that he can make military decisions, something that liberals are derided for by the Republican party. I personally think he overcompensated on this one, making it an issue for scrutiny.

Using the swift boaties as surrogate attack dogs has been a despicable tactic (as the web of connections between this org and key folks in the bush campaign demonstrate), and opens up the president for scrutiny on his own record.

Can't have it both ways.
posted by prodigalsun at 11:12 AM on September 8, 2004


Bush isn't running on his Vietnam record. Kerry is however, hence the criticism of Kerry's record.

Sorry, but that statement is total crap. Yes, it was brought up by Kerry as a counterpoint to Bush's "I'm the best man to lead the military", but it's been the Bush camp (and their "non-associates", the Swift Boat Vets), in fact, who have made it into the huge brouhaha it is today. Yet another example of the "if we say it often enough, it's true" bullshit that dominates this political race.
posted by mkultra at 11:22 AM on September 8, 2004


It's the lies, stupid. It's when you pretend you served in the military honorably, being pro-Viet Nam and all, and yet you turned your back on your own commitment to serve. You COULD have gone off elsewhere and avoided the military altogether (as your predecessor did, along with your Vice President). But you made a promise to serve, and you failed to keep that promise.

And years later, you run on this platform of lies, that you 'servered honorably.' You have managed to convince many of the electorate that you are the Top Gun. You strut around in a stuffed pilot's suit, as if this is what you actually are. And thousands of miles away, people are being killed, lives are being destroyed, and you call yourself a 'War President?'

Your Slime Boat mouthpieces try to bring up the real and easily-confirmed military record of your opponent as untrue. You smear the award of the Bronze and Silver Star, not just for John Kerry, but for all who have earned the right to wear it (dead and alive). And you expect us not to examine your own military record?

Do you think we will let this pass? Do you think we will soon forget about "Bagdad-Pat-Peel" mocking every recipient of the Purple Heart on National Television?

You started this, but we're going to finish it. You were AWOL during your military commitment, you were on vacation prior to 9/11 when you should have been helping the nation prepare for the attacks you knew were coming, and you are planning to be AWOL during one of the Presidential debates you had agreed to participate in.

The mainstream press may give you a free pass. But those of us who know what real commitment is, will not forget.

This is not the only issue that matters. This is just one of the masks we are removing to expose you for what you really are: a LIAR.
posted by jackspace at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2004


This whole Swift Boat thing is just obviously a pack of lies. And it's obvious to me that the Republican Party is complicit in the fabrication... not to mention THIS:

http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&tts=1&display=rednews/2004/09/01/build/state/25-swift-boat.inc

Which raises the question... how many of the other "signers" of this document WEREN'T EVEN CONTACTED? Did ANYONE actually approve of it? Or was it just made up like everything else?
posted by muppetboy at 12:15 PM on September 8, 2004


I am y2karl and I approve the previous comment.
posted by y2karl at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2004


jackspace's comment, that is. &@#&%! muppetboy!
posted by y2karl at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2004


Considering Bush's entire campaign seems to be, "I am the only human being that can singlehandedly stop the terrorists," considering he is flat-out running on image, considering he has projected every insecurity, every doubt, every fear relevant to him onto his opponent, any attempt to expose the image for the deception that it is is fair game.
posted by solistrato at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2004


That is one helluva damning document, having simply read the intro & conclusion. It will likely be dismissed due to it's being published on the NYT site. However, it should be counter-argued on the facts which are indisputable - hahaha!
posted by dash_slot- at 12:19 PM on September 8, 2004


Bush fell short on duty at Guard - Records show pledges unmet

...Twice during his Guard service -- first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School -- Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.

He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.

On July 30, 1973, shortly before he moved from Houston to Cambridge, Bush signed a document that declared, ''It is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months. . . " Under Guard regulations, Bush had 60 days to locate a new unit.

But Bush never signed up with a Boston-area unit. In 1999, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett told the Washington Post that Bush finished his six-year commitment at a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit after he left Houston. Not so, Bartlett now concedes. ''I must have misspoke," Bartlett, who is now the White House communications director, said in a recent interview.

