Friday, July 22, 2005

"JunkYard BLOG" Dept.
(A Rerum Novarum Socio-Political Symphony in Fourteen Movements)

Your weblog host has the Pink Floyd song Echoes on the brain for some reason; ergo the subtitle of this post...


CBS News wins a 2005 Radio-Television News Directors Association award for "overall excellence."

Running fake memos to build a smear against the President, ignoring the testimony of your own hired experts who tell you that they can't verify the documents at the center of your story, standing oppby the word of a known liar and continuing to insist that the memos might be real--and wrapping all of that in a defense that even if they're fake, they're accurate--that's "overall excellence" now? Overall excrement, maybe, but not overall excellence.

If CBS News is an example of overall excellence, the phrase has now lost its meaning. [LINK]

These problems have been noted at this humble weblog and other affiliates on a few occasions in the past. Nonetheless, if the value of an award can be ascertained by those who receive it, than the so-called "ovarall excellence" award given to CBS is about as worthless as the Noble Peace Prize or the Oscar for "best documentary." But enough on that subject for now...


Curious. Led by this post to a Sullivan post (I don't just go to his site for a quick read anymore), I stumbled upon this strange passage:

ANOTHER LEAK: My main employer, the Sunday Times, scores another huge scoop with this leak on how British ministers were told in July 2002 that since an "illegal war" was already inevitable, it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal. I wish I were surprised. I distinctly remember telling my London editors that summer that of course the decision for war had already been made. Wasn't that obvious to everyone at the time? I guess not among the British public.

The "huge scoop" isn't the pile of excrement that Sullivan's blog has become, it's a reference to the Downing Street Memos. What I find strange is Sullivan's memory of July 2002. He says it was "obvious at the time" that the Bush administration had already made the decision for war with Iraq.

I don't remember events playing out that way, though. I remember blogging at length about why we needed to fight the war, and I remember it often seemed as though we amateur pundits were dragging the administration into the war. For its part, the administration seemed to vacillate between the Cheney-Rumsfeld big stick approach and the Powell approach, which was to take it all to the UN. It was obvious at the time that the Blair government wanted the UN to play a major role, the DSMs tell us why, and that's interesting. But it was not at all obvious back then that we were going to war, and debate over whether or not we should raged throughout the summer. Or at least that's how I remember it. This John Derbyshire column from May 2002 seems to back me up on that--he argued that we wouldn't go to war against Iraq, not in 2003, and not ever.

It may well have been obvious to Andrew Sullivan in July 2002 that we were on an inevitable course to war with Iraq, but if it was obvious to him his blog shows no evidence of that.

Aaah a variation of the factcheck: a beautiful feature of the blogosphere and other alternative media...

Here is his archive page. You can scroll down to the July 2002 section and click on the links for yourself (if you don't want to bother hunting for them, here are all of the July 2002 pages). See if you can find any evidence that Sullivan believed the decision for war had already been made, and that he thought it was obvious. If you find such evidence, email it to me and I'll post it.

I scanned all of his posts from July 2002 and couldn't find any evidence that he thought the decision had already been made. I found much cheerleading in support of the war, and much skepticism of the UN, and much bashing of the anti-war left. That was all back when Sullivan was readable, because he was right about the war. But I'd love to know if his editors at the Sunday Times remember the conversation that he remembers.

I bet they don't, because it never happened. At least, that's what the evidence on his blog indicates. There is no evidence there that he believed the decision had already been made to go to war, though he clearly wanted that decision made at the time.

Now, Sullivan is a war skeptic and is casting the entire enterprise in a negative light, playing up Gitmo terrorist tales and smearing administration officials he once praised. In true moonbat form, Sullivan seems to be airbrushing history, or at the very least re-remembering it so that it fits with his current attitudes. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for him, his blog archives are still online and he hasn't gotten around to re-remembering them yet. [LINK]

Andrew Sullivan is not the only one who has tried to run from his past on the war. But at the very least, it is to his credit that he has not sought to whitewash his archives to revise his past statements.{1} At least not yet.

Moving from a war flip flopper to the converse, there is this surprising entry which will be touched on rather briefly...


Just when I start to think no one's reading the JYB anymore, I find this. It's a long and detailed set of responses to a collection of posts written by your humble blogger. It could have been the mother of all fiskings if the Rerum author thinks I'm an idiot, since it takes on several posts at once. Evidently he doesn't think I'm an idiot, though. I'm a lucky man for that--he's thorough.

Essentially it is a reverse fisking Bryan...your overall thoroughness on these matters -not to mention having a significant convergence with Our views on so many socio-political issues- makes this kind of feature a very good way to hit briefly on a lot of subjects in passing. This became a semi-regular feature at Rerum Novarum since late 2002 after the present writer familiarized himself with your site and was amazed to see such a similarity in Our geo-political outlooks to yours. The variations of when these kinds of updates are run depend on a lot of factors including time, the number of posts covered as a result of time available, Our motivations to do them, etc.; all of which have variable elements to them.

That is not to say that We at Rerum Novarum are not occasionally critical of you but the latter has been the exception and not the rule.

Reading it when it's centered on your own posts is a bit like having someone pull out your spleen and hold it up to the light so you can see the blood vessels--but cool instead of nauseating. And a bit humbling here and there. Was the phrase "grandmaster of the obvious" aimed at me? Why yes, I think it was. Oh well. At least I've mastered something.


Anyhow, check it out if you want to see this blog sliced and diced and analyzed like a cadaver on CSI. [LINK]

You can consider this followup to be yet another trip to the "examination room" Bryan. Please turn your head and cough. ;-) Moving on from the sane to the anything-but-sane, there is this entry...


Just when you think Dick Durbin's colleagues can't one-up him, they do. Rep. John Conyers (D-Tehran) held a mock impeachment hearing yesterday. Not. Making. This. Up.

In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.

They pretended a small conference room was the Judiciary Committee hearing room, draping white linens over folding tables to make them look like witness tables and bringing in cardboard name tags and extra flags to make the whole thing look official.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) banged a large wooden gavel and got the other lawmakers to call him "Mr. Chairman." He liked that so much that he started calling himself "the chairman" and spouted other chairmanly phrases, such as "unanimous consent" and "without objection so ordered." The dress-up game looked realistic enough on C-SPAN, so two dozen more Democrats came downstairs to play along.

I used to think dressing up as a jedi would be cool, but I outgrew the idea by the time I was 9. Some Democrats could use a little growing up. Others could use a brain:

The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so "the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world." He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq's threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his "candid answer."

"Candid answer." Why does the name Moran associate itself with anti-Semitism in my memory? Oh yeah, Moran is fond of "candor" when it comes to Israel:

Here's what Moran originally said at an antiwar forum in Reston, Virginia: "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."

Back to the Democrats playing seditious dress-up:

At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks.

The event organizer,, distributed stickers saying "Bush lied/100,000 people died." One man's T-shirt proclaimed, "Whether you like Bush or not, he's still an incompetent liar," while a large poster of Uncle Sam announced: "Got kids? I want yours for cannon fodder."

Conyers's firm hand on the gavel could not prevent something of a free-for-all; at one point, a former State Department worker rose from the audience to propose criminal charges against Bush officials. Early in the hearing, somebody accidentally turned off the lights; later, a witness knocked down a flag. Matters were even worse at Democratic headquarters, where the C-SPAN feed ended after just an hour, causing the activists to groan and one to shout "Conspiracy!"

Oh yes, that evil BushHitlerSmirkyMcChimpOilyDraftDodger even owns the cable guy. There is no refuge. Kneel to the Toxic Texan or face his wrath, or as Cowboy Troy would say, "Gitchoosummodat!"

Rep. Conyers, the flake who organized this charade, isn't even believable when he's not acting. When he's playacting as a chairman of anything other than a stall in the House men's room, well, this moonbattery has officially reached the level of farce. We're looking at the death throes of socialism in America, and it's not pretty. Funny in a tragic sorta way, but not pretty.

(via The Corner)

(linked at OTB's Traffic Jam)

C.W. Socarides, call your office!!!

MORE: The wingnuts at were behind The Democrat Party Extreme Makeover: Sedition Edition. And they're proud of it, according to a letter they sent me just today:

This outta be good...

Dear Mister,
On Thursday, we made history.

All of our determination and hard work paid off as John Conyers and thirty-five House Democrats heard unbelievably powerful testimony about the Downing Street Minutes from Joseph Wilson, Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, and John Bonifaz. (You can read full coverage at our coalition site,


Throughout the riveting three-hour hearing, one question hung over the room: Could it be true, as the Minutes state so plainly, that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"?

More like the facts were being selectively chosen to fit a perceived agenda in advance.

The evidence led to one inescapable conclusion: Yes.

We are once again reminded of a statement from the psychatrist C.W. Socarides who once said a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. The part about intelligence aside (and replacing it with the term "activism" in the case of these deluded people), that quote fits like a glove...

Cindy Sheehan lost her son Casey in combat in Iraq on April 4, 2004. "I believed before our leaders invaded Iraq in March, 2003, and I am even more convinced now that this aggression on Iraq was based on a lie of historic proportions," she said.

These noxious prevarications have been dealt with before by your humble servant on several occasions -including HERE. If more is needed on this subject, see the threads located HERE, HERE, and HERE.

As Rep. Charles Rangel put it, "Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the president has deliberately misled Congress to make the most important decision a president has to make, going to war."

See our previous comments.

Rangel, whose long career includes the impeachments of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, said Bush's deception might rise to the level of an impeachable offense. And he was not alone.

Moonbats seldom are. Again, see our previous comments.

John Bonifaz* offered powerful testimony on the need to adopt a Resolution of Inquiry to force Congress to investigate whether Bush committed impeachable crimes. Judging by the statements by several passionate Members at today's hearing, such a Resolution is certain to be introduced.

See our previous comments.

We need as many members as possible to support this Resolution. So if you have not yet urged your Representative to support the Bonifaz Resolution of Inquiry, please do so now.

If this was not so sad, it would be laughable.

After the hearings, Rep. Conyers and six other Representatives went to the White House to deliver a letter demanding answers to questions raised by the Minutes. The letter was signed by 122 Representatives and 560,000 Americans - including tens of thousands of members. The White House tried to ignore Conyers, but he would not relent. It was an inspiring sight to see!

Only for closet marxists to whom agitation and anarchy are key parts of their messianic delusions. If the readers are detecting a bit of schadenfreude in the words of their host...well...they would be right admittedly.

At the end of the day we were exhausted, but also exhilarated by how much we have accomplished in just a few short weeks, amidst a near-complete media blackout on this historic story.

These clowns have accomplished NOTHING. But then again, symbolism over substance is the stock in trade of people like them so may they go on believing...and imbibing their koolaid.

Now the hard work begins - because there will be no investigation unless a majority of Representatives vote for the Resolution of Inquiry. So we must persuade every Democrat and at least 16 Republicans to investigate the lies that led us to Iraq. We have new hope because 5 disillusioned Republicans broke ranks to support an Iraq withdrawal amendment sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey.

This whole "military withdrawal" subject was dealt with HERE. We at Rerum Novarum are wondering when people like these kinds of clowns will face up to the consequences of their rash proposals.

As you know, does not shy away from hard work. We believe George Bush committed numerous impeachable crimes, and we are determined to build a grassroots movement that is powerful enough to force Congress to impeach him.

The present writer (as a former Republican) has been very critical of President Bush. He has been a mixed bag as president but there is nothing he has done which qualifies as an impeachable offense. Compared to the Evil Party's beloved Bubba who had two scandals which were seditious and one which was true treason, their silence back then makes them a discredited joke now.

With your help and support, we will succeed.

Like the Libertarians "succeed" every election year in growing their party as an electoral force???

Thank you for everything you do.

Bob Fertik, President

Fisking idiots like you and your ilk does not take any effort Mr. Fertick. But you are welcome. We quite enjoy torpedoing pathetic "causes" such as yours.

It's rude to just call someone "Mister" and then assume he believes in all the same nutty conspiracy theories you do. And it's even more rude to hold mock trials against the President in the middle of a war. But I hope you keep on keeping on. Morons. [LINK]

Well said Bryan.

Moving from moonbats to political whores, there is the following...


Via Powerline, we learn that even Amnesty International knows--and knew all along--that Gitmo isn't "the gulag of our time."

Several days ago I received a telephone call from an old friend who is a longtime Amnesty International staffer. He asked me whether I, as a former Soviet "prisoner of conscience" adopted by Amnesty, would support the statement by Amnesty's executive director, Irene Khan, that the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is the "gulag of our time."

"Don't you think that there's an enormous difference?" I asked him.

"Sure," he said, "but after all, it attracts attention to the problem of Guantanamo detainees."

This sort of approach is typical of moonbats who will say anything (however erroneous) to try and make a point. And they wonder why people like Bryan and your host tune them out so readily. The long and short of it is this: when you prevaricate, you lose credibility. And henceforth, any remnant of credibility that reasonable people may have had for Amnesty International is flushed down the toilet. With that in mind, let Us consider the rest of this offering...

Well, liberals, what do you have to say to that? The above is the word of Pavel Litvinov, a man who spent time in the USSR's Siberian gulag. He sees the difference between Gitmo and the gulag. So did Amnesty--from the very start.

Pair that up with the word of Bill Schulz, President of Amnesty International USA:

WALLACE: Now, Secretary Rumsfeld did, we believe, approve putting prisoners in stress positions for prolonged periods of time, stripping them naked and even using dogs to frighten them.

Mr. Schulz, do you have any evidence whatsoever that he ever approved beating of prisoners, ever approved starving of prisoners, the kinds of things we normally think of as torture?

SCHULZ: It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea...

Having no idea what was going on or not going on at Gitmo didn't stop Schulz from calling for the arrest and political trial of US leaders when they step on foreign soil. From his May 25 speech:

Amnesty International’s list of those who may be considered high-level torture architects includes Donald Rumsfeld, who approved a December 2002 memorandum that permitted such unlawful interrogation techniques as stress positions, prolonged isolation, stripping, and the use of dogs at Guantanamo Bay; William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel who wrote that memo, and Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, who is cited in the memo as concurring with its recommendations. Our list includes Major General Geoffrey Miller, Commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, whose subordinates used some of the approved torture techniques and who was sent to Iraq where he recommended that prison guards “soften up” detainees for interrogations; former CIA Director George Tenet, whose agency kept so-called “ghost detainees” off registration logs and hidden during visits by the Red Cross and whose operatives reportedly used such techniques as water-boarding, feigning suffocation, stress positions, and incommunicado detention.

And it includes Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who called the Geneva Conventions “quaint” and “obsolete” in a January 2002 memo and who requested the memos that fueled the atrocities at Abu Ghraib; Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former Commander of US Forces in Iraq, and Sanchez’ deputy, Major General Walter Wojdakowsi, who failed to ensure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib, according to the military’s Fay-Jones report, and Captain Carolyn Wood, who oversaw interrogation operations at Bagram Air Base and who permitted the use of dogs, stress positions and sensory deprivation.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of those who deserve investigation, we would be remiss if we ignored President George W. Bush’s role in the scandal. After all, his Administration has repeatedly justified its detention and interrogation policies as legitimate under the President’s powers as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And President Bush signed a February 2002 memo stating that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Taliban or al Qaeda detainees and that their humane treatment should be contingent on “military necessity.” This set the stage for the tragic abuses of detainees.