And early in his Guard service, on May 27, 1968, Bush signed a ''statement of understanding" pledging to achieve ''satisfactory participation" that included attendance at 24 days of annual weekend duty -- usually involving two weekend days each month -- and 15 days of annual active duty. ''I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation," the statement reads.

Yet Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, performed no service for one six-month period in 1972 and for another period of almost three months in 1973, the records show.

The reexamination of Bush's records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush's attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush's unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ''satisfactory" -- just four months after Bush's commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months.

posted by y2karl at 12:28 PM on September 8, 2004


But ... but ... but ... its just not fair to go examining Crusader BunnyPants' past.

You're forgetting W was "born again" and that "changed everything" and then 9/11 happened and that "changed everything." None of the drinking, coke snorting, desertion, woman chasing, Viktor Ashe fellating and misspent "youth" matters. And he was a damn fine cheerleader thank you! Phhhttt!

So just stop it you meanie-heads!!

Besides, all your heads are exploding just as soon as the weapons ban expires Monday and the Defenders of All Things Dubya and the Fighting 101st Keyboarders get their shiny new automatic weapons!
PP has warned all of you of the danger of revealing the war fallacies of Dubya and how it can cause your head to explode so just stop it! Stop it! Stop it! (or is that supposed to be shut up?)
posted by nofundy at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2004


From the Scotsman link:
But Peter Gethers, vice president of publisher Random House and Kelley’s editor, said lawyers went over the book “with a fine-toothed comb”.

“It was as extensive a legal read as a publisher could give.

“Some things didn’t make it, and we’re 100% confident of the things that made it in.

“We erred on the side of caution because we knew how hard she was going to be hit,” Mr Gethers said.

Mr Gethers confirmed the accuracy of a report in the Mail on Sunday, which said the book alleged past drug use by President Bush.

In the last campaign, Mr Bush repeatedly declined to comment on suggestions that he had taken drugs.
It has been a bit quieter on the War on Drugs front lately, hasn't it?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2004


More from the Boston Globe.

It's important because it illustrates Bush's true character, which the laminated cutout presented by the RNC does not.
posted by the fire you left me at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2004


do you know what i wonder? ... i wonder if anyone who's ever been in the service will dare run for president again

that's one hell of a note, isn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:59 PM on September 8, 2004


More from the Boston Globe.

I think there was a MetaTalk post about this....
posted by y2karl at 1:01 PM on September 8, 2004


So where were the rest of YOU then?


Man, this is beating a dead horse until it vibrates.

Meanwhile, would Kerry MIND running on his record? or is he ashamed of it?
posted by konolia at 1:07 PM on September 8, 2004


Meanwhile, would Kerry MIND running on his record?


As he was graduating from Yale, John Kerry volunteered to serve in Vietnam, because, as he later said, "it was the right thing to do." He believed that “to whom much is given, much is required.” And he felt he had an obligation to give something back to his country. John Kerry served two tours of duty. On his second tour, he volunteered to serve on a Swift Boat in the river deltas, one of the most dangerous assignments of the war. His leadership, courage, and sacrifice earned him a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.

But John Kerry's wartime experience taught him a painful lesson that he could not forget, even after he returned home. In the midst of battle, he had seen the lives of his fellow soldiers, his friends, put at risk because some leaders in Washington were making bad decisions. He decided he had a responsibility to his friends still serving, the friends he had lost, and his country, to help restore responsible leadership in America.

So he decided to become active as a Vietnam Veteran Against the War (VVAW). He became a spokesman for VVAW and later co-founded Vietnam Veterans of America. Only 27 years old, John Kerry sounded this call to reason in April 1971 when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and posed the powerful question, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Later, John Kerry accepted another tour of duty - to serve in America's communities. After graduating from Boston College Law School in 1976, John Kerry went to work as a top prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He took on organized crime and put behind bars "one of the state's most notorious gangsters, the number two organized crime figure in New England." He fought for victims' rights and created programs for rape counseling.