Remember gentle readers, the above statements need to be considered in light of what this writer has already said about Amnesty International in this very post...

That passage is dishonest from first to last, but it's important because it sets out Amnesty's strategy. They wanted American leaders turned into political prisoners in foreign countries. And by his own admission Schutz had no evidence against any of our leaders. By the admission of the Amnesty staffer discussing the "gulag" matter with Mr. Litvinov, Amnesty understood that it was lying but believed the publicity was worth it. And in his May 25 speech that followed the absurd "gulag" charge, Schulz, quoted above, backed up the lies and called for the decapitation of our government in the middle of a war, using the lies to justify it. By any reasonable standard at all, that is treason.

Can you say sedition Bryan???

The time for tolerating Amnesty's brand of "dissent" has long passed. The time for tolerating such publicity stunts is long passed. Amnesty had a strategy and a goal. They wanted Gitmo shut down, the terrorists detained there freed, and our elected and duly appointed leaders arrested on foreign soil. That last bit would have sparked a war with any nation foolish enough to arrest our leaders and probably a constitutional crisis here in the US. The outcome of all of that is unfathomably damaging to the US, to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere, and possibly to the entire world when you consider the economic ramifications of a constitutional crisis in the world's trade engine.

Well, the kinds of people being dealt with here have a history of not taking responsibility for the results of the positions they advocate so that should not surprise you.

William Schulz should stand trial for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Amnesty International's assets should be frozen, as they are no different from the dozens of other "charities" like Benevolence International that have openly sided with terrorists. Amnesty's global leadership should be considered hostile to the United States, and should be arrested should they ever set foot on American soil. This should remain in force for as long as they live.

Amnesty International delenda est. [LINK]

Indeed. Moving on...


We need a new FBI. The one we have is broken, and apparently uninterested in winning the war.

WASHINGTON - In sworn testimony that contrasts with their promises to the public, the FBI managers who crafted the post-Sept. 11 fight against terrorism say expertise about the Mideast or terrorism was not important in choosing the agents they promoted to top jobs.

As some of the threads left to cover are somewhat long, they will be abridged in being covered where warranted with the readers encouraged to read them in their entirety at Bryan's weblog. Here is another excerpt from the above posting:

Last fall, someone forged documents to smear President Bush, and then passed those documents off to the credulous hacks at CBS. The credulous hacks aired the documents as though they were real, and only a crew of intrepid bloggers and internet sleuths stopped that story from potentially turning the election against Mr. Bush.

Who forged those documents? We still don't know, because the FBI doesn't care about investigating the matter and never did. And now, we have some reason to believe that yet another smear in the press based on another set of memos may be the work of forgers.

The eight memos — all labeled "secret" or "confidential" — were first obtained by British reporter Michael Smith, who has written about them in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times.

Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals.

The AP obtained copies of six of the memos (the other two have circulated widely). A senior British official who reviewed the copies said their content appeared authentic. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secret nature of the material.

The Downing Street Memos may turn out to be real, but the press has not earned a cache of credibility upon which we should reasonably base any faith. The fact is, the press has lied and lied and lied about this war from the very beginning. And now we may have two instances, one in the Killian memos case and another in the Downing Street Memos, when the press may be running wild with fake documents.

In light of the media's trackrecord on these matters, pardon those of Us who are skeptical of anything they say.{2} Furthermore, as Bryan is undoubtedly aware, these sorts of things have a long pedigree in the MSM; ergo, those who look to them for what is true need to learn proper discernment.

Granted, it is only a hunch, but this writer senses that someone over in Brittania got their hands on a copy of Microsoft Forger software...

If it turns out that the DSMs are as fake as the Killian memos, what we may have before us is a hostile force or state running an intelligence scam against us. That force or state would be in the business of manufacturing false information designed for one purpose--to destroy America's ability to defend itself by creating fissures of doubt in what's left of our war morale. First, by casting the President as a danger-dodging clown, second, by casting him as a warmonger hellbent on invading Iraq no matter what stood in his way, this scam's outlines take on a sinister tone. That last, by the way, has the convenience of playing right into the most paranoid leftist fears voiced about him since September 11, 2001, when many in that camp immediately assumed that he had either allowed the attacks to happen or had orchestrated them in order to grab power. If proven true, something the memos themselves don't even do if one reads their text honestly, this information or disinformation could lead to the impeachment of the president and the resignations of many of his senior officers. It is, along the lines of what Amnesty International and former VP Al Gore have called for, the decapitation of our government in the midst of war by nonviolent means. And if that doesn't work, well...[Continued...]

It would not surprise Us if the FBI was yet another of the masks under which marxist subversives like to hide. America either need a new FBI or another J. Edgar Hoover to oversee an overhaul of the present FBI (if that is possible). Moving on...


This brilliant column by Victor Davis Hanson should be mandatory reading for anyone who has been brainwashed by the MSM and Hollywood, or for anyone who may know someone who has recently fallen in love with a certain box-office superstar (Michael Moore of course, who else?) and bought into his Fahrenheitology belief system.


As September 11 faded in our collective memory, Muslim extremists were insidiously but systematically reinvented in our elite presentations as near underprivileged victims, and themselves often adept critics of purported rapacious Western consumerism, oil profiteering, heavy-handed militarism, and spiritual desolation.

Extremists who would otherwise be properly seen in the fascistic mold were instead given a weird pass for their quite public and abhorrent hatred of non-believers and homosexuals, and their Neanderthal views of women. Beheadings, the murder of Christians, suicide bombings carried out by children, systematic torture — all this and more paled in comparison to hot and cold temperatures in American jails on Cuba. Suddenly despite our enemies' long record of murder and carnage, we were in a war not with fascism of the old stamp, but with those who were historical victims of the United States. Thus problems arose of marshalling American public opinion against the supposedly weaker that posited legitimate grievances against Western hegemons. It was no surprise that Sen. Durbin's infantile rantings would be showcased on al-Jazeera.

When Western liberals today talk of a mythical period in the days after 9/11 of "unity" and "European solidarity" what they really remember is a Golden Age of Victimhood, or about four weeks before the strikes against the Taliban commenced. Then for a precious moment at last the United States was a real victim, apparently weak and vulnerable, and suffering cosmic justice from a suddenly empowered other. Oh, to return to the days before Iraq and Afghanistan, when we were hurt, introspective, and pitied, and had not yet "lashed out."

And now we have the new temple of understanding for the cult of Fahrenheitology being designed and built at Ground Zero under the innocuous name "International Freedom Center." If you wonder how the concept of freedom will be defined by the assigned programmers from the Aspen Institute, just think "freedom from rational thought" and you'll begin to understand. [LINK]

Evil never sleeps unfortunately. For that reason, vigilence is always required. Moving from evil to seditionist, we have the following...


Never, ever question the patriotism of leftists. Just don't do it. It's not nice. And besides, their patriotism is beyond dispute.

Take Daniel Lazare, for instance. He's a bona fide lefty, writes for The Nation, gets invited to all the good leftist cocktail parties away from flyover country. And he's a rock-solid America booster, too:

Michael Medved: Daniel Lazare, would you like to see the elections scheduled for January 30 in Iraq fail?

Daniel Lazare: I'm totally opposed to what the U.S. is doing in Iraq. Therefore, I would no more support U.S. elections than I would support German elections in France during World War II.

Michael Medved: So you're sticking with this comparison of the United States to Nazi Germany?

David Horowitz: He is, because he believes it in his soul.

Daniel Lazare: I believe it. I believe it entirely.


Ok, so America=Nazi Germany and Lazare thinks anything we do should fail. But don't question his patriotism.

Michael Medved: Do you, Daniel Lazare, do you back Michael Moore's statement [the one about how the insurgents aren't the enemy, they're the Minutemen, and they'll win--which means America will lose]?

Daniel Lazare: I don't know. I never heard Michael Moore's statement. I’m not going to take David's word on what Michael Moore said. I'm sure it's being taken out of context. [Actually, the quote was on his website. The citation can be found in Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left – DH]

But in any case if you want to talk about sophistry, this whole phony game of drawing parallels is sophistry. I can draw parallels between George Bush and bin Laden, as well. They were, after all, on the same side in the '80s in Afghanistan. They're both religious zealots, for example. They both believe in fighting Communism. So, therefore, using David's logic, I could somehow join a quotation.

This kind of argument is seriously flawed in more than one way.{3} But then again, marxists like Daniel Lazare not only trapped in a prison of solipsistic "thinking" but they also have no sense of responsibility for the actual results of the policies they advocate because the facts themselves do not matter to them. All that matters to them is their intentions. But enough on that point for now...

Michael Medved: But wait. There's a difference Daniel Lazare, with all due respect, there is a difference here. Let me cite for you something that happened recently since David's book, Unholy Alliance, came out, which is that in Chile when President Bush visited Santiago, the demonstrators there demonstrated with hammer and sickle signs and headbands, and someone was holding a very large sign that said, "Hang on, Fallujah." Now, do you think that – do you feel some sympathy for the so-called insurgents in Fallujah?

Daniel Lazare: Oh, absolutely yes, total sympathy, total solidarity.

Michael Medved: You do?

David Horowitz: So who's the sophist here?

Daniel Lazare: Of course, absolutely. The insurgents in Fallujah are repelling a foreign invasion. They have every right to do it. Now, I’m not going to support every last action by every last fighter there, obviously, but certainly they have a right to repel a foreign invasion of their country.

Pardon Us for getting weary from all the errors of fact in Mr. Lazere's statements...

It's probably worth pointing out, not so much to Mr. Lazare but to others, that many of those who occupied Fallujah before the US Marines stormed it weren't Iraqi at all. They were Syrian and Iranian, augmenting the Saddamite bitter ender forces. Therefore, they weren't resisting any foreign invasion at all--they were part of a foreign invasion in the name of jihad. Lazare is therefore either uninformed or deliberately lying to spin his twisted, leftist view into some semblance of something a rational but less informed person might support. I go with the latter.

But don't question his patriotism.

(via Power Line) [LINK]

Well, Powerline got if from Frontpage Mag to really get technical about it. Nonetheless, the latter is a very minor criticism of an otherwise quite on-target commentary.


The above interview is very interesting and worth a read if you have the time. Moving from "South Park Republicans" to eminent domain, there is the following installment of this thread...


There was a pro-property rights (anti-Kelo) rally in New London, CT Tuesday, and MuD & PHuD was there.

There can scarcely be a more important item before us as we consider replacing Sandra Day O'Connor than what the court has done to the concept of property ownership. The Kelo decision makes kings and queens of city council members and county commissioners. These petty kings and queens will soon become petty tyrants stealing from the average and the poor to give to the rich and the richer if we don't stop them. [LINK]

As was noted on this very weblog toward the end of June, the eminent domain issue has your host so livid that writing anything on it that would not look like a leftist screed in tonality is not possible at the present time. Hopefully, that will change soon but as it sits now, things are as they were back at that time. But enough on that for now and onto the subject of foreign aid...


What Africa does not need is a bunch of preening rock stars mouthing platitudes and giving the rest of the world the finger. What Africa needs is real liberty. So says Kenyan economist James Shikwati...[Continued...]

Interestingly enough, Alex Singleton over at Samizdata had a piece from Moeletsi Mbeki (the brother of South Africa's president) saying essentially the same thing. Both articles are worth your time and attention if you are genuinely concerned about the plight of the poor in Africa. Besides those points, there are other factors that Americans not interested in making a mockery of the Constitution need to take into account:

The above link was sent to me today with an encouragement to sign their declaration. To understand my position in context, consider what the above campaign says about its intentions:

The ONE Campaign seeks to give Americans a voice, to ring church bells and cell phones, on campuses and in coffee shops, for an historic pact to fight the global AIDS emergency and end extreme poverty. We believe that allocating an additional ONE percent of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food, would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation of the poorest countries.

Now the end whereby this campaign is aimed is very laudable indeed. The problem is the means and as one who does not believe the end justifies the means, I cannot support such a campaign with those intentions. Those who want to give of their own monies to this campaign, by all means give what you will and may God bless you and those who receive what you give for it. But this idea of allocating the US budget for foreign causes (however laudable) cannot be supported by the present writer.

For foreign aid is unconstitutional much as over seventy-five percent of the US budget is. And while a greater argument could be made for this kind of allocation of monies (if any were to be allocated) than for much of the unconstitutional expenditures; nonetheless, one cannot accept a violation of principles simply because it is convenient. And I have gone on record many time abhorring the concept of the legislature spending money for purposes to which they have no constitutional grounds doing. And foreign aid is one of them much as disaster relief is. It is not the congress' money to be giving out!!!

Now those who want to give of their own volition have every right to do so and such giving should be encouraged. Again, the issue here is not the end of the One Campaign but instead its proposed means. The end cannot justify the means as I noted above. And that is the bottom line really...[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 2, 2005)]

Having clarified that matter, let Us move onto an aging warhorse of the left and a surprising admission of fault by her recently...


This is a surprise:

CROW EATEN HERE: This is a horror. In a column written June 28, I asserted that more Iraqis (civilians) had now been killed in this war than had been killed by Saddam Hussein over his 24-year rule. WRONG. Really, really wrong.

Stop the presses!!!

The only problem is figuring out by how large a factor I was wrong. I had been keeping an eye on civilian deaths in Iraq for a couple of months, waiting for the most conservative estimates to creep over 20,000, which I had fixed in my mind as the number of Iraqi civilians Saddam had killed.

Notice gentle readers the way people of Molly Ivins' weltanschauung approach subjects such as the war in Iraq: actually eyeballing civilian deaths like a vulture eying an animal in the desert hoping it weakens and expires so that the vulture can pounce. This is par for the course for those who view the world through the kinds of lenses that Ivins' does.

Can you imagine a contemporary of WW II saying something akin to the following:

I had been keeping an eye on civilian deaths in Germany for a couple of months, waiting for the most conservative estimates to creep over X, which I had fixed in my mind as the number of German civilians Adolph had killed.

Or how about this:

I had been keeping an eye on civilian deaths in Japan for a couple of months, waiting for the most conservative estimates to creep over X, which I had fixed in my mind as the number of Soviet civilians Hideki had killed.

Furthermore, can you imagine such a person saying these things with the idea of rubbing the faces of America and the other Allied nations in it during a time of war??? There is a reason why historically those who acted in seditious ways were (upon conviction) often executed. That is not to say that Ivins should be executed of course; however, the gravity of the offenses that her and her pro-Al Quaida allies commit certainly merit at least imprisonment for a very long time.