John Kerry was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1982. In that office, he organized the nation's Governors to combat the acid rain that was polluting lakes, rivers, and the nation's water supply. Two years later, he was elected to the United States Senate and he has won reelection three-times since. He is now serving his fourth term, after winning again in 2002.

John Kerry entered the Senate with a reputation as a man of conviction. He confirmed that reputation by taking bold decisions on important issues. He helped provide health insurance for millions of low-income children. He has fought to improve public education, protect our natural environment, and strengthen our economy. He has been praised as one of the leading environmentalists in the Senate, who stopped the Bush-Cheney plan to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

John Kerry has never forgotten the lessons he learned as a young man – lessons that have been strengthened in his 19 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has learned that America must work with other countries to achieve our goals and the world's common goals. From his ground-breaking work on the Iran-Contra scandal to his leadership on global AIDS, John Kerry has distinguished himself as one of our nation's most respected voices on national security and international affairs.

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, he worked closely with John McCain to learn the truth about American soldiers missing in Vietnam and to normalize relations with that country. As the ranking Democrat on the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, he is a leading expert on that region, including North Korea.

Years before September 11th, John Kerry wrote The New War, an in-depth study of America's national security in the 21st Century. He worked on a bipartisan basis to craft the American response to September 11th and has been a leading voice on American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terrorism, the Middle East peace process and Israel's security.
posted by the fire you left me at 1:13 PM on September 8, 2004


Man, this is beating a dead horse until it vibrates.

correct. and we intend to beat it until it's teeth vibrate out of its lying mouth and its weakly spasming carcass is frogmarched into ignomy.
posted by quonsar at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2004


So where were the rest of YOU then?

konolia: queen of the non-sequitor.

(BTW, if you must know, I was suckling at my mothers bosom.)
posted by jpoulos at 1:36 PM on September 8, 2004


Beats the hell out of being AWOL, addicted, born-again, and a business failure. A lifetime of conscientious, difficult and diligent service to America, now that's what you want in your President.

Don't you?
posted by zoogleplex at 1:37 PM on September 8, 2004


What's the history of this document? Is it new, or is this something that's been around the block a few times? 'Cause that motherfucker looks definitive! Time to pull this election campaign all the way down into the gutter and see how good Bush looks covered with the muck of his past...
posted by mr_roboto at 1:38 PM on September 8, 2004


Texans for Truth to launch anti-Bush ads.
posted by caddis at 1:40 PM on September 8, 2004


Meanwhile, would Kerry MIND running on his record? or is he ashamed of it?

Konolia, maybe you can tell us why Kerry, of all people in this sick character-assassination game, should be ashamed? Ashamed of what? Volunteering to serve his country? Earning medals of valor? Having the guts to later articulate what a horrible pointless war we waged in SE Asia? Exposing the clusterfuck of Iran-Contra? Winning the National Health Association's "Legislator of the Year Award" for expanding childcare methods? Winning the League of Conservation Voters Award for an exemplary environmental voting record?

Yeah, how shameful.
posted by dhoyt at 2:01 PM on September 8, 2004


I will hand it to the GOP, they managed to get us "liberals" to finally show our teeth. And now, as the Samurai used to say "by the time you see my weapon, it's too late."

Will it come down to the "Million Pitchfork Torchlight March" to drive home the point that, "yes, now we are angry liberals."?
posted by jackspace at 2:20 PM on September 8, 2004


his record

And there was BCCI.
posted by homunculus at 2:23 PM on September 8, 2004


Look, let's just settle this whole thing now and let W make up his time by re-enlisting.
posted by hoborg at 2:27 PM on September 8, 2004


This FPP would have been better as a comment in the OTHER thread.
posted by Witty at 2:32 PM on September 8, 2004


Some would even say Bush Knew what was in the works. But hey, I'm sure those redacted pages from the 9/11 Commission Report would clear all of this up. Then we could go back to worrying whether Bush was a cocaine smuggler using the skills he learned as a fighter pilot.
posted by jackspace at 2:39 PM on September 8, 2004


but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics

Once again, I think Postroad offers the significant point, and is ignored because, because, after all, its Postroad. Anything that will get the Bush apologists over their lock-jawed deathgrip on slander against Kerry is a mighty good thing. How 'bout issues, people? We can't talk issues while everybody's focused on a 30 year old war. If it takes dragging little Chimpy around by his nuts to get him to understand he picked a poor tactic for the fight, I'm all for it.

jackspace, I thank you. And konolia, I was watching my uncle get addicted to morphine while fighting a 3 year battle to save his legs from gangrene. Land mines in the jungle ... wicked shit, those.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:47 PM on September 8, 2004


Look, let's just settle this whole thing now and let W make up his time by re-enlisting.

That seems quite appropriate, seeing how many people in the National Guard have been sent to Iraq. Then Georgie-porgie could get a more upclose and personal view of the war than he got during that holiday photo-op with the plastic turkey.
posted by pmurray63 at 3:35 PM on September 8, 2004


Hit and Run seems to be the Bush family way.

Damn, and I was just getting ready to start in on Donald Rumsfeld and his innanities.
posted by jackspace at 3:40 PM on September 8, 2004


Meanwhile, would Kerry MIND running on his record? or is he ashamed of it?

In what way is Kerry not doing this? Especially when you compare him to Bush.
posted by weston at 4:33 PM on September 8, 2004


How 'bout issues, people? We can't talk issues while everybody's focused on a 30 year old war.

Then do it Wulfgar!
posted by Witty at 4:41 PM on September 8, 2004


Witty, since you obviously haven't been paying attention, I've been trying. But persons, not too disimilar from yourself, keep trying this freeking Vietnam derail. So let's put it to rest. Bush can't run on his record, so he wants us all to fear Kerry. If anything offers equal fear of (from) Bush, such that we can disuss record and policy, I'm all for it. Are you? If you're so concerned, Witty, by all means, lead by example.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:55 PM on September 8, 2004


Ahem, never mind, Witty. I see that you are leading by ... example.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:31 PM on September 8, 2004


Look dumbass... I didn't post those threads to the front page. If you want to talk about the issues, then take a stand against these repetitive BS threads, stop commenting in them and post a TOPIC or ISSUE to the blue. You keep barking about it, yet still contribute NOTHING... nothing to the blue, nothing to the crap threads that already exist.

Who keeps posting the "freeking Vietnam derail" to the blue? Not me. It's your posse... not mine. If you don't want it to take up any more time in this election than it already has, then stop endorsing it.
posted by Witty at 6:21 PM on September 8, 2004


Strategies, Dumbass. I don't post this shit to the front either ... and I don't have a posse. The fact is, I have a taken a stand, which you're too dim to understand.

As long as there are those dim bulbs (not at all disimilar to yourself) that take this Vietnam cred to town, the best defense is to get them focused on another topic, by scaring them with the truth of their own agendas. You, on the other hand would rather run around screaming about rules and poopy ... when its convenient. You confuse argument for endorsement ... when its convenient. You claim that others contribute nothing when my very first comment shows that Postroad (my posse?) contributed a great deal, strategically. You cower and whine about a principle when it suits you, but contribute nothing yourself except "{shits}". Congratulations, Witty, on another successful derail to a significant advancement of strategic ideals.

Since you seem too slow to grasp the concept, let me say it plainly ... and I'll use small words for your ignorant benefit:

The Swift Boat attacks have been effective (that would mean that they work, Witty.) The best way to get past this to actual ideals that should matter (that would be "mean something important", Witty) is to kill the swift boat attacks with all brutality that can be mustered (that would mean that we have to be mean about it, Witty). The best strategem (a plan, you know what that is, right, Witty?) would be to make those attacks more dangerous to the attackers than they are willing to stomach. (You see, Witty, some people are cowardly because they know that they are lying. You do understand that, right?) The attackers must be made afraid to take that line of attack (that would be called a "tactic", Witty. See you're learning already).

But there are those ignorant fools who will try their best to derail such a tactic. They will try to get everyone focused on something else ... like the "rules" for MetaFilter that float in their heads. That way, they can stop a tactic from working, because they excuse the Leader of the Free World by claiming that others who accuse him broke the rules of MetaFilter.