The high-end estimate of Iraqi civilian deaths in this war is 100,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University study published in the British medical journal The Lancet last October, but I was sticking to the low-end, most conservative estimates because I didn't want to be accused of exaggeration.

The above statement cannot be allowed to pass without noting the significant problems with arguing in this fashion from questionable statistics. A person who argues in this fashion is setting themselves up to be easily confuted. But lest there be misunderstanding with that statement, kindly allow Us to explain briefly.

Essentially, if (i) someone uses ridiculously inflated statistics to build their arguments on and (ii) you detonate the validity of their statistics,{4} then (iii) you have falsified the very foundation of their argument and by logical extension (iv) said argument stands discredited with nothing more needing to be said about it.{5} Molly Ivins explains in the rest of this citation the fallout from her usage of statistics to try and argue in this fashion so let Us give her the floor again...

Ha! I could hardly have been more wrong, no matter how you count Saddam's killing of civilians.

The admission of fault on her part is commendable.

According to Human Rights Watch, Hussein killed several hundred thousand of his fellow citizens. The massacre of the Kurdish Barzani tribe in 1983 killed at least 8,000; the infamous gas attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja killed 5,000 in 1988; and seized documents from Iraqi security organizations show 182,000 were murdered during the Anfal ethnic cleansing campaign against Kurds, also in 1988.

In 1991, following the first Gulf War, both the Kurds and the Shiites rebelled. The allied forces did not intervene, and Saddam brutally suppressed both uprisings and drained the southern marshes that had been home to a local population for more than 5,000 years.

Saddam's regime left 271 mass graves, with more still being discovered. That figure alone was the source for my original mistaken estimate of 20,000. Saddam's widespread use of systematic torture, including rape, has been verified by the U.N. Committee on Human Rights and other human rights groups over the years.

There are wildly varying estimates of the number of civilians, especially babies and young children, who died as a result of the sanctions that followed the Gulf War.

Imagine that: civilians including babies and young children dying as a result of the sanctions. The very same sanctions that various so-called "peacemakers" most vehemently opposed to the war wanted to see continued!!!

While it is true that the ill-advised sanctions were put in place by the United Nations, I do not see that that lessens Hussein's moral culpability, whatever blame attaches to the sanctions themselves -- particularly since Saddam promptly corrupted the Oil for Food Program put in place to mitigate the effects of the sanctions, and used the proceeds to build more palaces, etc.

Continue to argue in this fashion Molly since it was people such as you who were advocates of handling tyrants like Saddam Hussein through the UN to begin with...

There have been estimates as high as 1 million civilians killed by Saddam, though most agree on the 300,000 to 400,000 range, making my comparison to 20,000 civilian dead in this war pathetically wrong.


I was certainly under no illusions regarding Saddam Hussein, whom I have opposed through human rights work for decades.

All of which achieved zilch by the way. However, Saddam was removed by the military forces over there under the command of President George W. Bush whom Molly Ivins and her cronies like to paint as an arch-villian. It must not sit well with people such as Molly Ivins that President Bush achieved more in two years in dispatching with Saddam than the decades of stuff promoted by people like her, groups like Amnesty International, etc.

My sincere apologies. It is unforgivable of me not have checked. I am so sorry.

The question is, will you be more careful in future statements you make on these issues Ms. Ivins??? Or will you soon forget about this misstep and go back to your vulture-like ways??? For what it is worth, We at Rerum Novarum accept your apology but are left wondering if you will learn from this situation or not.

I'm going to agree with Ivins that it is unforgivable for her to have written on June 28th "I think we have alienated our allies and have killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein ever did." You write nonsensical smears like that when you let partisanship blind you to reality, and that kind of blindness is what Ivins' entire career has been built on. But at least Ivins did eventually let the facts get in her way in this case, and at least that resulted in a stand-up apology. And it's simply astounding that in the course of apologizing she mentioned Saddam's corrupting Oil-For-Food as a bad thing--leftists like Ivins have been avoiding that truth for a long time now. The OFF corruption is one major key to understanding what war was not only the answer to Saddam, it was probably the only answer to Saddam. Maybe there's hope for Ol' Molly yet.

Let Us hope so...

But what is even more unforgivable than Ivins writing her original piece is that editors around the country let it run in their newspapers and on their websites without a quibble. And they haven't apologized. And they never will.

True enough.

(ref. Indepundit) [LINK]

Essentially the problem with people such as Molly Ivins was outlined on this weblog last year in the following words:

The major media is a lot like America's bluebloods: too much interbreeding is the problem. The lessons of nature include the phenomenon of physical interbreeding within too close of familial ties creating a weaker organism. If this is carried too far, then the offspring are literally incapable of reproduction. The same is the case with intellectual cultivation.

Conservative-minded people do not have a choice in that much of what they interact with is liberal nonsense; thus they are used to having their views challenged -even if this is usually not by much. (And of course conservatives usually have at least a few liberal friends.) By contrast, liberal-minded people frequently do not hang out with anyone except those who think as they do. They therefore do not receive the intellectual depth of cultivation that comes with interaction with other viewpoints. As a result of this kind of "intellectual inbreeding", it creates a weaker organism cerebrally and a marked propensity towards a worldview that is steeped in solipsism.[...] But I digress. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa September 16, 2004)]

But enough on that subject and onto the subject of weblogs and war memory...


Without blogs, there would be no collective memory from which to make sense of complicated stories such as Plame-gate. Of course, with blogs comes another set complications. There's a downside to everything.

First up, in my Black Ops post I alluded to the Martino documents--the forgeries regarding Iraq-Niger uranium dealings--and the IAEA's odd and dubious role on outing the fraud. Let's wayback to Robert Musil to glean a bit more about that. In September 2004 Musil linked to this post about that, among other things:

It wasn't until February, several days after the State of the Union, that the CIA finally obtained the Italian documents (from the State Department, whose warnings that the intelligence on Niger was "highly dubious" seem to have gone unheeded by the White House and unread by Bush). At the same time, the State Department turned over the Italian documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which had been pressing the United States to back up its claims about Iraq's nuclear program. "Within two hours they figured out they were forgeries," one IAEA official told NEWSWEEK. How did they do it? "Google," said the official. The IAEA ran the name of the Niger foreign minister through the Internet search engine and discovered that he was not in office at the time the document was signed.

We have a blind-sourced IAEA official describing how easy it was for them to prove the documents were frauds, another case of anonymous sourcing concealing more than the story wishes to tell, perhaps? And again, why is Google the go-to tool for international nuclear weapons concerns? Is this how Mohammed El-Baradei conducts research on Iran's nuclear programs? This tactic just seems odd on its face. An emailer to Musil agrees, and posits an explanation:

It seems to me that this would make for the sort of elegant mind-f*cking clandestine operation that would appeal to the French: first, effect an illegal transfer of uranium from Niger to Iraq (in exchange for oil or weapons contracts, of course), then put some blatantly false documents into the pipeline that - on the surface - seem to document such a transfer, but which - when the forgery is finally discovered - actually completely discredit the vary notion such a thing. Very neat, very elegant.

Well. We know Chirac had a long-standing relationship with Saddam that included selling Iraq the nuclear reactor technology that made up the Osirak facility that the Israelis eventually destroyed. The French government fought like badgers to keep the US from invading Iraq, and we now know that several French officials were involved in Oil-For-Food corruption. None of this proves the forgeries were products of French intel, but do at least give us something to think about. As Musil mused last year:

Has French intelligence really reached the point of not being able to determine when the Niger foreign minister took office? Does one even think that a group of Iraqi exiles, for another hypothetical example that has been tossed around, might make such an easily-verified "mistake?" - even such a group sufficiently sophisticated to pull off the rest of this scam? After all, couldn't whoever forged the documents have accessed Google as Newsweek asserts the IAEA claims it did? For that matter, how reliable is the material on that subject obtained from Google likely to be? Reliable enough so that the IAEA would depend on it in a case like this? Does the IAEA have absolute faith that the date on a Niger government document does not include a typographical error?