Are you following yet, Witty, or do I need to use smaller words?
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:28 PM on September 8, 2004


After all the post post's title is CRITICAL analysis. Not Kid Glove analysis. Like anyone here, if you are going to make a claim, then being able to discuss your reasoning behind that claim or opinion out in the open waters that are Metafilter, would at the very least make this a place of mindful discourse, as it often is. Just because I disagree with you and tell it to you (font) face, doesn't mean we're taking the dialogue down a notch. Except for entertainment value. ;)

Besides, I know people who are stuck fighting your war in Iraq that appreciate us keeping the heat on this administration so they can come home ASAP and get on with the rest of their lives.

Some of us take un-seating Bush very seriously. We see it as a way to bring our friends back from a war that has dragged-on too long, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Saddam can and should rot in jail. But that has very little to do with why we're there (doesn't it Paris?).

If it's any consolation, I was one of the people yelling 'wag the dog' during Kosovo-cum-All-Monica-All-The-Time (although we didn't lose any service members there thanks to one Wes Clark). Clinton should have just come out and told the truth, "yes, I am a swingin' American man, lookin' for swingin' American chicks!" Hell, then he would have been canonized by half the GOP.

We could turn this into an oh-so-peaceful place where everyone gets along and there is no further discussion on anything. Then it would be:

Metafilter,
the sound of one hand typing

posted by jackspace at 7:56 PM on September 8, 2004


Are we tired of this yet?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:14 PM on September 8, 2004


Smaller words for me, please!
posted by Kwantsar at 9:41 PM on September 8, 2004


"The Swift Boat attacks have been effective (that would mean that they work, Witty.) The best way to get past this to actual ideals that should matter (that would be "mean something important", Witty) is to kill the swift boat attacks with all brutality that can be mustered (that would mean that we have to be mean about it, Witty). The best strategem (a plan, you know what that is, right, Witty?) would be to make those attacks more dangerous to the attackers than they are willing to stomach. (You see, Witty, some people are cowardly because they know that they are lying. You do understand that, right?) The attackers must be made afraid to take that line of attack (that would be called a "tactic", Witty. See you're learning already)."

Hey, I like that idea. In fact, I think I have seen something like it before.

"The terrorist attacks have been effective ... The best way to get past this to actual ideals that should matter ( freedom, democracy, lack of children being murdered) is to kill the terrorists with all brutality that can be mustered (that would mean that we have to be mean about...). The best strategem (a plan, you know what that is, right?) would be to make those attacks more dangerous to the attackers than they are willing to stomach. (You see, some people are cowardly because they know that they are too weak to fight openly. You do understand that, right?) The attackers must be made afraid to take that line of attack (that would be called a "tactic"... See you're learning already)."

Yup. I like it. No someone go explain to Kerry why sometimes a forceful response to a outright violent attack and those who have openly declared themselves your enemy is a good tactic and sometimes talking, dithering and hoping they see reason won't work.

This is the Kerry problem for me. I don't really like Bush much. I would be happy as hell to vote for someone else... but I honestly don't see Kerry as being someone who really understands the problem and the issue. I don't think he sees this as a conflict of cold war scale - he sees it as a police problem fundamentally.

Kerry says the right things in some areas (I like the idea of Allies) but he seems to mean the wrong ones (appeasement, paying other nations off, kissing their ass while they blame the US and demand we grovel). I think his social policies are ok (stem cells, abortion, gay rights) and his fiscal policies suck ass (taxing the "rich" more and so on, the usual democrat stuff) but I can live with that.

In short, I just don't see any reason not to believe he is the same person who said: "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations." I have heard his current words, I have heard him back off on those sentiments but I just have a hard time believing the guy. And that's too bad, because he sounds like an intelligent man, someone with a decent grasp in many ways.

My misgivings aren't something handed me by the republicans - its a gut feeling formed from watching the man speak, reading his own words and getting learning all I can about him.

In short, Kerry worries me on all things foreign policy and Bush on many things domestic. I can use Congress and the Senate to contain Bush... they can't help me damage control Kerry. It's this sentiment in particular...

"Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations"

That points out where I simply disagree with Kerry's fundamental assessment of the situation, where we are and why and what needs to be done. Go to the UN? Fine. Go to the UN and begin to patch up some bad feelings? Sure. Go to the UN as a penitent and symbolically scourge ourselves? Hell no.
posted by soulhuntre at 10:11 PM on September 8, 2004


I love the delicious irony of Bush skipping out on his National Guard obligations and now signing stop-loss orders that prevent soldiers from leaving the military even after they have completed their contracted commitments. I would think some of them might consider the subject to be relevant to the current election.
posted by JackFlash at 10:58 PM on September 8, 2004


I want a posse too!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:13 AM on September 9, 2004



Yup. I like it. No someone go explain to Kerry why sometimes a forceful response to a outright violent attack and those who have openly declared themselves your enemy is a good tactic and sometimes talking, dithering and hoping they see reason won't work.


Iraq was the wrong country, stupid.

W stands for wrong.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:59 PM on September 9, 2004


soulhuntre, maybe you should focus more on his response:

That's one of those stupid things that a 27-year-old kid says when you're fresh back from Vietnam and angry about it.

A lot of my opinions have changed since I was 27 as well.
At least he had the balls to take a stand and make a commitment to serve the country (in the military and in politics) at that age. I think he has courage and character, and why for me several months ago it stopped being ABB and it started being yay JFK. I judge him worthy not just because he has more character than Bush, but rather I think he just might have more than me -- I don't think I could have done what he did in war or protesting it afterwards, even if I would have admired it from the sidelines. I think he's a great leader, and I want a great leader as a president. Frankly, I don't care if the UN thinks we're groveling when we come back, because we'll know we aren't. It just makes more sense to be a functioning part of the UN than to go things alone Custer style. Great leaders understand that getting help avoids "last stands", and it may be worth tolerating a little over-smugness from the French press.

I respect your worries, but I think you're underestimating the ability of Kerry to make the ballsy decisions. One thing his military record shows, he has it in his nature to be a hero. I don't have that. I was in the military, in the first Gulf War, was shot at, and while I didn't freak out I pretty much didn't do anything except run a dark and cynical commentary on the situation in my head. I wasn't a coward, but I also didn't see things clearly and know just the right things to do. Kerry apparently can do that. That's the kind of person I would like to have with me in war, and that's the kind of person I would like to lead the country. For me, the choice is clear. I want someone who loathes the idea of war (because it's the most loathesome thing I've ever seen firsthand), but can step up to difficult challenges (snipers, nasty congressmen) without faltering. This is leadership. And this is why this veteran supports Kerry.
posted by dness2 at 2:02 PM on September 9, 2004


[forgot to cue the patriotic music]
posted by dness2 at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2004


"The terrorist attacks have been effective ... The best way to get past this to actual ideals that should matter ( freedom, democracy, lack of children being murdered) is to kill the terrorists with all brutality that can be mustered (that would mean that we have to be mean about...). The best strategem (a plan, you know what that is, right?) would be to make those attacks more dangerous to the attackers than they are willing to stomach. (You see, some people are cowardly because they know that they are too weak to fight openly. You do understand that, right?) The attackers must be made afraid to take that line of attack (that would be called a "tactic"... See you're learning already)."

For the record, soulhuntre, I agree with this completely. Where you lose the thought is where you instantly jump to the conclusion that Kerry doesn't agree with this. I understand your fears about Kerry going to the UN and asking for help, (you put it much more derisively nationalistic and stilted than I would have), but I would argue that the best way to fight a complete (mean ass) war on terrorism is to have the most solidified world union against it. Two further questions: How can one favor Bush over Kerry, when Kerry is willing to act against terrorists, and Bush fabricates delusional terrorist ties, commiting men and money to Iraq for no reason that actually strikes against the enemy? And, how can Bush strike against terrorism when his campaign, his desires and his words are focused on undermining a man who agrees with him about striking against terrorism?