The case for the forgeries having been outfitted with a poison pill to discredit US intel seems almost irresistible. But I'll resist, for now. We are talking about the same US intel agencies that, thanks in large part to Jamie Gorelick's Wall of Silence, missed all the signals leading up to 9-11. There's definitely room for performance improvement on our side of the pond.

Turning to another aspect of the war within the war within the US government, Lead & Gold reminds us that once in a while Sy Hersch actually writes something noteworthy. The subject was Abu Ghraib--to the anti-war left, the Holy Grail--and Hersch's work went in a strange direction (Hersch's revelation is italicized):

We will put the words Bryan italicized into bold font...

Hersh quotes, by name, Kenneth deGraffenreid who was a former Navy aviator who worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency and on Reagan's National Security Council where he worked on intelligence matters. By the conventions of investigative reporting, deGraffenreid could also be Hersh's "former high-level intelligence official", "government consultant", and "Pentagon consultant". For all we know, two people provided all of Hersh's telling quotes (in the Abu Ghraib reporting).

The revelation is the aggressive actions by military lawyers to undermine the war on terror (not just black ops in Iraq). Hersh admits that the some of the impetus behind Rumsfeld's decision to use special operations began in Afghanistan when a military lawyer refused to OK an air strike against a convoy believed to include Mullah Omar in October 7, 2001. JAG lawyers began to fume about "being cut out of the policy formulation process." But here is the kicker:

In 2003, Rumsfeld’s apparent disregard for the requirements of the Geneva Conventions while carrying out the war on terror had led a group of senior military legal officers from the Judge Advocate General’s (jag) Corps to pay two surprise visits within five months to Scott Horton, who was then chairman of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on International Human Rights. “They wanted us to challenge the Bush Administration about its standards for detentions and interrogation,” Horton told me. “They were urging us to get involved and speak in a very loud voice. It came pretty much out of the blue. The message was that conditions are ripe for abuse, and it’s going to occur.”

And if it does, we JAG lawyers will be right there to make sure you, Sy Hersch, get to publicize it to the sky.

Well. As if by divine timing, we finally have some resolution on the whole long-simmering Geneva Conventions question today:

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, decided today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling that invalidated a military tribunal against a detainee at GTMO, who just happened to have been Osama's personal driver. In short, court held that commissions were authorized by Congress's post-9/11 authorization of the use of force, that the Geneva Convention was not enforceable in federal court, and even if it was, it didn't provide "prisoner of war" protection to an unlawful combatant like Hamdan.

And we have resolution on the "patterns of abuse" at Gitmo as related to Abu Ghraib--which is that they were unrelated and there was no evidence of torture at Gitmo at all. Unless you count the alleged mistreatment of inanimate objects, or the abuse by detainees directed at our troops.

But the point of bringing up the JAG angle is this--the chain of command does not include the press, and it never has. Yet in this war practically from the beginning, we have had rogue CIA officers engaging in freelance missions tailor-made to strategically smear the administration and we have had leaks of war plans on the eve of war and we have had a cadre of JAG officers attempt to use the a human rights attorney to pre-emptively take over much of the administration's war policy by the use of selective leaks, blind-sourced allegations and court challenges to war policy. This cannot be allowed to stand.

It may not be the case that some foreign intel agency is running an assymetric infowar against us, though I still won't rule that out. And it being clear now that an element of the CIA and a cadre of military lawyers separately attempted to hijack policy on their own, it's conceivable and possible that a similar clique within an otherwise allied intel agency has been running similar scams against us. At any rate, we still have far too many unresolved questions relating to forgeries and the like.

We still don't know who created the Burkett forgeries.

We still don't know who created the Martino forgeries.

And we still don't know why, beyond rank partisanship, Joe Wilson embarked on a campaign of lies built on a questionable mission that left no paper trail which could come back to haunt him, and why those within the CIA who were involved with Wilson's mission haven't been questioned about it. And as of yet we don't know who actually outed Valerie Plame.

But Judith Miller is still in jail, and that's a big clue.

SPEAKING OF WAYBACKING Joe Wilson....heh! "Beacon of honesty" my foot! [LINK]

Oh, there is nothing whatsoever that is "honest" or "credible" about Joe Wilson. Or as the present writer noted earlier in the month on this matter:

Your humble blog host is admittedly rather ambivalent about Karl Rove as a rule. [...] Nonetheless, this is such a non-issue that it is ludicrous to suggest that Rove should be fired for it. This whole situation seems to Us to be a case of trying to cover up for yet another failed (and incompetent) seditionist stooge. Observe:

Joe Wilson hadn't told the truth about what he'd discovered in Africa, how he'd discovered it, what he'd told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission. The media and the Kerry campaign promptly abandoned him, though the former never did give as much prominence to his debunking as they did to his original accusations. But if anyone can remember another public figure so entirely and thoroughly discredited, let us know. [From Karl Rove, Whistleblower a Wall Street Journal editorial (circa July 13, 2005)]

Those who wonder why We at Rerum Novarum so loathe the MSM, the underlined example explains a lot of it in a nutshell. (Not to mention that "journalism" and "ethics" have become antonymous terms of course.) [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 14, 2005)]

And finally, there is this example from people who have absolutely no shame whatsoever...


By allies of Sen. John F. Kerry:

Apparently, those who claim to be "more 'tolerant' than thou" are anything but what they claim to be...

Last year, when John Kerry was running for the Presidency, I wrote and produced the documentary, Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal. I am proud to say I was one of many Vietnam combat veterans who stood up to expose Kerry's betrayal of all those who served in Vietnam -- particularly our POWs still being held by the Communists in 1971. That's when Kerry testified before the U.S. Senate that American troops were murdering hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians, and that such atrocities were authorized and approved by the entire U.S. military chain of command.

The election is long past, but Kerry?s assault on Vietnam combat veterans rages on. I am being sued for millions of dollars by some of his closest friends, and I desperately need your help.

Apparently Kerry's pal has pulled an anti-free speech lawsuit out of Wrong John's magic hat.

I am being sued by Kenneth Campbell -- John Kerry's right hand man in the anti-war movement -- because I stood up against him and John Kerry.

In Stolen Honor I included some film footage showing part of the "Winter Soldier Investigation" of 1971. This was a highly publicized event put on by radical leftists who called themselves Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- a group dedicated to America's defeat in Vietnam. The event, financed by Jane Fonda, was supposed to prove by firsthand testimony that Americans were committing vile atrocities in Vietnam.

In the footage a man named Kenneth Campbell is shown apparently coaching another participant about his testimony on atrocities he supposedly committed. The man doesn't seem too certain about what he is supposed to have done, and jokes that he had forgotten about the massacre of an entire village that he had supposedly participated in.

Now Campbell is claiming I damaged his reputation by showing this film clip. He claims that John Kerry's portrayal of Vietnam veterans as war criminals, a barbarian horde akin to Genghis Khan's, is true and accurate. Stolen Honor defamed him, he says, because it characterizes him, John Kerry, and the other anti-war veterans as frauds and liars.

So, in one of the lawsuits against me, Kenneth Campbell is suing me for defamation.