Even with your own misgivings, you admit that Kerry wants to fight against terrorism (whether you agree with how or not is beside this point). But it has been amply shown that Bush is more consumed with fighting ... Kerry. I think many in this nation need a priority adjustment.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:10 PM on September 9, 2004


Can you just draw a picture Wulfgar?
posted by Witty at 4:35 PM on September 9, 2004


A picture of what, Witty?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:44 PM on September 9, 2004


Then there is the whole presenile dementia thing:

I, too, felt that something organic was wrong with President Bush, most probably dyslexia. But I was unaware of what Fallows pointed out so clearly: that Bush's problems have been developing slowly, and that just a decade ago he was an articulate debater, "artful indeed in steering questions and challenges to his desired subjects," who "did not pause before forcing out big words, as he so often does now, or invent mangled new ones." Consider, in contrast, the present: "the informal Q&As he has tried to avoid," "Bush's recent faltering performances," "his unfortunate puzzled-chimp expression when trying to answer questions," "his stalling, defensive pose when put on the spot," "speaking more slowly and less gracefully."

Not being a professional medical researcher and clinician, Fallows cannot be faulted for not putting two and two together. But he was 100 percent correct in suggesting that Bush's problem cannot be "a learning disability, a reading problem, [or] dyslexia," because patients with those problems have always had them. Slowly developing cognitive deficits, as demonstrated so clearly by the President, can represent only one diagnosis, and that is "presenile dementia"! Presenile dementia is best described to nonmedical persons as a fairly typical Alzheimer's situation that develops significantly earlier in life, well before what is usually considered old age. It runs about the same course as typical senile dementias, such as classical Alzheimer's — to incapacitation and, eventually, death, as with President Ronald Reagan, but at a relatively earlier age. President Bush's "mangled" words are a demonstration of what physicians call "confabulation," and are almost specific to the diagnosis of a true dementia. Bush should immediately be given the advantage of a considered professional diagnosis, and started on drugs that offer the possibility of retarding the slow but inexorable course of the disease.

posted by y2karl at 4:54 PM on September 9, 2004


Wulfgar! - You're either dense or have purposefully missed my point. But I'll accept some responsibility for not making it more clear. I see your point, however, which is basically that you're a dick. But that's nothing new.
posted by Witty at 6:31 PM on September 9, 2004


An intellectually incapacitated President would be simply perfect for those who are actually running the show.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:44 PM on September 9, 2004


Er, witty, if you had any point at all, it was that Wulfgar should put up or shut up. Looks to me that he put up, and quite well at that.

Also looks to me that his well-voiced and salient points just slid right off your teflon devotion to the Republican cause, but that's probably moot.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:46 PM on September 9, 2004


An intellectually incapacitated President would be simply perfect for those who are actually running the show.

See also : the 1980's.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:32 PM on September 9, 2004


>>The best way to get past this to actual ideals that should matter (freedom, democracy, lack of children being murdered) is to kill the terrorists with all brutality that can be mustered...

>For the record, soulhuntre, I agree with this completely.

For the record, soulhuntre, I disagree with this completely. (Assuming as I do that your definition of 'the terrorists' extends beyond those who have actually committed acts of terror against civilians.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:35 PM on September 9, 2004


But I'll accept some responsibility for not making it more clear.

No Witty, I think you made your point crystal clear with the {shits} comment. And I'm supposed to be the dick here? Hardly. (all pun intended)

because they excuse the Leader of the Free World by claiming that others who accuse him broke the rules of MetaFilter.

Contemplate that, Grasshopper ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:16 PM on September 9, 2004


Yes... I will {shit} in every "Vietnam record" related thread from this day forward. If that is the point that you understand, then so be it. If you don't think it's a worthwhile election issue, then I look forward to you either avoiding the thread(s) or voicing your displeasure with their repeated offerings. So far, you've done neither.
posted by Witty at 1:03 AM on September 10, 2004


Quit behaving like a terrorist, Witty. It's unbecoming.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:14 AM on September 10, 2004


...but he is a super duper pooper.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:24 PM on September 10, 2004


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