To borrow and dress up a line from the Three Stooges, it sounds less like defamation than definition of character at work here. Sherwood doesn't deserve to be sued for telling the truth. [LINK]

Well stated Bryan. It seems appropriate in light of this circumstance to reiterate what has been noted by the present writer on this weblog with regards to the Swift Vets story.

First of all, there is the so-called "right wing conspiracies" angle:

If there is a "right wing conspiracy" in the media, then they are asleep at the switch on this one. But then again, when the media spends minimal coverage on the serious assertions of the Swift Boat Veterans against Senator Kerry's credibility and continually hammers again and again at the stupid Abu Ghirab story, what do you expect I suppose.

Let us be frank: if it was not US soldiers doing this and if President Bush was not presiding over a war effort, putting panties on someone's head would be trumpeted as "liberating", "kinky", "constitutionally protected free speech", or some other ridiculous titles of presumed nobility by the same people who are supposedly "outraged" by these same actions taking place at Abu Ghirab. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 12, 2004)]

Also, with regards to the Swift Vets story itself, it was noted on the present weblog a while back that the Swift Vets story is an example of the blogosphere and other alternative media doing the MSM's job for them:

With regards to the Swift Vets for Truth (SWFT), interestingly enough, I predicted in mid August that the media would try to bury the story of the SWFT on the basis of the paucity of coverage it was getting. Though seldom wrong on my predictions, I am sure glad to have been flat out wrong this time. However, my statements about the major media were correct: they wanted this story dead. What is keeping it alive is the alternative media which is forcing the major media to deal with it -however dismissingly they attempt to do so. Fortunately, those who see the value of this story are usually able to get beyond the superficiality of the major media who yet again vindicate the McElhinney Media Dictum as they so often do. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 28, 2004)]

Furthermore, let Us not forget about some of the contemporary foreign media accounts:

The Weekly Standard concurs with the position of your humble servant on the role of alternative media in the Swift Vets story. (See the Standard's article The-Not-So-Swift Mainstream Media for details.) I found the link a few minutes ago when perusing Kevin Miller's postings from yesterday...[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 29, 2004)]

And yet another tidbit on the Swift Vets story (from a late 2004 JYB update thread):

Readers of this weblog know my position on the Swift Vets so I need not repeat myself except to reiterate what I have said privately more than I have publicly: President Bush was (and is) wise to sidestep this issue. Meanwhile, media "conservatives" such as Bill O'Reilly should be ashamed of themselves for trying to do likewise. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 5, 2004)]

And finally, this tidbit posted in the final week before the election:

Vietnam Veterans in 'Stolen Honor' Deserve To Be Heard (Dawson Bell)

Astute observers are aware that the MSM has no interest in this story much as they did not in the case of the Swift Boat Veterans. Such issues only hurt Hanoi John in this election which is (of course) why they will be buried by the MSM (to be promoted by the alternative media outlets like the blogosphere, Drudge, etc). It stands to reason that the more the MSM is derelict in their duties, the more credibility they will lose. (And of course they will only empower further the blogosphere and various other alternative media who do cover these stories.) [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 26, 2004)]

Readers must remember that the Swift Vets story has two critical components to it. The first is that it exposes the bias and hypocricy of the MSM and will be remembered in the future as a milestone in their demise credibility-wise. But the second (and far more important component) is that it was an attempt by numerous Vietnam veterans to avenge the honour which was stolen from them. Rabbi Schmuley Boteach referred to this as John Kerry's blood libel and that assertion was accurate. Now we have some crony of John Kerry's suing the maker of Stolen Honour. Why??? Reviewing Bryan's post, we see the reasons why:

I am being sued by Kenneth Campbell -- John Kerry's right hand man in the anti-war movement -- because I stood up against him and John Kerry.

In Stolen Honor I included some film footage showing part of the "Winter Soldier Investigation" of 1971. This was a highly publicized event put on by radical leftists who called themselves Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- a group dedicated to America's defeat in Vietnam. The event, financed by Jane Fonda, was supposed to prove by firsthand testimony that Americans were committing vile atrocities in Vietnam.

In the footage a man named Kenneth Campbell is shown apparently coaching another participant about his testimony on atrocities he supposedly committed. The man doesn't seem too certain about what he is supposed to have done, and jokes that he had forgotten about the massacre of an entire village that he had supposedly participated in.

Now Campbell is claiming I damaged his reputation by showing this film clip. He claims that John Kerry's portrayal of Vietnam veterans as war criminals, a barbarian horde akin to Genghis Khan's, is true and accurate. Stolen Honor defamed him, he says, because it characterizes him, John Kerry, and the other anti-war veterans as frauds and liars.

Of course if it walks like a fraud and a liar, talks like a fraud and a liar, and (on video) looks like a fraud and a liar, then what are people supposed to conclude??? If Mr. Campbell does not like it, then he should not have gotten caught on tape fabricating a story. Pardon those of Us who feel about as sorry for Mr. Campbell as We do for those celebrities who tape themselves having sex and then get made when such tapes find their way into the public.

The bottom line is this: if the film footage is true, then the idea of a lawsuit for "defamation of character" or some equivalent is ridiculous. But then again, there were a lot of lies circulated about Vietnam by antiwar marxists and their sympathizers. The readers are asked to recall some of what this writer said about marxists earlier in the month:

[T]o the convinced marxist, realities do not matter and facts and arguments which confute their stated positions are of no concern either. This is why the activist marxist is like the shape-shifter in science fiction tales: they take on different external appearances but retain internally the same essence. This approach mirrors that of their former Soviet masters who constantly rewrote their own history to remove from it anything (or anyone) who in any way shows their cause for the shallow messianism that it actually is. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 3, 2005)]

Once again, the so-called "tolerance" and "diversity" crowd are showing their true totalitarian side. They sough to revise history before and are trying to avoid the light of truth exposing their facade via a massive lawsuit. These termites of the social order are well funded so Mr. Sherwood may need some financial assistance to defend himself in court should things go that far.

Your jost is sure that there will be no shortage of lowlife attorneys out there who would take this case on behalf of Mr. Campbell. For that reason, please contribute to Mr. Sherwood's cause in any way you can. The truth cannot be allowed to be suppressed any more!!!

And finally, do not fall for the facade of these people actually being "tolerant" or "promoters of diversity" because they are anything but that. And those who sense there is a logical incongruency in the way they refer to conservatives as "facists" or "nazis" yet act like jackbooted thugs themselves, that is because fascism is one of the masks that marxists like to wear{6} while projecting their own tendencies onto others.{7} And that is the bottom line really.


{1} That is one of the hallmarks of marxism as was noted on this weblog on previous occasions.

{2} It also needs to be pointed out that the MSM showed no shame in trying to promote the idea that "even if the documents were forged, that the allegations needed to be looked into." We already dealt in short order with the illogic of this kind of argument at the Miscellaneous BLOG; however, it bears pointing these things out anew for those who may have forgotten.

{3} Furthermore, it is worth considering in this context the principle of double effect in ethical argumentation.

{4} The authors of a peer-reviewed study, conducted by a survey team from Johns Hopkins University, claim that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war. Yet a close look at the actual study, published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet, reveals that this number is so loose as to be meaningless...

We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period....

Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I'll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)

This isn't an estimate. It's a dart board. [Fred Kaplan: From his Slate article 100,000 Dead—or 8,000 - How Many Iraqi Civilians Have Died as a Result of the War? (circa October 29, 2004)]

{5} The present writer discuseed these principles as they applied to the Dan Rather forgery subject HERE for those who are interested.

{6} For those who think that communism and fascism are two opposites on the spectrum of political philosophy, We remind you of this Rerum Novarum thread from last year explaining the logical fallacies in that approach:

The Logical Fallacy of the "Communist-Fascist" Political Spectrum Theory (circa July 16, 2004)

{7} This approach also involves the marxist projecting the worst traits and tendencies of their own weltanschauung onto the critic who has the temerity to criticize the logical implications (or the actual results) of marxist methodology. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 3, 2005)]

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

More on Marxists, Their Methodology, and Other Tidbits:

This is to some extent a continuation of the recent Rerum Novarum threads on marxism. The word of the emailer will be in shale coloured font.

I fail to understand the moral and intellectual irresponsibility of the "debt relief - Now" crowd, or the HIV bunch for that matter. They want to forgive African debt and completely ignore the vampire class which wasted the money in the first place, as well as the incompetent and/or corrupt regimes at the UN, World Bank, and IMF which aided and abetted the greatest transatlantic looting spree since Cortez.

You are correct on every point raised above.

I have no problem relieving the people of African countries from the crushing burdens of debt, provided (a) the burdens are not thereby transferred to innocent Americans and (b) those responsible for this incredible malfeasance -- especially in the West -- are identified, prosecuted or otherwise ruined.

Agreed. For assistance in understanding some of the dynamics of this matter, consider the aforementioned posts on marxism posted on July 3rd and July 8th respectively.

One of the emails received on the masks of marxism thread was from a longtime friend named Tim. We have known one another since the fifth grade and been good friends almost as long. He made the decision a while back to go back to college after many years away and get a degree in engineering. And after reading the Rerum Novarum "masks of marxism" thread, he sent to me an article he wrote for the California College Republicans from his current place of residence in Santa Cruz, California. Somehow he avoided the kinds of conflict back when we were both in college that I got myself into but this time he is facing it and (probably) even worse than I did in my college days.{1}

Anyway, his editorial thread can be read HERE if you are interested. It outlines a problem that has been taking place on college campuses for a couple of decades not to mention explaining the problems that many who come out of college have in being able to properly utilize the tools of logic and reason.

From what I can tell, the HIVers would rather use the AIDS issue to excoriate Christianity in general and the Church in particular, completely ignoring the fact that (all Pat Robertsonisms about God's "judgment" notwithstanding), the HIV epidemic would be impossible were Africa to adopt Christian morals. (That goes for wicked regimes which use rape as a tool of political domination, also). HIVism has more to do with making Western decadents feel better about their own latex-clad members than with helping victims of a plague.

I cannot argue with those points XXX. Remember though, with the marxists it is not actual results which are important but instead it is the intentions of the advocates. The very same kind of obtuseness you refer to above viz. the AIDS situation is why I have no patience whatsoever for pseudo-"peacemakers" anymore when it comes to the subject of the current military involvement in the Middle East. These pseudo-"peacemakers" have no proactive plan behind US withdrawal from Iraq and they would not be willing to face up to what would happen in that scenario: because they would claim that their intentions were good.

Remember, there was no shortage of marxists who were masquerading under the masks of "peacemakers" and "social justice advocacy" who celebrated the US withdrawal from Vietnam. However, these very same seditionists never took responsibility for the aftermath. The very same people who (i) protested the war, (ii) tried to paint our soldiers in the worst light possible, and (iii) often were vocal about wanting to see a communist victory in SE Asia managed to get their way. They then lie and make stupid statements like the violence ended when the US was forced out of the country and then they wonder why no one familiar with history{2} takes them seriously for a second. Let us clarify what actually happened.

The United States scaled down military operations in 1972 shortly before the elections. After the elections, there was some continued bombing -particularly over Christmas of 1972 to bring the North Vietnamese to the negotiating table. The war ended in 1973 and the US military presence was absent the country after April of 1973. That is not to say that we were completely gone but the presence that remained there until 1975 was very minimal. It was not until 1975 that it could be said (albeit rather disingenuously) that the US was forced out of the country and that "force" was a result of the curtailing of funding by the congress -certainly not by the North Vietnamese themselves.

Lest there be any misunderstandings, from 1975-1978, there were more people massacred by the communist Vietnamese and Cambodian regimes than killed in any fashion during the period of US involvement from the earliest date we sent in so-called "military advisors" in 1957 to the final vestiges leaving Saigon in 1975. But the more activist of the hippie scumbags who sought to undermine our efforts in Vietnam refuse to face up to the results of what their seditious (if not downright treasonous) actions brought about. Again, results do not matter to marxists much as facts do not matter. All that matters is their intentions - a point which raises another interesting theme to consider.

The marxists --and every promoter of socialism is a defacto marxist in some form or another{3}-- have a notorious double standard from which they operate. Essentially, they judge their own policies not by the uniform and undeniable{4} failure of their policies every time they have been tried. No, with the marxists it is on the intentions behind their policies that they focus on. But they then judge their political enemies -and America is probably first on that list- by the results of their policies. And since America --despite its overall success as a bastion of freedom unlike any nation in history-- is imperfect, then there are always points that can be focused on to America's discredit. But the marxist intentions of a "paradise on earth" are far more idyllic than the even the significant results that America has achieved. For that reason, the results of marxist policies are ignored while the intentions of the marxists are their point of focus.

Now granted, the marxists fabricated a lot of stuff to make things appear even worse than they actually were but that point aside, there is enough in the historical record without fabrications to enable America to always look bad next to the ideal that marxists claim to repine for. And that is the secret essentially to why marxists can lie, cheat, steal, murder, and commit any atrocity and still be held up as icons for the marxist cause ala the near-veneration of predators like Castro, Guevera, Ortega, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Lenin, etc. by not a few who disingenuously claim the mantles of "progressivist" or "peacemakers."

Though many more links could be posted here, I note these two for the sake of brevity:

The New Vietnam by Le Thi Ahn (A National Review article from April 29, 1977)

The above article was found at a site of another promoter of Claude Frederic Bastiat.{5}

Witnessing the Death of a Nation - The Fall of Saigon (Robert E. Wheatley)

The above article is on the aftermath of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords which ended the US's military involvement in Vietnam.

From Jungle Prison to the Plains (Cody Grivno)

The above article was written on one of the thousands of Vietnamese who were victimized by the Communists after the fall of Saigon. And while more could be noted than what is posted above, those threads will suffice (in a brief note such as this) to provide for some additional reading and reflecting by the readers of this weblog.

Africa, IMHO, like the rest of the 3W, needs a sustainable economic structure which isn't reduced to the simple point of serving as "resource feeders" for 1W economies. (BTW, can anybody tell my why the hell Canada is in the G8 and India isn't?). In short, Africa needs distributivism, not the neo-socialist bullshit of rock concerts.

Well said my friend (the distributivism comment aside for the time being). I would only point you to the fact that the intentions of those behind Live8 were good. Couple that with the marxist mantra of the end justifying the means and it explains why they approach these things as they do (their bullheaded inability or unwillingness to admit any factors which are detrimental to their cause notwithstanding of course).


{1} Of course we both went to college in Washington State. I am surmizing that even my old college (which I dubbed "the West Coast Branch of the Kremlin" back in the day) does not measure up to what Tim is facing down in Santa Cruz...hopefully his time at a different California educational institution starting in the fall will work out better in that regard.

{2} Not to mention having a normal intact functioning brain free of the mental disorder of extreme liberalism so-called "progressivism."

{3} Socialism after all is the communist tree in an earlier stage of growth as Claude Frederic Bastiat so astutely noted in 1850.

{4} "Uniform and undeniable" for anyone with a normal intact functioning brain who is familiar with history that is.

{5} Though they do not seem to have undertaken to apply and develop further Bastiat's theories as the present writer has in recent years.

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